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Budget Magic: $91 (35 tix) Modern Tutelage Turbo Fog


Hay Budget Magic lovers! It's that time again. This week, while we wait for Shadows over Innistrad to release, we are heading to Modern once again for a deck that's not only cheap, but almost guaranteed to lose you some friends: Tutelage Turbo Fog! While we've played some hateful decks over the months, locking our opponents out with Knowledge Pool and Worship, Tutelage Turbo Mill might be the biggest offender of them all. With Knowledge Pool, for example, our opponent knows they are dead and they scoop. Tutelage Turbo Mill doesn't give opponents that option because they are always just one attack away from winning. So instead of scooping, they continue to play and just hope against hope we whiff on drawing one of our 17 Fogs. Unfortunately for them it rarely happens. 

One more piece of news: We're now doing a Weekly MTGGoldfish Stream featuring Budget Magic and Against the Odds decks. If you ever wanted to come ask questions or make suggestions, here's your chance! Drop by our twitch.tv/mtggoldfish channel Thursday March 31 from 7:00-9:30pm Eastern!

Let's get to the videos, then I'll talk more about Tutelage Turbo Fog. A quick reminder. If you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Tutelage Turbo Fog Deck Tech

Tutelage Turbo Fog vs Living End

Tutelage Turbo Fog vs GW Hatebears

Tutelage Turbo Fog vs 8 Whack

Tutelage Turbo Fog vs Abzan

Tutelage Turbo Fog vs Merfolk

The Deck

The idea of Tutelage Turbo Fog is really, really simple. First, we look to resolve our card draw effects like Howling Mine, which not only diminish our opponent's library by making them draw an extra card every turn, but it also makes sure our hand contains as many Fogs as possible. Then we resolve a Sphinx's Tutelage to speed up the milling process. Finally, we spend the rest of the game casting our 17 Fogs, one per turn, to make sure that we don't die to our opponent's ever-increasing number of creatures. Eventually, we mill our opponent out and win the game when they are forced to draw an empty library. 

The Finishers 

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Sphinx's Tutelage is the way we win the game. We usually don't play it early, instead we try to set up the lock of Howling Mines and Fogs. When we do play it in the mid-to-late game, we usually trigger it multiple times each turn thanks to our ample card draw. Once Sphinx's Tutelage resolves we can usually close out the game in just a few turns. 

Elixir of Immortality is our backup plan. Say, for example, our opponent kills a Sphinx's Tutelage and then manages to exile all copies with Surgical Extraction. In this scenario, our plan is to keep drawing cards and eventually shuffle our graveyard back into our library with Elixir of Immortality, which should let us win the long game as our opponent decks themselves naturally. 

Card Draw

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One of the most important aspects of Tutelage Turbo Fog is redundancy. While we only get a playset of Sphinx's Tutelage (since it's so unique), for the other two pieces of our deck (the "turbo" card draw and Fogs), we do our best to be as redundant as possible. As such, Howling Mine, Dictate of Kruphix, and Temple Bell are pretty much the same card, which gives us 12 copies of "each player draws a extra card every turn" effects. 

Howling Mine is in some ways the worst and the best of the bunch. The downside of Howling Mine is that our opponent always gets to draw the first card, which means if they can immediately kill it with an Abrupt Decay or Ancient Grudge, it ends up reading "pay two mana, your opponent draws a card," which isn't very good. On the other hand, it's a mana cheaper than Dictate of Kruphix and Temple Bell, which can be relevant in the late game when we want to cast a Howling Mine, resolve a Fog, and loot with Sphinx's Tutelage

In many ways Dictate of Kruphix is our best Howling Mine,  not only because we can flash it in at the end of our opponent's turn (which allows us to draw the first card), but because it's an enchantment, and enchantments are a bit harder to kill than artifacts in Modern. The downside of Dictate of Kruphix is that is costs three mana, making it slower than Howling Mine, and it has a double-blue mana cost, making it more difficult to cast than Temple Bell

