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Ghoulcaller's Chants of Victory in Chile for Pinto

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Playing a blue-black Innistrad draft deck with tons of card zombie-based advantage -- and a pair of especially advantageous vampire and demon cards from the back of the pack -- Brazil's Igor Silva Pinto emerged from a scrum of 737 players to become the Grand Prix Santiago Champion. It was the largest Grand Prix ever held in South America where the game has been growing by leaps and bounds. Pinto was literally swept away by a horde of joyous Brazilian Magic fans who were chanting futbol songs about pride, love, and -- of course Brazil.

Pinto defeated hometown hero Carlos Iturro in the two game finals and got past Player of the Year frontrunner Owen Turtenwald in the semifinals. It was the sixth Grand Prix Top 8 of the season for Owen who put distance between himself and both Luis Scott-Vargas and Ben Stark with this finish.

The rest of the Top 8 was star-packed with Martin Juza making his 8th career Limited Grand Prix Top 8, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa in his umpteenth Top 8, and Chilean National Champion David Kaliski building on his Top 64 finish at PT Philadelphia.

Melissa DeTora became one of very few women to Top 8 a Grand Prix after a long and successful Magic career. She has been traveling to every Grand Prix she can over the past few weeks and came here straight from Brisbane -- and is off to Hiroshima on Monday. Don't forget to check in next weekend and see if she can repeat her success in Japan along with Shuhei Nakamura and Martin Juza who are also making the passport rending journey.


Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
8 David Kaliski Owen Turtenwald, 2-1
1 Owen Turtenwald Igor Silva Pinto, 2-0
7 Igor Silva Pinto Igor Silva Pinto, 2-1 Igor Silva Pinto, 2-0
4 Martin Juza
3 Martin Lecce Carlos Iturra*
2 Carlos Iturra Carlos Iturra, 2-1
6 Paulo Vitor da Rosa Melissa DeTora, 2-0
5 Melissa DeTora

* (By disqualification of Martin Lecce)



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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER
  • by Brian David-Marshall and Steve Sadin
    Top 5 Cards
    of Grand Prix Santiago 2011

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Final:

  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Semifinal:
    Owen Turtenwald vs. Igor Silva Pinto

  • by Steve Sadin
    Quarterfinal:
    Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa vs. Melissa DeTora

  • by Steve Sadin
    Quarterfinal:
    Owen Turtenwald vs. David Kaliski

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8: Deck Lists

  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Top 8:
    Head Judge Disqualification Statement

  • by Brian David-Marshall
    Top 8: Player Profiles

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
 1.  Igor Silva Pinto $3,500
 2.  Carlos Iturra $2,300
 3.  Owen Turtenwald $1,500
 4.  Melissa DeTora $1,500
 5.  Martin Juza $1,000
 6.  Paulo Vitor da Rosa $1,000
 7.  David Kaliski $1,000
 8.  Martin Lecce $1,000
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  • Top 8 - Player Profiles

    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Name: David Kaliski

    Age: 25

    Hometown: Santiago, Chile

    Occupation: Max Tietze's conspiracy theory apprentice!! Team Garacol captain and student ;)

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    Grand Prix Santiago 2001 Top 20, 2011 National Champion, 61st PT Phlly

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Undead Alchemist

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft?

    Curse of the Bloody Tome

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    Grand Prix San Diego then Worlds!! (Then Hawaii...then...?)

    Name: Martin Juza

    Age: 24

    Hometown: Boeing 747

    Occupation: Tourist

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    8th Limited Grand Prix Top 8

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Geist-Honored Monk

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft?

    No idea

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    GP Hiroshima

    Name: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

    Age: 24

    Hometown: Porto Alegre

    Occupation: Student/player

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    300+ Pro Points!

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Devil's Play

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft?

    Travel Preparations

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    GP San Diego

    Name: Carlos Iturra

    Age: 25

    Hometown: Santiago, Chile

    Occupation: Mining Engineer

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    None

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Esencia de lo Salvante (Essence of the Wild)

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft?

    Green werewolves

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    I don't know

    Name: Igor Silva Pinto

    Age: 23

    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro

    Occupation: Student

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    Playing in Pro Tour Berlin

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Bloodline Keeper

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft?

    Curse of Oblivion

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    Pro Tour Honolulu

    Name: Owen Turtenwald

    Age: 21

    Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

    Occupation: Magician

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    8 Grand Prix Top 8

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Mindshrieker

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft?

