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Ascending

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With Dominaria fast approaching, I'd like to take a look back this week at some decks that utilize the Ascend mechanic from Rivals of Ixalan. Let's start off by taking a look at gw Ascend.

G/W Ascend


This deck is a typical gw token deck that gets added benefits once you have the city's blessing. And it certainly has all of the tools needed to flood your side of the battlefield with tokens. While I would love to see a copy or two of Anointed Procession in this deck, I get the feeling that it's better to play a card on turn four that creates tokens rather than playing an enchantment that does nothing that turn.

This deck also has a lot of ways to use its mana every turn, from creating a token with Adanto, the First Fort to Embalming creatures that have gone to your graveyard. You also have combat tricks like Appeal // Authority and Pride of Conquerors, which both work great once you have the city's blessing.

Speaking of combat tricks, one of your best targets for those spells will be Skymarcher Aspirant. Playing this creature on turn one isn't the worst thing you can do, but neither is playing it on turn ten. While it may not be a large creature, a 2/1 with flying against the right opponent could be just what's needed for you to gain the victory.

B/W Vampire Ascend

The next deck I have for you combines wb Vampires with the payoffs for ascending. Let's take a look at wb Vampires Ascend.


I really like the looks of this deck. Radiant Destiny provides +1/+1 and vigilance to all of the Vampires in this deck. That can be very detrimental to your opponents' plans to attack you considering many of your creatures will have lifelink. I also like the use of Cast Out as the removal in this deck, as it will provide another permanent for you to control when trying to reach ascension.

One thing to be careful of is sacrificing your deserts for value. You'll generally not want to do this until after you've gotten the city's blessing unless absolutely necessary.

Mardu Ascend

The next flavor of ascend deck I have for you is Mardu. Let's take a look at it.


The Mardu version of the ascend deck attempts to flood the board with tokens while still playing large threats like Hazoret the Fervent. This can be really taxing on your opponent's removal, since they'll need a way to deal with multiple smaller creatures as well as large, resilient ones.

Once again, this deck uses a swath of token producing spells to create the ten permanents needed to trigger the ascend ability on cards such as Skymarcher Aspirant. It also plays Trial of Solidarity which increases your permanent count by two when it comes into play.

Also, while this deck is mainly White, there are plenty of ways to make the necessary Red or Black mana needed for things like Hazoret or Scrapheap Scrounger. And speaking of Scrapheap Scrounger, returning this creature to the battlefield from your graveyard can be an unexpected way to trigger ascend.

B/R Ascend

The last deck I have for you today is br Ascend, and it's perhaps my favorite. Let's take a look at it.


Once again, this deck has a lot of ways to make tokens. The main difference with this deck is that some of the tokens this deck makes are Treasure tokens. Those can be used in a couple of different ways. They can either be used in their usual way for mana, or you can sacrifice them to Makeshift Munitions for that last little bit of damage needed to destroy a creature or direct damage straight to your opponent's dome.

This deck also runs a full playset of Tilonalli's Summoner, which is a great way to gain the city's blessing on its own. And even if your Tilonalli's Summoner dies when it attacks, as long as you have the city's blessing the tokens remain to be used as either attackers or blockers on following turns or possibly as fodder for Makeshift Munitions.

This deck also includes a full playset of Twilight Prophet which is a great way to gain additional cards each turn as well as acting as a source of damage to your opponent. Since it also gains you life, it's a great card to have once you're a little behind. And having a 4/2 flying blocker isn't too shabby either.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are a variety of decks you can play that try to take advantage of getting the city's blessing. While there are some similarities in many of them, they all have specific cards and strategies they employ to try to gain the victory. Do you have a favorite? Let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

--Mike Likes


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