June 19, 2017

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Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation – Planeswalkers and Removal, what more can you ask for?

Welcome all to the official start of preview season here at the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation. Thanks to an early preview, we were all able to see the exciting new Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh. You can read my article on that card right here. Today I’ll be talking about the other two early preview cards I’m excited about.

First off is a card that reminds me of an old Shadowmoor card called Savor the Moment.

savorthemoment

For ages, players have been asking for a four-mana sweeping removal spell like Wrath of God, Day of Judgment and Damnation. Recently we’ve been given five-mana sweeper spells like End Hostilities, Crux of Fate, and Fumigate. It appears that having a sweeper at four mana was just too powerful. Do you know what else is powerful? Being killed on turn four or five by your opponent who has a very aggressive start to the game. This leads us to a preview card from Hour of Devastation that could solve the problem of your opponent’s aggressive start. Here’s Bontu’s Last Reckoning

bontuslastreckoning

That’s right folks, a three-mana sweeper in Black. Move over Damnation, there’s a new sheriff in town. They decided to skip right over the Damnation reprint, and go straight for something with the possibility to be better. I can see this fitting nicely into a Grixis Control deck to deal with multiple threats. There could also be a place for it in a deck with God creatures who will remain on the battlefield after its cast.

One possibility before the ban would have been to put this card in an Aetherworks Marvel deck as an instant way to clear out a lot of creatures. A four-color Marvel including black could have been a thing, using Aetherworks Marvel to cast Nicol Bolas, God-Pharoah. Still, this card will find a place in Standard, but only time will tell as to what type of deck it will end up in.

Here’s hoping that Bontu’s Last Reckoning is part of a cycle of rares in Hour of Devastation where we’ll get some powerful abilities for reduced costs.

Next, I want to talk about a card that is following the opposite path to a character in the Theros Block. From Theros to Journey Into Nyx, Xenagos went from a Planeswalker, Xenagos, the Reveler, to a creature, Xenagos, God of Revels. In Hour of Devastation, Samut has gone from a creature, Samut, Voice of Dissent, to a Planeswalker.

Here’s Samut, the Tested.

samutthetested

I’ve always been a fan of Red/Green Planeswalkers, but at first look this doesn’t shout out as amazing. I think there’s more than meets the eye with Samut, the Tested, so let’s have a look all of her abilities.

[+1]: Up to one target creature gains double strike until end of turn. – The power of this ability comes from the creatures you choose to surround it with. Putting this onto a Longtusk Cub or an Electrostatic Pummeler could lead to some major damage and potentially win you the game on the spot. Having a creature like Glorybringer to play the turn after can help you get in eight damage quickly. But, there are also times where this ability could be a blank, whether that’s because you have no creatures, or just creatures that aren’t big enough to take advantage of it.

[-2]: Samut, the Tested deals 2 damage divided as you choose among one of two target creatures and/or players. – I think this ability is much more powerful than it looks. Being able to take out two creatures against certain match ups like Zombies or Mardu Vehicles seems impressive. This provides a way to protect Samut, the Tested if no offensive opportunities arise using the first ability.

[-7]: Search your library for up to two creatures and/or planeswalker cards, put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. — We’ve seen ultimate Planeswalker abilities like this with Nahiri, the Harbinger and Saheeli Rai. This allows you to get two cards from your library, and they can even be Planeswalkers! This could be a game changer, but you’ll need to survive until turn four with it on the battlefield to see this come to fruition.

Overall, I think that there’s more upside to Samut, the Tested than most players give it credit for. There is a good chance it can find its place in an aggressive Red/Green deck that wants to finish off games quick. Heck, I wouldn’t mind giving Hazoret the Fervent double strike, would you?

What a start to the first preview week here on the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation. There’s only more cards and more excitement in store this week, and I can’t wait to talk about these new cards here with you. Thanks again for reading and let me know your thoughts and what you’ve seen so far for Hour of Devastation.