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Dark Ascension | Monstrous Surprise Intro Pack deck list and review

Monstrous Surprise is one of five new Intro Packs from Wizards of the Coast's upcoming expert Magic: the Gathering expansion set Dark Ascension.

Monstrous Surprise Intro Pack
Wizards of the Coast

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Just like the Innistrad Intro Packs (Carnival of Blood, Deathly Dominion, Eldritch Onslaught , and Spectral Legions), each of the new Dark Ascension Intro Packs retails for an MSRP of $12.99. They feature a full 60 card deck, how to play insert, tip guide, and an unopened Dark Ascension booster pack.

The Monstrous Surprise Intro pack includes two rares: a premium foil Flayer of the Hatebound and a Gutter Grime.

Monstrous Surprise showcases one of Magic: the Gathering's newest mechanics from Dark Ascension: Undying.

Undying (When this creatue dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

With Undying creatures like Strangleroot Geist, there's no reason to not to attack. When you have a Greatsword on the battlefield or Wild Hunger in your hand, then you'll be sure that your opponent's blockers won't live through combat. It doesn't matter if your creature dies because it will come back from the dead! You'll be able to pull double duty from your pump spells with Fling.

Pyreheart Wolf can turn your combat step into nightmare for an opponent, and Overrun will simply win games.

Several synergies include sacrificing a creature to Skirsdag Cultist, pumping your Lumberknot, and making a token with Gutter Grime at the same time. Rage Thrower and Flayer of the Hatebound both also add in some nice late game power to the Battlefield.

Like all Intro Packs, they serve dual purposes: they're great for beginners and also give a fantastic sampling of one of the set's themes. A downside is that there's always a few cards you'll want to replace (I'm looking at you Hill Giant, errr I mean Russet Wolves). The included tip guide suggests adding Vorapede and Feed the Pack, two new Dark Ascension cards that can be very powerful in this deck.

Monstrous Surprise Intro Pack deck list
Creatures (22)
2 Goblin Arsonist
3 Young Wolf
2 Strangleroot Geist
2 Pyreheart Wolf
2 Orchard Spirit
2 Russet Wolves
2 Skirsdag Cultist
1 Lumberknot
3 Nearheath Stalker
1 Pitchburn Devils
1 Flayer of the Hatebound
1 Rage Thrower
Other Spells (14)
2 Prey Upon
2 Fling
1 Naturalize
2 Rampant Growth
1 Greatsword
2 Rolling Tremblor
2 Wild Hunger
1 Gutter Grime
1 Overrun
Lands (24)
11 Mountain
13 Forest

At just $12.99, Monstrous Surprise (along with the other four Dark Ascension Intro Packs) provides an incredible value. When you consider that a booster pack of Magic cards retails for $3.99 by itself, then you're really only paying $9 for the deck.

Monstrous Surprise delivers a healthy helping of red green beat-down highlighting one of Dark Ascension's newest mechanics: Undying. Most importantly though, the deck is fun to play. With a few personal tweeks to the list, you'll be ready to serve up a healthy helping of whoop-ass to your opponents.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Dark Ascension is the second set of three in the Innistrad block. Dark Ascension will contain 158 cards, and be released on February 3, 2012.

Dark Ascension Prerelease events will occur on January 28-29, 2012. There will be Dark Ascension Launch Parties on February 3-6, 2012. The Dark Ascension Game Day will be on March 3-4, 2012.

Find a Dark Ascension event near you.

Dark Ascension is followed by Avacyn Restored.

Dark Ascension white card spoiler list
Dark Ascension blue card spoiler list
Dark Ascension black card spoiler list
Dark Ascension red card spoiler list
Dark Ascension green card spoiler list
Dark Ascension gold card spoiler list
Dark Ascension artifact card spoiler list
Dark Ascension land card spoiler list

Please note that this article was based upon a free review copy.

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