The Deck I Played For Hour Of Devastation Expansion Set Prerelease

I just got to play with the new cards for Magic: The Gathering at the Hour of Devastation Expansion Set Prerelease Event. I had a great time playing the cards while attending a Magic: the Gathering Prerelease Event at a local game shop. It really took me back to playing Magic in the early years. When I first played, it was with 40 card decks, then expanded to 60 card decks as standard.

So starting off with the 6 boosters and 1 foil rare that came in the Hour of Devastation Prerelease Pack, I set out to construct a 40 card deck.

Here’s what I used for my 40 card deck:

Creatures (13)

I went with 13 creatures in my deck. I should have included some more, but we’ll start with what I went with and then we can break down some analysis.

Legendary Creatures (1)

The Scarab God - Hour of Devastation

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as of February 20, 2018 1:22 am

Black Creatures (6)

  • Carrion Screecher
  • Doomed Dissenter
  • Horror of the Broken Lands
  • Lurching Rotbeast
  • Moaning Wall
  • Ruthless Spirit

Blue Creatures (6)

  • Aven Initiate
  • Aven Reedstalker
  • Champion of Wits
  • Proven Combatant (x2)
  • Seer of the Last Tomorrow

Spells and Artifacts (12)

If I went too light on my creatures, I went too heavy on my spells.

Artifacts (3)

Mirage Mirror - Hour of Devastation

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  • Mirage Mirror
  • Luxa River Shrine
  • Manalith

Black/Blue Spells (1)

  • Consign/Oblivion

Black Spells (4)

  • Doomfall
  • Lethal Sting (x2)
  • Wander in Death

Blue Spells (4)

  • Compelling Argument
  • Fraying Sanity
  • Unquenchable Thirst
  • Unsummon

Lands (15)

Here the lands were just about right… But I should have included 1 or 2 more.

Deserts (5)

  • Desert of the Glorified
  • Ifnir Deadlands
  • Ipnu Rivulet
  • Painted Bluffs
  • Survivors’ Encampment

Basic (10)

  • Island (5)
  • Swamp (5)

How this deck did in the Hour of Devastation Prerelease Tournament

This deck did moderately well in the tournament. It won the first two rounds, then it lost the last two rounds.

  • Scarab God is incredible
  • Unsummon worked on attempts to exile Scarab God
  • Library destruction helps against 40 card decks

  • Too few creatures
  • Too many non-creature spells
  • Slow to develop

Of course the deck is constructed around the Scarab God. This powerful legendary creature could be a great choice in a Commander deck. The focus on zombies is great, and there are a lot of options in Hour of Devastation to power up the zombie-based ability of the Scarab God. I found myself taking defensive approaches with this deck, waiting for Scarab God to get out and slowly empty out the graveyards while the zombies build up his power.

I found the Scarab God to be a popular target of direct damage spells. Even though he comes back to my hand if he dies, he doesn’t come back if he’s exiled. After I became aware of that, I tried to keep an unsummon in my hand to help bring him back if I needed to rescue him.

A secondary tactic that I tried with this deck was to take advantage of the 40 card format by forcing the discard of cards directly from the library. That worked somewhat, and was especially fun when Fraying Sanity was in effect. Since Fraying Sanity (Blue Enchantment) forces a discard from the library for each card that enters your opponents graveyard, then cards like Compelling Argument (Blue Sorcery) and Seer of the Last Tomorrow (Blue Creature) had twice the effect.