Magic the Gathering Jace

Magic the Gathering Jace

Magic the Gathering Jace and a Guide to Creating Powerful Planeswalkers

Welcome to The ManaLeak’s Blog about Magic the Gathering, probably the most famous card game in the world. Here we’ll cover some basic stuff and funny details that don’t fit into a main articles section.

Today we are starting with the most loved/hated planeswalker of all times.

We will try to build ourselves a new version of Magic the Gathering Jace.

Practically, every planeswalker is a set of three effects that in one form or another appeared on other cards. The first one resembles a common/uncommon instant or sorcery, the second one – uncommon/rare, the third one is just a ridiculous game changer / game finisher.

Get your MTG Jace cards here

Let’s examine the first Magic the Gathering Jace ever: the one from the Lorwyn set.

[draft]Jace Beleren[/draft]

His abilities:

+2: a toned-down Prosperity
-1: a toned-down Divination
-10: a doubled Glimpse the Unthinkable

So, the abilities pattern is draw / draw / mill.

The next Jace Magic the Gathering introduced came in the Worldwake.

[draft]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/draft]

+2: a toned-down Ransack or Eye Spy
0: a Brainstorm, exactly
-12: a unique ability

The flavour was definitely there, because all his abilities were sculpting hand of a player. So: sculpt / sculpt / sculpt.

The next one was from Magic 2012.

[draft]Jace, Memory Adept[/draft]

+1: Thought Scour, although this card was introduced after JMA was printed
0: a familiar Glimpse the Unthinkable
-7: a number-specific version of Prosperity

Did you notice that Jace’s abilities started to gravitate towards Dimir? Very interesting. Just like Ertai, years ago? Definitely, Blue-Black are colours of Jace. Not Azorius, not Izzet, not Simic.

So, the effects were: draw / sculpt / draw.

Then we saw a Ravnican version of Jace.

[draft]Jace, Architect of Thought[/draft]

+1: a Weakstone-, Haunter of Nightveil– (Black again!), Cumber Stone-type of effect
-2: a toned-down Fact or Fiction
-8: a Stain the Mind-type effect plus cast-for-free (freecast) effect combined

His abilities formed a pattern of: weaken / draw-sculpt / sculpt-exile-freecast.

After that we’ve got Magic 2015 and another Jace with it.

[draft]Jace, the Living Guildpact[/draft]

+1: a Wu Spy from Portal: Three Kingdoms
-3: a bit overpriced Disperse
-8: a one-sided Time Twister, Time Reversal, Time Spiral without the untap-lands part

The abilities pattern: sculpt / bounce / draw-reload.

Bouncing was a new ability for Jace, changing him from a draw-mill machine into a bounce-tempo controller. I wonder how would he perform in a UB Tempo deck with Master of the Feast? After landing the planeswalker, the opponent stares into a choice: to deal with a 5/5 flying creature that is killing him/her, or to deal with Jace who slowly ticks into his ultimate?

Finally, the newest one from Magic Origins:

[draft]Jace, Telepath Unbound[/draft]

+1: a point Hydrolash
-3: well, Snapcaster Mage can feel threatened
-9: mill-by-casting effect, quite interesting

So, the effects go like: weaken / snapcast / mill.

After compiling all effects pattern we get:

draw / draw / mill
sculpt / sculpt / sculpt
draw / sculpt / draw
weaken / draw-sculpt / sculpt-exile-freecast
sculpt / bounce / draw
weaken / snapcast / mill

Now, how can we go creative with Jace from there?

jace phantasm

Route no. 1 – combine existing abilities

So far we have following abilities to use: draw, mill, sculpt, weaken, exile-freecast, bounce.

How about we combine draw / draw / weaken into a new Magic the Gathering Jace to support one of powerful cards from Magic Origins: Alhammarret’s Archive?

Jace, Heir to the Archive  2U
starting loyalty: 4

+1: Choose and discard a card from your hand: Scry 1, then put a top card from your library into your hand
-4: Search your library for an artifact card with converted casting cost 4 or higher, reveal it, and put in your hand
-7: You get an emblem: “Attacking creatures your opponents control lose all their abilities and become 1/1 blue Frog creatures, in addition to their existing creature type, until end of turn”

This is a bit safe version to go. It’s still fun, though, because an army of Frog Angels without flying, or Frog Rhinos without trample would be hilarious to see. Also, a lot of new cool Frog+ tokens would be produced. Preferably, with the art by Kaja or Phil Foglio.

A more powerful version of pure draw / draw / draw goes like this:

Jace, the Archive Tornado  3UUU
starting loyalty: 5

+1: Draw a card
-3: Gain 4 life. Draw a card – it’s Healing Hands, basically
-8: You get an emblem: “Whenever you cast a spell, you gain life equal to its converted mana cost, then draw a card”

The opponent has three-four turns to deal with Jace, the Archive Tornado after he hits the table or he/she loses the game, practically.

jace ingenuity

Route no. 2 – use other Blue abilities

After seeing Snapcaster Mage imprinted on Jace, Telepath Unbound I think it would be very cool to see other classic Blue cards on him. Imagine for example, a particular Faerie Wizard:

Jace, the Anti-Flash Wizard UUU
starting loyalty: 4


+1: Counter target spell if its owner doesn’t pay 2. Use this ability any time you could play an instant
-3: Target player chooses a card, shuffles it into his or her library, then draws a card
-7: You get an emblem: “All your spells have flash. All opponents can play instants only when they could play a sorcery”

Or a this one version clearly inspired by Jace’s vacation at the seaside:

Jace, Master of Tides 4U
starting loyalty: 2

+1: Return target creature an opponent controls to its owner’s hand
-3: You may put an additional land from your hand into the battlefield each of your turns
-10: You get an emblem: “Whenever you tap an Island for mana, you may add another U to your mana pool”

jace erasure

Route no. 3 – use secondary abilities from another colour

So far, we went deep into a treasury of Blue spells and effects. How about we go sideways a bit and visit other colours realms for exciting inspiration for Jace?

As we’ve seen from the very beginning, Jace was hiding a little knack for Black. Let’s go full Dimir and make him someone who can scare Liliana for a bit.

Jace, the Eye of the Sacrifice  2UB
starting loyalty: 3

+2: Discard a creature card from your hand: Draw a card
-3: Target player sacrifices a non-land permanent he or she owns
-11: Target player sacrifices all of his or her permanents, then returns that many permanents from all graveyards into the battlefield under his or her control

This Jace can be tricky, but you know… you can return your own permanents as well as the opponent’s permanents. Commander players would be ultra happy, I think.

And the time has come for the last Magic the Gathering Jace for today. This one little piggy went into the woods and experienced interesting relevations about himself.

Jace, the Forest Wanderer  2GUU
starting loyalty: 5

+1: Discard a land card from your hand: attacking creatures don’t deal combat damage during target opponent’s next turn
0: Draw four cards. Skip your next turn
-X: For every counter removed from Jace, target opponent returns a creature he or she controls into its owner’s hand

Community Question: What ability would you like to see on a Jace planeswalker?

Thanks for reading.

Mario Ludwinski

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