The full Hour of Devastation spoiler will be up by the time you read this, but I’m guessing that most of the important Standard cards have already been spoiled. So here’s my quick rundown of the top eight cards in Hour of Devastation that will make waves in Standard.

Izzet or Grixis Emerge decks have had some success in recent Standard formats. Champion of Wits enables both Prized Amalgam and Elder Deep-Fiend, plus it comes back with a vengeance. It matches up poorly against Magma Spray, but the power is high enough that I think you can still make it work. You can also enable madness, which is still a thing. I’ve been hoping Just the Wind would get a chance to shine. That seems unlikely, but you never know.

Crucible of Worlds on a reasonable body is enticing. Now that we have two cycles of cycling lands, this could do some serious work. Hour of Devastation also has a minor land sacrificing theme. If that ends up in Standard, Ramunap Excavator will fit naturally there as well. The body might not be good enough to justify a slot in a Standard deck unless there’s a real combo to enable, but at least it dodges Magma Spray and can hold off zombie tokens if there are no anthems in play.

Struggle will kill most creatures on curve. It’s not as reliable as Cut // Ribbons but it’s an instant and can actually kill big things in the late game. Survive is a nice bonus graveyard hoser. It’s been hard to manipulate opposing graveyards for a while, as Standard has let delirium have its day in the sun, so to speak. Amonkhet block has offered some decent graveyard hate options, but I like Survive as a clean answer that comes for free on a solid removal spell and doesn’t waste a full sideboard slot.

Creature lands are always great, and colorless ones like Mutavault and Mishra’s Factory go in all sorts of decks. Generally, those are one or two-color aggressive decks. Still, just about any deck that can afford the colorless mana—or perhaps even needs that mana for Reality Smasher and friends—can make use of a cheap attacker. We have plenty of dual land creature lands available as well, but I expect Hostile Desert to make a good showing. It needs lands in the graveyard to function, but cycling lands provide great fodder.

Hello versatility. Abrade kills every early creature and Heart of Kiran. That seems like a good place to be right now. It doesn’t hit Archangel Avacyn or Glorybringer, but you almost always have to deal with those threats after they’ve caused some problems anyway. The existence of this card makes it harder to play artifacts other than the best like Heart of Kiran. Skysovereign, Consul Flagship may still make the cut too, but Metalwork Colossus seems too ambitious.

Fast red decks want efficient haste creatures that force damage through. Earthshaker Khenra does that very well. Plus it gives the deck an outlet for excess mana if it gets stuck flooding out. There’s no worse feeling than drawing ten lands with a mono red deck. At least this gives you outs in those situations. Standard hasn’t had a solid red aggro deck in a while. Maybe it’s time for a comeback.

Vendilion Clique, this is not. Still, Nimble Obstructionist offers a lot of versatility to blue mages. You probably end up using this as a flash flier to pressure planeswalkers most of the time, but the ability to Stifle and cantrip for three mana is a powerful bonus. Both modes of the card cost the same mana, making it very difficult to play around. If there’s a Faeries-style deck in Standard, Nimble Obstructionist will be a big part of it.

Yessssssss. Cryptolith Rite is made for this card. Tutor for no mana cost at instant speed. Maybe you ramp this out on turn four or five and then tutor up Cartouche of Zeal. That sounds pretty boring, but I’m sure there’s something better to do here. Liliana, Death’s Majesty also offers reanimation for flavor-questionable shenanigans. Go for it. What do you have to lose?

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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