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Another week of Magic has been kind enough to grace us with its presence! Except this time around, it brought over 200 new guests with it to the party and I think it's about time we introduced ourselves! Hour of Devastation had its paper prerelease this past weekend and released on Magic Online yesterday (although acquiring cards at this stage is still difficult). With Standard on display at SCG Cincinnati this coming weekend, let's see what we can come up with for a fresh new format!
Last week, I managed to acquaint myself with a freshly previewed set, but my brewing was still very early on and most of my focus had gone toward Intruder Alarm combo in Modern (which we will revisit in its entirety soon!). Over the course of this week, however, I found time to do some Standard brewing with Magic's latest set, which I am finding to be a lot of fun. Hour of Devastation lacks some of the in-your-face power that other sets have, but it has a lot of interesting fodder for those of us who appreciate subtlety.
Not every card is going to loudly make its purpose known. Sometimes, you need to just begin exploring an idea and see what develops out of that process. This is actually where I began brewing with Hour of Devastation. I am positive that a Dreamstealer is a powerful tool, but outside of increasing its power, I had nothing more in mind, so that is exactly where I began.
Doing a simple Gatherer search for "target creature" is a rather broad and messy way to kick things off, but at least it kicks things off. If you ever talk to a professional writer or comedian, they will usually tell you that writing is not difficult, but rather that the act of sitting down to write is the difficult part. Once you have entered writer mode, or brew mode, things begin to fall into place. Just put yourself into the position to allow that to happen.
As I went through and began isolating cards that gave a stat boost to improve Dreamstealer, I expected the results to push us into G/B where Giant Growth and its kin would be waiting for us. To my surprise, however, many of the most efficient one- and two-cost pump spells in the format were red and black! Ultimately, this pushed my brewing from being around just a single card to now having a latticework of synergy to work with.