The finals of the City Class Showdown featured two decks on opposite ends of the spectrum, capping off an exciting weekend for the 169 competitors at Brazil's Regional Championship. With four seats at the Pro Tour on the line along with a slot at the World Championship for the winner, the tournament marked the culmination of the RC cycle and did so in dramatic fashion.
Credit for that starts with William Araujo and his perfect weekend. The Vitoria native came armed with the most aggressive deck in the format in Boros Convoke, and he stormed through the tournament including a Top 4 full of Pro Tour veterans.
While Rakdos Midrange, known for its ability to grind out long games, led the field when play began, it was the most aggressive deck in the room that was left standing. Making use of efficient one-drop creatures and then
The strategy carried him to the Top 8 with an undefeated record, and once there the wins kept coming. After securing a Pro Tour invite by advancing to the semifinals, he then punched his ticket to the World Championship with a finals victory over Douglas Rosa. Rosa was piloting Bant Spirits, one of the format's most flexible decks but one that struggles to contain the outburst potential that the Convoke deck can produce.
Like the matches that came before it, Araujo's deck fired on all cylinders in the finals. He took two decisive games to earn an invitation to the World Championship, the trophy and title that comes with being the Regional Champion.
Araujo's finals opponent is also headed to the Pro Tour. Rosa is a longtime Spirits player, and the kindred deck featuring the best Spirits Pioneer has to offer brought Rosa victories in seven of his eights rounds before the Top 8. The one loss? To Araujo, in a finals preview. The second-place finish qualifies the
Top 4 Earn Pro Tour Invites
Seven different decks comprised a stacked Top 8 field (with eight different decks in the Top 9, which came down to tiebreaks). With four Pro Tour invites on the line, the quarterfinals matches were tense. The Top 8 featured a number of players with Pro Tour experience and deck matchups that ran the full gamut of Pioneer. That made for an explosive set of matches as players vied for a spot at the Pro Tour.
One of those players with former PT experience is Gabriel Fehr, whose resume boasts a Top 8 appearance at Grand Prix Porto Alegre. He's headed back to the PT after a deep run with Enigmatic Fires, the deck featuring some of the most powerful top-end threats like
The other player who punched their Pro Tour ticket this weekend is someone also familiar with high-level play: Claudio Miranda won a Magic Online Champions Showcase qualifier last year and is now headed back to the Pro Tour. Azorius Control was a fairly popular choice for the weekend (it was the third most-played), Miranda was the only one to find success – no other Azorius Control player would crack the Top 32.
"Azorius was the deck I had the most success with testing," he explained. "It felt well-positioned."
For Miranda, at least, it was. Next stop: back on the Pro Tour.
Diverse Top 8 Highlights Wide-Open Field
Rakdos Midrange was the most popular deck at the tournament, continuing a Magic-wide trend. But with Izzet Phoenix, Azorius Control and Rakdos Sacrifice weren't far behind, and the tournament featured rousing Pioneer matchups played by the region's best.