We made it to the end! In fact, there's only one more card to review—and it's, well…
Apocalypse Demon - $0.99
Arbitrarily large six-mana creatures need to do something when they enter the battlefield in order to be playable. Instead, Apocalypse Demon has a drawback. Womp womp. There's a reason this card didn't get a preview and was instead just dumped out with the full card image gallery—it's a future bulk rare.
Overall Thoughts on Hour of Devastation
I've seen some negative community reactions to Hour of Devastation, but I think a lot of that was due to the fact that several of the most exciting cards were leaked online several weeks early. Leaks can be incredibly harmful to Magic finance—a topic I'm going to tackle in a future article. Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh should have been a cool reveal, but instead we've already had half the summer to read and think about it. If the hype feels low this time around, this is a big part of why.
This is fairly normal for a set that's been in print for two to three months, but it's unusual for a brand-new expansion.
I think that it's partially due to the leaks, partially due to the fact that Standard has had a rough year, and partially because Hour of Devastation doesn't have a lot of obvious, blow-you-away mythics. I feel like the biggest financial disappointment is probably Samut, the Tested.
There are only two planeswalkers in this set, and one of them has been almost universally panned. Usually a set's planeswalkers prop up the overall pack value of a new set during the early going. That didn't happen with Hour, and it's dragging the overall price down as a result.
Don't despair, though: to me, this presents a unique opportunity to buy. It's likely that some of the best cards in Hour of Devastation are being underpriced right now, and there's money to be made if you can guess which cards will end up as Standard staples.
Whether Hour prices are low because of leaks, because we're underrating a series of mythics, or because it's just plain "bad," my recommendation is still the same: buy the singles you think you'll need. If the set ends up selling poorly, the best cards will be worth more because of the lower supply. Since all the retail prices started pretty low, you aren't paying much of a pre-order tax straight off the bat. I wouldn't pay $30 for Nicol Bolas unless I was sure it was going to see a ton of play, but every other card is easily justifiable at current retail. If you think a card in Hour of Devastation is going to be good, snag it now.
My favorite buy in the set? Hour of Devastation (the card, not the set) at $3. I think Ramunap Excavator is fine at $7, though I wouldn't get more than a personal playset at that price.
Solemnity and Nimble Obstructionist seem like solid staples to me as well. After that, there are loads of cards with promise: Adorned Pouncer, Ammit Eternal, Reason, Bontu's Last Reckoning, Champion of Wits, Endless Sands, God-Pharaoh's Gift, Hollow One, Hostile Desert, Hour of Promise, Hour of Revelation, Mirage Mirror, Scavenger Grounds, Torment of Hailfire, The Scarab God, The Scorpion God, Uncage the Menagerie, and Unesh, Criosphinx.
Last, make sure that you get the commons and uncommons you need sooner rather than later. Most of these cards always start out cheap and get more expensive in the coming weeks. Claim is fantastic, especially in Modern, but it's already a bit pricy at $3. I like Abrade a lot more—it's one of the most powerful Constructed cards in the set, and it's still just a fifty-cent uncommon. You can't go wrong snagging a set or two at that price.
I'd also suggest fading your purchases away from aggro and toward control. The Standard pendulum hasn't swung toward true control decks for a while now, but Hour of Devastation has certainly provided the strategy with some intriguing new options. Whether it's U/R or Grixis, that's the direction I expect a lot of people to move toward once Hour packs hit shelves. Stock your trade binders and spec boxes accordingly.