Hour of Devastation Review – Multicolored, Artifacts, & Lands

raise-your-standards

Hi everyone.  Welcome to the last article 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 multicolored cards, artifacts, and lands.  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…

 

Bloodwater Entity

Bloodwater Entity

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  There are a lot of good cards that you can get back to play a second time, which is why I think this will see a little play.  The fact that it goes to the top of your library instead of your hand is a big limiting factor for this to see widespread play.

 

The Locust God

The Locust God

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I think a lot of people will be brewing with this card early on, and while I think it’s a pretty good card, I think most people will find that they’d rather spend their 6 mana on a Torrential Gearhulk instead.  Its abilities do have good synergy together though, so most turns you could create 2 Insect tokens if you wanted to (1 during your draw step and one with the activated ability).  After just a couple of turns, unless your opponent has a sweeper card, they could be in big trouble from your air assault.

 

Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Rating:  5.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  All hail the God-Pharoah!  This card is insanely powerful and well worth the 7 mana required to cast it.  The +2 loyalty ability has the potential to be bonkers.  Can you imagine casting your opponent’s Approach of the Second Sun from this?  The +1 loyalty ability could also be useful because, while your opponent gets to choose which cards to exile, it’s likely late in the game where they may only have 2 cards in their hand.  And don’t get me started on the -4 loyalty ability.  7 damage?!?  Wowza!  That’ll help end the game in a hurry.  And, of course, the ultimate ability is totally bonkers.  This is a good card and I’m sure it will see considerable play.

 

Obelisk Spider

Obelisk Spider

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card is good at what it does, and that’s block your opponents creatures.  The fact that it basically has wither and also drains your opponent for 1 whenever you put -1/-1 counters on an opponent’s creature (from any effect, not just from this spider) makes this a centerpiece for combo shenanigans.

 

Resolute Survivors

Resolute Survivors

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a solid creature for its mana cost, and the life drain it can provide is just an added bonus.

 

River Hoopoe

River Hoopoe

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I think there’s a good chance this will see a fair amount of Standard play.  It offers a decent blocker early on, while providing lifegain and card draw in the late game.

 

Samut, the Tested

Samut, the Tested

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While Samut isn’t a great planeswalker, I think she’s better than most people have been saying she is.  However, you can’t look at her the same way you would most other planeswalkers.  With most planeswalkers, you’re able to slow down a little once they come into play and can begin to control the game a little better.  Samut, however, is more like a repeatable combat trick.  Her +1 loyalty ability is great alongside cards like Electrostatic Pummeler.  Her -2 loyalty ability works well in conjunction with cards like Soul-Scar Mage.  And the ultimate ability is obviously very powerful.  Samut will likely not see much play simply due to her need to have other creatures in play for her abilities to be most effective.

 

The Scarab God

The Scarab God

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Even without being in a dedicated zombie deck, this card is good.  Being able to repeatedly exile annoying recursive creatures from your opponent’s graveyard while simultaneously creating an army of 4/4 zombies for yourself is very powerful.  And if your opponent doesn’t have enough removal, the upkeep ability has the potential to slowly kill an opponent while giving them a feeling of unstoppable dread.  This should see considerable play.

 

The Scorpion God

The Scorpion God

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Of all of the Gods in this set, I think this one is my favorite.  I love that the activated ability can be used multiple times in the same turn and over the course of the game.  There’s something to be said for having repeatable removal.  You can also target your own creature with the ability during combat if that creature was going to die anyway in order to draw a card.  Sounds like fun to me!

 

Unraveling Mummy

Unraveling Mummy

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another 3 mana zombie which probably won’t make the cut in the already overcrowded 3 mana slot.  It’s abilities are good, and if the black/white zombie deck comes back into favor, this card could see a little play.

