– Ravnica Allegiance
February 25, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Simic Ascendancy is very much like Chance Encounter and other similar cards, with one important difference. Older cards with alternate condition-based victories tended to ask you to meet their conditions using only other cards. Simic Ascendancy’s ability to distribute +1/+1 counters means that it can always (theoretically) have an impact on a game regardless of how many growth counters it ends up with, and that you can even use it in decks that have no intention of winning through twenty growth counters. It’s worth noting that making creatures stronger makes the game more likely to end through creature damage and less likely to end through Simic Ascendancy’s unique condition; having said that, a deck built around it that deliberately avoids winning by attacking might be interesting. Walls would not only help defend you long enough for it to trigger, but give you resilient targets for its ability which in turn get better at defending the longer the game goes on.
An alternate win con…always fun in Magic.
Simic Ascendancy is an intriguing card at first glance…one well-suited to take advantage of all three Simic mechanics from Ravnica blocks past and present. Get it down, get some +1/+1 counters, and win. Eventually. It even offers the ability to put counters on your creatures by using its own ability.
So, that’s the fun. The downside is that, as you might imagine, it is slow. It’d work better as part of the package with which you try to win the game than a singular win condition…twenty +1/+1 counters is not insignificant, and while it’s cheap enough to not burn a turn on it, Simic Ascendancy does nothing when you cast it (unless you’re on 5 mana).
I think it can work; it’s an intriguing way to try and win the game as a back-up win condition. But it’s poor as a singular focus in a deck, and there are certainly ways to thwart an attempted win with Simic Ascendancy…like enchantment removal.
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