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Insider: Hour of Devastation’s Eternal Impact

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New cards bring with them the potential for synergy or outright combos with existing cards, so every new set must be scoured for anything relevant to competitive eternal formats and Commander. Each card needs to be analyzed with the entirety of the existing Magic cardpool in mind, and a strong match can completely change the way we view a card in terms of its deck-building applications. A corresponding increase in demand can dramatically alter a card's price, and because Hour of Devastation has produced some very intriguing interactions, the market has reacted.

There’s no card in Hour of Devastation with more strong eternal interactions than Solemnity, which brings with it a wealth of combos that have driven up the price of many cards.


Combining Solemnity with Phyrexian Unlife creates a sort of Worship effect that prevents one from being killed by damage, which beats just about everybody. Not only will this ability to lock opponents out of the game be a casual favorite – it is being explored as a serious competitive option in Modern, and it has more than doubled the price of Phyrexian Life to around $10.


Solemnity also has a strong interaction with persist and undying creatures, and perhaps the most deadly and efficient of these is Geralf's Messenger. The card was already a fringe Modern playable that had recently seen an increase in interest due to the release of new zombies in Amonkhet, but its potential with Solemnity has spurred its price to spike from $5 to over $10.


Solemnity threatens to turn Phyrexian Soulgorger into a massive, undercosted threat with no drawback. Its slow rise in price after the spoiling of Solemnity has come to a head with a spike bringing it to $5, a large increase from where it sat under $2 previously.


In the same vein as Phyrexian Soulgorger, Sheltering Ancient is another large threat at a bargain cost that has its drawback negated by Solemnity. Its price has doubled to around $1.25.


I’m paying close attention to the price of Glen Elendra Archmage, which combines with Solemnity and blue mana to lock the opponent out of noncreature spells. Its paper price has held steady, but a rise in price for both of its online printings, from 1 ticket to over 1.5 for the original and to 1.2 for the reprint, could indicate the paper price is headed upwards next.


Hour of Devastation has also brought the world a brand new way to combo infinitely with Intruder Alarm, a card that already lends itself to infinite combos and has seen plenty of play in its day. It has been brought to the next level by Steward of Solidarity, which combos with no additional help, and conveniently can be cast the turn before on curve. Not only is the combo easier to assemble than ever, it’s also faster, and that means it could be serious contender for competitive Modern, not to mention its increased value as a casual build-around. Both of Intruder Alarm’s printings could be had for under $6, but the price has increased to over $8 for the Eighth Edition version and nearly $10 for the original Stronghold printing.


Enduring Ideal is a unique card with tremendous potential, and it had a brief stint as a premier deck in Extended, but it has failed to make a serious impact in Modern. The deck succeeds by putting into play a combination of enchantments to lock out the opponent and then win the game over a series of turns, and the printing of Overwhelming Splendor makes that job much easier by crippling the opponent in one fell swoop. It will be tremendously effective against many opponents, and it makes Enduring Ideal that much more realistic. Its paper price has yet to spike in a big way, but 10-percent gains this week have happened alongside  50-percent spike online that could signal that the ascent of the paper price will continue.

The Scarab God The Scarab God

The Scarab God has seen its price reach higher than the pre-order price, growing from around $10 to $15. There’s definitely some Standard demand involved, but what’s more interesting is its potential as a Commander general. The legendary creature is the exact sort of card worth building a 99-card deck around, for both its graveyard synergies and its Zombie tribal synergies. As recently experienced with Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, a new Commander that spawns a new deck can greatly increase demand for the existing cards that go well with it, and that means anything that goes well with The Scarab God could have a spike imminent.

A look at the creature on EDHREC shows that the primary driver behind the decks is the Zombie tribal theme, so the best bet is going to be anything that supports that plan, like Endless Ranks of the Dead, as opposed to any sort of reanimator shenanigans, but any such card with crossover, such as Grave Titan, is particularly attractive.

That's it for today. What cards have you noticed combine well with the Hour of Devastation offerings?

–Adam

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