MTG Origins: Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy & Jace, Telepath Unbound

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I always wondered what it'd take to print a Planeswalker at 2 mana.  The answer?  Don't print a Planeswalker at 2 mana.  I'm a bit disappointed in Jace, Telepath Unbound  as he takes a full turn cycle to flip over, has an underwhelming ability, and can't put on any offensive pressure whatsoever. Compare him to Liliana, Heretical Healer who can hold her own in combat and doesn't necessarily take a full turn cycle to flip.

On the flip side, literally, I think he's also just awful.  His ultimate takes four activations of his pathetically bad +1 ability (and really, only +1?  Come on...) and his -3 (again, really?) is a sorcery-speed Snapcaster Mage which doesn't even manifest a threat on the board.  I understand that we're only investing 2 mana in this card, but it feels like we can do a lot better for 2 mana than a Merfolk Looter that can't beat down, even if he turns into a mediocre Planeswalker in a turn or two.

I'm disappointed in this Jace, to be sure.   My primary formats are Commander and Cube, so I am inclined to be more forgiving than someone like Adam Yurchick or Brian deMars; their criteria for a strong Mythic are likely much higher.  I don't Foresee  this card appearing in Pro Tour or Grand Prix Top 8 deck lists any time soon.

Whatever the preorder price for this latest Jace, it'll be too high.  Steer clear.

10 thoughts on “MTG Origins: Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy & Jace, Telepath Unbound

  1. I’m not sure why you were still wondering about 2 cost planeswalkers. We’ve had a real one for ages and based on Tibalt the answer is – be unplayable.

  2. It’s important to note that Jace’s ability doesn’t have to be activated 5 times…it needs to be activated once, you just have to have 4 other cards in your graveyard when you activate it…which isn’t that hard in blue decks. His biggest downside is that his only really good ability is the -3…though the +1 isn’t bad if you can get him on an open field (or with only 1 creature…say a Delver of Secrets)

  3. Strong opinions make good internet articles, but they also have the propensity to be wrong. It does not help that this, like may QS articles, is almost nothing more than a link with a small amount of commentary describing it.

    Both of these Walkers are very difficult to handle and it is far to early to call them bad. Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: Tibalt was bad for reasons that went beyond raw power level. The only thing he could do out of the gate was give you a bad looting effect. If you wanted to do that at 2 mana, there were two cards IN THE SAME BLOCK that did the job better – Faithless Looting and Desperate Ravings. Add to that the fact that his ability could randomly screw you over and you end up with a card that has no applications.

    Jace and Chandra are not Tibalt. Jace is nominally a Merfolk Looter. That’s not a powerhouse, but it is a fine card. Then, in the mid-game, Jace becomes a slower Snapcaster Mage. Now, I don’t know that the love child of Tiago and a Merman is really very powerful, but it is unique and not necessarily bad. If Merfolk Looter flat out DREW you a card every third time you used it, would it be played? That’s not a bad comparison to what Jace does.

    Chandra, similarly, is designed to be plugged into the sort of “machine gun” UR decks we saw in the past with cards like Gelectrode. They were never tournament staples, but given the right new printings, they could be. We have lots of powerful tools for a deck like this in Modern at the moment, and a few Lava Dart-esque cards might put it into contention.

    Bottom line- don’t rush to judgment because these cards are not named “The Mindsculptor.” Let’s see what they can do.

  4. This article is utterly embarrassing now that you look back. Everything you said is wrong. What little and terrible foresight you have. Sure you should be doing this?

  5. Ya a 2 mana planeswalker that flips next turn in every format if you play it right, is a looter, and gives flashback for its minus….ya totally unplayable. people can be so bad at evaluating cards. I cant wait to see how wrong people are about BFZ

  6. Man doesn’t your “high quality” review looks really dumb, Like you have no idea how magic works dumb. Quiet Speculation or just not even understanding speculation

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