Both players are Legacy veterans, but it is also the first MKM Series Top8 for both players. Having made it so far, both players were eager to take the last step to be crowned our Legacy champion.
Stefano got to play first, but had to mulligan down to five cards. He was playing Storm, while Julian was on his pet deck Elves. Stefano started with a Preordain, while Julian summoned a Deathrite Shaman on his first turn, one of his few angles of interaction with the opposing combo deck. Stefano kept digging for mana with a Brainstorm, but had no follow up land and passed the turn afterwards. Julian proceeded to play Gaddock Teeg, which prompted a concession from Stefano, who didn't have an answer to the little wise man.
Julian took the lead!
“It's a problem” – Stefano Mauri pointing at Gaddock Teeg
While this appeared like a distinct victory for Julian on the surface, Stefano claimed that he would have won on his third if it wasn't for the Gaddock. A second land might even have been enough to win the turn before Gaddock came down.
“It's a problem should be the flavour text of this card (Gaddock Teeg)” – Julian Knab
Going into game two it was Julian's turn to take a mulligan this time around.
Stefano fetched out an Underground Sea to cast Ponder. Julian had a Deathrite Shaman, and Stefano saw this hand with a Gitaxian Probe on the next turn.
Cabal Therapy got rid of the Gaddock Teeg and Lion's Eye Diamond was deployed. Julian used Crop Rotation and Green Sun's Zenith to get a Wirewood Symbiote and a Birchlore Ranger into play, before Thoughtseize discarded Cabal Ritual from an unexciting hand.
Stefano topdecked the best possible card in his dire situation – a Brainstorm – and went into the tank. Game speed had been extremely fast so far on both sides, signaling both players' Legacy expertise. Stefano decided it was time to go off: Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Infernal Tutor, getting Past in Flames. With Past in Flames on the Stack Julian responded with two Deathrite Shaman activations thanks to the Symbiote, getting rid of a fetchland and the Infernal Tutor. That was not enough though, as Ponder found another Lion's Eye Diamond and Tendrils of Agony, Lion's Eye Diamond was cast, as was Gitaxian Probe drawing the Tendrils, which was lethal due to the rest of the graveyard getting flashbacked as well.
The players were tied at 1-1
Stefano mulliganed to six in the deciding game three, keeping his scry on top. Julian had Deathrite Shaman as usual, before Gitaxian Probe revealed this hand:
Cabal Therapy discarded Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Julian played a second Deathrite Shaman and Wirewood Symbiote once again. Stefano had no action on his second turn. Julian played Llanowar Elf, cursed about a supposed misplay on his part, attacked for 2 damage and passed the turn. Stefano played a Ponder, fetched afterwards and kept digging with Brainstorm, but had to pass once more after adding a Lotus Petal to the board. A hardcast Craterhoof Behemoth threatened to make Julian's team lethal. Stefano had a surprising Echoing Truth on the two Deathrite Shamans, shocking Julian and the audience for a few seconds, but a quick recount revealed that the rest of the creatures were still attacking for lethal amounts of damage.
Congratulations to Julian Knab – our MKMS Milan Legacy champion!