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Brewer's Minute: Seven Hour of Devastation Combos for Modern


Hey, everyone! It's time for another Brewer's Minute. Hour of Devastation is finally upon us, with prerelease events this weekend in paper and then starting next week on Magic Online. While the set's power level for Standard is up for debate, one of the more underrated aspects of Hour of Devastation is that it's overflowing with combos for the Modern format. So today, for our Brewer's Minute, we're going to discuss seven Modern combos brought to us by Magic's newest set, roughly ordered from jankiest to most competitive! Since I don't have decklists for these combos, make sure to let me know in the comments where you think they can fit, along with any other Modern combos from Hour of Devastation I might have missed!

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Transcript

#7: Neheb, the Eternal + Molten Psyche and Fateful Showdown

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Neheb, the Eternal is a card that's overflowing with combo potential—anything that can potentially add 10 or more mana in a turn is worth investigating—but so far, I haven't found anything but super-janky combos like Molten Psyche and Fateful Showdown. The basic idea is simple: we untap with Neheb, the Eternal and use Molten Psyche or Fateful Showdown as Wheel of Fortunes that deal a bunch of damage to our opponent and hopefully draw us into more copies of Molten Psyche and Fateful Showdown that we can cast during our second main phase with the mana produced by Neheb, the Eternal. While this requires a lot of things to go right (including resolving and untapping with a five-mana creature), it does have the potential to steal some games against unexpecting opponents!

#6: Oketra's Last Mercy + Sanguine Bond

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Not untapping the next turn is a big price to pay for gaining life—even a lot of life—but what if, instead of just gaining life, we use Oketra's Last Mercy as a combo piece to kill our opponent? The basic idea is pretty simple. We get down a Spellskite to protect our Sanguine Bond; then, we can activate Spellskite a bunch of times targeting a random ability to get ourselves all the way down to one or two life. Finally, we simply resolve an Oketra's Last Mercy and gain 18 or 19 life all the way back to 20 while also dealing 18 or 19 damage to our opponent, which should be enough to kill them, assuming they cracked a fetch land or two!

#5: The Locust God + Beck // Call or Dire Undercurrents

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The problem with comboing with The Locust God in Modern is that it's super expensive; however, it does offer a couple of different ways to go infinite. With either Beck // Call or Dire Undercurrents, all we need to do is draw a single card, and we trigger a loop that lets us draw our entire deck (or as much of our deck as we want) while also making 30 or 40 hasty 1/1 fliers to kill our opponent!

#4: Steward of Solidarity + Intruder Alarm

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There are about a million different ways to go infinite with Intruder Alarm in Modern, but Steward of Solidarity might be the best. All we need to do is play a Steward of Solidarity on Turn 2 and an Intruder Alarm on Turn 3, and we have the ability to make an infinite number of 1/1 tokens. We tap our Steward of Solidarity to make the token; then, it immediately untaps when the token enters the battlefield thanks to Intruder Alarm. While the combo is susceptible to removal, it is a legitimate way to combo on Turn 3 and win on Turn 4, and we can even win on Turn 3 if we play something like Mass Hysteria on Turn 1 to give all of our tokens haste!

#3: Samut, the Tested + Doubling Season

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Samut, the Tested is one of the worst planeswalkers every printed, with one big exception: she's amazing with Doubling Season. If we play a Samut, the Tested with Doubling Season on the battlefield, we can immediately ultimate, which can win us the game in any number of ways. We can tutor up Nahiri, the Harbinger to find Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. We can tutor up the Xenagos, God of Revels / Emrakul, the Aeons Torn combo directly or even tutor up a creature-based combo like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Restoration Angel or Deceiver Exarch!

#2: Fraying Sanity + Traumatize

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While I expect that Samut, the Tested will see play in the Double Moon Walkers deck, it's hard to imagine that the deck will suddenly become tier one thanks to the addition of the new planeswalker; however our last two Modern combos from Hour of Devastation actually have the potential to create (or at least impact) tier decks in the format. While mill has some problems (not the least of which being Emrakul, the Aeons Torn's ability to shuffle an opponent's graveyard back into their library), for the first time ever, we have an efficient, two-card combo to mill our opponent's library all in one turn. With a Fraying Sanity on the battlefield, all we need to do is resolve a single Traumatize to mill half of our opponent's library, and then at our end step, Fraying Sanity will mill the other half, so our opponent will die on their draw step! Is this enough to make mill a tier deck? I'm not sure, but at the very least, it's worth exploring.

#1: Solemnity + Phyrexian Unlife

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The lock of Solemnity and Phyrexian Unlife (which basically keeps us alive forever, or at least until our opponent deals with one of our enchantments) tops our list of Modern combos from Hour of Devastation for one important reason: it already has a potential home or two in the format. Ad Nauseam already plays Phyrexian Unlife, so it's possible they would just slot in Solemnity to have another line of attack, while Enduring Ideal decks have been floating at the fringes of the format as well. We've also had some sweet enchantment prison decks with Ghostly Prison, Leyline of Sanctity, and Sphere of Safety show up now and then, and having an additional lock that not only hits creatures but spells as well is a huge boon for the deck! I'm sure that we'll be playing Solemnity in the very near future, at the very least on Against the Odds if not on Budget Magic, but there's a realistic chance it shows up in "real" decks as well, which pushes it to the top of our Hour of Devastation combo list!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What other combos are there involving new cards from Hour of Devastation? Where do the combos we talked about today fit into the Modern format? Do you have any sweet decklist ideas to take advantage of the combos? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions as well, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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