By Jeremy Say

Hour of Devastation has hit with a slew of mechanics, with yet another one dealing with the grave. If you love zombies, then head to your nearest local card shop or game store and build your very own zombie horde to crush all who defy you.

As a continuation of Amonkhet, everyone is taught to work towards the glorious afterlife. The promises of glory and living once again to serve, however, has all been a lie. The great deceiver Nicol Bolas has come to claim his Zombie army, the Eternals.

With the Gatewatch defeated and Samut’s spark ignited, what will you do on this journey through Amonkhet? With even more mechanics highlighting grave interactions and a new wrinkle with blocking creatures with afflict, do expect a tough fight to the bitter end. Here are some of my favorite new mechanics from the set so far –

Eternalize

Adorned Pouncer – {1}{W} Creature — Cat 1/1

Double Strike

Eternalize {3}{W}{W} ({3}{W}{W}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a 4/4 black Zombie Cat with no mana cost. Eternalize only as a sorcery.)

Eternalize just adds more fodder to the mix as you get a 4/4 zombie version of the card and you get to keep the same abilities. Cardswith this mechanic will be bothering your opponent not once but twice!

Afflict

Khenra Eternal – {1}{B} – Creature — Zombie Jackal Warrior 2/2

Afflict 1 (Whenever this creature becomes blocked, defending player loses 1 life.)

Afflict just complicates your opponent’s life, if he choose to block or not, damage will always be incurred. With some creatures having higher afflict damage or abilities which activated on attack, your opponent will pull out their hair in frustration. Just another nuanced decision, especially from an aggressive weenie deck’s POV.

Deserts

Desert of the Fervent – Land — Desert

Desert of the Fervent enters the battlefield tapped.

Tap: Add Red to your mana pool.

Cycling 1Red (1Red, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

As you can see, Desert is a subtype of land. While not granting any new mana ability to the land itself, this subtype still interacts with cards such as the Sand Strangler. So just think of the Desert mechanic as a prerequisite to get some added bonus on some other nifty cards.

Sand Strangler  3Red (4) – Creature — Beast (3/3)

When Sand Strangler enters the battlefield, if you control a Desert or there is a Desert card in your graveyard, you may have Sand Strangler deal 3 damage to target creature.

With 199 new cards from this set and planeswalker duel decks, one of which contains Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver himself), it’s time to crack some packs open and destroy some fools.

For more information check out www.magicthegathering.com.

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