I mean... full disclaimer, I DO think the card is bad, so it's kind of a silly discussion to have right now. Still, onward to further interaction with one of the Heros of the Vintage Super League!
I don't understand why people would be running Gitaxian Probes into this card. It's not a surprise, they see that it's in play.
Yeah, but then they're leaving a Probe in their hand and not casting it. People can play around Mystic Remora this way, too, but isn't this level of disruption of your opponent's play decisions a fine use for one black mana on turn 1?
It's incredibly easy to time fetches so that you don't need to do 2 in a turn ... to wait on a fetch until end of turn if you think there's a chance you're Force of Will'ing here.
Yeah, I agree with that too, and delaying your fetch is a lot less disruptive than leaving your Probe in your hand to stink it up. I think any deck that wanted to abuse this needs to run some kind of ping that pushes people over the edge when they just fetch once. Whether that's the New Phyrexia Unsummon (whatever its called) or Forked Bolt or Fire // Ice or Piranha Marsh, I dunno. Take your pick of crappy cards I guess.
I mentioned Keldon Halberdier because I don't expect a turn 1 Ascension to realistically flip until after your 5th turn.
If your deck can't get the Ascension turned on by turn 3 or so, then it's crap, I agree. That's why I don't like the card. If it doesn't land on turn 1 it's never going to matter. But, if you did have a way to consistently run it out there, one presumes your deck would be full of ways to ensure it does get triggered early enough to matter. It doesn't really take that much.
Note that you actually flip the card earlier if you play a 1 drop, 2 power creature on turn 1, and play the Ascension turn 2, and attack.
Feels too slow to me, but I agree this would be good:
T1: Mox Jet, Mountain, Goblin Guide, Ascension, attack (1 counter)
Op T1: Island, whatever.
T2: attack (2 counter)
Op T2: Bolt them during end step
That seems fine, and I think you win any game where you're getting Ascension online that fast.