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Hey everyone! I'm Corbin Hosler, and this is my breakdown of the Top 8 Modern cards from Hour of Devastation!
For a small set, Hour of Devastation is going to have a large impact on Modern. From powerful cards to effects we haven't seen in quite this form, the set offers a lot for my favorite format, and the cards on this list will range from Modern role-players to archetype-defining pieces. Let's dig in.
After all, if all your creatures are essentially nullified by just one card, you’re going to be hard-pressed to climb out of the hole as you stare up at the splendor of Nicol Bolas.
Mill decks may seem like a gimmick in Modern, but the truth is everyone’s favorite casual archetype has put up results in the past, making it a real threat at times in the format.
Fraying Sanity fits right in. Not only does it make all of the mill cards in the deck better, it provides a “combo” of sorts with Traumatize to make an opponent mill their entire library.
At number eight we have a card that almost no one will main deck but almost everyone who can will play from time to time: Liliana's Defeat. The entire cycle of planewalker defeat cards has some Modern applications, but none moreso than this one, which offers players a one-mana answer to two of Modern's most problematic permanents: Death's Shadow and Liliana of the Veil.
Liliana's Defeat headlines the much-heralded return of hate cards to Standard sets, but it's Modern where this will shine. From planeswalkers to delve creatures to one-mana 13/13s, Liliana's Defeat is sure to become a must-have sideboard card for many decks.
Speaking of hate cards, nothing is more hateful than Oketra’s Last Mercy.
Burn is one of the defining Modern decks, and players are always trying to figure out what sideboard cards to play against the Goblin Guide-Lava Spike menace. From Timely Reinforcements to Feed the Clans, the dance to resolve life gain cards around Skullcrack and Atarka’s Command has always defined the matchup. Oketra’s Last Mercy throws in a severe drawback – the inability to untap lands next turn – but is likely going to spell game over if it ever resolves against Burn.
Our number six card, Life Goes On, takes that one step further, allowing players to gain up to 8 life for just a single mana, albeit at the cost of needing a creature to die. While this won’t be the Burn hate card of choice for every deck, it is a powerful option that will make its way into plenty of sideboards over the next few months.
Not being able to untap your lands is a major drawback, but if there's another effect on top of Oketra's Last Mercy that makes it worth it, it's destroying all creatures. That's exactly what Bontu's Last Reckoning offers us, and why it lands at number five on our list.
We don't know yet exactly how punishing the doesn't-untap clause will be, but we do know exactly how punishing it is to have your entire board cleared for just three mana. This offers midrange and control decks a brand-new, unique option to slow down the aggressive decks, and it's a card you can guarantee players are excited to try out.
One of my favorite parts of Modern – and what makes it such a great format – is that green decks filled with small creatures can reasonably compete even against the combo decks and Tarmogoyfs and Snapcaster Mages of the format.
Uncage the Menagerie fits right into that mold, and while it's no Collected Company it does offer a huge amount of flexibility. While the most common use will be to cast this where X equals two in order to grab both halves of the Devoted Druid-Vizier of Remedies combo, Uncage the Menagerie scales very well from there.
Can you say combo? Anyone who cast the No. 3 card on our list can, and that's exactly where Solemnity shines. From protecting against Infect and comboing with Phyrexian Unlife to messing up modular creatures like Arcbound Ravager to preventing persist and undying creatures from returning to play, the possibilities with Solemnity are endless.
Remember how I said some cards on this list could become archetype-defining pieces? Ramunap Excavator fills that role, and that's why it lands at number two. Playing perfectly with Ghost Quarter, Tectonic Edge and Collected Company, the Excavator is going to be a mainstay in decks that are looking to tax the opponent with cards like Leonin Arbiter, or simply any deck that wants to get additional value out of its fetch lands.
It's hard to say much about Claim to Fame that hasn't been said before, but the card is, simply put, a powerhouse in Modern. The most obvious use is returning Death's Shadow, Tarmogoyf or Snapcaster Mage to play, but that's just the start.
It will have a home immediately, slotting perfectly into the Grixis Death's Shadow decks that loom over Modern, but we're only scratching the surface of what our number one card can do.
Thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy Hour of Devastation in Modern as much as I know I will!
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