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Anteri Completes his 3 2 1 in Warsaw!

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The letter H!aving finished 3rd at Grand Prix London, and 2nd at Grand Prix Antwerp, Fabrizio Anteri has had an incredible season which has only gotten better as we have travelled further into Theros block. Now, with Journey into Nyx, the Venezuelan is able to hoist a winners trophy high above his head - the perfect preparation for Pro Tour Journey into Nyx next weekend.

Just over 1,000 players came to Warsaw to play with the new set, and the trials of this third chapter of Theros block challenged established pros and newcomers alike. We've seen winning ways from many types of strategies, but those calling on the power of green decks have been particularly successful here - potentially a portent of things to come as we venture to the Pro Tour.

Within the Top 8, Anteri's blue green deck showcased this angle on the format beautifully. With Golden Hind powering out powerful monsters at a great pace, he was able to cut through all that stood in his way, with Mistcutter Hydra frequently coming as the final exclamation point on some very explosive draws.

As the hall darkens, the impact of Journey into Nyx is just beginning to be felt. For many of the players here, including our champion, there is a voyage to the other side of the globe for the Pro Tour. For tonight though, it is time to celebrate the victory of Fabrizio Anteri, the winner of Grand Prix Warsaw 2014!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Sergiy Sushalskyy   Bernhard Lehner, 2-1        
8 Bernhard Lehner   Javier Dominguez, 2-0
       
4 Javier Dominguez   Javier Dominguez, 2-1   Fabrizio Anteri, 2-0
5 Ivan Floch    
       
2 Ben Yu   Ben Yu, 2-0
7 Daniel Fior   Fabrizio Anteri, 2-1
       
3 Fabrizio Anteri   Fabrizio Anteri, 2-1
6 Nicolas Vanderhallen    











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  • Top 8 Profiles

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Sergiy Sushalskyy

    Age: 30
    Hometown: Kiev, Ukraine
    Occupation: Sales manager


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Won a couple of FNMs.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    I played Green-White Heroic with a lot of creatures and combat tricks. 7-2.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    In the first draft I played a black-green midrange deck with Reaper of the Wilds. 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    An aggressive red-green deck with Harness by Force being the best card. 3-0.




    Nicolas Vanderhallen

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Antwerp, Belgium
    Occupation: Sales executive


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    A PTQ win and a PTQ Top 8, and Day 2 at Pro Tour Born of the Gods.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Green-Blue Midrange. My best cards were Noble Quarry, Fated Intervention, and Wavecrash Triton, but Noble Quarry won me most of my games.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Red-Black Aggro, 3-0. Lots of removal but my best card was Spiteful Returned.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Blue-Black Tempo, 1-1-1. Best card was Shipwreck Singer which almost single-handedly won my second round.




    Daniel Fior

    Age: 28
    Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
    Occupation: Wanderer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Three Grand Prix Top 8s, never cashed at a Pro Tour.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Black-white, Whip of Erebos, 8-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Red-white, Lightning Diadem, 2-1. Deck was bad!

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Black-red, two Ordeals, 3-0.




    Bernhard Lehner

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Vienna, Austria.
    Occupation: Student, Magic player


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Austrian National champion 2009, Team Worlds finals 2009, Grand Prix Top 8s in Verona, Valencia … and a couple of Top 32 finishes.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Kiora's Follower, Retraction Helix. 9-0.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Same as in Sealed. 2-1.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Same as before. 1-0-2.




    Javier Dominguez

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Palau, de Plegamans, Spain
    Occupation: Grinder


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Won Grand Prix Paris 2014.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Polukranos, World Eater, green-red, 8-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Prophet of Kruphix, blue-green, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Nyx-Fleec Ram, 1-0.




    Fabrizio Anteri

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Venezuelan living in London, England.
    Occupation:


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    White-red, Celestial Archon, 4-2.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    White-black walls and removal, Scholar of Athreos, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    White-black walls and removal, Scholar of Athreos, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    White-red, Mogis's Warhound, 3-0.




    Ben Yu

    Age: 28
    Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
    Occupation: Poker player


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Qualified for my first Pro Tour (Born of the Gods) after only playing Magic for one year. It's the reason I'm still in Europe and here at this Grand Prix.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Red-Black Control, Sigiled Skink, 7-1-1.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Green-White Aggro, Nyx-Fleece Ram (Baaaa!), 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Green-black, Eidolon of Blossoms, 2-1. Eidolon was so good Ivan Floch used a card to kill it, then Fated Returned it.