    Armored Skaab

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    GP San Diego

    Name: Melissa DeTora

    Age: Can't say!

    Hometown: Providence, RI

    Occupation: Unemployed

    Previous Magic accomplishments:

    None

    What was the Best Innistrad card in your Sealed Deck?

    Geist-Honored Monk

    Most underrated card in Innistrad Booster Draft:

    Trepanation Blade

    What's the next event that you're playing in?

    Grand Prix Hiroshima

     
  • Top 8: Head Judge Disqualification Statement

    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Top 8 competitor Martin Lecce was disqualified from Grand Prix Santiago with prize after multiple judges saw him looking at cards in another player's hand during the draft. They completed the draft and he was DQ'd prior to playing against Carlos Iturra, who advances automatically to the semifinals.

    Head Judge Carlos HO released the following statement:

    "Today at GP Santiago we disqualified Martin Lecce for peeking during the the Top 8 draft. It was not an easy decision to make, peeking never is. Five judges, myself included observed Martin looking directly at his neighbor's hand during drafting leading up to his DQ. Martin is being DQ'd with prize."

     
  • Top 8 - Decklists -

    by Event Coverage Staff






  • Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa - Top 8
    Grand Prix Santiago 2011







     
  • Quarterfinal - Owen Turtenwald vs. David Kaliski

    by Steve Sadin
  • Chilean National Champion David Kaliski is hoping to defend his home turf – but in order to do that he's going to have to get through the current Player of the Year frontrunner Owen Turtenwald, who is competing in his sixth Grand Prix Top 8 of the season.

    Despite his many Top 8 appearances, Turtenwald is yet to win a Grand Prix trophy. Will this be the weekend that Turtenwald's luck changes – and he is able to earn himself a full 10 Point lead in the Player of the Year race, or will he have to settle for "just another" Grand Prix Top 8?

    Game One

    Kaliski opened on Stitcher's Apprentice, and Disciple of Griselbrand while Turtenwald didn't cast anything until turn four when he played out a Tormented Pariah.

    Kaliski, fully aware of how little action he had in his hand, used a Silent Departure to bounce the Tormented Pariah, and turned his Disciple of Griselbrand into a 2/2

    Homunculus in response to Turtenwald's Murder of Crows – which also got bounced by the flashbacked Silent Departure.

    David Kaliski

    With six mana, Turtenwald was able to play out a Ashmouth Hound, and recast his Tormented Pariah to insure that he would be able to block at least one of his opponent's Homunculi.

    A couple of turns, and another Silent Departure later – and Turtenwald found himself on nine life with an empty board facing down a 2/2 Homunculus, and a Makeshift Mauler.

    Turtenwald's Scourge of Geier Reach got bounced by Kaliski's second flashbacked Silent Departure, but the American pro had a Brimstone Volley to take out the incoming Homunculi and keep himself at a (reasonably healthy) five life.

    Fortunately for Turtenwald, Kaliski seemed to be out of tricks at this point – and while Kaliski was able to keep himself in the game for a few more turns thanks to his Back from the Brink – he had no way to keep up with the massive card quality advantage that Turtenwald's Murder of Crows gave him.

    Owen Turtenwald 1 – David Kaliski 0

    Game Two

    Kaliski chose to draw first, and started game two off with Selfless Occulist, Walking Corpse, and Stitcher's Apprentice, while Turtenwald's first play of the game was once again a turn four Tormented Pariah.

    It seemed like Turtenwald was about to pull away from Kaliski when he cast a turn five Murder of Crows – but a Silent Departure, and a Claustrophobia put Kaliski way ahead on the board, and cleared the way for an attack that knocked Turtenwald down to 13.

    Owen didn't seem that optimistic about his chances in game two.

    Turtenwald could only recast Murder of Crows, and watch as the flashbacked Silent Departure left Turtenwald with an empty board, and only 8 life.

    Turtenwald hoped that his Bloodline Keeper would be able to get him back into the game, but another Silent Departure was enough for Kaliski to even the match up at one game a piece.

    Owen Turtenwald 1 – David Kaliski 1

    Game Three

    Turtenwald, and Kaliski spent the first few turns of the game building up their hands with Desperate Ravings, and Think Twice respectively – but while Kaliski's drew into a pretty mediocre set of cards, Turtenwald found all the spells that he could possibly want, and the mana he needed to cast them.

    While Kaliski was able to Claustrophobia Turtenwald's Bloodline Keeper – he had nothing that could stand up to Turtenwald's makeshift army of Pitchburn Devils, Rakish Heir, and Kessig Wolf supported by an abundance of removal spells.

