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The Degenerate's Combo Guide to Hour of Devastation

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A new Magic set has been released which means that it’s time for the degenerates to come out and play! If you’re a tinkerer who likes to push the limits, or someone who enjoys fearlessly slamming combo pieces on the table, then this article is for you. Today we’re going to look specifically at combos in the new set Hour of Devastation, but before we dive in let’s do some paper work.

Last time I did one of these, I tried to pick combos that can be repeated "infinitely". This time, I’ll be expanding that focus to also include big splashy plays that can have game-ending effects! I’ve selected combos that have Hour of Devastation cards at the core of the combo engine. These combos span over multiple formats. As with all combos in game with variance (like Magic) your mileage may vary. Let’s dive in!

Pride Sovereign + Birds of Paradise + Intruder Alarm

Pride Sovereign
Birds of Paradise
Intruder Alarm

Result: ALL THE CATS!

Key Rules Text:

Pride Sovereign - Exert Pride Sovereign: Create two 1/1 white Cat creature Tokens with Lifelink.

Intruder Alarm — Whenever a creature comes into play, untap all creatures.

Setup and Execution:

To get the cat engine flowing, you need to have a non-summoning sick Birds of Paradise, and Pride Sovereign. Any mana dork that produces White can be used, like Noble Hierarch, or even Avacyn's Pilgrim. With your mana dork, and Pride Sovereign in play, you simply play Intruder Alarm, and Activate the Sovereign's ability. This will create two 1/1 cats. Once the cats enter the battlefield, the Intruder Alarm will trigger and untap both your mana dork, and the Pride Sovereign. Rinse and repeat until your opponent concedes, or until you have more cats than the entire YouTube video library.

Making an army of cats is a dream come true for some people, but there's a risk if we wait for the next turn to enter kitty combat. If you're like me, then you want to kill your opponent now. Thankfully there are many ways to do that. The first way that comes to mind is Impact Tremors.

Impact Tremors

This is a cheap way to turn your kitties into fiery darts to your opponent’s face. The same thing can be accomplished with the more expensive (mana and money wise) Purphoros, God of the Forge. If you still would rather win with combat, you can do so by using Mass Hysteria.

Mass Hysteria

This gives all your cats haste and allows you to swing out for the game. It also can allow you to combo from an empty board if you have the right amount of mana. A similar affect can be found in Samut, Voice of Dissent (who you'd probably want to flash into play on the turn previous to comboing) but I like Mass Hysteria because it can be played off tapping the Birds of Paradise after you've used it to make the appropriate number of cats.

There are many other things that you can do with this combo, including sacrificing cats to Goblin Bombardment, but we've got other combo to talk about so let's meowve (Ok, that was too much. Sometimes you swing and miss).

Steward of Solidarity+ Intruder Alarm

Steward of Solidarity
Intruder Alarm

“Wait a second Jonathan! Isn’t there an easier way to do the combo that you talked about? Can’t you just drop the Birds of Paradise (mana dork) and use Steward of Solidarity + Intruder Alarm to do the same thing?”

All right, all right. You caught me. This is true but it was more fun to write about cats than warriors! How about I make it up to you with another Intruder Alarm Combo?

The Locust God + Merfolk Looter + Intruder Alarm

The Locust God
Merfolk Looter
Intruder Alarm

Result: A swarm of 1,000,000 Locusts!

Key Rules Text:

The Locust God — Whenever you draw a card, create a 1/1 blue and red Insect creature token with flying and haste.

Merfolk Looter — Tap: Draw a card, then discard a card.

Intruder Alarm — Whenever a creature comes into play, untap all creatures.

Setup and Execution:

I talked at length about this combo in my article about The Locust God, but I will go over it shortly here for those who didn’t have a chance to read the other article. To set this combo up you need Intruder Alarm in play and well as The Locust God, and a non-summoning sick looter Creature card. I pictured Merfolk Looter above, but you can use a card like Bonded Fetch for the haste ability. When you tap the looter, you’ll draw a card, which creates a 1/1 insect due to The Locust God’s ability. When the insect comes into play it will trigger Intruder Alarm’s ability which will untap the looter.

