The recent release of Hour of Devastation is changing formats across the board. One of my favorite formats to consider when a new set comes out is Commander. In this article I will be going over the top ten cards in Hour of Devastation that I think are going to make waves in the format.
Before we get into the list, let’s look at a few honorable mentions.
The Scarab God: This card is extremely likely to see play, but I thought it was too obvious of a choice so I left it off the list.
Pride Sovereign: With the recent leaks about a possible cat tribal deck that is supposedly going to be included in Commander 2017, this card has a good chance of seeing play.
Hour of Revelation: A nice board clear, but White doesn’t really need any more of these. It’s still a nice addition though.
Now with that out of the way, let’s get into the actual list:
Number 10: Crested Sunmare
This is a nice reward for life gain decks and has the added bonus of being indestructible. While this card isn’t game wining on its own, it is a nice incentive, and it can be a really big headache for your opponent – unless they have a way to exile it.
Number 9: Overwhelming Splendor
This card is a real blowout for some opponents. It shuts down creature based decks completely, and if they don’t have a way to destroy it, victory is almost guaranteed. It is also notable due to the fact that it will affect any creature, regardless if it has shroud, hexproof, or anything else protecting it, as it dosesn’t target them directly. This makes Overwhelming Spledor great against Voltron decks or decks that rely on creature effects. But it isn’t an amazing answer as it costs eight mana, and it only targets one player.
Number 8: Razaketh, the Foulblooded
This card has a monstrously powerful effect. For only two life and sacrificing a creature, you can tutor for any card. This can provide you with game winning combos, or the right answer for any occasion. Razaketh is also notable because it can be used as your commander – which means that you always have access to it.
You may be wondering why it is so high up on this list. The reasons is because its mana cost is way too high. This severely limits its combo potential, as your opponents will be able to prepare for it, and save up answers way in advance.
Number 7: Torment of Scarabs
While this card isn’t as flashy as some of the other cards on the list, it is notable for the constant pressure it puts on an opponent. Constantly costing your opponent life every turn really adds up, and while it is likly they won’t pick the other two options unless they are really low on life. It speeds up the game, while also not looking too threatening at first. Many players won’t mind losing three life per turn and think that it’s insignificant, and before they notice that it is a problem, it will be too late for them to recover from it.
Number 6: Fraying Sanity
This card is a real game changer for mill decks. The ability to double the amount of cards that would normally be milled is great. This is especially useful due to the large number of cards in Commander decks. Instead of having to mill around seventy to eighty cards, you only need to mill about thirty-five to forty cards. Fraying Sanity also has the added benefit of being an enchantment, so it is hard for some colors to deal with, and even if it doesn’t do much, it only costs four mana. So even if it gets destroyed, and you don’t get much use out of it, it still isn’t a bad way to spend your mana.
Number 5: God-Pharaoh’s Gift
God-Pharaoh’s Gift is really great. Firstly it is colorless, so it can fit into any deck. Secondly, it has an incremental effect, meaning that the longer you keep it in play, the more value you get from it. Even with only one trigger, this is still very good for colors other than black. Did I mention that this card can make a token of any card from your graveyard regardless of mana cost? If you have a way to protect this it can get out of control in only a few turns, and if your opponent cannot deal with it, it is likely that the game will swing heavily in your favor.
Number 4: Hour of Eternity
Hour of Eternity does something that not many blue cards can do. The ability to play a one sided Living Death is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you are able to pump enough mana into it (and in many Commander games you will be able to), this card can easily turn the tides in your favor. It gets even more useful in a zombie deck, as every token you make will be a zombie, making them eligible for tribal buffs, such as evasion and stat boosting. I expect this card to be included in many commander decks, and be the turning point in many games.
Number 3: Saving Grace
Saving Grace is great because it fits into many existing decks. Any Voltron like deck that tries its hardest to keep its creatures alive will greatly appreciate this card. If you can stick it on a creature, and then protect it, you become unkillable for some opponents. I can see this fitting into almost every Voltron deck playing White, because of the minimal effort you need to make it useful. At the very least, you only need to spend two mana on it, so if it becomes a target, and uses up your opponent’s removal, it isn’t the end of the world.
Number 2: Torment of Hailfire
This card is really devastating. The one sided hysteria it causes to your opponents is insanely good. Even if you only put a relatively small amount of mana into it like four to six, it is still a powerful card. It is also notable due to the fact that it gives Black decks access to another X cost spell that doesn’t just drain life, it in many cases will actually impact the board state, or future board state, by clearing the field, or wrecking your opponent’s hand.
Number 1: Hour of Devastation
Yo dawg I heard you liked Hour of Devastation. So we put Hour of Devastation in Hour of Devastation so you can Hour of Devastation while you Hour of Devastation. Hopefully, none of you were turned off by that terrible meme. Now for those of you that haven’t left, let me get into why I think Hour of Devastation is so great. Firstly, five mana to remove indestructible from all creatures, and then deal five damage to every creature and non-Bolas planeswalker is insane. Secondly, the fact that it only costs five mana is a real game changer. This is probably the closest Red will ever get to a Wrath of God like effect, and I will happily accept it. For years Red has had to struggle with a lack of board clears, but this one really turns that around.
But what do you think? Do you agree with my list? Is there anything you would change about it? What cards are you most excited about from Hour of Devastation? As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to say something in the comments section below.