This was not the first time in the Top 8 at the MKM Series for Angelo Cadei. He had lost in the finals of the Modern main event at MKM Series Madrid 2015 and walked away with the winner's trophy in Legacy at MKM Series Prague 2016. His previous accomplishments weren't the only reason why this match was particularly interesting. His deck was another, as he was on Jeskai Copy Cat, the deck with Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian, better known as a thing in Standard.
His opponent Riccardo Cecolin, meanwhile, had brought Affinity and was apparently here to spoil everyone's fun, as robot beatdown often does.
Indeed, Cecolin led with Darksteel Citadel, Mox Opal, Springleaf Drum, Ornithopter, Vault Skirge, and Signal Pest, with Arcbound Ravager as back-up for turn two. Cadei fought back as well as he could, with Path to Exile plus Lightning Bolt on his turn two.
But Cecolin didn't stop pressuring him. On turn three, he cast Cranial Plating, on turn four Master of Etherium. Cadei countered with Cryptic Command and returned the Plating to Cecolino's hand. He returned it once more via Remand on the next turn but already fell to 1 even without any Plating involvement.
Looking for answers, Cadei cast Serum Visions, then Wall of Omens, then picked up his cards.
Angelo Cadei 0-1 Riccardo Cecolin
Another game, another crazy quick opening by Affinity. This time Darksteel Citadel, Mox Opal, Springleaf Drum, Ornithopter, and Arcbound Ravager. However, this time Cadei was on the play and searched up Sacred Foundry, shot Ornithopter in response with Lightning Bolt and sent the Ravager on a Path to Exile.
Unfortunately, Cadei didn't have a second land …
To be fair, Cecolin didn't have the biggest threat to capitalize on Cadei's temporary inconvenience, although Etched Champion scored points on resilience. In fact, several turns later, Cadei not only had found several lands as well as Stony Silence. He had even dealt with multiple Nexus via Spreading Seas and had been able to remove all of Cecolin's other creatures. But Etched Champion soldiered on, inexorably.
Of course there was still a chance for Cadei to race the Champion. To this end, Cadei summoned Felidar Guardian; now he only needed Saheeli Rai to make a comeback. He went to 1 life, knocked on the top of his deck, and implored it to give him …
… Engineered Explosives? For a second there, Cadei thought he had found an answer to his Etched Champion problem. Then he noticed his own Stony Silence rendering the Explosives permanently defused. Cadei hung his head in defeat.
Angelo Cadei 0-2 Riccardo Cecolin