The end of a great draft set is upon us. It is the hour of sunset for Hour of Devastation, and for Amonkhet as well. I truly enjoyed the format and was glad to have two Limited grand prix in which to explore the cards. Ixalan previews are surrounding us now, and we turn our eyes to the future. But first, my top ten cards from Hour of Devastation!

In the past I’ve talked about what it takes to get on one of my top ten cards lists. What it really comes down to, however, is this: These are the ten cards that I want to talk about the most.

Ten—Rhonas’s Stalwart

I keep hearing people say they don’t like [casthaven]Rhonas’s Stalwart[/casthaven], or that they don’t want it in their green Sealed deck, or whatever. Seems crazy to me. It’s not as good as [casthaven]Gust Walker[/casthaven], but [casthaven]Rhonas’s Stalwart[/casthaven] is pretty close in power level and in a much better color. I always found it useful when I’m playing green, and I especially like to play it with blue tempo spells.

Nine—Blur of Blades

There are a lot of Limited environments where [casthaven]Blur of Blades[/casthaven] would be horrible. But here in Hour of Devastation, the red [casthaven]Cartouche of Ambition[/casthaven] did a lot of work. It was at its best in blue-red, where the chip damage and prowess triggers made [casthaven]Blur of Blades[/casthaven] a premium spell. Plenty of other aggressive archetypes were happy to play it, though, and even control decks used it well out of the board.

Eight—Striped Riverwinder

I’m all about that cycle and all about 5/5 hexproof creatures. People say that seven mana is too much to pay for [casthaven]Striped Riverwinder[/casthaven], but I don’t mind. It’s not like you get better deals in other colors. Buying back big serpents with [casthaven]Wander in Death[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Sacred Excavation[/casthaven] is the dream, but it’s also fine to just play three of these and cycle the ones you draw early.

Seven—Sunset Pyramid

When I saw this card spoiled, I begged for it to be good. Someone was listening. [casthaven]Sunset Pyramid[/casthaven] is a dream card for a slow Limited environment. Draw a few extra cards for not too much mana, then filter through the rest of your deck until you win. On day two of Grand Prix Indianapolis I got to live the dream drawing cards off pyramid with [casthaven]The Locust God[/casthaven] in play—Magic like Richard Garfield intended.

Six—Ipnu Rivulet

As a proud member of the [casthaven]Nephalia Drownyard[/casthaven] Fan Club, I had high hopes for [casthaven]Ipnu Rivulet[/casthaven]. It did not disappoint. Milling four cards is not really worth much most of the time, but it’s incredible when you get it for free on a land and can repeat it a few times to win a stalled game. The format didn’t have a lot of top-of-deck shenanigans, but Ipnu rivulet does mess with [casthaven]Approach of the Second Sun[/casthaven] and combine well with Commit // Memory. You really can win a game with it, though you rarely need to. While I’m sad to say goodbye to this one in Limited, I can hol dout hope for it to show up in some sweet Standard decks.

Five—Appeal // Authority

[casthaven]Overcome[/casthaven] got all the early press, but Appeal // Authority is the real game ender for go-wide decks. This card by itself makes green-white a viable draft archetype. Most aftermath cards are good because you can get value from each half on different turns, but this one is so cheap that it’s basically a three-mana spell that you can break up when you must.

Four—Ramunap Excavator

[casthaven]Crucibe of Worlds[/casthaven] on a stick is, unsurprisingly, a great card in a format with lands you can sacrifice for value. Between cycling lands, the uncommon spell lands, and [casthaven]Cradle of the Accursed[/casthaven], you could pull off some dirty shenanigans with [casthaven]Ramunap Excavator[/casthaven]. A three-mana 2/3 in green is nothing special, but it is fine—it can hold off some small atackers. The land-recursion upside can be utterly dominant in the right deck. I always pick these early when I have the chance.

Three—Consign // Oblivion

No surprise here. Far // Away and [casthaven]Dinrova Horror[/casthaven] are old friends of mine, so Consign // Oblivion knew it was in good with me. [casthaven]Disperse[/casthaven] on its own is good enough to see play in this environment, and the discard half is merely a nice bonus. Sometimes, it is a devastating bonus. But even when you don’t really care about casting the aftermath side, your opponent has to keep it in mind. They can’t pass the turn with two cards in hand unless they mean to—or they forget.

Two—Grind // Dust

The ultimate removal spell. I never really got to go off and make it a giant [casthaven]Plague Wind[/casthaven], but I never needed to. Even as an imitation [casthaven]Splendid Agony[/casthaven], Grind // Dust did a lot of work. But it really shone as a premier way to kill any creature—except the few hexproofers—and usually take one of two with it. Exiling anything for six mana is exactly what you want in a slow deck, and you could easily splash one side or even both halves of this card. It’s the card I most want to see in all my Sealed pools, and it did great work helping me to 9-0 day one of Grand Prix Toronto.

One—River Hoopoe

Oh, how I love a good blue-green draft deck. [casthaven]River Hoopoe[/casthaven] is a dream come true. I’m already happy to play a two-mana 1/3 flier in my blue decks, and I don’t know if I could come up with a better realistic ability to have tacked on. I played a lot of [casthaven]Erdwal Illuminator[/casthaven]s in Shadows over Innistrad, but I never drew as many cards off it as I did with my beloved [casthaven]River Hoopoe[/casthaven]. I am so happy that Hour of Devastation included this card, and even happier that it was one of the best to play.

Goodbye, Hour of Devastation. You will be remembered.

Brendan McNamara (MTGO: eestlinc, Twitter: @brendanistan) used to play Magic in the old days. His favorite combo was Armageddon plus Zuran Orb. After running out of money to buy cards and friends who were willing to put up with that combo, he left the game. But like disco, he was bound to come back eventually. Now he’s a lawyer by day and a Dimir agent by night.

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