Hour of Bolas

"Leaves more room for the big ones to fight in!" just got a whole new meaning.

Usually Wizards doesn't save the best cards for the last preview day. I leave it to you to decide whether that is because they have a different marketing strategy, or whether they just don't know which cards actually are the best. This time they had a pretty good reason to leave the namesake card of the set for last.

Hour of Devastation  From(EX+): 2,00 €

This card seems quite good to me and you should probably pick up copies at the current price if you like to play Standard or like to sell/trade/invest in Standard cards. Players will try this card in various shells during the first week and it will most likely go up in price. Yes, we already had a bunch of mass removal options in Standard, but this card solves most of the problems mass removal had in recent years – basically since Planeswalker cards were invented, but especially since Gideon was printed. You can't spend your entire turn to get rid of all creatures if your opponent keeps their Planeswalkers in play. Sure, you will still need to use your fresh Abrade tech card to get rid of those stupid vehicles before you untap and unleash the Hour of Devastation, but if you do that, you will have reset the board completely, generating significant card advantage in the process.

You may remember red for attacking with small creatures, but forget that. Between this card and Sweltering Suns Bolas really wants to see the whole world burn. I can see Grixis decks relying heavily on red for those cards, before casting and using the +1 on Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh to take over the game. When you spam the board with your remaining cards one last time, the second Hour of Devastation will not even harm Bolas, but send you and your team to the scoop phase for sure.

Pick them up if you are a Standard player - or think one step ahead, which cards might survive this devastating board wipe. Torrential Gearhulk comes to mind, but it has a new enemy in Abrade as well. Maybe it is time for Elder Deep-Fiend to shine one last time before rotation?

Indestructible is not going to get us through the Hour, whether it is printed on gods, or provided by Selfless Spirit, or by other strange animals:

Crested Sunmare  From(EX+): 3,93 €

A toughness of five is very close to the desperately needed six though. White is also quite capable of providing global buffs with Gideon's emblem and Always Watching (which doesn't save your horse tokens but at least your Sunmare).

Maybe cards like Glory-Bound Initiate and Aethersphere Harvester can make sure you instantly get your first horse token on the turn the Sunmare comes down. It surely sounds really powerful if you get two 5/5s (or 6/6s) for five mana, one of which might generate even more huge indestructible creatures later on. Time will tell whether it is worth the trouble of including more sub-optimal life gain cards like Pious Evangel // Wayward Disciple in such a deck. At 4 € Crested Sunmare is decent but not a snap buy. As a curve-topper, it might not instantly spawn a life gain based white deck in the new meta. Maybe it needs Hour of Devastation to take off first, creating a fiery metagame in which the wild Horse might strife - giving you an extra window for the price to drop further, before such a deck shows up on camera later in the season.

I would definitely keep checking the price trajectory in the upcoming days, so you can jump on the train just at the perfect moment.

What is your take on the upcoming Standard format?


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