Round 4 Feature Match: Eduardo dos Santos Viera (Abzan Megamorph) vs. Thiago Saporito (Bant Megamorph)

Posted in GRAND PRIX SÃO PAULO 2015 on May 2, 2015

By Frank Karsten

This match featured two heavyweights of Brazilian Magic, both of whom had chosen to sleeve up Deathmist Raptor for this event.

The Players

Thiago Saporito has had a great year. He finished third at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir, followed by a Top 8 appearance at the World Magic Cup and decent finishes at other events as well. As a result, he is the first Brazilian player to lock Gold in the Pro Players club besides Willy Edel and Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa. At 39 points this season, he's only a few points away from Platinum.

Eduardo dos Santos Viera, on the other side of the table, has already locked Silver level in the Pro Player club on the back of good performances at Latin American Grand Prix tournaments this season: He has two Grand Prix Top 8s, with a win in Santiago, to his name. He is qualified for Pro Tour Vancouver and sits at 26 points so far, so he's fighting for more points to clinch Gold.

The Decks

Both players were running the Deathmist Raptor / Den Protector engine that has been growing in popularity as of late, but they had different ideas on what color combination is the best home for it. Saporito chose to go with Bant, favoring a splash of blue for Dragonlord Ojutai and countermagic from the sideboard. Dos Santos Viera went with Abzan, opting for a black splash for Siege Rhino and Abzan Charm.

The players agreed that the black version has a small edge in the matchup because it has access to Abzan Charm to stop Deathmist Raptor recursion.

Game 1

Early on, dos Santos Viera was able to set up the most favorable exchanges, as he played Dromoka's Command to kill both Elvish Mystic and Courser of Kruphix and cast Abzan Charm to exile Deathmist Raptor. However, dos Santos Viera had no way to stop Saporito's Fleecemane Lion from going monstrous, and the indestructible 4/4 whittled down dos Santos Viera's life total before he found Siege Rhino as a suitable blocker.


Eduardo dos Santos Viera

A while later, both players had gone through several Deathmist Raptor recursion cycles, and both of them got Mastery of the Unseen in play. However, Saporito had the mana advantage and was able to activate the enchantment twice a turn. Soon enough, he hit another Deathmist Raptor, unmorphed it to return another one from his graveyard, and used them to overwhelmed dos Santos Viera.

Thiago Saporito 1 - Eduardo dos Santos Viera 0

Sideboarding

Saporito added Encase in Ice and Stratus Dancer, cutting inefficient removal spells like Valorous Stance.

Dos Santos Viera brought in Glare of Heresy and Thoughtseize, removing a combination of Siege Rhino and Courser of Kruphix from this deck.

Game 2

The early game was all about answers to Fleecemane Lion. After a few turns, dos Santos Viera had 2 Glare of Heresy in his graveyard and a Fleecemane Lion enchanted with Encase in Ice in play, while Saporito had 2 Fleecemane Lion in his graveyard.


Thiago Saporito

Then, it was time for the big hitters and value trades. Saporito started by putting down Mastery of the Unseen and passed the turn with a morph in play and two mana up. Dos Santos Viera, who must have been aware of the presence of Stratus Dancer, led with Glare of Heresy. Saporito took the bait. He unmorphed Stratus Dancer, but that was exactly what dos Santos Viera was hoping for. Dromoka's Command resolved successfully, and Saporito looked helpless as both his Stratus Dancer and the Mastery of the Unseen were sent to the graveyard.

But he wasn't outdone yet and summoned Dragonlord Ojutai. It attacked…and connected! Without an answer to the Dragonlord, dos Santos Viera could not keep up with the card advantage that Saporito was generating, and several turns later he had to extend his hand in defeat.

Thiago Saporito 2 - Eduardo dos Santos Viera 0