Temple Bell is generally worse than Dictate of Kruphix because causing both players to draw at once is not quite as good as us drawing the first card. It does have one huge upside: we get to control the timing of the draw. While most of the time we want to activate Temple Bell every turn, there are some situations where it's better not to have both player draw (e.g. if our opponent can draw a lethal burn spell while we are tapped out). The other great thing about Temple Bell is that it allows us to trigger our Sphinx's Tutelage immediately. With Howling Mine or Dictate of Kruphix we need to wait until our next draw step to draw a card and trigger Sphinx's Tutelage

Fogs

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Speaking of redundancy, we get to play 17 copies of Fog in our deck, which means we should always have one in hand when we need it. Ethereal Haze and Holy Day are almost exactly the same card in our deck. Both cost one mana and prevent all combat damage that would be dealt for a turn. While they are less powerful than our two-mana Fogs, they make up for it by being the most efficient Fogs in our deck.

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Angelsong is one of our two-mana Fogs, but it does come with a bit of upside. Usually we'll cast it like a Holy Day to prevent all combat damage, but every so often we'll cycle it to try to find a Sphinx's Tutelage or Howling Mine

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Dawn Charm is easily the best Fog in our deck because it not only allows us to prevent combat damage for a turn, it can also be used to counter a spell that targets us, which helps shore up one of our deck's biggest weaknesses. Tutelage Turbo Mill is very, very good against creature decks that are looking to win by attacking, but it can struggle against decks like Burn and Combo, which look to kill us will spells. Dawn Charm's third mode allows it to be a main deck answer to a Lightning Bolt to the face when it isn't acting like a Fog.

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Finally we have one copy of Pollen Lullaby, which is the highest variance Fog in our deck. Most of the time it's just a two mana Fog, which isn't really exciting since our other two-mana Fogs have significant upside. However, every once and a while, we win the clash (which doesn't happen often because our average converted mana cost is rather low), and it becomes (almost) a double Fog since it keeps our opponent's creature from untapping the next turn. 

Pseudo-Fogs

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Supreme Verdict can take a little bit of pressure off our actual Fogs by actually killing our opponent's creatures. More importantly it gives us a way to deal with creatures that can win the game without attacking. Without some number of Supreme Verdicts, our deck would be drawing dead to something like Grim Lavamancer.

Meanwhile, I wish I hadn't put Gideon Jura in the main deck. While it sounded good on paper — his +2 is basically a repeatable Fog — the problem is our opponent typically has so many creatures on the battlefield that Gideon Jura just dies to the first attack. Essentially Gideon Jura is just a five-mana Fog, which isn't a playable card. While I might keep one copy of Gideon Jura in the sideboard, playing a second Pollen Lullaby in the main deck is likely better. 

 

The ultra-budget version of Tutelage Turbo Fog should play pretty much the same as the version in the video. The main downgrades are Supreme Verdict becoming Day of Judgment (a minor downgrade), Relic of Progenitus becoming Tormod's Crypt, and the manabase becoming a bit less consistent. I believe this version should still be powerful in creature matchups, but not quite as good as the version in the videos because it will lose to itself more often thanks to the questionable mana base. 

 

The non-land cards don't actually change much in the non-budget version of Tutelage Turbo Fog, since we already have all of the best Fogs and most of the best Howling Mines in the deck. That said, there are two huge additions. First, the manabase is greatly improved with more powerful duals that enter the battlefield untapped, along with Celestial Colonnade which gives the deck a legitimate Plan B. Second, we get four copies of Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard, which is the card I wanted most in the budget version. As I mentioned before, Tutelage Turbo Fog is really good at beating up on creature decks, but it can struggle with combo. That deficiency changes when we bring in four Leyline of Sanctity to go along with our four Negates after sideboarding.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. I had a blast playing Tutelage Turbo Fog this week, and I think the list is extremely competitive. However, a word of warning, just how much success you'll have with the deck will depend a lot on your local metagame. If everyone is playing Abzan, Eldrazi, Infect, and other creature-based decks, Tutelage Turbo Fog can win you the tournament. On the other hand, if you are expecting to play a lot of Storm, Ad Nauseam, and Conflagrate Dredge, you'll want to get very good at sideboarding. 

As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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