Serra Ascendant

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Leviathan Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Iconic Masters (IMA) Rare
2011 Core Set (M11) Rare

Combos Browse all

Serra Ascendant

Creature — Human Monk

Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)

As long as you have 30 or more life, Serra Ascendant gets +5/+5 and has flying.

Serra Ascendant Discussion

Spirits on Kaalia, Mirror Breaker EDH

13 hours ago

Hey weezel,

Very cool. Did you win any of the games? Wasn't sure if you mean you won on turn 5 in the 1v1's or if the game was won. If you were going for it on T5, and winning, that's pretty good.

Depending on the Commanders in the pod, Breya, Etherium Shaper for example, Hellkite Tyrant can be quite useful (remember he has Trample to get around the Thopter army). Reya Dawnbringer is too slow, if you want the recursion, go with Adarkar Valkyrie can be responsive (protecting whats getting controlled), and has combos:

Adarkar Valkyrie + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Damage

Adarkar Valkyrie + Karmic Guide + Lightning Greaves or Dragon Tempest + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Damage

Reya Dawnbringer doesn't trigger properly and just puts your threat assessment higher when trying to combo. Maybe with a Rune-Scarred Demon and a Goblin Bombardment she would be ok, but I would probably still go with the Adarkar Valkyrie to protect Kaalia of the Vast .

Will take a while to learn how to play too, Master of Cruelties can be a powerful ally, with Instant tutor Tainted Pact . Remember, Master of Cruelties puts their life to 1 in the "declare blockers" step, and Kaalia of the Vast hits them for 2 damage eliminating the player, usually remove the highest threat or faster commander first.

Gamble is great, CMC1 tutor. I just worry on T5 it's not going to be helpful because Mardu doesn't draw well enough, so the probability of discarding the card you Tutor is very high. On T1 or T2 it's great, plus its , which if you play Badlands T1 is fine, but usually I try and build first. Still a great substitute card! Very playable in any version.

Multi-Player commander, the best commanders only win 50% of the time. Usually how it goes, is 1 person goes for it, gets Force of Will or Pact of Negation , then the next goes, same, then finally someone goes. Usually, if I have it, I go for it, figure I'll win more often that way than lose.

If your going to play Mardu , play to it's strengths, avoid putting in high CMC tools to make it into .

Orzhov Signet = + = CMC - = Total Cost , can be played off a Mana Crypt or Sol Ring as well.

Orzhov Cluestone = - or = Total Cost . Can't easily be played off other rocks, and doesn't convert colorless into colored mana either which Kaalia of the Vast needs. CMC to draw 1 card, and sacrifice your mana source is bad business, too situational, and slows you down in the 80% rule, ignore the 20%, like T5 when it can draw you a card for CMC!!! Yikes.

Mardu Banner is even worse!!! See Orzhov Cluestone and make it draw you a card for CMC, very bad business.

Commander's Sphere is borderline playable, because:

CMC - = Total Cost then Sacrifice to draw (No additional cost or required). If you think a slower rock is needed, Commander's Sphere is the only playable one of those listed, don't do that please!

Just have to accept that your never going to have good draw, choose a commander with is the best, if that's what you want, then you are just going to Show and Tell a lot. Commander usually ends where everyone is about the same T3-T5. Often if your the first to try, you get countered, Sometimes you get lucky and a Kess, Dissident Mage tries to Show and Tell an Omniscience and you successfully get it with a free cast Angel of Despair and they can't Enter the Infinite to get the Force of Will to hand, and hopefully they were tutoring their win-con and can't stop you when you go!

I usually attack the control player Serra Ascendant is always awesome T1, it puts them on a timer, like 4 turns or so, and sometimes it disrupts their tutoring, pulling Slaughter Pact / Toxic Deluge or like trying to overload a Cyclonic Rift instead of going for it themselves in some cases, thats a win for me, even if I don't win. Unless there are unbalanced decks in the pod, by T5-T6 everyone should be ready to go, or 1-2 turns from going anyway, just who successfully do it. Sometimes I strategically wait till someone tries to win and gets countered, but I play aggressive, I usually just go for it asap lol. If I can combo T2, usually people have been playing mana sources and don't have the mana to commit to a Counterspell of any kind. I did get Pact of Negation on turn 2 and the player had no way to pay the cost and was eliminated lol, luckily that game I had a Yawgmoth's Will and went the next turn, oh, remember with Yawgmoth's Will , it's CMC - play a fetch land from your graveyard = CMC. Always remember to play that land from the graveyard!

