Going into the Pro Tour, Standard was an incredibly narrow format. Red
midrange decks were still tier one, though there were some rumblings that
the archetype was no longer was it used to be. Green aggro decks received
some new tools in the form of Thorn Lieutenant and Vine Mare, and Grixis
Midrange with Nicol Bolas, the Ravager had been popular at recent SCG Tour
What there wasn’t a lot? Control decks. Despite the power of Teferi,
control was not popular going into the Pro Tour, and it’s in those
metagames that you can get wacky.
And get wacky some players did.
When most people think of beating creature decks, sweepers, and efficient
removal is the first thing to come to mind, but aggro and midrange decks
these days have too wide a range of threats for that to work consistently,
so the better answer is to play a game where you can effectively ignore
Fog effects like Haze of Pollen and Root Snare do exactly that, and both
conveniently cost two-mana, letting you cast them off the lands you untap
with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Every fog is effectively a Time Walk
against most of the Standard metagame, letting you accrue card advantage
via planeswalkers and Search for Azcanta.
But eventually you do have to win the game. And you can certainly run out
of fog effects. That’s where Nexus of Fate comes in. The Time Walk lets you
continue to gain card advantage from planeswalkers, but the real kicker is
the fact that Nexus of Fate shuffles back into your library afterward.
With no space used on removal, this deck has lots of velocity, so after
several turns of fogging and time walking, your library gets quite small.
Eventually it becomes academic to find a Nexus of Fate every turn, ultimate
Teferi, exile all your opponent’s permanents, and win the game with some
Karn-structs. It may take a while, much like decking your opponent while
repeatedly -3ing Teferi on itself, but you don’t want any air in your deck
and blanking all opposing removal is important.
The deck is so well-suited towards beating creature decks that your entire
sideboard is devoted to control and Aetherflux Reservoir combo decks. While
it didn’t break into the top 4, this was the breakout Standard deck from
the Pro Tour, and you better have a plan for beating it for the next few
months until Ravnica Allegiance is released.