Archetypes » BUG Fit
BUG Fit is a fair Green-Black-Blue Nic Fit variant. While the exact mechanics of the deck can vary a bit, BUG Fit typically has a midrange control plan with a few bigger threats to such as Primeval Titan and planeswalkers such as Oko, Thief of Crowns.
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. Overall, this archetype was probably one of the weaker fair variants. Not anymore! The printing of Oko, Thief of Crowns, Ice-Fang Coatl, and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has turned BUG into one of if not the best fair archetypes. Field of the Dead also gave BUG (and all other Nic Fit variants) one of the best finishers in the format which was something it lacked in years past.
BUG Fit overview and decklists
After the printing of so many great Blue-Green cards in 2019, it was only a matter of time before Nic Fit brewers had some success with this variant. While Orim67 wasn’t the first BUG Fit 5-0 in a MTGO Legacy League, the deck is a good starting point for future brews and has a few interesting cards in it.
BUG Fit with Planeswalkers by Orim67
MTGO Legacy League 5-0 - February, 2020
|1||Leovold, Emissary of Trest|
|1||Meren of Clan Nel Toth|
|1||Ashiok, Nightmare Muse|
|1||Garruk, Cursed Huntsman|
|2||Liliana of the Veil|
|3||Oko, Thief of Crowns|
|1||Vraska, Golgari Queen|
|4||Green Sun's Zenith|
|3||Leyline of the Void|
|4||Veil of Summer|
This is a deck designed for the Oko meta. The creature curve tops out at 4 with Questing Beast and Meren but the un-elkable planeswalkers continues to even higher converted mana costs. It’s interesting to see Ashiok, Nightmare Muse make what is probably a Legacy debut and Garruk, Cursed Huntsman also seems quite good in the 6 slot.
For a long time Tarmogoyf was out of fashion in Nic Fit. An ideal turn 2 for Nic Fit typically involves flashing back Cabal Therapy and ramping to something big. 2 drops typically have some sort of utility rather than being a just a vanilla creature like Goyf. However, with Oko making expensive creatures into elks, lower mana cost creatures start to look a lot better. Few creatures in the format compete power-wise with Tarmogoyf and none for 2 mana. Coupled with the discard suite, Tarmogoyf seems like a great card to help hold the board before ramping to bigger threats.
It’s surprising not to see Collector Ouphe in the main or sideboard, but perhaps the idea is that between the discard suite and the anti-combo sideboard cards there’s enough for those matchups. If your meta is a bit combo-heavy, that’s definitely a card to consider.
A note on Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
The deck above predates the printing of Uro which should likely be included in most BUG Fit decks. The card can help Nic Fit stabilize on life while ramping to bigger threats and the escape cost is completely manageable in this deck.
Why would you run this over BUG Zenith?
BUG Zenith is a strong deck that has put up some decent finishes. This deck differs from it in a few key ways. Firstly, this deck runs the Veteran Explorer / Cabal Therapy package over Arcum’s Astrolabe. The ramp from Vets gives BUG Fit the ability to cast bigger threats like Primeval Titan and larger planeswalkers like Garruk, Cursed Huntsman or Liliana, Dreadhorde General. Most BUG Zenith decks top out at about 4 mana while this deck frequently goes to 6. If that sounds more your style, this deck is probably for you.
Why doesn’t BUG Fit run Force of Will?
Most BUG Fit decks don’t run Force of Will. Probably the biggest reason is that it’s hard to keep the blue count high enough for Force. To play Force, you probably also want to play Brainstorm and possibly Ponder and at that point it’s probably a different deck.
Good and bad matchups for BUG Fit
Decks running Oko have pretty good matchups against anything fair and this deck is no exception. The deck is built to beat fair aggro decks while having enough grind and top-end to beat many other midrange decks. The impact of Ice-Fang Coatl as well as Oko on fair creature matchups where the opponent has flying beaters like Death and Taxes and Delver cannot be overstated. Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has done wonders to help Nic Fit stabilize on life as well.
