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Top 10 Dark Ascension Cards For Standard (Tips, Strategy, Review, & First Impressions) February 3, 2012

Posted by James in : all, reviews, strategy, tips, standard , trackback

This is my top 10 favorite Dark Ascension cards with Standard in mind. The cards on this list might never see play, but I think they are good when considered in isolation, and they are likely to see play at some point. (Perhaps after the next rotation.) Keep in mind that this list is created before Dark Ascension was officially released, so it is somewhat speculative.

1. Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

sorin lord of innistrad

Sorin not only makes decent creature tokens, but he gets bigger for doing so. The second ability is a combo with the first (and tokens in general). The ultimate ability is also worth playing. Any deck with white and black is likely to run this card, and I find it likely that black/white token decks will be made for him.

2. Gravecrawler


Gravecrawler is one of the best black creatures ever made, but it requires you to build a zombie deck around it. I expect it to see play if any Zombie decks are made.

3. Lingering Souls

lingering souls

Lingering Souls is potentially a 4-for-1. That is very unusual and it can be even more powerful with cards like Honor of the Pure.

4. Hellrider


Mono red decks will be made, and Hellrider is likely to be found in them. Its ability is a little like warcry, but it will often be better. The extra damage will be dealt, even if the creatures are blocked.

5. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben


Thalia is one of the best creatures for only two mana ever printed. It can make it difficult for the opponent to play noncreature spells — especially if they are already expensive to cast. This card can keep the opponent from playing a Day of Judgment or planeswalker on turn four, which is very important.

6. Strangleroot Geist

strangleroot geist

Strangleroot Geist is nothing spectacular except for the fact that it has undying. That in itself makes this card worth playing.

7. Geralf’s Messenger

Geralf's Messenger

A 3/2 for three mana isn’t great, but the lifeloss and undying ability make this card quite impressive. The real problem is that you need three black mana to play it. If zombie decks are played, then this will also see play. Additionally, if mono-black decks see play, then this will also see play.

8. Forge Devil

forge devil

Forge Devil reminds me of Icatian Javelineers. It can’t target players, but it can kill something immediately. With so many one toughness threats, I expect that it will see some play.

9. Faithless Looting

faithless looting

Use this to discard flashback cards or lands. It’s not great by itself, but it will certainly be played if any flashback decks use red cards.

10. Grafdigger’s Cage

grafdigger's cage

It’s a great hoser against flashback. If flashback decks become a problem, then it will be played in many sideboards. I don’t expect to see this in the main deck prior to sideboarding.

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1. kandjar - February 7, 2012

I disagree regarding Gravecrawler, it doesn’t need a zombie deck to be good; any tempo/aggro deck using black can run 4 of him!
The one in the graveyards will benefits from the next one you’ll play!.
(sure it’s better in a zombie deck, but he works well by himself)

2. James - February 8, 2012

Kandjar, that’s a good point. Gravecrawler is a combo with Gravecrawler.