In the first Vintage Top 8 match of the MagicCardMarket Series Milan we took a closer look at Andrea Mengucci. He was not only a well known pro player but had also brought up a very exiting and new version of an old Vintage archetype. Mengucci had managed to fight his way through the swiss rounds with a Saheeli Oath deck. His opponent Luca Lovino did also quiet well and ensured his place in the Top 8 playing UWR Monastery Mentor.
Both players started the quarterfinal with a mulligan. Going down to six cards Lovino kept while Mengucci continued with his mulligans. He was happy with his new five cards and kept. He started the match with Polluted Delta go.
On his first turn Lovino payed two life for Gitaxian Probe and saw Mengucci's hand:
Lovino continued with Scalding Tarn fetching Tundra and played Preordain and passed the turn.
Mengucci tried to resovle an Oath of Druids but Lovino didn’t hesitate to counter the Oath with Force of Will pitching another Force. After “land go” in Lovino's turn, Mengucci tapped out for Dack Fayden but Lovino had a second Force pitching Mental Misstep. Lovino used his turn to cast Gush and Treasure Cruise to ensure that he doesn’t run out of cards for the next turns. The next card Megucci tried to resolve was Sensei's Divining Top which got countered by Lovino’s Mental Misstep. During his own turn he played Library of Alexandria and passed. Mengucci tried to disrupt Lovino’s full hand with Balance while no creatures were on the battlefield and Mengucci having two cards in hand. This was just another spell from him which Lovino didn’t allow to resolve with another Force pitching Mental Misstep. After that Mengucci managed to resolve Jace, the Mind Sculptor and brainstormed using the Planeswalker’s ability.
It seemed like Lovino had run out of countermagic because Mengucci's next card Oath of Druids resolved as well. With no answers in the maindeck Lovino scooped and we went on to game 2.
Andrea Mengucci took the lead 1-0
After sideboarding both players were happy with their opening hand and Lovino started again with Gitaxian Probe, Mox Sapphire and Misty Rainforest.
On his first turn Mengucci played Forbidden Orchard and tried to resolve Sol Ring which got countered by Mental Misstep. Lovino played a land and attacked with the Spirit token he got of the Orchard. Oath of Druids was Mengucci's next card but Lovino countered with Force pitching Gitaxian Probe. On his own turn Lovino attacked with two Spirit tokens and passed the turn. Only to counter again Menguccis Dig Through Time with Flusterstorm. A few turns later Mengucci’s lifetotal had become low due to the Spirit token beatdowns.
After Lovino flashed in Containment Priest, Mengucci scooped since the next attack would have been lethal.
Loving catched up 1-1
Again both players kept their first seven cards and Mengucci started the last game with Black Lotus using the three mana to cast Sensei's Divining Top and using both abilities of the artifact. Lovino continued his former playstyle by countering nearly all spells Mengucci tried to cast. When he tried to flash in Containment Priest after a mainphase Gush, a counterwar was unleashed with Mengucci taking the lead with Mindbreak Trap that exiled the Priest and all other counters Lovino used to protect it. Lovino’s next threat was no other than Monastery Mentor. Mengucci bounced the Mentor with Jace, the Mind Sculptor but this was only a temporary solution.
The Mentor and one Monk token attacked Mengucci’s lifetotal and Planeswalkers like Jace and Saheeli. After a few turns with Mengucci unable to find any answer Lovino took the game and the match.
Luca Lovino won 2-1