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Reinaldo da Silva Jr. is the Comeback Kid!

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Losing every game one and falling behind in nearly every game he played didn't deter Reinaldo da Silva Jr. one bit on his way to claiming the title of Grand Prix Sao Paulo Champion! Paced by a trio of Vampire Nighthawks, da Silva Jr. saw his life total drop to precipitously low levels before Nighthawks, Faithmenders and Essence Drains propped him right back up. Backed by Ring of Xathrid, da Silva's Nighthawks were a virtually unstoppable force.

The weekend also gave us a taste of what to expect from the Brazilian national team in advance of the World Magic Cup. While team captain Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa fell just short of Day 2, teammate Juliano Souza proved he was a force to be reckoned with by finishing 9th, mere percentage points out of the Top 8.

We were also introduced to the Magic 2013 limited format, which proved to be as skill testing as it was diverse. A variety of decks and synergies were available to anyone who could read the format and adapt quickly to an unknown frontier.

A record-breaking 741 players made this a Grand Prix to remember, certainly for da Silva, the Grand Prix Sao Paulo Champion!



Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
5 Reinaldo da Silva Jr. Reinaldo da Silva Jr. 2-1
3 Rafael Mendonca Reinaldo da Silva Jr. 2-1
7 Jose Silva Jose Silva 2-1 Reinaldo da Silva Jr. 2-1
1 Luiz De Lima
8 Rodrigo dos Sant Rodrigo dos Sant 2-0
6 Daniel Fior Rodrigo dos Sant 2-0
4 Thiago Oliveira Thiago Oliveira 2-1
2 Guido Quintana








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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

  • by Blake Rasmussen
    Final
    Top 5 Cards

  • by Blake Rasmussen
    Final
    Reinaldo da Silva Jr. vs. Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant

  • by Josh Bennett
    Semifinal
    Thiago Oliveira vs. Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant

  • by Blake Rasmussen
    Semifinal
    Jose Francisco da Silva vs. Reinaldo da Silva Jr.

  • by Josh Bennett
    Sunday, 10:13 p.m.
    Quarterfinal Round-up

  • by Blake Rasmussen
    Quarterfinal
    Rafael Mendonca vs. Reinaldo G da Silva Jr.

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8 Profiles

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

INFORMATION
 1.  Reinaldo da Silva Jr. $3,500
 2.  Rodrigo dos Sant $2,300
 3.  Thiago Oliveira $1,500
 4.  Jose Silva $1,500
 5.  Luiz De Lima $1,000
 6.  Guido Quintana $1,000
 7.  Rafael Mendonca $1,000
 8.  Daniel Fior $1,000
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Top 8 Profiles

by Event Coverage Staff


Rafael Mendonca

Age: 28
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Occupation: Student, Masters in Economics


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Won FNM at UGCARDSHOP

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Aggressive Black-Red, with Thundermaw Hellkite. 7-2.

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
3-color Scroll Thief / Bond Beetle. 3-0, 2-0-1.

What is the best color in M13?
Black.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Essence Scatter.

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
We will do well for sure!



Thiago Oliveira

Age: 27
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Occupation: Journalist


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 2 Regional Minas, Top 4 WCQ Rio, Top 4 GPT Sao Paulo

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Red-Green with Krenko, Magmaquake and Rancor. 8-1.

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
Black-Red. 4-1-1.

What is the best color in M13?
Green.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Krenko, Mob Boss

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
Very well, they're going to have great results. They are all my friends. Plus they have PV, one of the best in the world.



Reinaldo Gomes da Silva Jr.

Age: 25
Hometown: Belim, Brazil
Occupation: Student


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 8 2011 Brazillian Nationals

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Black-White with Ajani, Odric and a couple removal. 7-2

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
Blue-Green in draft 1, Black-white in draft 2. 5-0-1

What is the best color in M13?
Black.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Rhox Faithmender.

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
I guess we have a pretty good chance.



Jose Francisco Dantas Mangueira da Silva

Age: 28
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Occupation:Magic Online Grinder


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 8 GP Curitiba 2001

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Blue-Green-White with Primordial Hydra, Sphinx of Uthuun, Switcheroo and Oblivion Ring. 8-1

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
3-0 with blue-black midrange with Sands of Delirium. 1-2 with blue-white fail aggro with griffins and few soldiers.

