Brewer's Paradise - Oh Jaces! [Edward Eng] August 13, 2015 00:00

When Magic Origins was released, one of the cards that really stuck out to me was Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. And at the time, there were a lot of naysayers out there; similar to Soulfire Grand Master when it was spoiled. However, I tend to restrain from quickly saying a card isn’t good until I’ve casted it in multiple situations. And even if the card doesn’t perform all that well and I start to think it’s actually not a card, I could still be wrong. As a matter of fact, I pretty much think most cards have their applications. You just have to find that specific application where those ‘bad’ cards shine. I definitely learned my lesson the hard way when I first opened Necropotence in a pack of Ice Age and immediately thought to myself, “This card is terrible. Why would anyone want to skip their draw step?” Heh. Those were the days.

Anyhow, back to Jace. While most people were high on Nissa, Vastwood Seer (which is actually pretty good) and other cards like Languish, I was thinking about how to use Jace. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure and I’m still not sure where he really shines. But I knew that I didn’t want to miss the boat on picking him up in case I wanted to play him, so I ordered my playset. I also ordered a bunch of Hangarback Walkers because they were a buck. One dollah!!! Jeez. If there’s one other thing that I’ve learned over the years aside from not quickly dismissing cards, it’s that you shouldn’t pass up low converted mana cost blue cards and artifacts as well as lands. If you didn’t know this by now, I suggest you remind yourself of this every time a new set is released.

"You shouldn’t pass up low converted mana cost blue cards and artifacts as well as lands." -Edward Eng

Hangarback Walker - Magic Origins

Okay, back to Jace again. Sorry about that. By this time, Gerry Thompson had already blown the doors wide open with Jace in Standard with this mean machine.

Standard
Jeskai Aggro - Gerry Thompson

Creatures (18)
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
2 Harbinger of the Tides
4 Mantis Rider
4 Soulfire Grand Master
4 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

Spells (17)
1 Clash of Wills
2 Dig Through Time
1 Disdainful Stroke
4 Lightning Strike
3 Ojutai's Command
2 Stoke the Flames
2 Valorous Stance
2 Wild Slash

 

 

Sideboard (15)
3 Arashin Cleric
3 Disdainful Stroke
2 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
3 Anger of the Gods
2 End Hostilities
2 Glare of Heresy

I definitely felt the wrath of Jace as I battled against one of Houston’s premier SCG grinders, Maxwell Dresslar, in the swiss portion of a Super IQ in Nacogdoches about a month ago. I clearly remember when Max casted Jace and I immediately said to him, “That’s a good card!” And sure enough, it contributed to helping him win the match.

But surprisingly, I’ve been thinking about Jace more for eternal formats. I remember telling people early on about how I think he could be good in Modern. And most people gave me a weird look. This still might be the case. But to be fair, I don’t think enough people have casted Jace to even know anything yet. Whereas, I started off with something like this for Modern.

Modern
Esper Humans - Edward Eng

Creatures (18)
4 Delver of Secrets
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Monastery Mentor
3 Dark Confidant
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Spells (21)
4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Thought Scour
2 Spell Snare
2 Spell Pierce
3 Path to Exile
1 Mana Leak
3 Remand
3 Lingering Souls

 

Sideboard (15)

???

Oddly enough, after playing a few games with the deck, I felt like Jace was decent but still a little too slow for Modern with all the Twin variants and other combo decks like Grishoalbrand, Bloom, and Tron running around. Thus, believe it or not, I thought maybe Jace might be better in Legacy since there are better and cheaper cantrip spells in the format like Brainstorm and Ponder to fill up your graveyard. Plus, Jace is blue! And you know what that spells...FOW.

Force of Will - Alliances


I guess I wasn’t the only one who caught on to this as we saw some Jace action on camera via Omni-Tell in Washington, D.C. at the SCG Legacy Open this past weekend. I thought that was pretty cool since I haven’t really explored anything outside of Human decks yet.

This is what I originally came up with for Legacy.

Legacy
Esper Humans - Edward Eng

Creatures (14)
Delver of Secrets
Snapcaster Mage
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
Monastery Mentor
Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Spells (26)
Brainstorm
Ponder
Thought Scour
Gitaxian Probe
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Daze
4 Force of Will

 

Sideboard (15)

???

I goldfished the deck a bit, I haven’t put any games under my belt with this list. After goldfishing, it seemed a bit underpowered, but I could be wrong. Anyhow, I decided to tinker some more. And here’s what I came up with.

Legacy
Grixis Humans - Edward Eng

Creatures (16)
Delver of Secrets
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
Snapcaster Mage
4 Young Pyromancer

Spells (24)
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
Brainstorm
Ponder
4 Lightning Bolt
Daze
Force of Will

 

???

This list also seems just soso when I goldfished it. But then again, these are just the beginning stages of testing with Jace. It feels like he’d be good with Wasteland, all the cheap blue cantrips, and Force of Will But I would also like to play Cavern of Souls. However, I think having Wasteland and Cavern of Souls in the same deck puts a lot of strain on the manabase. Ugh. Maybe the way to go is just mono-blue, splashing a color for additional power and options.

There’s definitely a lot of room for experimentation and improvement. I don’t think I’m ready to take Jace to the SCG Invitational in New Jersey at the end of this month, but I’m definitely interested in trying him out some more.

I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas. Hit me up on social media.

Or chat me up in New Jersey.

Thanks for reading.

Peace, love, and have fun…
Eddie

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