Aleksa Telarov openly asked Francesco Giorgio whether his deck was any good. It might have been the first appearance for the Italian in the finals of a Grand Prix, but he didn't feel like giving that information away. The veteran advantage of Aleksa Telarov, who had ended up in the Top 4 of Grand Prix Vienna last year, didn't play a role so far.
In the semifinals of this weekend's event, Francesco Giorgio had found himself in the role of the controlling player, trying to hold Michael Bonde's Red and Black army at bay with his Blue-White deck. Aleksa Telarov on the other hand had to overcome Ashraf Abou Omar and his Nissa, Vastwood Seer in his semifinals with his Blue and Green deck. It was quite the epic struggle, but he emerged victorious, now feeling more than ready for the finals.
Now Telarov's Blue-Green clashed with Giorgio's Blue-White in one final match for the title and the trophy ...
Not feeling like playing the waiting game again, Giorgio decided to put himself in the driver's seat this time around. Cleric of the Forward Order was followed by Stalwart Aven. While an Anchor to the Æther by Telarov slowed Giorgio down momentarily, the Italian simply rebuilt with Ampryn Tactician.
Telarov tried to buy himself some time with Aspiring Aeronaut and Ringwarden Owl, however, Kytheon's Irregulars cleared the path for Giorgio's offensive. An Enshrouding Mist on his Stalwart Aven was enough to cause Telarov to shuffle up his cards!
Francesco Giorgio 1-0 Aleksa Telarov
In the second game, Telarov and Giorgio traded creatures over the course of the first few turns. It seemed like despite the fact that Telarov went first, Giorgio was gaining ground, so Telarov went searching with Screeching Skaab.
Just when it looked like the Italian could make a run for it with Scrapskin Drake, Kytheon's Irregulars, and Swift Reckoning that cleared the path for his attackers, Telarov started to fight back! Claustrophobia and Aerial Volley first dealt with Giorgio's offensive and Pharika's Disciple provided Telarov with a beefy threat of his own.
He added a second copy the following turn, while Giorgio had only drawn lands over the course of his past turns. When his deck delivered yet another Plains, he shuffled up to get ready for the final game.
Francesco Giorgio 1-1 Aleksa Telarov
Telarov came up with a new plan on the spot; Anchor to the Æther dealt with the enchanted Aspiring Aeronaut, a second copy of Ringwarden Owl made him the master of the skies, and an Aerial Volley left Giorgio with nothing to defend the fliers!
Giorgio looked for answers feverishly, but alas, his deck was now completely out of gas. He was forced to chump block to delay the inevitable, but when Telarov's creatures connected for one last time, he extended the hand.
Aleksa Telarov 2-1 Francesco Giorgio
Congratulations to Aleksa Telarov, champion of Grand Prix Madrid 2015!