Semifinal - Sebastian Knörr vs. Fabrizio Anteri
Fabrizio Anteri had been on a run in recent months. He had placed third at last year's Grand Prix in London, second at Grand Prix Antwerp, and finally had taken home the trophy three weeks ago in Warsaw. Would this be his second Grand Prix title? He had already secured Gold level with his Top 8 here, as well as his spot at the Magic World Cup (playing for his country of residence England), and was now looking to go pro.
Facing him in this semifinal was Sebastian Knörr, an up-and-coming player from Germany, who had managed to qualify for Pro Tour Journey into Nyx. While he failed to finish anywhere close to the top at that event, he did gain valuable insight into the Block Constructed format.
At this Grand Prix he was running a mono-black aggro deck he called "horribly underrated." That may well have been true, seeing as he had actually beat every single one of the other players in this Top 4 during the Swiss rounds. Anteri came equipped with a much more common deck in BUG Control.
Knörr led with Gnarled Scarhide and Tormented Hero, but had both his Mogis's Marauder as well as Hero's Downfall discarded by a pair of Thoughtseizes. However, the early beatdown plus lifeloss took a big bite out of Anteri's lifetotal.
While Anteri tried to recover with Courser of Kruphix, Knörr redoubled his grip on the game with another Mogis's Marauder and another Hero's Downfall as well as a Pain Seer. Anteri went to 10, then 4, then 5 thanks to another Courser of Kruphix, then 1, but ultimately he could not stem the tide and lost a rather one-sided first duel.
Sebastian Knörr 1-0 Fabrizio Anteri
And it was a completely different story indeed. Unravel the Æther traded with Brain Maggot, Thoughtseize with Mogis's Marauder, Feast of Dreams with Master of the Feast, Hero's Downfall with another Mogis's Marauder. Knörr never managed to mount a sizeable offense. He did succeed in keeping Prognostic Sphinx and Reaper of the Wilds off the table, via Thoughtseize and Hero's Downfall respectively, but at some point Anteri could land a Courser of Kruphix and that stuck around.
The Courser recouped about 10 points of life and generated about seven extra cards throughout the game, and it was only a matter of time before further copies of Anteri's larger threats took the game.
Sebastian Knörr 1-1 Fabrizio Anteri
In an anticlimactic end to the match, Knörr mulliganed into a six-card hand without a single land, then had to keep a less than stellar five: Swamp, Gnarled Scarhide, Pain Seer, Odunos River Trawler, Hero's Downfall. When he finally drew his second Swamp on about turn four, Anteri killed Scarhide plus Pain Seer via Drown in Sorrow. And by the time Knörr found his third, Reaper of the Wilds and Prognostic Sphinx were already poised to take over the game.
Sebastian Knörr 1-2 Fabrizio Anteri