Hour of Devastation: First Impressions, Part Two

The last year or so has been a pretty good time to be playing EDH. Lots of new cards tailored for our format, from giant monsters, to big silly spells, and everything in between.

Now, spoilers have started for the next set, Hour of Devastation, the sequel to the Egypt-themed Amonkhet. Will this set continue Wizards’ strong run of good multiplayer sets?

Let’s take a second look at Hour of Devastation!

As I’ve said before, what a time it is to be an EDH Magic player.

Last year, 2016, was an excellent year for EDH and multiplayer Magic, as we were given a lot of fun, shiny toys to play with. We started the year with Oath of the Gatewatch, which was the second Battle for Zendikar set and introduced Eldrazi that broke multiple formats. Zendikar II block did have lots of fun multiplayer cards in it, such as Zendikar Resurgent, and was fairly good to all of my EDH decks. Next, we had the latest “sequel to this plane” nostalgia set, Shadows Over Innistrad and its expansion Eldrich Moon, which had even more big bad Eldrazi, tons of flavorful cards, and great utility cards. Over the summer, we were treated to Conspiracy: Take the Crown, which was absolutely one of my favorite Limited sets to draft of all time, and added a lot of awesome generals to EDH like Queen Marchesa. From there, we had Kaladesh, a bright and hopeful new set, just chock-full of fantastic new multiplayer cards like the amazing Panharmonicon. The Commander 2016 set of pre-constructed decks came out, which had 50+ excellent new cards and finally(!) four-color generals in them.

Then this year, we’ve been getting some great Magic sets as well. Aether Revolt had lots of great multiplayer cards in it, like Metallic Mimic, one of the best tribal enablers ever. This was followed by reprint set Modern Masters 2017, which had lots of great reprints in it. Finally, Wizards released the Egypt-themed set Amonkhet, which again, had a ton of great multiplayer cards, like new general Hapatra, Vizier of Poison and Dusk // Dawn.

Basically, 2016 was an awesome year for EDH, and multiplayer Magic in general, and it looks like 2017 is going to be the same, especially with all the new shiny things Wizards has announced! Wizards has been dropping a ton of exciting MTG news on us over the past while, and it is an amazing time to be playing the game, really.

So spoilers have ended with the full spoiler being revealed for Hour of Devastation, the second set in the Egypt-themed Amonkhet block, and the set is very interesting from a multiplayer perspective. There are three more Gods, lots of “build around me” cards, several cool Planeswalkers, and scads of Deserts for us to try out in EDH.

What will I be picking up for EDH? Let’s take a look.

A look at Hour just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning these guys, the other two new Gods (and two new generals for EDH). Much like The Scorpion God (which I looked at in part one), each of these has their own theme; The Locust God is basically Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind on steroids, letting you add power to the board whenever you draw cards, and The Scarab God is a Zombie general, which is unfortunate (how many generals does a Zombie player need, really?)

I like Locust God the best of the new bunch, as his ability is extremely powerful, and quite easy to build around (just draw cards, and he will kill your opponents for you).

These new Gods are quite strong, and I can easily see each of these having their own deck.

One thing I always look for during spoiler season are utility lands that I can slot into my decks, and my goodness, this is a good one. In EDH, graveyard hate is always a good thing to run, given the nature of how EDH is played (recursion is always very powerful in a longer game, and so removing a problem graveyard is super useful). This land does that, to each opponent at once, making it fantastic.

I really wish this wasn’t rare, that’s my only complaint here (since I need about 40 copies). Amazing utility card.

Like I said, I love lands in EDH and Magic in general, so having a tri-color filter land makes me ecstatic. I’ll be running this in Sedris, the Traitor King, and possibly some of the four-color decks as well, and I know it’ll be excellent.

I just wish they’d made an entire cycle of three-color combinations. Ah well, as with Murmuring Bosk, I guess we just need one.

Djeru continues the time-honored tradition of attaching conditional Tutor effects to creatures, and making them playable for EDH. He should actually be excellent for Commander, since there are a lot of people out there with planeswalker decks (called “Superfriends”), and this guy is a much stronger version of Call the Gatewatch. Worth mentioning, he’s better for the deck than Call, because he can block for your planeswalkers, which Call the Gatewatch cannot.

I currently do have a Superfriends deck (Angus Mackenzie), so I’ll definitely be looking to slot this guy in.

This card, I am looking at for our The Mimeoplasm deck, because copying it with Mimeoplasm and drawing a bazillion cards has to just be silly. Simple, cute little card, and I like it a lot.

I mention this guy not because I have a place for him (yet), but because Wizards has finally made a version of Crater Hellion without echo, which is pretty cool. I’ve always been a fan of that card, and I’ve played it a ton in EDH, so I know I’ll like this one as well.

