Nicolai Herzog Won two Pro Tours in the same season, a feat matched only by Kai Budde ... Four Pro Tour Top 8s ... Finished second at Pro Tour-Chicago 2003, arguably the greatest Top 8 ever ... Two-time winner of the prestigious European Championships ... Norway National Champion in 1999 and 2001 ... Runner-up in 2004 Player of the Year race ... Top 10 in all-time winnings.
Class of: 2007
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Debut: 1998 World Championships
Career winnings: $187,895
Lifetime Pro Points: 240


Nicolai Herzog had one of the most exciting Pro Tour seasons in the history of the game when he won back-to-back Limited Pro Tours in 2004. Despite his historic achievement, Nicolai missed out on the Player of the Year title to Gabriel Nassif, and subsequently semi-retired from the game after Worlds. That was fitting since Worlds was where his career began in 1998...and where it will resume in 2007.

Herzog brought a smile and a powerful game every time he sat down to play Magic.
Nicolai posted a Top 64 finish at his first event. A year later he returned to the World Championships and achieved the first of his four Top 8 appearances that would culminate in those back-to-back wins in 2004. Grand Prix competition was never a big part of Nico's game and the Norwegian player only had two Top 8 appearances in those tournaments. Norwegian Nationals were a different story, with Herzog representing his country at Nationals five different times–including the 2006 season. Herzog is also a two-time winner of the European Championships.

When you do the books for his career, Herzog comes out sixth all-time on the money-winner's list and in the Top 20 for lifetime Pro Points. The first entry in that ledger comes from that long-ago World Championships.

"I remember seeing all these players I'd been reading about in the Sideboard and Duelist and whatnot, and not being as intimidated as I thought I would be," said Herzog, who qualified for that event as a member of his National team, when asked about his memories of that first step in a Hall of Fame career. "I remember narrowly losing to Mike Long in an extremely frustrating Game 3. And I remember the most awkwardly random team sealed format ever; 'Walls 'n Bombs'."

Like the other members of this year's class, Nicolai never imagined that there would be a Hall of Fame when he began playing. While he waited for the results of this year's class he was not sure if people would remember him enough to vote him in on this very tough ballot. Hall of Fame aside, Nicolai had played in every World Championships since that first tournament and had been nervous about snapping that streak.

THE POWER OF NICOLAI

Pro Tour:
Amsterdam 2004: 1st (Rochester Draft)
San Diego 2004: 1st (Booster Draft)
Chicago 2003: 2nd (Rochester Draft)
World Championships 1999: 8th

Grand Prix:
Bochum 03-04: 3rd (Teams)
Vienna 01-02: 3rd (Rochester Draft)

Championships:
European Championships 1999: 1st
European Championships 2003: 1st
Norway National Championship 1999: 1st
Norway National Championship 2001: 1st

"I thought it would be a coin flip, pretty much. I haven't written many articles and haven't been very visible the last three years," he explained. "So I had to get in by achievements and good looks alone. Getting that phone call was both amazing and a huge relief. I will both attend and play. Was pretty sad after my Nats when I realized I might just miss out on Worlds for the first time since '98.

"Being recognized for my accomplishments in this way means a lot to me," Nico continued. "Being enshrined in the class is a great honor indeed. But just as important is the fact that I may yet again travel the world, cast spells and hang out with old friends that I've seen way too little of these last three years!"

Playing is very important for Herzog, who has a new appreciation for the game since walking away in 2004. "I'll be showing up at many—maybe all—PTs again. I've been missing the pro circuit a LOT since quitting in 2004. I can't help but speculate if I shouldn't have just kept attending the PTs (during) 04/05 and hoped the joy of playing would come back to me. I've lost out on so very much these last three years. But playing is fun again, the last few cycles have been pretty awesome, and I have a fair amount of spare time. So you might just see me late night drafting in the far corners of the world again."

"Oh and Sundays?" he added, "Absolutely. Next Limited PT. Wait and see! To everyone that voted for me! Thanks mates!"

