To celebrate the release of Hour of Devastation, I wanted to write about the new Limited format this week. Since my only experience with Hour of Devastation Limited so far is the five rounds of sealed I played during the prerelease I didn’t feel ready to analyze the format just yet. Instead I decided to log onto Magic: Online and try my hands at the new draft format.

The first pack I opened was a rather unimpressive one. I’m not sure how good Chaos Maw really is. My guess is that Lethal Sting is probably better, in part because black seems quite strong, but early in a format I generally lean towards taking the rare to see how good it is. Today was no exception.

Pick: Chaos Maw

I wasn’t excited by any of the red cards in this pack, but Accursed Horde did seem pretty absurd to me. Nimble Obstructionist and River Hoopoe are probably both decent, but I don’t think either is as good as the zombie, and neither goes very well with our first pick. Besides, you can’t really go wrong with a Hill Giant with a significant upside.

Pick: Accursed Horde

Marauding Boneslasher can be very strong in a dedicated zombie deck, but at this point in the draft I’d much rather have the instant speed removal spell, especially since it looks like we’re building a slower deck.

Pick: Torment of Venom

Getting a fourth pick Razaketh, the Foulblooded felt like a pretty clear signal that black was open. Eight mana is a lot, but an 8/8 flying, trample is nothing to scoff at. With the ability to search for any card in your deck on top of it, Razaketh pretty much ensures that our late game beats that of our opponent.

Pick: Razaketh, the Foulblooded

There wasn’t much for us in pack five, but I picked up a Khenra Eternal to help with the curve.

While I do like the mana rock, I’m fairly certain Ruin Rat is the better pick here. It helps solidify us in black, and fits perfectly in a control deck such as ours.

Pick: Ruin Rat

Towards the end of pack one it started to become clear that red wasn’t open. I got a late Oasis Ritualist, as well as a couple of other green playables, so I moved into Black Green.

In pack two I opened up an Hour of Promise. I was very impressed with this card during the prerelease, and its ability to ramp us into our late game made it a perfect fit for our deck. If you can pick up enough deserts the card becomes quite strong.

Pick: Hour of Promise

Another Torment of Venom. Perfect! Ruin Rat is appealing here as well, but I still think the removal spell is better. We have plenty of time left to pick up enough two-drops.

Pick: Torment of Venom

Ammit Eternal was an all star in my Black White zombie deck during the prerelease. It’s very difficult for your opponent to block it profitably if you play it on turn three, so it usually ends up dealing a lot of damage. It gets even better alongside combat tricks and removal, as those can help you deal with problematic blockers and help push your advantage.

Pick: Ammit Eternal

We need at least three Deserts for Hour of Promise, and Hashep Oasis is one of the better ones. We also have a lot of playables already, so I value lands a little higher than usual. It’s possible that Harrier Naga is the correct pick here, and I certainly wouldn’t fault anyone for taking it. I just didn’t wanna risk not getting enough deserts.

Pick: Hashep Oasis

Hostile Desert is interesting, but probably also much better in constructed, where it’s easier to get lands in the graveyard. Lethal Sting is a solid removal spell that fits what we’re doing pretty well.

Pick: Lethal Sting

This is the deck I ended up with. We have a lot of mana acceleration to help us cast our expensive spells. The deserts help smoothe out our draws and prevent mana flood. The cycling creatures reduce the risk of us being mana screwed.

Oashra Cultivator and Doomed Dissenter serve an important purpose. Aside from being decent blockers early in the game, they both offer us a creature on which we can put our -1/-1 counters, thereby significantly reducing the drawback of Defiant Greatmaw and Lethal Sting.


Supernatural Stamina is already a solid combat trick, but it goes particularly well with Razaketh, the Foulblooded. One of the issues with investing all of your mana into a late game bomb is that it can be difficult to protect them from removal. Supernatural Stamina being a one mana spell means we can often easily leave up an additional mana when we have Razaketh in play. If the opponent tries to kill it, we can sacrifice another creature to search up Supernatural Stamina and save our demon.

For a first draft, I’m very happy with where this deck ended up. I like the Black Green color combination, and there are no cards in this deck I’m unhappy to play with. We have plenty of ways to win the game, and a decent curve. All in all, the deck seems solid. I’m sure there are plenty of things I could have done differently, but that’s part of learning a new format, and I look forward to learning this one.

Sandro is a Magic player from Stockholm, Sweden. He’s been playing Goblins in Legacy for years. Follow him on Twitter @SandroRajalin

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