Why isn't this card banned?

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
Serra Ascendant. 6/6 lifelink, flier, first turn? Seems over powered to me.


Usually running out a turn 1 Serra Ascendant against 2 or more players is a bad idea. It turns the table against you, is fairly easy to stop, and requires quite a few turns to kill someone with it.

Its not bad in EDH, but like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, being played against multiple opponents just makes it so much worse. (And Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are waaay better than Serra Ascendant) 
I have found the secret of posting sigs! Kablooie's symbol Palette: 2U 
I suppose I see your point. Just a shocker card when I seen it come out right away.
I suppose I see your point. Just a shocker card when I seen it come out right away.



It is a bomb on the first few turns, but overall not superpowered.  It is rather easy to destroy and unless everyone in your group runs it then seeing it turns 1 or 2 should be rare unless the guy is actively mulling for it or stacking his deck.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
I suppose I see your point. Just a shocker card when I seen it come out right away.



ALso, in a 100 card singelton format, its not that likely that you'll have it on your first turn. Its till a good card, and most white duel-EDH decks i know runs it.

-The place you really wants to be scared of it is in 2 Headed Giant.
I suppose I see your point. Just a shocker card when I seen it come out right away.



It is a bomb on the first few turns, but overall not superpowered.

Even then only when you're not playing multiplayer.

...Seems over powered to me.



These are precisely the kind of card you want to be playing. The 'broken' card- ones that actually ruin games- are mostly all banned. What we're left with are the overpowered Necropotences and Sol Rings of the magic world to fill our decks with.

3DH4LIF3

The question I think you should be asking is why isnt Felidar Sovereign banned?

Of corse, I have no problem with either cards. Turn 1 Ascendant usually results in that player being the first to die.
Yeah, Serra Ascendant draws hate in multiplayer EDH, but in 1-on-1, when not dealt with, could swing a game in it's owners direction. I honestly don't like the card but complaining about it is like complaining about Magister Sphinx or Sorin Markov and they're nowhere near to be banned.
My EDH decks: Azusa, Lost but Seeking

My group often plays with the Planechase variant rules, which leads to crazy first-turn plays: roll chaos The Aether Flues, drop a turn one Darksteel Colossus; two lucky rolls at Shiv, ten power's worth of dragons. Neither of the lucky players in the scenarios mentioned went on to win those games they were involved in. The creatures they recieved on the cheap still weren't able to deal enough damage before someone was able to find an answer to them. And then the retribution came...

Getting an early Sundering Titan or Eldrazi titan would have been a bit different, as those creatures would have disrupted more than just life totals, and left lasting effects on the board even after they were answered.

Serra Ascendant's problem is that it just effects life totals. It's really efficient, but the extra damage it has to deal to multiple opponents with inflated life totals more than compensates for it's insane power-to-mana ratio. If it were smaller, but had a relevant disruption ability that 'turned on' by having 30 life, it would have beenn much more likely to get banned.

there is a difference between very good and ban worthly
I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
@michelous: "there is a difference between very good and ban worthly"


Soooo true. Unfortunately Serra Ascendant isn't either. It just wasn't designed with that format in mind so it just warps it a little tiny bit. It's not the end of the world either so IMHO we sholud let it be.
My EDH decks: Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Great way to put "Target" on your forehead.
I play all colours at one point but Black, Red and Blue are my favourites. Canadian, Eh! Insanity is my theme! dummy2205's Comprehensive Index of Generals
I still feel that any card that relies on you having an increased life total in normal Magic should use the percentage increase rather than the listed value in formats where you start with more life.

For example, a card that rewards you for reaching 40 life in normal magic, where you start with 20, wants a 100% increase. So in a format where you start with 40 life, you would need 80 life for the card to reward you.

At the very least, it should need 60 life (i.e. that you have gained 20).

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
I still feel that any card that relies on you having an increased life total in normal Magic should use the percentage increase rather than the listed value in formats where you start with more life.

