Alan Comer is the popular American with a fondness for unusual "tech" and a number of high level Pro Tour finishes. Nicolai Herzog is a former European Champion and regular member of the Norwegian national team.
Comer has a slowish red-black deck with bombs. Herzog has a very good white-blue deck splashing red for Chainflinger and other removal. He's not short of bombs of his own with an Upheaval to reset the board to his advantage.
"Can you believe Torment was bad for me," Comer said after his red-black deck dropped no play until turn 4. Herzog started with Skywing Aven and gained some life off Teroh's Faithful.
"Good gracious, you're playing that!?" Herzog said when Comer summoned a Cabal Surgeon
"It was bad for me," Comer answered, although his next creature was a more acceptable Soul Scourge.
Herzog sent it to the top of Comer's library with Repel.
Comer didn't recast it as a Cabal Patriarch was a much more inviting proposition.
Herzog didn't have a counterspell and could only bounce it with an Aether Burst. Next turn it returned and the Aven returned itself to Herzog's hand rather than beat itself to death with a Crackling Club.
"You know the best thing to do with a filthy Cur."
"I think I have an idea."
The Skywing Aven went back to Herzog's hand once more.
The Norwegian had his own bomb – Upheaval. Both players got to restart except Herzog now had threshold an a 2/3 pro-black Mystic Familiar. He followed it with a Mystic Visionary and then the Skywing Aven and there was no way Comer could recover in time.
Herzog 1-0 Comer
Comer went first and his turn 3 Unhinge got them both to draw a card as Herzog discarded an Obsessive Search.
Then a Frightcrawler started to race a Nomad Decoy. A Teroh's Vanguard rushing out at end of turn tipped that in Herzog's favour.
Comer went to tip it back only for Herzog to pluck his Vanguard out of a Butcher's grasp with an Aether Burst. The Norwegian Concentrated to gain some cards and dropped Patrol Hounds.
Comer recovered some card advantage by using a Violent Eruption to wipe Herzog's board and swung with the Butcher and Frightcrawler.
Herzog gained the life back and a big wall in the form of Teroh's Faithful.
Comer dropped another of the big scary black creatures in his deck as Cursed Monstrocity flopped onto the table. Repel from Herzog was annoying as Comer had to discard a card and still put the monstrosity on top of his library.
Comer sent the Butcher and Frightcrawler
in and Herzog summoned the Teroh's Vanguard
again for an instant speed blocker. Then the American unfortunately made an uncharacteristic mistake as he tried to remove the Vanguard with Acceptable Losses
. The spell is a sorcery and as Comer had tapped his lands first he also had to take 4 mana burn as well. This prevented him from recasting the Monstrosity and the loss of life looked very relevant as a Chainflinger
Comer was still kicking though as he cleared the board with Sickening Dreams and paved the way for the Monstrosity to return. Herzog had a Skywing Aven and a second Nomad Decoy looked like it might cause the Monstrosity problems if Comer hadn't had a Firebolt to ping it off the board
The mana burn had been costly as it lost Comer both tempo and life and this allowed Herzog to finish the American off with a Skywing Aven and Mystic Familiar. Comer hoped he might block with the Monstrocity for a turn and then strike back with that, a Filthy Cur and a freshly summoned Whispering Shade. Unfortunately Herzog had a Fiery Temper.
Afterwards Herzog said he felt bad about the mana burn on the Accepable Losses but Comer was adamant that the rules had to be enforced equally on everyone to ensure a level playing field, even though in this case it may have cost him the game.
Final Result: Nicolai Herzog beat Alan Comer 2-0
Pro Tour Nice, Third Booster Draft
Pro Tour Nice, Third Booster Draft