    Ivan Floch

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Occupation: Professional tourist


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    2010 Team World champion, winner Grand Prix Lisbon 2012.

    What was the best card in your sealed deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Black-green, Courser of Kruphix, 9-0.

    What was the best card in your first draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Red-Green Aggro, Fall of the Hammer, 3-0.

    What was the best card in your second draft deck, what color combination did you play, and what was your record?
    Blue-Black Control, Daring Thief—the more junk you have the better card Daring Thief is. And he was insane in this deck … 1-1-1.




     

  • Top 8 Decklists

    by Tim Willoughby


  • How do you think your draft went? I think it went quite well. My deck looks quite good. One thing I’ve learned about this format though is that sometimes having a deck that looks good doesn’t mean everything will work out... we’ll see.


    How do you feel your draft went? I don’t have enough experience to be able to tell you for sure. I think the deck is weak, but the card pool may have been weak. We’ll see how it goes...


    How do you feel your draft went? I feel like it’s a trainwreck... I have these five cards (two Akroan Skyguard, two Akroan Mastiff, Hopeful Eidolon), but then these blue cards...


    How do you think your draft went? We’re going to be the last match going each round! I have a lot of options. With three Grim Guardians, two Gray Merchant of Asphodel and a Scholar of Athreos, my deck certainly has some reach!


    How do you feel about your draft deck? I think it’s really good. Not the best ever, but I think I have my chances.


    How do you think your draft went? I think it went pretty well. I have some very powerful cards. Once I get to four mana I feel fine! I just need to get there.


    How do you feel your draft went? Am I for sure 4th seed? My strategy is very much to play first!


    How do you feel your draft went? Horrible. For some reason I kept drafting white and it wasn’t coming. I have no two drops and also I doubt that I can build anything aggressive from this...




     

  • Quarterfinals

    by Tobi Henke

  • Bernhard Lehner versus Sergiy Sushalskyy (L–R)

    In the first game, Sushalskyy, playing red-white, brought the beats with, amongst other, heavy-hitting Minotaurs Kragma Butcher and Fanatic of Mogis. Lehner's blue-black deck was more about small incremental advantages achieved through Sigiled Starfish and Siren of the Silent Song. He tried to race, but despite Sudden Storm to buy more time was not succesful.

    In the second game, Sushalskyy was stuck on three lands for far too long. When Lehner added Siren of the Fanged Coast to his team of Omenspeaker and Forlorn Pseudamma, Sushalskyy had but one creature ... and then one.

    Unfortunately the final game was largely decided by Sushalskyy's mulligan to four. Lehner, having himself mulliganed to six, was able to recover much better, stole a creature with Siren of the Fanged Coast and later the Siren even returned as a 4/4 via Voyage's End. It wasn't pretty, but at least, it meant that this was the first quarterfinal match to finish.

    Bernhard Lehner 2-1 Sergiy Sushalskyy

    Javier Dominguez versus Ivan Floch (L–R)

    Here it was Javier Dominguez's blue-white fliers against Ivan Floch's green-white monsters. Supply-Line Cranes, Akroan Skyguard with Stratus Walk, and Deepwater Hypnotist with Crystalline Nautilus put the pressure on Floch who fought back with Deserter's Quarters, Ravenous Leucrocota, and Hydra Broodmaster. The 7/7, later 10/10, and its three 3/3s made the race close, but Dominguez decided it for himself. The unlikely key plays in that were Breaching Hippocamp and Crypsis—particularly good against Deserter's Quarters.

    For the second game, Dominguez was stuck on four Islands, even after Divination, and facing two early creatures plus Feral Invocation. He cast Chorus of Tides, tried to draw out of his color screw via Stratus Walk only to meet Shredding Winds, and never recovered.

    Akroan Skyguard plus Stratus Walk followed by Supply-Line Cranes constituted Dominguez's offense for the deciding game, while Floch's deck had trouble to get going. When Dominguez cast Voyage's End on Floch's single creature it was soon over.

    Javier Dominguez 2-1 Ivan Floch

    Fabrizio Anteri versus Nicolas Vanderhallen (L–R)

    Font of Fertility and an early Ordeal of Nylea gave Fabrizio Anteri a huge mana boost in his green-on-green match against Nicolas Vanderhallen. The latter fought back valiantly with Necrobite and Bow of Nylea, but when the Bow was lost to Unravel the Æther, Anteri could ride his fatties to victory.

    Then it was Vanderhallen's turn to have the upper hand mana-wise. He hit his opponent's only Island with Desecration Plague, severely crippling Anteri's development. This gave him enough time to stall the board with Servant of Tymaret and other creatures. Eventually Noble Quarry and Bow of Nylea took over the game.

