Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant – Kamigawa: Neon Destiny
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 5.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
After Vorinclex’s appearance on Kaldheim, a lot of us were wondering if, or when, his friends would show up. Turns out that Jin-Gitaxias was off doing Rude Things on Kamigawa, and now he’s back in a better form than his fairly underwhelming first outing.
As with all the Praetors, they offer a vicious bit of anti-symmetry to punish your opponents with, and Jin-Gitaxias is threatening with enough room. Doubling your first spell each turn makes for a massive explosion if you can untap with this, and your opponents will have a hard time removing him when they have to burn a spell to aim removal at him…in blue, the color with the best reactive answers. Once he gets entrenched, Jin-Gitaxias is extremely hard to dislodge, especially once you can untap with him.
He’s not perfect as far as a lock goes, and his body is fairly underwhelming in terms of closing out a game. Enchantments, creatures, and planeswalkers usually duck under his counter-magic field, and an opponent with enough resources can “burn” past that shield. He’s also fairly useless against an established board, and so he’s a card better at pushing advantages than spurring comebacks. I think he’s quite potent, though, and there will always be ways to try and abuse his lockdown in formats that rely heavily on the spells he counters; his fate may actually be to shine in Legacy and Vintage more than in Standard, if I had to guess.
Constructed: 3.5 (great from ahead, awful from behind)
Limited: 4.75 (good luck killing him)
Multiplayer: 5 (you will likely make many friends)
Commander [EDH]: 5 (to be honest, I would not be shocked if this got banned eventually)
. . . And suddenly, things turned ugly.
I mean, if you’re familiar with the lore, Phyrexia has always been pretty ugly and brutal, when you look at it from that side. But in eras when that was mainly expressed through mid-sized black creatures doing mid-sized black things, it didn’t always feel that way when you just looked at the cards. Jin-Gitaxias leans hard into the transgressive spirit of the New Phyrexia Praetor designs, and perhaps takes it to the next level.
Think of the last artifact you cast, and think of how the game state would have changed if you’d gotten a second one for free. Hedron Archive? Breya’s Apprentice? Maybe just a “humble” Loxodon Warhammer? Instants and sorceries are hardly less impactful, and if you’re building around Jin-Gitaxias, you can include things that maximize the effect of being copied. I shudder to think what he might do with the Expertise cycle from Aether Revolt.
His second ability arguably doesn’t hose opponents as much as some of the classic, iconic prison cards do, but it will cause a lot of problems nonetheless, particularly for certain opponents. If you’re facing, say, something in Standard that leans on Kamigawa Neon Dynasty‘s artifact creatures, they’re going to have to sacrifice quite a lot of things to get others on the table (or use ninjutsu). A lot of cards that remove him will be instants or sorceries, and he combines well with cards like Rule of Law.
Seven mana is a lot, though it might not feel like it when he locks you out of a game; his prospects will be heavily dependent on how fast someone can accelerate or cheat him into play. If they do get there, his abilities are very powerful and built to run away with games.
Commander [EDH]: 5/5 (Like James says, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t face the banhammer at some point)
My early call for best card in the set based on the previous that we have seen so far. I first thought the seven mana value was a turn off but after reading what this card does I completely understand the high mana value. Copying spells is huge and depending on the spell can easily turn the tide of the game in your favor or give you the W. The real kicker here is the second ability, automatically countering your opponent’s artifact, instant, or sorcery spell that they play on both your turn and their turn! In order to counter your big win spell or in order to play their big win spell they’ll need to have another card on hand to just throw away and enough mana to play the kill spell. This makes your opponents think, and they will second guess their next move. Newer players and less experienced ones will have a tough time going up against this card.
In Commander I think this will be a powerhouse. Whether as a commander, or thrown into any deck that is running blue, it’ll be a big pain for your opponent to get passed. If you are running blue you’re going to have protection to but this card protects itself against the heavy spells, if you have a counterspell also on hand you’ll be golden!
Commander [EDH]: 5/5
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