Dark Ascension Review Green
Welcome everyone, it’s that time of year again. The Dark Ascension set has been fully spoiled and that means that it’s time to talk about the new cards. For the most part I write these reviews for the new players at my shop to help them develop their card assessment skills, but that doesn’t mean most of my readers don’t enjoy hearing my ideas on the new cards as well.
Also Mages and Sages is have another Sealed Box Tournament on February 5th, so I’ll be adding advice at the end of each part of the review articles for those playing in that event. With that said, let’s start the review.
Other reviews in the set: White, Blue, Black, Red, Green, Artifacts, Multicolored and Lands.
Brairpack Alpha – 3G – Creature – Wolf – U – Flash. When Briarpack Alpha enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. 3/3
Remember the scene in “Jurassic Park” where the rapter is just standing there and the game hunter get ready to take his shot and another raptor jumps him. You know, the “Cleaver girl” scene. Yeah, that’s what comes to mind with this card. In Limited this is an awesome four-drop that allows you to skip a turn to flip werewolves, counter damage based removal, and make a large blocker. If Illsusions can hold on to being Standard playable then this could even bring new life into Mayor-Go.
Clinging Mists – 2G – Instant – C – Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn. Fateful hour – If you have 5 or less life, tapp all attacking creatures. Those creatures don’t untap during their controller’s next untap step.
Now this my friends is a fog effect that might just make it out of Limited and into Standard. Fog effects are powerful in limited and keeping the attacking creatures off you back for two turns, not just one, is the kind of thing you need to have happen to keep you alive long enough to recover.
Crushing Vines – 2G – Instant – C – Choose one – Destroy target creature with flying, or destroy target artifact.
Man, green is really keeping the flavor on tap with cards that will see play in Limited and Constructed formats. In standard this takes care of either the Angel token, Delver, or equipment that is giving you issues. I can see this seeing a lot of play across all formats.
Dawntreader Elk – 1G – Creature – Elk – C – G, Sacrifice Dawntreader Elk: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. 2/2
Great in Limited. If it is going to die to removal just fetch a land, or attack then fetch when you stumble on a land drop on turn three. Constructed decks want more reusable ramp.
Deranged Outcast – 1G – Creature – Human Rouge – R – 1G, Sacrifice a human: Put two +1/+1 counter on target creature.
In Limited this is good, but sucks in Constructed. This let’s you get some use of of humasn that would normally just die in combat as chump blockers to power up other defenders.
Favor of the Woods – 2G – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. Whenever enchanted creature blocks, you gain 3 life.
I want to get Conley Woods to sign a copy of this for me with “That one you owe me.” The same goes for my buddy Moose and his wife, but seeing as that aren’t famous Magic players most people wont get the joke. Aura’s doing see much constructed play but they will see play in limited, and it gets even funnier when you play them on you opponent’s creatures. Playing this one their best blocker before attacking is a plan I intend to use when ever I take this in Draft.
Feed the Pack – 5G – Enchantment – R – At the beginning of your end step, you may sacrifice a non-token creature. If you do, put X 2/2 green Wolf tokens onto the battlefield where X is the sacrificed creature’s toughness.
With the high casting cost and all the token hate that is going to be in Standard this isn’t going to see play. It will see play in Limited to sacrifice spend attackers and make an army of blockers for you next turn. Just think about being able to pull having this and Essence of the Wild in play are the same time. Also it will make waves in green Commander decks that can abuse being able to make tokens.
Hollowhenge Beast – 3GG – Creature – Beast – C – 5/5
It’s big, it’s dumb, it’s a Limited filler for the five drop slot.
Hunger of the Howlpack – G – Instant – C – Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. Morbid – Put three +1/+1 counters on that creature instead if a creature died this turn.
This will make the cut in Limited because it’s a combat trick, and it could be used to turn off undying triggers if your creature is big enough to take theirs down with the pump.
Increasing Savagery – 2GG – Sorcery – R – Put five +1/+1 counter on target creature. If Increasing Savagery was cast from a graveyard, put ten +1/+1 counters on that creature instead. Flashback 5GG.
Because it isn’t an instant it’s not really a combat trick, but heck it turns dorks into beaters, and trample creature’s into finishers. This is going to be kept out of Standard because it’s not at instant speed and all the counter spells in the format.
Kessig Recluse – 2GG – Creature – Spider – C – Reach. Deathtouch. 2/3
And here is the mandatory killer spider that every set seems to have because it is green’s standard answer to fliers in Limited.
Lambholt Elder // Silverpelt Werewolf – 2G – Creature – Human Werewolf // Werewolf – U – At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Lambholt Elder. // Whenever Sliverpelt Werewolf deals combat damage to a player, draw a card. At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Silverpelt Werewolf. ½ // 4/5
Oh, Grandma got bitten by a werewolf… coming home from our house on Halloween… you can say there’s no such things as werewolves… but as for me and Grandpa… we believe! This is the card drawing engine that werewolves need in Limited, Block, and Standard. Now if you don’t mind I have a song to finish.
