Act of Bees

Nobody likes getting lethally swarmed by bees. It’s one of the worst ways to go.

On the other hand, commanding a lethal swarm of bees offers extreme power. Bees has become a growing and popular winning strategy in Magic: the Gathering.

Hornet Nest has shown what it can do in Standard and it’s time we port it to Modern. It’s strong enough. We must unleash the bees.


What’ the craziest thing we can do with Hornet Nest?

Flashback to Standard Blasphemous Act ComboBlood Artist, Boros Reckoner, and Lingering Souls into Blasphemous Act.

Boros Reckoner them for 13, Blood Artist drains them for each additional creature.

The more creatures they have the better—the cheaper Blasphemous Act is, the more damage they take from Blood Artist.

Hornet Nest unleashes 13 hornets. This is a good place to start.

Forbidden Orchard is an amazing land for this approach. Give the opponent 1/1 Spirits to ramp towards Blasphemous Act for a bigger explosion.

If we want extra Blasphemous Act then Chain Reaction is the next best thing. Never less than 4 mana to cast, usually less than 13 damage, but still a big explosion. Nice redundancy.

Soulfire Grandmaster will gain 13x life from Blasphemous Act—we can gain hundreds of life from this creature.


Vizkopa Guildmage’s ability can drain them out for 10s or hundreds in tandem with Soulfire or Blood Artist.


Natural Affinity into Blasphemous Act is a fun combo. Put out a bunch more creatures and blow them all up. Extra life loss and no chance of recovery from the opponent.


We have access to extra Boros Reckoner effects but only at 4 and 5 mana.

Volcano Hellion as another Blasphemous Act effect is super fun. Blast our own Hornet Nest for 19, unleashing 19 1/1 bees. A unique effect on a 4-mana creature.

Blasphemous Act, draw 13? Why not?

If we’re looking for grease in the wheels with extra early drops Elvish Visionary and Mogg War Marshal are good options. Gets more bodies in play to start the early game.

Finally we have our 1-drops that make the deck Modern competitive. As a 4-plus-color deck relying on creatures, both Aether Vial and Birds of Paradise make for awesome starts.

Act of Bees

We’ve got a lot of options in Act of Bees—a wide variety of choices in cute effects to forward our plan of unleashing a lethal swarm of bees on the opposition.

Having already played with and won with some of the cuter options I’m working on a more streamlined version—it’s competitive, especially against creature decks.

This is just one way to go, as there’s plenty of room for surprises in a modified list.


Our game plan is to clog the board with creatures as fast as possible. The more creatures the opponent plays the easier our job. Then we set everything on fire, one-shot the opponent, or bee sting the final life points.

Our easiest matchups are any that play lots of creatures—they walk right into our plan. Our harder matchups are any that play very few creatures—it’s harder to combo off on them.

Act of Bees Sideboarding

For sideboarding we want plenty of disruption to target specific matchups. If our disruption is attached to creatures, even better—creatures come in off Aether Vial and add to our creature count for Blasphemous Act and Chain Reaction.


Spellskite shuts down a lot of decks—it is an ace against Splinter Twin.

Kor Firewalker is amazing against Burn and also lives through our own red sweepers while gaining life.

Tidehollow Sculler is great at attacking the hand of anyone trying to combo or hold on to tricks.

Dosan the Falling Leaf shuts down counterspells hard. A turn-1 Aether Vial will ramp to an uncounterable Dosan which opens the door for Blasphemous Act combo kills. Great card for this deck.

Building Act of Bees

Act of Bees. It must be done. Nothing ends a match like a bee explosion.

If you love Hornet Nest in Standard or loved the old Blasphemous Act Standard deck, or just like the feel and flavor of this brew, I recommend giving it a try. There’s a video series coming this week to show how it plays!


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