DimeCollectoR's picture
By: DimeCollectoR, Jason Moore
Jul 11 2017 12:00pm
0
Login or register to post comments
441 views


 Hi folks!

 

Brass tacks. Let's get down to them.

 

Hour of Devastation (HOU) is coming to a Pauper place of business near you, and today I'd like to go over some of its promising components at the common rarity.

 

For the purpose of not overstaying my welcome, this time around I'll just be talking about the first three colors of Magic's color pie: White, Blue and Black.

 

White

 

 

Before we even get to a discussion about possible homes for this jackal of a few trades, let's first explore scenarios that would make him worthwhile in a game.

 

We'll start with a middling application like, say, reducing a player's delve or threshold count by 1. This will simply never be close to good enough.

 

As we move up the chain of usefulness to sniping spells with flashback, we encounter a mixed bag that for the most part leaves us unexcited. Spells with flashback only get cashed in once anyway, and often for a rather high mana cost. The somewhat mainstream exception to this statement is Battle Screech (seen in decks like Kuldotha Boros). Sniping a Battle Screech in the opponent's yard is akin to landing a 2/3 that Dual Shots a pair of the opponent's fliers. Admittedly this sounds pretty good, but in my experience most players who have a Screech in the yard are able to flash it back right away, thereby leaving nothing hanging around for our Mummy to dispose of.

 

Where Mummy will get the most possible mileage is with his ability to permanently rid us of cards in the graveyard that offer the opponent repeatable usage, some kind of synergistic or irksome late game engine, future chances at amassing value, etc.

 

This will take the form of creatures with dredge like Stinkweed Imp and Golgari Brownscale, spells with recover, spells with retrace, and potentially 1-of combo pieces that the player must pull from their yard in order to win (do these even exist?).

 

When Mummy hits a Stinkweed Imp or something similar, it's doing a serviceable impression of Banisher Priest or Nekrataal or something. So if ever an era arrives where Tortured Existence decks become high-profile Pauper mainstays, this Mummy may serve a purpose for strategies that are in its color.

 

Which brings us to where exactly this card might be able to take refuge. The first places I would look are decks seeking to abuse Momentary Blink or even Ghostly Flicker (I've messed around with Esper Flicker in the past!). Alternately, if the zombie creature type ever gets to sit at the Pauper cool kids table, (Disposal Mummy) may warrant some further inspection.

 

At the same time, Flickering the Mummy over and over is still a rather cumbersome way of handling most graveyards, as opposed to merely boarding into Relic of Progenitus, Nihil Spellbomb or something similar. For that reason I wouldn't get too invested in taking over the format with this 2/3.

 

 

While I'm not remarkably high on this card, I do like that a deck (preferably a UW Control deck if you're me) can board into it against Burn and immediately put them into an uncomfortable position. It eats two burn spells most of the time, and otherwise gets in the way of Keldon Marauders while on most good days outworking Curse of the Pierced Heart.

 

I could easily see this winning Third Place in a “Best UW card against Burn” contest right behind Hydroblast and Circle of Protection: Red. Fortunately for Faithful it does something different for us than both of those cards do.

 

Circle doesn't really get active until after Stage One of the game. Hydroblast is awesome, obviously, but it is one-and-done. Faithful actually warps the Burn player's sequencing and overall plan around dealing with or possibly trying to ignore her. And it comes down as early as Turn One. So it's a Stage One card that really means a lot to the game. In some ways she's like a mirror version of Thermo-Alchemist.

 

She does happen to be right there in Flame Slash range, but for a one mana “threat” that's just fine.

 

 

 

Even if the zombie tribe gets to have its day (of the dead), there aren't many ways for us to “go off” with this guy quite yet. Most often he can be getting in there as a 3/3 for 2 (if we're building our deck right, that is), and every once in a while we can live the dream and have a 4/4. If 4/4s for 2 are that important to us, we may want to consider playing Affinity.

 

I'm not all that impressed with him, but I imagine multiples could present problems for some folks.

 

Blue

 

 

 

I like how well this card pairs with Ninja of the Deep Hours. It initially flies over to enable ninjutsu, then helps Ninja connect for damage afterward by granting him flying as well. That being said, it is just a little too expensive to see frequent play.

 

Consider Aether Swooper, whom I thought would also play nicely with Ninja. Swooper only costs 1U. Sadly, she never saw play.

 

 

 

5/5 is such a relevant creature size for the Pauper format, and that's been made very clear over the past few years by Gurmag Angler. Riverwinder has already been identified as a potential Exhume target, and in some ways he reminds me of Twisted Abomination (a card that's seen fringe play in Tortured Existence decks and as a control finisher).

 

Paying full price for him doesn't excite me all that much, considering the fact that Atog, Fangren Marauder, Gurmag Angler and Gearseeker Serpent all get it done for cheaper. I'd recommend cheating him into play, though I may mess around with him as a flexible cycle early, win condition late in U/x Control.

 

 

 

I liked Artificer's Epiphany and I like this card too. For one thing, we may want to discard a card if we're playing something that uses madness and/or the graveyard. If we don't want to discard we can go the Karoo route. Bouncing lands is already a popular pastime in the realm of commons only, which is why Bojuka Bog, Radiant Fountain and more feature so prominently in certain decks.

 

This blue instant looks like a moderately satisfying addition to Mystical Teachings strategies, but by no means an auto-include.

 

Black

 

 

My sole source of optimism here stems from the thought of casting (Grisly Survivor) on Turn 3 after resolving a Turn 2 Wild Mongrel. From there I can imagine a couple potentially busted turns that involving dumping most of our hand and/or using madness spells to deal a lot of damage and flood the board simultaneously. Not the most plausible likelihood ever, but still might be fun enough to screw around with!

 

Dime's Up

 

That about does it for Part One of our HOU appraisal. What cards did I miss? What cards should I talk about next time? Feel free to let me know.

 

You can also follow me on Twitter (@DimecollectorSC) for MTG-related updates and info!

 

Bye for now!