Blue/White Control Deck Wins Magic: The Gathering World Championship

Azorius Control has won the Magic: The Gathering World ChampionshipXXVI.

Paulo Vitor Damo “PVDDR” da Rosa is now your Magic: The Gathering World Champion after last weekend’s tournament. The 32-year-old player has won his first World title after 23 years of competitive Magic play. That’s dedication to the game right there.

PVDDR played a mean game of Azorius Control, which uses blue and white spells to stall out the game with just enough card draw and life gain to outlast its opponent. It’s a classic strategy that has been around since the dawn of Magic and one that served PVDDR well in his Championship win.

Azorius Control’s strategy is a timeless one. Counterspells and board-wiping bombs like Shatter the Sky keep threats to a minimum while stall tactics like The Birth of the Meletis and Narset, Parter of Veils ensure opponents start feeling card fatigue early on. Then a few draw spells like Thirst for Meaning and Omen of the Sea allow Azorius Control to last into the late game. Finally, the coup de grace is delivered thanks to Archon of Sun’s Grace or Dream Trawler once it’s clear the opponent has no gas left in the tank.

The Magic metagame heading into Worlds was dominated by 5 decks: Jeskai Fires, Azorius Control, Mono-Red Aggro, Temur Reclamation, and Jund Sacrifice. By the time those 5 decks were whittled down to the final 3, it was just Seth Manfield with Mono-Red, Márcio Carvalho with Jeskai Fires, and PVDDR with Azorius Control.

After Cavalho bumped off Manfield to advance to the finals, he faced off against PVDDR in a rematch of an earlier loss. PVDDR took the first match 2-0, but Carvalho clawed his way back to take the second match. The final match was a nailbiter with Carvalho taking a 2-land hand in the final game in a calculated risk that just didn’t pan out. Mana-screwed for several turns, Carvalho just didn’t have the power to compete with PVDDR’s Azorius beatdown, losing the final match.

The top prize at the World Championship was $300,000–not bad for 23 years of Magic.

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