Hour of Devastation Review – Black Cards

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Hi everyone.  Welcome to the third in my series of reviews of the cards in the upcoming Hour of Devastation expansion.  Today we’ll be taking a look at all of the Black cards.  In this article, I will discuss these cards as they relate to Standard play.  My system uses number ratings ranging from 0 – 5 to gauge how well I think the cards will perform Standard play.  I will offer some pros and cons for these cards and give my thoughts and rating on the card for Standard play.  Please keep in mind that these ratings are based on my opinion only and may differ from your opinion.  (If you have a different opinion, please sound off in the Comments section below and let me know your thoughts.)

How My Rating System Works

5.0:  Format All-Star.  This card is a total Bomb card.  For those that aren’t familiar with this term, it basically means this card will win you the game if left unchecked for a turn or two.  These cards tend to be hard to defend against and can turn a game around in a hurry.  Some cards that are bombs in limited may only be a mediocre card in constructed play.  This card will see a lot of play in top tier tournament decks or will be the lynchpin of a top tier deck.

4.0:  Above Average Card.  This card is great.  It can be played in multiple decks and will have an impact on the game every time.  These cards can change a game quickly, get you back in the game, or shift the tempo of the game.  These cards are usually vulnerable to some type of removal (or are a removal spell themselves), but they make up the majority of cards found in major tournament decks.  This card will be a good support card in a top tier tournament deck.

3.0:  Average Card.  These are generally good cards, and many of them will be the majority of cards found in a tribal deck.  Cards in this category are usually similar to other (higher-ranked) cards but cost 1 mana more or have a drawback in some manner.  In Limited play, these are the majority of your deck.  This card will likely be in a fair number of top tier tournament decks and will generally be interchangeable with other similarly-rated cards.

2.0:  Niche Card.  These cards serve are very narrow function and are usually meant for your sideboard.  They could be removal spells that only remove 1 type of card, or cards with mediocre stats that have an ability that helps against opponents playing a certain color or strategy.  In Limited play, these cards are put in your deck if you have no other options and need the card to reach your 40-card minimum deck size.  For Constructed play, you will rarely play this card unless it’s from your sideboard or you want to be “cute”.  This card will only be seen in select decks that are usually trying to play around with a specific ability or in tribal decks.

1.0:  Will Rarely See Play.  The worst of the worst.  These cards are rarely played (if they’re played at all).  These cards generally have bad stats, cost too much mana, or have basically no impact on the game when they’re played.  Overall stay away from this card if possible.  This card will likely not see any tournament play.

And now, on to the cards…

 

 

 

Accursed Horde

Accursed Horde

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a nice card to play to ensure that your zombie lords can survive targeted removal played by your opponent.  The only downfall is that the creature has to be attacking, which is a huge limiting factor for this card.

 

Ammit Eternal

Ammit Eternal

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This looks like a fun card, especially if you have a way to make it unblockable.  It’s a very powerful 3-drop and if your opponent doesn’t have a way to deal with it, it will cause them fits.

 

Apocalypse Demon

Apocalypse Demon

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Even though this demon has the possibility to be huge, it takes a lot of work on your part and I don’t think this will see much Standard play at all.

 

Banewhip Punisher

Banewhip Punisher

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is an interesting twist on creature removal.  For 4 mana, you can destroy any of your opponent’s creatures, plus this can trigger cards that are triggered by cards going to your graveyard.  And it’s great to play against an opponent that utilizes powerful cards that are balanced by giving their creatures -1/-1 counters.

 

Bontu’s Last Reckoning

Bontu’s Last Reckoning

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While the drawback on this card is real, cards that destroy all creatures are powerful and needed in Standard.  This will see some play, but the drawback is harsh enough that it will likely only be a 2-of in most decks.

 

Carrion Screecher

Carrion Screecher

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is good in Limited, but not in Standard, and it’s not even that good in Limited.

