Dark Ascension is the second set in the Innistrad block. You can read our Innistrad Multiplayer review if you haven’t already done so.
As a second set, Dark Ascension continues the themes of Innistrad, while adding a few twists of its own.
Double-faced cards: These return, but in different guises. The werewolves are back, but some now have abilities that trigger when they transform from human to werewolf or back again, adding some extra utility. There are non-werewolf creatures, as well as artifact and even a transforming enchantment. The werewolves retain the same trigger to transform as they had in Innistrad, making them somewhat unreliable at the multiplayer table. The new triggered abilities do make them more dangerous though.
Undying: This is a new creature ability, and gives ythe creatures with it some protection from Wrath of God type spells, seen all too often at the multiplayer table. When a creature with Undying hits the graveyward, it will return with a +1/+1 counter on it, as long as it didn’t ahve a +1/+1 counter on it when it died. So your creatures don’t only come back, they come back stronger.
Increasing: There are five Increasing spells, one for each colour. These spells have an effect that is doubled if you cast them from your graveyard with flashback.
Fateful Hour: A series of spells and creatures with this ability get an extra effect if you are at five life or less. At the multiplayer table, it’s probably not going to help you.
Captains: There were four new creature type ‘captains’ printed in this set; a blue/white spirit, a blue/black zombie, a black/red vampire, and a red/green wolf that also helps werewolves by stopping them from transforming back to their human form.
Ten Useful cards
1. Curse of Exhaustion. A white curse that stops the player from casting more then one spell per turn. Great for slowing down opponents who are moving too fast.
2. Increasing Ambition. A Demonic Tutor effect that is doubled when you cast it with flashback can give you the cards you want when you need them.
3. Tragic Slip. A simple spell that gives -1/-1 unless a creature died this turn, in which case it gives -13/-13!
4. Faithless Looting. Draw two cards for one red mana? Yes, please!
5. Moonveil Dragon. This mythic dragon can booster your whole army, great for a red mage with lots of creatures on the battlefield.
6. Young Wolf. A deceptively aggressive one-mana wolf.
7. Drogskol Captain. Gives a huge boost to any spirit based creature deck.
8. Immerwolf. A ‘captain’ card that gives a bonus to wolves and werewolves, making both decks playable in multiplayer.
10. Vault of the Archangel. A land that can gives all your creatures lifelink and deathtouch.
Dark Ascension has some good cards for multiplayer decks, over and above those highlighted above. As usual, buying random packs does not pay off for long, but getting hold of some of the key commons and uncommons from this set at least would be worthwhile. Also we may see some Wolf Tribal decks coming out.