Grand Prix Turin 2012

It has been a fantastic weekend of Magic here in Turin, not to mention a weekend of fantastic Magic. 1,068 players showed up for the last Modern event of the season. The field was whittled down to just 174 competitors on day 2, then to eight for the final rounds. In a Top 8 filled half with Italian names, one obviously stood out. None other than former US national champion and first-class pro Antonino De Rosa chose this Grand Prix to come out of retirement and to revive his Magic career. He was one of the first players to secure a Top 8 berth, he then quickly dispatched Marco Cammiluzzi in the quarterfinals to qualify for Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, and continued winning, beating Jose Luis Velázquez in the semis. There he met Germany's Michael Thiel, who had swept the Top 8 so far. But De Rosa was not to be denied. In a brutal match Thiel's Soul Warden s were just no match for De Rosa's Tarmogoyf s.

As for the decks we've seen throughout the tournament, Modern proved to be as diverse as ever, albeit with a few clear frontrunners. Splinter Twin , Storm, and RUG Delver of Secrets each put two players in the Top 8, with Delver taking the title. But one of the stories early on day 2 was actually the resurgence of Jund and Affinity. And Soul Sisters, a deck basically no one had on his radar, made it all the way to the finals, proving once again that Modern still is full of surprises.

Congratulations to Antonino De Rosa, champion of Grand Prix Turin 2012!

top 8 bracket


(1) Thiel, Michael

(8) Progin, David

(4) Lippi, Alessandro

(5) Blumer, Yann

(2) Velazquez, Jose

(7) Portaro, Alessandro

(3) Cammilluzzi, Marco

(6) De Rosa, Antonino


Thiel, Michael 2-0

Lippi, Alessandro 2-0

Velazquez, Jose 2-1

De Rosa, Antonino 2-0


Thiel, Michael 2-0

De Rosa, Antonino 2-1


De Rosa, Antonino 2-1



1. De Rosa, Antonino $3,500
2. Thiel, Michael $2,300
3. Velazquez, Jose $1,500
4. Lippi, Alessandro $1,500
5. Cammilluzzi, Marco $1,000
6. Blumer, Yann $1,000
7. Portaro, Alessandro $1,000
8. Progin, David $1,000

pairings, results, standings


15 14 13 12 11 10


15 14 13 12 11 10


15 14 13 12 11 10

Green Bracket


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Blue Bracket


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Top 8 Player profiles

Michael "Wuaschti" Thiel

Age: 26
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Occupation: Software developer

Previous Magic accomplishments:
Some money finishes at various tournaments.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
"Girls, Girls, Girls" a.k.a. Soul Sisters, because I don't have other cards. I only play Eternal events.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?
Ranger of Eos.

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
I'd change nothing, that's why I'm here.

Jose Luis Velázquez

Age: 18
Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Occupation: Student

Previous Magic accomplishments:
Being better than Chila.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
Past in Flames with Gifts Ungiven, because it's the most consistent combo deck and always wins game one.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?
Grapeshot! But Gifts Ungiven is the best card in the deck by far.

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?

Marco Cammiluzzi

Age: 25
Hometown: Rome, Italy
Occupation: Bomber team pro and Portaro's babysitter

Previous Magic accomplishments:
Two GP Top 8s.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
RUG, just because it's the best.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?
Garruk Relentless.

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
Maybe add an extra land, or one Sleight of Hand.

Alessandro Lippi

Age: 29
Hometown: Massa, Italy

Previous Magic accomplishments:
I always beat Estratti in draft.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
Black Splinter Twin. "Please show me your hand."

What card won you the most matches this weekend?

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?

Yann Blumer

Age: 28
Hometown: Baden, Switzerland
Occupation: PhD student

Previous Magic accomplishments:
I have played at a couple of Pro Tours and made day 2 at some Grand Prix.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
Storm. I played it in two PTQs already and know it well.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?
Grapeshot, obviously.

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
The sideboard is not really thought through 100%. Maybe one or two more Empty the Warrens.

