Hi everyone! I’m back with another edition of What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 1 with Hour of Devastation. I have been loving this format. There are a lot of viable archetypes, and the games tend to be long, strategic, and have a lot going on. I also enjoy a format where 5-color green is a viable archetype.
Here are the packs:
Banewhip Punisher is a great card. There are actually a fair number of 1-toughness creatures in this format, and a 3-mana 2/2 that kills an opponent’s creature is a great card. Aside from that, for 2BB, you can kill any creature you want by putting a counter on it and then destroying it. In addition, occasionally you’ll be able to kill 2 creatures because your opponent has a 1-toughness creature and something like Manticore of the Gauntlet or Decimator Beetle. A creature that doubles as a removal spell is especially effective in black since you can return it to your hand with Gravedigger or Wander in Death.
Honorable Mention: Vizier of the Anointed.
My team was higher on this card than I was going into the Pro Tour. I am guessing that many of them would take this first pick. I know I’m different than the rest of the world here, as many people rave against this card, but it just hasn’t cut it for me so far. I would still take it if not for the Banewhip Punisher, but for now, I’m taking the Punisher by a reasonable margin.
I am getting higher and higher on this card as time goes on. I’ve had it several times, including in one of my Pro Tour decks, and it continues to over-perform. Last night I had it in one of my decks on Magic Online, and I played it on the third turn on the play after my opponent and I traded off 2-drops. My opponent played a third land and an Oketra’s Monument, leaving them with 5 cards. I played my fourth land and 2 Mighty Leaps. My opponent conceded on the spot.
Honorable Mention: Puncturing Blow.
I get more and more down on this card as time goes on. 4-mana sorcery removal is just not that great. I would still take it here, but Puncturing Blow is not a card I’m particularly happy to first pick.
This is a really strong card. Winds of Rebuke tends to make a lot of your blue decks anyways, and this card has a tremendous amount of upside with the Oblivion half. Later in the game, you can remove your opponent’s best threat, and occasionally get another card with it. A savvy opponent will do their best to play around it, but it can be difficult to keep two cards in hand for a long time.
Honorable Mention: Desert of the Indomitable.
After Consign // Oblivion, there are no strong cards left, and nothing that is even comparable in quality to a cycling land. I’d take the green Desert here, which is not what I’m hoping to first pick, but, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
This card is not quite a “bomb rare” but it’s extremely good. For 5 mana you get 2 lands out of your deck, and if you draft well from this point, you’ll usually also get two 2/2s for your troubles. The best green decks in this format tend to be multi-color ramp decks with expensive spells and a lot of Deserts, and Hour of Promise fits in perfectly.
Honorable Mention: Ambuscade.
The decision here basically comes down to Ambuscade versus Open Fire. Green is a better color, and I like the green decks more than the red decks in this format. I also think Ambuscade is a bit better as a card, so I’d be happy to take it here. At this point, I think Ambuscade is probably the second best common, behind Unquenchable Thirst.
Adorned Pouncer is a very strong card—better than all the commons, but not quite all the uncommons. But it is the best card in this pack. A 2-mana 1/1 double strike is fine, and a 5-mana 4/4 double strike on top of that makes for a really strong card. I would be more likely to play a card like Mighty Leap in my deck after picking up this card. I would also prioritize something like Cartouche of Knowledge even more highly than I already do, as giving either half of the Pouncer evasion plus a power boost is very strong.
Honorable Mention: Unquenchable Thirst. I like to take Deserts very highly, so I feel like this card is effectively a 2-mana removal spell in most of my decks. In reality, sometimes I won’t draw a Desert, and I’ll be playing a 2-mana Dehydration, which is also just fine. You can still often spend 2 mana to deal with your opponent’s best card. Of course, sometimes you get in trouble from something like Dauntless Aven or Vizier of Tumbling Sands, but that’s life.
Thanks for reading this edition of What’s the Pick? I’ll be back soon with more!