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Magic: The Gathering – Dark Ascension - Board Game Box Shot

Magic: The Gathering – Dark Ascension

| Published: 2012
Expansion for Magic: The Gathering
69 0 2
Magic: The Gathering Dark Ascension Expansion Set title

Command the Night
Innistrad has been overrun by creatures of the night. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies run wild across the land. While the forces of good struggle to hold back the threat, villagers cower behind walls and pray for the morning light. In this nightmare world of monsters and dark magic, only the most powerful Planeswalkers will survive.

Magic: The Gathering - Dark Ascension booster pack Collector's Highlights
  • Dark Ascension features 158 black-bordered cards, including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set.
  • It is available in booster packs, intro packs, and fat packs.
  • As with Innistrad, Dark Ascension brings double-faced cards to Magic.
images © Wizards of the Coast

User Reviews (3)

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Mask of Agamemnon
The Gold Heart
Cooperative Game Explorer
23 of 26 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 3
“Humanity begins to perish...”

Dark Ascension continues the storyline of Innistrad on the plane of the same name. Thematically, the plane is still plagued by Werewolves, Zombies, Vampires, Ghosts and other creatures of the night. The set puts a stronger emphasis on these creature types, such as providing a lord for each of them. Meanwhile, the humans are on the verge of extinction and have to take desperate measures to stem the tide. All the major mechanics of the previous set, including Double-faced cards, return.

Innistrad is a plane of menace and dread where every creature hides a darker aspect. Here, hedonistic vampires stalk the shadows to quench their thirst, and the full moon can transform a simple villager into a savage werewolf. Best to huddle inside, Planeswalker, lest the horrors of this world rend you limb from limb.

The set introduces a new keyword mechanic in Undying. It functions very similar to Persist, but instead of -1/-1 counters, it adds a +1/+1 counter to the creature when it returns from the grave.

Fateful hour is a new ability word, which scales up an effect if the controller of the effect is at 5 life or less.

Double-faced cards return with this set, further showcasing the transformation mechanic. Flashback, Morbid and Curses also return.

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Gamer - Level 8
Expert Recruiter
Count / Countess Beta 1.0 Tester
33 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“An excellent set with great cards and thematic mechanics”

Dark Ascension is the second set in the Innistrad block (Innistrad was the first set, and Avacyn Restored will follow in May 2012), and it continues the horror theme that was so well started in the first set. It is a small set at 158 cards, as is typical for the second set in a block, and for those who play draft games, it drafts with Innistrad (meaning you would open three packs of this along with three of Innistrad).

The new mechanics introduced are Fateful Hour and Undying. Fateful Hour defines effects that start when your life total is five or less, and Undying means that as long as the creature did not have any +1/+1 counters on it when put into a graveyard from the battlefield, it returns with a +1/+1 counter on it. The mechanics strongly convey the horror theme of the set, I feel.

The primary tribes represented in this set are humans, vampires, werewolves and zombies. Others are present, of course, but these represent the primary conflict on the plane of Innistrad. The backstory is great, and ties in with the primary planeswalker, Sorin. Sorin Markov, by the way, gets a makeover… the version of him that is present is Sorin, Lord of Innistrad. This is an excellent card and is a no-brainer to include in any Black/White deck.

Aside from Sorin, there are some great cards here. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is a Black zombie cleric (an updated version of Mikaeus , the lunarch) that gives all non-humans +1/+1 and Undying… a Mythic rare deserving of the designation. Feed the Pack is an excellent Green that allows you to sacrifice a creature and put in a number of 2/2 wolf tokens equal to the creature’s toughness, which is great for a Green token deck. Additionally, there are a few double-sided transforming cards that are fun (and each pack contains at least one).

All in all, I like this set. The theme is fun and I am alreqady modifying my favorite Commander deck to include some of these cards. I seriously believe that the Innistrad block is my favorite to date, with a possible exclusion of Zendikar.

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16 of 25 gamers found this helpful
“The Jar Jar Binks of MtG”

MtG collecting can be frustrating but attempting to keep up with game mechanics can be more so. Both of these frustrations I accept as part of the game’s character and my own completionist addiction. But when the new 2-sided cards came out l nearly boycotted the set (right after buying one booster box to score the planeswalker I wanted, I AM an addict after all).

I really didnt like this gimmick, just as much as I don’t like it’s floppy eared equivalent. It felt too cute. Too commercialized, if that is even possible for a commercial product. I realize buying the booster box only helped exasperate the problem.

Then I tried PLAYING it.

I must admit the gameplay of Dark Ascension isn’t horrible. The planeswalkers are interesting and valuable, and, as much as it pains me, the 2-sided cards bring a clever dynamic that forces even veteran players to take a moment to rethink strategies.

The best thing about MtG is that you don’t have to fork out fifty bucks or more to check it out. Single boosters are cheap and the event decks are worth every penny for the playability and cards included. Go ahead and give it a look.


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