Jace, Mirror Mage
– Zendikar Rising
September 30, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Just by the stats, the Mirror Mage is both powerful and potentially annoying. Entering as early as turn 3 and scrying every turn, or drawing even one or two cards, is potentially strong. The threat of him getting multiple cards over turns will lead to some opponents targeting him like a Dark Confidant – four loyalty gives some room for that threat to come good, especially in a tempo deck, even before you remember that 40% of a deck is land).
If you do manage to kick him – and why wouldn’t you, seeing as we’re apparently a ramp game right now? – it’s all that much worse. One of the Jaces can scry so the other one can draw most advantageously, and that’s top-tier stuff; the only reason I don’t compare it to the high- or god-tier planeswalkers is because he needs other cards to end the game in practice, as opposed to just theory and card advantage.
This is a pretty interesting take on everyone’s favorite annoying blue mage, and the entire shtick of this Jace is basically to be a card advantage engine. He has no real ability to impact the board, but by using his +1 and 0 abilities carefully, you can weave together a pretty nice chain of cards. (It’s interesting that his 0 echoes that of Sarkhan the Mad, but that’s maybe a discussion for another day.)
Kicker is where things get interesting, making a second Jace to be annoying with. He only has 1 loyalty, but using that for the scry and the real one to get the cards is a way to preserve them both, and Jace can definitely make for a lot of card advantage over a long game. He’s a bit player, thanks to a lack of any pressure whatsoever, but blue decks could do worse in terms of card advantage. Jace will do well if you have to cast him on curve, but the Mirror Mage pays off a bit better if you can wait a smidge.
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