    Time for game three, and here it again was Anteri who set the pace, with Golden Hind, Kiora's Follower, Chorus of the Tides. Even Bow of Nylea couldn't help Vanderhallen, as Anteri smoothly bestowed Boon Satyr on his flier. Finally, Anteri's Mistcutter Hydra sealed the deal.

    Fabrizio Anteri 2-1 Nicolas Vanderhallen

    Ben Yu versus Daniel Fior (L–R)

    Even though this match took the longest to actually finish, it was the most decisive victory. Ben Yu had well enough removal for Daniel Fior's blue-black deck's few fliers and just about the most massive ground defense imaginable. In the first game, Yu's two Grim Guardians and Nyx-Fleece Ram held the fort, while starting to work on Fior's lifetotal. Then, Doomwake Giant plus Armamnet of Nyx finished the job.

    The second game again started with Grim Guardian and Nyx-Fleec Ram for Yu, and his Scholar of Athreos meant he hardly even needed the Gray Merchant of Asphodel and second Grim Guardian. Although it did speed up the process of draining all of Fior's life, of course.

    Ben Yu 2-0 Daniel Fior




     

  • Semifinals

    by Tim Willoughby

  • Javier Dominguez vs Bernhard Lehner

    Bernhard Lehner's turn three Siren of the Silent Song met a little sigh and a Voyage's End from Javier Dominguez. He used the time to cast Caller of the Tides, which traded with it only to see a Sealock Monster come along next. Against a board with plenty of Islands, the monster represented quite the clock, and a follow up Sigiled Starfish was a neat bit of filtering action.

    Bernhard Lehner

    Dominguez needed a way to fight back, and found it in Supply-Line Cranes, who were soon enchanted with Hopeful Eidolon. That would redress some of the life balance, but with the giant octopus soon becoming monstrous, it remained a losing race.

    Dominguez had the air force, and in spite of a Voyage's End to set back his cranes, was able to chip away gradually at Lehner's life too. Akroan Skyguard joined the team, and it didn't take many heroic triggers to make it a credible threat. The challenge for Lehner was figuring out just how big a threat. He had a Sphinx's Disciple, and the opportunity to block. Without a trick, he would be safe, and able to attack back for potentially lethal. He took a risk, letting the attack through. The trick was there though, and it was on to game two.

    Javier Dominguez 1 - 0 Bernhard Lehner

    Game two saw a lack of early lands for Dominguez, who cast a desperation Crystalline Nautilus and tried to get stuck in with it. Voyage's End killed it off, leaving Lehner with most of the early action. Fortunately for Dominguez, by action, we mean Sigiled Starfish activations. Lehner's deck had three, and he wasn't shy about using them.

    Dominguez got up to four lands, and plopped a Chorus of the Tides into play. By this point Lehner's only real threat was Forlorn Pseudamma. The life totals were actually marginally in Dominguez' favour, though his board was not likely to fill as quickly as his opponent's.

    Javier Dominguez

    Crypsis allowed Chorus of the Tides to ambush a Sphinx's Disciple, but Lehner was still well ahead, and Dominguez, who hadn't drawn his second colour, looked flustered.

    When Dominguez finally found a Plains, he was able to use it for his get out of jail free card - Hopeful Eidolon. When played on a flier, he was able to win back some of the life he'd lost, and present a clock in the air. He had a Breaching Hippocamp, but it was stuck unable to do much attacking through Lehner's creatures on the ground.

    Lehner had the trump for this in Sip of Hemlock, but a Stratus Walk and Mortal Ardor on the Hippocamp was just enough to allow Dominguez to race in the air.

    Javier Dominguez wins 2-0


    Ben Yu vs Fabrizio Anteri

    Ben Yu's black white deck had nickel and dimed its way through the quarterfinals with little chips of damage from a variety of sources. While he had a Scholar of Athreos in game one of the semi-finals, along with a Keepsake Gorgon, this time his opponent, Fabrizio Anteri of Italy, had a tougher collection of threats, in Pheres-Band Trompers, Snake of the Golden Grove and Chorus of the Tides.

    Yu had to lean on something a little bigger, and found it in Doomwake Giant, who soon got enchanted with Cavern Lampads.

    Ben Yu

    Fabrizio Anteri's blue green deck created a potentially game ending threat in a Boon Satyr bestow on Chorus of the Tides. Yu's answer? Weight of the Underworld. Now there was an honest to goodness race on, and one of the two players had a Scholar of Athreos and nine lands.

