Finals: (7) Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa vs. (21) Samuel Pardee

Posted in Event Coverage on July 30, 2017

By Chapman Sim

Both players have played eighteen matches of Magic this weekend, and now they progressed into their nineteenth. It was also the final match of Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, and there were only two players remaining out of 463. To have come this far was no walk in the park.

Both (7) Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and (21) Samuel Pardee were already Platinum for the 2017-18 season, and they also secured invites to the World Championship. What remained on the line, however, was a Pro Tour Champion trophy and the grand prize of $50,000.

In addition, if Damo da Rosa won this match, he would also surpass Márcio Carvalho to become the 2016-17 Player of the Year, and also become the tenth ever player to win multiple Pro Tours, as well as the seventh ever player to win multiple individual Pro Tours.

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Samuel Pardee clashed in one in the final match of the weekend to see which of the two friends would ultimately earn the title of Pro Tour Hour of Devastation champion.

The Decks

Pardee was the only player playing Black-Green Constrictor to make the Top 8, and he dispatched Yusuke Sasabe and Samuel Black enroute to the finals. As a creature-based deck with spot removal, Pardee's deck had the ability to remove Damo da Rosa's early threats while providing some defense. If he survived the first few turns, Pardee would be able to take control of the game easily with big creatures such as Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Verdurous Gearhulk.

Damo da Rosa's Ramunap Red was able to summon early creatures and burn away early blockers, but there wasn't much he could do about these fatties. However, since Damo da Rosa's deck was built to maximize tempo, he could still win in the mid-to-late game if he pushed enough early damage.

The Games

Damo da Rosa kicked off the finals with double Falkenrath Gorger and Bomat Courier, while Pardee beckoned upon Winding Constrictor to block. Abrade took care of it and Pardee went down to 12. A second Winding Constructor was ignored by an exerted Ahn-Crop Crasher, which put Pardee down to 4 life before his fourth turn!

From that point, winning was but a formality for Damo da Rosa. After sneaking 1 damage in with Bomat Courier, he played a freshly-drawn Sunscorched Desert to cast Chandra, Torch of Defiance for exactly lethal damage. This was also a turn-four kill, a display of how powerful Ramunap Red could be.

In Game 2, Damo da Rosa led with Bomat Courier, Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, and Village Messenger, but Pardee answered with triple Winding Constrictor and Liliana, the Last Hope. Thereafter, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar putting four +1/+1 counters on each Winding Constrictor allowed Pardee to attack for lethal.

Pardee trades blows with his friend and testing partner in the first few games.

Pardee's fifth-turn kill, along with Damo da Rosa's fourth-turn kill, elevated the excitement of the match significantly as they proceeded to sideboard for their next game.

Thereafter, Pardee had to mulligan down to six, but was able to kill two copies Earthshaker Khenra with Fatal Pushes before they hit him. Stuck on two Swamps, he watched as Damo da Rosa demolished him with Chandra, Torch of Defiance. After missing his third land drop for two more turns, Pardee saw no way out and scooped up his cards, moving to the fourth game.

At this juncture, Damo da Rosa was one game away from winning it all, while Pardee needed to win two in a row.

Bracing himself, Pardee used Blooming Marsh and Traverse the Ulvenwald to find himself a Forest before summoning Winding Constrictor. That served as a great speed bump against Damo da Rosa's Falkenrath Gorger and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider. However, Earthshaker Khenra stopped it from blocking, and Damo da Rosa added Bomat Courier to his army. Pardee grasped Kari Zev with darkness, but still took 5 damage in the process.

Thereafter, Pardee summoned a 3/3 Walking Ballista, which was extremely annoying against Damo da Rosa's trio of one-toughness creatures. Calling upon Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, it looked like Pardee was in firm control of the game, still at a rather healthy 12 life. However, an exerted Glorybringer took down both Nissa and Walking Ballista, which gave Pardee delirium to summon Ishkanah, Grafwidow. Unable to do much, Damo da Rosa simply eternalized Earthshaker Khenra to prevent the 3/5 from blocking, so Pardee offered it a 0/1 Plant.

Damo da Rosa was only match away from his second Pro Tour title, and the first Player of the Year title for South America.

Verdurous Gearhulk was the next bombshell, and the distribution of four +1/+1 counters engorged a lowly 1/2 Spider into a 4/5, while making Ishkanah herself a 4/6, both good enough to survive against Glorybringer. Fatal Push on the eternalized token forced Damo da Rosa to block with Glorybringer, and the next all-out attack from Pardee equalized the score!

In the final game, Pardee went to six and quickly faced assault from Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, Earthshaker Khenra, and Bomat Courier. Pardee's Grim Flayer and Liliana, the Last Hope gave him some game, but Damo da Rosa's exerted Ahn-Crop Crasher took down the opposing planeswalker.

Pardee reinforced with a Walking Ballista that got two +1/+1 counters on it, one of which was used to kill Bomat Courier. However, Damo da Rosa continue to push damage. He summoned Glorybringer and attacked with Ahn-Crop Crasher and Zari Kev, Skyship Raider as well. Carefully announcing his triggers, he made sure that Glorybringer's exert ability took care of Walking Ballista before the Ragavan token entered battlefield.

"Oh, that's smart," said Pardee, who proceeded to block the 2/1 Legendary Monkey with the now 4/4 Grim Flayer (remember, Walking Ballista hit the bin to give him delirium). Pardee went down to 5 from that attack and summoned a second Liliana, the Last Hope. Since Glorybringer wasn't immediately untapping, he had just a little more time.

Or so he thought.

When Damo da Rosa reached for Earthshaker Khenra which was sitting in his graveyard and tapped six mana to eternalize it, it prompted a single question from Pardee.

"Are you attacking me or Liliana?"

"Everything attacking you," was Damo da Rosa's reply.

Pardee, having exhausted all his options, extended his hand in gracious defeat. Damo da Rosa was now officially our 2016 – 17 Player of the Year, as well as the Pro Tour Hour of Devastation Champion, further solidifying himself as one of the three best Magic players to have ever walked this Earth.

Congratulations to Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Pro Tour Hour of Devastation winner and two-time Pro Tour champion!

damo da rosa, paulo vitor - Ramunap Red

Pardee, Samuel - Black-Green Constrictor

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