QUARTERFINALS ROUND-UP

Posted in GRAND PRIX SANTIAGO 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 2, 2014

By Josh Bennett

Here's a brief look at how the four quarterfinal matches of Grand Prix Santiago went down.

Willy Edel (Sidisi-Whip) vs Daniel Gaete Quezada (Boss Red)

Edel (left) and Quezada (right)

This match was a slow-motion tragedy with very little action. I'm going to let Willy sum it up in his own words.

Big Z, one of the true good men of the game and always a class act.

However, Edel takes these things in stride. He knows you can't win every time.

Daniel Gaete Quezada defeats Willy Edel 2-0

Rodrigo Soto (Abzan Aggro) vs Fernando Barros (Temur)

Soto (left) and Barros (right)

Game one was an unmitigated beating as Soto opened up with Heir of the Wilds into Anafenza, the Foremost, and then Siege Rhino. Barros was way behind despite starting with Rattleclaw Mystic and a pair of Goblin Rabblemasters. Soto had to do little more than turn his team sideways.

Soto 1 - Barros 0

In the second game, Barros kept a hand heavy on mana creatures, and could only watch helplessly as Soto picked them off, leaving him with just two lands in play. Anafenza was the first member of the cleanup crew to arrive, and shortly thereafter Soto had taken the match.

Rodrigo Soto defeats Fernando Barros 2-0

Eduardo dos Santos Vieira (Abzan Midrange) vs David Sologuren (Temur Monsters)

Vieira (left) and Sologuren (right)

Vieira's deck is a different take on Midrange, using Satyr Wayfinder and Commune with the Gods to power up three maindeck Whip of Erebos. He also starts Hornet Queen and Soul of Theros in the main!

Things started up as expected in the first game, with both players spilling creatures onto the board, but with Sologuren having the more potent threats in the form of Savage Knuckleblade and Polukranos, World Eater. However, Vieira found Whip of Erebos and was able to call up Hornet Queen from his graveyard to completely lock Sologuren out of the red zone. He needed a Temur Charm to punch through, but it was not forthcoming. Vieira's draw steps yielded more gas, and soon the first game was his.

Vieira 1 - Sologuren 0

In game two Sologuren's deck did what it does best. He rolled out the perfect start of first-turn Elvish Mystic into second-turn Savage Knuckleblade. A Thoughtseize from Vieira caught Polukranos, but the trouble was already on the board. Sologuren hit and then summoned Heir of the Wilds. Vieira tried to buy time with Satyr Wayfinder, but Crater's Claws played shock to get it out of the way and leave enough mana for Knuckleblade to hit for six. Not even Siege Rhino could save him. Sologuren simply untapped and showed him the second Claws.

Vieira 1 - Sologuren 1

Sologuren started the decider out with another Elf-into-Knuckleblade opening, this time off a pair of Mana Confluences. However, this time Vieira's deck had given him tools to deal with it. Banishing Light took care of the Savage Knuckleblade before it could attack.

Again they squared off with creatures. Rattleclaw Mystic and Ashcloud Phoenix fell to Doomwake Giant, and Siege Rhino made things even worse. Sologuren drew two more Savage Knuckleblades to shore up his defenses, but had to trade one off for the Doomwake Giant. Vieira's deck served up another spicy one - Whip of Erebos, He piled on the damage with his reanimated Doomwake Giant. Sologuren tried to defend, but fell to three while putting Siege Rhino in the graveyard. His draw yielded no answers, and he extended the hand.

Eduardo dos Santos Vieira defeats David Sologuren 2-1

Nicolas de Nicola (Abzan Midrange) vs Pedro Carvalho (Temur Monsters)

Carvalho (left) and De Nicola (right)

Carvalho got off to a fast start with Elvish Mystic, Heir of the Wilds, and Savage Knuckleblade. De Nicola traded a Fleecemane Lion for the Heir and took down the Knuckleblade with Abzan Charm. Carvalho was stuck on three land and played a morph. De Nicola Thoughtseized away a Sarkhan and saw a hand short on threats.

That is, until Carvalho untapped and plucked another Savage Knuckleblade. It hit the ground running and now de Nicola was on the back foot again. He summoned Siege Rhino, evening the life totals, but Carvalho blasted it with Crater's Claws and hit for six. De Nicola kept himself alive with another pair of Siege Rhinos, getting Carvalho down to just one life, but couldn't find that last point before Carvalho overran him.

Carvalho 1 - De Nicola 0

Carvalho's draw for the second game was slowed down by a pair of Frontier Bivouacs to start. De Nicola summoned Fleecemane Lion and started working on his life total. Bile Blight answered a morph at end of turn, then de Nicola untapped, brought out Sorin, Solemn Visitor, and made a 2/2. He was way ahead.

Carvalho wasn't about to roll over, however. First he tried Savage Knuckleblade, but that died to Hero's Downfall. He didn't mind. He followed it up with Polukranos, World Eater and Hunt the Hunter on Fleecemane Lion. Sorin's lifelink ability meant that de Nicola got an extra life boost. De Nicola was sitting on a pair of Wingmate Rocs and desperately needed a fifth mana. He summoned Sylvan Caryatid. As expected, Carvalho had Polukranos eat the token, and then he swung at Sorin. De Nicola let the planeswalker go.

He untapped and brought out his lonely Wingmate Roc. Carvalho had a lot of power on the ground, but nothing to stop the airborne assault. De Nicola hit for three and brought out the paired Rocs. It was enough.

Carvalho 1 - De Nicola 1

The deciding game started out in a show of one-upsmanship. De Nicola made Courser of Kruphix and Siege Rhino. Carvalho made Ashcloud Phoenix and Polukranos, World Eater. De Nicola thought hard about his next move. He sent in his Rhino, and after Carvalho blocked, dropped a Bile Blight on the hydra.

They traded blows as Carvalho rebuilt his ground force and sent his Phoenix overhead, but De Nicola had a hand full of removal, and between Hero's Downfall and Abzan Charm he was able to punch through for lethal.

Nicolas de Nicola defeats Pedro Carvalho 2-1