Quarterfinal: Kenny Oberg (SWE) vs. Nikolai Herzog (NOR)

Posted in Event Coverage on August 29, 2010

By David Sutcliffe

Two of the veterans of the game, and two of the most successful Scandinavian players of all time, this Quarter Final threw together two players who would be popular champions - Oberg in particular being welcomed to the feature match are by the sort of female screams usually saved for rock stars. There was little doubt that the Swede was the hot ticket for the title as far this feature match crowd was concerned.

Blink and you miss it - Kenny Oberg raced to a 1-0 lead

Once inside the ropes, the talk between these two seasoned pros turned inevitably towards the coming Pro Tour.

"Are you going to Amsterdam?" asked Oberg, as he shuffled his deck.

"I don't know if I'm playing," Herzog replied, "I don't have a deck. But I'm definitely going down to see friends. Maybe I'll get given a deck that I like?"

"It's still six rounds of limited", Kenny Oberg reminded his opponent

"True", Herzog nodded, "so maybe. Maybe."

To an audible groan from the crowd Oberg had to begin the match with a mulligan, while Herzog went to the tank for a good long while before deciding to keep his initial seven cards. The Norwegian's claim that his would be 'really really aggressive' seemed to misfire, though. His opening gambit of a Goblin Piker was answered by a Prodigal Pyromancer, then after he had used Chandra's Outrage to destroy the Pyromancer the Norwegian found himself eating a faceful of tree. Oberg had played an Awakener Druid then imbued a Sacred Wolf with Volcanic Strength. With nothing larger than a Prodigal Pyromancer of his own at hand to defend himself from Oberg's sudden and unexpected offense, Nikolai Herzog was a game down inside six turns!

"Sigh", said the Norwegian, turning to his sideboard for help.

Kenny Oberg (SWE) 1 - 0 Nikolai Herzog (NOR)

After a strong showing in the swiss, Nikolai Herzog found his swift defeat hard to swallow.

Before the second game Oberg called for some extra basic land, indicating that he was making some changes to his deck in sideboarding. Sure enough he began the second game with a Swamp, although a Forest and Mountain suggested he hadn't entirely changed tack. But things had gone from bad to worse for Nikalai Herzog. He was stuck with just three Forests while Oberg played out a pair of Cudgel Trolls and a Spectral Wolf.

Herzog finally found a mountain, although it seemed like it could be too late to fight off Oberg's forces. The Norwegian could only muster a Runeclaw Bear and Goblin Pike to his defense, and when Oberg again boosted the Spectral Wolf with a Volcanic Strength the unhappy Herzog had to concede a shockingly swift defeat.

Kenny Oberg (SWE) 2 - 0 Nikolai Herzog (NOR)

"Was your deck good?" asked Oberg, after the match? Certainly they had seen almost nothing from Herzog's deck in the two games.

"I thought so. Pretty good, yeah"

But with a blistering and irresistible offense it was the Swede, Kenny Oberg, who would carry Sweden's hopes into the Semi-Finals. Would Anton Jonnson be able to join him in a dream All-Swedish final?

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