Hello friends! This is Ryan Gomez at TCGplayer, and today I want to talk to you about the Hour of Devastation Prerelease. The set has a ton of cool new cards, and you are guaranteed a premium rare or mythic rare in your Prerelease kit—but which ones should you get truly excited for? I'm going to cover my personal 5 tops and 5 flops. Let's dance!
The first in my flop pile is Djeru, With Eyes Open. Five mana gets me a vigilant 4/3 creature, with some other text that I know will be useless to me at the Prerelease. Even if I do find myself with a planeswalker, it still can't be Nicol Bolas, Samut, or Nissa, because my deck would have to be at least three colors.
Instead, I'm crossing my fingers for Angel of Condemnation! This card is better in almost every way. It cost less mana! It flies! It has two super useful abilities that don't depend on a planeswalker being in my deck! White decks in Hour of Devastation are going to need to be aggressive and evasive, so keep your eyes open for other flying creatures. Heh. Eyes open. See that's funny because...uh yeah. Tough crowd.
Next in the flops, I'll want to stay clear of Fraying Sanity. While it may be tempting to try and empty out an opponent's deck, it might be doing them a favor by feeding them cards that embalm or eternalize, or can be cast with aftermath.
Champion of Wits is a much better way to showcase my cunning nature. Early on in the game, it can help me stock my own graveyard with eternals, and later on, it comes back itself and helps refill my own hand. Offering great value early and late, Champion of Wits should definitely be on your wits list. I mean wish list. Ok I'm no Jon Corpora. Moving on.
Apocalypse Demon has wings but a huge appetite and that will usually be more of a problem for you than for your opponent. And, since cards tend to not stay in the graveyard on Amonkhet, his stats are going to jump all over the place - not exactly the reliable powerhouse I want for six mana.
How can we put the hurt on our opponent instead? Slot in Ammit Eternal. It has great stats for the mana cost, and even though they may change a bit based on what your opponent does, this guy always has a mean bite. A blocked attack is still good for three damage, and an unblocked attack returns Ammit Eternal to full power - no self sacrifices necessary.
Now, I have been known to roll the dice from time to time myself, and at the Prerelease I may find myself tempted to put Hazoret's Undying Fury into my deck. It looks good on the surface - cast up to four cards without paying for them! But then I remember one or two of those top cards will be lands. Even if the other two are worth four mana each, Hazoret's Undying Fury effectively cost me ten mana to cast, so I'm still way behind.
I do love casting stuff for free though, so I'm hoping to open Wildfire Eternal. In addition to dealing damage every turn himself, my opponent might not have anyone free to block him, opening the doors to really lay on the punishment. Or the fury. Yeah I guess this guy is more furious than Hazoret, if you play your cards right. Anyone know when Jon comes back? No? Ok moving on.
Rounding out the flops, I'm especially wary of Ramunap Excavator. While this snake has great potential in constructed formats, he won't do me much good at the Prerelease. Lands are going to rarely end up in the graveyard, and even if they do, having Excavator out in play at the right time to make use of them is asking a lot.
But if lands in the graveyard is 'your thing,' might I direct your attention to Ramunap Hydra? He still benefits from Deserts making their way to the graveyard, but he's also a solid creature on his own, with impressive stats and a slew of useful abilities.
So there you go. Five rares I will hope to dodge at the Prerelease, and their five much better looking friends. I'm not sure if praying to the God-Pharaoh will help my chances at this point, but I'm willing to find out.
Thanks for watching, and good luck at your local Prerelease. We'll see you next time!