The New Jace!
As my Modern campaign for 2014 is coming to a close (am still considering GP Kobe later in August), my attention now shifts to all the new goodies in Magic 2015. With SIX announced Planeswalkers for this core set and a highly anticipated brand new Jace, I was the one of thousands who kept hitting refresh on Friday after seeing this tweet:
What we wished for was another version of the Worldwake planeswalker called the Jace That Shall Not Be Named.
What we expected was a cross between Jace, Architect of Thought and Jace Beleren
What we got was…. Blehhhh. Yes there were immediately hundreds, if not thousands of haters and boos….
Or so that was what I initially thought. I read and re-read the entire card. What you see:
+1: Half a Dimir Charm yourself
-1: Void Snare
-8: “Timetwister” me
What I get from Jace the Living Guildpact is:
1. Adds to devotion
2. Filter your next draw to get a better card
3. Tempo your opponent
4. Ultimate to discard opponent’s entire hand + draw 7 fresh cards is YOU WIN
LSV had the right idea of adding Jace to Mono U devotion but I can’t say I agree Jace being the right fit in an aggressive version of the Mono U. While tempo is nice, it’s a four mana Unsummon which is easily replaceable or in fact acts as a more expensive Cyclonic Rift…
Overload Cyclonic Rift + Jace’s Ultimate…. That sounds like something.
Realistically, Jace’s ultimate ability (unhindered of course) is turn 7 (Jace effectively comes in with 6 loyalty the turn you play him on turn 4). Cyclonic Rift with overload is turn 7 but you don’t really need 7 lands in play as there’s always Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx… I think we’re starting to get somewhere.
Yeah, but Mono U is still weak to control and having Jace + Cyclonic Rift doesn’t change the matchup all that much. Creatures still die to Supreme Verdict and with no pressure on the table control decks can still pick on Jace with Banishing Lights or Detention Spheres. But now with my idea of adding more copies of Nythos to fuel the Rift, it can also fuel M15′s latest colorless beater with an awesome ability.
Eleven mana can be expensive to invest for an indestructible effect and is for sure vulnerable the turn you cast the Soul of New Phyrexia. But what if it was in the graveyard to begin with? Effectively “countering” Supreme Verdict with 5 open mana?
How you ask?? Jace’s + 1 ability of course!
Soul of New Phyrexia also adds a big body to the fragile blue team which sometimes falls behind when facing the likes of Blood Baron of Vizkopa or even a 5/5 Mistcutter Hydra. But if curved nicely, the avatar can be played on turn 4 off a Nykthos!! And if you really really have to… you could bestow your avatar with the Hypnotic Siren and swing with a 7/7 flying trample!
Let’s also talk about the +1. Haters are complaining to say that it’s the first Jace that doesn’t allow you to draw the turn it enters. True… but Jace’s +1 offers you a different dimension. As LSV pointed out, its better than Scry 1 but worse than Scre 2. But combined with Thassa, God of the Sea, you effectively have the option to go deep 3 cards a turn which is HUGE! With game-changing cards such as the Soul, Cyclonic Rift or even Bident of Thassa and Hypnotic Siren, digging for up to 3 a turn is a boon.
So here’s my take on a post M15 Mono U Devotion “Control”
4 Frostburn Weird
4 Tidebinder Mage
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Master of Waves
3 Soul of New Phyrexia
3 Hypnotic Siren
4 Jace, the Living Guildpact
2 Bident of Thassa
3 Cyclonic Rift
4 Nykthos, Shrine of Nyx
The core of the deck pretty much is the same except the addition of Hypnotic Siren to maximize Nykthos’s full ability. Stealing opponent’s fatties and make them fly on turn 5 is nice. The ideal situation would be playing as a standard Mono U, flooding the board with early creatures and tempo out with Jace or Cyclonic Rift. The longer games would involve bigger effects such as the Siren or Soul of New Phyrexia off the Nykthos or an overloaded Rift if the board is stalled. This version of the Mono U lacks the speed of the original version but I think it definitely has more legs in the later game.
Once again, this new Jace has far more potential than people give it credit for. Will it work for other decks? Maybe, time will tell.