This quarterfinals pitted together two players who had made it here with their favorite style of deck. Mateus Batista de Melo mentioned that he is used to playing control, so he naturally ran Esper Dragons at this tournament. Claudio Barrientos Ochoa always plays "Rock" decks, and thus he chose Abzan Aggro. Sticking with a deck they are comfortable has certainly paid off for them.
Mateus Batista de Melo (left) and Claudio Barrientos Ochoa (right)
Batista de Melo had Hero's Downfalls for Barrientos Ochoa's early threats, and Barrientos Ochoa was unable to cast any creatures after that due to a lack of white mana.
Amusingly, Batista de Melo went on the aggro plan with Silumgar, the Drifting Death. It's not the fastest clock, but it cannot be destroyed by Hero's Downfall, and it took Barrientos Ochoa down to a low life total before the Abzan Aggro player found his white mana.
Claudio Barrientos Ochoa
Siege Rhino came down and, for lack of any better use, two copies of Abzan Charm quickly turned the Rhino into an 8/9 creature. But it was not enough: he had found his white mana one turn too late, and he lost the damage race to the 3/7 Silumgar.
Claudio Barrientos Ochoa 0 – Mateus Batista de Melo 1
The beginning of the game was marked by a lot of one-for-one trades. Multiple Thoughtseizes were played from both sides of the table, and the players stripped each other of their best cards. Crucially, several of Batista de Melo's creatures were sent to the graveyard, and a few removal spells later, everything had traded and both players were in topdeck mode.
This situation greatly favored the Esper Dragon player. Generally speaking, when you are playing an aggro deck and lack the creatures to pressure the control player, then you will eventually lose in the late game. And that's indeed what happened in this game as well.
Mateus Batista de Melo
Mateus Batista de Melo found Dig Through Time to get ahead after all those one-for-one discard spells, and it didn't take him long to set up a hand full of cards. Barrientos Ochoa tried to do the same by drawing two cards with Abzan Charm, but his deck is not up to play the control game.
Batista de Melo showed how a real control deck does it by casting removal spells and countermagic to answer a few Abzan-colored creatures. Finally, in full control of the game, he made a Dragonlord for the killing blow.
Claudio Barrientos Ochoa 0 – Mateus Batista de Melo 2