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.
RATING — Explanation — Standard Examples
0 — Will never see play in Standard. (0 ratings are not listed).
1 — Unlikely to see play.(Hedron Alignment)
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
We start things off with a Limited card. I wouldn't expect this one to see play in Constructed.
Adorned Pouncer — 2
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
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.
We have access to better cycling cards in these colors. I don't expect this one to see any Constructed play.
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
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
Powerful with exert creatures but ultimately worse than Always Watching in your exert deck. Pass.
Desert's Hold — 3
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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 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.
This will see play in a 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
This mummy seems like it could slide into 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Top 3 White Cards
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 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.
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