France's Paul Avart had played Lantern Control in the previous day's Modern main event, but mentioned that things hadn't worked out well for him then. Today, in Standard, he was playing more of a mainstream deck and promptly made his first Top 8 at the MKM Series. In fact, he was one of three quarterfinalist to run Four-Color Copycat. Even three copies weren't enough to make it the most represented deck in the Top 8 however, an honor which went to Mardu Vehicles/Ballista at four entries.
Four Mardu and three Copycat, this left but one spot in the playoffs for an interesting rogue design. Such as what was played by Andrea Dorigo. The Italian had been a succesful player of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and had only picked up Magic: The Gathering about two months ago. As one would expect, this was his first Top 8; as exactly no one expected, his deck was a white-blue-black control affair with lots of removal, just a couple of planeswalkers and counterspells, more removal, four Torrential Gearhulk, and still more removal. How that would fare against Copycat was anyone's guess.
Things began with a series of trades. Dorigo being able to keep Avart's creatures in check wasn't surprising, but he also had ample removal to get rid of Saheeli Rai and Chandra, Torch of Defiance with Ruinous Path and Anguished Unmaking, respectively.
Only Nahiri, the Harbinger was able to go unchecked, that is, go to ten counters and then to two. In the meantime, Fumigate wiped the battlefield of all creatures twice, and when Nahiri searched for Tireless Tracker, Torrential Gearhulk proved an insurmountable blocker and gave the planeswalker an Anguished Unmaking.
The game dragged on for a quite a while afterward, but Dorigo remained firmly in control.
Paul Avart 0-1 Andrea Dorigo
Avart led with Rogue Refiner. When Felidar Guardian followed, Grasp of Darkness took down the Refiner. Avart summoned another Guardian and lost both to Fumigate.
This left an opening for Bristling Hydra, a potential problem for Dorigo because he was mostly relying on spot removal, had already cast one mass-removal spell, and was staring down nine energy counters …
But Glimmer of Genius led to Torrential Gearhulk, which recast the Glimmer from Dorigo's graveyard before succumbing to Harnessed Lightning. After all of this scrying and all of these extra draws, Dorigo found another Fumigate; he had sideboarded a third copy of the sorcery, after all.
Avart wasn't out of gas yet. On his next turn, he cast Tireless Tracker as well as Chandra, Torch of Defiance. At end of turn, Dorigo took care of the planeswalker with Anguished Unmaking, on his turn he took care of Tireless Tracker with his own planeswalker, Sorin, Grim Nemesis. Now Avart was out of gas.
Paul Avart 0-2 Andrea Dorigo
While desideboarding and packing in their cards, the two players discussed the matchup. Said Dorigo, “I think I'm the favorite here. Not for like 70%, but something like 60.”
Avart agreed. He wistfully pointed at the two copies of Panharmonicon he had sideboarded and never drawn, “My secret tech …”