Antonino De Rosa

Age: 22 ;-)
Hometown: Palermo, Italy
Occupation: Trader

Previous Magic accomplishments:
11 GP Top 8s, US National Champion, one PT Top 8.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
RUG, Gerard Fabiano told me to play it.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
Maybe an extra land, or Sleight of Hand. Third Vedalken Shackles in the sideboard.

Alessandro Portaro

Age: 22
Hometown: Rome, Italy
Occupation: Student

Previous Magic accomplishments:
Some day 2s at the Pro Tour, Top 8 PT Philadelphia 2011, Top 64 GP Florence.

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
Splinter Twin, because it has a lot of good match-ups in this metagame.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?
Splinter Twin and Spell Pierce.

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
Maybe it'd be good to play one Echoing Truth maindeck and one less removal.

David Progin

Age: 21
Hometown: Lausanne, Switzerland
Occupation: Student

Previous Magic accomplishments:

What deck did you play and why did you choose it?
Jund, because I met Pierre Sommen Friday and he gave me a good list.

What card won you the most matches this weekend?
Fulminator Mage was my MVP. But I won a lot of matches with Liliana of the Veil too, she's really strong in Modern.

What changes would you make to your deck and why would you make them?
Third Fulminator Mage maindeck instead of Kitchen Finks.

Top 8 Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff

David Progin - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Marco Cammilluzzi - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Jose Luis Velazquez Del Pozo - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Michael Thiel - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Antonino De Rosa - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Alessandro Portaro - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Alessandro Lippi - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Yann Blumer - Top 8

Download Arena Decklist

Quarterfinal – Antonino De Rosa vs. Marco Cammilluzzi

by Tim Willoughby

Antonino De Rosa was once a mainstay of the Pro Tour, but in recent years he has not been in the spotlight there quite so much. Heavy work commitments had left him unable to play as much, but as he's living in Italy these days, it seemed an easy choice to make it across to Turin. Ant's deck choice came from his longtime buddy from the Pro Tour, Mr Gerrard Fabaino, who won a PTQ with RUG recently, and sent on the list to his friend. That list, with a few tweaks has got Ant all the way to top eight, where he faces a 75 card mirror with another member of the Italian Magic scene, Marco Cammilluzzi. All that Ant had at the start of the weekend was a single bye, but his pro level play was able to bring him through to what would be a hotly contested fight for a top 4 position, and the Pro Tour invite that comes with it.

On the play Cammilluzzi had a Serum Visions , while De Rosa fired out with the namesake card of the Delver RUG deck, Delver of Secrets . It didn't live long enough to flip, getting hit by a Lightning Bolt at the first opportunity. A second soon followed from Ant, and it flipped on the natural thanks to a Serum Visions sat on top of De Rosa's deck. Lightning Bolt number two was just as effective as the first meaning that Ant would be creatureless once more.

Antonino De Rosa

De Rosa wasn't in terrible shape really – his opponent Marco Cammilluzzi had missed a land drop and passed without plays for a couple of turns before he saw Antonino stumble on mana. With three lands each, Cammilluzzi went for an end of turn Vendilion Clique after he saw De Rosa pass without a play. It was hit by Mana Leak . On the return swing, the Vendilion Clique tried by De Rosa was stopped by Deprive , before his Tarmogoyf met Spell Snare . A Spell Pierce was enough to force through the Tarmogoyf though, which hit the table as a 4/5.

That 4/5 just kept on hitting too. It took Cammilluzzi down to 6 before he got together the ability to cast Cryptic Command targeting it. The overcosted Repulse was stopped by Snapcaster Mage letting Spell Pierce do double duty, meaning that Cammilluzzi was suddenly in very rough shape. When Ant swung in with his team, a defensive Snapcaster Mage was tried. Ant had the Mana Leak . Cammilluzzi fired back with Deprive . Ant had a Lightning Bolt to ensure that the Snapcaster wouldn't be blocking him, but could do little to stop his own Snapcaster Mage dying to a similar Lightning Bolt (flashed back).

