Semifinals: (10) Fabrizio Anteri vs. (22) William Jensen

Posted in Event Coverage on April 17, 2016

By Frank Karsten

As is not unusual with a Grand Prix the weekend before the Pro Tour in the same region, the Top 8 was stacked with talent. This semifinal match exemplified that, as it pitted two players from the Top 25 Magic Rankings against one another.

"I'll play first," Jensen said as he had the higher seed after the Swiss rounds. "Can we do this as a football match, where you choose the table side if you don't get to choose who plays," Anteri joked.

"They used to do it that way at the Pro Tour!" Jensen replied. "To prevent everyone from running into the Top 8 area and claiming their preferred seat first, you got to choose either which table side you wanted to sit at or whether you wanted to play first or draw first. I think it only happened once that someone chose the table side, though."

Game 1

Although Jensen played first, Anteri was the first to add creatures to the battlefield, with Gibbering Fiend on turn two and Howlpack Wolf on turn three. Jensen then showed that he favored toughness over power with an Inquisitor's Ox on turn four.

But Anteri kept pushing his advantage, showing that blocking may be a losing proposition in this format. When Jensen blocked the 2/1 with his 2/5, Anteri had Spiteful Motives to punish him for that. And when Jensen cast Throttle on Howpack Wolf (which had grown into a 4/4 due to Inspiring Captain) Anteri had Rush of Adrenaline to save his creature, which prompted Jensen to scoop up his cards in defeat.

Fabrizio Anteri 1 – William Jensen 0

Game 2

The second game was much slower, as Jensen had removal spells for Anteri's early creatures to keep the board clear and to stay at a high life total.

At a certain point, Jensen cast Behold the Beyond. When he cast the powerful sorcery, he faced a board of Ravenous Bloodseeker and Inspiring Captain as Anteri's threats. Jensen himself had seven lands and an Inquisitor's Ox enchanted by Bound by Moonsilver on his side of the table, and he was at 13 life.

After some deliberation, Jensen searched for Anguished Unmaking, Inquisitor's Ox, and Throttle. The delirium-powered 3/5 Inquisitor's Ox brickwalled Anteri's board for a turn, but soon after, Anteri made an all-out attack.

His Cathar's Companion, Ravenous Bloodseeker, Inspiring Captain, and Flameheart Werewolf all rushed into combat. Jensen, by then at 7 life, cast Anguished Unmaking on Bound by Moonsilver before blockers (which put him down to 4 life) and put his pair of Oxen in front of Cathar's Companion and Inspiring Captain. He then cast Throttle on Flameheart Werewolf, solving almost all of his problems except for one: Ravenous Bloodseeker. The 1/3 was still alive and unblocked, so a discard and a pump spells from Anteri was enough to close the game and match.

Fabrizio Anteri 2 – William Jensen 0

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