 

Farm // Market

Farm // Market

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I can’t see this card getting any Standard play.  While it is a cheaper Divine Verdict, I’d much rather play Blessed Alliance to get rid of an attacking creature.  And if I’m attacking into a larger creature hoping that they will block with it, my opponent will likely see the trick.  The Market side isn’t any better, since it only offers card filtering and doesn’t replace itself, effectively putting you down a card.

 

Consign // Oblivion

Consign // Oblivion

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I like the Consign portion of this card much more than Oblivion.  Being able to get rid of a hindering effect on my own creature (whether it’s -1/-1 counters or a hindering aura), or returning an opponent’s expensive creature so they need to spend another turn playing it.  I don’t care for Oblivion at all, as forcing my opponent to discard is usually never worth it.

 

Claim // Fame

Claim // Fame

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  So many creatures have good enter-the-battlefield abilities that Claim should see a lot of play, even with the cost limitation.  And the Fame side of the card is also pretty good since you can cast it on the creature you got back with Claim in order to sneak in an attack against your opponent.

 

Struggle // Survive

Struggle // Survive

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Look at all of the synergy the two halves of this card have with each other…  Oh, they don’t?  Regardless, neither side has an effect that should see a lot of play in Standard.  Since Struggle can only hit a creature, it’s very situational.  And Survive, while it gives you the opportunity to play cards multiple times during the game, it also affords that benefit to your opponent.

 

Appeal // Authority

Appeal // Authority

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  And we’re back to having synergy between the two halves of a card with aftermath.  This is another example of a card that should see play simply due to the low mana investment needed to play this card.  Since both halves play well together, you can use both sides of the card in the same turn if you want for a powerful round of combat.

 

Leave // Chance

Leave // Chance

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Leave is both a great way to get extra value out of effects that trigger when the creature enters the battlefield, as well as protection against removal.  It can also target any type of permanent you control, not just creatures, for added value.  Chance is a great way for red decks to get rid of useless cards in their hand for cards that have more potential.  As a red player, I know how valuable that can be.  This card will be seen in many decks in Standard.

 

Reason // Believe

Reason // Believe

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While 6 mana is a lot to tutor any creature in your top 3 cards onto the battlefield, it’s potentially useful enough to see Standard play.  And if you don’t have a creature, you simply draw that card instead.  Seems good to me.  I also think this will see a lot of play simply due to the Scry 3 ability on Reason.  That’s a lot of value for only 1 mana.

 

Grind // Dust

Grind // Dust

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  6 mana to destroy 2 of your opponents creatures is right on par.  This card takes it one step further and exiles them instead.  And it can hit other creatures that happen to have incidental -1/-1 counters on them.  Should see lots of play.

 

Refuse // Cooperate

Refuse // Cooperate

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Refuse is the kind of card I only want to see when I can play it and immediately end the game.  Cooperate will likely only see play in a blue/red control deck, if it sees play at all, since this effect isn’t usually played that much in Standard.

 

Driven // Despair

Driven // Despair

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Talk about your peanut butter and your jelly… or your cheeseburger and your bacon… or any 2 things that are great together.  Both halves synergize together and have a combined casting cost that makes it feasible to play both in the same turn, yet each half is completely playable on its own.  This is ultimately how all of the cards with aftermath should be designed, and I expect this will see plenty of Standard play.

 

Abandoned Sarcophagus

Abandoned Sarcophagus

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  As much fun as I think this card could be, I don’t think there’s a home for it in our current Standard.  Cycling has typically been used for other shenanigans (I’m looking at you Approach of the Second Sun), and I don’t see that changing because of this card.  That being said, I’d love for a brewer to prove me wrong and come up with a sweet deck for this card to call home.

 

Crook of Condemnation

Crook of Condemnation

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card coming out now is odd.  We really needed this effect a few sets ago before bans were needed.  However, I do think this is likely to see some play simply because of cards like Scrapheap Scrounger and Prized Amalgam.  It’ll be good from the sideboard, if nothing else.

