Hi everyone! It’s time for some more Pack 1 Pick 2 with Hour of Devastation Limited. Let’s just get right to it:
Your First Pick: Sand Strangler.
There are two very good red cards in this pack: Burning-Fist Minotaur and Open Fire. But this is a case where I think the power level of a card in the pack makes it worth it to go off color. Sifter Wurm is one of the top few uncommons in the set, and often single-handedly wins any game in which it’s cast. One reason that you sometimes have to make difficult decisions between staying on color versus going off color is that you need to weigh the probability you’ll be able to play both of your picks. If your first pick were a card that had more difficult mana requirements, you would be a little bit more worried. Also, the fact that your second pick is green, the color typically best able to splash cards, makes this pick even better.
Your First Pick: Desert’s Hold.
I’m not a huge fan of Vizier of the True. On the other hand, cycling Deserts are great. You have a Desert synergy already in your first pick Desert’s Hold, and although this isn’t such a huge boon that you should be taking a Desert over a premium card, I think in the case of a tiebreaker, this matters enough. I haven’t had much trouble getting enough playables in this format either, so I wouldn’t worry that taking Deserts early would run me into the problem of not having enough good cards to put in my deck. I’d opt for the Desert here.
Your First Pick: Crested Sunmare.
The best white card in the pack is Sandblast, and I’ve gone up and down on Vizier of the Anointed. I don’t think it’s a bomb, but of all the color combinations it is best in a blue-white deck. One thing that I think is actually pretty relevant in this case is that you want to have synergies with your Crested Sunmare. You want to make sure you have ways to gain life in your deck to trigger the Sunmare and make additional Horses. One of the best ways to do this is Sacred Cat, the common from Amonkhet. The problem with putting a card like Sacred Cat in your deck is that when you draw it without the Crested Sunmare, it’s a very weak card. Having a Vizier of the Anointed in your deck makes playing one or more copies of Sacred Cat much more palatable, as now you have two cards that are good to draw with Sacred Cat, and also a way to find the Sacred Cat if you’ve drawn both.
A synergy like this alone is not enough necessarily to completely swing the value of a card from a dud to a stud. You might not even get a Sacred Cat, for instance. But things like this do matter and you should consider this when making close drafting decisions.
Your First Pick: Grind // Dust.
This is a pretty straightforward decision. You first picked what amounts to a white-black gold card in Grind // Dust. You should do your best to play it in any deck you play with either white or black as a main color (and multi-color green decks), and you want to assure that you’re going to be able to maximize its value. Sunscourge Champion is a great card, and even if it is slightly worse than one of the premium commons, it is still the pick here.
Your First Pick: Banewhip Punisher.
Abrade is clearly the best card in that pack. That being said, it’s not so much better than Torment of Venom that I would take it instead of staying on color. Don’t get me wrong—Abrade is both significantly and clearly better, but Banewhip Punisher is better than both, and you do want to make sure you get to play it. Also, I don’t really like red-black as an archetype, which also matters.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll be back soon with more scenarios.