Hello folks! I hope your day is going well!
Today I wanted to take a step back and review a classic effect of the game ever since the first set gave us the iconic card Fog.
Heading all the way back to Alpha, we had Fog! This green instant prevented all combat damage that was being dealt for the turn. It prevented the caster's damage as well as others' stuff as well. This card's power and ubiquity have led to many other iterations during the years of effects named after Fog and today I want to take a look at the best Fogs in the game.
What makes a card a Fog?
- Instant. This bad boy needs to be an instant. There are a number of other damage prevention effects out there like Maze of Ith, Spore Frog, and Horn of Deafening. But we need only instants as a part of the best Fogs of all time.
- Damage Prevention. To count as a Fog, you must prevent damage until the end of the turn. Please note that some later Fogs came around that either prevented some damage and allowed others or prevented all damage all together.
- Green. Fog was moved to White and Black in Legends, but modern takes on Fog have been exclusively Green. We'll sit only in Green for these spells.
Ready for my list? Let's get ready to Tangle!
Honorable Mention: Druid's Deliverance
Druid's Deliverance was one of a new set of iconic tools for me from its set that included my favorite, Rootborn Defenses. I can't recall a cycle of cards in a new expansion that did a bunch of great things like these and then add in the keyword to them as well as these, which is pretty common now. I loved the populate cycle, and this is ideal Fog for token decks! Just let them all through, and prevent the damage that comes your way (it doesn't prevent damage to your dorks.) Get your Deliverance on!
10. Tanglesap and Vine Snare
Both are great and play into the same space. One leaves tramplers dealing damage and the other only prevents them from small fry. These are strong build-around-me Fogs give you a high chance of having most or all of your stuff not prevented but your foes' only a small number if any, having their damage allowed. They are great for your builds!
9. Lull and Haze of Pollen
The problem with Fogs is that they can be dead cards at times. You might draw one when your foe controls no creatures or when you need something else, like a creature of your own. What do you do? Well, I know! Run Lull and Haze of Pollen and then just cycle them for another card if you have that need. This lets you have Fogs when you need Fogs and have something else when you need something else. I run this duo in decks right now, including my signature one, Abe's Deck of Happiness and Joy. In fact, I run these two more than some of the later hitting ones below!
8. Blunt the Assault
There was a time when the most played and dominant spell at the multiplayer kitchen table was Congregate. It was so heavily played that it warped metagames. Let's look at it! For 4 mana you gain life equal to two times the number of dorks on the battlefield. This could easily be 12, 16 or 22 life for 4 mana. It was so heavily played that I ran False Cure in one of my decks to kill someone who cast Congregate on themself. Now that most multiplayer games begin with 40 life in Commander, Congregate is less played, but its power and class should be respected. That's why I adore Blunt the Assault. It's half a Congregate and a Fog spliced together! I can't tell you how many times I've cast this when I wasn't being attacked just to gain life! You can easily gain a lot of life from it! And then you get a Fog too, and both work together quite ably. I run this in several decks right now as well!
7. Blinding Fog
Blinding Fog is an interesting variant as it plays into a different space, which I enjoy a lot. Firstly, it only prevents damage to creatures, so you cannot keep yourself alive, like a standard Fog might do. However, it prevents any damage that might come their way, not just combat damage, so you can cast in in response to burn or a damage-based sweeper like Blasphemous Act and keep your team alive. Also, your dorks get hexproof, so you can use it to answer targeted removal like Cyclonic Rift or Swords to Plowshares. That puts this into a very different place, although you can still run it like a normal Fog by chump blocking and then keeping your chumpers alive. It's a flexible answer for Green in any creature heavy brew that wants to protect those creatures. I do run this in brews...