You can repeat this process until you’ve drawn your entire deck. You can also use an Eldrazi like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth to shuffle your graveyard into your deck, so that you can keep repeating until you have enough insects to swing and kill any number of opponents. This also means you’ll have enough insects to be killed by a timely (or untimely depending on how you look at it) Rakdos Charm. Quick, buy all the Rakdos Charms, it’s hot new tech!

Rakdos Charm

Mirage Mirror + Time Vault

Mirage Mirror
Time Vault

Result: Infinite Turns.

Key Rules Text:

Mirage Mirror — 2: Mirage Mirror becomes a copy of target artifact, creature, enchantment, or land until end of turn.

Time Vault — Tap: Take an extra turn after this one.

Setup and Execution:

Even though Time Vault crazy expensive, it’s a card that I’ve actually had the pleasure of playing with. I owe that pleasure to a friend of mine name Joel Niddrie. He traded me a beta Time Vault back in 2010. I loved that card, but eventually had to sell it to when things got tight on the homefront. Anyways I digress — I’m supposed to be telling you about how to set this combo up, but instead I’m reliving the old glory days!

The execution is pretty straight forward. You need to have Time Vault and Mirage Mirror in play. With both in play, activate Mirage Mirror’s ability targeting Time Vault. Now that you have a freshly minted, (and untapped) Time Vault — tap it to take an extra turn. Because of the text “until end of turn” on Mirage Mirror, the Mirror will stop being a Time Vault before your extra turn. This means that it will untap in your untap phase, allowing you to repeat the process.

Typically, once you start taking extra turns, your opponent will concede. But don’t forget, infinite turns don’t actually kill your opponent. You still have to present a win condition! I vaguely remember games in Vintage where I was hoping to draw enough mana sources to hard cast my Darksteel Colossus (the only win condition left in my deck).

Mirage Mirror + Dark Depths

Mirage Mirror
Dark Depths

Result: A 20/20 Indestructible Marit Lage token.

Key Rules Text:

Mirage Mirror — 2: Mirage Mirror becomes a copy of target artifact, creature, enchantment, or land until end of turn.

Dark Depths — When Dark Depths has no ice counters on it, sacrifice it. If you do, create a legendary 20/20 black Avatar creature token with flying and indestructible named MaritLage.

Setup and Execution:

There have been many ways to cheat doom out of the Dark Depths, from Vampire Hexmage, to Thespian's Stage; and if you want to go way back Aether Snap, which I’ve proudly cast to summon the 20/20 indestructible ice monster! Mirage Mirror might be the most flexible way, even though it’s more mana intensive than the other options. The setup is simple, have a Dark Depths and a Mirage Mirror in play, then use the ability on Mirage Mirror to copy Dark Depths. The Legend rule will make you chose a “Dark Depths” in play to be sent to the graveyard. This is where you’ll choose Mirage Mirror (now posing as Dark Depths). This is where you’ll choose to send Dark Depths to the graveyard. Mirage Mirror, now posing as Dark Depths, will have no ice counters on it and it will be sacrificed to create a 20/20 Marit Lage! High-fives all around.

There’s not much else to say here, step two is: hope they don’t have a Swords to Plowshares or a Path to Exile. One of the interesting corner cases with Mirage Mirror is that you can set up turns where you use Thespian's Stage to make the Marit Lage, then use the Mirage Mirror to copy the Marit Lage. If you played Mirage Mirror the turn before, then the 20/20 Mirage Mirror will have haste!

Me: Do you like making 20/20’s?

You: No, not really?

Me: Umm, then pay no attention to the next combo.

Hour of Promise + Thespian's Stage + Dark Depths

Hour of Promise
Thespian's Stage
Dark Depths

Result: A 20/20 Indestructible Marit Lage token. Sounds familiar, right?