What is the best color in M13?
Black.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Sands of Delirium

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
We will win the Cup. Both Juliano and Victor are good and I don't need to talk about PV. Also the whole Snakes Team are proving their worth!



Rodrigo Goncalues dos Santos

Age: 26
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Occupation: Commercial Representative


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Some PTQ and Regionals Top 8's.

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Blue-White. The deck was efficient with lots of synergy, but no real bombs. I had Serra Angel, Clone, Switcheroo and Void Stalker all worked well.

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
First draft Green-Blue, second draft Black-Red. 4-2

What is the best color in M13?
White

What card surprised you this weekend?
Void Stalker.

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
Very well, we have good players representing us.



Luiz Henrique Martine de Lima

Age: 23
Hometown: Compinos, Brazil
Occupation: Lawyer in training


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
National Qualifiers, Top 4 Planeswalker Challenge Qualifier

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Black-White Exalted. My best cards were Ajani, Caller of the Pride, Liliana of the Dark Realms and Nefarox, Grixis Overlord

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
Black-White Beatdown and Red-Black Aggro. 4-1-1.

What is the best color in M13?
Black.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Liliana of the Dark Realms

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
I really don't know them, but I'm always rooting for our country.



Daniel Fior

Age: 26
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Occupation: Student


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 8 GP Mexico City 2005, T16 GP Turin 2012. National Champion 2004

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Black-White with Serra Angel, Oblivion Ring and Pacifism. 8-1.

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
Black-Green with 3 Timberpack Wolf, then Green-White with 4 Timberpack Wolf. 4-2.

What is the best color in M13?
Black, probably.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Disciple of Bolas

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?
It's the best possible team we could have. It's unfortunate that they don't have me!



Guido Quintana

Age: 27
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Occupation: IT worker


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Some PTQ Top 8's

What did you play in Day 1 and what was your record?
Grixis with Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker! 8-1.

What decks did you draft in Day 2 and how did you do?
Blue-White and Blue-Green. 5-1.

What is the best color in M13?
I really like blue, but I think green and white are powerful too.

What card surprised you this weekend?
Archaeomancer

How will your country's team do at the World Magic Cup?




 

Top 8 Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff


Guido Quintana
Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2012 - Top 8

Thiago Oliveira
Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2012 - Top 8

Jose Francisco Silva
Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2012 - Top 8

Luiz Henrique de Lima
Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2012 - Top 8

Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant
Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2012 - Top 8




 

Quarterfinal - Rafael Mendonca vs. Reinaldo G da Silva Jr.

by Blake Rasmussen


After the draft but before the action starts for the Top 8, I like to walk around and look at the decks each of the players has crafted to see what was good, what was interesting and what went according to plan (or not).

It was during that sweep that the decks of Rafael Mendonca and Reinaldo G da Silva Jr. caught my eye. Both players had drafted tight, strong decks at completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

Mendonca had a very fast Red/White deck with a whopping three Attended Knights and Griffin Protectors, plus a few other token generators and Trumpet Blast for a quick kill.

Da Silva Jr., meanwhile, was practically a life gain deck. He also had trips of a key card, but his was Vampire Nighthawk, bane of aggro decks everywhere. He also had Rhox Faithmender, Healer of the Pride and a pair of Essence Drains to further put the hurt on aggressive decks.

Game 1

Mendonca, clearly the aggressor in this match, led with an Aven Squire and followed it up with an Attended Knight, already well out in front. Da Silva Jr. didn't help matters much by casting only a Sign in Blood on his first three turns, even forced to discard for his effort.

Mendonca kept the pressure coming with a Rummaging Goblin and a show of Valor, and like that, da Silva Jr. was down to just 8 life.

He started reversing some of the damage with an Essence Drain, going to 11 in the process, but Mendonca had yet another Attended Knight. Naturally, da Silva Jr. had a second Essence Drain.