By Format

Format W L D BYE Matches Win %
Limited 278 171 19 65 533 59.40%
Constructed 171 137 17 15 340 52.62%
Total 449 308 36 80 873 56.62%

By Event Type

Event W L D BYE Matches Win %
Worlds 82 77 3 0 162 50.62%
Pro Tour 135 83 9 0 227 59.47%
Nationals 54 22 7 0 83 65.06%
Continental Championships 53 25 6 0 84 63.10%
Masters 15 9 0 6 30 62.50%
Grand Prix 110 92 11 74 287 51.64%
Total 449 308 36 80 873 56.62%

By Event

Event Date Finish W L D BYE Matches Win %
Grand Prix-Copenhagen 9/6/1997 n/a 1 3 0 0    
Grand Prix-Stockholm 3/21/1998 n/a 2 3 0 1    
Gran Prix-Zurich 5/30/1998 n/a 3 3 0 0    
1998 European Championship 7/11/1998 n/a 6 6 0 0    
1998 World Championships 8/15/1998 53 12 9 0 0    
1997-98 Season     24 24 0 1 49 50.00%
Pro Tour-Chicago 9/25/1998 309 1 5 0 0    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/26/1999 158 4 3 0 0    
Grand Prix-Oslo 4/10/1999 262 0 2 0 2    
Grand Prix-Amsterdam 5/15/1999 55 4 4 2 2    
1999 Norway Nationals 5/23/1999 1 4 1 1 0    
1999 European Championship 7/10/1999 1 12 1 2 0    
1999 World Championships 8/15/1999 8 12 5 2 0    
1998-99 Season     37 21 7 4 69 56.92%
Pro Tour-London 10/15/1999 251 2 3 0 0    
Grand Prix-Madrid 1/29/2000 15 6 4 0 3    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/4/2000 13 9 3 2 0    
Grand Prix-Frankfurt (Teams) 4/8/2000 n/a            
Pro Tour-New York 4/14/2000 13 9 2 3 0    
Grand Prix-Copenhagen 6/17/2000 41 5 5 0 3    
2000 European Championship 7/15/2000 43 8 4 0 0    
2000 World Championships 8/4/2000 117 9 9 0 0    
1999-2000 Season     48 30 5 6 89 57.83%
Masters-New York 9/28/2000 18 0 1 0 0    
Pro Tour-New York (Teams) 9/28/2000 5            
Grand Prix-Manchester 10/7/2000 43 5 5 0 3    
Grand Prix-Helsinki 10/28/2000 9 7 3 0 3    
Grand Prix-Firenze 11/25/2000 214 1 4 0 3    
Masters-Chicago 11/30/2000 8 3 1 0 1    
Pro Tour-Chicago 12/1/2000 16 10 4 0 0    
Grand Prix-Amsterdam 1/13/2001 31 6 4 1 3    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/2/2001 129 7 7 0 0    
Grand Prix-Cologne 2/24/2001 186 1 2 1 3    
Masters-Tokyo (Teams) 3/16/2001 5            
Pro Tour-Tokyo 3/16/2001 117 6 8 0 0    
Grand Prix-Göteborg 3/24/2001 37 5 4 1 3    
Pro Tour-Barcelona 5/4/2001 258 2 4 0 0    
Gateway-Barcelona 5/6/2001 30 1 1 0 1    
2001 Norway Nationals 5/13/2001 1 12 2 1 0    
2001 European Championship 6/30/2001 115 7 7 0 0    
2001 World Championships 8/10/2001 153 9 9 0 0    
2000-01 Season     82 66 4 20 172 53.95%
Pro Tour-New York (Teams) 9/7/2001 34            
Grand Prix-Oslo 9/22/2001 97 1 3 0 3    
Grand Prix-Vienna 10/6/2001 3 9 2 2 3    
Masters-New Orleans 11/1/2001 3 4 1 0 1    
Pro Tour-New Orleans 11/2/2001 321 1 3 0 0    
Masters-San Diego 1/10/2002 46 1 1 0 0    
Pro Tour-San Diego 1/11/2002 23 9 4 1 0    
Grand Prix-Heidelberg 2/9/2002 69 3 2 0 3    
Grand Prix-Antwerp 3/2/2002 303 0 3 0 3    
Masters-Osaka (Teams) 3/15/2002 5            
Pro Tour-Osaka 3/15/2002 247 1 3 0 0    
Grand Prix-Barcelona 3/23/2002 19 7 3 1 3    
2002 Norway Nationals 4/14/2002 6 8 3 2 0    
Masters-Nice 5/2/2002 3 4 1 0 1    
Pro Tour-Nice 5/3/2002 17 10 4 0 0    
2002 European Championship 6/29/2002 97 7 6 1 0    
2002 World Championships 8/16/2002 208 6 9 0 0    
2001-02 Season     71 48 7 17 143 56.35%
Pro Tour-Boston (Teams) 9/27/2002 11            
Grand Prix-Copenhagen 10/12/2002 11 7 3 0 4    
Masters-Houston 11/7/2002 47 1 1 0 1    
Pro Tour-Houston 11/8/2002 330 0 3 1 0    
Masters-Chicago 1/16/2003 103 0 1 0 1    
Pro Tour-Chicago 1/17/2003 2 13 4 0 0    
Grand Prix-Sevilla 2/22/2003 13 7 3 1 3    
Masters-Venice (Teams) 3/21/2003 5            
Pro Tour-Venice 3/21/2003 297 0 3 0 0    
2003 Norway Nationals 5/4/2003 4 10 4 1 0    
Pro Tour-Yokohama 5/9/2003 22 9 4 1 0    
Masters Series Yokohama 5/11/2003 11 1 1 0 0    
Grand Prix-Amsterdam (Teams) 6/7/2003 33            
2003 European Championships 7/6/2003 1 13 1 3 0    
2003 World Championships 8/8/2003 241 7 10 0 0    
2002-03 Season     68 38 7 9 122 60.18%
Pro Tour-Boston (Teams) 9/12/2003 11            
Grand Prix-Lyon 10/25/2003 414 1 3 0 3    
Grand Prix-Goteborg 11/22/2003 255 0 3 0 3    
Grand Prix-Munich 12/6/2003 239 2 3 0 3    
Pro Tour-Amsterdam 1/16/2004 1 14 3 1 0    
Pro Tour-Kobe 2/27/2004 110 4 4 0 0    
Grand Prix-Birmingham 3/27/2004 17 7 4 0 3    
Grand Prix-Bochum (Teams) 4/17/2004 2            
Pro Tour-San Diego 5/14/2004 1 16 2 0 0    
Grand Prix-Brussels 5/29/2004 26 6 3 2 3    
2004 Norway Nationals 6/27/2004 67 3 4 0 0    
Pro Tour-Seattle (Teams) 7/9/2004 61            
2004 World Championships 9/3/2004 133 9 9 0 0    
2003-04 Season     62 38 3 15 118 60.19%
Pro Tour-London 7/8/2005 83 8 7 0 0    
2005 World Championships 12/2/2005 65 10 7 1 0    
2005 Season     18 14 1 0 33 54.55%
Grand Prix-Hasselt 1/28/2006 558 1 3 0 2    
Grand Prix-Barcelona 4/8/2006 36 9 4 0 2    
2006 Norway Nationals 8/12/2006 2 10 3 2 0    
Grand Prix-Athens 10/14/2006 354 0 1 0 2    
2006 World Championships 11/29/2006 232 8 10 0 0    
2006 Season     28 21 2 6 57 54.90%
Grand Prix-Stockholm 5/5/2007 120 4 3 0 2    
2007 Norway Nationals 8/25/2007 16 7 5 0 0    
2007 Season     11 8 0 2 21 57.89%

