Sunday, July 2, 2017

My top commander cards from Hour of Devastation

Another set has dropped and it's time to look at the cards for the only format that matters.

While I usually do a top ten for commander sets it's often met with me looking at 4-5 good cards and then thinking "Oh yeah, this can be played in something maybe" for others.

An example would be from my top Amonkhet cards where I talked about all of these:

Approach of the second sun
Commit to memory
Combat Celebrant
Prowling Sheopard
As foretold
Shadow of the grave
Harsh Mentor
And the lands

Here's what an actual Amonkhet best card list looks like:


Yeah so instead of overhyped potential trash I'll talk about cards that I think are good and "Fun" as well as the best for competitive commander. While I think Hour has more competitive cards than Amonkhet there is no way it's ten.

So let's start with some honorable mentions.

While certainly no Vandalblast or Lightning bolt. Stapling both to one card helps out a bit. Problem is things like Kolaghans Command exist and isn't really played all that much anyway. I can see this making mono red decks and maybe two color decks but often there are better options (Bolt, Vandalblast, wear/tear, command, etc) that I can't see it slipping into the 99 often. Being able to kill a deathrite, birds, sol ring, or whatever that is played on turn one is good, but not quite great. Doesn't helwhen you have a vintage card pool being just good isn't good enough

Hour of Revelation
Don't get me wrong. This is a powerful effect but I'm not convinced that it's super good. Sure nuking the board for three is great and shouldn't be too hard to do turn 5 or 6 once the board is getting clogged up with things

The problem comes in that in competitive tables hatebears, mana shortage, stax, counters, and so many other factors fall on the board to make this not quite viable in more competitive formats. The board state is either won by two card combos so this does nothing or it's locked down to the point that this isn't viable.

Cool card, great in most tables but not in a competitive one.

Scavenger Grounds
I hate this card. I play a lot of graveyard-based decks so an uncounterable thing like the piece of shit Faerie Macabre makes me sad. Thankfully this card isn't quite good enough for cutthroat. It makes colorless mana and cost two more mana to dump a graveyard. However the unanswerable (Hi Stifle) effect makes me think that it has some viable play.
Again, like the other ones so far, not great but still something I can see coming across a few times.

Mirage Mirror

There has been a lot of talk about this card and what it does. My concern is that things like Clever Impersonator and Mizzium Transreliquat see zero play so I don't think this will either. Yes, this can copy a little more (Dark Depths) but I don't think that's enough for it to be viable in competitive tables.
Besides, it can't copy smokestacks counters so to hell with it.

The Scarab God

This card is very cool.'s not good. Five mana plus four more to reanimate something is terrible. Tribal zombies are terrible. Draining opponents for any number that's not infinite is too slow.
Sure it gets around commander tax but frankly I'm not convinced it's worth killing to begin with.

The locust god
This is the card I wanted to build the most but I remembered that I don't really play with any 75% decks. The ability to vomit out bugs (Ew) and drop a Shared animosity and go to town. While it sounds sweet it is far too slow in competitive tables. Playing a six drop with no immediate effect that revolves around you dropping more things on the board and hoping they don't get countered, killed, or having your general answered in response is a bit much to ask for in high powered tables.

Again, I really want to build this deck and this it's super sweet. Dropping a plague worth of creatures and something like Opposition, smokestack, mana echoes, tangle wire, and good fun cards seems great. I just don't see that happening in tables with answers though.

This is probably the best card so far. However...I'm not quite sure if it's considered win more or not. You can do some great things with this against Yisan and it works very well with your Persist and Mystic Remora.

The Zur and Brago decks will probably at least want to test it out. The whole idea that Solemnity + Decree of silence hard locks opponents from casting spells but I still think that's a little too cute and I'm not certain it's viable. This is some unexplored territory we're going in with a new effect so I think it is worth trying out but I'm not quite sure about it right now

Leave to Chance

This seems like a strong card or something that can be destroyed by Notion theif.

Either way you have two parts of Paradoxical outcome however the first part can bump up your storm count or protect your cards for half the mana cost. While that isn't quite good enough on it's own the second part of which you can draw a ton of cards make me think it has a home somewhere in storm.

If there ever was a storm deck with Breya?

Driven to Despair

Every set there's a card I'm most biased to and I think this one is it for Hour of Devastation.

I love hatebears and what's more hateful than killing people's hands while fueling up your own with more cards that make your opponents suicidal? Yes, you need some board presence already to make this good but even with 3-4 creatures you're drawing 4 and discarding 4. Even better as a finisher late game after you've put down more things. This likely is a win more card but my god is it cool and I hope it's real good.

And those are the honorable mentions. Now to my top


Yes, I think there are only really three cards that will impact competitive commander heavy in this set and may be just to because we have...

3. Uncage the menagerie

Play this for four mana and grab the devoted druid combo. This is a one card combo that generates infinite mana. Not exciting in the slightest but still powerful. At four mana you can get a dumb Restoration/Felidar guardian bounce train and kill everyone with Purphrous but that may as well be 4259 mana.

In Animar you can use it to get Ancestral statue and Purphrous and win the following turn assuming Animar has a few counters on it, but I think the main application will be the Devoted Druid combo with Vizier of remedies.

And any higher and you may as well just play Tooth and Nail.

2. Magus of the crucible

This was not a card I expected to be printed. Crucible of worlds is already very strong and I figured if they stapled it to a creature it would be a higher mana cost.
Every competitive deck runs fetch lands (Or should) a and good amount of them run strip mine, there are almost always lands in the graveyard to return. This makes discarding easier since you can play lands from the yard. Crucible is one of the few staples in competitive commander and when you're dealing with all of magics history that is quite something. I don't think this is quite at that power since it's restricted to green and Dies to Doom Blade (HAHAHAHA) but it's power is something I don't think can be denied.

1. Not Griselbrand
Jokes aside this guy is very strong. Like crucible, tutors are something that is very common in competitive and so are two card combos. All you need is to have some dork like Arbor Elf, deathrite, whatever on the board and you can just pay four life and grab a combo. Have an extra thing to sac? Grab force of will. The opponent tries to kill your general? Sac it and fetch up something. The eight mana is quite the cost but with Reanimator, storm, and plenty of mana sources in competitive decks all around I don't see that being a problem. I think this will be seeing heavy competitive play for years to come.

Assuming he doesn't follow in his older brothers footsteps.

And there you have it. My personal top commander cards from Hour of Devastation.

What do you have for your own? Anything you disagree with? What about things you agree with? Let me know and let's start a discussion.