Only it didn't matter. Trumpet Blast gave Mendonca more than lethal as four creatures stormed in against da Silva Jr.'s zero.

da Silva Jr. 0 – Mendonca 1

Game 2

This time is was da Silva Jr. who was first on the board, even after a mulligan. He curved out exactly with a Duty-Bound Dead, Bloodthrone Vampire, and Vampire Nighthawk.

The Nighthawk took a trip to exile thanks to Oblivion Ring, which also happened to be Mendonca's first play of the game. He followed it up with a Reckless Brute, but da Silva Jr. recouped the life with a Divine Favor on his Bloodthrone Vampire.

Attended Knight let Mendonca catch back up on board, and by this point it was clear this wasn't going to be the speedy game the first one was.

Rafael Mendonca came out trumpets blasting in the first game, but a slow start put him way behind in the second game.

Knight of Infamy gave da Silva Jr. another exalted trigger, but he lost his Duty-Bound Dead on the attack to Attended Knight plus Show of Valor.

Arms Dealer then traded with the large Bloodthrone Vampire, allowing Reckless Brute to live through combat, but it died the following turn trading with a Duskmantle Prowler.

However, Mendonca's life total was already down to 8 from early beats, and he couldn't block the Knight of Infamy. First it took him to five and then just two life – exactly enough for Bloodhunter Bat.

da Silva Jr. 1 – Mendonca 1

Game 3

Once again, Mendonca lacked a fast start, which boded well for da Silva Jr. The Black and White mage came right out with a Bloodthrone Vampire once again suited up with some Divine Favor. Apparently even vampires can be favored by the divine.

When Mendonca did finally make a move, it was a good one. Griffin Protector could get huge fast with all of his token producers. But he simply followed up with a Mogg Flunkies and attacked for three.

But da Silva Jr. played Disciple of Bolas and, with the trigger on the stack, sacrificed it to his Vampire, gaining four life and drawing four cards. He didn't have much of a board presence, but his life total was already nearing 30 and he had a full grip of cards.

Unless a deck can deal upwards of 30 damage, they're going to have a hard time defeating Reinaldo G da Silva Jr.

That windfall gave him both a Knight of Infamy and a Vampire Nighthawk the following turn, though neither creature blocked with Mendonca attacked with both a Griffin Protector and Mogg Flunkies.

For all that work, da Silva Jr. was still all the way up at 26 life after his Essence Drain stole three life from a Griffin Protector, but failed to kill it thanks to a Show of Valor.

Much of that life came right back, however, when both Griffins were pumped by Captain's Call, and suddenly da Silva went from 26 life to just 11.


Mendonca attacked with everything the following turn and confidently tapped three for Trumpet Blast, only to be met with a backbreaking Public Execution. The attack cost him both of his Griffins and only dropped da Silva Jr. to seven life.

The final nail in the coffin from da Silva came next as he played a Rhox Faithmender, which doubled the lifelink on his Nighthawk.

But even that wasn't enough. Just to be sure his explosive opponent couldn't come back, he put a few more nails in the coffin, as a Healer of the Pride and a second Vampire Nighthawk sent his life sky high, after being as low as seven life.

And with that, da Silva Jr. and his three Vampire Nighthawks move on to the semifinals!

da Silva Jr. 2 – Mendonca 1




 

Sunday, 10:13 p.m. - Quarterfinal Round-Up

by Josh Bennett


Without the staff to do full coverage of all the quarterfinals, we've decided to give you an overview of how three of the Quarterfinals went.

Jose da Silva (blue-black) vs Luiz de Lima (black-green)

Game 1

In game one da Silva was heavy on lands, but got some early air pressure with Talrand's Invocation and Wind Drake. De Lima reversed things briefly with a Primal Huntbeast enchanted with Mark of the Vampire, but da Silva found a Liliana's Shade with more than enough swamps to hold the lifelinker at bay. His fliers took the first game.

da Silva 1 - de Lima 0

Game 2

Game two was a brutal slugathon. De Lima had early pressure with Arbor Elf into Bloodhunter Bat and Essence Drain on da Silva's Vampire Nighthawk. Da Silva fought back with Void Stalker and an Essence Drain of his own, but soon it was Elf and Huntbeast versus da Silva's pile of lands.