Never did you have the mana or need the Reveillark I bet in any of the games? Also, the Whip of Erebos is a little slow for recursion, but it can be impactul in longer control games.

Grim Tutor is pricy, just because of the set printed in which sucks, needs a Judge Foil reprint.

I usually try and hit the control player with a Rakdos the Defiler as well, it really slows them down, or they have to control Rakdos the Defiler and then usually can't control when you go for the win. Give it time, will take you a bit to figure out your tutor progression. A Lightning Greaves scares people, and a Razaketh, the Foulblooded is almost always a win (unless you cast the Kaalia of the Vast that turn with Haste, then I usually drop in Ob Nixilis, Unshackled first, stops tutoring for lands, tutoring for win-con's etc, or if they do, puts them close enough to kill with damage!). Be aggressive with Doom Whisperer try to Surveil win with it, sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it hits! All you need is the Buried Alive or Reanimate depending on the situation. One time I didn't have enough life to win with Razaketh, the Foulblooded so I tutored Whip of Erebos then attacked with Razaketh, the Foulblooded and then won after.

Oh also, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Restoration Angel obviously can attack and win, but sometimes, Post-Combat Main Phase, I just tutor Goblin Bombardment and sacrifice all the angels to win (instead of from attacking damage).

Anything you found ineffective? I wouldn't worry about T5-T6 land drops, hopefully you have a mana rock, so casting Kaalia of the Vast with Lightning Greaves for CMC should still be possible. If she CMC, then the game going very long, and others just killing instead of tutoring/going for the win.

If you win, 40%-50% of 4-player pod games you have a strong deck. Theres a link to some statistical spreadsheets in this article Pursuit of Knowledge - Intro, The word data is the hyperlink, other than Adun Oakenshield (for some unknown reason to me), the best commanders only win like 50% even if they are $7,000 vs $350 opponents.

Spirits on Kaalia, Mirror Breaker EDH

1 week ago

Hi weezel,

I was thinking about my Reveillark alternative win-con's,

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Reveillark + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Damage

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Damage

It's also recursive with Grand Abolisher or Dark Confidant etc, in addition to Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Karmic Guide

The downside is, it's CMC5 (), and needs sac outlet and Enabler Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or Karmic Guide .

Hatred is CMC5 () and just needs Kaalia of the Vast but also likes guys like Baneslayer Angel , Gisela, Blade of Goldnight , Gisela, the Broken Blade , Lyra Dawnbringer , Serra Ascendant or Whip of Erebos .

Was thinking, it's a different win-con (only 1 player too in some cases), but other than being high CMC, would allow me to cheat in an A/D/D and Commander Damage kill a player if left unblocked as well (Instant speed).

Combat Celebrant is enticing because of his CMC3 (), other than his obvious Exert ability which can land 2 A/D/D in 1 turn, do some mass damage with someone like Balefire Dragon or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight , but his real power is that he doesn't need the sac outlet.

Combat Celebrant + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker | Infinite Combat Phases

Potentially a win-con with someone like, Avacyn, Angel of Hope , Demonlord Belzenlok , Doom Whisperer , Hellkite Tyrant , Razaketh, the Foulblooded , Etc. unless there is something large enough to block the Trample indefinitely. Doesn't matter if Combat Celebrant is blocked, just making the copy, allows for the next attack to occur. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker never gets in harms way.

I'm sure there are more ways to abuse him, Splinter Twin obviously, which doesn't work with Buried Alive but can replace Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in most/all? combos too. could tutor Splinter Twin pretty easily. Idyllic Tutor for example could also pull me an Animate Dead etc, feel there could be some good build out around Combat Celebrant for combos, and just his natural talent when attacking with large A/D/D.

Early on, when I played Adarkar Valkyrie , I also played Aurelia, the Warleader for:

Adarkar Valkyrie + Aurelia, the Warleader + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Combat Phases

Adarkar Valkyrie also gave me:

Adarkar Valkyrie + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Damage

Adarkar Valkyrie + Karmic Guide + Lightning Greaves or Dragon Tempest + Goblin Bombardment | Infinite Damage

I just found neither Adarkar Valkyrie or Aurelia, the Warleader properly ETB triggered with Kaalia of the Vast , and I was never tutoring either of them because they aren't that impactful, so ended up removing Adarkar Valkyrie and then later Aurelia, the Warleader to focus more on the primary win-con with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Restoration Angel .