Swings put Cammulluzzi to 1 life, but he was getting close to stabilization, with a string of creatures to block. Against a deck with as much burn as RUG though, 1 life is a very scary place to be.

The two friends decided to sideboard face up, looking to have good games rather than mind games. The two jokingly discussed what the best sideboarding would be and agreed on it openly in front of the crowd. For both players in this 75 card mirror the following changes were made;

+3 Huntmaster of the Fells
+1 Ancient Grudge
+2 Threads of Disloyalty
+1 Negate (for Marco)
+1 Spell Pierce (for Antonino)
-2 Burst Lightning
-3 Mana Leak
-1 Electrolyze
-1 Deprive

The only difference on sideboarding came down to the fact that Marco would be going first. Were they to go to game three, the sideboarding would be reversed.

There was a fair amount of calling around between Italian players in the top 8 and the crowd, clearly enjoying themselves. Marco Orsini Jones called out to ask who'd won game one, as he walked over from his side event. In Italian, Cammilluzzi called back 'The Lucky Antonino!'.

Marco Cammilluzzi

De Rosa's luck continued in game two, where his turn one Delver of Secrets revealed Spell Snare at the first opportunity. This took down a Tarmogoyf , and there was even a Spell Pierce to protect his Insectile Aberration from Lightning Bolt .

Vendilion Clique revealed Huntmaster of the Fells , Garruk Relentless , Cryptic Command and Threads of Disloyalty in Cammilluzzi's hand, along with a couple of lands. The Planeswalker went away, before that Threads took Insectile Aberration .

A Lightning Bolt got hit by Cryptic Command , but there was little that Cammilluzzi, who had taken some solid Insectile Aberration hits, and a fair amount of damage from his lands, could do about two more, this time aimed at the head, to end a super-fast game 2.

Antonino De Rosa wins 2-0, advancing to the semi-finals.

Semifinal – Michael Thiel vs. Alessandro Lippi

by Tobi Henke

It's the first Top 8 for both of these players, but it's been succesful already as winning the quarterfinal awarded the coveted qualification to Pro Tour Avacyn Restored. Michael Thiel from Germany got this far playing "Soul Sisters", the deck based on the combination of Soul Warden , Soul's Attendant , Serra Avatar , and Ajani's Pridemate . Italy's Alessandro Lippi, on the other hand, brought a deck based on the combination of Splinter Twin / Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Pestermite / Deceiver Exarch . In this particular match-up, his ability to deal infinite damage would certainly come in handy, however, the fact that in order to do so he would have to create an infinite amount of tokens might prove tricky when faced with the eponymous heroines Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant .

Alessandro Lippi in his first top 8 performance.

Thiel started with Soul Warden , Windbrisk Heights , and Squadron Hawk , Lippi's first play was Flame Slash on the Warden. Thiel used Ranger of Eos to search up replacements. On his next turn, he summoned Soul Warden and another Ranger of Eos , got still more creatures from his deck, and continued the beatdown. Lippi was looking for answers via Sleight of Hand and Serum Visions .

Thiel cast another two Soul Warden s as well as a Soul's Attendant . He attacked with everything but his 1/1 pedestrians. As expected, Lippi had a Deceiver Exarch to stop at least some of the damage. On his turn, he followed it up with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker , but in response Thiel send the Deceiver Exarch on a Path to Exile . Next turn, he turned everything sideways, activated Windbrisk Heights to cast a hidden away Honor of the Pure , and that was that.

Michael Thiel 1 – 0 Alessandro Lippi

This time, Thiel started with Serra Ascendant and a Soul's Attendant which died to Combust . On the upkeep of Thiel's third turn, Lippi cast a Pestermite to tap one of his opponent's lands. Thiel cast Path to Exile to prevent any more pestering from this particular mite. Lippi simply repeated the process with another Pestermite on Thiel's next upkeep. This time, Thiel didn't have Path to Exile , a fact Lippi made sure of via Inquisition of Kozilek . Thiel revealed Ranger of Eos , Mikaeus, the Lunarch , another Serra Scendant, and Honor of the Pure which went to the bin.