Key Rules Text:

Hour of Promise — Search your library for up to two land cards, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

Vesuva —You may have Vesuva enter the battlefield tapped as a copy of any land on the battlefield.

Dark Depths — When Dark Depths has no ice counters on it, sacrifice it. If you do, create a legendary 20/20 black Avatar creature token with flying and indestructible named Marit Lage.

Setup and Execution:

This setup is much like the previous set up, so I don’t want to belabor the point. Essentially you would use Hour of Promise to get Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage. Typically, you'd have to wait to untap before you can activate the Thespian's Stage, but you can side-step this by using an Amulet of Vigor, or the new kid on the block Hope Tender. Once Thespian's Stage is untapped, you’ll activate it to copy Dark Depths. Based on the legend rule you’ll opt to keep Thespian's Stage copy and send Dark Depths to the graveyard. Since the Thespian's Stage will have no ice counters, it will be sacrificed, and you’ll get the 20/20 Marit Lage!

I almost left this out of the article because I didn’t want to be too repetitive, but I think it’s worth mentioning because it can occupy different space. For example, Hour of Promise can be cast with Boseiju, Who Shelters All back up. It can also be found with Mystical Tutor, which gives some Commander decks an “End the Game (ETG) Button”. Even though it’s not as exciting as my favorite ETG button; Tooth and Nail. It comes down faster, and it can serve as ramp spell (not to mention the Zombie value). It’s the kind of card that seems like it fit’s Jason Alt’s 75% theory. You can use it for ramp against lesser tuned decks, or use it to finish off someone with a better deck.

All right, we can’t close this article without talking about the most broken card in the set, Fraying Sanity! Oh man, some of you guys just got super excited. I’m just kidding, the most broken card in the set is Solemnity.

Solemnity

Solemnity

On the surface Solemnity seems like a middle-of-the-road hate card. It's designed to keep energy decks in check (Marvel was an energy deck by the way, RIP), run interference in Modern against infect, and interact with the +1/+1, and -1/-1 themes of the block. Will it do that? Who cares! Let’s talk about the massive combo potential of this card. We don’t have the time to go through all the combos that Solemnity enables, but I picked three of my favorite. Don’t worry I’ll spare you the Dark Depths combo, though I considered adding it just for the troll value. Let’s start with a gnarly way to kill a whole Commander table.

Solemnity + Geralf's Messenger + Maw of the Obzedat

Solemnity
Geralf's Messenger
Maw of the Obzedat

Result: Drain all opponents to 0 life. Super yuge creatures.

Key Rules Text:

Solemnity — Counters can't be put on artifacts, creatures, enchantments, or lands.

Geralf's Messenger — When Geralf's Messenger enters the battlefield, target opponent loses 2 life.

Undying (When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Maw of the Obzedat — Sacrifice a creature: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

Setup and Execution:

This combo doesn’t need Maw of the Obzedat, but I saw an opening so I went for it. Any sacrifice outlet can be used, and there are more efficient ones available, like Viscera Seer. The set up consists of having all three cards in play; Solemnity, Geralf's Messenger, and a sacrifice outlet. Once you get all three in play, you can sacrifice Geralf's Messenger using the ability on Maw of the Obzedat (or your sacrifice outlet of choice), because of the Undying trigger, Geralf's Messenger will be returned to the battlefield. Typically, you would put a +1/+1 counter on Geralf's Messenger (because of the Undying ability) but with Solemnity in play you don’t put this counter on. This means that you can repeat the process over and over again.

This also works with other creatures that that use counters, like Kitchen Finks and Murderous Redcap. These creatures have been abused with Melira, Sylvok Outcast in the past, and Solemnity is even more flexible by allowing you to combo with +1/+1 counters as well. Saffron Olive made a sweet “Against All Odds” deck based on this combo. Sadly he left out the Maw of the Obzedat because of its inefficiency, some kids always get picked last, poor Maw. Saffron also included the next combo in the same deck!

