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Hour of Devastation Set Review: White


It’s that time again. The time when we evaluate all the cards from a new set for Standard play. Hour of Devastation is a small set so it’s likely we won’t get too many insane cards from this set; but, just from glancing over it, this whole block has been my favorite. I love the Egyptian theme, Nicol Bolas, and the story of Amonkhet. A lot of these cards seem good but nothing appears too powerful and that’s a wonderful thing. I can’t wait until Amonkhet is the first block before rotation. All right let’s get to evaluating the White cards but before we do let’s go over my grading scale.

Each card will given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, it's rating is left off the list.

RATINGExplanationStandard Examples

0 — Will never see play in Standard. (0 ratings are not listed).

1 — Unlikely to see play.(Hedron Alignment)

2 — Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card.(Negate, Duress.)

3 — Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Tireless Tracker, Hedron Archive, Oketra's Monument)

4 — Format staple, sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Torrential Gearhulk, Glimmer of Genius, Traverse the Ulvenwald)

5 — Standard all-star. When building a deck, you keep this card in mind. If you’re playing this color you have this card in your main deck or at the very least, in your sideboard. (Gideon, Ally of Zendikar)

Act of Heroism — 1

Act of Heroism

We start things off with a Limited card. I wouldn't expect this one to see play in Constructed.

Adorned Pouncer — 2

Adorned Pouncer

I dub thee, Knife-Cat. This feline literally has some sort of knife attached to its tail. This is a great 2-drop for White with a payoff mid-lat game. Only problem is that White aggro has no shortage of 2-drops. It competes with a lot of things and I don’t think it is better than the 2-drops we already have.

Angel of Condemnation — 1.5

Angel of Condemnation

If given time and left alone it can take over the board. I highly doubt it will ever be left alone. It's also asking for a lot of time that it won’t have. This angel also gets hit by every removal spell including Abrade. Maybe a sideboard card in a control deck but I'm not expecting anything more than that.

Angel of the God-Pharaoh — 1

Angel of the God-Pharaoh

We have access to better cycling cards in these colors. I don't expect this one to see any Constructed play.

Aven of Enduring Hope — 1

Aven of Enduring Hope

Maybe if this had flash and cost less; but, for five mana, this isn't going to cut it. It's way too slow and not nearly impactful enough for Constructed.

Crested Sunmare — 2.5

Crested Sunmare

Very powerful card if you can make the 5/5 token the turn it comes into play with something like Glory-Bound Initiate or Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim. It is a build around me card, but the payoff is huge. 10 power and 10 toughness with potential for more is very powerful for five mana.

Dauntless Aven — 1.5

Dauntless Aven

Powerful with exert creatures but ultimately worse than Always Watching in your exert deck. Pass.

Desert's Hold — 3

Desert's Hold

Pacifism type of affects don't tend to see play in Constructed but tacking on life gain onto any spell makes that spell a lot more valuable. Especially when you're playing a control deck. Think about Blightning and Unlicensed Disintegration. Three damage is a lot and so is three life.

Disposal Mummy — 1.5

Disposal Mummy

I wouldn't even play this in my sideboard Zombie deck. It's just way too slow and not impactful enough. Maybe he'll throw himself next into that fire.

Djeru, With Eyes Open — 2.5

Djeru, With Eyes Open

People are comparing Djeru to Thalia's Lancers, and that's fine; but, keep in mind he is great in a Thalia's Lancers deck as a singleton to fetch up with Thalia's Lancers. He curves very well into something like Sorin, Grim Nemesis. Not a staple in a format but a great card for a toolbox deck.

Djeru's Renunciation — 1

Djeru's Renunciation

You have to be in pretty bad shape to have this in your deck and in even worse shape if you have to cast it instead of cycling it. Djeru needs to Renounce this card.

Dutiful Servants — 1

Dutiful Servants

In case you didn't know, three zombies equals two power and five toughness! How? No idea, I don't ask questions. These Servants will serve just fine in the bulk bin.

Gideon's Defeat — 2

Gideon's Defeat

Very powerful card and a staple in sideboards to come. You wouldn't ever play this card main deck, making it slightly worse than a card like Duress. However, the ability is very powerful and great to have in your sideboard. The whole cycle of Defeat cards are solid Sideboard cards. I like this one particularly against the new White Oketra's Monument decks.