Da Silva pulled a clutch Lilana's Shade, and de Lima had run out of gas. Next da Silva Disentombed Vampire Nighthawk and it looked like he might have a quick match win on his hands. He got a big advantage out of Sleep but not quite enough to take the game. De Lima got another Huntbeast enchanted with mark of the Vampire and caught the Shade tapped out with Prey Upon.

Then the floodgates of de Lima's deck opened. Silklash Spider off the top followed quickly by Liliana of the Dark Realms and a pair of Deadly Recluses. Unable to answer the Liliana, da Silva was quickly ground down.

da Silva 1 - de Lima 1

Game 3

The decider started out similar to the second, with de Lima pouring on early pressure, but da Silva was able to stabilize. He caught Liliana with Negate and soon had a few exalted creatures hassling de Lima. De Lima meanwhile hit a pocket of land, and was soon defeated.

Jose da Silva defeats Luiz de Lima 2-1

Rodrigo dos Sant (blue-red) vs Daniel Fior (white-green)

Game 1

Dos Sant hid behind Wall of Fire early and Divinationed into the lands he needed. Both players built their boards until Fior enchanted Thragtusk with Rancor. He swung in and dos Sant was forced to make a very disadvantageous trade. At least, that's how it looked from one side of the table. On the other, dos Sant was holding Magmaquake and setting up a one-sided wrath. With five cards in hand and a healthy life total, he was way ahead of Fior, who had only a War Priest of Thune and his Rancors. Dos Sant played it slow, and took no chances on his way to the win.

dos Sant 1 - Fior 0

Game 2

Fior gambled both his Rancor's on Yeva's Forcemage to start, but after one hit found them locked under Encrust. A few turns later he found the Prey Upon to free them, making the Forcemage fight Welkin Tern. Dos Sant tried to stop this by casting Volcanic Geyser on his own Tern for one, but Fior "saved" it with Show of Valor.

He rebuilt his forces and got in damage with Rancored creatures, but dos Sant had his Magmaquake and crushed his dreams.

Rodrigo dos Sant defeats Daniel Fior 2-0

Thiago Oliveira (blue-green) vs Guido Quintana (blue-red-green)

Game 1

Quintana's biggest hurdle was his mana, but in the first game it came out smooth and he assembled Arms Dealer and Krenko's Command. Oliveira wasn't about to let that happen, and shut down the Arms Dealer with Encrust. Quintana shifted gears to Faerie Invaders enchanted by Tricks of the Trade, but that just met a second Encrust.

Oliveira summoned Jace, Memory Adept, but only got one mill for ten off before a combination of an attack and Chandra's Fury finished it off. Unfortunately for Quintana, Oliveira wasn't out of bombs. Next up was Elderscale Wurm. Quintana had no answer, and Oliveira's fatties soon took game one.

Oliveira 1 - Quintana 0

Game 2

Game two was a comparative flash, when Quintana hit turn-three Elvish Archdruid and turn-four Garruk, Primal Hunter. Oliveira had no way to remove the planeswalker and the steady stream of 3/3s soon overwhelmed him.

Oliveira 1 - Quintana 1

Game 3

Both players moved fast in the deciding game, trading creatures and removal. The tipping point came when Quintana had an active Arms Dealer but no other goblins and Oliveira baited him with Talrand, Sky Summoner. The target was too good to pass up, and Quintana went for it. Oliveira showed him Unsummon, saving his legend and getting a 2/2 flier in the bargain. Unable to deal with Oliveira's creatures, Quintana soon succumbed.

Thiago Oliveira defeats Guido Quintana 2-1




 

Semifinal - Jose Francisco da Silva vs. Reinaldo da Silva Jr.

by Blake Rasmussen


Let's try and clear up some confusion right off the bat. Jose Francisco da Silva will be referred to as "Silva" through this match summary, while Reinaldo da Silva Jr. will be "da Silva Jr."

Got it? Good, moving on.

