Posted in NEWS on May 10, 2014

By Tim Willoughby

Once you get to the last draft of the day, that is the point where a place in the top eight of a Grand Prix is a target close enough to start really thinking about. Three wins is a reasonable goal, and realistically for almost all, three wins would be needed. As such every match from here out would be critical.

Stepping into the feature match area, both Fabrizio Anteri of Italy and Robin Dolar of Slovenia looked pretty comfortable. Dolar has seen a fair run of success in recent years, with a top 25 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica and a finalists trophy at GP Vienna in 2013. Anteri too had managed to take home a finalists trophy in 2013, falling to Patrick Dickmann at the last hurdle at GP Antwerp. Suffice to say, each was hungry to go one better.

Anteri was particularly happy with his deck, an aggressive red white deck which he felt was a little ahead of the curve power-wise, and had the removal to punish bad draws. The concern though was that the overall power level of the packs at the draft had appeared strong - he would have to hope that Dolar's blue green build was not similarly powerful.

Robin Dolar

Robin Dolar had a mulligan on the play with his blue green deck, and started with a Sedge Scorpion. There was a Stymied Hopes on Sigiled Skink, before War-Wing Siren came out on turn three. The flying hero did not have a chance to get heroic, as a Lightning Strike shot it out of the sky.

Dolar was short on green mana and passed on turn four with just his scorpion alive. He looked on as Anteri laid out a Spearpoint Oread to go with an Elite Skirmisher from the previous turn. Bolt of Keranos cleared a path and Anteri got stuck in. Akroan Skyguard and Akroan Mastiff were enough to finish things in Anteri's favour. Dolar had never found a second Forest after his mulligan, and scooped up his cards without having given much away in the opening game of the set.

Fabrizio Anteri 1 - 0 Robin Dolar

Dolar had a workable seven and the initiative in game two, leading with a Swordwise Centaur, and soon buffing it with an Ordeal of Thassa, to swing for four. Bolt of Keranos was enough to put a stop to those shenanigans, but Dolar had a follow up in Coastline Chimera, who matched up nicely against Anteri's Eagle of the Watch.

Fabrizio Anteri

Anteri made his air force a little stronger, with Akroan Skyguard and a Nyxborn Rollicker to make the flying hero a little tougher to beat in a fight. Supply Line Cranes, the next addition from Anteri, got hit by Stymied Hopes. This left the coast clear though for Anteri to further improve his Akroan Skyguard with Spearpoint Oread. Now a 6/6 flying first striker, it seemed unlikely much could match it in a fight. That didn't stop Dolar trying though, flashing in a Fleetfeather Cockatrice. The deathtouch on the cockatrice wouldn't work out against first strike on the other side of the board, but it was a noble effort.

When Dolar tried to use the monstrosity ability on his cockatrice, a Fated Conflagration was enough to finish it off. Dragon Mantle from Fabrizio Anteri served a similar purpose when it came to finishing off Dolar himself. With the ability to pump his attacker, there was simply too much damage coming from too many angles for Dolar, who scooped up his cards in defeat.

Fabrizio Anteri defeats Robin Dolar in two quick games.