MTG werewolves finally have a one-drop via Ascendant Packleader within Crimson Vow

It's a one-drop, but is it good enough?

MTG Innistrad Midnight Hunt Werewolf Trailer
Image via WotC

Another Innistrad: Crimson Vow spoiler supporting werewolf tribal decks within Magic: The Gathering Standard dropped today, filling in the much-needed one-drop slot. 

Volatile Arsonist was revealed during the first week of Innistrad: Crimson Vow (VOW) spoilers. It’s a powerful five-drop werewolf that also synergizes with today’s Ascendant Packleader one-drop. The werewolf tribal build needed a one-drop desperately to apply early pressure while synergizing with the rest of the deck. Ascendant Packleader, revealed by MagicTCG Reddit, accomplishes this with its 2/1 baseline stats and late-game upside. 

Ascendant Packleader

Ascendant Packleader
Image via WotC
  • CMC: G
  • Type: Creature—Wolf
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Stats: 2/1
  • Ability: Ascendant Packleader enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it if you control a permanent with a mana value of four or greater
  • Ability: Whenever you cast a spell with a mana value of four or greater, put a +1/+1 counter on Ascendant Packleader

Despite filling the one-drop slot within werewolf tribal Standard builds, Ascendant Packleader doesn’t have Daybound/Nightbound. Upsides attached to the wolf are also on the narrow side, only gaining a +1/+1 counter in conjunction with either a four mana or greater permanent on the battlefield or entering the battlefield. 

Ascendant Packleader helps trigger day to night with Tovolar, Dire Overlord and can draw a card if your opponent doesn’t have proper blockers by turn three when you drop the werewolf lord. The VOW wolf is a better option than what the werewolf tribal build had in MID, but it’s unknown whether Ascendant Packleader is a good enough card to compete with other top MTG meta decks within the Standard format. 

VOW is set to be released digitally on Nov. 11. A global launch is scheduled for Nov. 19.