Jace, the Perfected Mind – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Anybody who’s noticed me sprinkling references to wrestling into reviews over the years can probably predict what I’m about to say: if your career lasts long enough, you’ll get to be both a hero and a villain. You’ll probably have multiple runs as each, too. From that point of view, it’s curious that most of the Perfected Mind’s abilities are just more Jace Things – I guess Elesh Norn thought his moveset was already useful for Phyrexia as is. But we certainly don’t need another Mind Sculptor, and he’s good enough without being another Mind Sculptor. You can use him offensively or defensively, as long as you’re willing to go all in on the mill effects, and he has a way to temporarily deal with creatures if you choose the latter. He can be pretty fast at getting things into your opponent’s graveyard or your own, though the compleated keyword’s impact on loyalty means there’s a tradeoff and a strategic tension involved. I think he’s got a lot of potential.
Commander [EDH]: 3
Considering that Jace has been one of the faces of Magic for the past 15 or so years, seeing his fate in Phyrexia: All Will Be Oneis…surprising, to say the least, and I don’t think most (non-spoiled) people would have predicted Jace would will the compleation lottery going into the set. But he was one of the five to draw the oil-covered ticket, so here we are.
The newest Jace seems to more directly tie back to the usual Jace suite of abilities: mill, card draw, and combat tricks. Against a single attacker, his +1 is a good way to protect all the things worth protecting, as -3/-0 is a lot more than you usually get from it. The -2 is his card-draw ability, which also functions as both graveyard set-up early or as a mill strike on your opponent; twenty cards is a lot to be in a graveyard in a non-incidental manner, but it’s worth mention that Jace rewards you regardless of who has the loaded graveyard, so there’s that. His “ultimate” isn’t a conventional one: pay loyalty to force someone to mill thrice that many cards, which can be an efficient way to load up your graveyard or to take a big chunk out of an opponent’s library.
Of course, Jace also has the compleated keyword, meaning he can come in as a three-loyalty, three-mana planeswalker or as a five-loyalty, four-mana planeswalker. I think that Jace generally is one who wants to come out early, though the option to bring him in if you really need to shred a deck is worthwhile, since a full Jace activation is worth a quarter of a Constructed deck. I think the correct play will usually be three mana for three loyalty, but there will be times where two more loyalty is worth it.
Jace isn’t generically powerful, but he does enough to justify use in any deck that cares about graveyards and all that. I think being able to be cast for three mana gives him value more than he would normally, because being able to start blunting some strikes is a really effective thing to do on turn 3. Unlikely to be an all-star, but he’ll put plenty of work in if you let him.
Limited: 5 (mill is disproportionately powerful with a smaller deck, and Jace can do a lot of damage)
Multiplayer: 3 (none of his abilities scale all that well to more people at the table, though his -2 lets you get three cards if just one person has the graveyard needed)
Commander [EDH]: 3 (same deal, just with thicker decks)
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