This was it. After eight rounds of Swiss plus quarter- and semifinals, with 115 others eliminated, it all came down to one more match to determine the Modern champion. To be precise, it came down to an Affinity mirror match.

However, these two Affinity decks likely had less in common than any two Affinity decks in recent history. Whereas Riccardo Cecolin was running a regular stock list, as usual nowadays without any affinity cards, Domenica Di Noia was commanding a full set of both Frogmite and Myr Enforcer.

Game 1

Cecolin played first, but Di Noia had the more explosive draw. On his turn two, his Memnite, two Ornithopter, Vault Skirge, Signal Pest, Frogmite, and Myr Enforcer were facing Cecolin's Memnite, Arcbound Ravager, and Ornithopter.

Domenico Di Noia off to a great start

With the help of Galvanic Blast, another Ornithopter, and some Arcbound Ravager action, Cecolin almost stabilized. Before long his 3/5 Ornithopter was facing a board reduced to Signal Pest, two Ornithopter, and Vault Skirge, and Cecolin was still on double-digit life totals too. However, Di Noia had just found an Arcbound Ravager himself and attacked with all of his creatures into the solitary blocker.

Signal Pest was blocked. Interestingly enough, this made Di Noia sacrifice most of his board, including all of his other creatures except for Vault Skirge, to generate a 5/6 Signal Pest.

The decision paid off. A couple of turns later, Cecolin still hadn't found an answer, no further flier, although he did have a Cranial Plating which would have turned any flier into large enough of a blocker …

Domenico Di Noia 1-0 Riccardo Cecolin

Game 2

Now it was time for Cecolin to return the favor. His Mox Opal, Springleaf Drum, and Ornithopter allowed him to cast Steel Overseer on his very first turn. Di Noia had to contend himself with a meager Mountain, Mox Opal, and Vault Skirge.

On turn two, Cecolin added Arcbound Ravager and Cranial Plating to his board. The game was about as lopsided as this sounds. And it certainly didn't help that Di Noia's second land was Contested War Zone.

Domenico Di Noia 1-1 Riccardo Cecolin

Game 3

For the final, all-deciding game, Di Noia opened on Contested War Zone, Springleaf Drum, Ornithopter, Vault Skirge, whereas Cecolin began with Darksteel Citadel, Signal Pest, and Memnite.

Riccardo Cecolin under pressure

Di Noia summoned Vault Skirge, put a Cranial Plating on his Ornithopter and attacked. Cecolin attacked back with Memnite, took control of Contested War Zone—the land would never untap again—and cast Steel Overseer.

Over the next couple of turns, Di Noia added an Arcbound Ravager to his team and his Plating-powered Vault Skirge continued to beat down, putting Di Noia at 30, Cecolin at 7.

Cecolinone finally found a flying blocker with his own Vault Skirge. But two flying attackers, one Arcbound Ravager, and enough artifacts on Di Noia's side meant that one Vault Skirge, figuratively, just didn't fly.

Domenico Di Noia 2-1 Riccardo Cecolin

Congratulations to Domenico Di Noia, MKM Series Milan 2017's Modern cham