ROUND 6 FEATURE MATCH

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

By Rich Hagon

Rich Hagon combines a deep knowledge of the players of the Pro Tour with a passionate love of the game. He's a regular commentator for Pro Tour and Grand Prix live video coverage, and is the official Pro Tour Statistician. He has been covering Magic events since 2006.

Round 6 saw another clash of neighborly rivalry between Niho Francisco Campos, representing the home team of Chile, and Brazil's Willy Edel, complete with his storied career of Pro Tour Top 8s and Team World Championship appearances.

Niho Campos

Working out which player was going to be the beatdown wouldn't be hard in this matchup. Campos was playing Jeskai, looking to get ahead early, and stay ahead, long before any late game shenanigans. That was exactly the opposite of what Edel had in mind. He was playing Sidisi-Whip, and was hoping to close down the ground early with format staples Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix, before allowing the signature Whip of Erebos to take him firmly out of burn range.

Edel's Opening Seven

Game 1

Mystic Monastery was a clearcut signal that Campos was Jeskai, confirmed with a turn two Thoughtseize from Edel that revealed a slew of goodness, including Mantis Rider, which bit the dust. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant was a threat that couldn't be allowed to hang around, and Campos quickly sent it packing. Nonetheless, with both Hornet Queen and Whip of Erebos now in Edel's graveyard, it was obvious to Campos what plans Edel had for him, and none of them were good. Dominating the battlefield, however, was Goblin Rabblemaster. Edel was working hard to keep it in check, but Campos kept on coming, using Jeskai Charm to good effect.

The key to Rabblemaster is to go wide. Make lots of Goblins, keep making them, get things out of control. Edel had found a way to keep his life in double digits, and now he had both Courser of Kruphix and Sagu Mauler on the battlefield. Then it was Edel's turn to go wide with Hornet Queen. There was still a small window for Campos to pull things out – he had gained a lot of life with his Jeskai Charm – but it was Edel who threatened lifegain with Whip of Erebos on top of his deck, and that was enough to send us to game two.

A Lot of Willy Edels

Campos 0 – 1 Edel

Game 2

The opening hand for Edel held something of a gamble, but not much of one. With two land, plus both Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix, he had several turns to draw a land, and a first turn Temple of Mystery instantly got rid of any early doubts. The shields were quickly up, as Campos had an unexceptional start, landing Brimaz, King of Oreskos on turn three.

With two Courser of Kruphix in play, Edel displayed all his Pro experience, when he accidentally saw a second card on top of his library, in the course of revealing the top card for the Coursers. Many would have been tempted to ignore the slip, especially as he was about to sacrifice a Polluted Delta, guaranteeing no possible advantage from the illicitly-gained information. Instead, Edel instantly called a judge on himself, explained his slip, and was duly given a warning for looking at extra cards. That, ladies and gents, is exactly what you should do if you make a slip. Do it the right way.

In truth, that was about the only thing going wrong for Edel, who had a powerful board position now headlined by Sagu Mauler. Campos had cards to work with, but no amount of burn could reach out to touch the Hexproof Mauler. It wasn't that Campos didn't have action – he replaced a killed Mantis Rider with another, and had Negate ready for a Hero's Downfall – but it wasn't advancing the game, especially once Nylea's Disciple had returned Edel to 20 life.

If this had been a boxing match, they would have stopped it by now. Still, Campos soldiered on for a couple more turns, before succumbing to the inevitable. Edel moved to 5-1, looking to string together more wins to ensure yet another day 2 appearance.

Campos 0 – 2 Edel