"Arisen Necropolis" Takes MagicFest Minneapolis – "Magic: The Gathering"

The more things in the Magic: the Gathering tournament scene change, the more it seems they stay the same.

"Arisen Necropolis" Takes MagicFest Minneapolis - "Magic: The Gathering"

Justin Plocher defeated Jonathan Corzo in the Modern finals at MagicFest Minneapolis on Sunday, August 11th. Both players used variants of the infuriatingly-popular Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis decklist. Plocher used a variant that manages to power out a turn 2 Hogaak via Hedron Crab, which has been called "Moist Hogaak" by players (all of the Top 16 decklists, including Plocher's, are located here).

Justin Plocher holding his MagicFest Minneapolis trophy
Source: ChannelFireball.com

It is rather interesting to note that Plocher chose not to sideboard in his copies of Leyline of the Void as graveyard hate against Corzo after Game 1 of the finals. According to ChannelFireball, a source that covered and sponsored MagicFest Minneapolis, this decision proved correct because Corzo ended up with a card that meant to counteract the enchantment in his hand, and had nothing to do with it (the card in question was Force of Vigor).

Force of Vigor
Source: Scryfall.com

Speaking of "forces", Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis has been one since its release with the Modern Horizons set in early-mid June. Modern decks in competitive tournaments since then had shown so many instances of Hogaak that a key piece of the original Hogaak deck, Bridge From Below, had to be banned from Modern in July in order to increase diversity in the format.

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Source: Scryfall.com

Despite this, out of the 171 decks that made it to Day 2 of the Modern tournament in Minneapolis, 33 of them (over 19 percent) were Hogaak-centric. To put this in perspective, 17 decks out of the 171 were of the second-most prevalent archetype, Mono-Red Phoenix. This begs the question: is Hogaak itself bad for Modern format diversity? With MagicFest Birmingham on the horizon (kicking off on August 16th) in the United Kingdom, the Modern metagame Will once again have a chance to test Hogaak players' mettle, and while it's improbable that much will affect the Modern metagame in the course of a week, who knows? Someone might find a technical answer to the threat that is the Arisen Necropolis. Furthermore, if Hogaak continues to prove a menace to Modern, Magic: the Gathering Modern authorities may ban him entirely with their announcement on August 26th.

Day 2 demographics for MagicFest Minneapolis
Source: ChannelFireball.com

Meanwhile, congratulations to Justin Plocher on becoming the Modern champion of MagicFest Minneapolis!

Justin Plocher, triumphant
Source: ChannelFireball.com

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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