Hi everyone! Welcome back for another edition of What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 1 with Hour of Devastation. I’m going to do a few more first pick first packs, and then I’m going to move along to second picks soon! Let’s jump right in.
Unquenchable Thirst is the best common in Hour of Devastation, as I’ve said before. It’s possible that Bloodwater Entity is a slightly better card, though I don’t think so. Even if it were, it’s certainly not enough better that it would be worth first-picking the gold card over a single-colored card as powerful as Unquenchable Thirst.
Honorable Mention: Bloodwater Entity.
This is a really strong card in basically every U/R deck. It’s easy to overlook the fact that a 2/2 flyer for 3 mana, in the worst-case scenario, is still a very good card. You shouldn’t be hesitant to play Bloodwater Entity on the third turn, even if you’re not getting any value from the enters-the-battlefield trigger.
This card continues to impress me. I’ve had the good fortune to cast it quite a few times. Dreamstealer is a potent threat. It can force your opponent to leave large creatures back on defense for fear of menace making them discard. If you embalm Dreamstealer as a 4/4, your opponent has to live in constant fear of being hit by it and discarding their entire hand.
Honorable Mention: Banewhip Punisher.
This card is basically a bomb uncommon, probably either second-best behind Sand Strangler or third behind Sand Strangler and Struggle // Survive. It’s even possible that Banewhip Punisher is slightly better than Dreamstealer, but I don’t think so. Banewhip Punisher is a removal spell on steroids. It can act as a 4-mana removal spell to kill any creature, can be recurred using Wander in Death/Gravedigger, can be used multiple times with Supernatural Stamina, and can take out X/1s and leave you with a 2/2. Basically just a perfect card for any black deck.
This card is going up and up in value in my book. It’s basically just a bomb uncommon. So often, I play Ominous Sphinx and it wins me the game by itself. It also has a great ability that makes it extremely difficult for your opponent to either attack or block. Ominous Sphinx is a very good first pick and a great start to any deck.
Honorable Mention: Abrade.
Abrade would certainly be a first pick out of a large numbers of packs. Abrade is better than any common, and better than many of the uncommons, but not the Sphinx. Abrade is a cheap, efficient removal spell that has the added upside of being able to destroy an artifact. It might not come up too often in the format, but you’ll definitely be happy on the occasions that you get to destroy a God-Pharaoh’s Gift or an Edifice of Authority.
Another bomb uncommon, Sifter Wurm is the perfect top-end for any green deck, especially a ramp deck. Sifter Wurm is far better than any common, and even better than many of the good rares. A 7-drop that will likely always be the biggest creature on the board and gain life will always be strong in this type of format, one that isn’t very punishing to slower strategies.
Honorable Mention: Earthshaker Khenra.
I am a bit down on this card compared to how I was rating it at the beginning of the format. Part of the reason for that is that I feel aggro is less ideal of a strategy than I did at first. Because of that, the “front” side of this card, a 2/1 haste for 2 that removes a blocker for 2 mana, isn’t as strong as I thought. Overall, though, Earthshaker Khenra is still a very strong card because of the fact it provides a late-game mana sink, and two cards in one due to embalm.
This is a super strong card. It’s very hard to lose a game in which you’re able to play Ammit Eternal turn 3 on the play. Your opponent can sometimes cast spells and double block, but it’s rare you don’t get at least a 2-for-1 out of the deal. If you’re able to curve out Ammit Eternal with a removal spell or two, it becomes extremely hard to overcome.
Honorable Mention: Ambuscade.
Nuts-and-bolts pick here. Ambuscade is the second-best common, and you’ll take it here out of an otherwise mediocre pack. Ambuscade is particularly good as it’s great in any sort of green deck, be it ramp, multicolor control, or aggressive strategies.
Thanks for reading. How’d you feel about the selections this time around? Let me know in the comments.