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June 21, 2017

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Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation – Time to Eternalize the Joy

Welcome all to the first preview week here on the Daily Dose of Hour of Devastation! The week started off well, with a look at some new cards coming to us on July 14th, or even a little earlier at the prerelease.

One of the first things I look for in a new set is which new mechanics will be introduced, and what mechanics will return. There are evergreen mechanics that we see in every set, such as scry and first strike. With the announcement of small sets disappearing in the near future, soon there won’t be any new mechanics that will be carried over in a two or three set block. Cycling and exert are both mechanics from Amonkhet that are returning for Hour of Devastation, but mechanics like Embalm are not. Don’t worry though, there’s a very similar mechanic that will still allow you to draft tons of creatures that keep coming back for more.

Let’s take a first look at the new Eternalize mechanic with Steadfast Sentinel.

steadfastsentinel

Eternalize is like Embalm in that you can create a token that’s a copy of the creature you’re using it on. How it differs from Embalm is that instead of turning it into a White Zombie, it turns it into a Black Zombie. Not only that, but instead of the power and toughness staying the same when you Eternalize a creature, it turns into a 4/4! So, for example, Steadfast Sentinel will go from being a 2/3 creature with Vigilance, into a 4/4 creature with Vigilance. Eternalize is another example of a great mechanic that gains you so much value, even for a common card like Steadfast Sentinel.

Now that we’ve seen the possibility of the new mechanic, let’s see a new card from Hour of Devastation that expands on its power. Here is a look at Dreamstealer.

dreamstealer

Dreamstealer is a creature that has a little bit of everything mixed into one. You start off with a 1/2 creature for three mana, which isn’t too impressive. But, it has three groups of text that make it more and more interesting the more that you read.

First off, Menace is added, which in my opinion is overlooked when it comes to evasion mechanics. Making your opponent double block a one power creature will often prove advantageous in combat. Secondly, whenever it deals combat damage to a player, that player discards that many cards, which in this case is one card. Now we’re getting started. Evasion plus card advantage is a great combination on a creature. Lastly, Eternalize is on Dreamstealer. Later in the game you can return it to the battlefield as a token of itself, except this time as a 4/4 Menace creature that can make your opponent discard four cards.

Lastly, I want to talk about a cat. Cats were plentiful in Amonkhet, and more are added to the pride thanks to Hour of Devastation. This new Cat can also come back as a nasty Zombie Cat. Let’s look at Adorned Pouncer.

adornedpouncer

This Gameday promo card starts out a as 1/1 double strike creature for two mana. We’ve seen this before in creatures like Fencing Ace and Viashino Sandstalker. Like Menace, double strike is sometimes overlooked as a glorified first strike, but in the right situation can end a game quickly. Like any double strike creature, if you can pump it up via a spell or an aura, it becomes even better. Where this card truly beings to shine, and why it’s a rare, is that it can be Eternalized for five mana to make it a 4/4 double strike creature. Do you know how many creatures exist in Magic for five mana or less that give you 4/4 double strike? Zero, until now. That’s how powerful double strike can be, and how quickly it can win you the game.

So, what do you think of the new mechanic? Like Embalm, I don’t believe it will see an impact on the Standard format, but it will have a very significant impact on the Limited format. Being able to recur creatures and make them bigger and greater later in the game will be powerful. Thanks again for joining me during the first preview week here on the Daily Dose. Join me tomorrow as we delve further into the depths of what Hour of Devastation should offer.