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.
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.
Amsterdam 2004: 1st (Rochester Draft) San Diego 2004: 1st (Booster Draft) Chicago 2003: 2nd (Rochester Draft) World Championships 1999: 8th
Bochum 03-04: 3rd (Teams) Vienna 01-02: 3rd (Rochester Draft)
European Championships 1999: 1st European Championships 2003: 1st Norway National Championship 1999: 1stNorway National Championship 2001: 1st
"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!"
Listed below are notable decklists from Nicolai Herzog's Pro Tour career.
Members of the Magic community share their memories of Nicolai Herzog on his induction into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame.
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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