Hour of Devastation is approaching fast, and I can’t remember ever seeing a set with so many cards with “eternal format potential” before. A little more than half the set has been revealed as of this writing, and I’ve already come across more than twenty playable cards for Modern and Legacy. I’m incredibly excited for Hour of Devastation, and look forward to brewing with all of these sweet, new cards! Without further ado…

This card has the potential to be a very strong sideboard card against Burn decks in Modern. It’s probably no more than fringe playable, but it’s still powerful enough to have a shot at seeing play. The real question is if it’s better than Feed the Clan. I’m guessing the answer is no, but I could be wrong.

More anti-burn tech! I love the design of this card. In order to get the most value out of it you want to wait as long as possible before pulling the trigger. The burn player however might play around this by waiting until they can play multiple spells in a turn. This makes it a much more skill testing card than Life Goes On or Feed the Clan, and I hope it ends up seeing play simply because it would be interesting to see how people navigate games with it.

I really like this card. A 2/2 with flying and prowess for three mana is, while not by itself good enough for the eternal formats, still a fine play on turn three or later. But what makes Bloodwater Entity interesting is its enters-the-battlefield ability. Not only can it help mitigate against mana flood by ensuring that you draw spells instead of lands later in the game, it can set up miracles for the following turn, most notably Thunderous Wrath, Temporal Mastery, and Reforge the Soul. While I don’t think going this all-in on the card is the way to go, it’s still a powerful interaction that I expect people to try and make work.

You could also combine Bloodwater Entity with Kolaghan’s Command to create a recurring threat, and a powerful late game card advantage engine. It might still be better to just play this as your curve topper of choice in UR Prowess, but all these interactions are so sweet that I feel they are at the very least worth exploring.

This is yet another weird engine for Storm decks. I suspect some people will try it out, especially as a Burning Wish target, but ultimately I don’t expect it to see play outside of Commander. Six mana is just too much for such a high risk card.

The abilities on Endless Sands require a lot of mana, but seeing as it’s first and foremost a land that taps for mana, that might not be the dealbreaker it otherwise would have been. The card has plenty of things going for it, so let’s take a closer look, shall we? The most obvious one is to use it as a card advantage engine by exiling your creatures and then returning them to the battlefield, either protecting them from removal spells or taking advantage of ‘enters the battlefield’ abilities. This could very well be a solid strategy, as you can keep deploying one threat at a time versus a control deck, hiding it beneath the Endless Sands as soon as they attempt to remove it.

Another way to go is to simply ignore the last ability and focus entirely on exiling your own creatures. The ability to get rid of your own creatures at instant speed can be quite useful against cards like Batterskull, Griselbrand, or Umezawa’s Jitte, as you can keep them from dealing damage in combat by removing the creature they’re blocking or being blocked by. It can also be used to exile cards like Misthollow Griffin that you would rather be exiled than put into your graveyard.

Alternatively you could combine it with threaten effects to take control of opposing creatures and exile them before they would return to your opponent. I have this idea of a Mono Blue Control deck that plays this alongside Vedalken Shackles, and I’m eager to see if I can make it work.

I like this card because it finds any land, and you get to search for two of them, meaning it can assemble the combo of Dark Depths plus Thespian’s Stage all by itself. Again, I like the card, but its prohibitive mana cost makes me think it’s better suited for Commander. If you’re still looking to try this card in Legacy I recommend playing it alongside Burning Wish, as it makes for a phenomenal wish target. Jeff Hoogland has been playing a Four-Color Loam list with Burning Wish and Devastating Dreams. It’s possible that you could incorporate Hour of Promise into a similar list.

This card doesn’t look like much, but given that the drawbacks are kind of small it might be good enough for Infect. The fact that it produces colored mana and comes into play untapped is what makes it appealing to me. Not being able to use it at instant speed makes it a little worse, but it’s still a “free” card in that you get a spell out of land, which helps mitigate against flooding. I expect it will establish itself as a one-of in Legacy Infect lists as a tutor target for Crop Rotation.

Similar to Hashep Oasis, but for a more casual deck. Still, if you’re playing Mill in Modern you will probably want four copies of this card.

