Nic Fit Archetypes
Nic Fit is a fairly flexible deck and a number of different variations on the core Veteran Explorer / Cabal Therapy shell have shown to be viable from fair creature-based decks, to planeswalker heavy variants, to outright combo decks.
Here, we break these different decks down into fair and combo decks and detail some of the different strategies, strengths, and weaknesses of each deck.
For a primer on the deck as a whole, this 2014 Nic Fit primer on The Source by user Arianrhod is still very worthwhile.
Established fair archetypes
White adds a few good additions to the Nic Fit shell most notably Swords to Plowshares, Knight of Autumn, and Karakas as well as considerably strengthening the sideboard with cards like Deafening Silence, Ethersworn Canonist, and Gaddock Teeg. Historically, Junk has a pretty good aggro matchup and a little better combo matchup than most other variants.
Before 2019, the main reasons to splash blue in Nic Fit were Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Baleful Strix and maybe you could make a case for Glen Elendra Archmage. However, with the printing of Oko, Thief of Crowns and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, BUG has turned into one of the best fair archetypes.
Some of the main cards that splashing red adds are Huntmaster of the Fells and Punishing Fire in addition to improving sideboards with cards like Pyroblast. In 2020, it also got Klothys, God of Destiny which has proved much better than at first glance. Jund has one of the best aggro matchups due to the addition of Punishing Fire and the deck can grind out a win in a lot of situations that would be tough for other variants.
Established combo archetypes
Rector variants try to use Academy Rector and/or Arena Rector to power out huge enchantments or planeswalkers that do all but win the game on the spot. The ramp provided by Veteran Explorer and the sac outlet from Cabal Therapy help the deck power out the combo.
Sneak Fit marries a mostly fair Jund Fit plan but also contains Sneak Attack to cheat big threats including Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play. Other big threats typically include Inferno Titan and Primeval Titan which coupled with Field of the Dead puts in double duty as a Grave Titan. The deck has probably the best Miracles matchup of all Nic Fit variants, however it also has one of the most vulnerable manabases.
Scapewish is a Legacy take on the Modern Scapeshift deck that uses Scapeshift and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle to attempt to win on the spot when the deck has 7 or 8 lands in play. With Nic Fit, that comes quite a bit earlier than normal because of ramp provided by Veteran Explorer. The wish part of the name comes from 3-4 Burning Wishes which provides a wishboard of a redundant Scapeshift and other great cards. The deck has a better matchup against control than many Nic Fit variants although it’s a little more vulnerable to aggro.
When Yawgmoth, Thran Physician was first spoiled, Nic Fit brewers immediately started testing the card. It was tried as just a 2-3 of in fair value oriented decks as well as in combos with cards like Saffi Eriksdotter and Renegade Rallier but nothing showed a lot of success over proven archetypes.
Pleasant Kenobi piloted Yawg Fit in an elimination match for Season 4 of the Legacy Premiere League.
A few intrepid pilots have tried to make Birthing Pod work as it has good synergy with Veteran Explorer. With the printing of Collector Ouphe, this deck is definitely relegated to the fringe despite being a blast to play.