Although it's already round 4, this will be the first time that Fabian Dickmann and Fabrizio Anteri will be playing today. Both veterans started the day with 3 byes; in Anteri's case, he locked up Gold after a very successful last season.
Anteri decided to try his luck with the Jund Planewalker archetype that proved most successful during the Constructed rounds of last weekend's Pro Tour. Dickmann on the other hand went with Green–White Aggro.
Fabian Dickmann wanted to add another great result to his resume this weekend!
In the first game, Dickmann had an extremely aggressive opening with Experiment One, followed by Voice of Resurgence and a second Experiment One together with a second Voice of Resurgence on his third turn!
Unfortunately for the Venezuelan, his deck didn't provide him with said threats and that's when Dickmann pulled ahead, courtesy of two copies of Loxodon Smiter to trigger his copies of Experiment One.
Anteri had to come up with something and fast!
The following turns, Anteri tried to fight back with Nissa, Worldwaker, but Dickmann had a Banishing Light to deal with it. Anteri then tried again with Xenagos, the Reveler and this attempt proved slightly more successful.
Still, Dickmann was far ahead and the following attacks left Anteri on a meager 3 life. Anteri continued to try and stabilize with a fresh copy of Courser of Kruphix and he took out one copy of Experiment One with Ultimate Price, but he now only had 3 blockers while Dickmann had 4 attackers.
After inviting Soldier of the Pantheon to his party and evolving his newly cast Experiment One, the German once again turned his cards sideways; after the dust settled, Anteri was left with just 1 life!
Anteri was standing on the brink of defeat.
Mizzium Mortars dealt with the last bigger threat that Dickmann controlled and for the first time in a long time, we didn't see any attacks for two turns in a row. Things got worse for the twin when Anteri found an Abrupt Decay to free his Nissa, Worldwaker and with not one but two active Planeswalkers, the game was suddenly shifting in Anteri's direction!
Dickmann found an Advent of the Wurm, but with Anteri having more than enough blockers to deal with it, he refrained from attacking with the token. "Ajani for the win!", Anteri encouraged his opponent, but Dickmann didn't find his own Planeswalker. Anteri then felt it was safe to cast Thoughtseize, he added a fifth Satyr, his fourth land turned into a 4/4 and when he announced that he would now turn everything sideways after doing some maths, Dickmann decided to access his sideboard.
Fabrizio Anteri takes the lead!
"A lot of bang!", Anteri commented after taking a peek at Dickmann's hand with a Thoughtseize. The German had already invited Experiment One to his party, but he would miss his turn 2 play Voice of Resurgence thanks to the black Spell.
Anteri was able to slow his opponent down thanks to a crucial Thoughtseize!
Once again, Dickmann was the one to dictate the pace with a Loxdon Smiter and a Boon Satyr after. Anteri, who soon found himself on just 9 life, found Xenagos, the Reveler, however, and the Planeswalker once again started to put in work.
It seemed like a more evenly matched fight this time around thanks to Dickmann finding his own Planeswalker, Ajani, Caller of the Pride, but that changed when a one-two punch in form of Mizzium Mortars and Dreadbore took down Dickmann's threats.
Without anything left to use Ajani's effect on, Anteri now decided to aim for face rather than his opponent's Planeswalker, turning the whole match upside down!
Fabrizio Anteri was now sitting in the driver's seat!
Dickmann tried to hang on, using Banishing Light to get rid of Xenagos, the Reveler and Fleecemane Lion to provide him with some field presence, but Anteri found yet another Planeswalker: Vraska the Unseen.
When the Venezuelan found a Golgari Charm to free Xenagos, the Reveler, Dickmann was simply shaking his head in disbelief. The following attacks made it 3 on Dickmann, he tried to come back with Advent of the Wurm, but Anteri immediately found an Abrupt Decay to deal with it. "Good games", Dickmann declared and he extended the hand.
Fabrizio Anteri overcomes Fabian Dickmann 2 - 0!
After the match, I caught up with Fabrizio Anteri and asked him about the successful season that was now behind him. This is what he told me: "I'm still having fun - all of this is still very new for me. I still to consider the game a hobby and I'm not taking it too seriously."
So will anything change in the new year?
Anteri: "I will try to free up more time to play Magic and I will attend all the Pro Tours, but I'm not taking it too hard if I'm not all that successful. So basically, I couldn't be happier with my result last year and I'm looking forward to the things to come."
What is your target for the new year?
Anteri: "My target for the new year is Platinum, but if I can "just" make Gold again, I will still be happy. And even if worse comes to worse and I don't end up making Gold again, I will still continue playing, but probably focus a bit more on Sealed."