    Final Result: Owen Turtenwald defeats David Kaliski two games to one to advance to the Semifinals!

     
  • Quarterfinal - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa vs. Melissa DeTora

    by Steve Sadin
  • Melissa DeTora has come within striking distance of making the Top 8 at a number of Grand Prix over the course her career – but has ultimately fallen just short, and had to settle for Top 16s, and Top 32s. Confident in her playing abilities, and eagerly wanting to earn enough Planeswalker Points to return to the Pro Tour -- DeTora decided to embark on an around the world tour beginning in Milan, and ending at Worlds in San Francisco.

    This weekend she was able to break through to her first Top 8 – a feat that she will attempt to accomplish once again at Grand Prix Hiroshima next weekend.

    Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

    Across the table from her sits Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, who is playing in his tenth Grand Prix Top 8.

    Game One

    DeTora got things started with Unruly Mob, Avacynian Priest, and a Voiceless Spirit

    -- but PV was able to quickly go over the top with Villagers of Estwald, Thraben Sentry, Bonds of Faith on DeTora's Voiceless Spirit, and a Silver-Inlaid Dagger.

    DeTora found a Victim of Night take out Thraben Senty, but DeTora still fell to six from attack, after attack, from the Silver-Inlaid Daggered Villagers of Estwald,

    A Sharpened Pitchfork on a Unruly Mob, and Voiceless Spirit looked like it might be enough to keep PV's creatures on defense – but a second Bonds of Faith on DeTora's replacement Voiceless Spirit, and a Village-Bell Ringer to undo a Avacynian Priest activation allowed PV to knock DeTora down to a mere 3 life.

    Silverhound Fox freed a Voiceless Spirit from its Bonds of Faith, and suddenly it seemed as though DeTora had stabilized.

    When PV passed his turn with no play, a Gallows Warden gave DeTora an opportunity to start attacking. The Gallows Warden picked up a Trepenation Blade a turn later, allowing DeTora to get in for large chunks of damage every turn.

    A couple of turns, and a well-timed Midnight Haunting later, and DeTora was up to a one game lead.

    Melissa DeTora 1 – PVDDR 0

    Game Two

    PV began Game Two with a mulligan to five, but he was still able to get off to an extremely fast start with Avacyn's Pilgrim, a turn two Villagers of Estwald, and another Villagers of Estwald on turn three.

    Melissa DeTora

    DeTora's draw wasn't too shabby either, as she opened on Doomed Traveler, Avacynian Priest, and Voiceless Spirit – but she still needed some things to go right for her to be able to beat PV's twin Werewolves.

    PV passed his fourth turn with no plays, content to transform his two copies of Villagers of Estwald into two Howlpack of Estwalds, and forcing DeTora to start an offensive of her own with her Voiceless Spirit.

    Avacynian Priest kept one of the Werewolves tapped, a Doomed Traveler chump blocked (giving DeTora a 1/1 Spirit in the process), and PV's Abbey Griffin fell at the hands of Victim of Night.

    Travel Preparations made PV's forces a bit more threatening, but a Village Bell-Ringers bought DeTora some time, and a Brain Weevils knocked out the rest of PV's hand.

    Once she knew that the path was clear, a Trepenation Blade on a flier let DeTora win the race with barely a turn to spare.

    Final Result:

    Melissa DeTora defeats Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa two games to none to advance to the Semifinals!

     
  • Semifinal - Owen Turtenwald vs. Igor Silva Pinto

    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Game One

    Diregraf Ghoul and Typhoid Rats came down on the first two turns for Igor and he kept up the pressure with Markov Patrician. Owen played Brimestone Volley on the lifelinked vampire. Igor shrugged it off and added Walking Corpse to his shambling array of creatures. Owen was just looking to whittle Igor's team down to size in time to draw a pair of Swamps for his Bloodline Keeper -- he traded Rakish Heir for 2/2 zombie.

    Igor Silva Pinto (left) and Owen Turtenwald

    Igor played Armored Skaab and flipped Forbidden Alchemy into his bin.

    Owen played Riot Devils and Tormented Pariah to slow down the onslaught. He traded the Devils for a Typhoid Rat while Igor flashed back Forbidden Alchemy -- Owen was at 8 and played Pitchburn Devils. Igor deployed Moon Heron and Deranged Assistant.

