Friday 30 June 2017

Hour of Devastation: Best Cards and Conclusions

This is one of the least impactful sets for the cube in some time. It has no bomb cards being added and relatively few cards added total. This comes as little surprise with so many bannings in standard of late a toning down of the power level is expected. Despite so few cards adorning the drafting cube this set offers loads and loads to constructed cube things. This set is full of strong sideboard cards and niche support cards. Loads of obscure but viable combo decks get a tool or two. I think I have rated more cards in this set as a 3 than any other set! All very minor things but lots of them at least.

I usually make a point of talking about every single card that is even remotely playable. In this set I didn't bother as basically any cheap cycler has some potential in a couple of places. It would have been very tedious repeatedly mentioning awful cards just because they cycle and then explaining the very rare examples of where you might want a card just as a cheap cycler.

The Things I am putting into the main cube from worst to best;

Reason // Live
Adorned Pouncer
Earthshaker Khenra
Firebrand Archer
Mirage Mirror
Tragic Lesson
Hour of Revelation
Nimble Obstructionist
Champion of Wits

Only the top few of these are powerful. The rest are all just fine suitable cards, they have their merits but they are very fair by cube standards. The good stuff is mostly blue, certainly blue gets the most from this set by a long way. Green gets basically nothing, white and black get a look in with a card or two each and red gets some more fine two drops.

These are the cards that have some constructed cube applications, usually helping out a combo deck. A bunch are just good  sideboard tools. I shall test out a couple of these cards in the drafting cube but relatively few compared to most sets. These are just some of the cards it is more prudent for me to pick up even though I have no intention of drafting with most of them.

Apocalypse Demon
Dunes of the Dead
Claim // Fame
Ramunap Excavator
Stweard of Solidarity
Djeru's Renunciation
Spellweaver Eternal
Sunscourge Champion
Hour of Devastation
Bontu's Last Reckoning
Oketra's Last Mercy
Rhonas's Last Stand
Jace's Defeat
Liliana's Defeat
The Desert Cycle lands
The Desert Pain lands
Grind // Dust
Fraying Sanity
Struggle // Survive
Farm // Market
Overwhelming Splendor
Refuse // Cooperate
Imminent Doom!
Consign // Oblivion
God Pharaoh's Faithful
Crash Through
Bloodwater Entity
Leave // Chance

I do like this set despite its seemingly low power. I like the mechanics and a lot of the card design. I would prefer more non-blue cards in the top end but only because blue is generally one of my most over filled colours. I like how blue finally has some options in its three slot that are interesting and broad. While this set seems low power that is mostly at the top end, overall the average power of this set is probably quite high. It just has less total garbage and no utter bombs. That is probably for the best but it does mean slimmer pickings for cube players. The way cards are designed these days seems to be an increase in power and utility but a general decrease in speed. This is again, good for magic in a lot of ways but does mean the cards need to be very good indeed to replace something quicker, even if it less potent. The thing that I am saddest about is that most of the interesting cards are gold and that means I won't get to use them nearly as much as their power level might merit.

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