Ascendant Packleader – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Wolf/Werewolf decks had been looking for a reasonable one-drop, and Ascendant Packleader sort of helps to fit the bill that way. A 2/1 that comes in with upside later and grows bigger in a late-game is a lot of potential value packed into one creature…though; in reality, where it’s done the most damage is as part of a low-to-the-ground green shell with only a handful of pricey things in there. Still, it’s an aggressive clock that goes for the throat early and often, and it has a bit more late-game leverage than most of those early clock cards do. Just be mindful of its limitations, and you’ll do just fine with it.
Commander [EDH]: 3
A creature with nothing but upside to put in your mono green stompy deck? Why yes please! A 2/1 for one green mana is already a steal but it has the potential to enter the battlefield if you control a 4+ mana value PERMANENT as a 3/2 for one green mana. On top of that, you keep casting your beefy creatures and this creature keeps getting +1/+1 counters on it! In commander this will pair well with Sarulf, Realm Eater decks or any stompy deck really but Sarulf utilizes the counters so it’s a for sure add in there. All around this is a great card and you’ll be sure to want to grab a copy for yourself or a playset if you play anything creature related using green in constructed! In limited you’ll want to grab this and splash green, there is nothing but upside here for one green mana and a creature that can only get bigger!
Commander [EDH]: 4.5/5
You’ve got to like any one-cost creature that remains relevant in the late game. While Ascendant Packleader is dependent on other cards in your deck to do so, green is absolutely rolling in good creatures (and permanents generally) in the four-to-six cost range, so it’s not like it’s much of a sacrifice. There’s an inherent tension in this card’s design: although some of green’s most famous tournament decks had a very low curve, it’s really more of a midrange color than a blitz aggro color, and the Packleader clearly has a foot in both camps. This can lead to some deckbuilding problems if you’re not careful, but the promise of such a cheap card that keeps on growing as your deck does what it wanted to do anyway is very enticing. That’s basically what Tarmogoyf is, after all.
It also strikes me that if you’re playing with Leylines, the Packleader will enter as a 3/2 even on the first turn. I feel like that must have been intentional.
Commander [EDH]: 3/5 (this is easily the most Commander-relevant one-cost creature we’ve seen in a long time)
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