    Owen drew a Blazing Torch and equipped the werewolf and attacked -- only the Heron or Assistant could block it. Igor took three and was sifting through his graveyard. When the Brazilian attacked, Owen blocked the Diregraf Ghoul with the Devils and shot the Moon Heron. Igor -- already up three cards to start the match -- played Altar's Reap on his flier. Owen fell to 6 and Igor played Snapcaster Mage targeting Ghoulcaller's Chant and got back Ghoulraiser and Diegraf Ghoul.

    Igor got back two more zombies with the Ghoulraiser and when Owen FINALLY drew his second Swamp for the Bloodline Keeper, Igor could not dissipate it quickly enough.

    Game Two

    Owen looked at a hand with some lands and no early plays and sent it right back for six new cards that could deal with the cheap creatures from Igor. Igor kept.Owen kept the next six and sure enough was staring down Diregraf Ghoul on turn one and it was beating down on turn two. Owen's Desperate Ravings undid the mulligan and he played Rakish Heir on his turn. Owen chose not to block and got a clear path to attack when Igor used turn three to play Night Terrors. He saw Island, Ashmouth Hound, Geistflame, and Bloodline Keeper. He was not taking any chances -- even with no Swamps to be seen -- and took the vanmpire. Owen got in for two and put a counter on the Heir. He played fourth land -- a freshly drawn Swamp and passed. Owen flashed back Ravings at the end of Igor's turn. He attacked for three and grew his Heir but he was at 12 from the Diregraf Ghoul's relentless advance.

    And then the Bloodgift Demon showed up.

    Final result: Igor Silva Pinto advances past Owen Turtenwald in two games to play a Brazil vs. Chile finals against Carlos Iturra.

     
  • Final - Carlos Iturra vs. Igor Silva Pinto

    by Brian David-Marshall
  • With partisan fans from each of the two finalists countries watching a TV feed and chanting futbol songs it was apparent that there was something more on the line than just the difference in the prize money. This was definitely a pride match that meant as much -- of not more -- to their countrymen as to themselves. With their every move being scrutinized by the camera and their cheering sections both players were visibly tense and quiet as they shuffled up to determine the Grand Prix Santiago Champion.

    Game One

    Armored Skaab was the first play of the finals and it sent Typhoid Rats, Diregraf Ghoul, and two lands to the Brazilian's graveyard. A turn later Pinto played Stitched Drake removing the Rats.

    Carlos Iturra

    Iturra played Tormented Pariah. A huge cheer went up from the Brazilians in the crowd when their countryman played Bloodline Keeper. Iturra played Grizzled Monstrosity and passed the turn but he did not look happy about it -- in fact, he looked like he wanted to concede on the spot but he could not let down his cheering section without a fight. Pinto attacked with his Stitched Drake and wanted to sit back on counter Magic but was worried about flipping the two werewolves. Pinto played Ghoulraiser and got back his Diregraf Ghoul and added Deranged Assistant to his horrific army -- Bloodline Keeper was now online.

    When Iturra attacked with the Grizzled Outcast Pinto had no blocks. Iturra meekly played Festerhide Boar with no morbid triggers and Pinto made a vampire. He attacked for 8 in the air and played his Diregraf Ghoul.

    Iturra tried to mount some last ditch offensive with Blazing Torch and Moonmist but his plans got Lost in the Mist and the Brazillian section of the crowd on the balcony burst into futbol song as they were up one game in the best of three finals.

    Game Two

    Typhoid Rats -- a card that had done hard work for him all weekend -- opened the game for Pinto while Iturra made a turn three Hanweir Watchkeep. Pinto kept the monster at bay with Markov Patrician. Skirsdag Cultist joined the Chilean team but no one was willing to step in the path of the Rats. Pinto played Moan of the Unhallowed and the defender stayed 1/5 for another turn.

    There was sudden life to the Chilean Crowd as Iturra played Kessig Cagebreakerss -- a card that had some interesting synergies with the Cultist. Pinto chose not to attack and simply played Bloodgift Demon. The Brazilians started getting rowdy on the terrace and pounding on the glass. The enthusiasm and spotlight was definitely getting the better of Iturra as he played Brimstone Volley targeting the 5/4 demon without getting his morbidity on first. He clucked at himself and held his face in his hand as he played Blazing Torch and then tapped his Cagebreakers to finish off the flier.

    Pinto pressed his advantage and sent in his entire team. Watchkeep blocked the vampire and Iturra took five while Pinto gained three. The Brazilian then played Stitched Drake removing the vampire and returned the Bloodgift Demon to his hand with Ghoulcaller's Chant.

