If you play Modern at all, you probably know of the most busted thing to happen in the format since Eldrazi Winter: Hogaak. Printed in Modern Horizons, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis immediately pushed the old Bridgevine decks into S Tier viability. The deck was insanely strong, so Wizards of the Coast issued a ban on Bridge From Below to rein it in. That was not enough. Hogaak is still ravaging the format, and it will most likely be banned on Aug 26th. But is Hogaak the only thing that needs banning?
The Hogaak decks are so egregiously powerful that they’re all anyone can talk about. However, after the huge shakeup Modern got from Modern Horizons, War of the Spark, and the implementation of the London Mulligan, there is no way that Hogaak is the only problem in the format. What other decks have gotten better with all these changes? Let’s take a look:
Everyone hates Tron. Even a lot of Tron players hate Tron. After cheating hasty creatures into play, Tron is probably the most ‘unfair’ thing you can do in Modern. Despite the hate it gets, though, Tron has dodged multiple bans over the years. The format has lots of ways to deal with it, and it does have some very unique gameplay to it.
However, the London Mulligan has really, really given Tron a boost. The deck was already consistent at getting all 3 Tron lands into play, and the London Mulligan only gives them more consistency.
Dredge has taken a bit of a back seat in the format with Hogaak running things. However, Dredge was and is one of the most powerful aggressive decks in the format. Between Faithless Looting and Cathartic Reunion, the deck excels at filling its graveyard and cheating out tons of creatures for a quick kill. People wanted a Looting ban long before Hogaak because of Dredge and Phoenix, and these decks have not gone away.
Both UR and Mono-R are less offensive than Dredge and Hogaak, but they still post great results. As of late, UR has fallen off a bit in favor of the more aggressive Mono-R variant. However, both decks are very strong and resilient, and their best draws are nigh on unbeatable. Flame Jab is yet another free spell that has boosted the archetype.
It feels wrong putting Jund on this list. But Wrenn and Six is a very strong card that is defining Legacy right now, and Jund puts it to good use. Since Wrenn and Six’s inclusion and a rework of the deck, Jund has soared back to tier 1. Usually, a format where Jund is good is a good format, but it may be worth it to look at just how good Wrenn and Six is.
The old Whir artifact deck got a massive boost in power with Urza, Lord High Artificer. After a lot of testing, the deck is finally taking its final form, and it seems extremely strong. While not obviously overpowered, artifact strategies are always something to keep an eye on.
You either win on turn 1-2 or die to your own inconsistency. I challenge anyone to say they had a fun, interactive game with or against Neoform.
No, Wizards doesn’t need to even touch these decks until after Hogaak gets banned. However, we cannot expect Modern to be ‘fixed’ after the next B&R Announcement. After Hogaak is gone, we will be left with a wild west of a format where a ton of decks got new toys. We don’t know what Hogaak has been suppressing, which is kind of a scary thought. A lot of people won’t like it, but it’s very possible that we see more bans even after Hogaak is gone.
So, after Hogaak bites the dust, Modern will be back in a huge state of flux. If you want to keep up with all the goings-on, be sure to keep an eye on our MTG news page!
I’m Brent, working in association with Daily Esports to cover Magic the Gathering and gaming news.