Hi everyone! Welcome to What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 1 with Hour of Devastation. I’ve had the opportunity to do a handful of Drafts, maybe 5 or 6 before writing this, so I have had a reasonable amount of time to start forming opinions. Those opinions will continue to develop over the next couple weeks, so keep that in mind as we learn Hour of Devastation Draft together.
Here are the packs:
It wouldn’t be the start of a What’s the Pick series if I didn’t begin by taking a rare. Hour of Glory is not a typical first-pick rare, though. It is an extremely powerful, all-purpose removal spell that deals with some major threats, such as the new Gods. It can also exile cards with both embalm and eternalize.
Honorable Mention: Ambuscade.
Ambuscade provides green something it rarely has a common—instant speed removal. Of course there is a downside—if your opponent removes your creature with something like Electrify or Summon, they fizzle your Ambuscade. I remember when Clear Shot was around a little while ago, and it was one of the best uncommons. I don’t recall a single instance of being blown out when casting it, so if you’re careful, you should be able to minimize the downside. I’d expect Ambuscade to be one of the best commons in Hour of Devastation.
This looks like an extremely weak pack to me. First picking a gold card isn’t typically where I want to be, particularly when it’s only as good as Obelisk Spider. That being said, you’ve got do what you’ve got do. Obelisk Spider is good in a deck that’s trying to play for the long game, as it does a good job at holding down the fort.
If this format ends up being slow, with a lot more splashing than I’m expecting, I could see the Ritualist being better than the Naga. I have had Hope Tender a few times already and it has not impressed me. This is a pick where right now I’d take Harrier Naga, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I felt much differently in a few days.
As I said before, I expect Ambuscade to be one of, if not the best common in Hour of Devastation. I’d be happy to take it again out of this pack. Before your opponents get used to instant removal, I expect you’re going to be able to get some good blowouts against opposing Cartouches.
Honorable Mention: Puncturing Blow.
Puncturing Blow is an efficient removal spell as well. Another common that figures to rate highly, it does well against eternalize and embalm, the same as Hour of Glory from our earlier pack. I had The Scarab God in my deck today, and this was the card I was already worried about from my opponents. Having a card that can behave as a good answer to “unanswerable” cards is always nice.
This is just an absurdly good card. If Pride Sovereign isn’t answered right away, it will single-handedly—all right, with the help of many little Cats—take over the game. Things get out of hand so quickly. Also, making 2 lifelinkers every other turn should make it easy to hold any creature at bay in a pinch. Cards that require an immediate answer or end the game right away are generally the best card in almost any pack.
Honorable Mention: Open Fire.
Open Fire is the other common I have in contention for best common right now. Another efficient, 3-mana removal spell that has the versatility to hit your opponent directly as well as a creature, I expect to take Open Fire first out of a lot of Hour of Devastation packs.
This is a card that has way overperformed for me so far in Hour of Devastation Draft. When I read over the set, I expected it to be okay, but I think it’s better than that. It’s definitely in contention for the best blue common, and I’m not unhappy to spend somewhat early picks on this card. That being said, I wouldn’t expect to first pick it very often as there are a lot of better cards, but this looks to be a weakish pack.
Honorable Mention: Aven of Enduring Hope.
Back in the “olden days” of IPA Draft, Angel of Mercy was a premier uncommon. Now we have Aven of Enduring Hope at common. This looks to still be a pretty strong card, but I’d expect to first pick this even less than Unquenchable Thirst. It might not even be the pick here, and I might be influenced by memories of Angel of Mercy. The card that I’m not sure about is Unraveling Mummy. It doesn’t look quite strong enough to justify taking a 2-color card over either of these cards first pick. But I haven’t played with or against it yet, so I could be off in my evaluation.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back soon with some more packs!