  • Norway's most famous and successful Magic player, Nicolai has been on the National team five teams and the National Champion twice. He took the National team to the World Championship finals in 2001.
  • RECORD VS. HALL OF FAME W L D
    Jon Finkel 2 2 0
    Darwin Kastle 1 0 0
    Tommi Hovi 2 0 0
    Alan Comer 2 1 0
    Olle Rade 0 1 0
    Bob Maher 0 1 0
    David Humpherys 1 0 0
    Raphael Levy 2 1 0
    Gary Wise 0 1 0
    Rob Dougherty 1 0 0
    Kai Budde 1 5 0
    Zvi Mowshowitz 0 1 0
    Tsuyoshi Fujita 1 0 0
    Randy Buehler 0 0 0
    Career Total 13 13 0

  • After winning Norwegian Nationals in 1999, Nicolai went on to win the prestigious European Championships piloting the mono-green Senor Stompy deck. He defeated Dirk Baberowski in the finals of a Top 8 that featured three eventual Hall of Famers.
  • Later in 1999 Nicolai would earn his first Top 8 at the World Championships, playing the hyper-aggressive tandem of Stompy and Sligh in Standard and Extended. He also led his National team to a third-place finish.
  • Played in the finals of the greatest Pro Tour Top 8 ever in Chicago 2003, which featured Hall of Famers finishing in the top three spots and began to establish his reputation as one of the game's great Limited players.
  • That reputation was cemented when he performed the seemingly impossible feat of winning two Limited Pro Tours in one season in Amsterdam and San Diego in 2004.
  • Nicolai narrowly missed the Player of the Year title to Gabriel Nassif in 2004 in one of the most exciting races in the history of the title.
  • Nicolai has only two Grand Prix Top 8 finishes, which makes his position of 6th all-time on the money-winners list all the more impressive—it is almost entirely on PT winnings. He is also 16th on the all-time list for Pro Points.
  • A two-time winner of the European Championships, Nicolai won the final installment of that tournament series in 2003 defeating Pierre Malherbaud with his blue-green Madness deck.
  • Listed below are notable decklists from Nicolai Herzog's Pro Tour career.

