These two players had stood the test of, well, five rounds plus quarter- and semifinals and had bested nineteen other players. Now they were locked in one final, deadly battle for fame, fortune, and the grand prize of €500 in MagicCardMarket credit.

Manfredi Re brought Four-Color Copycat to the table, one of the main pillars of the format, whereas Dorigo was on a veritable fringe deck with Esper Control. Dorigo had already decided the same matchup for himself in the quarterfinals and was confident that the pairing had his deck as the favorite, if only slightly.

Game 1

Two mulligans for Re certainly didn't help, although he subsequently did his very best to recoup lost cards with a pair of Rogue Refiners. However, one was caught in a Grasp of Darkness and the other was caught off guard by Torrential Gearhulk. The Gearhulk not only took down the 3/2 creature, it also allowed Dorigo to reuse Anticipate, and required an Oath of Chandra after combat for Re to get rid off it. The classic three-for-one.

Andrea Dorigo

Dorigo's card advantage and the card disadvantage with which Re had begun the game added up. Eventually, Dorigo landed Sorin, Grim Nemesis and appeared to be in a position to run the planeswalker all the way to victory. But Re fought back valiantly, forced Dorigo to use some of Sorin's counters, and finally made a Saheeli Rai which took Sorin to two counters and triggered Oath of Chandra to put Sorin to rest.

All of this effort had exhausted Re's resources. Following this last hurrah from Re, Dorigo was able to keep all of the opposing planeswalkers off the table via Ruinous Path and Shambling Vents, all creatures anyway, and his Glimmer of Genius/Torrential Gearhulk engine netted more than just the incidental extra card.

Manfredi Re 0-1 Andrea Dorigo

Game 2

Among all of the quotidien trades of creature versus creature removal, the second game had a couple of interesting moments. The first came on Re's third turn when he played Chandra, Torch of Defiance helped along by Oath of Nissa and Servant of the Conduit.

The spectators held their collective breath. Would a planeswalker finally stick around for a couple of turns and generate enough value to put the pressure on Dorigo?

Manfredi Re

Dorigo untapped and brushed the nuisance away with a timely Anguished Unmaking. Before long, he had also cleared the battlefield with Fumigate and ambushed the next attacker with Torrential Gearhulk. But this left an opening for Re to deploy Bristling Hydra, now commanding six energy counters.

A little later, both players had cast a planeswalker—Saheeli Rai for Re, Sorin, Grim Nemesis for Dorigo—but both used their creatures to get rid off the other's.

Still later, Dorigo once again wiped the board via Fumigate and had succesfully run Re out of threats. He used the momentary lull in the game to cement his advantage with three copies of Glimmer of Genius, and that was that.

Manfredi Re 0-2 Andrea Dorigo

Congratulations to Andrea Dorigo, Standard champion of MKM Series Milan 2017. His deck had brought a breath of fresh air to a format in danger of getting stale and his success proved that innovation still paid off.