Crucible of Worlds more inline with a classic Kaalia of the Vast , which the Infinite Combat phases + Land Destruction is part of the reason (as well to a degree the amount of hate Kaalia of the Vast receives as a commander), is why she fell to Tier 3, from Tier 2.5 previously. If I have a Grand Abolisher I don't care, but if I don't, sometimes there is surprise when they have 40 life and think they are unkillable by Kaalia of the Vast and leave themselves open and I can swoop in on T4 with the Restoration Angel horde!

It's been a long time since I needed to resort to Reveillark , either I've won, or someone else has combo'd before I really get to a point of attempting a Reveillark win. Combat Celebrant , I feel like I could also use, Entomb / Gamble , example:

Entomb > Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Mausoleum Secrets > Reanimate . With a Combat Celebrant and anything to attack with, I'm good to go. ( Entomb makes Mausoleum Secrets more valuable to me too). He also doesn't get haste from Dragon Tempest either, so that's another negative.

He can't really Turn 1 so that's kinda why I was thinking more along the lines of Hatred even without augmenting the Lifelink. Life also fuels my speed, Draw/Mana/Tutor, so not sure of the impact to my game post Hatred .

Dark Ritual , Simian Spirit Guide , Mox Diamond all increase T1 potential, but I always worry about, outside of T1 do they have much value. Dark Ritual can cast a Necropotence so it has some benefit and with other cards Buried Alive + Reanimate .

My current challenge is Faithless Looting , I think it needs to go back in, have to decide what to remove. In games where I draw my Karmic Guide or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker I'm usually like T9 because I have to actually cast them and at CMC5, it's just not realistic with the other costs ( Buried Alive CMC3 and Reanimate CMC1) thats, CMC9, never going to happen. A Faithless Looting makes it CMC5 only. Faithless Looting also has some nice synergies if I don't have an A/D/D in my hand and Kaalia of the Vast is ready to go.

I agree, when is a deck every truly complete. Ever time I play I learn something new about my deck, or a Razaketh, the Foulblooded comes a long and takes over top dog spot in my decklist, and makes Griselbrand being Griselbanned a little easier to take.

lorre on Shadows Die Twice

1 week ago

Hey hkhssweiss What do you think of this? :-) I mainly altered the mana base, and switched Serra Ascendant and Vampiric Tutor for Revel in Riches and Dictate of Erebos and i'm not verry sure about it

ToolmasterOfBrainerd on Budget Anti-Gobbo Proc

1 week ago

Why does this have circle of protection red? That card is either terrible or win-more and there is no in-between. It's pointless to turn a 90% winrate into 92%.

Based off mtggoldfish decklists, it seems standard to be playing wrath effects right now. And with decks like Phoenix, dredge, humans, spirits, and modular affinity running about, it makes a lot of sense.


Actually as I'm learning more about these decks, I think soul sisters and martyr proc are distinct archetypes. Soul sisters plays Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant to gain tons of life early then wins with Serra Ascendant and Ajani's Pridemate . Martyr proc doesn't play either of the soul sisters and instead plays a midrange value deck that uses lifegain to make the game go long. In fact, martyr proc usually wins by an infinite value loop, but I don't recall exactly how it works (a guy at my lgs told me about it a few months ago when we played).

This deck would likely be made much more effective if you choose which you want it to be. Martyr proc is probably over $70 to be truly functional (the loop might involve Emeria, maybe?) and pieces like playsets of Field of Ruin and Ghost Quarter are really really good to have to face the general meta. But martyr proc is probably the better deck of the 2.

HunterClaise on Karlov the Undying (Life Gain Deck)

1 week ago

Hey Ripwater! Thanks for the kind words. I've been playing Karlov since he was released back in Commander 2015. I've spend the last four years tweaking this deck and editing it, and as you can see from my edit history I still make edits when need be. Let me kind of explain my thought process behind why this deck is the way it is. I've been meaning to put this in yhe description of the deck but I just haven't yet. Then let me give you my thoughts on the cards you suggested to me. Here it goes:

