New Comer: Turbo Fog

Christian Calcano

At Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, we saw a new breakout deck in Standard in the form of Turbo Fog. Only 6 players decided to play it, and 3 of those players were on our testing team (Yam Wing-Chun, Lee Shi Tian, and Raphael Levy). Our version was different than the one that Face to Face ended up playing, but it originated from the same source.

Nexus of Fate

The metagame was perfect for the deck as 66% of the field was playing either BR or Mono Green. The deck performed to expectation, and both versions of the deck (Sorcery version and 《Anticipate》 version) put up strong results. Today I’ll be breaking down the different versions, how I feel about the deck going forward, and what decks/cards I feel are good to combat this new Standard menace.

Let’s start with the Sorcery version of Turbo Fog that David Williams piloted to a 5th place finish at the PT:

“Sorcery” Turbo Fog

Chart a CourseSecrets of the Golden City

This version of Fog plays 《Chart a Course》, 《Secrets of the Golden City》, and 《Glimmer of Genius》 as card draw spells to try to sculpt the turn 4/5 Teferi + Fog turn. Once 《Teferi》 survives the first turn, you can start casting 《Nexus of Fate》 and can eventually snowball and go off.

《Chart a Course》 actually serves multiple purposes here. It helps fill your graveyard faster for 《Search for Azcanta》, it allows you to discard Fogs in game 1 matchups where the card is irrelevant (such as Control or the mirror), and it’s one of 6 Sorceries David played that can be brought back with 《The Mirari Conjecture》.

The Mirari Conjecture

This is the card that excited me the most about the list, as it’s a great follow up to your Teferi + Fog turn. You’re able to return a Fog to buy yet another turn, then return a 《Chart a Course》 to dig for the final pieces, and then you get to copy your 《Nexus of Fate》 or draw spells and from there it’s quite difficult for your opponents to come back.

If we take a look at the sideboard now, you can tell that Face to Face was very worried about the Mono Blue Artifact deck so they’re packing quite a lot of hate for both that and Control decks as those were the only matchups the deck really needed help against going into the PT.

Now that we’ve seen the Sorcery version of Turbo Fog, here’s the version that my teammates decided to play at the PT:

《Anticipate》” Turbo Fog

AnticipateBeneath the Sands

As you can see, there are multiple differences in our lists. Our version plays 《Anticipate》 over 《Chart a Course》, extra ramp spells in 《Beneath the Sands》 over 《Secrets of the Golden City》, extra Planeswalkers in 《Nissa, Steward of Elements》, and 《Oath of Teferi》 over 《The Mirari Conjecture》 (we have less Sorceries and more Planeswalkers). While 《Chart a Course》 does a better job of fueling your graveyard and discarding useless spells game 1, I like 《Anticipate》 more for a couple of reasons. The first is that you get to dig 1 card deeper which is important when you’re just trying to assemble all the pieces to go off. The second is that it gives you another spell to cast with your 《Teferi》 mana. I had it come up a few times where I would draw a 《Chart》 of a 《Teferi》 activation and my mana went unused.

The 《Beneath the Sands》 are quite solid as they allow you to ramp in the early turns, but then cycle when you need to dig for a Fog or whatever card you’re missing to go off. This is why we felt it was better than 《Spring // Mind》 as with 《Spring》, you need to cast the ramp side before you can draw cards off it.

Nissa, Steward of Elements

《Nissa, Steward of Elements》 is incredibly strong in this deck. Sometimes landing one on turn 3 in the right matchup can help you run away with games. But the card is great in this deck because it helps you sculpt your draws, ramps you, and is often your wing condition by activating her ultimate twice.