    Armaments of Nyx form Yu took one of Anteri's creatures out of the equation, and that was enough to put Yu ahead in the race. Shortly thereafter Anteri scooped up his cards - it was on to game two.

    Ben Yu 1 - 0 Fabrizio Anteri

    The second game started with a Nyx-Fleece Ram, signalling a potentially long uphill struggle for Fabrizio Anteri. Yu was able to fight off early inspire creatures with a pair of copies of Excoriate, and to gain enough life off the ram not to be afraid of those attachers that did make it through. He had drawn the first of his three copies of Grim Guardian, and that represented the only early damage he'd achieved. It would not be the last.

    Moonmist Titan came down for Yu, and was soon enchanted with Cavern Lampad, triggering that Guardian. Anteri had a plan though. His big green deck was going to make some big green monsters.

    Pheres-Band Thunderhoof was enchanted with a Boon Satyr. That was enough to first kill off a blocking Nyx-Fleece Ram, and next to knock chunks off Yu's life total. Yu looked pretty safe at 19 life. Anteri knew differently though. He took a swing from Yu, and then had a 5/5 Mistcutter Hydra to add to his forces. That was enough to power out a swing for exactly lethal. This match would be going to a game three.

    Ben Yu 1 - 1 Fabrizio Anteri

    The third game saw an early Swordwise Centaur from Anteri, which didn't quite match up how he might have liked against a Scholar of Athreos. He attacked in regardless, and Yu was quick to block without being punished for it. Yu had been taking careful note of the cards he'd seen from Anteri, and consulted them before attacking with the 1/4, and casting Cavern Lampad.

    The Lampad got one hit in before being dealt with by Unravel the Æther. This left Yu with a lackluster board of just lands and a scholar, while Anteri was gradually gaining traction casting ever more threats, including the flyer Chorus of the Tides, who would be unperturbed by scholarly blockers.

    Fabrizio Anteri

    Doomwake Giant changed the face of the board. the 4/6 effectively shut down ground attacks, and Yu had a fair read that there would not be combat tricks forthcoming from Anteri to deal with it. Anteri didn't need combat tricks though. Banishing Light exiled the powerful rare, again allowing the Italian to swing in with his squad.

    Yu took his lumps, before casting Weight of the Underworld to kill off Chorus of the Tides, and Archetype of Courage to make a stab at holding the ground. Anteri's board wasn't big enough to tangle with much first strike, so he made a move to improve it, with a 7/7 Mistcutter Hydra. Yu, at 8 life, elected to go to 1 life rather than block. Anteri had three creatures, so he'd need something special the following turn to stay in things.

    Aerial Formation from Anteri was the hammer-blow. While he couldn't make his Hydra fly, he didn't need to. Any creature would do, so he gave Kiora's Follower the honour of flying him into the finals.

    Fabrizio Anteri wins 2-1 over Ben Yu




     

  • Finals – Fabrizio Anteri vs. Javier Dominguez

    by Tobi Henke

  • This was Fabrizio Anteri's third run at winning a Grand Prix. In his first Top 8, at last year's Grand Prix London, he ended up in third place, in his second Top 8, later in the year in Antwerp, he made it all the way to the finals, so now it was time for a win, right? Definitely not agreeing with such frivolous superstition was Javier Dominguez who had won a Grand Prix in his first Top 8 in Paris three months ago and was now looking to claim a second trophy.

    Anteri had drafted a blue-green deck with a tiny splash of white, whereas Dominguez was on Blue-White Heroic. White heroic decks had been the bane of Limited Grand Prix for the past months, but so far at this event, it appeared as if green was ready to take over. Would it do so now?

    Game 1

    Though Anteri missed a land drop, Font of Fertility and Sylvan Caryatid meant he still was able to cast Snake of the Golden Grove on turn four. Meanwhile, Dominguez combined Deepwater Hypnotist with Mortal Obstinacy—a lot of effort to create a power-3 attacker, though it managed to kill the 2/4 Snake of the Golden Grove with the help of Battlewise Valor. And Dominguez added yet more pressure in Supply-Line Cranes and Akroan Skyguard enchanted with another Fate Foretold.

    Javier Dominguez

    However, Anteri cast Nessian Game Warden and Aerie Worshippers, and equipped the latter with Siren Song Lyre to create a deadly combination of tapper/token producer which threatened to take over the game. Then, however, he tried to do one better and bestowed Hopeful Eidolon upon his Nessian Game Warden. Dominguez had Kiora's Dismissal. Anteri tried again on the next turn, and this time Dominguez had Voyage's End for Nessian Game Warden.

