Hour of Devastation Review – White Cards

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Hi everyone.  Welcome to the first 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 White 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…

 

Act of Heroism

Act of Heroism

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a decent combat trick, but it’s a lot more likely to see play in Limited play than in Standard.

 

Adorned Pouncer

Adorned Pouncer

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Double strike is nice on a 4/4 creature.  It’s not as nice on a 1/1.  I don’t see this getting much play, but it’s possible there’s a new deck created that will run this card.  Not likely though.

 

Angel of Condemnation

Angel of Condemnation

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I like this card quite a bit.  It’s a great way to punch through some flying damage while abusing abilities that trigger when a creature enters the battlefield, or getting rid of an opponent’s biggest attacker for the turn.  And it cleans up any counters that may have accumulated on creatures that might be an annoyance for you.

 

Angel of the God-Pharaoh

Angel of the God-Pharaoh

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  For six mana, there are a lot more attractive creatures I can think of playing, and they’re bigger than a 4/4.

 

Aven of Enduring Hope

Aven of Enduring Hope

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card looks decent in Limited play, but likely won’t see any Standard play.  It’s simply too much mana and not enough stats.  And the three points of life gain are not as relevant without having a fast red deck in the format.

 

Crested Sunmare

Crested Sunmare

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I love the possibilities this card provides, but those are mostly for formats other than Standard.  I’m hopeful that this can find a home in a new life gain deck in Standard, but I’m not counting on it.

 

 

 

Dauntless Aven

Dauntless Aven

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While the 2/1 stats are less than thrilling, the ability to grant pseudo-vigilance to a creature you control could mean this finds a home in Standard.

 

Desert’s Hold

Desert’s Hold

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Pacifism-like abilities usually have a hard time finding their way into standard, and I expect that to be the case with this card.  Also, the desert sub-theme in the set seems more suited for Limited play than Standard.

 

Disposal Mummy

Disposal Mummy

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If this card makes it’s way into a Standard deck, it will be useful to exile cards like Prized Amalgam and Scrapheap Scrounger.  But it’s not likely to see much play, if any.

 

Djeru, With Eyes Open

Djeru, With Eyes Open

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card might slot well into a deck playing Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.  So, this rating will stand for the three months that card is still Standard legal.  Once it rotates, this card won’t see much play at all unless we get another bonkers white planeswalker.

 

Djeru’s Renunciation

Djeru’s Renunciation

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Good for Limited, bad for Standard.

 

Dutiful Servants

Dutiful Servants

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Here’s another card that’s better in Limited than it will be in Standard.

 

Gideon’s Defeat

Gideon’s Defeat

Rating:  3.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a great sideboard card to play in decks that can use it when playing against Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.  Without that card, this card is a much worse sideboard card.

 

God-Pharaoh’s Faithful

God-Pharaoh’s Faithful

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card could see play if it were blue, red, or black, but I don’t see wanting to play this in a multicolored deck.  The only place it could have a home is in a blue/white control deck, but even then it’s not a great card.

 

Hour of Revelation

Hour of Revelation

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If a 5-mana white board wipe that gives you life for each creature destroyed doesn’t see much play, it’s not likely this will see much play either.

 

Mummy Paramount

Mummy Paramount

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I suppose in Magical Christmas-land, this card could be good.  Too bad we live in the real world.

 

Oketra’s Avenger

Oketra’s Avenger

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  It’s hard to imagine a scenario where I would want to exert this card.  If you can come up with something that’s not too far-fetched, let me know.

 

Oketra’s Last Mercy

Oketra’s Last Mercy

Rating:  3.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I can imagine how frustrating it can be to play against this card.  While this is around, no red burn decks can hope to prosper.

 

Overwhelming Splendor

Overwhelming Splendor

Rating:  4.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  I expect a lot of people will see this card as a challenging card to brew a deck around.  And, even though it has no effect on an opponent’s planeswalkers, I think it could potentially still be powerful enough to do well.

 

Sandblast

Sandblast

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is a nice sideboard card that could see a fair amount of play.

 

Saving Grace

Saving Grace

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This card reminds me of Deflecting Palm, but it’s not as good.  It’s a neat combat trick, but it won’t see much play.

 

Solemnity

Solemnity

Rating:  2.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Even though I’m a big fan of playing deck that abuse counters, I like this card a lot.  And I think other people will too.  This should see a decent amount of Standard play.

 

Solitary Camel

Solitary Camel

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  If this always had lifelink, I’m still not sure how much play it would see.  With only having lifelink conditionally, I don’t expect to see this played at all.

 

Steadfast Sentinel

Steadfast Sentinel

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  A 4/4 with vigilance would be nice, but costing 6 mana makes it likely that this doesn’t see play.

 

Steward of Solidarity

Steward of Solidarity

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  The good news is that you can make a creature for zero mana.  The bad news is that it takes two turns to recover from doing it.  If there’s a way to abuse it, this card will find that deck, otherwise it’ll see no play.

 

Sunscourge Champion

Sunscourge Champion

Rating:  2.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  This is the best white card with eternalize.  That doesn’t mean it’s very good, though.

 

Unconventional Tactics

Unconventional Tactics

Rating:  1.0 ()

Overall Thoughts:  Oh, look.  A combat trick for Limited.  Nothing to see here for Standard, though.

 

Vizier of the True

Vizier of the True

Rating:  1.5 ()

Overall Thoughts:  While it is nice to be able to tap a blocker for each creature that you exert, most decks don’t run a ton of cards that have exert.  That’s why I don’t think this will see much play.

 

And that’s all she wrote for white cards from Hour of Devastation.  As you can see, there’s not many cards that I think will make much of an impact on Standard.  Come back tomorrow and we’ll see if the blue cards can do any better.  Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or emailing me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.

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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