Fateful Hour is a mechanic introduced in Dark Ascension that exists only on 7 cards, 5 white and 2 green.
Fateful Hour triggers when you have 5 or less life. The list of cards with Fateful Hour is here. Personally, I find it to be an interesting mechanic, but it’s not very consistent, and most of the cards with Fateful Hour aren’t very impressive. The only ones that see play are Thraben Doomsayer and Gather the Townsfolk.
Note:I now consider the book closed on Dark Ascension rare card reviews since I covered Zombie Apocalypse in my Game Day promo card review and was disgusted by its existence, despite its “coolness in the binder” aspect.
I really wanted Werewolves to be good. Perhaps I asked too much of Wizards to make them a playable archetype. Guess what? Avacyn Restored only crapped on them. This didn’t realize surprise me, and I unloaded these guys pretty quickly at little cost to myself. It’s too bad, because if Werewolves were ever to take off, this little 1-drop could make some serious noise. Considering that he could still have some value in a Green/White Human deck, maybe he’s not all that bad… but wait…
He’s a flip card! Now while this would not be such an awful thing if Mayor of Avabruck was one of the star cards of Standard, the Mayor is no longer in office and Angels are flying all over the place and other Humans are shining really bright lights on the werewolves turning them back into boring old Humans. I don’t know about the bright lights part, but two or more spells cast in a turn is suddenly sort of relevant. He’s got a powerful flip side considering his low mana cost, yes, but this isn’t really particularly useful outside a deck built around Werewolves.
There is good news, however. It’s been rumored that Scars block is going to rotate out with the Return of Ravnica later this year! Actually, that’s not really a rumor… so will this card yet again find relevance? Well, it wasn’t particularly relevant in the first place, or really in high demand at all, but that could certainly change, given whatever M13 and R.o.R, plus the loss of four sets worth of cards does to the Standard landscape. I want to believe that werewolves will find relevance eventually and not be some cute little thing that Wizards tinkered with for a set or two. We will see, but man, I really wanted this to be part of a Top 8 deck… I must continue to dream and embrace the Limited format…
Ah, only if Black-White tokens with Sorin were actually a really, really good deck… well, actually they are! Let’s just say Vault of the Archangel is a pretty good reason why said deck is competitive. While 2WB seems like a high cost to pay for a tap ability, the fact that it can greatly change the complexion of the game in one swing is quite relevant. All creatures you control gain deathtouch and lifelink. Suddenly swinging for the fences is an awfully good strategy if you have this card to back you up. It makes people think about how they’re going to block or if they’re even going to block. I’ve always loved cards that both toy with your opponent and can give you that decisive push for game simultaneously. This is one of those cards, and if you play black and white together in a deck, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of these in your library.
I really, really like this card. Not only is he an absolute pest in Limited, but his Fateful Hour ability is, believe it or not, a lot more relevant than you think. While Doomsayer is really little more than a 2/2 token pooper otherwise, he is extremely good at what he does. Again, with how good humans are right now, Doomsayer is certainly a guy worth considering in a token-based Human deck.
There are many rares in Dark Ascension that are particularly not fun to review. Thalia is certainly an exception. While she does not tend to be a main-deck option, she is a major thorn in the side of control type decks whenever one has to face her boarded in. She herself is not bad, a 2/1 with first strike for 1W. With all of the Human support with which the Innistrad block hath blessed us, Thalia is becoming more and more relevant. She’s currently (as of this writing) a five-dollar card. I don’t think that with the rotation this price will remain constant. I think you need to hand over that 20 dollar bill now and grab your playset.
