Hello everyone! The time is upon us, an Hour of Devastation. Today I will be discussing cards that will be viable for Competitive 1v1 EDH from Magic’s newest set. There was just one small issue with this. Because of the competitive nature and fine tuning in the format, you will have, at most, maybe 2 or 3 inclusions from any given set. This certainly does not provide enough content for an article.

So, to make this an Hour of Devastation instead of a Minute of Devastation, I will also be going over interesting cards for Casual Multiplayer EDH as well. This also applies to the multiplayer version of the format on MTGO, and the ban list that is currently laid out by the EDH rules committee.

My goals when I play Casual EDH are the same as they are for Competitive: I want to win. Sometimes I do employ powerful combos or annoying lockdowns in my decks, and if that isn’t for you, no worries. The new sets do an excellent job of catering to both casual players and spikes aplenty and I will give you the best of both worlds with today’s article.

(Note: Just because I say a card will have a better home in Competitive EDH over Casual does not mean the card wouldn’t be good in Casual. But the opposite is not true. A card good for Casual won’t be good in Competitive).

Angel of Condemnation

Good in: Casual EDH

This Angel comes in low on the curve, and provides a powerful effect for a reasonable cost. I think a deck that abuses enters-the-battlefield abilities would be a perfect fit for this Angel, as she can be unreliable when used as a hard removal spell. She suffers in the same way Admonition Angel does, where she dies to a sweeper and returns all hell back onto the battlefield to be dealt with again. The 3——-mana activation is going to be easier than hitting land drops after your 6th for the Worldwake Angel, and not needing colorless mana makes this more consistent than Eldrazi Displacer. The Displacer combos better with Palinchron and Great Whale, however.

Crested Sunmare

Good in: Casual EDH

When asked if I would make a Horse tribal EDH deck, my answer was “neigh.” It would behoof you to ignore the Horse related text when trying to play this card for fun, as most Horses in Magic’s history have been mediocre. The triggered ability is powerful for decks with repeatable life gain effects, so throw ol’ Seabiscuit here in Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and call it a hay.

Djeru, with Eyes Open

Misses in: Casual EDH

I don’t really like 5-mana tutors and the rest of the text on this card isn’t very relevant. I would only play this in a superfriends deck where a particular planeswalker would lead to a game-winning combo (Saheeli Rai or Jace, Architect of Thought) or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

Hour of Revelation

Good in: Casual EDH

Planar Cleansing is already quite playable, as the mass board wipe also takes out mana rocks, and problem artifacts and enchantments. This card is similar and strictly better, so an easy swap or addition for many controlling white decks.

This card probably just misses the mark for 1v1 Commander as there will rarely be 10 or more nonland permanents on the battlefield to satisfy the cost reduction. At 6 mana you just can’t play this spell there.

Overwhelming Splendor

Good in: Casual EDH

A potentially useful card to fetch out with Academy Rector and even Bitterheart Witch. There are many decks that cannot beat a Humility effect, and having one that doesn’t hinder your creatures is unique. But this spell doesn’t hit multiple opponents and is usually going to be worse than grabbing Yawgmoth’s Bargain or Omniscience for hardcore players.

Solemnity

Good in: Casual EDH

This card is super fun and somewhat abusable. There are seemingly endless interactions with this card that can give headaches. Solemnity cancels cumulative upkeep on cards like Glacial Fortress, and locks opponents out with Decree of Silence. In a format riddled with 2-card “oops I win” combos, however, this card is just for those who like hilarity and not those who want to win outright.

For 1v1 EDH, I feel this card just barely misses out as well. It combos with Murderous Redcap and a sacrifice outlet to kill the opponent, and even Dark Depths to make an instant 20/20. The card is useless on its own, though, and 1v1 Commander is hardly a place for 2-card combos anyway.

Steward of Solidarity

Good in: Casual EDH

Intruder Alarm combos eat your heart out. Everyone else, move along.

Champion of Wits

Good in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

I don’t have high hopes for this card, but I have seen far weaker cards crack lists before. A Faithless Looting effect strapped to a body that can even come back in the late game is certainly something to take note of. I am not sure if a deck like Animar, Soul of Elements could employ this, or if it would be relegated to a deck like Brago or The Mimeoplasm. The fact that eternalize can’t be countered is also intriguing and makes this a card I would not be surprised to see.

Countervailing Winds

Good in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

I do love Circular Logic, but for Competitive Commander, it is usually on the outside looking in (although quite good in Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy). This spell isn’t significantly better, but I would consider it an upgrade, as replacing madness with cycling is going to be relevant in more games. I would not expect Countervailing Winds to pop up in every heavy-blue counterspell deck, but some may prefer it to something like Dissipate, Dissolve, or Complicate.