Mikaeus, the Lunarch

Pestermite entered a race against the Serra Scendant, while Thiel used two Tectonic Edge s to reduce Lippi to one Mountain as his only source of red mana. Lippi had a Deceiver Exarch to kill the Serra Ascendant when it attacked, and the Pestermite managed to move Thiel's lifetotal down at least a bit. Meanwhile, Thiel's Mikaeus died to Combust .

But when Thiel cast Ranger of Eos , the tutored-for Soul's Attendant and Soul Warden , things started to look grim for Lippi once again. Now Thiel's deck was working at full power, he soon had two each of Ranger of Eos , Soul Warden , and Soul's Attendant , as well as one Serra Ascendant and a Ghostly Prison the battlefield. Lippi traded away his Pestermite for one of the Rangers.

Then he summoned Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and this time the infinite-token engine stayed on the battlefield. Seeing as each token he made would give Thiel 4 life and as he couldn't attack with them anyway thanks to Ghostly Prison , Lippi had to content himself with the availability of infinite blockers. Nothing much happened over the next few turns, until Lippi killed one Soul Warden with Flame Slash and Thiel's Path to Exile took out the Deceiver Exarch . Lippi had a replacement Deceiver Exarch, while Thiel had an Ajani's Pridemate which soon grew to monstrous proportions. Yet another Ranger of Eos provided Serra Ascendant , finally a creature Deceiver Exarch tokens couldn't block, and Lippi offered his hand in concession.

Michael Thiel breezes through another 2-0 victory in the top 8 to make it to the finals.

End result: Michael Thiel defeats Alessandro Lippi 2-0 and advances to the final!

Semifinal – Antonino De Rosa vs. Jose Luis Velazquez

by Tim Willoughby

On the sly, Antonino De Rosa is just a little bit superstitious. He was quick to grab the very same seat that he won his quarterfinals in, and to make sure that his name tag on the scoreboard was not moved. He settled in for the match with a smile on his face. He had already qualified for Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, and now had the opportunity to go even better. De Rosa's opponent, Jose Luis Velazquez was similarly happy to be going to the Pro Tour. Living in Madrid, it would be a short trip in miles, but a huge one in terms of being able to play at the highest level.

Serum Visions

Having finished higher in the Swiss rounds, Velazquez was the first to play, and had a Lightning Bolt ready to off Delver of Secrets . Velazquez used Gitaxian Probe to see what he was working with. He saw three copies of Serum Visions , Tarmogoyf , Lightning Bolt and a land. Those Serum Visions changed the landscape of De Rosa's hand at quite a lick.

As De Rosa resolved his second copy of the card drawing spell he scratched his head.

"Wow. Magic is hard. My deck is hard to play. I'm sure yours is too." After a little thought he put two on top.

Velazquez used a ritual to try for Gifts Ungiven (his replacement for Pyromancer Ascension in storm combo), but was stopped by a Spell Pierce . Ant soon also had a Delver of Secrets to commence winning the game with.

The Delver only got in for one at the first blush, and first Tarmogoyf , then Delver of Secrets , were held back by copies of Remand . De Rosa was tapped out, and seemed a little stunned.

"I didn't even remember that he had Remand in his deck!" remarked the Italian American, who had seen all of Velazquez' tricks when looking through his list at the start of the game.

Velazquez had been sculpting his hand gradually, and would soon need to go for it, as De Rosa finally resolved both his Tarmogoyf and Delver of Secrets . After a little thought, Velazquez passed the turn. An end of turn Lightning Bolt from De Rosa was hit by Remand , after which Ant attacked his Spanish opponent to 8 and passed with 5 mana up.

It was time for Velazquez to go for it. Serum Visions . Pyretic Ritual . Seething Song . The last card in his hand was a Past in Flames . With the Past in Flames on the stack, De Rosa showed off his combo. Lightning Bolt . Lightning Bolt . Snapcaster Mage . Lightning Bolt . That would be enough.

