Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation – It's All About the Hate!
Welcome all to another edition of the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation, where I talk about some of the new preview cards coming for Hour of Devastation. Today, I want to talk about hate cards.
Hate cards are very narrow cards, usually found in a player’s sideboards, designed to deal with specific game plans or cards that your opponent might be playing. They aren't meant to be played in your main deck, but brought in after game one as an answer. Hate cards are often quite powerful for their mana cost, as they deal with a very specific problem. In the recent Standard metagame, there's been a lack of these cards, meaning sideboards have been filled with more generic answers to decks that might be played against.
Thanks to Hour of Devastation, hate cards are back in full force. First, I'd like to focus on colour specific hate cards. Hour of Devastation brings the return of Nicol Bolas, but only seems to show the demise of the Gatewatch. These are depicted in five cards, one from each colour. Each hate card targets a permanent type of that colour, and has an extra ability attached to it if affects a certain Planeswalker of that colour. Let’s look at how much each spell will be played and how often its secondary ability will be activated.
Gideon’s Defeat – This card is a Path to Exile affect on a White attacking or blocking creature. It will go a long way to combat Mardu Vehicle decks in the format. Its most obvious use is to use it against Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Doing this will also gain you five life, which could be important against Mardu Vehicle decks as well. It can also be used against early threats like Veteran Motorist and Toolcraft Exemplar as a nice one-to-one removal spell. With Gideon, Ally of Zendikar being a huge threat, and Gideon of the Trials seeing more play, this could find its way into a lot of sideboards.
Jace’s Defeat – Going forward, there could be a lot of control decks and this is a great answer to fight those decks. Not only can you use it to win the counterspell war, it can also be used to counter threats such as Torrential Gearhulk and Pull from Tomorrow. Currently there's no Jace Planeswalker seeing play in Standard, so I don’t expect you'll be able to Scry 2 with it often. That being said, having a splashable counterspell that can be used against many strategies could be useful.
Liliana’s Defeat – Like Gideon’s Defeat, this is another one mana removal spell, except this time it can defeat a Black Planeswalker and be able to target any creature. With Black/Green decks being prominent in the metagame and perhaps going to see an uptick, thanks to the banning of Aetherworks Marvel, this could see some play.
Being able to remove Winding Constrictor, Grim Flayer or Liliana, the Last Hope for one mana will be very strong. Don’t forget all the Zombie decks that could grow stronger in Hour of Devastation. With both Liliana, the Last Hope, and Liliana, Death’s Majesty seeing play, there's a good chance that you could activate that secondary ability to make your opponent lose three life.
Chandra’s Defeat – There aren't currently many red creatures that see play in Standard, but this card can still kill Veteran Motorist, Veteran Brawler, and Glorybringer. Where this card shines is in its ability to instantly kill either Chandra, Torch of Defiance, or Chandra, Flamecaller, even if they have a turn one uptick on their loyalty. Time will tell if a Red aggro deck makes its way into the format, in which case this card could see more play, but in the current Standard metagame, Chandra’s Defeat won’t be played very often.
Nissa’s Defeat – This is the worst out of the five mono-colour hate cards when it comes to playability in the current Standard format. There aren't any Nissa Planeswalkers currently seeing much play, and there also aren’t any Green Enchantments that are seeing play either. Being able to kill a Forest is great, but not that great for three mana. This is a very narrow card whose secondary ability will rarely, if ever, be used.
Next, I want to focus on a new hate card that will help shutdown multiple strategies. Have a look at the new card, Solemnity.
Now this is a hate card. This card makes it so that players can’t gain Energy counters, which would seriously hinder Temur Energy decks. This also means that creatures can’t get +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters put on them. This would make the Black Green Constrictor deck a thing of the past. Solemnity also prevents cards like Ruinous Path from getting a creature land to help them out. Luckily, Planeswalkers remain untouched by this, but Solemnity will still have a large impact in Standard, and I haven’t even gone into its offensive possibilities with cards like Channeler Initiate
I believe that these hate cards will help lead to a more diverse Standard format, and that most of them will see consistent play. They all answer very specific problems that currently exist in the format in a very efficient manner, and mean that one deck can’t control most of the metagame. Do you have a favourite? Which one is it?
Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation, and I look forward to you joining me again tomorrow as I continue to expand on all that Hour of Devastation has to offer.