A realistic Dark Ascension Set Review – Green by Grant Hislop

A realistic Dark Ascension Set Review – White by Grant Hislop


Wow, really, you’re still coming back? Guess I’ll have to actually write something for you to read then…

So, we’ve done White, Blue, Black and Red so far, and we’re getting into the home stretch now. Time to look at some sweet, sweet Green cards.

Will there be any good ones?

Will the ‘Increasing X’ cycle continue to be rubbish?

Who knows, let’s find out…

Briarpack Alpha

A strictly better Hill Giant. Guess we’re in Green then. This guy is the real deal. Flash puts him over the edge in terms of playability. Part pump spell, part Duder, all awesome. I can’t imagine any Green deck that doesn’t want this guy.

Guys like Briarhorn have, on occasion, seen Constructed play, and this guy wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up doing the same.

Clinging Mists

Fog effects always have their place in limited. The Fateful Hour mechanic obviously helps you against the decks that you would play Fog against. Fog’s pretty much always going to exist in some shape or form in each block, and I guess this is Innistrad block’s version.

Is this the card that’s going to ‘Bring back Turbofog’!? No, no it isn’t. Every year, around Nationals time, someone thinks that Turbofog will be a deck again, and every year, around Nationals time, that person is disappointed.

Crushing Vines

Yeah, I mean, it’s fine. Kills fliers, which Green is supposed to be able to do, and kills Artifacts, which Green is also supposed to be good at. I’m not sure why it’s the same card, thematically, but options are always good. Always, always, always play this in every Sealed deck running Green.

I can’t remember if Plummet is still Standard legal or not, but if it is, there’s competition. These aren’t the days when Baneslayers ruled the skies, or Squadron Hawks carried Swords all over the place, but I’m sure there’s something this will be useful for in the next two years. Blows up Swords of X+Y and the little ghosties that carry them, and that can’t be bad.

Dawntreader Elk

Part duder, part Rampant Growth. Yeah, this guy’s pretty exciting. Technically worse than Sakura-Tribe Elder, and about on par with Viridian Emissary, and probably slightly better. This is at least a reasonable clock, and the fact that you can control when you ramp makes him pretty sick.

This will definitely see constructed play.

Deranged Outcast

Something for our GW draft decks. Help us with the Alpha strike. I like that this guy makes combat maths particularly difficult. Fine rare, powerful, but not big, stupid dragon that Firebreathes your team powerful. On par with Elder of Laurels in Limited.

Again, it’s not where we want to be in constructed. The GW decks are more focused on Spirits than Humans, and losing a card for a pump is a big ask when Gavony Township does something similar without the card investment.

Favor of the Woods

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Feed the Pack

Oh, an Enchantment. Let’s see if it does anything. No? Not a thing by itself? I guess it’s pretty bad then.

I hate cards like this that I can’t control the effect of. I mean, I guess sometimes it’ll be great, like when you’ve got a Ludevic’s Test Subject fully levelled, and you’re looking to close out the game, but it’s just such a bad card when coming onto an empty board, and I can’t pay that much Mana for nothing.


It’s fine in the Splinterfright decks, I suppose. No trample makes this a bit of a waste of time in our new, sure to be token infested, metagame. It’s a reasonable facsimile of The Abyss, I guess, but I can’t see this making to many waves in constructed.

Cards that can skimp on mana cost have a habit of being broken. See Phyrexian Mana, Storm, Affinity etc. Obviously this is not on par with any of those, and it’s easy enough to deal with, so it should be fine.

There are better Reanimation targets than generic beaters, so I can’t see his applications outside of Splinterfright decks.

Gravetiller Wurm

This guy actually has trample. It’s obviously limited fodder, but I can actually get on board with this guy. 4/4 isn’t that great, so it’ll obviously depend on how reliably you can trigger Morbid, but I’m confident that most controlly Green decks would love a copy of this guy. Fits nicely alongside Festerhide Boar, but further up the curve.

There isn’t room for too many fatties in most limited decks, but this guy does a reasonable impression of a fair rare, so should make the cut.

Grim Flowering

Costs so much, delivers so little without warping your deck around it, and even then, it’s still a 6 Mana Sorcery. Not good. Not good at all.

Hollowhenge Beast

5/5 vanilla guy for 5. Yup, we’re still in Green. Spined Wurm is almost always playable in limited, I don’t see this improved version being any different.

See Gravetiller Wurm, however. There isn’t too much room in most decks for generic fatties, and these guys are going to be fighting for the same slot. I’d pick the Gravetiller every time in this case.

Hunger of the Howlpack

Seems like an obvious card. Not as good as Travel Preparations, but what is? If you can reliably trigger Morbid, it’s a permanent Giant Growth, which seems pretty good. One thing to bear in mind is its ability to mess with the Undying Mechanic. If your opponent suicides a Flayer of the Hatebound or the like into you, you can use this to turn off the return. Solid card.

Increasing Savagery

Man, I so wanted this one to be good.

I mean, it’s obviously good in limited, and makes any guy a must kill, but there are absolutely no constructed applications here whatsoever.

Kessig Recluse

Pretty stock guy. I kind of assume he’s a renamed version of a card that already exists, but I can’t be bothered checking if that’s the case. Decent sized body, and blocks almost all of the UW Spirits deck favourably. Solid.