For example, a card that rewards you for reaching 40 life in normal magic, where you start with 20, wants a 100% increase. So in a format where you start with 40 life, you would need 80 life for the card to reward you.

At the very least, it should need 60 life (i.e. that you have gained 20).

~ Tim



No. Percentages easily results in players having to use a calculator and that doesn't seem wise.
IMAGE(http://www.projektstarwars.de/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=16432&dateline=1299412590) Fallen Star Verlag Play Legacy! Decks: Legacy Natural Order/Hulk EDH Iname, Death Aspect / Rosheen Meanderer Casual Elves! I petition for the removal of the mythic rarity.
No. Percentages easily results in players having to use a calculator and that doesn't seem wise.


What cards would need a calculator?

30 life = starting life + 50% = 60 life in EDH
40 life = starting life x 2 = 80 life in EDH
50 life = starting life x 2.5 = 100 life in EDH

I didnt need a calculator...

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
So lightning bolt now does 6 dmg, huh? IMHO that's broken logic. If the Ascendant is being problematic for you, just opt to ban it in your LGS and problem solved.
My EDH decks: Azusa, Lost but Seeking
So lightning bolt now does 6 dmg, huh? IMHO that's broken logic.


I feel like you deliberately missed my point. I was talking about cards that reward you for increasing your life total above its normal starting level.

How many cards say "if you have 20 life, win the game" (or similar)? Im going to guess that its none, since staying at your starting life total isnt that big an achievement.

~ Tim

I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
Sorry if i sounded too cheeky - i'm polish so english is not my native language I got your point allright, though. I just think the change you suggest wouldn't be fair because to be honest every card that's related in any way to increasing/decreasing or simply just to the amount of life a player has would need to be altered by same percentage to maintain balance. Why doesn't anybody play beforementioned Lightning Bolt in EDH? Because it's inefficient. OTOH playing Serra Ascendant is overly efficient. It's just EDH, some cards were not designed with the format in mind and we need to deal with it.
My EDH decks: Azusa, Lost but Seeking
No. Percentages easily results in players having to use a calculator and that doesn't seem wise.


What cards would need a calculator?

30 life = starting life + 50% = 60 life in EDH
40 life = starting life x 2 = 80 life in EDH
50 life = starting life x 2.5 = 100 life in EDH

I didnt need a calculator...

~ Tim



For instance if serra ascendent and something that lowers p/t is on the board at the same time. Something like heartless summoning for instance. There you'd need percentages to keep the cards interacting in a similar way they do normally.
IMAGE(http://www.projektstarwars.de/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=16432&dateline=1299412590) Fallen Star Verlag Play Legacy! Decks: Legacy Natural Order/Hulk EDH Iname, Death Aspect / Rosheen Meanderer Casual Elves! I petition for the removal of the mythic rarity.
we doubled the life values on cards like that in my play group a long time ago, and to be honest it seems really really stupid to do so imo. We also changed cards like Sorin Markov which is now a worthless card in our group (since dropping someone to 20 is nowhere near as powerful as dropping someone to 10).

so basically: Dont change these totals. If you cant play with them, then you should re-evaluate your decks so you can deal with the cards as is. Coming from experience, changing these totals can turn good cards into useless cards that you would never want to play with.
For instance if serra ascendent and something that lowers p/t is on the board at the same time. Something like heartless summoning for instance. There you'd need percentages to keep the cards interacting in a similar way they do normally.



No, you don't.  Serra Ascendent requires 30 life normally to get powered up.  This is in no way related to its power/toughness.  It could be a 20/20, it could be a 0/0.  Irrelevant.  It says 30 life, so that means 50% more than the starting life total.  Though, personally, for something like SA or Felidar Sovereign, something that requires gaining life, I prefer to take an additive approach over a multiplicitive one.  The requirement of 30 life would therefore read as "10 more than the starting total" thereby maintaining the gain 10 life requirement over your starting total it would normally have.