One of the most exciting cards spoiled in the entire set, and possibly the most powerful. This card is a combo with everything from cumulative upkeep cards (since they’ve been errata’d to get age counters), to Dark Depths, to +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters, and everything in between. It also hoses energy counters from Kaladesh block, the experience counter generals from Commander 2015, and everything in between.

This is a very good card, and though I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do with it, I know I’ll be using it somewhere.

With every set, I always look to pick up playable Wrath effects, and this is a very good one. Hitting all creatures and planeswalkers for 5 should be good enough to sweep the board clear most of the time, making this a much more cost-effective Magmaquake.

Great card, and I know I want a few copies.

There are not one, but two ways to exile graveyard creatures to make 4/4 token copies in this set, and they’re both expensive to cast, but very good. I have these earmarked for Sedris, the Traitor King, but I could see these going into a few decks, they’re extremely potent with any creatures that have “comes into play” triggers.

My major question with the blue Hour is simple enough: in what way is this a blue card (and not a black card)?

I’ll admit, any time a new set is released, I look for new cards that slot into one of my tribal decks. This is a good Bird, hence it’ll be going into Kangee, Aerie Keeper.

Along that same line, this is a very strong card for Snake tribal, so I’ll be picking it up for Kaseto, Orochi Archmage. Given the huge size of the token, I think the “lands don’t untap” drawback isn’t going to be a big deal here.

Though I wasn’t a big fan of how the Aftermath cards from Amonkhet looked (they were ugly, honestly), I was a big fan of how they played. I love cards that give me multiple options when playing them, and these are some of the best.

Currently, I have plans for Farm // Market to slot into our Bruna, Light of Alabaster deck, where both modes are excellent. I also like Struggle // Survive a lot; any removal spell that doubles as a way to hose graveyards is going to be a perfect EDH card, and I’ll be trying it in our Xenagos, God of Revels deck.

As for all the other aftermath cards from this set, I’ll be trying them all out, as there are a lot of useful ones this time around.

At this point, I have to imagine that someone in Wizards R&D is a The Gitrog Monster EDH player, because this set has a bunch of cards for that deck. From the new mono-color cycling Deserts, to the new Magus of the Crucible (Ramunap Excavator), to these two cards, the Gitrog deck now has access to lots of new exciting cards to try out.

Each of these cards is excellent for this deck, and I’ll be trying all of them out in my own Gitrog deck.

This guy isn’t really worth mentioning… unless you have Doran, the Siege Tower built (which I do). In that deck, he’s going to be a monster turn one play, and should deal a ton of damage in the early game.

Neheb is a very strange, yet very cool general for EDH that may make a Burn deck possible (something that I previously would have said only about Heartless Hidetsugu). There are lots of ways to build around this guy, from Earthquake tribal to deal mass damage to everyone at once, to an aggro deck, to just slotting him into Minotaur tribal, and he should be very good in each one.

I have no place for him currently, but he’s on my radar as an excellent “build around me” general.

In EDH games, mana-ramping is a potent way to get ahead of your opponents. Any spell that puts extra lands from your deck into play is a great way to mana-ramp, and what puts this spell ahead of most mana-ramp spells is that it gets any land, not just basic lands.

Want the combo of Cabal Coffers/Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth? This card can get them for you. Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage to make a 20/20 flying noodle monster? Again, this card has your back.

And that’s just some quick combo-y options. This card can also fetch you two bouncelands (Gruul Turf and the like), guaranteeing you your next two land drops. It can get you utility lands like Bojuka Bog, or Maze of Ith, or even The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, or anything in between.

In short, this card is pretty damn sweet for EDH, and though I’m not sure yet what I’m doing with it, I know it’s going in at least some of my decks, because it’s just that good.

This is the set’s obligatory “big dumb stupid EDH card with a big splashy effect,” and it is truly a big effect. Doubling your spells is no joke, so I’ll have my eye on this going forward as a dangerous spell to use for spell-heavy decks.

Yeah, you read that right. Apparently, Horse tribal may now become a thing (if Wizards keeps printing cards for it), and I can’t be the only one who finds that odd. Of all the tribes to push, the Horse tribe…?

Regardless, the final card I want to look at today is a super-strong card in its own right, especially in a dedicated lifegain deck that can trigger it on other peoples’ turns (I’m thinking the lifegain-based deck I built for our friend Brianna, Karlov of the Ghost Council, will love this card).

Strange card, from such a random tribe, but quite powerful.

(This card really makes me wonder what future tribes we’ll see going forward… maybe we’ll finally get an Ape Lord, or an Ooze Lord or something so we can play those tribes in EDH.)

So there you have it, that’s a quick look at all the cards from Hour of Devastation that I like for my EDH decks! This is a quirky, fun set, and there are certainly a lot of cards that work for the Commander format. I am really looking forward to picking some of these up and adding them to my decks.

Praise the God-Pharaoh!


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