 

Doomfall

Doomfall

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Modal spells are usually good.  The real limiting factor on this card is that it’s a Sorcery.  It’s still good, but it probably won’t see widespread play.

 

Dreamstealer

Dreamstealer

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  The two abilities on this card work well in conjunction with each other.  However, it’s pretty likely that this card will die when it is blocked and probably won’t take any opposing creature with it since its stats are so low.

 

Grisly Survivor

Grisly Survivor

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Getting a temporary bonus for cycling just doesn’t cut it in Standard.

 

Hour of Glory

Hour of Glory

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Instant creature exiling is super powerful, and this will certainly be played quite a bit in Standard.  The bonus for removing a God creature is just gravy.

 

Khenra Eternal

Khenra Eternal

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If this sees play in Standard, I’d expect it to be in a zombie deck.  There it would be good, but not great.

 

Lethal Sting

Lethal Sting

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a good removal card, but there are better options in Standard.  It might see some play in certain decks, but I don’t expect it to see widespread play.

 

Liliana’s Defeat

Liliana’s Defeat

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is another good sideboard card that will probably see a little play, but not a lot.  This is likely to see more play in Modern, though.

 

Lurching Rotbeast

Lurching Rotbeast

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  A 4/2 for 4 mana simply isn’t playable in Standard.  It’s far too easy to kill.

 

Marauding Boneslasher

Marauding Boneslasher

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  There’s nothing wrong with having a 3/3 for 3 mana that can’t block.  There’s a small chance that this could see some play, but I’m not sure if there’s room for it in the current zombie deck.

 

Merciless Eternal

Merciless Eternal

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  The fact that this card can pump itself multiple times to close out a game could allow it to see a small amount of play.  It’s not great though.

 

Moaning Wall

Moaning Wall

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another zombie that costs 3 mana.  Of them all, this one is possibly the worst, therefore it won’t see any Standard play.

 

Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  8 mana is a lot to pay, but in a dedicated ramp deck this card would be amazing.  The ability to fetch out any card that you need from your library relatively easily is really good.  Seems really good for Commander.

 

Razaketh’s Rite

Razaketh’s Rite

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While it’s nice to be able to find any card you might need, taking off a turn to do it isn’t great.  That’s what this card does most of the time.  I’m doubtful this will see any play.

 

Ruin Rat

Ruin Rat

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While this isn’t an amazing card, it has a lot of potential to gum up the ground for your opponent.  Also, since it can exile the creature it kills with its deathtouch (assuming it will also die), its ability is always relevant.

 

Scrounger of Souls

Scrounger of Souls

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Even though the lifelink is nice, the fact that this is a 3/4 for 5 mana is what will make this not see play in Standard.

 

Torment of Hailfire

Torment of Hailfire

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While I think this card is amazing, typically punisher cards haven’t fared so well in Standard.  I think most people will not play this card, but there will be brewers trying to make it happen.

 

Torment of Scarabs

Torment of Scarabs

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another punisher card that likely won’t see any play in Standard.

 

Torment of Venom

Torment of Venom

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card offers the possibility of eliminating 2 of your opponent creatures.  It likely stands a better chance to be played in Limited, but there is the potential for this to be played in Standard.

 

Vile Manifestation

Vile Manifestation

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While it’s nice to see a benefit for having cards with cycling on them in your graveyard, it’s not exciting to have this on a 0/4 creature.  Don’t look for this to be played in Standard.

 

Without Weakness

Without Weakness

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  There’s a slight chance this could see a little play in Standard, even if the bonus it grants isn’t amazing.  If there weren’t -1/-1 counters floating around in Standard, this card would be a little bit better.

 

Wretched Camel

Wretched Camel

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I think the name says it all.  This card is wretched and won’t be played in Standard.

 

Well, that’s all she wrote for the Black cards in Hour of Devastation.  Once again, there’s only a handful of cards that look to be highly playable in Standard.  Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or by emailing me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And be sure to come back tomorrow when I take a look at the Red cards in HOU.  I’ll see you then!

Mike Likes

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Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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