Oath of Teferi

The last card is 《Oath of Teferi》, and while it might seem worse than 《Karn's Temporal Sundering》, it’s great for a few reasons. First, you don’t need to control a Planeswalker in order to cast it. Second, its blink ability allows you to Gain 3 life if you have a 《Gift of Paradise》 in play, and it also allows you to get access to 1 extra mana which can sometimes be enough to be able to cast 《Oath》 and 《Nexus of Fate》 in the same turn. The last thing is that it is effectively a Time Walk every turn when you get to activate your Planeswalkers multiple times. I feel like 《Oath》 allows you to snowball faster which is why I’ve been a big fan of it.

Our sideboard is different, but we were both prepared for Mono Blue and Control. We packed more hate for Control decks in the form of 《Carnage Tyrant》 and 8 counters. For Mono Blue we had the full 4 《Jace's Defeat》. Then as catch all cards we had 3 《Cast Out》.

If I had to play the Turbo Fog deck going forward, I would play a version similar to the one my teammates played. I would consider perhaps playing 《Chart a Course》 and go up to 4 《Search for Azcanta》 to try to have as many high impact turn 2 plays as possible. I think my list would look something like this:

How to Beat Turbo Fog

After the PT it became apparent that Turbo Fog was going to be a big part of the meta going forward, so players have been trying to figure out what’s the best way to beat it. There’s quite a few cards that are solid vs Turbo Fog, we all know cards like 《Duress》, 《Doomfall》, and counters are going to be good vs them, but what else is there?

Insult // InjuryLost LegacyNegate

Red decks have 《Insult // Injury》 to get past the Fog effects, Black based decks such as Zombies, Grixis, and UB can play 《Lost Legacy》to exile the 《Nexus of Fate》.

But what do Green decks get? Mono Green is the deck that clearly suffers the most from Turbo Fog being more prevalent in the metagame, but the deck is still very much viable. The deck can easily splash Blue for 《Negate》, 《Jace's Defeat》, and 《Commit // Memory》. The early pressure plus the counter backup is a tough task for Turbo Fog to overcome. Another approach if you choose to splash Black or like me, not splash any color, is to have 《Sorcerous Spyglass》 against them. The Turbo Fog deck relies heavily on 《Teferi》 to actually go off. Without access to it they will eventually run out of Fog effects and your creatures can finish them off.

Torrential GearhulkVraska's ContemptDisallow

However, the best positioned deck vs Turbo Fog has to be Esper Control, which had a very strong performance over the weekend winning GP Brussels in the hands of Jeremy Dezani as well as 2 other copies in the top 8 and 1 in the GP Orlando top 8 as well. The deck can interact with Turbo Fog in every way possible as you have discard spells, counter spells, and 《Vraska's Contempt》 to deal with resolved Planeswalkers. Combine all that with 4 《Torrential Gearhulk》 and you present far too many answers for what Turbo Fog can throw your way.

Only 1 Turbo Fog player managed to make top 8 this weekend, and that was Thomas Mechin in Brussels. I think the reason why the deck had a less favorable showing this weekend is because everyone was prepared for it this time around. All the expected hate cards showed up (《Insult // Injury》, 《Lost Legacy》 etc.), as well as more Control decks tuned to beat it. Even through all that, the deck still managed to put up a top 4 which goes to show that it’s resilient enough to put up a strong finish.


In conclusion, I think this Standard format is rapidly changing. There are many viable decks that are all putting up results. While the Turbo Fog deck might have its issues in terms of game play (not much can be done once you fail to stop your Turbo Fog opponent from going off), I think it’s mere existence in the format has really opened things up for other decks to enter the conversation.

BR might still be the best deck, as even through Turbo Fog’s rise, BR is still the most played deck at the moment and it certainly has the tools to beat Turbo Fog. I think we’ll continue to see Turbo Fog as the format continues to develop, but with Control decks winning both GPs this weekend, it’ll be interesting to see where the format goes.

The rise in Control decks means that Aggro will be better positioned. But if people decide to play Aggro to beat Control, then Turbo Fog could prey on those decks. I look forward to seeing it all unfold, best of luck to everyone in their future events!

Thanks for reading,

Christian Calcano

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