Because the players are contrasts in both style and experience. Da Silva Jr.'s higher level success is mostly limited to a Top 8 at Brazilian Nationals in 2011, while Silva Top 8ed a Grand Prix way (way, way) back in 2001, at Grand Prix Curitiba. Silva has also played on four pro tours, and now, thanks to his win in the quarterfinals, finds himself invited to a fifth.

Game 1

Matching Swamps pitted Knight of Infamy against Void Stalker early on, and the pair of powerful two drops traded just as fast.

Silva was first with any major threats, landing both Vampire Nighthawk and Talrand's Invocation in subsequent turns. The Nighthawk only got in one attack before being Essence Drained, but the pair of Drake tokens kept their attacks up, and Silva added a Zombie Goliath to the board

Da Silva Jr.'s Liliana's Specter came and went (thanks to Essence Drain) and the Zombie Goliath was placed under Pacifism.

All the while both Drake tokens kept churning along, dropping da Silva Jr. to nine and then five life. Even with his advantage in the air, Silva added two of his own Liliana's Specters to the board plus a Wind Drake. His advantage looked mostly insurmountable...

Jose Francisco da Silva has already punched his invite to Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, but he's hoping for a bit more this weekend.

...and it turned out it was. Vampire Nighthawk tried to buy some time and life, but Silva had the Sleep to take game one running away.

Silva 1 – da Silva Jr. 0

Game 2

Silva started quickly again, curving Duty-Bound Dead into Augur of Bolas and Courtly Provocateur, the latter of which he lost to a Crippling Blight.

Meanwhile, all da Silva Jr. had was a Kitesail. Still, his deck was powerful and could seemingly catch up out of nowhere if given the chance.

A Vampire Nighthawk and a Pacifism on Silva's newly played Wind Drake tried to do just that, but a Murder cleared the way again for the Augur to continue its relentless attacks for two damage.

Meanwhile, da Silva Jr. was drawing blank after blank after blank, until a Sign in Blood found him a Liliana's Specter and some help.

Only it wasn't much help. Essence Drain was just big enough to kill the Specter, and the Augur continued its relentless march, dropping da Silva Jr. to five life.

And that's when the comeback started. Healer of the Pride and Duty-Bound Dead not only gave da Silva Jr. some much needed life, but also gave him a regenerating blocker and some time.

Meanwhile, Silva stole da Silva Jr.'s long-dead Vampire Nighthawk with a Rise from the Grave and reloaded with Divination. The Vampire Nighthawk returned to its owner's graveyard after a Public Execution, and da Silva Jr. was actually able to start attacking with the Healer of the Pride wearing a Kitesail.

But, as things are wont to do in a Black matchup, that, too, died. This time to an Essence Drain.

Only Silva couldn't break through Duty-Bound Dead with just his Augur and his own Duty-Bound Dead, and now da Silva Jr. had found another Liliana's Shade to go with his eight Swamps in play. Thanks to Kitesail, it represented a pretty fast clock. Da Silva Jr. eventually "settled" for nine damage, dropping Silva to exactly nine life. He needed a solution to the Specter right then and there or the game was over.

Sleep was certainly one way to do it, but even after dropping da Silva Jr. to four life and earning a free attack with the backbreaking sorcery, Silva was still in trouble. Two, yes two, Vampire Nighthawks showed up to save the day and the game for da Silva Jr.

Comeback complete.

Silva 1 – da Silva Jr. 1

Game 3

No one-drops this game, duty-bound or otherwise, though Silva did start with a pretty nice two-drop in Void Stalker. He continued his typical beatdown with a Wind Drake as well.


Da Silva Jr.'s Duress revealed Negate, Vampire Nighthawk and a Courtly Provocateur (taking Negate) and a Pacifism made the Wind Drake sit out the rest of the game.

Silva, his tactics now revealed, simply played the Nighthawk and Provocateur over the next two turns and started attacking.

But it turned out to be something of a futile effort as both decks started gaining life. Healer of the Pride jumped da Silva Jr. back up another two as Duskmantle Prowler entered the battlefield and Healer of the Pride attacked for three.

Basically, both decks were spinning their wheels where life totals were concerned.