Ever since I got big into magic back in RTR I've loved Orzhov and Life Gain strategies. Up until 2015 I spent a majority of my time playing MTG and hearing about how life gain is a bad strategy. Then Karlov was spoiled and my Obzedat, Ghost Council deck was forever changed! I of course looked at Karlov and thought Voltron. Honestly, who doesn't? Here's one of my problems though, I hate Voltron. I just do. My other problem was that V oltron ISN'T life gain. Yes you're adding life gain to the deck to make Karlov beefy, but you aren't gaining life for the purpose of winning. Celestial Convergence , Felidar Sovereign , and Test of Endurance are all ways I win with life gain. Yes this deck runs Aetherflux Reservoir , and I'd be lying if I said I didn't win with Karlov. Plus I'd be stupid not to try and win with him. That's why I run Rogue's Passage , and Elspeth, Knight-Errant . One makes him unblockable and the other makes him a huge flying boy. I'd also be lying if I said that the orginal version of this deck was good. I first made this deck when I fourteen years old. I didn't know much about previous magic cards. I didn't research cards all that much. The first draft of this deck was AWFUL. It wasn't until about a year after I built the first draft and play tested it and made a ton of changes that this deck kicked ass. I started sitting down at tables in gamestores and have people laugh or scoff of me when I told them it was a life gain deck. Then I'd leave them stunned after I won. In conclusion, Voltron isn't my style and wasn't what I wanted to create when I started building this deck. I wanted to make a Business Casual life gain deck what could win consistently and effectively, and I think that's what I've done. Even if Karlov isn't on the field. I can win. If he is on the field and I can't attack with him I can exile creatures. Karlov is only a resource in this deck. Not the centerpiece.

As for Your suggestions. These cards aren't bad suggestions and may find a way into the deck: Contemplation , Tablet of the Guilds , Archangel of Thune , and Ajani, Caller of the Pride . My only problem is that I have a hard time cutting things from this deck haha. It took me three days to finally decide my last batch of cuts! Let me explain why I dislike the other suggestions.

Let me start with Elspeth, Sun's Champion . Elspeth is my favorite planeswalker, and this card specifically is my favorite planeswalker card ever printed. The original version of this deck actually ran Sun's Champion; however, I found that Elspeth, Knight-Errant 's two plus ones were so much more useful. Making one dude isn't nearly as good as making three, but it can still trigger Soul Warden , Soul's Attendant , Suture Priest , and Auriok Champion . Her other plus one works amazing with Karlov, but also works well with creatures like Serra Ascendant and Divinity of Pride . Nine times out of ten you won't get a Planeswalker's ultimate off, so honestly all the ultimate abilites of the planeswalkers I use are irrelavent. Another thing is that Sun's Champion minus ability had the potential to kill large bombs like Karlov and Serra Ascendant .

As I said earlier, Karlov isn't the centerpiece of this deck so I feel like Mother of Runes and Eight-and-a-Half-Tails would take up space that could be filled by other cards.

I feel like Sunscorch Regent costs to much for an ability that doesn't do much for the deck. There are better turn five plays. This card just isn't that good. I probably would've played this when I was on a budget four years ago.

The fact that Flickering Ward flickers back to your hand is cool, but mono colored EDH decks aren't the most common thing and the fact that this can't be casted at instant speed makes it not worth my time. Yes multicolored cards still cant target whatever creature has this enchantment attached to it, but there are plently of ways to get around this card. There are also other, better one drops I'd rather play in this deck

Lastly we have Whispersilk Cloak this card is decent, but as I said, Karlov isn't the main focus of this deck. I ran this card for a brief period about two years ago, but ultimately cut it for Mana Vault . Whispersilk just wasn't doing what I needed it to do, and the only creature I found it useful on was Karlov.

Once again I thank you for your suggestions, and if I do end up adding the cards I liked from your suggestions making cuts will be very hard! Also thank you for the engaging comment, and for the upvote. My opinion on your deck is this: I personally think it could use more tuning, but it's a grrat start. Here's the other thing I have to say, it's not my deck. It's yours. You built it. If you like it then good. What I think is irrelevant. There's no right or wrong way to build your deck. Voltorn is your deck's main style, and mine is using Life Gain to win. We all have our own ways to play, so as long as you enjoy your deck that's what matters!

SynergyBuild on Anti goblin deck

1 week ago

Nah, in modern 8whack is basically the only goblin deck, so I'd say play soul sisters, Path is very efficient against them, and Soul's Attendant / Soul Warden stomp on their day. If you ever swing with an active Serra Ascendant , they dead.

Ripwater on Volt-Lov "The Big Beat" *Help Requested*

1 week ago

SherMaxx Your explosive opening lays mostly in cards like Soul's Attendant and Serra Ascendant and like you said Authority of the Consuls . Karlov needs at least one lifegainer from turn 1-2 to be explosive and being able to control the board. Also a very good one drop is the Mother of Runes since she offers protection as soon as Karlov hits the battlefield from turn 2.

So wich things are you in doubt about? And also most important what's your budget :-)

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Serra Ascendant occurrence in decks from the last year

Modern:

All decks: 0.06%

White: 7.61%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.03%

White: 0.46%