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

By Josh Bennett

The road to the Top 8 of a Grand Prix doesn't get any easier the tournament rolls on. Bolivia's David Sologuren posted a perfect 9-0 on Day 1, giving himself a prime chance, and now sits at 11-1. Now he'll face his toughest opponent yet: Brazil's Willy Edel, Platinum Pro and World Championship competitor. The winner of this match will have a very good shot at the Top 8, even if they lose out.

The Matchup

Temur Monsters thrives on it ability to come out fast, deploying threats and using cheap answers to put the opponent on the back foot. Crater's Claws gives it a lot of reach. The problem is that Edel's deck can has Whip of Erebos and can completely swing the direction of the game. Satyr Wayfinder provides a useful speedbump without costing him a card, allowing him to get to the middle game and deploy his trumps.

The Games

Edel won the die roll, giving him an early leg up. Sologuren led off with Elvish Mystic. Edel brought out Sylvan Caryatid. Next came Frontier Bivouac and Heir of the Wilds. Edel summoned Courser of Kruphix, then Thoughtsiezed. Sologuren turned over a clunker of a hand: Two lands, Temur Charm and two Crater's Claws. Hardly the backup his board needed. Edel stripped the Charm.

Sologuren failed to find a good one, simply playing a land and hitting for two with his Heir. Doomwake Giant came down on Edel's side of the table, killing the Elvish Mystic. A second Heir of the Wilds wasn't exactly what Sologuren needed, but he played it and held back. Edel put him further behind on board with Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, who brought a friend to the party. That left Edel's top card as Whip of Erebos.

Sologuren killed Sidisi with one of his Crater's Claws, but after the Whip hit play and a Satyr Wayfinder gave Edel more graveyard fuel he decided he'd had enough.

Edel 1 - Sologuren 0

Edel had to send back his opening seven and stayed on six. Again, Sologuren's draw was simply not aggressive enough. His turn-two Rattleclaw Mystic had nothing to power out. All he could do was swing for two and play a land. That was good news for Edel, who had been slowed down by Temple of Malady and Opulent Palace. Edel dropped a forest and passed, keeping his mana open.

Still Sologuren could do nothing but hit for two and play a land. Edel summoned Sidisi and got a token, so he was still ahead when Sologuren Crater's Claws took care of the Tyrant. Edel replaced her with Doomwake Giant, killing the Mystic. Sologuren played another land and shook his head. His hand was choked with reactive cards.

Edel simply hit for six and passed, unwilling to commit more to the board. Sologuren had to pull the trigger on Back to Nature as a one-for-one. He played Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker to kill the token, but Edel refused to allow him even a moment ahead. Hero's Downfall killed the planeswalker at end of turn.

For a couple turns they drew and passed. Sologuren found a Rattleclaw Mystic. Edel played an end-of-turn Sultai Charm to filter cards. After a short deliberation he discarded a Hero's Downfall. He untapped and summoned Courser of Kruphix. Sologuren killed it on his turn with Hunt the Hunter. However, Edel was long on threats now, and brought out Sidisi. Sologuren's Elvish Mystic looked fairly anemic by comparison. Next came a Whip of Erebos, but Sologuren had Disdainful Stroke to stop it.

Still, he had nothing to stop Sidisi, and she was building Edel a small army of tokens. Sologuren summoned Savage Knuckleblade, gave it haste and attacked. Edel threw a zombie in front of it. He attacked again and this time Sologuren went for a team block on Sidisi, needing to get the legend off the board. Edel showed him Sultai Charm for the save. Sologuren drew and sighed, then hit with his Knuckleblade and bounced it to have it on defense as well. It was hardly enough. Satyr Wayfinder and Sidisi's attack gave Edel two more zombies and even though the Tyrant fell to the Knuckleblade it left Sologuren at two. He prayed for Crater's Claws but missed. Edel, ever the gentleman, revealed that it was a false hope - he had been holding Disdainful Stroke for the bulk of the game.

Willy Edel defeats David Sologuren 2-0