This is it! The one you’ve been waiting for! No sense putting it off any longer, so I’ll just go through the cards I think will make a difference in all formats. Obviously, there will be cards I don’t mention, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to judge for yourself (after reading my other reviews…YOU DID READ THEM, RIGHT?) which are good and which are not. Let’s begin!
Going for the throat on this one (though I really can’t…’cause he’s a planeswalker. Get it? Oh you’re no fun…). There’s a reason this bad boy is still sixty dollars on starcitygames. Four cost walker that starts with three loyalty; mkay, I’ll take it. Pretty typical. First ability, puts out a dude with lifelink. Fantastic! He can protect himself two ways the turn he comes out! Sweet! Second ability, put out an emblem that makes your dudes more powerful. Hmm…a way to pump my dudes without you being able to do a thing about it? Seems kinda…oh, you know: GOOD. Alright, whatever, that’s just aggro-ey. Ultimate is…remove six and destroy up to three target creatures and/or planeswalkers. HOLY SHIT HE DOESN’T PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS. And by others, I mean your dudes. Wow, walker removal is grea- what? What do you mean there’s more? Return each card put into a graveyard in this way back into play under…your….control. OH DEAR GOD WHY. WHHHHYYYYYYY??!?! Well, because Wizards thought having a set without at least one card over $30 is preposterous.
There you have it. Constructed play, he’s either aggro’s best friend or control’s best friend…and your opponent’s worst nightmare. I don’t think I have much more to say here, pretty sure you all get the picture. ONWARD!
CAPTAIN CAPTAIN CAPTAIN!
Oh, and captain. Sorry, didn’t say it FOUR TIMES. Apparently, lords are being taken down a notch. Uncommons for lords are popular right? Yeah, since all of you remember playing in Scourge, when the warchiefs were popular. Damn youngins…
I’m assuming I can just show you guys the value of the three drops here and I don’t have to explain why they’re good? Or which are better? Ugh, fine. First strike is great, and giving others is even better, though probably more suited in limited than constructed. Zombies may now see competitive play because of their sheer efficiency and ‘disciple’ effect (still too young? Disciple of the vault…look it up. And weep). Drogskol captain, although giving your spirits the most broken ability in the game (well, standard at least) is great, he’s also competing with that three slot with one of the most broken creatures in standard right now: Geist of Saint Traft. I mean, yeah, he pumps him, but I’d rather play geist almost always. Though Phantasmal image just found a new toy essentially. I don’t think it has the back up right now, but we still have one more set to go. Immerwolf is practically a must have if you’re doing r/g werewolves (remember from last article? Yeah, it may be your time to shine now), though he really don’t play well with the new mythic werewolf dude.
Speaking of which…
Once again, I think StarCityGames.com may know what they’re doing when it comes to card prices; there’s a reason this guy’s almost twenty bucks right now. When you play him, you get four power for four mana. Oh, and you gain two life, essentially for free. I’ll take it. Typical werewolf flippy thing aaannd…oh. He becomes an efficient four drop with trample…that bites things. Multiple things. Two damage to your opponent and two damage to a creature he controls…wait, UP TO one creature he controls. Yeah, I think that’s the epitome of efficiency right there. And, of course, the drawback of ‘oh, you cast two spells, damn, I go back to my lame side’…OH WAIT. His ability states if he flips back, I get another wolf and two life. Hmmm…a really efficient werewolf that has two incredibly useful sides? Yeah. If I had it, I’d run it. Maybe not in r/g werewolves, but a r/g aggro deck…OH YEAH. Kessig fodder maybe? Either way, complete and utter bomb in limited, and quite possibly a power house in standard. We’ll have to see, but if it can see play, I’m positive it will.
Wowzers. Will this card make an impact? Yeah. Though I think this may be one of the only cards that I review that won’t make as large of an impact in limited as it will in constructed. And by constructed, I mean pretty much EVER FORMAT. Let’s go through some decks that have been popular. Legacy, we have reanimator. Typical, dump stuff into yard, get stuff out of yard. Oh wait, guess I can’t now. Yes, I can remove the cage. But you know what? Until you do, you ain’t doing crapola. What else have we got in legacy…oh, I know! ANY DECK USING SNAPCASTER MAGE. People I think seem to forget the part that they can’t cast cards out of the yards, either. Everything with flashback? Gone. Your efficiency with snapcaster? Whoops, gone. Hope you’ve got some removal for this sucker, on top of whatever other hate I’ve packed in against you.
Now, let’s talk standard. Solar flare was a pretty good deck archtype, did well for a while. Same applies here that applied in legacy; no yard utilization for you! What else…Birthing Pod! Yes! That was a decent archtype, though it didn’t live long, it still flares up every once and a while. People seem to also forget that you can’t get creatures from libraries, either. Hope you really didn’t need that pod to ramp with.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely ways to easily deal with this card in all formats. But, like I say with Goblin Charbelcher: “You can only deal with it if you draw it.”
Now that we’ve discovered the hate, let’s see a reason to use it…
Ahh yes. That’s a good reason. Combo time everybody! Not only is it a pretty nice card overall, but it’s got some pretty heavy combo implications. Necrotic Ooze already reared it’s ugly, misshapen head once. I think it has a chance to do it again. Having this guy in the yard pretty much guarantees you can play what you need. Or, you can just play a blocker and not worry about losing the blocker’s ability for the ooze.
Or, you can do what I really want to do with him: Heartless Summoning + Perilous Myr. Folks have been trying desperately to fit these two cards into a deck (not the same deck, of course…until now). Tempered steel variants see the myr in their sideboard every once and a while, and heartless summoning has shown up in Birthing Pod lists occasionally, but none have ever really seen play. I think the idea of curving from heartless to lich on turn three is a good idea. Grixis may have some work to do here, but I think it’s at least somewhat manageable. But, that’s just the Johnny coming out in me. Either way, it’s a good card to keep your eye out for.
And now, the honorable mention goes tooooo:
With the amount of time that tokens have seen play, I do honestly expect these two cards to see at least some play. Giving all my little dudes that got big thanks to enchantments/emblems deathtouch and lifelink? Me like. Me likey lots. Or, you know, sac’ing the one that didn’t get through to gain a card. That works, too. Either way, I could definitely foresee these two cards getting use. Use your imagination.
So, there you have it. TheScourge’s review on Dark Ascension! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the cards I mentioned, and take heed to the limited tips I’ve given you for the release this weekend!