ROUND 8 FEATURE MATCH

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

By Josh Bennett

It's a Javier mirror match at 7-0. On once side, Javier Luna of Argentina, a former Worlds team member, playing Black-Green Devotion. His deck keys off the constellation abilities of Eidolon of Blossoms and Doomwake Giant, and goes big with Hornet Queen and See the Unwritten. Opposite him sits Javier Osorio of Chile, playing an Abzan Midrange deck directly descended from those seen at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir. Using the same skeleton of Thoughtseize, Courser of Kruphix and Sylvan Caryatid, his deck plays a long game of incremental advantages.

The Games

Luna led out with a pair of Llanowar Wastes but had no play on them. Osorio scried with Temple of Malady, then Thoughtseized Luna on the following turn. He saw a hand of two Doomwake Giants, Hornet Queen, Courser of Kruphix and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. He took the Courser and left Luna with his expensive spells.

Osorio looked to get ahead with his own Courser of Kruphix. Luna went one better, summoning Eidolon of Blossoms and getting a free card. Osorio was unable to remove it and watched as Luna summoned a parade of enchantment-creatures while keeping a full grip. He tried to keep up with Abzan Charm to draw two and a Thoughtseize to stop Hornet Queen from hitting play. Luna continued to attack, summoning a second Doomwake Giant.

Osorio had to put a stop to it. At end of turn he gave the Eidolon of Blossoms two +1/+1 counters with Abzan Charm, then untapped and dropped Elspeth to sweep away all the big creatures, leaving just the Courser behind. It was a big play, but Luna still had gas in the tank. He attacked Elspeth with his own Courser, forcing a block, then summoned Doomwake giant and another Courser to finish off Osorio's. Osorio shored up his defenses with Elspeth tokens and Sorin, Solemn Visitor. Hero's Downfall took care of the Doomwake Giant. That was three of them gone.

Javier Osorio

Luna was unperturbed. He tapped five for Arbor Colossus and then used Nykthos to power out See the Unwritten, getting Pharika, God of Affliction and Polukranos, World Eater. Osario was in trouble and dug for answers with Read the Bones. He managed to find a Hero's Downfall for Polukranos, but could only watch helplessly as a second See the Unwritten served up Doomwake Giant and Eidolon of Blossoms. That cleared out all his tokens and left his Planeswalkers utterly exposed. Seeing his empire crumble, Osorio scooped to move to game two.

Luna 1 - Osorio 0

Osorio led out with a pair of painlands. Luna scryed and then summoned

Sylvan Caryatid. Osorio Thoughtseized and stole Thoughtseize from Luna, leaving behind Courser of Kruphix, Hornet Queen, Sylvan Caryatid, and See the Unwritten. However, Osorio had no third land. Luna untapped and played the Courser, rewarded with a free land waiting on top of his library. Osorio simply drew and passed. It looked like Luna would run away with things.

However, Luna's hand was a little slow. He got another free land, attacked for two and summoned a second Caryatid. Osorio drew his next card slowly, then peeked at Windswept Heath. That got him a forest, but he simply passed with his mana open. Luna fetched to get a second look with his Courser and found Nykthos, which powered out Hornet Queen.

Javier Luna

Osorio had been waiting for this. He cast Drown in Sorrow, sweeping away the fliers. Luna hit again with his Courser and summoned a second Hornet Queen. Osorio had a second Drown in Sorrow, and drew a scryland to make it even sweeter, setting up a fifth land on his deck.

Unfortunately for Luna, he decided to throw caution to the wind here and summon both a second Courser of Kruphix and Polukranos. Osorio was only too happy to untap and show him End Hostilities. Luna slumped in his seat. Still, Osorio needed to mount an offence. Eidolon of Blossoms got Luna only a single card before falling to Murderous Cut, and Osorio started to summon Siege Rhinos.

Luna cast See the Unwritten and got himself a Polukranos. That supercharged the second See the Unwritten, which got him Pharika and a lowly Elvish Mystic. His graveyard was packed. However Osorio wasn't done yet. He had the one card he needed: Utter End to exile the indestructible God before Luna could get more than a single Snake. He then added Nissa, Worldwaker to his squad and started to animate lands. He took down Polukranos with another Murderous Cut and sacrified one of his Rhinos to clear out the Snake.

Luna was running out of time. His board of Voyaging Satyrs and Caryatids was not going to get the job done. Empty-handed, he drew Doomwake Giant, still short of victory. Osorio held back on three animated 4/4 lands. Luna drew and then started counting mana. Nykthos and two Satyrs can mean a LOT of mana, and it seemed like he was counting to a very high number. The reason? A topdecked Pharika. He made three Snakes and Osorio was dismayed to learn that they were indeed enchantment creatuers. In a game full of crazy swings, that was the backbreaker.

Javier Luna defeats Javier Osorio 2-0