There are heaps of flying guys with power 2 in this format, and the Recluse will stop them all. Can’t see a deck that doesn’t want this effect.

Lambholt Elder

This guy seems nuts. Like it’s toilety nonsense untransformed, but when flipped, it’s almost a Hystrodon. The 4/5 body means it’s almost all upside. Either you’ll crunch your opponent and draw a card, or you’ll eat a creature. Either way, you’re ahead a card.

Sure your opponent controls what happens, but a guy like this makes it so hard for them to come back if they fall behind. One of the very few Werewolves that make me actively want to transform them rather than just letting it happen naturally.

Lost in the Woods

Another Enchantment. Another stupid, do nothing, waste of a slot. Sigh. I can’t imagine ever wanting to cast this spell in any format ever, and I’d imagine most of you will be the same.

Here’s my sure-fire Pro Tour Honolulu winners decklist for you. Enjoy.

4 Lost in the Woods
56 Forest

No Sideboard.


Predator Ooze

Pretty slow, but I guess it’ll get there eventually. It dies to Virulent Wound, and doesn’t battle Infect very well, which will probably limit its Standard playability for the next year, but there’s probably a mono-green stompy deck in Block that can make use of him. Presumably with Travel Preparations and Hunger of the Howlpack.

Dismember and Tragic Slip being in Standard limit his applications, obviously, so he’s unlikely to set the world on fire, but I don’t think that this is a bad card by any stretch of the imagination.

Another well designed, balanced rare for limited, with potential constructed applications.

Scorned Villager

Little Red Riding Hood turns into the Big Bad Wolf. TWIST!!!

Reminiscent of Joraga Treespeaker, but less good. I don’t think there’s a deck that wants this in constructed. Not with access to Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elves and Avacyn’s Pilgrim in the mix.

Presumably pretty good in the Big Green decks that want to cast their Spined Wurmy type guys faster.

Getting from 1 mana to 3 is far better than skipping from 2 to 4, but as I said, there’s a place for him in most limited decks. It’s definitely a Werewolf that you want to let your opponent flip, rather than actively trying to do so yourself, but if he does flip on Turn 2, you can start dropping bombs, which can never be bad.

Somberwald Dryad

A Grizzly Bear with marginal upside. I miss Yavimaya Dryad. That card was sweet.

Strangleroot Geist

This card is the real deal. The GG cost makes it so that it’s not going to be too widely played outside of a couple of decks, but Mono-Green has enough incentives, you can play it while making it worthwhile restricting yourself. This guy, Thrun and Dungrove Elder makes for a reasonably powerful core to a Green stompy deck. As with Geralf’s Messenger, he requires you to make a considerable commitment to a single colour, but as before, the mana is pretty good for allied pairs, so we could look to touch Red or White without too much hassle.

I like Red better, as we get Huntmaster of the Fells and Daybreak Ranger, not to mention reach in terms of burn. Also Green Sun’s Zenith and Garruk Relentless are likely to make an appearance.

One of the top 5 cards in the set. Not close.

I love that the Infect mechanic, and Black Sun’s Zenith and co have been really punished in this set by the undying guys. Black Suns Zenith can literally never kill an Undying creature. Wonder if that was their intention or not? Certainly make Day of Judgment a lot more attractive.

Tracker’s Instincts

Creature Mulch. Guess it’s pretty good in the UGx Splinterfright decks that are in block, and might end up spilling into Standard as well. Most of these decks don’t particularly care about what they’re getting, it’s just about feeding the graveyard, so I guess it’s another piece of the puzzle for that deck.

Ulvenwald Bear

Behind the curve, unless you can reliably trigger Morbid. Grey Ogres are always welcome though. He doesn’t have any business near a constructed deck, but he’ll see a lot of limited play. Fo Sho.

Village Survivors

4/5 for 5 is pretty good, and the Fateful Hour mechanic makes this guy a lot better. I’m really impressed with this guy in limited. Vigilance is quite an unusual ability for a Green card to have. To be fair, I’m impressed with a lot of the Green cards in limited this time around. Prey Upon is one of the best removal spells Green has ever had, but if you pair up with any non-blue colour and play fatties plus removal, you’ll be in pretty good shape.



People will be trying to make this work. People will fail. People are comparing this to Vengevine. People like Coldplay. People are idiots.

It’s fine, but it’s no Vengevine. This isn’t the missing piece in any puzzle. With cards like Vengevine, you didn’t look at it and say ‘Man, that second ability will come in handy sometimes’, you said ‘Man, how can I get these into my graveyard as fast as possible to cheat them out’.

Doesn’t even have haste. Why doesn’t it have haste?

I can’t see this outside of any archetype bar Birthing Pod, and even then, Acidic Slime is better.

Wild Hunger

Another Giant Growth effect. You pay over the odds on both occasions, but I love that a spell like this has Flashback. More stuff for my opponents to consider makes me happy.

And it gives trample. Sweet!

Wolfbitten Captive

I think this is a trap card. Most of the flip cards get better when they transform, but this guy actually gets worse. He’s pretty sweet as a Basking Rootwalla, and I guess he’s ok in the late game in his furry state, but this guy is better off trapped in the cage.

Young Wolf

More stuff for a green stompy deck. Nice use of the undying mechanic, on a constructed playable card. Pretty good way to round off Green the cards.

See you on the next one,




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