Daily Digest: No Combat Allowed

Is it foggy in here? Or is it just Ross Merriam’s latest look into the strange and wonderful decklists that make up the hidden rogue metagame beneath Modern? Just because you play in the #SCGBALT Modern Classic doesn’t mean you have to have attack steps while you do it!

Shadows over Innistrad Prerelease April 2-3!

I have some experience with TurboFog decks. And by some, I mean this.

The experience was not positive.

I have never gone from feeling like I could not lose to feeling like I could not win faster than when James revealed his hand in Game 1. He had plenty of fog effects and was going to be tearing through his deck for the rest of the game, meaning the likelihood that I was going to connect for any amount of damage for the rest of the game was low. I was left to stare at my pile of lands and creatures with disgust.

That is what TurboFog does. It completely invalidates certain strategies, making them look foolish as they are rendered completely helpless. Most TurboFog decks in Magic’s history have been blue and green, since you need to dig through your deck and draw extra cards and plenty of those cards have to be Gog effects. But with a card pool as large as Modern’s, there are enough fogs in white to let this Esper version function.

Notably, all the Fogs in the deck do not restrict the damage prevention to you, so they protect the many planeswalkers in the deck as well. This is important as white gives you access to Gideon Jura, aka the best Fog. The Jaces in the list both serve as card drawers that can eventually deck your opponent, and the black splash for Ashiok is perfect for milling them out since it can also put some key blockers onto the battlefield or ultimate to lock up an otherwise close game.

Tamiyo is the card I am most skeptical of, since even though perpetually Fogging your opponent can set up some huge -2 draw turns, I suspect that line is overkill, and outside of that you have an underpowered five-mana sorcery.

The rest of the deck is unsurprising with a pile of Fogs, ways to find more Fogs, and a full set of Supreme Verdicts to punish your opponent for overextending in the hopes of ending the game in one attack after running you out of Fogs. What I would like to see is a few counterspells to help protect your draw engines and planeswalkers from removal as well as stop your opponent from winning a game with a pile of burn spells. Dawn Charm helps against the latter, but a few Negates I think would be a welcome addition to the deck.

The Leylines of Sanctity are by far the most important cards in the sideboard, since TurboFog has always been weak to discard and burn. I’m surprised the fourth one was cut. Sphinx’s Tutelage is a nice way to increase your clock against slower decks, but I don’t see a lot of that in Modern, although perhaps the unbanning of Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek will change that.

Speaking of the recent unbannings, this is a perfect home for Ancestral Vision while also being great against other Vision decks. This deck can also ignore the pile of tokens and life that the Thopter-Sword engine generates. While I suspect this was a metagame deck meant to match up well against Eldrazi, it may remain potent in the Modern format moving forward. Outside of that, if you are in the right local metagame, TurboFog could be an easy trump for a few tournaments before people adjust.

Sometimes you have to keep the people honest.

Shadows over Innistrad Prerelease April 2-3!