Hour of Devastation Review – Green Cards

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Hi everyone.  Welcome to the fifth 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 Green 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…

 

Ambuscade

Ambuscade

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I predict that this one-sided fight card will see a lot of play in Standard.  It’s a great way for Green to deal with those troublesome flying creatures.

 

Beneath the Sands

Beneath the Sands

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is about as good as it gets for mana ramping in Standard, and the fact that this card also has cycling on it means it’s a little more favored to be played over the other options.

 

Bitterbow Sharpshooters

Bitterbow Sharpshooters

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While I think this is a good card, I believe it costs a mana too much for it to see much Standard play.  There’s a small chance that this could see a little play though.

 

Devotee of Strength

Devotee of Strength

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This looks much better in Limited play than it does in Standard.  It could see a little play since it offers a mana sink for the late game when your hand is played out.

 

Dune Diviner

Dune Diviner

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card will be an amazing source of lifegain in a desert based deck.  Er, well it would be if deserts were going to be widely played in Standard.  As I don’t believe that to be the case, I doubt this will see any play.

 

Feral Prowler

Feral Prowler

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I don’t expect this to see any Standard play outside of a dedicated cat-based deck.  There it will be pretty good, and it’ll be even better in a cat-based deck in other formats.

 

Frilled Sandwalla

Frilled Sandwalla

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  As far as 1 mana creatures go, this one has a little bit of potential.  Play it on turn 1 and then you can either attack for 3 on turn 2 or you can block anything with a toughness of 3 or less.  It might see a little play, but overall won’t see much as it’s not good in the late game.

 

Gift of Strength

Gift of Strength

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  The fact that this version of Giant Growth also gives reach makes this a good card from the sideboard to use against decks with annoying flying creatures.

 

Harrier Naga

Harrier Naga

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While I understand vanilla creatures are important for the game, they’re rarely played in Standard.  This card is no exception.

 

Hope Tender

Hope Tender

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is not a good creature to play to help speed up your mana production.  However, in the right deck when you can untap a land that makes more than 1 mana, this gets a little better.  Not much, but a little.

 

Hour of Promise

Hour of Promise

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card is the backbone of a deck built around deserts.  Since I don’t expect that to be a thing, I don’t expect this to see much play.  People will probably try to make this deck happen in the early weeks of this new Standard, though.

 

Life Goes On

Life Goes On

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card has a lot of potential in Standard.  This pairs up nicely with Crested Sunmare, and I’m hopeful that this card will see some Standard play.  However, just because I’m hopeful for something doesn’t mean I think it will actually happen.

 

Majestic Myriarch

Majestic Myriarch

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  For just a little while we have this card and Odric, Lunarch Marshal legal in Standard.  During that time I think someone will try to brew a deck with both cards in it, which means this will see a little bit of play.

 

Nissa’s Defeat

Nissa’s Defeat

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  And we’ve come to the worst of the defeat cards.  This card has so many limitations on what it can target, I’m doubtful it will be played even from the sideboard, but there is a slight possibility.

 

Oasis Ritualist

Oasis Ritualist

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Most of the time you want your mana producing creatures to come out as early as possible.  It’s for that reason that I think this card won’t see play in Standard.

 

Overcome

Overcome

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Overrun was always a good way to close out a game in the past.  This is a little easier to cast but doesn’t give quite as large of a bonus.  I still think it’ll see it’s way into a number of decks as a finisher.

 

Pride Sovereign

Pride Sovereign

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Even if this is the only cat in your deck, this card is still pretty good.  I’m sure it’s even better in a dedicated cat deck.  And since we have the pieces to make a cat deck, I’m sure this will see play in Standard.

 

Quarry Beetle

Quarry Beetle

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Land ramp once you’re at 5 mana isn’t typically what most decks will want.  Therefore, I don’t think this will see any Standard play.

 

Rampaging Hippo

Rampaging Hippo

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  A 5/6 with trample for 6 mana isn’t bad.  This might see a little Standard play since it can be cycled, but it’s likely there’s a better alternative to play instead.

 

Ramunap Excavator

Ramunap Excavator

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While this card will undoubtedly be busted in other constructed formats, it’s still pretty likely that this will see quite a bit of Standard play.  Especially when combined with The Gitrog Monster.

 

Ramunap Hydra

Ramunap Hydra

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While this card has all of the right ingredients for a good Standard ‘soup’ card.  The only doubt I have is the amount of deserts needed to make this good.

 

Resilient Khenra

Resilient Khenra

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I’m skeptical that this card will see much play in Standard.  It is possible it will see a small amount of play as a combat trick that leaves behind an adequate body, but this likely won’t be played frequently.

 

Rhonas’s Last Stand

Rhonas’s Last Stand

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Someone will probably brew a deck that manages to play this fairly consistently in the early game so that the drawback is minimized.  I’m hopeful that this happens, as a 5/4 on turn 2 sounds pretty fun to me.

 

Rhonas’s Stalwart

Rhonas’s Stalwart

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While a 2/2 for 2 mana is fine, the exert ability on this card isn’t impactful enough to allow it to see Standard play.

 

Sidewinder Naga

Sidewinder Naga

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another card for that hypothetical desert-based deck.  The main problem is that having a 2 toughness is such a liability in Standard.  If this card sees any play, it won’t be much.

 

Sifter Wurm

Sifter Wurm

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Costing 7 mana is the main drawback for this card.  Otherwise a 7/7 for 7 mana with a nice ability is great.  The cost is what will limit the amount of Standard play this gets, but since green has the tools for mana ramping, it’s possible this will see a little play.

 

Tenacious Hunter

Tenacious Hunter

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  There’s some cards being played in Standard that provide -1/-1 counters, but not a lot.  So, it’s likely that for this card to see play it will need to be in a deck that’s built around either getting -1/-1 counters on its own creatures or placing them on the opponents creatures.  Either way, with any creature has a -1/-1 counter, this card is great and it should see some play.

 

Uncage the Menagerie

Uncage the Menagerie

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I’m not really sure what the best choice for X will be, but any way you slice it this card just doesn’t seem good.  Either I can spend a small amount of mana and get only 1-2 cards with a low cost, or I can spend a lot of mana and still likely only get 1-2 cards.  This is just a weird card which feels like one of the X’s should have been something else.  I’m hopeful that I’m wrong and that someone will find a way to make this useful, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

And that wraps up my review of the Green cards.  What do you think?  Was my analysis spot on, or do you think I was dead wrong about something.  Let me know by leaving a comment below or by emailing me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  Tomorrow we’ll be wrapping up the reviews by looking at the multicolored cards, artifacts, and lands in Hour of Devastation.  I hope you’ll join me 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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