Here three-time Grand Prix Top 8 competitor, and two-time winner, Emanuele Giusti met newcomer Vjeran Horvat. The Italian pro player may have been the favorite judging by previous Magic credentials, but who was ahead in the match-up wasn't as clear. Giusti was piloting Jund, his Croatian opponent had brought a blue-white-red deck with Geist of Saint Traft as its centerpiece.
This was a very long and grindy affair and was decided on who could generate more "value." As it turned out, the blue deck could, even though Giusti's Scavenging Ooze made it impossible for Horvat to take full advantage of his Snapcaster Mage and Restoration Angel. Giusti got Horvat down to 8, but then the Croatian took control of the game.
Following that, Snapcaster Mage brought Giusti all the way down to 9, was then joined by Celestial Colonnade, and Lightning Bolt took game one for Horvat.
After intial trade-offs early on, Thrun, the Last Troll was soon staring down a Geist of Saint Traft. A race between the two untargetables developed which, in the end, was decided by the fact that Horvat had burn and Giusti didn't.
"The key moment was when I chose not to block Thrun," said Horvat afterward. "I would have lost against Lightning Bolt at that point but knew I could win on my next turn with Thundermaw Hellkite and my own Lightning Bolt."
Emanuele Giusti 0-2 Vjeran Horvat