Most fair Nic Fit decks struggle against Miracles or the newer Snow Control decks. However, this deck seems a little better suited to that matchup by having your own Okos as well as other planeswalkers. Field of the Dead can also singlehandedly win that matchup. The matchup feels close to even or even favorable depending on the list which is a huge improvement.
Combo decks continue to be the bane of Nic Fit and without running Force of Will that doesn’t change just by adding blue. Decks like Elves, Storm, and Show & Tell are still very difficult to beat because they come online a little faster than BUG Fit. Graveyard decks run a game plan that is hard to interact with as well. Typically most of the sideboard gets devoted to these matchups.
Blue adds a few interesting options to the usual Nic Fit sideboard staples. Mindbreak Trap is probably one of the best options. It can result in a blowout win against some combo variants like Storm where it can counter all the copies of Empty the Warrens or Tendrils of Agony, but it is also quite hard castable for a deck like Nic Fit. It’s worth noting that since Mindbreak Trap exiles spells, it gets around cards like Veil of Summer and can even counter things like Abrupt Decay.
Unlike similar cards like Lost Legacy or Slaughter Games, Unmoored Ego can name lands to get rid of Dark Depths, Thespian’s Stage, or even Field of the Dead if needed. It is a strict upgrade over Lost Legacy for BUG Fit.
Tyrant’s Scorn is a removal spell that can deal with Marit Lage and that makes it a pretty good sideboard card in that matchup. While Abrupt Decay is the removal of choice for Nic Fit currently, Tyrant’s Scorn can deal with any creature even if just temporarily. Most BUG Fit variants don’t run Force of Will, but if you are, then Tyrant’s Scorn can provide additional cards toward the Blue spell count.
Compared with most decks in the format, Nic Fit runs a lot of basic lands – typically 5-7 – and that means Back to Basics can be pretty good. Any deck that doesn’t run more than 1-2 basics like Lands, Loam, and Delver can be severely punished. With the ramp provided by Veteran Explorer, Back to Basics can come down as early as turn 2. It also provides an out against Cloudpost decks which are very hard to beat for any fair Nic Fit deck.
Yorion - Companion
Even during the very busted Lurrus meta, players found that Yorion, Sky Nomad was a great companion to add to the VetEx shell and a few players managed to show favorable results with it. Since the companion nerf, the deck isn’t quite as good as it was but has still put up some good performances such as the following list:
Yorion BUG Fit by Garrukked
GenCon Legacy Champs 21st Place - August, 2020
|1||Leovold, Emissary of Trest|
|1||Titania, Protector of Argoth|
|2||Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath|
|1||Jace, the Mind Sculptor|
|1||Nissa, Vital Force|
|3||Oko, Thief of Crowns|
|2||Vraska, Golgari Queen|
|3||Force of Negation|
|4||Force of Will|
|2||Green Sun's Zenith|
|3||Carpet of Flowers|
|2||Dead of Winter|
|3||Veil of Summer|
|1||Yorion, Sky Nomad|
Compared with many of the non-companion lists, there’s a few key differences. Firstly, there’s the additions of Arcum’s Astrolabe and Baleful Strix which have clear synergy with Yorion. Secondly, due to the card advantage nature of Yorion, these lists tend to run Force of Will and Force of Negation which need fuel in the form of a suite of blue cantrips. Yorion BUG Fit tends to have even grindier games than regular BUG and they often win by exhausting answers from the opponent’s deck.
If you’re planning to run a fair Nic Fit deck, BUG is probably where you want to be. 2019 and 2020 added a fair number of extremely powerful Simic cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath that are becoming Legacy mainstays in a number of decks and these cards slot in very well into BUG Nic Fit. If you want to play with some of the newest and best cards in the format while still playing fair Magic, this deck is for you.
Ali Aintrazi playing a BUG Nic Fit list at GP Richmond 2018 facing Eldrazi.
Andrea Mengucci doing a deck tech and league with BUG Nic Fit featuring Natural Order back in late 2017.