Then Silva cast Mind Rot on da Silva Jr., forcing him to lose both a Bloodhunter Bat and Duty-Bound Dead, representing a whopping six life with the Healer of the Pride in play.

Silva kept the card advantage train coming, reloading with Sign in Blood and a Knight of Infamy.

But he still wasn't getting very far, especially when Rhox Faithmender showed up to gain four life thanks to Healer of the Pride. For all of the attacking that was going on, life totals actually stood at 15 life apiece.

Reinaldo da Silva Jr., king of the comeback?

Silva tried to change that math considerably with Sleep, but Public Execution killed the Vampire Nighthawk and effectively fogged for the turn. Still, the Nighthawk came back the next turn thanks to Rise from the Grave. Despite having 1/3 as many Vampire Nighthawks in his deck, Silva seemed to have one in play more often than da Silva Jr.

A Sign in Blood drew one of da Silva Jr.'s Nighthawks for him, but left him a Black mana short of casting it that turn.

That's when the long-forgotten Courtly Provocateur came into play. It forced the Healer of the Pride to attack, tapping it down, while Silva used Void Stalker to shuffle itself and the Rhox Faithmender into their owner's decks.

Silva's Vampire Nighthawk continued to tip the race in his favor, and life totals now stood at 16 to 4 in Silva's favor. He then followed up with Liliana's Specter to further complicate the board.

The board was intricately complicated at this point, made more so by the presence of Courtly Provocateur. Both players spent a bit of time before every attack step weighting their options and shifting things around. The Provocateur gave Silva some semblance of control, but each decision weight heavily on both players.

Silva's next attack step left him shaking his head even, as he threw away his Liliana's Shade to Vampire Nighthawk, not even getting any damage in in the exchange. And thanks to Xathrid, the Nighthawk was even able to regenerate. Silva knew he had made a mistake, possibly throwing the game away with that attack.


Now da Silva Jr.'s Vampire Nighthawk was ruling the board, and actually evened life totals at 10 each. Silva looked sullen after the exchange, knowing he had gotten caught up in a complicated board position and made a wrong move.

Still, his deck was forgiving to a point. Essence Drain killed the Healer of the Pride, but he was still behind on board now with no cards in hand.

The whole match had felt like running in place, but now that da Silva Jr. had a regenerating Vampire Nighthawk growing larger every turn, it was only a matter of time. Finally, Sign in Blood dealt the final two points and sealed another da Silva Jr. comeback.




 

Semifinal - Thiago Oliveira vs. Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant

by Josh Bennett


The quarterfinals are the most stressful time of the Top 8. It's one match that awards the winner a Pro Tour invitation and airfare, a rare currency here in Brazil. Both Thiago Oliveira and Rodrigo dos Sant looked much more relaxed as they sat down to their semifinal match. The hardest part was behind them. Now they could concentrate on the trophy.

Table Shot

Game 1

Oliveira opened with an unorthodox island, Index. He carefully rigged his top five. Dos Sant played Jace's Phantasm. Oliveira followed up with Welkin Tern, which soon traded with the Phantasm. Dos Sant played out some mountains and matched a 2/2 flying Primal Clay with a Furnace Whelp. Oliveira offered the trade, but dos Sant delcined. Instead he swung back for five, then played Welkin Tern.

Unfortunately for him, Oliviera had a plan. He flashed in Faerie Invaders at end of turn, then untapped, hit for five, and after his creatures were safely past the Welkin Tern, Encrusted the Furnace Whelp. Dos Sant played an Encrust of his own, on the Invaders, hit for two, and added Torch Fiend. Archaeomancer from Oliveira brought Index back for a second engagement, and this time it found a Jace, Memory Adept waiting for him.

Thiego Oliveira

Dos Sant weighed his options carefully. Eventually he chose to cast Sleep, hitting for four damage and leaving Oliviera at thirteen. He passed with two mana open. Oliviera bolstered his defenses with Vedalken Entrancer in anticipation of resolving Jace. Dos Sant played Divination, then hit for two with his Tern, and summoned a Wind Drake.