Antonino De Rosa 1 – 0 Jose Luis Velazquez

Game 2 kicked off with a land and no play from Velazquez, who could have sideboarded into being Splinter Twin , and a turn one Serum Visions from De Rosa. There had been a lot of friendly banter as the two players shuffled up, with De Rosa trying to work out what plan Velazquez would be on for the second game, but it would be tough to know for sure early on.

Deceiver Exarch

De Rosa was all about aggression in this game, and played Snapcaster Mage at the end of turn to attack with. Velazquez could play a quick game too – he cast a Deceiver Exarch in De Rosa's upkeep to tap his red mana out. This met a Lightning Bolt on the 1 /4. A second came (thanks to a red land on top) to kill it off. De Rosa attacked in.

A Serum Visions from Velazquez met a low whistle from De Rosa. "Top top! Nice draws"

Gitaxian Probe came from Velazquez, showing two copies of Lightning Bolt , two copies of Tarmogoyf and a Snapcaster Mage . Now that is an aggressive hand.

Velazquez had to go for it. Desperate Ritual , Seething Song .

"Am I dead?"

"I don't think so..." remarked Velazquez, deep in thought.

"I like this kid" smiled Antonino, "Sometimes I don't like my opponents, but I like you."

Even as a Lightning Bolt killed his creature, and Empty the Warrens made 10 Goblin tokens, De Rosa still seemed fairly happy with his lot.

At end of turn, De Rosa cast Snapcaster Mage and flashed back Lightning Bolt at De Rosa's head. It got hit by Dispel , meaning that Velazquez was still at 13. De Rosa cast Tarmogoyf and Delver of Secrets before passing.

Velazquez attacked with 9 Goblin tokens. After a little thought, Ant blocked 3 of them, losing his Snapcaster Mage and Delver of Secrets in the process of going to 8. Velazquez had 7 Goblin tokens left.

Jose Luis Vazquez

Pestermite tapped down Tarmogoyf , but Ant had another, and Lightning Bolt for the flyer. Attacks from Velazquez put De Rosa down to 3, and after Ant played a Tarmogoyf , Velazquez went for it with Gifts Ungiven .

The Gifts found Lightning Bolt , Deceiver Exarch , Pestermite and Noxious Revival . That was enough for Ant, who scooped them up. It was on to game 3.

Antonino De Rosa 1 – 1 Jose Luis Vazquez

For the final game, De Rosa wasn't particularly impressed with his 'stinky' hand. As Velazquez took a mulligan, he showed his hand to some of Velazquez' friends to show that he really wasn't bluffing. On the play, Ant had a Scalding Tarn , which found Steam Vents at the end of Velazquez' turn. Velazquez had Halimar Depths to start. De Rosa, meanwhile, was being aggressive while he could. A Tarmogoyf and Burst Lightning let him get stuck in, but he seemed a little concerned that the end could come at any time.

Velazquez, as had been typical of him all tournament, was patient. He wanted to get as many turns to draw into a combo as possible, and was not about to try going off too soon. Velazquez' fourth turn saw now plays from him at all. At end of turn, De Rosa went for an Electrolyze to the head, which was hit by Remand . Velazquez then discarded Pyretic Ritual .

Tarmogoyf , somewhat disappointingly, was only hitting for two. This did eventually get Velazquez to 8 though. Yet again, Velazquez went to the end of turn without a play. De Rosa cast a Snapcaster Mage and tried for a Burst Lightning flashback, only to have it stopped by Dispel .

Serum Visions made De Rosa's Tarmogoyf a little bigger, and with Snapcaster Mage on side, he was able to knock Velazquez to 3. This would likely be Velazquez' last chance to go for it.

Antonio De Rosa makes it to the finals.

Desperate Ritual . Seething Song . Desperate Ritual (splicing another). Desperate Ritual . Seething Song . When Velazquez went for Past In Flames, only then did De Rosa deploy the Lightning Bolt in his hand. Any sooner would have opened it up to being hit by potential countermagic. De Rosa had timed things just right, and was on to the finals.

Antonino De Rosa wins 2 – 1!

