Two seasoned veterans of the game met this round in the feature match area. Switzerland's Nico Bohny had previously reached the Top 8 of two Pro Tours and the finals of two Grands Prix, winning one, while English resident Fabrizio Anteri made the Top 8 of four Grands Prix, winning two. Neither had lost a match so far into the tournament, and both were obviously interested in keeping it that way ...
Both had built green-black decks, Anteri splashing blue and white and Bohny splashing white and red.
Bohny led with Mardu Skullhunter. "You really are aggressive. My deck's more the opposite," said Anteri and cast Archers' Parapet. Bohny made a Tuskguard Captain, then Anteri announced, "Let's see if you have the removal for the bomb of my deck," and played Abzan Beastmaster.
Bohny didn't and over the next couple of turns Anteri drew some extra cards, while both players clogged up the board with various creatures, until eventually Bohny's Tuskguard Captain accumulated its fourth +1/+1 counter.
Anteri took to the air with Mistfire Weaver and also took the occasional life from Bohny with Archers' Parapet, while Bohny summoned Warden of the First Tree and began putting loads of counters on it. Still, Anteri held the ground with Typhoid Rats and Heir of the Wild.
Soon enough, however, Bohny dealt with Anteri's flier via Hunt the Weak, which put yet another counter on Warden of the First Tree and also recouped quite a bit of life. Anteri made an attempt on the life of Bohny's Warden with Harsh Sustenance plus Hooded Assassin, but Bohny took a Valorous Stance to thwart that plan.
"Let's see if you can kill the bomb of my deck," Bohny joked, as he cast his own Abzan Beastmaster. But unlike Bohny, Anteri actually could and cast Douse in Gloom. Eventually, Murderous Cut dealt with Warden of the First Tree which was 29/29 at this point, still staring down Anteri's 29 life and two deathtouch creatures.
Bohny wasn't out of fat, though, and summoned Ivorytusk Fortress and a morph (which later turned out to be Woolly Loxodon) on consecutive turns. His following attack didn't go as well, however, as he lost his 15/16 Tuskguard Captain to Sultai Charm, and had his Ivorytusk Fortress trade with Heir of the Wilds. Anteri dug himself in further with Ruthless Ripper.
Bohny began going through his deck with Qarsi High Priest and also made another fattie with Kin-Tree Invocation but immediately lost the 7/7 Spirit Warrior to Rite of the Serpent. Meanwhile, Bohny was getting dangerously low on life thanks to persistent Archers' Parapet action. His Qarsi High Priest was now working overtime, continuously turning one manifested creature into another, looking for something useful.
Bohny eventually found his Jeering Instigator, but it was too late. He had lost a total of 23 life to Archers' Parapet over the course of the game, all the way down to 1. In the end, however, he ran out of cards.
Fabrizio Anteri 1-0 Nico Bohny
Both players had Abzan Beastmaster on their turn three, but Bohny had Qarsi High Priest before that, then a morph and Harsh Sustenance for Anteri's Formless Nurturing manifest. The cards kept flowing, while Anteri fell further behind. He eventually killed Abzan Beastmaster with Murderous Cut though and subsequently dominated the board with Torrent Elemental.
Torrent Elemental and a 2/3 Hooded Assassin started the beatdown while Bohny was very much out of gas and Anteri's Archer's Parapet sped up the clock some more. Talking of clocks: As the first game had gone for quite a long time, the round was drawing to its close and that fact was clearly beginning to influence some of the players' decisions.
Bohny clawed his way back into the game, with first Ivorytusk Fortress and then Feat of Resistance when Anteri tried to kill it by performing a Rite of the Serpent. To make matters worse for Anteri, Bohny revealed one of his manifested creatures to be Warden of the First Tree. A couple of turns later, Bohny turned up Jeering Instigator to take Torrent Elemental and the game.
Fabrizio Anteri 1-1 Nico Bohny
And with no time left in the round, this was indeed the final score ...