Judging from past accomplishments, Marcio Carvalho was clearly the favorite going into this match. The Portuguese could boast an impressive seven Top 8s at previous Grands Prix, as well as two Pro Tour Top 8s. Facing him in this penultimate round before the play-offs was Spaniard Manuel Amador Barrero, looking for his first major finish.
Carvalho may have done better in the past, but in this particular tournament it was Amador Barrero who had done a little better with a record of 11-1-1 so far to Carvalho's 11-2. Meaning: Amador Barrero could already secure a spot in the Top 8 with a win here, whereas Carvalho likely needed one more win and either good tiebreakers or at least a draw in the last round.
The matchup was another mirror match, again between two mono-green devotion decks. Only seven of those even made it to Day 2, but the things we've seen in the feature match area this weekend included a surprsingly large amount of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and friends.
Manuel Amador Barrero
Amador Barrero opened with the perfect curve of Elvish Mystic into Courser of Kruphix, but so did Carvalho. Following that, however, Amador Barrero had no more land and no more plays, whereas Carvalho continued to cast more mana creatures as well as Nissa, Worldwaker.
A couple of turns of not drawing a land (or rather finding one on top of his library via Courser of Kruphix) were enough for Amador Barrero. He shrugged and picked up his cards in concession.
Marcio Carvalho 1-0 Manuel Amador Barrero
Things began at a much more sedate pace this time around. Neither player had a play on his first turn, both had mana creatures on their respective second turns. Amador Barrero was the first to deploy an actual threat—Polukranos, World Eater—but Carvalho quickly summoned his own.
Nothing moved for short while, also helped by Amador Barrero's Hornet Nest, but then things escalated quickly. Thanks to Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Voyaging Satyr, Carvalho emptied his hand which included, among other things, Hornet Queen. The following turn, he already generated a whopping 23 mana with the combination of Satyr and Nykthos and dumped all of that mana into Polukranos, World Eater, killing almost all of Amador Barrero's creatures.
Amador Barrero summoned a Hornet Queen of his own, but to no avail. Carvalho had another Polukranos, Hornet Eater, and proceeded to take the game.
Marcio Carvalho 2-0 Manuel Amador Barrero