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Hour of Devastation is here!
It's time to set the stage for what Standard will look like and it all starts with #SCGCIN.
To recap, we have a huge Standard format with eight different sets, and after multiple bannings, there's hope the format is once again fresh and interesting.
So far the obvious decks to beat are Temur Energy and Zombies, with B/G variants, Mardu Vehicles, Oketra's Monument decks, and Control decks right behind them.
But the format is still young and the smell of fresh cardboard is in the air! There's still plenty of time to set sail and discover exciting new adventurous strategies before our hopes and dreams inevitably crash and burn, dashed on the rocky shores of Netdeck Island.
I'm still in brew mode for now, just trying to explore the interesting and potentially powerful, so today I'm going to share what I've come up with. Weigh anchor!
- 4 Grim Flayer
- 3 Tireless Tracker
- 2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
- 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
- 2 The Gitrog Monster
- 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Let's see what the Rock deck is cooking.
The Gitrog Monster hasn't really has a chance to shine in Standard, but now might finally be the time for this Frog to become a prince.
The Gitrog Monster matches up well against a lot of the removal in the format by being resilient against Fatal Push; Grasp of Darkness; Chandra, Torch of Defiance; Harnessed Lightning; Glorybringer; and of course, everyone's favorite new confusing set name/card: Hour of Devastation.
Desert of the Indomitable and Desert of the Glorified aren't especially exciting, but they work great with The Gitrog Monster on the battlefield, since the Frog draws you cards whenever lands are put into your graveyard from anywhere, which means you can cycle them to draw two cards.
Hour of Promise is potentially one of the most powerful cards in the set. On five mana it can similar to Primeval Titan when you just have one Desert on the battlefield already and search up two more, since you'll get four power and toughness worth of Zombies.
Now that I've compared Hour of Promise to Primeval Titan, I feel a little depressed, but what card will ever live up to Primeval Titan? The key is you need to naturally draw one Desert to get those fresh Zombies, which means you have to run a decent amount of them.
Another nice thing about Hour of Promise is that, when you already have three Deserts on your side of the battlefield, you can continue tutoring up valuable lands like Hostile Desert, Shrine of the Forsaken Gods, Hissing Quagmire, or even Evolving Wilds.
Once you've ramped a bit, you can easily cast Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. There's only one in the list, but it shouldn't be too hard to find using Traverse the Ulvenwald. It acts similarly to Delirium decks of old that would run one copy of Emrakul, the Promised End.
The best thing about Doomfall is that it's almost always going to be a great turn 3 play. Either you're exiling a creature or casting Pick the Brain.
Control decks will likely be making a comeback as well, so having Doomfall act as a removal spell that is also an excellent hand disruption spell is perfect for tackling a diverse metagame.
Doomfall does usually get weaker as the game goes on when your opponent has no cards in hand and more creatures to choose from to exile. There are also some creatures and creature-makers that really punish Doomfall's Diabolic Edict mode, like Whirler Virtuoso; Nissa, Voice of Zendikar; and Thraben Inspector.