Posted in GRAND PRIX SANTIAGO 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 1, 2014

By Josh Bennett

Hometown hero and former Rookie of the Year Felipe Tapia Becerra is probably the number two pick to win this event, behind a visiting Willy Edel. This round he squares off against Luis Castillejo, native of Spain.

The Matchup

This is your classic Speed vs Inevitability match. Becerra's deck revolves around Whip of Erebos, and if he manages to get that online, the lifegain will be almost impossible for Castillejo's deck to overcome. It also features a lot of cumulative advantage from cards like Satyr wayfinder, Courser of Kruphix and Eidolon of Blossoms, giving it a stranglehold on the long game. Fortunately for Castillejo, the Boss Red deck is geared towards winning within the first five turns. Packed with one-drops and cards to disable blockers, it hopes to overwhelm the opponent early and finish things with burn.

The Games

Castillejo won the roll, and after a mulligan kicked off with Foundry Street Denizen. Next came Monastery Swiftspear and a Dragon Mantle for the Denizen, putting Becerra to 17. Becerra had a Satyr Wayfinder to put in the way of the Denizen, and took another three from the Swiftspear who got her own Mantle. Frenzied Goblin made sure that blocking would be difficult.

Luis Castillejo

Becerra summoned Courser of Kruphix, hoping to make the most of its lifegain. Castillejo attacked freely thanks to the goblin, and between Dragon Mantle and Titan's Strength he had Becerra down to just five life. Becerra played Eidolon of Blossoms and crossed his fingers. Castillejo's creatures crashed in, but after the Eidolon blocked the Swiftspear Castillejo had no trick to save it. Becerra could breathe a sigh of relief. Castillejo summoned a second Frenzied Goblin and passed.

That relief soon turned to confidence as Doomwake Giant cleared the board. Castillejo was out of gas, and Becerra's next play was Whip of Erebos. After seeing him gain six from his attackers, Castillejo was ready to pack it in.

Becerra 1 - Castillejo 0

Castillejo got to play with seven cards this game, and again came out like gangbusters. First Foundry Street Denizen, then Swiftspear and Frenzied Goblin. Becerra had Satyr Wayfinder but still couldn't block. Luckily for him, Castillejo only hit for three and passed with two mana open. He summoned a second Wayfinder and scryed with Temple of Malady.

Felipe Tapia Becerra

Castillejo accidentally revealed a Stoke the Flames in his attempt to play Dragon Mantle on his Swiftspear, giving Becerra a bit of extra information. His creatures dropped Becerra to just nine and he passed the turn. Becerra played a forest before summoning Courser of Kruphix, leaving the Temple up, likely signalling a Murderous Cut. Castillejo gamely cleared out Becerra's creatures with Stoke the Flames and Magma Spray before attacking with his Swiftspear. Naturally, Becerra had the Cut.

He untapped and summoned a replacement Courser, then played Wooded Foothills. The window was closing for Castillejo, and though he had two cards in hand, he was unable to add anything to the board. Things quickly got worse, with Nylea's Disciple giving Becerra four more life. A Brain Maggot took Harness by Force and left Castillejo with only blanks. Next came the Whip, and this time Castillejo didn't need to see another card before extending the hand.

Felipe Tapia Becerra defeats Luis Castillejo 2-0