6. Hunter's Ambush
Note that this is one Hunter's Ambush by title, not multiple ones, but there are multiple ones in the art, which has always bugged me. The art looks like "Hunters' Ambush..." Anyways, this card is a lot easier to pull off than Tanglesap or Vine Snare above. Everything that's not Green is prevented. You can easily make sure you have a lot of those. In a mono-Green deck you'll easily make this keep your stuff from dealing a lot of damage. And there's only roughly 20% of foes that this will keep around. However, there is a reason this is outside of my top 5. There are times when you are going to run into a lot of Green dorks that you want to Fog and cannot and the original vanilla Fog would have saved your life better. It happens. It's less likely to appear in a trample matters deck with Tanglesap since that's a much smaller number of dorks and you are rarely running into multiple tramplers from your foes at once. This remains a pretty solid choice for your decks!
Top five time!
Hello Spider fans! Ready for a crazy version of Fog? Sure thing! It's perfect for Spider tribal, but it's better than that as it makes Spider tokens which chump block attackers and then prevents the damage dealt to your lil' guys. It's so funky! It's a Fog. It's a pro-Spider card. It's a pro-tokens card. It's great in control or mid-range builds. It's just a lot of fun, and I run Arachnogenesis in decks right now!
4. Moment's Peace
Moment's Peace is probably the Fog with the most cachet. Why? It's been played the most at tournaments. It used to be a staple card that enabled several strategies at the tournament table. What is a Fog at its central nature? It's a tempo play. It delays damage for a turn, and if you were about to die from that damage, then it's basically a Green Time Walk as it gives you another turn you weren't expecting. Oftentimes you'll Fog, save yourself from dying, and then kill with the counterattack now that they are open!
But Moment's Peace can be cast twice, and each iteration is very cheap. It's not just one Time Walk...it's two! That gave it a lot of power and thus brought it into main decks as a control card as well as comboing with mass card draw in Turbo Fog shells. It's double Fogging is just amazing. It's also better in multiplayer than a normal Fog as you can Fog two players, rather than just one. And folks might attack elsewhere if you have a Moment's Peace in your graveyard as they don't want to be Fogged. I've had it happen when my foe had a Commander with a combat damage trigger and they needed to draw the card off Lu Xun, Scholar General or their Ashling, the Extinguisher. I have multiple builds from Commander to casual multiplayer than run this double Fog. Good stuff!
3. Tangle and Spore Cloud
Getting the ability to stall an opponent's attack is a great way to gain some tempo, but they'll likely swing back at you next turn. How do you stop that from happening? Great question! You keep them from untapping for a full turn which gives you two Fogs for one card. You can even get one full attack in before they untap, and thus you won't leave yourself open to counter attacks like normal. Note that Spore Cloud is better in multiplayer as it'll tap down blockers and keeps them from untapping too, so if Steve attacked John and he blocked, you can lock them both down for a while. This duo is all over my decks. Good stuff!
2. Thwart the Enemy and Obscuring Haze
You know what? Forget preventing just combat damage! And forget jumping through hoops to up the Fog's restriction with your deck! With this bad duo you prevent all damage your foes' dorks would deal this turn from tapping Prodigal Sorcerer for damage to the combat damage of Zurgo Helmsmasher! These things are arguably some of the most flexible and powerful Fogs ever printed! Even if you aren't playing Commander, Obscuring Haze is just a Thwart the Enemy for the same cost. And if you are? And if you control your Commander? Get ready for the nastiness of this bad boy! I have this duo in multiple places.
1. Constant Mists
We've seen a lot of Fogs that add something to the formula, so why is Constant Mists so high on my list? Synergy! It's so synergetic! It's good in multiplayer as you can use and reuse it, and outside of multiplayer it's hard to break as you can drop a land each turn and then sacrifice it for the buyback of Constant Mists. But...don't forget that combo-rific aspect! In a Golgari sacrifice deck it's a great way to make sacrifice triggers trigger! In a sorcery/instant matters build it's a great way to rack up those triggers. In a land matters deck it's a great way to get lands in the graveyard to recur with Crucible of Worlds and other effects as well as net those landfall triggers. The Synergy is Strong in this one. I run it all over the block, including my EDH Cube.
And there's it! What did you think of my list? Anything I missed or that resonated with you? Just let me know and have an awesome day!