Prevent all damage that would be dealt this turn.
The phrase sounds innocent enough. We aren't just preventing damage done to ourselves, or to our creatures, but to everyone! How much nobler a goal is there than that? Well, most of the time, Fog is noble, whether it is preventing a lethal Overrun from connecting or it's keeping a fast draw in check while you crawl toward the late game. But when enough good Fog effects and enough good draw spells exist in a format at the same time, things can get ugly.
The strategy I am speaking of has developed the more common label of "TurboFog." Tonett on Magic Online deemed the conditions to be optimal for this type of strategy, which has been absent from Standard for quite some time. TurboFog decks are built to take over a long, drawn-out game, in which you manage to stifle your opponent's win condition. There are essentially three components to most TurboFog lists: Stall, Draw, and Mana.
This particular list has all three of those elements and turns the draw into its win condition, saving space in the list. You see, early on, this list just wants to sit back, cast Ponder, and play mana. At some point, a Howling Mine effect gets played, like Rites of Flourishing, and the deck's card-advantage engine is online. At this point, the deck just wants to mitigate damage for the rest of the game while deploying more Howling Mine effects. After turns of casting Fogs and drawing cards, the deck ends the game by casting a big Blue Sun's Zenith at its opponent, decking him or her in the process. The deck certainly attracts a specific crowd, but whether you fall in that crowd or not, some practice against this before your next Friday Night Magic might not be a bad idea.
Tonett's Turbo Fog
Standard – 4–0, Magic Online Daily, Week of August 6