    Nicolai Herzog – Stompy
    1999 World Championships, 8th Place – Standard

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    13  Forest
    Gaea's Cradle
    Treetop Village
    Wasteland

    22 lands

    Albino Troll
    Elvish Lyrist
    Llanowar Elves
    Pouncing Jaguar
    River Boa
    Uktabi Orangutan
    Wild Dogs

    25 creatures

    Cursed Scroll
    Giant Growth
    Overrun
    Rancor

    13 other spells

    Sideboard
    Choke
    Compost
    Constant Mists
    Masticore
    Overrun
    Repopulate
    Root Maze
    Thran Foundry
    Uktabi Orangutan
    Wasteland

    15 sideboard cards



    Nicolai Herzog – Sligh
    1999 World Championships, 8th Place – Extended

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    17  Mountain
    Wasteland

    21 lands

    Ball Lightning
    Goblin Cadets
    Goblin Patrol
    Jackal Pup
    Mogg Fanatic

    17 creatures

    Cursed Scroll
    Final Fortune
    Fireblast
    Guerrilla Tactics
    Incinerate
    Lightning Bolt
    Pyrokinesis
    Shock

    22 other spells

    Sideboard
    Bottle Gnomes
    Price of Progress
    Pyroblast
    Pyrokinesis
    Sirocco
    Tormod's Crypt

    15 sideboard cards



    Nicolai Herzog – Stompy
    1999 European Championships, 1st Place – Standard

    Main Deck

    60 cards

    14  Forest
    Gaea's Cradle
    Treetop Village

    21 lands

    Albino Troll
    Elvish Lyrist
    Llanowar Elves
    Masticore
    Pouncing Jaguar
    River Boa
    Uktabi Orangutan
    Wild Dogs

    27 creatures

    Cursed Scroll
    Giant Growth
    Rancor

    12 other spells

    Sideboard
    Choke
    Repopulate
    Spike Weaver
    Thran Foundry
    Uktabi Orangutan
    Wasteland
    Wild Dogs

    15 sideboard cards



    Nicolai Herzog – Blue-Green
    2003 European Championships, 1st Place – Standard

    Hall of Fame: Nicolai Herzog

    Members of the Magic community share their memories of Nicolai Herzog on his induction into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame.

    Video

  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Finals, Game 1: Antoine Ruel vs. Nicolai Herzog (16 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Finals, Game 2: Antoine Ruel vs. Nicolai Herzog (13 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Finals, Game 3: Antoine Ruel vs. Nicolai Herzog (26 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Semifinals: Complete Match (172 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Semifinals, Game 1: Michael Turian vs. Nicolai Herzog (34 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Semifinals, Game 2: Michael Turian vs. Nicolai Herzog (18 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Semifinals, Game 3: Michael Turian vs. Nicolai Herzog (14 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Semifinals, Game 4: Michael Turian vs. Nicolai Herzog (24 zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Quarterfinals, Game 2: Ben Stark vs. Nicolai Herzog (18 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Quarterfinals, Game 3: Ben Stark vs. Nicolai Herzog (19 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-San Diego 2004 Top 8 Player Interview: Nicolai Herzog (.6 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-Amsterdam 2004 Finals, Game 1: Nicolai Herzog vs. Osamu Fujita (19 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-Amsterdam 2004 Finals, Game 2: Nicolai Herzog vs. Osamu Fujita (11 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-Amsterdam 2004 Finals, Game 3: Nicolai Herzog vs. Osamu Fujita (17 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-Amsterdam 2004 Semifinals, Game 3: Nicolai Herzog vs. Olivier Ruel (6 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-Amsterdam 2004 Quarterfinals, Game 4: Nicolai Herzog vs. Farid Meraghni (12 MB zip)
  • Pro Tour-Amsterdam 2004 Rochester Draft (50 MB zip)
  • Photo Gallery

    Nicolai Herzog took Europe by storm in the 1998-99 season, winning the Norway National Championship and the European Championship, then finished 8th at Worlds, where the Norwegian team finished third.


    Nicolai earned close to 250 Pro Points in his career, nearly all on the back of his Pro Tour successes.


    Herzog made four Pro Tour Top 8s, winning Amsterdam and San Diego in the same year. He's shown here with his runner-up trophy at Pro Tour-Chicago in 2003, a Top 8 that also featured Hall of Famers Kai Budde and Jon Finkel.


    Herzog was a fixture on the Norwegian National Team, shown here in 2006 with teammates Steinar Nerhus (left) and Øyvind Andersen.


    Herzog, shown here at the 2004 World Championships, has participated in every Worlds since 1998.

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