Most Impactful Hour of Devastation Cards

I believe that despite being a small set, Hour of Devastation will have a large impact on the standard format. There are many cards that are somewhat under the radar that have the ability to create new archetypes and cards that might help defeat former great decks such as G/B Constrictor and Mardu vehicles. This list below is what I believe will be the top 10 most impactful cards for constructed, as well as ideas on which decks to put them in, that I have found after testing a significant amount for this upcoming pro tour in Kyoto.

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1. Champion of wits

Champion of Wits

This card will add consistency to fringe archetypes that showed up in the past such as Temur Emerge, U/R Zombies, Grixis Gods Pharaoh Gift (I’ll get into that later) and 4 color Haunted Dead/Prized Amalgam decks. Champion of Wits has the potential to propel these decks to being tier one or close to it. This card provides value and increased consistency early, and is also a great creature to emerge Elder Deep Fiend from. I expect this card to be in the top 8 of many local events this weekend and the open in Cincinnati. Buy this card while it is still $2.

2. Hour of Devastation

Hour of Devastation

This is the best board wipe we have seen in a long time in standard. It cleanly deals with Gideon, any creatures that hit the table before it, and also stops indestructible creatures such as Selfless Spirit, Avacyn, and Crested Sunmare. This card will help bring back control in standard and I will be busy working on creature decks that can beat this card.

3. Abrade

Abrade

Finally a good main-deck answer to Heart of Kiran for decks that do not play black, such as my favorite Temur Energy. Abrade is one of the best removal spells printed in a while as it cleanly kills a wide range of things from Oketra’s Monument, to Winding Constrictor, to Gearhulks. Expect to play against this card a lot and try to play more with x-4s.

4. Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Nichol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

This is a powerful top end that works extremely well in decks that play Chandra to play it as early as turn 4. Bolas is best when its 7 damage to the face ability is relevant, so you want to play bolas in decks with Glorybringer and not in decks that play Torrential Gearhulk. Bolas is meant to be a proactive card and not a reactive one, since it’s best at closing close games.

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5. Hour of Promise

Hour of Promise

Hour of Promise is Explosive Vegetation that hit the gym nonstop for a few years. It gets any two lands and comes with 2 zombies most of the time, making it well worth 5 mana and a great reason to play negates in your sideboard this weekend. This card will make it that people can still register Ulamog for standard by fetching 2 Shrine of Forsaken Gods.

6. God- Pharaoh’s Gift

God-Pharaoh’s Gift

I played against a Grixis cycling deck in a standard league online that played this card along with Aarchfiend of Infinir, Curator of Mysteries, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, Glorybringer, Locust God, Insolent Neonate and some other cards. I was defeated soundly and my opponent’s deck felt extremely powerful and very real. I would not be surprised if this card creates a Living End style standard deck that is very good.

7. Claim // Fame

Claim // Fame

My modern decks of choice recently have been Death Shadow variants and this card slots right into Jund and Grixis Shadow. It brings back Death Shadow and Tarmogoyf, giving them haste. Works better in Grixis where they have access to Thought Scour. I will most likely be registering this card at SCG Syracuse if I decide to go there instead of GP Minneapolis.

8. Pride Sovereign

Pride Sovereign

Army in a can creatures are almost always good and that is what this Aslan impersonator does. G/W Tokens is an ideal home for this card, time will tell if that deck has the tools to beat Hour of Devastation and efficient enough removal to hang with the other threats of the format.

9. Crested Sunmare

Crested Sunmare

This card has the potential to have a whole deck built around it as most of the time it’s a 5 mana 10/10. The key with this card is the power level of its support cards and if a good enough core can be built around it I expect this card to see a lot of play. Life-gain is typically not a strong mechanic, but I am confident I’ll be riding this horse to victory at some point.

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10. The New Gods

The Locust GodThe Scarab GodThe Scorpion God

The new gods are more playable than most of the Amonkhet gods, besides Rhonas and Hazoret. Expect to play against these as one-of’s in most mid-range decks that can cast them as they are great mana syncs and are very difficult to get rid of. Try to have access to at least one way to remove them in all of your standard deck lists.

These are my top 10 impactful cards from the new set that I will be expecting to play against at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation and at the tournaments that will be played this weekend. Some of these cards are currently great buys if you will be needing them for this weekend as many cards in this set are being undervalued in my opinion. I hope this article helped you guys out on deck ideas and what you might have to face this release weekend.

Matt Tumavitch

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