And now it was down to four. Over in the other semi final, Shuhei Nakamura was battling it out with Italian Nicola Landoni, over here the Italians were among themselves. The match-up was green-black infect (Aceto) vs. white-red artifacts (Citino), the archetypical default match-up of the format.
Aceto had two early Plague Stingers, then took out Citino's only flyer, a Glint Hawk, with Grasp of Darkness. Next, Citino put Bladed Pinions on Sunspear Shikari. That died to another Grasp of Darkness, but the Pinions stuck around and were obviously still going to be a problem. Citino summoned Auriok Replica and equipped it. Aceto cast Blight Mamba, Citino made Auriok Sunchaser and a third artifact in Necrogen Censer.
With Citino's air space closed down for all for all further traffic, Aceto started to get his ground offensive rolling. His Cystbearer died to Dispense Justice, but came back with a vengeance ... or, more accurately, with a Corpse Cur. This time around, Citino stopped the 2/3 via Arrest, and cast Snapsail Glider. But the Phyrexians were not to be denied. They attacked, took down a big part of Citino's defense, and put Citino himself at eight posion counters. Then, Aceto cast Vector Asp, which found itself in the unusual position of a potential kingmaker. The battlefield now was: Corpse Cur, Blight Mamba, one Plague Stinger, and the Asp for Aceto; Auriok Sunchaser, Snapsail Glider for Citino.
The latter topdecked neither blocker nor removal, and died on the next attack.
Pierluigi Aceto 1 - 0 Guido Citino
Citino had Sunspear Shikari followed by Snapsail Glider, Aceto had Plague Stinger followed by Moriok Replica. The two-drops traded blows, and Citino cast Auriok Replica. Aceto activated his Replica and cast another Plague Stinger. Citino, meanwhile, decided to go for all-out aggression, attacked with his three 2/2s, and added Saberclaw Golem to his team.
Suddenly, Aceto's two Plague Stingers didn't seem all that impressive anymore. A combination of Vector Asp and Instill Infection took care of the Saberclaw Golem, but he was still far behind and falling further. Soon, his Plague Stingers had to block, and it was all downhill from there.
Pierluigi Aceto 1 - 1 Guido Citino
Once again, Aceto began the game with Plague Stinger and, this time, he followed it up with Cystbearer, which can only be described as the infect deck's dream start. But Auriok Sunchaser, Memnite, and Vulshok Replica for Citino wasn't exactly bad either.
Aceto traded his Sylvok Replica for Citino's Vulshok version, then attacked for three to put his opponent at four counters. Without the Replica, Citino was left with one artifact. He could do nothing but play Glint Hawk and recast his Memnite.
Aceto apparently figured he could take this game more slowly; he skipped his attack and simply put down a Trigon of Corruption. Citino made Saberclaw Golem. Trigon and Instill Infection shot down the Glint Hawk and allowed Aceto to get one in with his flyer unimpeded.
Citino decided his best option was to take his chances in a damage race. He arrested the opposing Cystbearer and turned everything sideways. That left an opening for Aceto to get in with his Blackcleave Goblin in addition to his Plague Stinger, putting Citino at eight poison counters. Now, Citino was forced to continue with the race, attacked and made Ghalma's Warden. When Aceto killed the Warden with Grasp of Darkness, Citino offered the handshake of concession.
Pierluigi Aceto beat Guido Citino 2-1 and advanced to the all-Italian finals.