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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Time Spiral

Reviewed October 18, 2006

Constructed: 3.36
Casual: 3.87
Limited: 4.48

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

Jeff Zandi

 5 Time Pro Tour

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

In limited Time Spiral, Jaya Ballard can take control of the game right
away. Costing only three to cast in a color that seems popular enough in
Time Spiral booster draft so far, Jaya is a serious problem that your
opponent MUST deal with right away or else expect to LOSE. Jaya turns all of
your cards into Red Elemental Blasts (sort of, you get to destroy blue
permanents but you won't be countering any spells), Incinerates (three
damage to a creature or player with no regeneration allowed) or Infernos
(six damage to all creatures and players). Nuff Said! Just like the black
leather outfit she is pictured wearing on the card, Jaya is tight enough to
make the leap to constructed where she can make the pain keep coming in mono red burn decks.



Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

The name of the game here is versatility. Jaya can do so many things, it's frightening. Most Limited decks will willingly move into Red if they snare a Ballard, and Constructed decks will be using her as their utility player for quite a while. Her only downside is that you need cards in hand to use her abilities. Red doesn't draw extra cards well, but it does have some good Madness cards in Time Spiral, so that's another way that Jaya will set the format ablaze.

Constructed- 4
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 4.9

Nick Tan

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

One burning hottie with an attitude, Jaya’s abilities are very versatile and useful if played right. With in-built Incinerate, Jaya can very well wipe the board for you, making her extremely useful. No red deck will want to exclude her, and I haven’t even mentioned what a bomb she is in limited. Go for this one.

Standard: 3.8
Casual: 4
Limited: 4


Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

Hello RDW, meet your new best friend. Jaya is almost like Grim Lavamancer 5-8 in R/BDW type decks. You can pitch unneeded lands to her second effect, and if absolutely necessary, blow up the world with her third effect. The first effect will likely only matter in limited, as the only permanents blue typically plays in constructed are lands until it drops a finisher that Jaya can't deal with. Jaya will see play in Standard if a RDW type deck shows up (along with Magus of the Scroll), but she'll probably have more of an impact on Extended.

In limited, she's a reason to go red.

Constructed - 3
Casual - 3
Limited - 4.5

Cyrus Huang

Yeah everyone else is going to point out the obvious that this card is a mix between the destruction of red elemental blast, incinerate, and inferno, but I need an introduction so I'm going to say it anyways. Anyways, here we go:

Constructed: It's not going to have much of an impact on standard because it's removed too easily (yah go ahead and use the "you suck, every good creature in constructed is easily removed too, so it can't be used as a negative" argument against me). Well... you're right, but there are other factors determining if a creature is good in constructed:
Efficiency (so it can do something before it dies or it won't set you back too much if it dies, examples are like watchwolf, kird ape, etc.)
Unsolvability (so it's difficult to remove... obviously)
Significant effect (examples are like hypnotic specter and ohran viper)
Jaya's got that significant effect trait thing going on, but she's just too inefficient to do anything with it. Why not just play the actual spell, or a similar one instead of paying extra mana for jaya and discarding a card? Too much mana and card investment to make it worthwhile.
Still, it's a good card, just not good enough to be considered better than any other card we play now.

Limited: This card is the definition of greatest limited utility creature ever. It's just silly how ridiculous a 2/2 can be in this format. Removal is premium stuff in the format and when you got a card that can do it three different ways, you have yourself a bomb. Every single one of her abilities is amazing.
Spot removal for annoying blue utility cards and fliers? Check.
Kill basically anything? Check.
Kill literally everything? Check.
Play her or you suck.
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