If you came looking for Jon Corpora, I'm sorry to tell you he's not here. He's still out cracking open cold ones (presumably with "the boys" and/or others appropriate) so expect a return to form on Monday.
This weekend is the Prerelease for Hour of Devastation, in paper then leading to Magic Online action Monday (except for the whole "Oops we but new cards in Treasure Chests so expect them in Constructed events all weekend" debacle). It's also been a full week since the complete set hit online. We're at maximum Hour hype now, and it shows in what sold.
Driven // Despair
Watching Adam Savidan absolutely Demolish an already-in-a-tough-spot Marshall Sutcliff at the Pre-Prerelease with just a handful of creatures and Driven // Despair was the first clue that aftermath cards were different in Hour. They're more efficient, more powerful and clearly pushed a little more than in Amonkhet. Drawing cards while making your opponent discard is an excellent way to push a creature strategy forward.
Who doesn't love good Cats? Adorned Pouncer will play nice with Regal Caracal as well as other cat goodies, and double strike is among the strongest combat abilities in the game. Meower Power is coming to Standard soon.
It's a Zombie. It has the potential to be powerful. It loves Vizier of Remedies. Ammit Eternal is among the many tribal cards coming with Hour, and with the success of Zombies in Standard before Aetherworks Marvel got the axe it's easy to see why there's a chance they'll go two-for-two.
Torment of Hailfire
Got mana? Powering this up with Cabal Coffers is the stuff of Commander dreams, but with so many efficient battlefield wipes already floating around with Hour I'm not sure where this goes outside 100 card decks. If you have the answers, hit me with the details in the comments below.
Like I said, there are plenty of ways to mop up creatures in Hour. Bontu's Last Reckoning is cheap enough to hit early, and with some clever construction possible to build around late. Three mana to take care of business is cheap, and cheap enough for players to pick it up early.
Hour of Revelation is three mana in Commander. It's a Planeswalker killer in Standard. It's a great answer against tokens-based decks. If you can handle triple white mana costs, this is the Wrath of God update for you.
Feed Hostile Desert Evolving Wilds and other fetch lands to see why a "creature" that survives battlefield wipes would be a good plan for the future. Also, it can pay for colorless costs if Eldrazi are your thing.
If Zombies get big, killing black creatures will too. There are multiple versions of Liliana (the Planeswalker) kicking around Standard as well, though this would be a narrow answer for her specifically. Insurance against Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh is also nice, but the limited applications of this card make it harder to predict how well it will be used.
On Monday I listed a pile of two-drop creatures across Standard, Modern and Legacy that benefit from Claim // Fame. I could do it again but you can envision the list yourself. This is an exercise other players have already completed.
Burn, baby, burn! Abrade kills creatures dead or smashes Vehicles into dust. This is three-mana flexibility at its finest (Disclaimer: It's not.) and a card ready to jump into the Hour Standard metagame.
Ramunap Excavator is Crucible of Worlds on a stick. Or with legs. Or with arms and legs. Or with a body. Whatever you call it, Commander and Deserts both like the idea of recursive lands. I expect this to continue to sell well even if it doesn't become a Standard breakout card as, well, 100 card decks have a history of keeping great cards moving. (See Anointed Procession, Panharmonicon, Smuggler's Copter and more.)
Yes, I would like to fetch Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth please. Or maybe I'll grab Gaea's Cradle and Deserted Temple. Either works, thanks!
Hour of Devastation is the namesake card of Hour, and it lives up to that. Dishing out damage to creatures and Planeswalkers puts this up as a key card for building in Standard. In Commander, the magic "All creatures lose indestructible until end of turn." Appear, which similarly makes this a standout card for multiplayer mayhem too.
Supreme Will is supreme value. Countering spells and drawing cards are what any good control deck wants. This puts both onto one cheap card, a choice that ensures it provides… value at every step of the way.
Join us Monday when a sunburned Jon shouts at your once again!