Gateway Draft: Nicolai Herzog

Posted in Event Coverage

By Mark Wraith

As the gateway reached the final sixteen competitors they discarded their Sealed Decks and had the chance to try out their Booster Drafting skills. The players were divided into two pods with the winner of each advancing into the Masters tournament itself. Nikolai Herzog found himself between two players who had good results recently. Gabriel Nassif, on the Norwegian's left, was on the team who came second at the Team PT in New York, and he also came second at Grand Prix London, both times to Kai Budde. Felix Schneiders on Herzog's right made the top eight at Grand Prix Warsaw.

Herzog's very first pack presented him with an interesting choice, between Ghastly Demise, Mortivore, Shelter, and Beast Attack. He decided to go for the Beast Attack. To his right, Felix Schneiders took a Painbringer, passing Ghastly Demise. This was an unusual pick that created a bad signal for Nikolai.

Herzog picked up the Ghastly Demise himself, although luckily for him Gabriel had not gone into black, so he had the chance to find some black cards in the second set of packs. Nikolai continued to stay in Black-Green as the draft went on. He picked up Crashing Centaur, Werebear, and Diabolic Tutor. Felix was heavily into black, but hadn't settled on a second color by the end of eight packs, he had a Repel, a Thermal Blast, and a Wild Mongrel to keep his options open. Gabriel Nassif had a pretty shaky looking White-Red deck.

Herzog opened Ghastly Demise in pack nine, but it doesn't work out for him. Even though Gabriel is White-Red and Jens Thoren who was two places away was Green-Red, still there was no good black coming Nikolai's way, except for a Morbid Hunger in pack twelve. Apart from these he was stuck with a fairly miserable pair of Leaf Dancers, a Skyshooter, and a Gravedigger. At one point he took a Deluge over a Cabal Pit. After the draft Nikolai explained that this was simply a mistake, although he was still thinking about splashing blue.

The third set of packs gave him a few useful creatures, another Werebear, Rabid Elephant, Elephant Ambush, Krosan Avenger, along with other playable cards. Herzog was happy with his deck even though his color choice hadn't worked out for him, but it relied pretty heavily on Threshold, which he might have struggled to achieve.

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