I don’t have to go into how ridiculously insane Sudden Disappearance is in Limited. Not only do you get a possible swing in for game with this card, but even then, your opponent literally has NOTHING on the board during their next turn until the very end. It goes to show how much the Wizards of the Coast developers put into sets that seem to only benefit the Limited format. Let’s admit that the draft format is perhaps the most commonly played form of Magic the Gathering. So if you were at a draft or sealed deck to open this card, then you’d be pretty happy. It’s fair to say if you get passed this, you got a steal. You don’t have to commit to White with this card, as it’s only got a single White mana symbol in its cost. That 6 mana will be worth the investment by the time this card is needed, too.
Now let’s look from a competitive Magic player’s or collector’s point of view… this card is crap, and unless I pulled a foil Gather the Townsfolk, foil Think Twice or one of the uncommon Lord cards, that pack is a total dud. This card has next to no relevance in Constructed formats. This isn’t to say it’s not a fun little trick in EDH to take out an annoying player at the table, but that’s really the only real use it has outside of Limited. Still, you have to give the set designers credit. At least it has a purpose. I just don’t ever want to see another one in a pack opened by me in a non-Limited environment.
Honestly, Predator Ooze has not gotten a lot of love. I know he’s a three-drop needing green mana. So what? That isn’t particularly difficult with dual lands and Birds of Paradise running amok, but to get him out on a consistent basis, mono-green seems to be his perfect home. I think the reason this innocent Ooze gets overlooked is that he’s not particularly exciting. He’s only a 1/1. However, he is indestructible. The fact that you can’t kill this guy in battle is pretty absurd. Your opponent absolutely has to waste a removal spell on him. Add to that as soon as he swings that he immediately gains a +1/+1 counter. On top of that, when a creature dealt damage by him dies, the Ooze gets yet ANOTHER +1/+1 counter.
I’m not the biggest fan of Dark Ascension as a set, especially when it comes to its non mythic rares, but I think Predator Ooze is a sleeper card. I can see him becoming very relevant when Scars block rotates out, so you may want to pick up your copies on the cheap before he becomes a mono-green menace.
Here at Win Target Game, we like to finish what we start, and considering that the Dark Ascension rare card reviews has stalled at Lost in the Woods, it remains to be seen what other rare cards there might be actually worth reviewing. In light of this, let’s take a look at a good (if not spectacular) card.
I am personally a huge fan of the Vampires in Magic the Gathering. While I’m pretty sick of vampires in popular culture in general (cough, Twilight, cough) I must say I’ve always been a fan of the cards in the Vampire archetype of MTG. Markov Blademaster is a very nice card for the Vampire deck, indeed. However, this 1RR 1/1 creature with double strike is not merely another card for a Vampire deck. Not only does he have double strike, but whenever she deals combat damage to a player, you put a +1/+1 counter on her. Pretty sweet.
Now how viable is she in Standard play? Considering we have quite a few decent one-drops in the format that can either go head-to-head or over her (Stromkirk Noble and Vexing Devils come to mind), a 1/1 with double strike is not incredibly relevant. She’s a nice card, but hardly a money one. I’m still a fan.
Lost in the Woods is yet another gimmicky Dark Ascension rare, but unlike Jar of Eyeballs, this is a much more useful rare. In a mono-green deck, Lost in the Woods can be very helpful, turning what may be dead Forest draws into negating opponent’s attacks. Considering the powerful beasts that mono-Green has, this card can essentially lock-down your opponent if it’s played right. Trouble is, mono-green doesn’t really need the board control, and it only stops one creature at a time. It’s not the greatest of enchantments, but it’s a better card than Jar of Eyeballs, and it’s okay in casual play.
Today we take a look at one of the more gimmicky rare cards in Dark Ascension, Jar of Eyeballs. It’s a flavorful card, but essentially all it does is let you dig into your deck for one card. It’s certainly useful in EDH, but otherwise, it’s not really that playable or necessary as a tutor in your typical Constructed deck. In EDH, it’s possible that you could get a good deal of “eyeball” counters on it, but there are far more useful tutor cards available. Then again, if you’re not running black in your deck, this could be one to consider if you’re needing to dig for that one combo piece in your combo EDH deck.