Turbo Fog Primer

by Zen Takahashi on 23 August 2018, Thursday

Zen Takahashi

 

Turbo Fog Primer

Hello everybody! 

Two weekends ago, I competed in New Zealand's Nationals, which involved five rounds of Standard, followed by a Core Set 2019 draft. For the Standard portion, I decided to play Turbo Fog, as the event was just a week after the Pro Tour, so I did not expect the field to be well-prepared for the deck. 

 



As I knew about the deck from before the Pro Tour as the team was working hard on it, I managed to pick up a playset of Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) for NZ$20 each before they more than doubled in price after the Pro Tour.

However, since we had to keep the deck under wraps, it meant that I was not able to test the deck online until after the Pro Tour had finished, at which point I became busy with work.

In the end, my testing was just a few games I played against Red-Black Aggro, and some goldfishing at home. Instead, my preparation was mostly talking to my teammates and discussing sideboard plans with Andrea Mengucci, who was also planning to play the deck that weekend at GP Brussels. 


The following was the list I played at Nationals, and Mengucci played 72/75 at GP Brussels. 

  

4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria 

1 Karn, Scion of Urza 

1 Nissa, Steward of Elements 

Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box)

1 Karn's Temporal Sundering 

4 Haze of Pollen 

4 Root Snare 

2 Supreme Will

1 Glimmer of Genius 

4 Gift of Paradise 

Search for Azcanta

Chart a Course

2 Anticipate 

4 Scattered Groves 

4 Irrigated Farmland 

4 Hinterland Harbor 

3 Glacial Fortress 

2 Sunpetal Grove

1 Field of Ruin 

4 Forest

4 Island



3 Jace's Defeat 

3 Negate 

2 Dissenter's Deliverance 

2 Cast Out

2 Lyra Dawnbringer 

2 Carnage Tyrant 

1 Nezahal, Primal Tide

 

*Mengucci played a second Karn, Scion of Urza over the Nissa, Steward of Elements, and played a pair of Walking Ballistas over the Dissenter's Deliverance in the sideboard.



Key Playing Tips

Turbo Fog has a relatively straightforward game plan, which makes it easy to play it decently, but it is one of the hardest decks to play well because there are so many small sequencing decisions that do not exist in other decks.

The following are some essential playing tips that my teammates shared with me to try to get me up to speed with playing the deck before the event. 


Cast Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) in your upkeep or main phase. 

Casting Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) in your upkeep or the main phase increases the chance of you drawing another one – which you want to maximize when you are looking to go off.

This especially applies if you have a Nissa, Steward of Elements and have a Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin going, as you will be digging a lot of cards. However, if you have cards to cast at sorcery speed, then you may want to prioritize those as you can always cast Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) in your end step after your Teferi, Hero of Dominaria untap trigger. 


Cast Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) in your opponent's turn.

Casting Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) on your opponent's turn allows you to take two turns in a row. This is important if you do not have a Fog effect in hand, and you want to be able to cast a planeswalker and then get a chance to untap with it instead of having it be killed off straight away.

You can also use the Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) as bait for their counterspells so that you can untap and resolve a planeswalker on your turn. 


Properly sequencing your cards.

Sequencing your cards is difficult, and is very context dependent. However, assuming you are looking to dig for a specific effect, such as a Fog or a Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box), then the following is the general pattern:

1. Search for Azcanta trigger (upkeep)
2. Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
3. Karn, Scion of Urza (if using the top ability)
4. Nissa, Steward of Elements
5. Teferi, Hero fo Dominaria
6. Karn, Scion of Urza (if using the second ability)
7. Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin (untap with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria)

Cycle during your upkeep to flip Search of Azcanta.

 

Scattered Groves Search for Azcanta


If you have six cards in your graveyard, then you may want to cycle a card in your upkeep before your Search for Azcanta trigger to guarantee it flips, as if you hit Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) it will get shuffled away if you mill it and it will not flip your Search for Azcanta. As long as you have six lands and a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in play, you will be able to cycle a two-mana card in upkeep and still cast Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) thanks to Search for Azcanta turning into a land and Teferi's untap trigger.

Use reminders to ensure clear communication.

When you are going off, it can often be difficult to track how many additional turns you may have and how many Teferi, Hero of Dominaria triggers you will have at end step.

Remember to communicate all of this clearly so that your opponent does not lose track and have it turn into a messy judge call – especially as Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) shuffles back into your library which can make it difficult to figure out how many had been cast up to that point. My recommendation is to track it by pen and paper – similar to how you track your energy count. 


Be aware of the clock.

Although I had barely played any games with the deck before the tournament, I felt that I had goldfished the deck enough to be able to play the deck reasonably fast. At the tournament, I felt like I played even faster, but I found that most of my matches ended just before time was called.

A lot of this had to do with my opponents' reluctance to concede after I had locked the game up, which meant I had to keep playing even when they had zero permanents in play. I do not fault them for doing so as they have every right to play until the game reaches its conclusion, but just be aware that some people may want to play it out, and so you always have to play fast as it can be hard to predict how much time you will need actually to close the game out. 

