30, Mar, 22

Is Ascend Good In Commander?

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Is getting ten permanents in play something worth building around?
Article at a Glance

We’re back again to talk about yet another of the many mechanics in Magic: The Gathering, and whether or not it’s a good one to play around with in Commander.

This time around we’re talking about ascend, a mechanic from back on Ixalan that gives you benefits if you’ve got enough permanents out on the battlefield. With Commander games going longer it’s not a bad fit at all, but let’s take a look at the best cards with the keyword itself, and the cards that can help you get the most out of it.

The best ascend cards in Commander

The best cards with ascend tend to be the ones in higher rarities. We’ve already talked about Twilight Prophet a fair bit, and that’s a great example. However, taking extra turns is always a good thing, and if you’ve got ways to make clones of a card or search it up from your library, then Timestream Navigator can allow you to completely take over a game.

Vona’s Hunger is an excellent instant that will, at worst, have each opponent sacrificing a creature, and at best, have everyone else sacrificing half their creatures instead. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most potent choices you can go with. We also love Arch of Orazca, which can be a useful mana sink and card drawing engine no matter what color of deck you’re playing.

One of the key things about ascend is making sure you can actually get permanents out onto the battlefield, and one of our favorite ways of doing that also happens to have ascend. Tilonalli’s Summoner reads, “Whenever Tilonalli’s Summoner attacks, you may pay X and one red mana. If you do, create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens that are tapped and attacking. At the beginning of the next end step, exile those tokens unless you have the city’s blessing.” Being able to swing in with an army is amazing, but being able to swing in with an army that no longer leaves is even better.

Read More: This Red Card Is A Truly Hilarious Way To Win A Game

The best ascend support cards in Commander

With permanents being the driving factor with ascend, it’s natural to look towards ramp spells that put lands into play, and also token generation as being huge parts of this particular machine. Making sure you play a lot of cards is huge for ascend, and you’ll want to always make sure you’re getting ascend online quickly by playing cards that make Treasure tokens, or any other token at all, really.

It’s also useful to be able to activate ascend as and when you want, and that’s where cards like Secure the Wastes come in. This card is an instant that lets you pay X and one white mana to make that many 1/1 tokens. It’s a good card anyway, but it’s also a great way of suddenly turning on ascend, and surprising your opponents with all of your cards coming online fully.

Overall though, ascend is a great mechanic to have, but not a good one to build around. We’d recommend peppering the good cards into the decks you have rather than specifically making your deck all about having the City’s Blessing, but we’re also not your dad, so do what you want.

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