Tales of the Squire – Looking into Dark Ascension

As most of you know, Dark Ascension is being spoiled daily and so far some cards have been pretty awesome and some other cards have not been that great, but that is what Magic is. If Wizards did not print bad cards, what else would I last pick in draft? I have been trying my best to keep up with the spoilers and try to give you folks something to read about and to learn about what cards I feel are going to be good and what cards aren’t.  So let us dive right in and talk about some cards.



This card is being hyped up a lot and people keep saying ‘this card is going to ruin formats and blah blah’. I originally was caught up in this hype, but then I thought rationally about it and came to my own conclusions.  This card is good, but I think people are getting way too into the power of the card.  Graffdigger’s Cage can be played in every format and actually have some relevance.  The Standard theme right now is using the graveyard and Cage is an answer to those strategies.  You cannot cast Unburial Rites getting back your Sun Titan, you cannot flash anything back with Snapcaster Mage, and the new ‘Undying’ mechanic does not work. So right there, Standard is dead…well not really. Cage is a card that can cause all of those things, but realize that there is artifact hate in standard right now, and counters, and decks should not need the graveyard to win anyway.  Snapcaster can still get into the red zone and Sun Titan can still get back non-creatures from the graveyard.  Shutting off ‘Undying’ does not just make creatures horrible. We have not seen everything that has Undying, but creatures are still good regardless of having it.  Modern is a format that, while does exist, I have sort of put it off and just given up on it. I have not been able to find consistent Modern tournaments and if I decide to play a PTQ or GP during Modern season, I will just find a deck online and make it my own.

In eternal formats Cage does have some other powerful effects. Dredge is a deck, but it does not see that much play, so a card killing Dredge does not really mean a whole lot. Dredge still exists in Legacy and Vintage even though Wizards keeps printing cards to hurt it. (See: Leyline of the Void and Relic of Progenitus).  Dredge will keep on doing what it does and if people really want to play it, they will play it.  Again, Snapcaster is much worse, Green Sun’s Zenith is useless along with Natural Order, and Reanimator is taking a hit.  But just like Standard, Legacy has answers, and a lot more of them.  The card pool is huge so I do not think that Cage will do as much as people are saying. People will just play safe decks for a while, Cage will stop seeing play and then those decks will pop up again.  So really, Grafdigger’s Cage is a card that will have an impact on the formats but nothing as serious as Jace, the Mind Sculptor had on Standad and Mental Misstep had on Legacy.  Financially, I do not think this card will continue to rise in price, because the set is small and will be opened a lot and the fact that Cage is just a rare means people will open a lot of them.  I may be wrong, but we will see.

Who doesn’t love a zombie cleric? I sure do, and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is a good one.



This card is straight up cool and I do love the flavor that exists between the original Mikaeus and this one.  Mikaeus can definitely be a problem card in standard, but unfortunately, I do not think it will be right now.  The Titan cycle is pretty darn good and they only cost 2 of their respective color while Mikaeus is costing triple black to cast.  There is some talk of him being used in a Birthing Pod deck because Undying means you can sacrifice your dude and then get him right back.  So that is a pretty sweet idea, but then everybody remembers that Pod is just bad.  I’m not saying that people will not play the deck because they surely will.

Mikaeus also can do some crazy things with Triskelion by, you know, killing everything and everyone. If you don’t know how this works then listen up baby birds, I’ll feed you. Triskelion comes in with his 3 +1/+1 counters and if you have Mikaeus out you just shoot something twice and then the Triskelion shoots himself for 1 damage, so he dies. Then he comes back in with Mikaeus and has 4 counters. You shoot three times and then himself and just repeat.  So that is actually something that can happen in Modern and even Commander.  I think Tooth and Nail is something that will see a lot of play because of the possibilities that it has.

Finally, lets talk Planeswalkers.



Sorin is definitely a good card.  He does what Planeswalkers want to do.  He protects himself while going up in loyalty. Starting at 3 loyalty is not something that is a bad thing.  He can immediately lose two loyalty to get you your emblem to give your creatures that extra boost.  If you do manage to ultimate him you do get some serious advantage.  You can manage some serious board position, especially if you steal some of their Planeswalkers.  I think right now Sorin’s pricetag is a bit too high, but he is a card that will be going into my cube and will see some play in BW token decks or something that just swarms.  Also look at how badass he is? He is holding a crazy sword and the background is all magical. I’m not a total art junky but he looks sweet. Hoping to open a foil one for my cube.


Look towards the future for more talk on Dark Ascension

[Editor’s note: In the meantime check out our Dark Ascension Preorder page in our Singles Marketplace here.]


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