The "One-Turn Kill"

If you are running out of time or you are in extra turns, and you need to kill your opponent in one turn, you can do so if you have at least ten lands, a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and a Nissa, Steward of Elements with at least seven counters, all in play, and an Anticipate in hand. 

 

Nissa, Steward of Elements Anticipate


First, float two mana, and then ultimate the Nissa, Steward of Elements to turn the two tapped lands into 5/5 creatures. Next, use Teferi, Hero of Dominaria's middle ability to put the Nissa third from the top of your library.

Following that, use the two mana you have floating to cast the Anticipate to put the Nissa back into your hand. Finally, use your remaining eight mana to cast a Nissa, Steward of Elements for six, and ultimate her again to create two more 5/5s creatures – allowing you to attack for exactly twenty damage in the air. 


Deal with problematic permanents with Teferi.

 

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria


If there is a Chandra, Torch of Defiance in play that is threatening to lethal, or a Hazoret the Fervent that can pitch enough cards to kill you, then you can use Teferi, Hero of Dominaria's middle ability to temporarily deal with them.

This comes up often against the red-based decks when you whiff on finding a Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box), but you have a hand full of Fog-effects so temporarily dealing with these permanents for a few turns will help you buy enough time to then go off. 


Using your planeswalkers as bait.

If you need time to set up but you are missing a fog effect, you can often use your Nissa, Steward of Elements or Karn, Scion of Urza as bait to buy time. However, you have to plan this accordingly, as your opponent will attack you if it is for lethal, so try to set this up a turn or two before when you expect them to kill you. 

Put Gift of Paradise on a basic land.

 

Gift of Paradise Hinterland Harbor


Ideally, try to place your Gift of Paradise on a basic land, so you do not leave yourself vulnerable to a Field of Ruin.

However, if you cannot, then put it on a Hinterland Harbor, Sunpetal Grove or Glacial Fortress over any of the cycle lands, as the cycle lands help the former come into play untapped later on in the game, so you do not want to lose them. 


Casting Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) after your opponent has resolved theirs.

In the mirror match, if your opponent casts a Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box), let it resolve first and then cast yours – as yours will resolve last so you will take the extra turn first. 

Gain life with Gift of Paradise or try to go off.

If your opponent is threatening to kill you with a Chandra, Torch of Defiance or a Cut // Ribbons, you usually have to try to off with Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box). However, depending on how much card digging you have, it may be difficult for you to go infinite from there.

In that case, try to figure out how many Gift of Paradises you may need to gain you enough life to not die – as depending on your hand, that may be more likely to pull off than to try to take infinite turns.


Make a token with Karn, Scion of Urza for protection.

 

Karn, Scion of Urza 

Doomfall The Eldest Reborn


If your opponent is playing a black-based midrange deck, it is highly likely that they are playing Doomfall or The Eldest Reborn – especially post-sideboard. If you have a Carnage Tyrant, or a planeswalker you want to protect from Eldest Reborn, you can use Karn, Scion of Urza to make a Construct token to protect yourself from these cards.



Sideboard Guide

The following is a rough sideboard guide for each matchup, with key cards in their deck to play around. Note that this is only a rough guideline, and you should adjust it accordingly based on your opponent's exact decklist and their play pattern, e.g., I would bring in Negate against B/R Aggro if I see them overloading on planeswalkers and expensive disruption such as Doomfall or Insult//Injury. 

B/R Aggro

+2 Lyra Dawnbringer
+2 Dissenter's Deliverance 
+2 Cast Out

-2 Chart a Course 

-1 Search for Azcanta
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering 
-1 Glimmer of Genius 
-1 Nissa, Steward of Elements

Main: 4 Goblin Chainwhirler, 0-3 Hazoret the Fervent, 1-2 Glorybringer, 2-3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance, 0-3 Ahn-Crop Crasher 

SB: 3-4 Duress, 0-1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance, 1-2 Glorybringer, 0-2 Doomfall


Notes: 3-5 Discard in SB, 3-4 Chandra in 75, 3 Glorybringer in 75.


Mono-Green Aggro

+2 Lyra Dawnbringer 
+2 Dissenter's Deliverance 

-1 Chart a Course 

-1 Search for Azcanta
-1 Glimmer of Genius 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering

Main: 3-4 Blossoming Defense, 2-4 Resilient Khenra, 2 Thrashing Brontodon, 0-1 Verdurous Gearhulk, 0-1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship 

SB: 2-3 Vivien Reid, 1-2 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, 0-2 Thrashing Brontodon, 0-2 Sorcerous Spyglass, 0-1 Nissa, Vital Force 


Mono Red Aggro

+2 Lyra Dawnbringer 
+2 Dissenter's Deliverance 

-1 Chart a Course 
-1 Search for Azcanta
-1 Glimmer of Genius 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering

Main: 4 Goblin Chainwhirler, 4 Hazoret the Fervent, 1-2 Ahn-Crop Crasher, 3-4 Shock, 2-4 Lightning Strike, 0-4 Wizard's Lightning 

SB: 2-3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance, 3 Glorybringer 

Notes: They play 12 burn spells including Wizard's Lightning if they have Ghitu Lavarunner.



