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Dark Ascension Spoiler Analysis

Dark Ascension cards are coming on fast now, and you have to work to keep up with everything! As such, I won’t waste your time with an extended intro, so let’s dig right into some of the more exciting cards from the set!

I’m a finance guy moreso than a player these days, but I know my way around a Magic game and will offer some brief thoughts on some of the cards in addition to financial analysis. Besides, the best way to predict a card’s price is to predict its playability!

I include this card because it represents one of the most aggressive starts in the new format – Champion of the Parish into this. That’s a Wild Nactl swinging at you on Turn 2 and another 6 points coming at you on Turn 3 after they Fiend Hunter your blocker. Champion of the Parish is going to be played heavily, even if it’s not until Gut Shot rotates, so be ready.

Also, Intangible Virtue

A Mill card in a small set that will only be drafted for a few months? I think we can see where this is going. Wait for these to tank a few months after the set comes out, then start picking up all of these that you can as throw-ins. Savvy traders already grab Archive Trap and Mind Funeral when they can, and this fits right in.

As for Constructed play, it could see some play in Blue/Green Mill Yourself, which is a lot closer to a real deck than it sounds. It’s already good in Block, and will be one day in Standard as well. This has some financial implications I’ve talked about it in the forums and will elaborate on in my Insider article this week, if you’re interested.

Speaking of Mill Yourself…

This guy is cool, and might see some play, but I don’t think there’s anything special here financially. What is important to look at is the prevalence of two competing “mechanics” from Innistrad. The first is the “creature cards in graveyard” ability that we’re seeing so many cards care about, as opposed to the “exile creatures from graveyard” ability that’s printed on Skaab Ruinator. I’m not sure that the two themes can play nice in the same deck, but it does seem that the former ability is getting more love than the latter, which is worth noting.

One interesting application to meld the two is to make one option (the Ruinator clause) a sideboard plan for Blue/Green Mill Yourself decks if mass graveyard removal becomes a thing. A well-placed Nihil Spellbomb will ruin your day if you’re trying to win with Splinterfright and Kessig Cagebreakers, but beating down with 5/6s  after a Mulch sounds more feasible.

In addition to being a (possibly) playable Mythic, this card should have some casual/EDH applications, so even if it doesn’t see play in Constructed formats (and 7 mana is a lot for something that’s not Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite), be aware that the Reaver could still retain some value.

This certainly helps the case for Burning Vengeance, though I’m not sure the deck can really take off. The problem is that as enchantments become more playable (like this, Vengeance, Virtue, Angelic Destiny, etc) become more playable people can actually hate on them fairly easily with Ray of Revelation. This in itself isn’t a huge problem, but the fact that the deck is also weak to graveyard hate might be too much to handle.

That said, this could be an Uncommon that ends up being worth a few bucks, and I know plenty of people will want to play a deck as fun as Burning Vengeance. I know I do.

I’m not sure how easy it will be to fit Humans you want to sacrifice into a deck with the Aristocrat, but it is a Mythic Vampire, which nowadays holds value as well or better than Angels. Not only could this top the curve in a RB aggro deck ala Demigod of Revenge, but with the ability to put it into a deck with Humans it could become really nutty.

Financially, I’m looking at something similar to Olivia Volderen, and any increase in playability will have an even more pronounced effect on its price than Olivia’s did.

Now I’m a man who’s known to love a few Lords (as long as they are also Merfolk), and this guy doesn’t disappoint. It’s another reason to be on the lookout for Intangible Virtue and Token strategies in general, and 4cmc Planeswalker have a storied history of succeeding in Token decks. Our friends Elspeth, Knight Errant and Ajani Goldmane can attest to that. This guy also protects himself as well or better than Elspeth did, and the fact that he grants Emblems the turn he comes out is pretty insane.

Financially, this guy is going to be a star. The only question is how big of one, something for which I’ll reserve judgment for until the rest of the set is spoiled. The fact he’s in a small, destined-to-be underdrafted set similar to Worldwake is not a fact to forget. But if that wasn’t enough, Sorin also has a few other things going for him. The first is that he is a Vampire and makes some little Vamp friends, too. That’s enough to carry some weight. Another factor is that BW has always randomly been a popular casual combination (look at Fetid Heath and Deathbringer Liege as examples), and that will also prop up his price.

Until next time, enjoy the rest of Spoiler Season (this year with 100% more Lord and 100% fewer Godbooks)!

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

Post categories: Dark Ascension, Free


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Corbin Hosler

Corbin Hosler

Corbin Hosler is a journalist living in Norman, Oklahoma (also known as the hotbed of Magic). He started playing in Shadowmoor and chased the Pro Tour dream for a few years, culminating in a Star City Games Legacy Open finals appearance in 2011 before deciding to turn to trading and speculation full-time. He writes weekly at QuietSpeculation.com and biweekly for LegitMTG. He also cohosts Brainstorm Brewery, the only financial podcast on the net. He can best be reached @Chosler88 on Twitter.

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3 thoughts on “Dark Ascension Spoiler Analysis

  1. There are many cards that benefit from having creatures/cards in your graveyard. Skaab Ruinator doesn't really go well with any of these cards. Also, even though Skaab Ruinator can be cast from your graveyard, he's very difficult to cast a 2nd time unless you are playing a creature-intensive deck. Right now I'm more bullish on cards that benefit from keeping creatures in your graveyard over Skaab Ruinator. We'll see how the remainder of the spoiler season progresses.

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