After weeks of deliberation and several high-profile Magic: The Gathering tournaments, Wizards of the Coast has officially banned Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis from the Modern format.
Released with the Modern Horizons set, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis took over the MTG Modern format. Hogaak was essentially a zero-cost 8/8 that uses the graveyard to its advantage. Hogaak decks dominated the field at Mythic Championship IV in Barcelona, and since then, they’ve thrown the Modern metagame into a spiral.
According to Ian Duke from the MTG play design team, graveyard strategies in Modern have limited the creation of other archetypes and the design team would like to see gameplay move back to the battlefield.
“Over the past year, graveyard-based strategies have been occupying a large portion of the Modern metagame, to the point where deck-building diversity is being suppressed,” Duke said in his B&R announcement. “This is reflected in the rise of heavy-handed main deck anti-graveyard cards like Surgical Extraction, Leyline of the Void, and Rest in Peace. We’d like to shift gameplay a little bit away from the graveyard and back toward the hand and battlefield.”
The ban on Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis doesn’t come as a surprise to the MTG community since many have been calling for it since MCIV. Now that the day has finally come, the community, pro players, and the Magic design team are anxious to see what direction the Modern metagame will take next.