Hi, everyone! Welcome to the final edition of What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 1 with Hour of Devastation. After this, I’m going to move on to Pack 1 Pick 2. I haven’t actually written any of those in a very long time, and I’m looking forward to it. I have a feeling this will actually be an interesting set for that format.

Here’s the last set of packs:

Pack #1

My Pick

Sifter Wurm.

This is a tough pick between Sifter Wurm and Hour of Promise. Sifter Wurm is the top end in many of your green ramp decks. It provides board stability, a finisher, life gain, and card selection, all in one card! It’s one of the premier uncommons in the format, and I’m really happy to start any Draft with it.

Honorable Mention: Hour of Promise.

Hour of Promise, on the other hand, is a ramp card itself. It can find any lands, providing you multiple colors of mana, and if you do your job and draft enough Deserts, it can provide you with a couple of 2/2 Zombies. This is an extremely good rare. I think this pick is close, and I’m open to being wrong. I think the fact that Hour of Promise has at least some small fail rate puts the Sifter Wurm over the top.

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Pack #2

My Pick

Banewhip Punisher.

This is a versatile creature/removal spell. You can pick off early creatures, use it as an all-purpose removal spell on a giant creature, and even reuse it with Gravedigger or Wander in Death. It’s great in aggro or control decks, and a great start to any Draft.

Honorable Mention: Oasis Ritualist.

This is the best card in the pack after Banewhip Punisher. I think it beats out Vizier of the Anointed by a little bit. If you first-pick Oasis Ritualist, you should look to draft a multi-color green-based deck, and be happy to take any expensive bombs you can get your hands on. Cards like Rampaging Hippo or Greater Sandwurm are going to be great and you should prioritize them.

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Pack #3

My Pick

Bontu’s Last Reckoning.

This is a good rare, a Wrath of God effect, and a good start to any Draft. From here, I’d try to draft either U/B Cycling, or any black-based control deck. Both strategies are strong in Hour of Devastation Draft. Be careful with these cards that don’t let your lands untap. One mistake I’ve seen players make is playing multiple spells the turn they play their card. Sometimes, it’s best to wait until the turn after before deciding how to spend your mana, since you can only play it once. It can be important to know what your opponent does so you know how to react.

Honorable Mention: Puncturing Blow.

Puncturing Blow is fine. It’s a 4-mana removal spell, which is never bad. “Fine” is understating it a little bit—it’s good, but not great, and I’m not particularly happy to take it first pick overall. With a first-pick Puncturing Blow, I’d keep my options open, but the best-case scenario is to end up in U/R.

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Pack #4

My Pick

Abandoned Sarcophagus.

I am pretty high on this card recently. I wouldn’t expect to first pick it out of many packs, but this pack is pretty weak. It would be cool if you could wheel one of the good cycling cards: Rampaging Hippo or Vile Manifestation, but I think that’s basically impossible. The Sarcophagus would be even better if it interacted positively with cycling lands, but it would probably even be too good. Any cycling cards perform a lot better with the Sarcophagus in your deck. I’ve had very positive experiences with things like Djeru’s Renunciation, Djeru’s Resolve, Without Weakness, etc. I would say this is a slight lean toward U/B, but could end up in plenty of different decks.

Honorable Mention: Vile Manifestation.

This pack really just wants you to start a cycling deck. Vile Manifestation is another card  I’m much higher on now than I was a couple weeks ago. It’s the perfect combination of being able to cycle when you don’t need it, with a high enough upside to cast often. I would rarely cut it from a deck.

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Pack #5

My Pick

Imminent Doom.

This is definitely not a card I like to first pick too often, but given how poor this pack is, I’d just go for it. Imminent Doom has a very real fail rate, which is typically decided by the number of cards with converted mana cost 1 you’re able to find. The best one in Hour of Devastation is probably Crash Through, while the best in Amonkhet is Magma Spray. Sometimes you’ll have to play some cards you might otherwise not be interested in, such as Traveler’s Amulet or Honed Khopesh, to make it work. That can be okay, though, since when Imminent Doom actually gets going, it’s extremely hard to beat.

Honorable Mention: Sandblast.

I am higher on Sandblast than I was a few weeks ago for sure. I think it’s a great card in this format, but still not the way I’d like to start a Draft. Given how weak this pack is, though, I’d definitely take it.

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Thanks for reading everyone. I’ll be back soon with some Pack 1 Pick 2. I hope you enjoyed the Pack 1 Pick 1 this time around. See you soon!