Hour of Eternity

Misses in: Casual EDH

I don’t love this card because of its steep mana cost. I can see it being a late-game game winner, but someone else could either counter it, exile the graveyard, or wrath the board again if it isn’t an auto-win. I’ll save this one for my Type 4 stack.

Kefnet’s Last Word

Misses in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

A Control Magic effect that comes with the upside of not being weak to disenchant effects, but with a huge drawback. I think people are understating this drawback to cards like this and Bontu’s Last Reckoning, and I don’t see them making meaningful impacts on any format.

Nimble Obstructionist

Misses in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

I’m on the fence about this card. Some Stifle effects can really catch the opponent off-guard and swing a game on their own. But this ability is not an enters-the-battlefield trigger and you are never left with the best of both worlds. Sorry, bird-brain.

Supreme Will

Good in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

I know many players are pretty hyped about this card. I attribute that to the middling options blue mages have these days, rather than the power of these new spells. I like the option between these two particular effects. Mana Leak and Impulse are both powerful and great to have combined on a modal spell. But Impulse is only barely better than a spell like Ponder and adding an extra mana more on top hurts. Similarly, 3-mana counterspells are a world apart from 2-mana ones. With the recent cantrip banning I can see this spell finding a home occasionally, but I will be reluctant to add this.

Swarm Intelligence

Misses in: Casual EDH

7 mana is a lot. The effect is splashy and fun, kind of like a Debtor’s Knell for spells, letting you double dip on the goodness. Meh, a pass from me, even for Casual.

Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign

Good in: Casual EDH

I really like the idea of a Sphinx tribal deck. I do wish it was multicolor, though. Missing out on Magister Sphinx, Sphinx Summoner, Enigma Sphinx, and Sphinx of the Steel Wind leaves me just sticking to Sharuum the Hegemon in that category. Consecrated Sphinx and Sphinx of Uthuun are about the only other mono-blue options that I am happy with at this time.

Doomfall

Misses in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

Just like Supreme Will, I do like this Thoughtseize/Cruel Edict+ fusion of a spell. This combination of effects will always be useful throughout the game. But 3 mana is just far too much to pay for either effect, so that’s a no from me.

Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Good in: Both Casual and Competitive 1v1 EDH

I think we have a winner here for being powerful in both formats. I believe this is one of the top reanimation spells for creature decks due to Griselbrand being unavailable. In Casual EDH, this fits nicely into Karador, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, and Savra, Queen of the Golgari decks, just to name a few. I can see this leading to instant wins, especially with the unbanning of Protean Hulk.

For 1v1 EDH, I could see this popping up in Karador or Sidisi, Undead Vizier lists as a finisher/combo engine. It is possible Rune-Scarred Demon is just better, though.

Abrade

Good in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

I hate playing main-deck artifact removal spells. I am always the last person to play main-deck Ancient Grudge in Vintage Cube and the first person to cut Uktabi Orangutan from Battle Box. Abrade solves this issue for me as it is almost never a dead draw. It can always kill a Leovold or Baral in a pinch, as well as being a nice answer for Crucible of Worlds, Birthing Pod, and equipment. While it is a solid, if uninspiring rate on both halves, at least it is only overcosted by 1 mana.

Hour of Devastation

Misses in: Casual EDH

I like board wipes in red, but this pales in comparison to Rolling Earthquake, Earthquake, Chain Reaction, Blasphemous Act, Subterranean Tremors, Molten Disaster, and Fault Line. 5 damage isn’t even enough to kill many of the pesky superfriends planeswalkers either. Pass.

Wildfire Eternal

Good in: Casual EDH

When there are multiple opponents, there is a better chance that one of them can’t block. Duh. Casting Enter the Infinite off of this guy is great. Duh. Play some tutors like Mystical Tutor and Personal Tutor and you’re ready to go. I like it, but only if you are doing something unfair or taking extra turns.

Hour of Promise

Misses in: Casual EDH

If this card promises value, I wouldn’t expect it to keep it. While it could get lands like Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Dark Depths + Thespian’s Stage, or Gaea’s Cradle, it does so at a sub-par rate. I put it about on par with Reap and Sow, and a notch below something like Ulvenwald Hydra. And for 1v1 EDH, you can still play Primeval Titan

Nissa, Genesis Mage

Misses in: Casual EDH

I dislike this planeswalker. Powering down these promo ‘walkers so they make a good introduction to newer players and don’t impact Standard really shows here. Next.

