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How to beat Nexus of Fate

Once again Turbo Fog is arising as one of the top tier decks in Standard, in its latest version: ‘Wilderness Reclamation Nexus of Fate’. Wilderness Reclamation has indeed brought new and rather insane possibilities to the deck. For example, you can tap your lands in response to its trigger, floating mana to cast Nexus of Fate with say just 4 lands in play, or use Azcanta twice, etc. The card feels kind of broken when you think about it. Apart from Wilderness Reclamation, the other main addition from Ravnica Allegiance is Growth Spiral, that is, more mana acceleration at instant speed; well, and of course Hallowed Fountain and Breeding Pool are great additions to the deck too.

Turbo Fog is a huge enemy of all the midrange decks that are flourishing in the new Standard metagame, since they usually won’t be fast enough to defeat it. The question is then, how do you beat Nexus of Fate? How do you stop them from going infinite with Nexus and exiling all your permanents with Teferi? I think you either have an explosive start, playing something like mono red burn so you win before they have all the pieces to go off, or you disrupt their combo big time. Let’s look into the latter and analyse those cards that can disrupt Turbo Fog’s strategy:

  • Any blue based control deck should have a good match up against Nexus of Fate. Counterspells will make their game plan very difficult to set up, until you get a Teferi of your own going. Negate, Sinister Sabotage, Absorb, Ionize or Syncopate are all nice cards against it.
  • Duress. Your priority will be to take Teferi or Nexus of Fate -Nexus will be shuffled in their library though-. If you miss, you can hit a fog perhaps, Wilderness Reclamation or Search For Azcanta.
  • Thought Erasure can likewise be a good choice for the same reasons.
  • Talking about discard effects, a planeswaker like Angrath, the Flame-Chained can contribute to interrupt their strategy, making sure that they don’t enjoy any card advantage.
  • Kitesail Freebooter. As with Duress or Thought Erasure, you want to target Teferi and Nexus of Fate. Some variants of the Turbo Fog deck don’t play any sweepers other than Settle the Wreckage, so Kitesail Freebooter can be quite hard to deal with, even more if you don’t attack with it.
  • Unmoored Ego. Get rid of their copies of Teferi and Nexus of Fate forever! (Unless Teferi is already on the battlefield, in which case you’ll still have to kill that Teferi and you’ll probably choose to target Nexus of Fate).
  • Ixalan’s Biding. It allows you to exile Teferi, or Wildnerness Reclamation or Search for Azcanta. A bit slow but versatile and very powerful if it hits the right target.
  • Deputy of Detention can work in a similar way.
  • Sorcerous Spyglass. Usually you want to target Teferi, even if they don’t have it in their hand -although be careful if you’re playing Teferi as well, it obviously affects yours too!-.
  • Planeswalker removal such as Assassin’s Trophy, Eldest Reborn, Vraska’s Contempt and Bedevil. After sideboards, these spells can equally remove creature threats such as Hydroid Krasis.
  • Enchantment removal? I think your clear priority is to remove Teferi and Nexus of Fate, but Thrashing Brontodon or Invoke the Divine could be okay in some situations to destroy Wilderness Reclamation, Search for Azcanta or Gift of Paradise and slow them down.

Any other suggestions to work around the combo and beat Nexus of Fate?

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