Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis continued to dominate the Modern format over the weekend at Grand Prix Minneapolis, where the Top 8 featured five Hogaak decks and ended with a Hogaak mirror in the finals. And it wasn’t just the Top 8, either—Hogaak made up nearly 20% of the GP’s Day 2 field.

This performance came on the heels of Hogaak decks not only being the most-played archetype at Mythic Championship IV Barcelona, but also having the best Day 2 conversion rates and the highest win percentages at the tournament (despite only putting one copy in the Top 8).

And both of these events were after Wizards of the Coast banned Bridge from Below to try and reign in the Hogaak decks!

Emergency Ban Incoming?

The next Banned and Restricted announcement will arrive in two weeks on Monday, August 26, 2019. But there are two more Modern GPs before then—GP Birmingham next weekend and GP Vegas the weekend after—and the scheduled B&R update won’t come in time to save those GPs from the Hogaak menace.

So will Hogaak face an emergency ban before either of those GPs? Well, Mark Rosewater acknowledged last week that Hogaak was a “mistake” and Wizards of the Coast has previously banned cards outside of their predefined update schedule. It is definitely within the realm of possibility that Wizards will decide to ban Hogaak before the scheduled August 26 update (at which point it will almost certainly be banned) but emergency bans are a last resort and therefore extremely unlikely, even in the face of this level of dominance.

Stay tuned for news on this subject, but for now, it’s Hogaak’s world and we’re just living in it.

Previous Emergency Bannings

Magic: the Gathering has had three emergency bannings in its history: Memory Jar, Peregrine Drake, and Felidar Guardian.

On March 1, 1999, Wizards of the Coast banned a series broken cards after the infamous “Combo Winter”: Dream Halls, Earthcraft, Fluctuator, Lotus Petal, Recurring Nightmare, and Time Spiral. But, unbeknownst to them, Memory Jar, which had just been released in Urza’s Legacy two weeks earlier, created another game-breaking combo and was banned just a few weeks later.

After no changes were made in September 26, 2016’s Banned and Restricted update, Wizards announced a month later that it was banning Peregrine Drake from the Pauper format. After the September update, the card had become too dominant in the format, doubling it’s share of the metagame while increasing its win rate, and significantly reduceing the diversity of the Pauper metagame, forcing Wizards to make an unscheduled ban.

Finally, on April 24, 2017, Wizards banned Sensei’s Divining Top in Legacy and restricted both Gitaxian Probe and Gush in Vintage. But what they failed to address is the fact that the release of Aether Revolt a few months earlier had introduced Felidar Guardian, a creature that could combine with Saheeli Rai from Kaladesh to create an infinite Spliter Twin-like combo. Three days later, Wizards amended their original Banned and Restricted update and added Felidar Guardian to the banned list.

The Hogaak Decklists from the Finals of GP Minneapolis

Justin Plocher's 1st Place Modern Hogaak Crab Vine

Creatures (31)
Carrion Feeder
Hedron Crab
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Stitcher's Supplier
Satyr Wayfinder

Spells (7)
Faithless Looting
Fatal Push
Lightning Axe

Artifacts (2)
Altar of Dementia
Lands (20)
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Gemstone Mine
Overgrown Tomb
Polluted Delta
Steam Vents
Verdant Catacombs
Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)
Assassin's Trophy
Collective Brutality
Fatal Push
Force of Vigor
Leyline of the Void
Nature's Claim

Jonathan Corzo's 2nd Place Modern Hogaak Vine

Creatures (33)
x Bloodghast
x Carrion Feeder
x Gravecrawler
x Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
x Insolent Neonate
x Lotleth Troll
x Satyr Wayfinder
x Stitcher's Supplier
x Vengevine

Spells (8)
x Assassin's Trophy
x Faithless Looting
x Lightning Axe
Lands (19)
x Blackcleave Cliffs
x Blood Crypt
x Bloodstained Mire
x Blooming Marsh
x Gemstone Mine
x Overgrown Tomb
x Polluted Delta
x Swamp

Sideboard (15)
x Collective Brutality
x Force of Vigor
x Leyline of the Void
x Nature's Claim
x Thoughtseize

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