 

Dagger of the Worthy

Dagger of the Worthy

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Equipment that doesn’t offer some sort of evasion usually has a hard time seeing play in Standard.  This card also doesn’t boost the equipped creature’s toughness.  Therefore, I don’t think this will see any play.  Perhaps if the afflict had a higher value, it might, but only having a value of 1 means I can chump block this and not feel too bad.

 

God-Pharaoh’s Gift

God-Pharaoh’s Gift

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I like this card, but not for 7 mana.  The thought of getting this into my discard pile and then playing Refurbish on it sounds like a lot of fun.  This also makes Gate to the Afterlife potentially playable.  It’ll be tough to keep the stream of creatures going to your graveyard so that you can activate this on each of your turns, but I’m hopeful that someone will give it a shot.

 

Graven Abomination

Graven Abomination

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card isn’t likely to see any Standard play, and is even only passable in Limited play.

 

Hollow One

Hollow One

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I’ve already seen people trying to build decks that can abuse the mana reduction on this card, so it’s likely to see some play in Standard.  Until I see it in action, though, it’s tough to rate it much higher.  The good news is that this card manages to avoid a lot of the usual removal cards, so there could be something here.

 

Manalith

Manalith

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is more likely to see Limited play, but there have been decks in the past in Standard where similar mana rocks were played.  It’s nice to get a card that just taps for any color for free instead of needing to pay a mana into the effect.  Still, most decks don’t want to use up 3 mana for the turn to get one back, even if it ramps them for future turns.

 

Mirage Mirror

Mirage Mirror

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  For only 2 mana, you can give every creature played after this pseudo-haste.  That can really mess up the combat math for your opponent.  Add in the fact that this can copy enchantments, artifacts, and lands, and this card screams versatility.

 

Sunset Pyramid

Sunset Pyramid

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  The ability to scry every turn can be powerful.  Overall though, I’m not too impressed with this card.  There’s a slight chance this could make its way into a control deck, but I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

 

Traveler’s Amulet

Traveler’s Amulet

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card has always been useful, but it’s terrible to draw late in the game.  That limits its usefulness and limits the amount of Standard play it will see.

 

Wall of Forgotten Pharaohs

Wall of Forgotten Pharaohs

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Defenders usually don’t see play in Standard, and the ability on this card won’t change that.  This is strictly for Limited play.

 

Crypt of the Eternals

Crypt of the Eternals

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Even though Grixis colors are really pushed in this set, I don’t see this breaking into Standard.  Lands that filter typically see no play, and even the minor ability of giving you 1 life won’t change that for this card.  It is a good source of colorless mana though, if the Eldrazi should make more of a comeback.

 

Desert of the Fervent

Desert of the Fervent

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I don’t think there will be any play of these in Standard unless a new desert based deck is created.  The ability to cycle them could also allow a very small amount of play.  But the fact that they only tap for 1 color of mana and enter the battlefield tapped are real hindrances to playing these.  (Note: This applies to all deserts of this cycle and is repeated under each one.)

 

Desert of the Glorified

Desert of the Glorified

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I don’t think there will be any play of these in Standard unless a new desert based deck is created.  The ability to cycle them could also allow a very small amount of play.  But the fact that they only tap for 1 color of mana and enter the battlefield tapped are real hindrances to playing these.  (Note: This applies to all deserts of this cycle and is repeated under each one.)

 

Desert of the Indomitable

Desert of the Indomitable

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I don’t think there will be any play of these in Standard unless a new desert based deck is created.  The ability to cycle them could also allow a very small amount of play.  But the fact that they only tap for 1 color of mana and enter the battlefield tapped are real hindrances to playing these.  (Note: This applies to all deserts of this cycle and is repeated under each one.)

 

Desert of the Mindful

Desert of the Mindful

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I don’t think there will be any play of these in Standard unless a new desert based deck is created.  The ability to cycle them could also allow a very small amount of play.  But the fact that they only tap for 1 color of mana and enter the battlefield tapped are real hindrances to playing these.  (Note: This applies to all deserts of this cycle and is repeated under each one.)