Finals – Antonino De Rosa vs Michael Thiel

by Tim Willoughby

"A little piece of trivia for you. Out of all my Grand Prix top eights, I have only ever lost in the quarterfinals, or won the whole thing."

Antonino De Rosa hadn't been able to go first for a single match in the top eight, but he still seemed pretty happy. He'd turned his one bye into a run that placed him just a single match away from winning the entire tournament. With RUG he had faced off against control, aggro and combo with equal aplomb, but he seemed worried about his finals matchup. The Soul Sisters deck of Thiel would force him to do far more than the regular 20 damage he'd been dealing all weekend, and he wasn't quite sure how easily he'd be able to achieve that.

Antonio De Rosa

Thiel had Serra Ascendent on turn one, which traded with Delver of Secrets (though not before Ajani's Pridemate had entered the battlefield). It seemed that De Rosa might well be in a race he couldn't win, with his Tarmogoyf soon outmatched by the Pridemate, and Martyr of Sands posing a huge threat to a fair race.

Martyr of Sands

Martyr was countered by Deprive , but Thiel had more gas in the tank, playing Spectral Procession and Windbrisk Heights . Lightning Bolt from De Rosa killed off Ajani's Pridemate while it could, but Soul Warden would be able to gain him some life, thanks to Squadron Hawk off his land.

"Dude. Your rares are going to skyrocket on Magic Online after you win this GP." De Rosa didn't feel too confident about his chances, scooping up his cards for game one.

Michael Thiel 1 – 0 Antonino De Rosa

"You're not even a white weenie deck!" complained De Rosa as he went to his sideboard. This is certainly true when Serra Ascendent or Ajani's Pridemate are doing their thing, and it was not quite clear how much De Rosa would be able to do to stop that happening.

De Rosa led off in game two with a Delver of Secrets , and saw a Soul Warden from Thiel on his turn. The Delver didn't flip, but was soon joined by a Tarmogoyf . Tarmogoyf was just a 0/1 while Ajani's Pridemate was a 3/3 in short order.

Antonino had to Lightning Bolt himself (use a fetchland for Steam Vents ) in order to finish off the Pridemate while he could, and with a flipped Insectile Aberration and Tarmogoyf he presented some beatdowns.

The problem with these beatdowns was that Thiel's deck works on a different axis to most, and he demonstrated as such by casting first Soul Warden #2, then Soul's Attendent. With so much lifegain it would be hard for red zoning it to cause much traction.

Threads of DisloyaltySoul Warden

Threads of Disloyalty stole a Soul Warden , meaning that Spectral Procession didn't mean too terribly crazy a life swing for Thiel, but this was cold comfort for De Rosa. He cast Garruk Relentless , and used the planeswalker to kill off Soul Warden , saddened to see another from his opponent soon thereafter. Life totals were going the wrong direction for Ant.

Life totals were 25 to 19 in Thiel's favour after he cast a Squadron Hawk , finding three more. Thiel went for Garruk, forcing De Rosa to lose his Soul Warden in a trade with Soul's Attendent in order to keep Garruk around. Garruk used his remaining loyalty to trade Delver of Secrets up to Huntmaster of the Fells . Lifegain, lifegain everywhere.

Huntmaster soon flipped, killing off a Spirit token and dealing Thiel two. It was just as well it did, as Honor of the Pure suddenly increased the attacking power of Thiel's team a great deal. Snapcaster Mage from De Rosa let him use Lightning Bolt to further cut down Thiel's squad, though it continued to grow to some extent thanks to Squadron Hawk . More Huntmaster of the Fells came from De Rosa, giving him quite the pack of Wolves.

Mikaeus the Lunarch as a 4/4 with 3 counters (thanks to Honor of the Pure ) gave De Rosa pause. He attacked with his pack, dropping Thiel to 10, before letting his Huntmasters flip. After a little thought, De Rosa pointed both of his Huntmaster triggers at the same hawk, to ensure it died. Thiel went to 6, and started doing combat math. De Rosa was on 13, which seemed a big ask. He cast Serra Ascendent and Ajani's Pridemate , which would cause those Huntmasters to flip again – important as he wouldn't survive their trampling attack.