    In the meantime, Anteri had fallen so low on life that he wasn't able to recast his 4/5, instead needing to spend his mana on Siren Song Lyre. And that would have been well enough, if it had not been for Dominguez's Oppressive Rays. Anteri was forced to move Siren Song Lyre to Hopeful Eidolon and found a new combo with Kiora's Follower.

    Dominguez's own Hopeful Eidolon, however, turned Deepwater Hypnotist into a serious threat again. So now Dominguez had three creatures Anteri needed to deal with, but he could only tap two with Siren Song Lyre plus Kiora's Follower. He went down to 1 life.

    Actually, though, with all his mana, Anteri could also do something else. Like, for example cast a hugely massive Mistcutter Hydra to attack for lethal damage. And that is exactly what he did now.

    Fabrizio Anteri 1-0 Javier Dominguez

    "That was a close one," said Dominguez, and Anteri agreed: "Phew. Yeah, it was."

    Game 2

    It had also been a long game, though the second would make up for it. To make it short: After a mulligan, Dominguez had a total of nine lands among his first 12 cards and his three spells were Crystalline Nautilus (which died to Sylvan Caryatid wielding Siren Song Lyre), Akroan Mastiff (which was subsequently always tapped via Siren Song Lyre), and Oppressive Rays (which didn't do a lot since both players had rather more than enough lands).

    Fabrizio Anteri

    In the end, it was again Mistcutter Hydra that finished the game, though that was largely academic.

    Fabrizio Anteri 1-0 Javier Dominguez




     

  • Top 5 Cards

    by Tim Willoughby and Tobi Henke

  • These were the cards that shaped the tournament, that sparked discussions and were the most debated, the cards that won games and turned Grand Prix Warsaw into an event to remember.



    5. Sigiled Starfish

    Tomoharu Saito ranked the Starfish third on his list of commons from Journey into Nyx and even first-picked it over Ajani, Mentor of Heroes; Denniz Rachid called it his favorite first pick, Alessandro Portaro started his second draft with back-to-back Starfishes, and many more considered it to be underrated still. Top 8 member Bernhard Lehner drafted a deck which made it to the semifinals with three of the little blighters, and was never sad to draw one. While the 0/3 creature's influence on the game isn't always as immediate or as noticeable as with other top cards on this list, the pros were fully in agreement: this fish is a real star!







    4. Golden Hind

    By all the data available to us, the color which gained the most from the introduction of Journey into Nyx into the Limited mix clearly was green. One of the players who had figured this out was Frank Karsten who credited Golden Hind in particular for many of his wins. While he didn't make the Top 8 to put these ideas into practice, it's clear that he wasn't the only one to hold Golden Hind in high regard. Fabrizio Anteri put two copies to great use in his blue green deck, powering out huge threats including a frequently massive Mistcutter Hydra with this innocuous looking common.







    3. Daring Thief

    Olle Rade described Daring Thief as one of the rares he was most interested in building around in Journey Into Nyx draft, and it seems he wasn't the only one. While the little mischief-maker might take a little bit of work to get going, trading your worst permanents for some of your opponents' best is a game changing ability appreciated by many. Tomoharu Saito did good work with his, sometimes using his own Akroan Mastiffs to tap it, and on occasion even getting to pull off the saucy combo of Retraction Helix to tap the thief, and bounce a permanent already exchanged. Do not be fooled, this little fellow steals games.







    2. Akroan Mastiff

    There has been a long and storied history of white creatures that tap down the opposition. By and large these creatures have cost about two. As such when the big dog comes along with his big price tag, it is easy to initially react a little negatively to him. Learn to love the big dog though. He'll keep you safe by tapping down some of the most massive monsters Magic has ever seen, as Theros block limited is a place filled with really big threats.

    Even better than just that though, Akroan Mastiff works beautifully with the likes of inspire creatures such as King Macar, the Gold-Cursed. Tapping has never been a more relevant ability, and cards like Akroan Mastiff and Siren Song Lyre have been instrumental in wins all weekend long.





    1. Nessian Game Warden

    Many Pros have referred to Nessian Game Warden as being 'the green Mulldrifter'. For five mana you get a whole lot. For a kick off there's that 4/5 body - a threat that cannot be ignored on most boards. On top of that though, you will almost certainly be drawing a creature, and in many cases it will be the best creature of a few different options. Great on more or less any turn of the game, this is just one of the threats that have pushed green over the top as the colour to play at GP Warsaw.






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