During its preview, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was one of the least hyped cards from Modern Horizons. Its casting requirements of needing to be convoked and delved seemed extremely difficult. Many players felt the card was too slow or conditional.
However, Hogaak instead shocked everyone by scoring multiple 5-0’s on Magic Online very quickly. Not only that, but these 5-0’s weren’t in Dredge, like many expected. Instead, Hogaak found a home in an archetype some may have forgotten about: Bridgevine.
Bridgevine is a fringe playable deck we’ve seen in the past. It uses cards like Stitcher’s Supplier and the new-to-Modern Altar of Dementia to fill its graveyard quickly. It then takes advantage of Bridge from Below, Vengevine, Gravecrawler, and other graveyard creatures to quickly swarm the battlefield. The deck could easily push upwards of 10+ power onto the battlefield as soon as turn two. However, the deck had issues with consistency. All too often it would run out of steam early on, or fail to get going.
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis changed all of that. It gave the deck an easy-to-recur threat that only added to the massive amount of power the deck produced. Not only that, but Hogaak dodges massive amounts of removal and wraths. Unless the opponent is playing White, it is almost impossible to deal with Hogaak once it hits the battlefield. In addition, in the late game, he easily keeps coming back. Cards like Bloodghast make its convoke casting cost easy to meet. Not to mention it combos with Altar of Dementia to let you mill yourself (or your opponent) for massive amounts of cards.
Another new addition to the deck from Modern Horizons is Carrion Feeder. The card acts as a free sacrifice outlet while rapidly growing into a massive threat if left unchecked. Essentially, it’s just a straight upgrade from Viscera Seer for the deck.
Now, you may be asking: how do I counter what seems to be such a Hogaak Bridgevine? Well, graveyard hate is probably the easiest way. Cards like Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void both shut the deck down hard. Most modern sideboards don’t leave home without graveyard hate these days (thanks Izzet Phoenix), so most are prepared for a deck like this. The fact that his deck can play through such strong hate cards like these is a signal that this deck is likely here to stay in the format.
What do you think of Hogaak Bridgevine? Is it just a passing fad deck, or is it here to stay? Let us know down in the comments below!