Antonino had Snapcaster Mage for Lightning Bolt , in order that his wolf pack was able to attack for just enough. The finals would go to a deciding game.

On the play, Thiel led with Soul's Attendant . This found a Burst Lightning aimed at it, only to be hit by a Path to Exile from Thiel first.

"Old Antonino would have cast this Delver on turn 1" remarked De Rosa, who was learning what to do against the lifegain deck fast. He had a Spell Pierce ready for Spectral Procession , and a Mana Leak for the next one.

Michael Thiel

While his Delver of Secrets didn't flip for a few turns, Ant was doing a good job of keeping in control, using Snapcaster Mage to allow a Spell Pierce on a third Spectral Procession .

The beatdowns were soon coming. Tarmogoyf entered the battlefield and was soon joined by Phyrexian Metamorph . Delver of Secrets flipped to a Burst Lightning , which was kicked to off Ajani's Pridemate from Thiel.

Antonino was bouncing in his seat. Thiel was at just 5 life. Ratchet Bomb got rid of Insectile Aberration , and Path to Exile removed Tarmogoyf .

"I have bad news for you" smiled Antonino. "You're dead. That Ratchet Bomb in your graveyard makes my Goyf a 5/6."

Thiel double checked, and laughed to himself as he extended his hand. In that moment, Antonino de Rosa became the champion of Grand Prix Turin 2012!

Top 5 Cards

We've had a great weekend here in Turin watching what the Modern format has become, and here are five cards that some up quite how awesome things have been here in sunny Italy.

Gifts Ungiven

The Gifts that keep on giving have performed a whole variety of tricks over the course of GP Turin. With Snapcaster Mage in the mix, along with Lingering Souls , it can set up some terrifying decisions. More exciting, there is the interaction with Unburial Rites and the likes of Elesh Norn or Iona, Shield of Emeria . Fetching just those two forces your opponent to let you put them in the graveyard, for an effective reanimation plan.

The sauciest bit of gifts play though came from Jose Luis Velazquez though. His storm deck eschewed Pyromancer Ascension , instead fetching up 4 cards with Gifts Ungiven , which would typically include Past in Flames for a big kill.

Relic of Progenitus

The little sideboard card that could has become maindeckable now, and to brutal effect. Decks like red/green Tron can leverage the card in similar fashion to Prophetic Prism for the card draw on the occasions where it is not so good, and in the matchups where it is good, it can feel highly unfair. With flashback everywhere, and Tarmogoyf s running rampant, it seems that the times that it doesn't do much don't come up all so often.

Path to Exile

Never has exiling a creature rather than killing it been better. Graveyard interactions, be they persist or undying, even running Unburial Rites are a great reason to make sure that when creatures are gone, they are really gone. Dead just isn't good enough. It isn't new or flashy, but when it gets flashed back with Snapcaster Mage , it is always good. On occasion, it sometimes even gets used as cheeky mana acceleration too!

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

This was a good weekend for combo all in all, but Thalia is one addition that has snuck into a great many decks to try to break up that plan. With Thalia out, not only are opponents on a bit of a clock, but combo kills involving ritual effects tend not to work out so well. Thalia is exactly the kind of tempo play that makes honest to goodness aggro decks able to really compete in a room replete with decks that at first glance appear to be doing thing that are 'unfair'.

Soul Warden

This one is kind of funny, but actually really well placed for Modern right now. It is surprising how many strategies get quite a lot worse when Soul Warden is doing her thing. Splinter Twin doesn't get the kill. RUG has a lot harder time dealing 25 or 30 damage than it does 20. Straight races seem a little crooked. This was how Michael Thiel saw things. His Soul Sisters deck powered him all the way to the finals based on exactly that premise. While Martyr of Sands is often viewed as the core of the deck, those soul sisters ( Soul Warden and Soul's Attendent) are frequently enough on their own to put many games out of reach.