Wizards of the Coast
Nivea Serrao
June 28, 2017 AT 01:29 PM EDT

Return to the Ancient Egypt-inspired realm of Amonkhet with Magic: The Gathering‘s latest expansion set Hour of Devastation.

This new world sees the death-averse residents of the city of Naktamun pushing themselves to their absolute limit in the hopes of succeeding in the trials of its various gods so they can win a place in the afterlife. It’s also a plane where any being that dies outside the protective veil (called the Hekma) is brought back to life immediately. Hour of Devastation builds on this previous set (and the game at large) by adding a new set of game mechanics and cards.

“In Amonkhet, we saw creatures transformed into the helpful serving mummies, the Anointed, with a mechanic called Embalm,” explains Senior Game Designer James Wyatt. “In the world, this represented the people who failed to achieve a glorious death in the Trial of Zeal, so they were consigned to a lesser afterlife in service to the living. In Hour of Devastation, though, we see what happens to those who find the glorious end they have strived for: the Eternalize mechanic brings a creature back, not as a mere copy of itself, but as a 4/4 black zombie—an eternal.”

Hour of Devastation also sheds more light on the infamously powerful planeswalker Nicol Bolas, who serves as the God-Pharaoh at Amonkhet. Below, you can also find exclusive pages from the upcoming The Art of Magic: The Gathering – Amonkhet art book that sheds light on how he accomplished his current zombie legion, as well as a first look at upcoming cards in the set, with further commentary from Wyatt.

Merciless Eternal

“‘My work here is complete.’ Such ominous words! Especially when attached to a Zombie Cleric who looks like he’s staying behind to clean up any loose ends. In Hour of Ruin, we see how the entire plane of Amonkhet exists for the sole purpose of creating a zombie army — an army of Eternals — for Nicol Bolas. And if his work here is done… then what’s next?”

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Eternal of Harsh Truths

“Everything about this card is a harsh truth. The name, of course. That lovely combination of words: Zombie Cleric. What happens when this Eternal attacks: either you lose 2 life or I draw a card. And the flavor text: it’s an inevitable truth that Bolas’s plan for the Eternals is going to be harsh.”

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Frontline Devastator

“Everyone on Amonkhet who died a worthy death—from the viziers who were devout in their service to the gods, to the minotaur warriors who fought valiantly to the death in the Trial of Zeal — was transformed into an Eternal in the God-Pharaoh’s ‘factory.’ And all the skills they acquired in life are retained in their undeath. Bolas has built himself quite an army.”

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God-Pharaoh’s Faithful

“This card makes me sad. As devastation rains down around her, as the people of Amonkhet flee from the waste and ruin, as everything she believed in crumbles to dust—this one, brave woman chooses to believe that the glorious afterlife still awaits her, if she will only stand firm. The good news is that the people’s faith in the gods was not entirely misplaced. The bad news is that Nicol Bolas is no god.”

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Excerpt from the upcoming ‘Art of Magic: The Gathering – Amonkhet’ artbook

Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering Hour of Devastation hits stores July 14, bt you can preorder a bundle here. And the art book will be available for purchase July 4th. Preorder the Art of Magic: The Gathering – Amonkhet here.

New players and fans of the game looking to test out the new cards can attend a Magic Open House happening July 4th weekend. Find your nearest one here.

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