Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation – The Last Great Hope
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation, where the second preview week is winding down and we're starting to see the full picture of what's coming in Hour of Devastation. Nicol Bolas is taking no prisoners, and it’s up to the Gods of Amonkhet to put up one last fight. The five cards I’ll be talking about today play out the story as the five mono-coloured Amonkhet Gods fight for survival.
The five Gods of Amonkhet have been joined by the three minions of Nicol Bolas, The Scorpion God, The Scarab God, and The Locust God. The five Gods from Amonkhet still have some tricks up their sleeves which have been represented by rare Sorcery cards that each provide the same last line of text on the card.
“Lands you control don’t untap during your next untap step.”
This is basically exert for your lands. It’s a very neat design and concept for this cycle of cards, as it allows you to provide an overpowered spell for the mana cost that you're paying, but in return basically doesn’t allow you to play spells the following turn. As we'll see though, this isn’t always the case, as you won’t always want to cast these spells on curve. Let’s dig into the five new spells from Hour of Devastation.
Oketra’s Last Mercy – There have been some seven drop creatures like Resolute Archangel and Exquisite Archangel that have had similar abilities, but never a spell. This is a spell that you're unlikely to be playing on curve on turn three, which makes it that much more valuable. Since you most likely want to be playing this when your life total is much lower, it will be in the mid-to-late part of the game. At this point you will probably have six mana or more, therefore you won’t be left without any mana for your opponent’s turn or your next turn. Three mana to reset your life total to 20 will make all the hard work your opponent did to get you low on life seem worthless. I hope I play a burn deck the first time I have this card.
Kefnet’s Last Word – There has never been a spell before this that has allowed you take control of an enchantment. Confiscation Coup is a recent five mana example of a spell that allows you take control of an artifact or creature. Most spells that allow you to gain control of creatures are Auras that can be removed, but this is a permanent change of possession that can’t be reversed.
There are plenty of times you'll want to play this on curve on turn four. This could lead to some issues if you're playing a Control deck, as it will leave you vulnerable during your next turn. At four mana, you can save it until you have six or more lands so that you'll have some mana for removal or counter magic if needed.
Bontu’s Last Reckoning – Damnation is the obvious comparison for this spell. Against an aggressive deck you'll want to play this on curve to keep yourself from being killed. Most often, they won’t have many cards left to get more creatures on the board before you can get a turn back with some mana available. If you can use one-for-one removal early in the game, since Bontu’s Last Reckoning only costs three mana, it works great in the mid-to-late game as it will allow you to leave mana up to either cast a creature after you cast it, or for your next turn.
Hazoret’s Undying Fury – The immediate comparison to this card is Mind’s Desire. The colour pie has shifted in recent years for Red to be the colour in which you can cast cards off the top of your library once you exile them. We've seen cards like Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Abbot of Keral Keep use this ability.
This card is a burn player’s dream. There are times late in the game when you have your opponent down to a low life total, but you’ve run out of cards. This will give you a chance to cast multiple spells to finish off your opponent in one swoop. Having your lands stay tapped is inconsequential as most times when you're playing this spell, it will be for the final blow.
Rhonas’s Last Stand – There are plenty of 5/4 creatures that you can play for four mana, but only one (Woolly Thoctar) that you cast for three mana. This shows that getting a five-powered creature on turn two is powerful. Most times you'll want to cast this on curve on turn two to try and get in the most damage as early as possible. This will mean unless you have a one-drop to play on turn three, you will have to take a turn off from casting spells. In the mid-to-late game, this card is still valuable as having a 5/4 creature at any point in the game is quite strong.
So, as you can see, these are some very impressive spells that I believe will all see play in Standard in the coming months. Getting an overpowered ability for a reduced cost is just too much to pass up. I don’t think that the drawback of keeping your lands tapped during your next untap step is enough to stop these from being played.
Thanks again for joining me on the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation, where the second preview week will be wrapping up tomorrow. Join me then for some more analysis, and reactions to some of the newest cards from Hour of Devastation.