Luminarch Ascension

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Luminarch Ascension

Enchantment

At the beginning of each opponent's end step, if you didn't lose life this turn, you may put a quest counter on Luminarch Ascension. (Damage causes loss of life.)

{{1,W}}: Put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only if Luminarch Ascension has four or more quest counters on it.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

3 days ago

Guerric

Played another 4 games of 1v1 yesterday against my buddy's Yisan, the Wanderer Bard deck. This mono-green deck used to be the bane of my existence when I first started playing commander so it was fun seeing how Angels stacked up. Unfortunately I didn't get any Pyre of Heroes plays in these 4 games. TLDR - Giada won 3/4 games and I should've mulliganed the one I lost. Also Yisan was a bit rusty piloting his old deck so he didn't have the most optimal lines of tutor.

Starting hand: Windswept Heath, Arid Mesa, Snow-Covered Plains, Seraph Sanctuary, Well of Lost Dreams, Angelic Accord, Emeria Shepherd

While this hand technically has a draw card I had nothing below 4cmc. I did have a form of lifegain so I could potentially activate the Well. What I didn't expect was never drawing another angel for this entire game. I think it ended by turn 6 due to a Craterhoof Behemoth finisher and a bunch of mana dorks swinging in.

Starting hand: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Scavenger Grounds, Snow-Covered Plains, Youthful Valkyrie, Angel of Vitality, Folk Hero, Enlightened Tutor

This hand had a perfect curve, an easy draw and a tutor so I obviously kept it. While I could've tutored for Pyre of Heroes I decided to go for the more efficient play and grabbed Pearl Medallion instead on turn 1. So on turn 3 after swinging in with Giada, I played Pearl Medallion for 2, Folk Hero for 1 and Youthful Valkyrie with Giada. I drew into Herald's Horn and played that next turn. That early game was so efficient that the game ended shortly after with no responses.

I also drew into Path of Ancestry which was just great when comboed with Folk Hero and Herald's Horn. If I had an Angel in hand then I would draw then scry and try and leave an Angel on top for the Horn. If I didn't have an Angel then I would scry then draw into an Angel to keep the value train going.

Starting hand: Cavern of Souls, Windswept Heath, Snow-Covered Plains, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, The Book of Exalted Deeds, Winds of Abandon, Oblation

I kept this hand because I had the perfect hate-bear for Yisan. Playing Linvala turn 3 essentially shut down Yisan's whole deck. They couldn't tutor or use their mana dorks so just had to slow play using their lands. Eventually on turn 6 they drew into a Beast Within to kill her but by that time I had gotten so far ahead in board presence that it was another easy win.

Starting hand: Snow-Covered Plains, Snow-Covered Plains, Sol Ring, Pearl Medallion, Battle Angels of Tyr, Luminarch Ascension, Angelic Field Marshal

T1 Sol Ring into a Pearl Medallion felt so great but if it wasn't for the Battle Angels of Tyr then I would've run out of gas quick. While I did get Luminarch Ascension out T2, I only added 3 quest counters on it before I closed out the game so I never saw it perform.

Folk Hero is obviously a good swap, I don't think anyone doubts its future potential for Giada.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence was amazing against Yisan. Any deck that involves activated abilities will be shut down hard with her on the field.

Enlightened Tutor is a strong early tutor, I think it might warrant replacing Steelshaper's Gift. I haven't had much success with Search for Glory the few times I used it but will probably swap it back in when I play multiplayer.

Luminarch Ascension still hasn't been great in 1v1 because the games finish so fast. If you play it turn 3 and you start first then you'll need to wait till turn 7 to start using it. All the games I played yesterday ended by turn 6 or so. I'll leave it in for multiplayer and post about it then.

Path of Ancestry was a nice bump. Obviously it's better with the draw on angel cast cards but on its own provides value. Even if we don't have an angel to play it still taps for white.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

5 days ago

The reason I think Luminarch Ascension may be better in multiplayer is if we have a decent sized blocker or enough opponents playing battlecruiser then it’ll get 3 quest counters by the time it gets back to our turn. Then we leave another 2 up and just need one more counter to start pumping out Angels. Drawing threats like a lightning rod is an obvious issue but I’ll just need to test it out to see with my playgroup. Either way the cmc and purpose of both cards are the same.

I definitely want to slot in Breathkeeper Seraph now that I see the power of Pyre of Heroes, I’m just not sure who else to cut now. Maybe the Karmic Guide that I put back in. The games that Pyre of Heroes popped off I never got to chain it into the 6-7 cmc angels but that’ll definitely change in a 4-man.