Where I play though, for multiplayer, we just play them as written.  People who play cheese though get clobbered as a result.

A bettet fix would be to alter starting life totals to 30. Then the ascendant starts active but is easier to bump down.

3DH4LIF3

A bettet fix would be to alter starting life totals to 30. Then the ascendant starts active but is easier to bump down.


I'd rather conduct a campaign for banning Serra Ascendant in my LGS than opt to decrease life totals. 40 is a well tuned number iMHO and there's no point in decreasing it, especially because of cards like SA or FS.
My EDH decks: Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Percentage assumes that it is easier to to gain life in EDH, and that is not the case.  If there is an increase it should be the difference between the target number and the starting life.  So Ascendant would be 50, not 60.  The intent of the card is that before it gets it full p/t the player must gain 10 life, and gaining 10 life is the same in EDH as it is in any other game.

This does not go for cards that set your life at an amount lower than the start point.  These should not be altered at all.  If a card sets your life to 10 you are just as close to loosing (due to life loss) as if you began the game with 20,40, or 240.  If I am playing a normal game and I get dropped to 10 life I can be killed by two hits from Keiga, which is no with EDH.
Hmm, in my playgroup, which I introduced to EDH, before it was called Commander, we just doubled the wincon life totals and left everything the same, infect needs 20 poison counters, felidar sovereign needs 80 life, etc. Everything else, Sorin, Serra Ascendant, blah, blah, blah, is left the same, and this works pretty well, so its what I'd recomend doing, serra ascendant isnt that powerful in EDH, you start at double your normal life so its not like 6 ddamage will hurt you that much, and almost any black kill spell, whiteremoval, or blue lockdown will disable it.
People who complain about cards like SA are the people that get kicked out of my school's MTG club...
Serveral people in my EDH group, Including myself, run Serra's Acendant.  I have personally only cast it turn one 2 mabey 3 times,  and I dont recall any of my friends droping it t1 any more frequently.

I draw a lot of hate in my group, and have been on the recieving end of most of those t1 SA's that have droped.  some times, i had the StP or path, once, I ate 6 for 4 turns in a row until I drew damnation.   But never once, have I lost because of a t1 SA, or as a resault of one.      Even in the game i found myself at 18 on turn 6,  I killed the stupid thing, stabilzed, and joined in on the dogpile attack on the guy who had 64 life on turn 6.......

This is not ment as condecending, though i know in print it comes across in that way,  but if you cant deal with a singular creature, with no native protection, you should reevaluate your build, because could just as easily loose to a goblin welder, mother of runes,  fauna shaman, or any number of cheap creatures that are just good.


as for Felidar Soverign, my wife has played that card since she packed one, she has cast it numerous times, many of those times with 40 or more life.  She has one exactly one game with it, just one, because a friend of ours counterspelled the removal spell aimed at it because, and i qoute "i wanna see that card win a game at least once in my life, even if its not me"

Same rule applies to him as the acendant.  It is just a creature, and you really should be able to kill a creature.  I can understand getting caught with something from time to time,  Ive lost plenty of times to the SUPRIZE! Insurrection, but if you have gotten so hot about it that you wrote a thread to complain, I can only assume it happens at least semi regularly.  If you regularly find yourself unable to deal with a creature like that, then you need to adjust your deck and stratigy to compinsate.

:For autocarding, write [ c ] card name [ / c ] You can also do [*c=lightning bolt]'Bolt[/c*] to get 'Bolt sigged because I always forget to do it
my friend dropped one on me turn one yesterday in a 1v1 and got me down to 4 before my mesmeric orb milled my filigree sages and i was able to reanimate it and combo out.  So its tough sometimes but beatable.  I have removal but just couldnt draw it lol.  Probably just a sign i need more cheap targeted stuff.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
Sign In to post comments