#7 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
– Modern Horizons
December 23, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was 2nd on my top 12 list.
When you dominate a format so hard that you draw two bans intentionally meant to cripple the deck (including of yourself) and you shrug off the first ban, you know that card is nuts. Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis has just about everything you could want in a card: an absurd statline (8/8 with trample), resilience to removal (thanks to being able to be cast from the graveyard), and an ability to be cast extremely far ahead of schedule (turn 2!). It got to where most decks were forced to run copious amounts graveyard hate maindeck just to keep Hogaak in check.
Not being able to spend mana to cast Hogaak is a fair restriction, but it turned out be a dominating force all the same, and it even has found a home in Legacy and Vintage Dredge decks as another way to win the game. It’s not the primary focus of either of those decks, but it doesn’t mind being sent to the graveyard and can make ready use of Bridge from Below and all of the cards that go to the graveyard as collateral. Being able to come back even after you blow it up is just the icing on the cake, and while you might eventually run out of cards with which to cast Hogaak by delving, you still can convoke it back if need be. It deservedly got banned out of Modern, and still showing up in other high-powered formats speaks to its strength.
Constructed: 4.5 (it’d probably be a 5 if it was still Modern legal)
This card narrowly missed making my Top 12 list.
I didn’t really mention this point in any of my pre-reviews of the Mystery Booster playtest cards, but I’ll mention it now: when you design something for the purpose of innovation or being a curiosity, sometimes unexpected things happen. Hogaak literally can’t be cast by most decks, except the one that we like to joke isn’t really playing Magic anyway (Dredge). In Dredge, or a deck like it, he’s basically a free 8/8 trampler who almost can’t die, which I hear is just slightly above the curve. He also has an insane amount of synergy with cards like Bridge from Below and Narcomoeba (convoke) and Altar of Dementia (reducing his cost for free), and so it’s no surprise that almost every card I just mentioned is banned in Modern now.
He’s obviously almost (or just as?) good in Legacy and Vintage, but I wonder if there’s a way to use him in Commander. Delve and convoke do seem like interesting ways to pay the commander tax . . .
Hello Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
Today we’re looking at the top 12 cards of 2019 and we’re slowly coming up to the #1 card of 2019 but before that let’s take a look at a certain card that was intended to be niche and instead became the norm!
Of course I’m talking about everyone’s favorite mass of collected dead bodies, Hogaak, the Risen Acropolis!
Now this creature is a legendary so there’s gotta be some backstory behind this thing and I’m dying to find out more about it. I’m hoping we can go to his plane and find out what exactly happened to where a ton of corpses just piled on together to become a building person like Pica from One Piece. But that aside this guy was meant to be a more niche creature, maybe a commander, for Timmy players but what I don’t think he was meant to be was the second coming of Dredge Jesus.
His mana cost of 5G/BG/B for an 8 power creature seems a little off par for what green gets, and you can’t spend mana to cast it, so that pretty much nukes Green’s gameplan of using their dorks to ramp this guy out. But he’s got the Delve and Convoke Combo going and WotC obviously didn’t give a moment to think about how absurdly dangerous this guy would become in Modern with Dredge already getting a little more dank with every batch of graveyard support.
The joke of Dredge decks has always been that ‘Dredge doesn’t actually play Magic, it’s another game that simply comes in and beats Magic decks.’ And this couldn’t be more true than Hogaak which even after a sweep of bannings meant to bring the undead bruddah to heel, was insufficient and this mass of wriggling dead bodies simply trudged along the format until he himself was banned in modern, the only real way to stop his menace.
In other formats? He… doesn’t really do much, limited has much better plays than trying to dump a graveyard and make a gigantic 8/8 that is prone to removal.
Commander also doesn’t really care for him, unless you’re playing competitive commander looking to combo off against each other. But I think that goes against the spirit of the format.
Hogaak is meant for Constructed where his star simply burned to brightly and like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs he has been called the death knell for Modern as a format in recent months.
Constructed 5/5 – He no longer stomps around in Modern but you can find him palling around Legacy where his OP aspects are par for the course.
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