A couple weeks back someone posted on my Facebook page that Gerry Thompson always seems to showcase a deck that in his article that I've played in one of my articles in the days prior. While it was alluded to that he was taking my ideas, the more likely answer is that he was looking at the same pages that I was, at the same times that I was, and we both happened to find some of the best gems in their respective formats.
Magic Online user Darth_Revan supplied us with another of those such gems as he went 4-0 in a Modern Daily Event. Behold: the legend of Turbo Fog!
To be fair, this deck isn't actually very Turbo. The original Turbo Fog archetype excelled at three things, and it did so in a time without the dominance of planeswalkers: it drew a ton of cards, it prevented a ton of combat damage, and it killed a ton of creatures. I'm not sure if this version is great at doing all of those things, but I know the spirit seems to be very similar. Only this version wants to take a bunch of turns with a bunch of planeswalkers in play in order to create a bunch of shenanigans.
Let's see if we can succeed at it.
Turbo Fog vs. RW Prison
Turbo Fog vs. Slivers
Turbo Fog vs. Grixis Delver
Turbo Fog vs. Jeskai Control
One thing that is hard to accept is that every time I play an obscure deck that happened to go 4-0 once or twice in a Daily Event, is the fact that the deck could have been played in five other Daily Events and performed poorly before that moment; there's always the possibility that we're looking at a relatively untuned deck's lucky day.
That being said, my biggest problem with the deck was that it seemed very unfocused. Despite how great Venser, the Sojourner's emblem is, we didn't have many valuable targets to blink. Desite how good Garruk, the Wildspeakers ultimate is, we don't have many creatures to take advantage of it. Gideon Jura is a great win condition and a way to "fog" the ground, but with only one sweeper (and one Gideon for that matter) it's hard to actually keep him alive. That brings us to my next issue...
The deck also had an excessive amount of one and two-ofs. One Cryptic Command? One Oust? One Ethereal Haze? Two Dawn Charm? One Supreme Verdict? One Negate in the maindeck? Need I go on? These numbers feel so random. I feel like we're trying very hard to execute a specific plan, the same way the Turbo Fog decks of old tried to, but we're not providing ourselves with the right tools. For example we have very few ways to draw cards in the deck and, oddly enough, very few ways to Fog an opponent's attack. The deck feels like it wants to Fog...turbo-ly at that, but we don't have all of the necessary tools to do so.
One of the things we missed the most with the deck was the ability to draw cards. If you don't hit one of your few Jaces (of which you may have a hard time protecting), you don't really have any way to fill your hand. This is in direct opposition with the Turbo Fog decks of old that played cards like Howling Mine, Rites of Flourishing, and Otherworld Atlas. In fact filling up your hand every turn to make sure you had Counterspells and Fog effects and Wrath of Gods was huge and the primary way that you remained in the game. We don't have consistent enough tools in this version to make sure that happens, however. With most of the previous options the opponent was often also drawing cards with us as well, but that didn't usually affect us too much as one of our primary win conditions was milling them out.
The one Simic Growth Chamber felt a little odd too. We don't have anything to combo it with and there are a ton of effects that can bounce or destroy a land in Modern making it something of a liability. I definitely wouldn't mind adding more Cryptic Commands either, but that's just the tip of the Iceberg, really. I would love to see a list like this that managed to even up a lot of the card choices and tighten the strategy a little bit. One Nature's Claim in the sideboard simply will not do; especially with all the Blood Moons and Amulet of Vigor's running around.
The alternative is that I simply had no idea how to play the deck and, as such, did not do as well as I could have. Maybe it was me, and the deck is a work of art. I'm not so sure though, as I've never seen a similar build, piloted by Darth_Revan or otherwise, placing well at any event in Modern.
Anyway, that's about it for today. If you have any suggestions for the deck, be sure to leave them in the comments and maybe we can try to tweak this bad boy for me to play on my regular Stream on TwitchTV. Thanks for reading guys, and I'll catch you on Thursday with a Collective Company deck in Standard.
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV, streaming Monday - Thursday afternoons