Is Playing Anything Other Than Hogaak Bridgevine At SCG Pittsburgh Possibly Correct?

This weekend is a three times the Modern action as Team Modern comes to #SCGPITT, and our top SCG personalities are here to tell you what they think is the correct deck to play if you don’t want to let down your teammates.

Welcome to What We’d Play! With SCG Pittsburgh this weekend, many are unsure what they’d play in such a high-profile tournament, especially one with new cards from Modern Horizons. That’s where we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it. Hopefully this last-minute advice aids in your decision making! Be sure to vote for who you agree with in the poll at the end!

Tom Ross – Jund

Jund is known as a 50/50 deck against the field on any given day. If Jund is winning tournaments again, it’s probably good time to give it a shot. For a team tournament like SCG Pittsburgh, you want some amount of diversity and/or consistency. A team of three Hogaak Bridgevine decks will either crush their rounds or lose to a team prepared against the format’s consensus number one deck.

I’m really happy with the number of Modern Horizons cards seeing play in Jund.

I like playing with the new cards, especially in a deck with such a long history as Jund. You know you’re getting your money’s worth when you’re playing a Thoughtseize into Tarmogoyf deck, so you have some flexibility to try new things. I have to say, I don’t have any complaints about the above list that BLADEDE won last weekend’s Mythic Championship Qualifier with, so it seems like a great choice to smooth out a team’s results at SCG Pittsburgh this weekend.

Ryan Overturf – Mono-Red Prowess

I submitted something really close to this list prior to the printing of Modern Horizons, and Lava Dart has proven to be a powerful upgrade. I toyed around with a lot of configurations trying to figure out exactly how to fit Darts in, and this has felt like the most powerful configuration. I had tried trimming on Bedlam Revelers and Faithless Lootings but that ends up costing you too many long games that are very winnable with this configuration, and discarding Lava Dart to Faithless Looting leads to some very explosive turns.

I imagine some people are skeptical of playing a Lava Spike deck while the format is generally considered to be totally broken, but this deck generates more turn three wins than you might think at a glance and your goldfishes are generally greenlit against the Hogaak deck given their general lack of interaction. After sideboard, you’re still going to be good to go on any turn three win and the Surgicals push back hard enough against them hard enough to make winning on turn four instead still “good enough.”

Beyond that, this deck does a great job at preying on the most popular decks that people are playing to combat the Hogaak menace. Two decks that I see talked about a lot in the current metagame are Devoted Druid combo decks and Infect, and Lava Dart embarrasses both strategies. Round things out with the fact that this deck combines my two loves—drawing cards and dealing damage—and it’s been a home run for me.

Sam BlackGrixis Urza

This deck is delightfully versatile. Whir of Invention gives it a good toolbox of hate cards, Urza, Lord High Artificer plus Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek give it a fast combo kill, and all the creatures give it an amazing fair game.

This deck isn’t as explosive as Hogaak Bridgevine, but it has enough graveyard hate to compete and enough different angles of attack that it can withstand opposing hate.

It’s weird to play an artifact deck that doesn’t have answers to Stony Silence and a graveyard deck that doesn’t have answers to Rest In Peace (outside of Spine of Ish Sah on both counts), but between Tezzeret, Ghirapur Aether Grid, Thopters, and Constructs, you can generally just win by attacking against people who load up on hate.

Grixis Urza is a great way to take advantage of busted Modern Horizons cards that aren’t the main ones people are targeting, which I believe makes it very well-positioned while people are getting their bearings in this new format.

Dylan Hand – Hogaak Bridgevine

It probably starts to border on malpractice as a content producer for this website to suggest anything other than Hogaak Bridgevine for SCG Pittsburgh. I personally was holding out on the results of the Magic Online MCQ and Format Playoff this past weekend to see if the deck would be able to withstand the barrage of graveyard hate, and it very easily passed that test with flying colors.

The list above is from MTGO user kangurello, who from my understanding is one of the trophy leaders, playing this deck and tuning it incessantly. I would likely look to play something very close to this list except for the three Leyline of the Void bit. Playing anything less than the full four Leylines, in my humble opinion, should be a federal crime.

The biggest (and likely only) challenge you will face this weekend regarding this deck will be having to dance around all the graveyard hate you will run into. It’s pretty easily the biggest skill requirement the deck possesses outside of the basic sequencing of your spells, and it will most certainly make or break your tournament.

If you absolutely refuse to play the deck based on principle, then Izzet Phoenix, Humans with Leyline of the Void in the sideboard, and Infect are all decent choices. Realistically, though, I cannot understate how much of a disservice you will be doing to your win percentage if you do not play this deck this weekend.

Shaheen SooraniGrixis Urza

I saw this deck maneuvering its way through Magic Online leagues and it was love at first sight. It’s a deck that gets close to my fallen comrade, Ironworks, and plays a similar type of game. Although Grixis Urza doesn’t combo-kill like its banned brethren, it creates an environment that’s impossible for an opponent to operate in.

The main combo in the deck is Sword of the Meek and Thopter Foundry, making a ton of cheap flyers that come with lifegain. This process is usually lights out for fair decks, as they typically have limited answers to this process in game one. Even if they have some disruption, they must also defend on additional fronts. Urza, Lord High Artificer and Sai, Master Thopterist are experts at defeating hate cards because they do not require the use of artifacts or the graveyard. Simply casting the spells in your deck is enough to get these threats rolling, making it difficult to hate out.

In a world full of graveyard woes, Grixis Urza has the formula for victory. Not only does it have plenty of hate cards in the maindeck, but it also has access to four copies of Leyline of the Void in the sideboard. Having Goblin Engineer, Whir of Invention and a ton of cantrips makes it fairly easy to retrieve key pieces to either combo or prevent an opponent’s broken deck from doing the same.

Emma Handy – Hogaak Bridgevine

Just play the best deck. You have teammates relying on you. Some people will have your number, but ultimately it won’t be more than one-third of the room and it’s your job to try and win at least 60% of your matches in order for your team to be successful.

Speaking from experience, the people who didn’t play Eldrazi during Eldrazi Winter didn’t feel smart and didn’t look smart. There aren’t any extra match points given to people who win tournaments on hard mode. There’s a clear, defined, boogeyman of the format. Just take your free wins where you can.

As far as subtle things go, Yvon35 is the Magic Online user I based my list off of. Necrotic Wound’s exile clause is great in a world of graveyard decks. The only big change I made was adding a Flamekin Harbinger to the sideboard over the fourth copy of Wispmare, as it can search for both Wispmare and Ingot Chewer. Faithless Looting and Insolent Neonate make it easy to immediately access the card it places on top of the library. It’s entirely possible that cards like Shenanigans make it so artifact hate isn’t what I should be leaning into, and should be looking more towards cutting the second Ingot Chewer for another Harbinger instead, in order to have a virtual five copies of “Destroy target Leyline of the Void.”