I think part of the reason I want to like The Ozolith is that it also combos well with Pyre of Heroes. I just never got them both out at the same time. If I had it out when I sacced Inspiring Overseer then I could dump the 2 counters onto another Angel then do it again on the next turn. Also, not that Battle Angels of Tyr needs to be any more broken but you can drop all the counters from the exiled tokens onto it.

Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

5 days ago

kirbysan

Thanks for all the playtesting and updates! I probably will try out Pyre of Heroes after I play the deck in its current draft a bit. I had been thinking about just some of the interactions you mentioned, namely sacc'ing three drops for Paragon. Not sure if I'd cut Eye or something else for it, but the upside of a tribal tutor engine is pretty good. It is worth mentioning that even in a four player game it's not a given that they remove the Pyre, since the Pyre itself will start producing things they'll want to remove more. The Pyre does have costs associated with it as well, so its not like we are getting free stuff, we're just able to use our library as a toolbox which is useful for us, bit not necessarily threatening to any given opponent. If and when I do add Pyre I will probably also find a place for Breathkeeper Seraph because sac'ing the Seraph for Sephara, Sky's Blade is something that needs to happen. Inspiring Overseer is also a nice little card that I have but haven't been able to figure out how to replace yet. That's also a great interaction with Together Forever. It's easy to forget that while you can't regenerate or stop a sac'ced creature from dying that you can certainly get it back with effects just like Together Forever provides! I think Luminarch Ascension might be worse in multi-player where there are more people to target it. I'd expect it to be better in 1v1 where you could be against an opponent in colors that are bad at removing enchantments. In my case I know my group will insta-kill it, so if I am going for a mana sink Starnheim Unleashed is more likely to get the job done if I play it when it is likely to resolve. And personally I'm just really not into The Ozolith, though I could always be wrong and am open to hearing about how it performs. Thanks again for everything! Those are some great interactions and that is super helpful!

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

5 days ago

Guerric

I wasn't able to play a multiplayer game this weekend but ran 9 games of 1v1. I won 7/9 games as unblocked angels seems to be consistently good. 6 games were against Necron Precron, 2 games against Faldorn Exiles & 1 game against Aesi Landfall. Made a couple swaps to give Pyre of Heroes a shot. Didn't touch the lifegain package but messed with the protection one. Since all 9 games were duels, some of the changes weren't great.

Eye of Vecna for Pyre of Heroes

Cosmic Intervention for The Ozolith

Angel of Condemnation for Karmic Guide

Angel of Jubilation for Inspiring Overseer

Starnheim Unleashed for Luminarch Ascension

Search for Glory for Enlightened Tutor

I notably left in Together Forever and didn't put in Breathkeeper Seraph because I wanted to see if there were synergies between Together Forever and Pyre of Heroes.

Lost 1 game against Necron Precon due to a combination of things. I missed 2 land drops early in the game and was forced to use Enlightened Tutor for a Sol Ring so I could play my hand. Later in the game Ioverplayed the hand and got hit by Shard of the Nightbringer followed by Their Name is Death on the next turn. I was definitely kicking myself at the end because I had Emeria Shepherd and played it when I should've held it. Necrons actually did pretty well against this deck overall as they had fliers which stopped some early attacks. In the end though, as with most precons, they ran out of gas while Angels could keep chugging along and beefing up.

Lost 1 game against Faldorn Exiles due to Food Chain & Eternal Scourge with Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald producing a million wolves on turn 4. With no answers in hand, it was a quick and clear loss.

I was able to get Pyre of Heroes out in several games. One of my favorite combinations was using it on Inspiring Overseer to drop in Serra Paragon and then recasting Inspiring Overseer for the extra life and draw. On the following turn I sacrificed it again to grab Battle Angels of Tyr and hit for even more draw.

During the final game against Aesi Landfall I wanted to see how much value I could get out of Pyre of Heroes so I kept an obviously risky hand. My starting hand consisted of Arid Mesa, Plains, Fabled Passage, Emergence Zone, Mutavault, Pyre of Heroes, and Path to Exile. Aesi had a pretty slow start without much ramp but dropped Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait turn 5 which I promptly pathed. The only Angel I drew was Angelic Curator which I pyred into Inspiring Overseer. I also had Together Forever on the board so when I pyred Inspiring Overseer into Serra Paragon I was able to bounce it back to hand and recast Angelic Curator on the same turn. Next turn I cast Inspiring Overseer and pyred that into Thraben Watcher and started swinging for lots of damage.

