Dark Ascension is the stone in the pond that was needed to ripple across standard play of Magic the Gathering. Yes, Wolves and Vampires still hold the control of standard Magic but this expansion is set to shake some basic elements up. Dark Ascension brings more of a focus to two colored decks and encourages the switch over from mono to duality.
The expansion gives some handouts to the all of the colors but there are a lot of cards that embrace green and black in this set. There is a particular black kill spell called “Tragic Slip” that can remove any creature with a negative 13/13 drop on it’s stats for a single cost, and its a common card. This is easily the most mindblowing card in the expansion set.
The starter deck that was provided for us, Grave Power, is a blue and green deck focused on the graveyard. Actually a lot of the cards in this expansion focus on graveyard control and the benefits of a filled one versus an exiled or empty one. Cards in this starter deck are focused on lowering the cost of creatures, drawing extra cards and simply taking control of the game by dropping creatures into the graveyard. It’s one of the better decks and, unlike some of the Innistrad Starter decks, defines the expansion to a T. On the flip side of the coin, there is also a lot of graveyard removal in this expansion to counter this setup.
The biggest misstep here are strange flip transformation cards that aren’t wolves. These have rather high costs to play. It comes off as a work in progress of how to let transformation cards, other than the wolf clan, change the game.
Evolving Wilds is a big factor for standard players. Fetching lands of any type can let players who aren’t so sure about converting to two colors splash into a little forest green. Calling up what you want from your deck in a fix is a clutch move.
Some hardcore or older players may not exactly love the look of the new expansion. They look modern, though, and the changes are extremely slight. The set looks to be a lot of fun and a competent set to play in drafts or standard. Preleases are beginning tonight and the expansion will fully release on February 3rd.
Verdict: Worth Checking Out