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This weekend we got to see two big Magic: The Gathering Modern events! Star City Games had an event this weekend during the same days as ChannelFireball‘s GP Dallas. Both saw a pretty diverse meta as far as decks go with Modern Horizons breathing new life into the format. However, both events were overwhelmingly overshadowed by two decks: HogaakVine and Izzet Phoenix. Is a ban in order? Let’s check them out.

How popular is Hogaak?

Honestly, it’s not as bad as many thought. HogaakVine is a disgusting deck, and many thought it would match the unreal results of the Eldrazi decks in Eldrazi Winter. However, it’s far from being as oppressive as those Eldrazi decks were. That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem though. Check out these statistics.

In the Star City Games event, Hogaak made up 25 percent of the Day 2 metagame while Phoenix made up 30 percent.

In the ChannelFireball GP Dallas event, it made up 18.6 percent of the Day 2 metagame while Phoenix made up 14 percent.

SCG, CFB, MTG, Modern, Hogaak, Bridgevine, Phoenix, ban, banned, GP Dallas

What does this mean?

It means that the best deck in Modern right now is almost certainly HogaakVine and that a lot of people came prepared to beat HogaakVine by bringing one of its worst matchups: Arclight Phoenix decks.

Here’s the scary thing: These decks are doing well despite absurd amounts of graveyard hate in the format. Any deck that can (including Hogaak and Phoenix themselves) is packing Leyline of the Void in its sideboards. UW Control decks have several copies of Rest in Peace, and some decks are even running Ravenous Traps. Despite all of this, these graveyard-oriented decks are doing fine. Somehow, in the face of so much graveyard hate and one of its worst matchups being incredibly popular, HogaakVine is still taking the format by storm.


Modern is in a massive state of flux after Modern Horizons shook things up. Other than Hogaak, the meta seems really interesting and diverse. Because of this, some say we’ll be seeing some kind of ban in this upcoming ban announcement in early July. Whether anything gets banned is up in the air, but HogaakVine shows no signs of being tamed by the constantly evolving Modern metagame.

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