Kai Budde vs Nicolai Herzog
Round 5 Feature Match:
Round 5 and we are treated to a repeat of the Pro Tour Chicago 2003 final as Kai Budde faces off against Nicolai Herzog. Both men have very impressive resumes. Budde has won something like twice as many Pro Tours as his nearest competitor while the Norwegian Herzog has something of a specialisation in the European Championships having won it twice.
udde didn't quite get the start his deck threatened, having to be satisfied with a Nim Replica on turn 3. Herzog busted out "Sparky's" new cousin - "Spikey". This isn't Onslaught though and an artifact land plus Irradiate got rid of that nuisance.
Both players traded blows as Herzog bolted the Replica only for Budde to fetch it back with Moriok Scavenger
. The German also had a "Spikey" of his own.
"One for everbody".
A Serum Tank for the Norwegian looked to take him ahead in the card advantage stakes. Not to be outdone Budde made a Skeleton Shard to add some permanence to his monsters.
A Goblin Replica took out the shard only for Budde to drop a second. Things were bad for Herzog. He had the Serum tank but otherwise was showing an empty board to Budde's Goblin, Nim Replica and Scavenger. Blinding Beam bought Herzog some time as the monsters kept coming. Herzog dropped a Pearl Shard and Myr Enforcer to try and fend off the attack. The Enforcer traded with Scavenger and Replica with a little help from Spikey. Herzog tried to pull back by Shrapnel Blasting a Hematite Golem. Skeletal Shard meant its stay in the graveyard was only a temporary affair. Herzog at least had an answer now to the Shard as the Retriever fetched the Replica back from the graveyard.
Herzog was clinging on with the Pearl Shard while Budde kept up the pressure with his inexhaustible supply of artifact creatures. Goblin Replica finally took down the Shard but Budde had Grab the Reins and ended the game when Herzog summoned out another Enforcer for defence.
Budde 1-0 Herzog
Things looked up in game two for Herzog as Budde mulliganed and then skipped his second turn land drop. Herzog ramped up to a turn 4 Myr Enforcer off a Myr and Goblin Replica while Budde retrieved the screw situation with a mana myr of his own and then busted out double Bonesplitter and Frogmite.
Next turn was fairly savage. Herzog arrested a Frogmite only for Budde to launch it at his Enforcer with a Shrapnel Blast. Herzog flung the Enforcer back at Budde's remaining Frogmite with a Blast of his own. The German was fighting back hard though. A third land brought in a Scavenger and a Frogmite came hopping back into the fray.
Now the Norwegian looked out of gas as Budde equipped the Scavenger and swung. A Spikeshot Goblin followed and also grabbed a 'splitter.
Next turn was massive for Herzog. He bolted a Frogmite then wiped out Budde's two equipped monsters with the loss of none of his own with a Solar Tide.
Budde's guys proved somewhat durable. Skeletal Shard retrieved the Frogmite again and although Herzog could stop those tricks early with a Goblin Replica he wasn't drawing anything. A third 'splitter turned the Frogmite into a daunting threat. Herzog drew a creature to fend it off only for Budde to take to the air with a Wizard Replica. Simultaneously wielding three Bonesplitters the Replica ended the match in one attack.
Kai Budde beat Nicolai Herzog 2-0.