Ramunap Excavator

Good in: Casual and Competitve 1v1 EDH

Maybe I’m alone here, but I am happy that this card has such a hard to pronounce name. It won’t make me feel nearly as bad when I only call this card “Magus of the Crucible.” Yes, that should have been its name, and no, there is no argument here.

Crucible of Worlds is an expensive Magic card, and until it has 2 or 3 reprints, it will remain so. This is a great addition for casual players as the effect is powerful and now super affordable. If you already have a Crucible of Worlds, chances are you are happy with an additional effect as well.

For Competitive 1v1 Commander, this card will find a home in The Gitrog Monster and Titania, Protector of Argoth because both decks already make great use of Crucible of Worlds. Additionally, while being a creature is a downside for other decks, in green it is an upside as it can be found with cards like Fauna Shaman, Worldly Tutor, Chord of Calling, and Sylvan Tutor.

Uncage the Menagerie

Misses in: Casual EDH

Nah, this card is just too much mana. I like Primal Surge or even Genesis Wave over— this spell. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some combination of cards someone has already figured out that kills a turn or two later, but this just seems like too great a hoop to jump through. Congregation at Dawn and Survival of the Fittest still get my vote.

The Locust God

Good in: Casual EDH

I like this card as an infinite mana outlet to win the game in the command zone, although with the discard ability it can be awkward. I prefer Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind because of his insta-win interactions with cards like Ophidian Eye and Tandem Lookout, but I can understand players enjoying the new flavor of the week.

For 1v1 EDH, I would just stick to Nin, the Pain Artist for Izzet colored combo goodness.

Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Good in: Casual EDH

While I wouldn’t call him a “superfriend” since he enjoys killing his fellow ‘walkers, I think he is quite a fun finisher. Mind you, once he hits the board, he will be taken out by the table… but not if you play him after a Doubling Season.

Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver

Misses in: Casual EDH

The other Nicol Bolas planeswalker is better than the first-ever Nicol Bolas planeswalker and the first printed Nicol Bolas Elder Dragon, so if you want a Bolas in your deck I would recommend the set Bolas from Hour of Devastation and not this Nicol Bolas because this Bolas just isn’t as good as the other Standard Bolas and is probably worse than the Conflux Bolas. Am I clear?

Samut, the Tested

Misses in: Casual EDH

This card won’t be tested by me. I do like the instant Tooth and Nail + effect after Doubling Season, but I like a lot of cards after a Doubling Season.

The Scarab God

Good in: Casual EDH

I like this God as both a card in the 99 and a general for Casual EDH. This seems like a great upgrade for a Zombie tribal deck over Gisa and Geralf and Grimgrin. The activated ability may be a bit mana-intensive for the blue/black combination but the triggered ability is free. I like free.

The Scorpion God

Good in: Casual EDH

Great with Kulrath Knight. Not much else to say for this card. I do like it in Type 4. Rakdos doesn’t really do it for me, honestly, but if you don’t like Olivia Voldaren or Grenzo, Dungeon Warden, this is a cool new design space for a black/red general.

Cycling Deserts

Misses in: Competitive 1v1 EDH

I don’t like these Deserts at all. They are strictly worse than their Onslaught brethren and even mono-colored decks shouldn’t want more than one of these effects. The black and green ones may see play in The Gitrog Monster, but even then, that seems suspect.

Scavenger Grounds

Good in: Casual EDH

Competitive EDH doesn’t have much going on with graveyards, but a Casual 4-5 player game sure will. Being a land, this comes at a relatively low opportunity cost to deck building. Add in the ability to be thrown in any deck, and I believe this card will be an excellent tool to combat powerful graveyard strategies. The fact that you can recur this land is an added bonus.

So there is Hour of Devastation. Being a small set usually means that there will be few inclusions for competitive, tuned formats, and this set didn’t really contest that fact. There were still some cards for everyone to enjoy, both Casual and Spike, and if I had to rate a Top 3:

Casual EDH:

  1. The Scarab God
  2. Razaketh, the Foulblooded
  3. Hour of Revelation

Competitive 1v1 EDH:

  1. Abrade
  2. Ramunap Excavator
  3. Razaketh, the Foulblooded

What did you think of this article? Did you like the mix of Casual and Competitive analysis? I haven’t seen any articles that break down both, as the crowds are totally different and format philosophies often at odds with each other. Should I do more articles like this in the future? Let me know in the comments! What cards are you looking forward to from Hour of Devastation? Thanks for reading, and until next time, may all your topdecks be devastating.