Speaking of Mill decks, Fraying Sanity is an absurdly powerful card and is sure to give those decks a much needed boost in power level. It can easily mill 20+ cards for just three mana, and they get even better in multiples. It can be an unexciting topdeck, but only if you don’t draw any more spells after it.

This card has some nice interactions with cards like Faithless Looting. I just think there are easier ways to cast undercosted creatures in formats where Death’s Shadow and Gurmag Angler exist.

This is a fringe one, but I could see playing it with Academy Rector in Legacy. Unlike Humility, you can’t reasonably expect to hardcast this card, but it also doesn’t affect your own creatures, allowing for further Academy Rector shenanigans after you’ve used this to stabilize the board.

Is Mono Black Aggro your thing? This card has very nice stats for its mana cost, and could be an excellent three drop in an aggressive deck.

This is a removal spell that kills True-Name Nemesis and doubles as a discard spell against combo and control decks. The fact that it cost three mana and that your opponent gets to choose which creature to exile makes me doubtful regarding this card’s playability outside of Standard. I would probably rather just play Liliana of the Veil.

A lot of people seem to be very excited about Stifle Bird, likening it to Vendilion Clique, a card that has proven itself in both Modern and Legacy. Personally I’m much more skeptical. The fact that you only get either the “spell” or the creature is a significant downgrade, and a lot of the power of Stifle comes from the fact that you can target their fetchlands on turn one and two. I do like that you also get to draw a card however, and I certainly wouldn’t mind cycling this in response to something like a Living Weapon trigger or a planeswalker activation. I just think it’s more cute than good.

At its best, this card is a 5/4 for two mana, making me wanna fit it in a green based aggro deck in Modern. If you can find a way to circumvent its drawback this will be a very powerful card, especially in an aggressive deck. It also synergizes nicely with the Populate mechanic, so perhaps green-white is the way to go.

This card is reminiscent of Unearth, but the fact that it can also give a creature haste makes this a very scary card to play against. If your opponent is playing Death’s Shadow, the mere existence of this card could be enough to force you to adjust your play.

Call the Gatewatch never saw play because you can’t afford to spend three mana to tutor up a Planeswalker. Djeru, With Eyes Open costs five mana, but also gives you a 4/3 with vigilance, making the cost of the tutor aspect more like 1.5 mana. It’s also a two-for-one that is always going to give you two highly relevant cards, which is much better than Divination-type cards. I bet you could build a decent Planeswalker Control deck with this card in Modern.

This is quite strong for a creature land. Standstill decks will still prefer Mishra’s Factory I believe. But for decks that have no problem getting lands into the graveyard or just want to activate it once or twice, this could be really good.

A lot of people have written extensively about Solemnity already, but that’s because there are so many ways to break the card. It works splendidly with cards such as Dark Depths, Glacial Chasm, Kitchen Finks/Murderous Redcap and Decree of Silence, and I’m sure there are many more I haven’t thought of yet. It also doubles as hate against most notably Infect and Devoted Druid combo. I’m not sure what to expect from this card quite yet, but I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of brewers out there waiting to get their hands on this card.

Crook of Condemnation is similar to Relic of Progenitus. It costs one more mana to play (and activate), but you get to choose which card to exile with it. I think Relic is still the better of the two, but that’s not to say that this card is without its uses. Remember, costing two mana instead of one isn’t necessarily a drawback if you’re playing with Chalice of the Void, so maybe there’s a stompy deck somewhere that wants this card.

Speaking of graveyard hate, I find this card quite interesting. The fact that it affect all graveyard makes it less appealing for Life from the Loam decks that would otherwise have been a natural home for it. Decks with Crop Rotation will probably still rather have Bojuka Bog as you can rarely afford to keep up three mana at all times. I could see this being played in both Tron and Twelvepost however if graveyard decks are common enough.

Hour of Devastation is almost here, and I for one think it looks great so far! There are no cards that seem outright broken, but many that have the potential to see play. This is something I like a lot, as it helps maintain the suspense and excitement that comes with figuring out which new cards are good enough. Do you have a favorite card from Hour of Devastation? If so, I’d love to hear about it! I’m only ever a tweet away.

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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