Down came Jace. He drew Oliveira a card and milled one. Dos Sant blew up Primal Clay, then untapped and played his haymaker: Magmaquake for five. It wiped Oliveira's board clean and left him clear to hit for four in the air. Oliveira drew, then conceded.

dos Sant 1 - Oliveira 0

Game 1

Oliveira's second-turn Arbor Elf allowed for no explosive third turn, merely hitting for one damage. Dos Sant played Wind Drake and passed. Turn five was much better for Oliveira, allowing him to resolve Jace, Memory Adept. He drew a card with it and passed. Dos Sant knocked it down to three loyalty and played a second Wind Drake. Oliveira milled dos Sant for ten and passed with six mana open.

Dos Sant looked at the board, frowning as he thought. He had no way around Faerie Invaders. Shaking his head, he turned both his Drakes sideways. Oliveira wasted no time tapping five and flashing in the Faeries. One Drake died and Jace survived at one loyalty. Dos Sant added Jace's Phantasm to his board and cast Divination.

Oliveira stole another ten cards from dos Sant and passed. Dos Sant cast Sleep. In response, Oliveira Unsummoned his Faerie Invaders. With a shrug, dos Sant sent his fliers at Jace again, losing his other Drake to the returning Faerie Invaders. Winning the game with the few cards he had left in his library would be a tall order. Oliveira tried to make it quick with a Harbor Serpent and hit for three.

Dos Sant was trying to craft an endgame for his Mark of Mutiny, but Archaeomancer getting back Unsummon threw a wrench in the works. He flashed in Faerie Invaders of his own, then untapped and hit for four. Oliveira burned his Unsummon on Jace's Phantasm. It was the chance dos Sant needed. Turn to Slag killed off the Faerie Invaders, cutting Oliveira's clock.

Rodrigo dos Sant

Oliveira didn't want to take any chances, so he just sent his Harbor Serpent, leaving dos Sant at nine. Dos Sant untapped, drew his second-last card, and cast a Magmaquake for two, clearing out Oliveira's small creatures. He hit with his Faerie Invaders and passed.

Oliveira decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and after attacking with Harbor Serpent, he summoned Elderscale Wurm, tapping out. He had walked right into dos Sant's trap. Dos Sant drew his last card, tapped three, and showed the Mark of Muntiny. The crowd went wild.

Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant defeats Thiago Oliveira 2-0




 

Final - Reinaldo da Silva Jr. vs. Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant

by Blake Rasmussen


Two days of Welkin Terns, Vampire Nighthawks and Murder puns has all come down to this. Reinaldo da Silva Jr. versus Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant for the title of Grand Prix Sao Paulo Champion. Da Silva Jr. was riding high on the back of three Vampire Nighthawks, but dos Sant had been outflanking opponents with his Blue Red deck through both the Quarterfinals and Semifinals.

It was brute force power against speed and elegance for the trophy.

Game 1

Both players led with aggressive two drops – Torch Fiend for dos Sant and Aven Squire for da Silva Jr. – but da Silva Jr. missed his third land drop, then missed on the second black mana to lay down a potentially devastating Vampire Nighthawk.

Instead he had to keep passing the turn as dos Sant got in with two Krenko's Command tokens and a Canyon Minotaur.

But da Silva Jr. had proved himself master of the comeback, and Rhox Faithmender looked like it could be the start of one.

Downpour, however, kept the blockers out of the way and helped drop da Silva Jr. all the way to four life.

Blink and you might have missed Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant's lightning quick game one win.

Essence Drain then picked that life right back up again. It killed the Canyon Minotaur and, thanks to Rhox Faithmender, shot da Silva Jr. all the way back up to 10 life. What had started to look like a route was turning back again.

At least for a moment, anyway. Turns out it was too little too late as Faerie Invaders and a Volcanic Geyser were more than enough to take care of any of the life da Silva Jr. had gained in his comeback bid.

Da Silva Jr. 0 – dos Sant 1

Game 2

Another fast start for dos Sant, another Vampire Nighthawk for da Silva Jr. So it goes...

The Nighthawk blunted dos Sant's otherwise excellent Jace's Phantasm into Welkin Tern start, and things got even worse for the Blue Red player when Duty-Bound Dead and Ring of Xathrid showed up to make the lifelink flier even more brutal.