In a multiplayer game other players would've had more answers for our board and Pyre of Heroes may not stick around. However, I don't think it seems threatening on its own and most times it's just a value engine. I think there may be a case for swapping it out for Eye of Vecna. They cost the same for 2 colorless. Their activations are also the same at 2 colorless. The differences are the 2 damage we take for Vecna and also that the draw occurs on upkeep before our draw phase and we have to pay the 2 and life if we want the card. If we drop Vecna early game and we're looking for something key, usually a land or a low cost angel and there's no guarantee that we'll get it. So if we're on turn 4, we've expended 2/3 available mana on drawing either a land or a 2cmc angel because we can't play anyting else. If we aren't dropping Vecna early and instead on turn 6-7 then it's pretty slow compared to its counterparts. Yes it replaces itself but nothing else we do will give us cards the turn we need it. All the other draw cards play into our strategy of either playing angels, attacking or gaining life. Also, the ones we pay into can be done on opponents turn when we're holding up answers, so there's no "wasted mana".

Out of the current swaps The Ozolith and Luminarch Ascension were very mediocre. This is likely due to the duel format and will need more testplaying in a 4-man setting. I was able to get The Ozolith up to 18 counters one game but it didn't matter since I was dead the next turn.

I think just based on this trial run that Pyre of Heroes deserves a strong consideration especially with Inspiring Overseer. Let me know your thoughts!

Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 week ago

kirbysan

Thanks for the input! I think I'll probably cut Sigarda's Splendor after all. I haven't seen Vanquisher's Banner be bad yet, so I'll keep monitoring things but it's probably better to go for the high ceiling low floor type cards when we get above 3 cmc. As for Darksteel Mutation, the key is simply having a removal place to take the spot of Harsh Mercy. I've found that several times when I had it in hand I didn't need a board wipe but did want a targeted removal. That card wasn't good for that since each player gets to pick a creature type to keep, so it went. Mutation is nice since it can sideline a commander at least temporarily, though there are ways around it. Another good option is Fateful Absence, which simply destroys a creature or planeswalker, but which can be done at instant speed. Either way, it doesn't have to be integral, we just want to up the efficient removal with this slot.

As for other cards, my thoughts are as follows. Linvala, Keeper of Silence is the easiest because this card has saved my bacon more times than I can recount, and has been a true all star for me. I expected her to be fine but she's been a real star. Angel of Jubilation is also solid. We're always happy to have the anthem and when her second ability comes into play we'll be very glad we have her as she shuts down some of the more degenerate shenanigans in the format. Search for Glory is another easy one, and is a very underrated card. We have a lot of amazing legends here, and she can tutor all of them. One which I have used multiple times is tutoring Sephara, Sky's Blade and then immediately playing her for .

Together Forever is a board protection piece and the theory on it is good. I haven't seen it as often as other cards, but when I have I've played it, used it, and been glad to have it. It doesn't stop our pieces from being destroyed per se, but it does preserve the cards themselves for the cheap cost of per card. The biggest danger in this deck is getting blown out with an empty hand, and this ensures that we can at least have a hand if we play carefully. It is also good in less dramatic situations though. When I've enjoyed it most is when I've used it to save Sephara, Sky's Blade only to immediately replay her for the next turn, something that vexed my opponents greatly. Now if I were putting Avacyn in I could consider cutting this card since it is in the same category (sort of), but I've found it to be good and plan on keeping it for the time being. Starnheim Unleashed in this deck is the sort of token splashy card that allows for a big play that can put us over the top. It's not critical to the function of the deck, but where it is good it is generally pretty great. The ceiling is to play it with Crashing Drawbridge on the board or to flash it out on the end step right before our turn with Emergence Zone, where the element of surprise can take over the game. That being said, if you wanted to slot Luminarch Ascension in, something I have thought about doing, it could go in place of this as it has a similar function in terms of being able to pump out a massive amount of angel tokens. Luminarch Ascension has added value as a permanent since it can generate angels repeatedly for small mana. It'd downside is that there is no element of surprise. Our opponents will instantly know the threat it poses and will likely work to remove it as quickly as they can, possibly before we get to activate it at all. I think both cards are good and can justify a place in the deck, though I wouldn't say either is essential.