    Igor Silva Pinto

    Iturra was not going to be swayed by his misplay and used the Cultist -- and a freshly played Ashmouth Hound -- to kill the Rats and then played Moonmist to transform his Watchkeep and attack with Cagebreakers, one wolf, and the 5/5. It was a great attack for him but he had played two spells and he could not keep the werewolf transformed.

    Pinto replayed his Bloodgift Demon and braced for an attack from the Chilean player. Iturra attacked with just his Cagebreakers and a wolf. Pinto chumped the human and took two from the wolf. The score was 14 to 9 in Pinto's favor. He flipped his Watchkeep on the next turn.

    Pinto went to 13 and drew an extra card. He attacked with the Demon, left the Drake back and played Screeching Bats. Cultist killed the bat with a wolf token EOT. Iturra untapped and -- with the clamor of the crowd doing the wave on the balcony -- Iturra sacrificed his own Cultist to kill the zombie token and attacked with everyone, including three wolf tokens.

    Pinto blocked judiciously and had Dissipate in hand for anything that would stop his lethal attack. Iturra had nothing and extended his hand. Both players were so focused on the match that Pinto did not realize he had one until the swarm of Brazilians --singing their fight song -- came swarming in to sweep him up and away into the night to celebrate his -- and their -- victory.

    Congratulations to Brazil's Igor Silva Pinto on becoming the 2011 Grand Prix Santiago Champion.

     
  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Santiago 2011

    by Brian David-Marshall and Steve Sadin
  • Ghoulcaller's Chant

    Ghoulcaller's Chant, and Ghoulraiser, both shot up in peoples' pick orders over this weekend as the Blue-Black mill yourself strategy rose to prominence. These carefully constructed decks look to use cards in their graveyard as a resource. After casting Armored Skaab, and Forbidden Alchemy – these Blue-Black decks can power out Stitched Drakes, flashback a seemingly never ending series of cards, and bring back the best creatures that their deck has to offer with Ghoulcaller's Chant.

    At one point in the Semifinals against Owen Turtenwald, the eventual Grand Prix Santiago Champion Igor Silva Pinto played Snapcaster Mage at sorcery speed so he could flashback his Ghoulcaller's Chant, returning Ghoulraiser, and Diregraf Ghoul – he then returned Walking Corpse with his Ghoulraiser – giving himself a literal four for one in the process.



    Stitcher's Apprentice

    All weekend long, players were seen using the seemingly innocuous Stitcher's Apprentice to great effect.

    While playing for an undefeated record on Day One, Martin Juza found himself in an almost impossible situation. His opponent had a Charmbreaker Devils, with a Birmstone Volley and a Devil's Play in his graveyard – and the only non-land permanent that Juza (whose life had fallen to the single digits) had on the board was a Stitcher's Apprentice.

    With only a single turn window to draw an answer, Juza found Fiend Hunter. Now Fiend Hunter alone wouldn't have been enough since his opponent could have just freed his Charmreaker Devils from the exile zone with a flashbacked Devil's Play -- but Juza was able to sacrifice the Fiend Hunter (with its come into play effect on the stack) to his Stitcher's Apprentice to make sure that the Devil stayed in the exile zone for good.



    Bloodline Keeper

    When we asked a collection of the top pros in the room what the best rare to open in Innistrad sealed, the card name that we heard again, and again was Bloodline Keeper.

    Bloodline Keeper nearly kept Owen Turtenwald from making Day Two here in Santiago. No, not because he lost to it repeatedly – but because the card lured him into building a mediocre Blue-Black deck instead of the well above average Blue-Red deck that he was an arm's reach away from starting. Owen was able to recognize his mistake just in the nick of time, and get away from the gamebreaking Vampire.

    Bloodline Keeper then went on to play a pivotal role in Igor Silva Pinto's Grand Prix Santiago winning draft deck – almost single handedly winning him his Quarterfinal match against Martin Juza.



    Geistflame

    Geistflame was considered by many to be a marginal removal spell when Innistrad was initially released – but the prevalence of high quality one toughness creatures like Deranged Assistant, Ashmouth Hound and Voiceless Spirit have caused this little removal spell to become one of the most desirable cards in the format.



    Chapel Geist

    The top tables during Day One were packed full of players flying to victory with Voiceless Spirits, and the incredibly efficient, and resilient, Chapel Geist. This 2/3 flier plays a key role in both aggressive, and controlling white decks, as it stops aggressive draws dead in their tracks and gives its controller an excellent source of evasive damage.

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