10 top original cards in 'Hour of Devastation'

10 top original cards in 'Hour of Devastation' WOTC

With Hour of Devastation, the second set in Magic: the Gathering's Amonkhet block set to release July 14, comes 199 cards (not including the 10 special "Masterpiece" reprints).  Many of those cards are originals with some (such as Unsummon and Manalith) being reprints.

Now that the prerelease is over and we're approaching release day, we highlight what we perceive to be ten of Hour of Devastation's best original cards.

Mirage Mirror (Rare) - Some cards are broken because players make them that way.  Others are broken because they're printed that way.  With Mirage Mirror, the prospect is more on the latter than the former (and that's okay).

The simple fact that Mirage Mirror can be anything its owner wants it to be is great.  In Legacy, it can be a counter-less Dark Depths.  Modern?  Why not mirror one of your opponent's Eldrazi?  In Standard or limited, whatever is most advantageous for you.  Really, the options are all over the place.

Ramunap Excavator (Rare) - It's no secret that the Fifth Dawn card Crucible of Worlds is a very good -- verging on broken -- card.  That stated, why not have a walking version of it?

A green card with the same converted mana cost of the high-powered artifact, Ramunap Excavator is a card that will play very will in Standard and Modern.  Even Legacy might want to take a look at it.  Sure, it dies to removal, but the Crucible can be shattered, so what's the big deal?  After all, there are reasons why Eidolon of the Great Revel is preferred over Pyrostatic Pillar.  The same should be true for Ramunap Excavator.

Nicol-Bolas, the God-Pharaoh (Mythic) - The only Planeswalker to make this list out of the four in the set, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh is as powerful as you'd expect for a pre-mending Planeswalker of his caliber.

Of his four modes, all four are usable (which isn't always the case with Planeswalkers).  His +2 loyalty ability is one of the more useful plus abilities in Standard and will be very appealing in EDH as well.  Same with his +1.  His -4 ability, however, can be where it's at as it can take out not only opponents, but their Planeswalkers as well thanks to the game's damage redirection rules.  The God-Pharaoh's ultimate mode is pretty self explanatory and nearly overpowered.

Oh, did we mention he comes into play with seven loyalty?

Razaketh, the Foulblooded (Mythic) - The third of Liliana's four demons (don't we all have our demons), Razaketh is right there behind Grislebrand in terms of usefulness and power.

For starters, he's an 8/8 flier with trample who shouldn't be too difficult to cheat out.  Add to that a rather economical tutoring ability that can be used multiple times per turn and you've really got something.

We expect to see Razakth popping up here and there in top- and second-tier Legacy and Modern decks.

Hour of Devastation (Rare) - Of course the set's namesake card is going to make this list.  A Pyroclasm on steroids, Hour of Devastation can take care of most walking threats on the board.  And while it can't take care of the biggies such as Ulamog or Avacyn, it does make it so you can through other means.

Outside of Standard and EDH, it may only see sideboard play.  That said, it's a card worth keeping an eye on.

The Locust God (Mythic) - As far as which of Hour of Devastation's three gods is the best, it's a toss up in our view.

The Locust God might be a tad pricey with a casting cost of six, but it's quite powerful once on the board -- especially when you consider it's in a set that includes cycling.  Mix it in with cards like Tormenting Voice or Cathartic Reunion and you'll find it will be quite easy to go wide very quickly.

This card will really "bug" your opponent.  Get it?  Bug your opponent.  Anyway... moving on...

The Scorpion God (Mythic) - Those wanting to put the sting on their opponents will find pleasure in this five-drop 6/5.  It has built-in removal via -1/-1 counters and lets players feast upon the weak for card advantage.

This card pairs well with many of the block's de-buffing counter cards and also plays well in EDH with abilities like Wither and adds extra value to Persist.

The Scarab God (Mythic) - Some consider The Scarab God to be the strongest of the three in Hour of Devastation.  Like we said, it's a toss-up.

Its scry ability is nice, sure, and it can be quite useful.  Its ability to pretty much give all of your creatures Eternalize, however, is quite nice and will help players build a Nicol Bolas-like undead army that only feeds into its scry mechanic.  The Scarab God is quite useful, indeed.

Bontu's Last Reckoning (Rare) - How do you make a Damnation that's not a Damnation?  By making the casting cost even cheaper, then adding a manageable drawback.  Seriously, the inability to untap your lands the turn after casting Bontu's Last Reckoning isn't that serious -- especially for those who plan ahead.  Between mana rocks, mana dorks, and the card's low casting cost, it's easy to maneuver around it.

This card might not maindeck outside of Standard or EDH much, but it would come as no surprise if it's seen in sideboards in other formats.

Imaginary Threats (Uncommon) - The only uncommon to make our list, Imaginary Threats can be a real threat for those who are unprepared.  Is it situational?  Sure.  It's also good.

It can temporarily tap down your opponent's creatures -- something good in both 1v1 and multiplayer -- and can force your opponent to attack with something they're rather hold back for one reason or another.  Of course, you can cast it EOT to tap down those your opponent did attack with or tap to use an ability of sorts.

The added benefit of this card having cycling means that it'll never be a dead card in your hand.  Not too shabby.

Of course, there are a number of other really good cards in this set.  Many of the other Vizier cards were very close to making our list, as were a handful of other cards.  We even considered the preconstructed Planeswalker deck card Nicol Bolas, The Deceiver for this list.

Hour of Devastation is the second of two sets in the Amonkhet block.  The block's original set, Amonkhet, released on Apr. 28.

Furthermore, we recently talked one-on-one with the God-Pharaoh himself.  Be sure to check out our interview with Nicol Bolas from GP Vegas.

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