Solemnity +Phyrexian Unlife

Solemnity
Phyrexian Unlife

Result: You are invincible.

Key Rules Text:

Solemnity — Counters can't be put on artifacts, creatures, enchantments, or lands.

Phyrexian Unlife — As long as you have 0 or less life, all damage is dealt to you as though its source had infect. (Damage is dealt to you in the form of poison counters.)

Setup and Execution:

I really like the fact that both of these are White enchantments. It makes for a very nice Mono-White win condition. White also gives us access to a great recovery card in Replenish. You can even use Replenish as a combo enabler, if you can find a way to get the enchantments in the graveyard. Keep in mind, this is easier to do in colors other than White. Once both enchantments are in play, you cannot die to damage. The ability of Phyrexian Unlife makes it so that once you go to 0 life, damage is dealt in poison counters. But guess what, with Solemnity in play you cannot get poison counters. Voila! INVINCIBILITY!

I’ll admit this combo makes me kind of angry, but not for the reasons you think. I’m super deep in Magic Projects at the moment, three Battle Boxes, and two Commanders decks are in process, which means I need infinite cards (is there a combo for that?). This combo made me start considering building a Zur the Enchanter Commander deck (again). Since both enchantments are three-mana it slot’s perfectly into the deck! I can just image a turn where you swing to bring out Solemnity, then cast Time Warp, and swing again for the lock. When you combine this with Greater Auramancy, and the typical cast of enchantments from a Zur deck, you become INVINCIBLE!

Unless of course they Cyclonic Rift you. Oops. Let’s wrap this up with a combo that is much harder to Cyclonic Rift.

Solemnity +Decree of Silence

Solemnity
Decree of Silence

Result: All of your opponent’s spells are countered. HA HA.

Key Rules Text:

Solemnity — Counters can't be put on artifacts, creatures, enchantments, or lands.

Decree of Silence — Whenever an opponent casts a spell, counter that spell and put a depletion counter on Decree of Silence. If there are three or more depletion counters on Decree of Silence, sacrifice it.

Setup and Execution:

I saved my favorite combo for last. This combo totally shuts down your opponents. Once you get both Solemnity and Decree of Silence in play, your opponents cannot resolve spells. Decree of Silence counters each of your opponent’s spells, and Solemnity prevents you from putting depletion counters on Decree of Silence. Now keep in mind that this doesn’t lock your opponents out of spells that cannot be countered. For example, if someone has a Boseiju, Who Shelters All, they can cast a Fracturing Gust to wipe out your combo. Also keep in mind, that this combo does not deal with the board. If you manage to get this combo in play and your opponent has an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in play, then you may still die. You’ll want to have a way to clear the board before or right after you get the combo into play. This is where Cyclonic Rift becomes your best friend.

Like the combo before this, you can also set this up with Replenish. The great thing is that in Blue you have efficient ways to get this combo into the graveyard. You can use typical means, like looting creatures (Merfolk Looter), spells (Compulsive Research), or you can get a little spicier with the enchantment Attunement.

Attunement

Adding Attunement is really more for the spice than it is for the functionality, but it does have the benefit of coming back with Replenish, or being tutored with Zur, if you’re running this combo in a Zur deck like we talked about above. I’m not sure about the best way to build for this combo, but it does get the ideas flowing! I’ll leave this one, and the rest of these combos in your hands to so what you like with them. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility!

Conclusion

We did it! We’ve taken a pretty involved look at some of the great combos in Hour of Devastation. I hope this has been interesting for you. If you made it all the way to the end, I really appreciate you reading. I really do try to write shorter articles, but I can’t seem to get there. As always, if you have a sweet combo to share, a cool way to use these combos, or if I messed something up, tell me in the comments. Thanks for reading.

<3 Jonathan

@MedinaMakesGame


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