After two more rounds eight players will stand taller than the 1388 others that started Grand Prix Prague. Until then, they must focus their minds on the tasks ahead. Coming into round 14 both Jeremy Dezani and Stefano Meoni had records of 11-2, needing to win both this round and the next to secure a spot in the top 8. Greeting each other in both Italian and English, a friendly atmosphere entered as they shuffled up their decks.
Dezanis Junk deck had been serving him well today, still undefeated after picking up two losses early yesterday, whereas Italian Stefano Meoni had his bets on Splinter Twin to be the best deck of the day.
The match played out almost as thoughtful and methodical as a World Championship match of chess, minus Magnus Carlsens personality to lighten things up a bit. Both players very very careful not to make any mistakes and opting for optimal openers.
(9) Jeremy Dezani vs. Stefano Meoni
The card Ponder might not be legal in Modern, but Meoni's deck has a lot of cards making him ponder his decision. Serum Visions, Serum Visions, Peek made sure that the game progressed slowly even though taking place only over a few turns. Stuck for a long time on only two Islands for mana his deck was unable to power out either his flying combo creatures or get rid of any of Dezanis before a Liliana of the Veil ticked up to it's ultimate ability forcing the Italian to concede the first game.
Meoni chose an odd path when sideboarding, opting for 3 Molten Rains along with 2 Threads of Disloyalty, perhaps aiming to cripple Dezanis manabase the same way as his own deck had crippled his in the first game.
The second game played out just as carefully as the first, but Dezani found himself on the backfoot as two Snapcaster Mages acted Ambush Vipers before a Pestermite joined in for more damage. Somehow the tempo attacking game of his deck seems to be the best way to battle.
A Lavamancer joined his team, a Molten Rain blew up a land and got all the way down to 6 life before he was able to remove the last of Meoni's creatures. Meoni however, was holding a Lightning Bolt in his hand, needing just another or a Snapcaster Mage to finish Dezani off before succumbing himself to Tarmogoyf and a team of spirit tokens.
Meoni drew his card for the turn.
“Bolt me?,” asked Dezani?
“No, not yet,” answered Meoni.
“Upkeep, bolt me?,” Dezani asked again.
But it was only a Pestermite, buying another turn for Meoni. And his next draw was...
… nothing, giving Dezani the match 2 games to 0.