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Posted by on Jul 6, 2017

Hour of Devastation Limited Primer: Prerelease

Hour of Devastation Limited Primer: Prerelease

It’s that time of year again, and Grand Prix Toronto is the next major event on the the horizon. We’re a few weeks out and it’s time to start preparing. This year, we’re going to have a brand new Sealed format to tackle in preparation for the big day as Face to Face Games will be hosting the customary Sealed Grand Prix which precedes the Pro Tour for Hour of Devastation.  

In the next few hundred words I’m going to give you the bare minimum of what you’ll need when evaluating cards for this weekend’s prerelease. I’ll go through each colour, and pick four commons and two uncommons that I’d be happy to have in my Sealed deck. Then, next week, I’ll be back with an overview of some of the colour pairs and strongest archetypes you should know about prior to the GP, once we’ve all had a chance to get our hands on the cards. With these first-glance evaluations, I’ll be looking for classic, solid limited cards that affect the board in a meaningful way. While looking through the cards, keep in mind you’ll have two packs of Amonkhet to go with four packs of Hour of Devastation when playing Sealed so cards that are synergistic with previous staples are obviously at a premium.

Green

Common

Uncommon

What you have above are your run-of-the-mill beefy green bodies that you’ll be looking to play to clog up the ground. The above cards are actually fairly defensive compared to some of the creatures in Amonkhet, which likely allows them to pair with black and blue a little better than in the previous format. Green is also flush with mana-sinks like Devotee of Strength, which also plays to that plan. The bomb here is clearly Overcome, which is a game-ending effect we haven’t seen in limited in a long time. This card is absurd, and a lot of pro players are upset about its very existence. If you can afford to play around it, do so. But, at the very least, be aware of it.

Red

Common

Uncommon

The first thing that jumps out at me is that there is a lot of red removal in this set. Red aggressive strategies were some of the best in Amonkhet limited and look like they will continue to be with the addition of Hour of Devastation. With that said I don’t think those are the red decks that get the most with the new set. The U/R spells archetype gets a lot in this set and is a specifically powerful archetype in Sealed as opposed to Draft. If the cards are there for you, I think the new red additions from Hour will allow you to create some very powerful and removal-heavy U/R decks with the help of some of the cycling spells from Amonkhet.

Black

Common

Uncommon

Black is most certainly going to see a spike in its ability to remove creatures with this new set. Amonkhet’s black cards were unique in that the colour was lower on removal that is tradition. The -1/-1 counter theme is still going strong here and B/G is my early pick to be one of the most powerful synergistic archetypes in this new limited environment. Ruin Rat looks to be a premium common if it can avoid opposing -1/-1 counters as trading with anything and taking out a previously fallen embalm card is a lot of potential value for a little two-drop.

Blue

Common

Uncommon

Blue seems to be getting a little more aggressive with this new set, which is unique. Seeing the Afflict mechanic on this colour was not something I was expecting when I first looked at the spoiler. Maybe this means you want your U/R decks to be a little more aggressive than in the past. This all said, Aerial Guide looks to be a premium common, and I included Strategic Planning, as it’s a cheap “spells” deck enabler.

White

Common

Uncommon

As you can see the white-based exert decks that dominated the previous format don’t seem to be going anywhere. There is also even more support for Zombie synergies in this set and that deck continues to look powerful. With white, it’s just important to have a cohesive strategy. Either go all in on Zombies or Exert; don’t get stuck in the middle.

Multicolour

Uncommon

As with most sets, the multicolour uncommons in Hour of Devastation all look playable and look like key parts of two-colour archetypes. As always, you’re going to want to decide which ones are reasons to be in those colours, and which ones are just an added bonus to being in a colour pair. For me, both Unravelling Mummy and River Hoopoe do exactly what their respective two-colour strategies are trying to do, and would draw me into those colours if I opened multiple in my sealed pool.

Artifacts and Lands

Take notice very early in your building process of how many Deserts you open. There are a lot of “Deserts matter” cards in the set and the quantity of those cards in your pool are going to determine whether or not you’re going to want to go in on them. Some of these cards are even fine on their own, particularly the black sacrifice Desert, Ifnir Deadlands, which sacs to put two -1/-1 counters on a creature.

That’s it, play these cards in your sealed pool all weekend at Face to Face Games Toronto and make sure you call ahead and pre-register to ensure your ability to battle. Our Sunday Showdown this week is going to our traditional 1k pre-release Sealed Showdown with a Top 8 draft!