Lost in the Woods – 3GG – Enchantment – R – Whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a Forest card, remove that creature from combat. Then put the revealed card on the bottom of your library.
For this card to work you need to play a U/G/X Commander deck, Silver Queen is best, with a lot of Forest duals, tutors, land fetch, Mana Severance, and Selective Memory. The point is to get this in play then use Mana Severance, and Selective Memory to remove everything put forest from you deck then just keep the general and the enchantment alive until you win. Yeah, even that is too much work, but it would be funny as you can run every tutor ever printed to get the combo online and even protect it.
Predator Ooze – GGG – Creature Ooze – R – Predator Ooze is indestructible. Whenever Predator Ooze attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it. Whenever a creature dealt damage by Predator Ooze this turn dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Predator Ooze. 1/1
I was hoping the “The Blob” was going to get a shout-out in this set. If you haven’t seen the movie, or only saw the bad 80’s remake, find a copy of the 1958 version starring Steve McQueen. Seeing this in pack one tells me I am drafting green, snap-keeping mana fixers and ramp, as well as hunting out equipment to slap on this guy so he can kill more in combat. He’ll make the cut in Commander decks that will support his heavy-green cost, but that’s the only format outside of Limited where I plan to use him.
Scorned Villager // Moonscarred Werewolf – 1G – Creature – Human Werewolf // Creature – Werewolf – C – Tap: Add G to your mana pool. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Scorned Villager. // Vigilance. Tap: Add GG to your mana pool. At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Moonscarred Werewolf. 1/1 // 2/2
Even if you are not playing werewolves, in Limited this is really good mana ramping. Also it is the mana ramp that any werewolf deck wants in all formats.
Somberwald Dryad -1G – Creature – Dryard – C – Forestwalk – 2/2
I have a rule about creatures with any kind of land walking ability in Limited, if they are in my colors I take them. Even if I don’t end up with this in my main deck as a two-drop filler it will be in my sideboard for matches again other players using green. In that case it is automaticly two points of damage a turn. I could see this as some kind of sideboard tech for Wolf Run in Standard for the mirror match for the same reason.
Strangleroot Geist – GG – Creature – Spirit – U – Haste. Undying. 2/1
Maybe there’s a mono-green or heavy green deck that will want this as a two drop but, as with any green undying creature, I’m thinking Pod. Once it hits play you can beat for two, then cast pod the next turn, then once you Pod it beat for another three. Heavy green decks in Limited will love this guy.
Tracker’s Instincts – 1G – Sorcery – U – Reveal the top four cards of your library. Put a creature card from among them into you hand and the rest into your graveyard. Flashback 2U.
In Limited I might splash green in my Dredge deck to run this because it lets me hunt a big blue zombie and bin the creature I need to exile to cast it. This also works as a splash in the U/R flashback decks to bind more spells to cast. In Standard it might make it into the Dredge deck for the same reasons.
Ulvenwald Bear – 2G – Creature – Bear – C – Morbid – When Ulvenwald Bear enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, put two +1/+1 counter on target creature. 2/2
A 2/2 bear that could be a 4/4 bear. Nice three-drop in Limited.
Village Survivors – 4G – Creature – Human – C – Vigilance. Fateful hour – As long as you have 5 or less life, other creatures you control have vigilance.
I like this for Limited because of how well it captures the flavor of the Fateful Hour mechanic. That’s the kind of bonus that will turn the game around once you are down that low.
Vorapede – 2GGG – Creature – Insect – M – Vigilance, Trample, Undying. 5/4
Great five drop in Pod that doesn’t put you down a dude when you sac it to get a Titan. In limited you’ll need heavy-green, but if you get to cast it the game will be over.
Wild Hunger – 2G – Instant – C – Target creature gets +3/+1 and gains trample until end of turn. Flashback 3R.
Well there is the Trample combat trick in the set for Limited.
Wolfbitten Captive // Krallenhorde Killer – G – Ceature – Human Werewolf // Werewolf – R – 1G: Wolfbitten Captive gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn. At the beginning of each upkeep, in no spells were cast last turn, transform Wolfbitten Captive. // 3G: Krallenhorde Killer gets +4/+4 until end of turn. Activat the ability only once each turn. At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Krallenhorde Killer. 1/1 // 2/2
Now that is a werewolf that I want to play on turn one and then not cast another spell on turn two. It’s the only one of the one-drops that really is a 3/3 on turn two, and if you do cast a spell just avode the three points they are still going to take two. I see this in draft as my option for first pick I’m playing werewolves, and when I build my werewolf deck for Standard there will be a playset of these in the deck.
Young Wolf – G – Creature – Wolf – C – Undying. 1/1
Nice Limited one-drop, but that is all.
That’s it for green. Flavor wise this color gets an A+, but with most of green cards in all the other sets it takes a C- in playability over all. Now it’s time for just one more article the final installment Multicolor, Artifacts, and Lands.
Jeffrey Carmichael II
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