Grixis Midrange

+3 Negate 
+3 Jace's Defeat
+1 Nezahal, Primal Tide 
+2 Carnage Tyrant 
+2 Cast Out

-4 Root Snare 

-3 Haze of Pollen 
-2 Gift of Paradise 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering 
-1 Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box)

Main: 3 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager, 1-3 Torrential Gearhulk, 0-2 Doomfall, 2-3 Supreme Will, 4 Vraska's Contempt, 0-1 Commit // Memory

SB: 3 Duress, 1-2 Arguel's Blood Fast, 1-2 Jace's Defeat, 2 Negate, 0-2 Bontu's Last Reckoning, 0-1 Hour of Devastation, 0-1 Vizier of Many Faces 


Turbo Fog

+3 Negate 
+3 Jace's Defeat
+1 Nezahal, Primal Tide
+2 Carnage Tyrant
+2 Cast Out

-4 Root Snare 

-4 Haze of Pollen 
-2 Gift of Paradise 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering 

Main: 4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, 4 Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box), 0-1 Oath of Teferi, 0-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering, 0-1 The Mirari Conjecture 

SB: 4 Jace's Defeat, 4 Negate, 3 Cast Out (Team MTG Mint Card)/4 Negate, 2 Jace's Defeat, 2 Baral, Chief of Compliance, 1 Nezahal, Primal Tide, 2 Cleansing Nova (Team Face2Face Games)


UW Control

+3 Negate 
+3 Jace's Defeat
+1 Nezahal, Primal Tide
+2 Carnage Tyrant
+2 Cast Out

-4 Root Snare 
-4 Haze of Pollen 
-1 Gift of Paradise 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering
-1 Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box) 

Main: 1 Torrential Gearhulk, 4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, 2 Syncopate, 1 Blink of an Eye, 1 Negate, 4 Disallow, 1 Commit // Memory, 3 Cast Out 

SB: 1 Jace's Defeat, 2 Negate, 1 Sorcerous Spyglass, 2 Forsake the Worldly, 1 Kefnet the Mindful, 2 Torrential Gearhulk, 1 Nezhal, Primal Tide 

Notes: 3 Settle the Wreckage and 3 Fumigate in the 75 for Carnage Tyrant.

Esper Control

+3 Negate 
+3 Jace's Defeat
+1 Nezahal, Primal Tide
+2 Carnage Tyrant
+2 Cast Out

-4 Root Snare 

-4 Haze of Pollen 
-1 Gift of Paradise 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering
-1 Nexus of Fate (Core Set 2019 Buy-a-Box)

Main: 4 Torrential Gearhulk, 3 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, 2-3 Syncopate, 4 Disallow, 0-1 Negate, 0-1 Forsake the Worldly, 4 Vraska's Contempt

SB: 2 Negate, 1 Jace's Defeat, 0-1 Arguel's Blood Fast, 0-1 Doomfall, 0-1 The Eldest Reborn, 0-1 Chromium, the Mutable, 0-1 Detection Tower, 0-2 Walking Ballista, 0-2 Duress, 0-1 Sorcerous Spyglass, 0-1 Vizier of Many Faces 


Notes: 6-8 counterspells main deck.


Mono-Blue Storm

+3 Negate 
+3 Jace's Defeat
+1 Nezahal, Primal Tide
+2 Cast Out
+2 Dissenter's Deliverance 

-4 Root Snare 

-4 Haze of Pollen 
-2 Gift of Paradise 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering

Main: 3-4 Metallic Rebuke, 1-2 Commit // Memory 

SB: 1-2 Jace's Defeat, 2-3 Negate, 0-1 Padeem, Consul of Innovation, 0-1 The Antiquities War, 0-1 Tezzeret, Artifice Master, 0-1 Commit // Memory, 0-1 Sorcerous Spyglass, 0-1 Metallic Rebuke, 0-1 Nezahal, Primal Tide, 0-3 Baral, Chief of Compliance 


Notes: 4 Metallic Rebuke and 2 Commit // Memory in 75


B/G Constrictor

+2 Cast Out 
+2 Dissenter's Deliverance 

-1 Chart a Course 

-1 Search for Azcanta
-1 Root Snare 
-1 Karn's Temporal Sundering

Main: 4 Walking Ballista, 4 Verdurous Gearhulk, 0-1 Vraska's Contempt 

SB: 3-4 Duress, 1 Vraska's Contempt, 0-1 Vivien Reid, 1-2 Vraska, Relic Seeker, 0-2 Thrashing Brontodon 

I hope you enjoyed this article as I covered the Turbo Fog deck I played at Nationals, with some key playing tips and a sideboard guide for all the main matchups. Although this deck has lost its surprise factor and people are a lot better prepared for it now, it is still one of the best decks, and it is a ton of fun to play! 

Until next time!

Zen Takahashi
@mtgzen on Twitter
 

 

 




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