God-Pharaoh's Faithful — 1.5

God-Pharaoh's Faithful

That's a lot of colors and a lot of commitment if you decide to play all those colors. It's going to be best in a Jeskai or wu Control deck coming out of the sideboard for some life gain and blocking. Even with that I don't think it's better than Sunscourge Champion.

Hour of Revelation — 3

Hour of Revelation

This will see play in a wu control shell. It's just a strictly better Planar Cleansing and Planar Cleansing saw a good amount of play. Wiping the board of Planeswalkers, creatures, and Vehicles makes it a premium answer for a control deck.

Mummy Paramount — 2.5

Mummy Paramount

This mummy seems like it could slide into wb Zombies easily. An early 2-drop that puts on pressure as time goes on is just what aggro decks what. Think something like Champion of the Parish.

Oketra's Avenger — 2

Oketra's Avenger

A worse Glory-Bound Initiate in my eyes but a 2-mana 3/1 is still very aggressive. If you want Glory-Bound Initiate 5-8 then this card is a decent place to be.

Oketra's Last Mercy — 2

Oketra's Last Mercy

People will play this in their Sideboards but I'm unsure how good it is. I think it's fine as a singleton in a control deck in Standard but I don't think it's worth the risk in Modern. Getting Skullcracked or Atarka's Commanded is lights out. Playing something like Timely Reinforcements seems much safer and you'll get to untap your lands the following turn.

Overwhelming Splendor — 2

Overwhelming Splendor

A one-sided Humility that also shuts down Vehicles and other artifacts. It's asking a lot since it's 8 mana and you'd rather just Planar Cleansing instead of dropping this thing down. I can imagine this seeing play in some sort of ramp or reanimate deck with Emeria Shepherd to cheat it into play.

Sandblast — 1


Immolating Glare is just better than this card in Standard.

Saving Grace — 1

Saving Grace

An okay trick in Limited, bad in Constructed. Even if we had Stuffy Doll this wouldn't be good enough.

Solemnity — 2.5


When I first saw this card, I imagined it would be a decent Sideboard hate card for things like Infect and to a lesser extent, Affinity. Later, I come to find out it's much better as a combo card with things like Devoted Druid, Dark Depths, and even Thing in the Ice in Standard. I would keep an eye on this one because it enables a lot of strange interactions.

Solitary Camel — 2

Solitary Camel

Decent Sideboard option but competes with Desert's Hold and Sunscourge Champion. It’s worse than both of those cards in my eyes.

Steadfast Sentinel — 1

Steadfast Sentinel

Three mana for a 2/3 vigilance isn't where you want to be, same for a 6-mana 4/4 vigilance. Just not good enough to see Standard play.

Steward of Solidarity — 2

Steward of Solidarity

This Steward is no Oketra's Monument and I like Hanweir Militia Captain more. It's possible that this replaces a creature in the Monument deck but I'm not sure which it would replace. It seems worse than what the deck already has access to.

Sunscourge Champion — 2.5

Sunscourge Champion

A solid sideboard card for aggressive strategies in aggro and control decks alike. On the front side, it's a 2/3 that gains two life and on the backside it's basically an Obstinate Baloth, that's very powerful for just one card. I expect to see this a lot in sideboard and maybe main deck depending on the how meta shakes up.

Unconventional Tactics — 2

Unconventional Tactics

I've seen some aggressive decks play unconventional cards before and this one fits the bill. Giving your Diregraf Colossus flying on a clogged-upboard state is an easy way to end a stalemate.

Vizier of the True — 1.5

Vizier of the True

This card costs a little too much to be good. At four mana this won't be seeing play. I mean what would you rather cast, Vizier of the True or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar? That's what I thought.

Top 3 White Cards

  1. Hour of Revelation
  2. Desert's Hold
  3. Sunscourge Champion

Crested Sunmare is very powerful but Sunscourge Champion is a very good card and goes into more decks than the horse just because you don’t have to build around it. That’s why it gets third place over the horse. Hour of Revelation is clearly the best card in White and may give wu Control the board wipe it’s been wanting to clean the battlefield of everything. Six mana is a lot but if you’re playing a control deck you should be able to get there without too much difficulty.

Tune in tomorrow where we’ll go over the Blue cards!

As always thanks for reading.

Much love,

Ali Aintrazi

@AliEldrazi on Twitter

The Hour of Devastation is upon us! Gets singles and sealed at CoolStuffInc.com!