 

Desert of the True

Desert of the True

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I don’t think there will be any play of these in Standard unless a new desert based deck is created.  The ability to cycle them could also allow a very small amount of play.  But the fact that they only tap for 1 color of mana and enter the battlefield tapped are real hindrances to playing these.  (Note: This applies to all deserts of this cycle and is repeated under each one.)

 

Dunes of the Dead

Dunes of the Dead

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If the desert based deck takes off, this card will see a little play in Standard.  If not, it won’t, since most decks don’t want strictly colorless mana and an ability that will likely never happen.

 

Endless Sands

Endless Sands

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This might see fringe play if there’s a deck that wants to abuse this card by exiling their most powerful creature, wiping the board, and then returning that creature the following turn.  But since that seems pretty slow, I’m doubtful this sees play.

 

Hashep Oasis

Hashep Oasis

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This new single-colored mono-colored painland cycle is another thing that gives me hope for the Eldrazi to see a bit of Standard play before rotating out in the fall.  While it’s expensive to activate, the +3/+3 this card can provide makes your creature a force to be reckoned with for sure.  And, you can sacrifice this land to get the bonus if you’re not playing any other deserts.

 

Hostile Desert

Hostile Desert

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While I think this has a better chance of seeing play in other Constructed formats, this card is powerful enough to find a home in Standard.  Playing this alongside Tireless Tracker and Evolving Wilds and you’ve got quite a party.

 

Ifnir Deadlands

Ifnir Deadlands

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a good card that can substantially shrink one of your opponent’s creatures.  It would be better if the counters could be placed on two different creatures, but that would likely help to enable more of a board wipe than Wizards wanted this card to do.  As it is, it’s still pretty good.

 

Ipnu Rivulet

Ipnu Rivulet

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card gives me hope that a dedicated mill deck can be built in Standard.  Combine this with things like Fraying Sanity and other cards that mill such as Startled Awake and get to town destroying your opponent’s deck.  Since I love alternate win conditions, I want this to happen.  Brewers, you have your homework.

 

Ramunap Ruins

Ramunap Ruins

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  4 mana is a lot to pay for 2 damage to your opponent, but sometimes that’s what you need to do in order to win after they’ve stabilized the board.  It ain’t pretty, but it’ll get the job done.

 

Scavenger Grounds

Scavenger Grounds

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is likely to only see play from the sideboard against delirium strategies. As I’ve said before, most decks don’t want a land that only makes colorless mana.

 

Shefet Dunes

Shefet Dunes

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another land that I don’t expect to see a lot of play, but maybe just a little.  The fact that it affects all of your creatures means that you can use this card to help build up a sizeable force before sacrificing it (or another desert) to get a big bonus.

 

Survivors’ Encampment

Survivors’ Encampment

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  What’s that noise?  It sounds like a Springleaf Drum to me.  There’s a chance this could see some play.  Cast a creature, then use that creature and this land to create mana for another creature.  It’s not great, but in the right deck I could see it being played.

 

And that wraps up my review of the cards in Hour of Devastation in regards to Standard.  How did I do?  Is there anything you feel I got horribly wrong?  Or maybe I nailed it (yeah, right).  Either way, let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or by emailing me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  Let me know if there’s anything I can do differently or add to the reviews for the future that would make them more useful for you.  I look forward to hearing what you readers have to say.

And don’t forget to join me back here each and every week for my ongoing column, Raise Your Standards.  Each week I try to bring you some new, innovative decks that are performing well in Standard.  Occasionally I might even try my own hand at brewing a deck as well.  And I’m always looking for new ideas for my weekly column, so if there’s something you’d like to see, let me know.

If you happen to be playing in a prerelease this weekend, good luck!  I’ll see you next week!

Mike Likes

Comments

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

Comments are closed.