Angel of Condemnation is a card that I have pondered cutting and haven't really used too much in my playtesting so far, though it's certainly not bad and the theory on it is good. It's one of those cards with a lot of utility. On the one hand it is a removal piece, and a think we can use extra mana on at instant speed to repeatedly disrupt our opponents. Often we shouldn't need to exert him. Just blinking our opponents degenerate piece on their upkeep will generally keep them from exploiting it during their turn. Of course if we do exert him we can sideline a piece until an opponent removes him, and usually only the opponent who owns the degenerate piece will be willing to do so. This card can also be useful on our own stuff. We'll be happy to blink Sanctuary Warden for an extra card sometimes, or maybe blink any of our creatures to gain life off of Bishop of Wings and make an angel token off of Resplendent Angel or put some counters on stuff with Archangel of Thune. I've played enough blink decks to know that we tend to find all sorts of synergies like this if we have a card like this one in the deck and are looking for them.

Needless to say I am pretty happy with the list in general, and most of the cards I haven't liked I've cut. This doesn't mean we can't cut these or any other cards, but the threshold of a new card needs to be high for me to consider it.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

1 week ago

Guerric

I was able to use Darksteel Mutation twice last week and at first it seemed amazing. However, both players I used it against were able to use copy effects to get their commander "back" and keep going. I don't think it's integral to deck performance yet.

I personally removed Sigarda's Splendor for my trial run last week. While it does fit thematically with the deck I didn't get sufficient lifegain out of it and drawing the card on next turn and only once per turn didn't provide enough value over the course of the game. If we cast it turn 4 we should start slow playing turn 5+ since we're expecting a board wipe. That means we're holding up cards in hand and playing cards for value or leaving mana up for answers. We're not really storming off with a bunch of white weenies to gain a bunch of life so the lifegain is incremental. That means if someone else is playing big creatures and swings at us and we don't want to chump with an angel, then we lose the card draw. I put it in the same category as Court of Grace which at least gives us the card at end of turn and provides us with a 4/4 body on upkeep rather than the card. Even if we lose monarch, we still get 1/1 bodies that can play into our favor with sufficient anthems. Furthermore, when an opponent has monarch they usually get targeted so another opponent can steal it.

I was initially against Thorough Investigation as it just seemed so slow. But when we're in mid-game and holding mana up for answers, it's nice to use the spare mana to crack clues if we don't use our answers. One time, after a board wipe and I was only holding angels to rebuild I cracked 3 clues on opponent's end step which just gave me so much more gas. The scry from Dungeon of the Mad Mage was highly useful as we don't have that ability otherwise. I even finished the dungeon one game but only got a Youthful Valkyrie off it. Being able to crack these clues convinced me that Luminarch Ascension needs to be slotted in. We could use spare 2 mana to dump out a 4/4 Angel on end steps after a board wipe and just start swinging.

Mangara, the Diplomat was pretty useful the 2 games I got it out. In game 2, I drew 4 for 4 mana and another game drew 2 before a board wipe. It also doesn't draw out the single target removal as our angels are usually the bigger target.

Vanquisher's Banner was also pretty useful the 2 games I got it out. In game 2, I drew 5 for 5 mana and another game drew 3 before the game ended.

Well of Lost Dreams was never played in the 10 games I played. It definitely has a place as it has a high ceiling but it's a dead card in hand without any lifegain on board.

While we're on the topic of replacements I was wondering how the following cards have been working for you:

Together Forever

Search for Glory

Starnheim Unleashed

Angel of Condemnation

Angel of Jubilation

Linvala, Keeper of Silence

Max_Hammer on Activate All The Abilities

1 month ago

Howdy! I have some recommendations!

  • Umbral Mantle can give you an infinite/infinite if you equip it to a myr, or just give you a lot of untaps. Not that you can't do that already, but this gives you an extra +2/+2.

  • Oblivion Stone is an excellent board-wipe. Drop it turn four and slowly but surely just mark everything that's yours. And you could use it as a negotiation tool. "If you murder his commander, I'll keep that combo piece of yours safe."

  • Well of Knowledge reads weird, but it's basically saying "(2): Draw a card. Any player may play this ability but only during his or her draw step." It'll be good for everyone, but better for you.

  • Mirrorpool is just good utility.

  • Thaumatic Compass  Flip is good ramp and lets you just say "Actually, no, that creature isn't attacking."

  • Luminarch Ascension is going to give you as many white angels as your heart can handle.

  • Illusionist's Bracers is just going to double whatever fuckery you're up to.

  • Mask of Avacyn, Lightning Greaves, and Swiftfoot Boots are all excellent protection for your boy.

Grind on Suicide King

1 month ago

Cool deck!!!
Idyllic Tutor and Expedition Map can help you get your karma+Urborg situation.
Any thoughts on Bastion Protector or Luminarch Ascension?
Cheers and have fun!!

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