Reinaldo da Silva Jr. had been the comeback kid in the Top 8 so far. Did he have another one in him?

But when da Silva Jr. played a second Vampire Nighthawk, looking to run away with the game, dos Sant showed no signs of trouble. He even gave a thumbs up when the bomby Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis made an appearance. Instead, he just emptied his hand of dudes, making a formidable board...that was practically useless against the crew of monsters he was facing.

It only took two attacks from that point to end a very brutal and quick game.

And just like that, the comeback kid had evened the match at a game each.

Da Silva Jr. 1 – dos Sant 1

Game 3

Insert every relevant cliché. This one is for all the marbles. The whole kit and caboodle. The whole shebang. Everything was on the line They all applied here.

A record 741 players, 15 rounds, three drafts and three very important Vampire Nighthawks all came down to this final game for the title of Grand Prix Sao Paulo Champion...

...and dos Sant was mulling to five.

It was still enough gas, though, to start strong. Jace's Phantasm and Chronomaton on subsequent turns let him start attacking while da Silva Jr. was busy forging his ring. Dos Sant even had a Wind Drake.

Of course, it was all for naught when a Vampire Nighthawk showed up again. None of dos Sant's small crew could get through the 'Hawk, and Duress revealing Rewind and Sleep (pitching Sleep) seemed to make da Silva Jr.'s win all but certain, even this early in the game.

It's so close da Silva Jr. can practically taste it...

For some reason, dos Sant threw both of his fliers against the regenerating (thanks to Ring of Xathrid), losing them both for no gain. It was possible he was drawing to his one out of topdecking removal (since it tapped da Silva Jr. out), but it seemed suspect at the time.

However, it didn't really matter. Rhox Faithmender made the lifegain even more problematic and Vampire Nighthawk went the distance, crowing Reindaldo da Silva Jr. as the comeback kid and Grand Prix Sao Paulo 2012 Champion!




 

Top 5 Cards

by Blake Rasmussen




5. Archaeomancer

Even though Blue decks were by far the worst performing on Day 1, those that did do well were usually packing Snapcaster Mage's little brother. The slower pace of sealed games often meant that Archeomancer had time to rebuy spells like Essence Drain, Sleep, Searing Spear and our number three card on this list. Guido Quintana even made the Top 8 on the back of Archeomancer, using it to rebuy Sleep, keeping his opponent's creatures slumbering while his rumbled by.
















4. Aven Squire

Aven Squire stands in here for all of the exalted cards in the format. Coming in as the clearest path to victory knowing nothing else, exalted proved itself again and again in both sealed and draft. It was fantastic as a build-around me mechanic, stuffing decks full of the beaters, and it was solid as an incidental ability. Aven Squire was the most desired of the exalted creatures, combing low cost, evasion, and a powerful combat ability.
















3. Murder

Besides being the premier kill spell in the format, Murder is also a testament to the depth of Black. Time and again players with Black cards in their decks found them on the winning side of the table. In one particular draft, four drafters were in Black, and they ended up being the best four decks in the pod. Murder, besides leading to wonderful puns and some pretty clean stories (“Then he Murdered my Aven Squire.”), it’s also the quickest, cleanest way to kill literally any creature in the format.
















2. Magmaquake

Everyone knows wraths are good. The difference between good and great is in how you play them. Finalist Rodrigo Goncalves dos Sant is a methodical player, and throughout the Top 8 he squeezed every ounce of value out of his Magmaquake, leaving himself with an air force and his opponents with nothing but despair.
















1. Vampire Nighthawk

No card was more instrumental in Reinaldo da Silva Jr. raising the trophy this weekend than this Zendikar reprint. Da Silva Jr. had a whopping three copies of the uncommon, and each and every one of his victories on the way to the Top 8 was fought on the back of the vampire. Others made good use of the 'Hawk this weekend, from Green decks searching for it with Mwonvuli Beast Tracker to Exalted decks attacking with giant Nighhawks, this card was everywhere.











And if that doesn't convince you, then maybe this will:

Silva's bread and butter.




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