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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Image from Wizards.com

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Premium Deck Series: Fire and Lightning

Reviewed April 24, 2012

Constructed: 4.00
Casual: 3.70
Limited: 3.85
Multiplayer: 3.75

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 of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 


Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

Repeatable burn is always nice, especially when it can deal more than 1 damage at a time. Jaya Ballard can effectively turn any card in your hand into a Pyroblast, Incinerate, or Inferno, which means you'll never run out of solid burn spells... until you run out of cards in hand. Red is quite good at running out of cards in hand, and when that happens, this becomes a Gray Ogre. Still, it's always nice knowing that whatever you topdeck could be an Incinerate or Inferno instead if you prefer it to be. There's also the little problem of Jaya having no way of protecting herself from her own Inferno-- unless you're running Darksteel Plate, that trick only works once. And of course, she legendary, so I have to mention that monored Commander decks tend to struggle unless they're combo decks. Jaya is good if you need to make sure you can draw a kill spell when you need it (and the thing you need to kill has 3 or less toughness) but she's not a great card to rely on. She was made into a card for nostalgia purposes, and so she satisfies her purpose, but the truth is, she's just not that great of a card as the story of Jaya would imply.

Constructed- 2
Casual- 2.5
Limited- 3.5
Multiplayer- 2.5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Red, as our readers will have ample time to consider this week, is about more than just fire and lightning. It's about individualism and freedom. It's about passion and creativity. Having said that, Jaya Ballard is all about fire, but here that's a good thing. Her abilities foreshadowed the planeswalker cards of the very next block, and called back to the classic cards Pyroblast, Incinerate, and Inferno, which happened to be among the best red spells ever made. Getting a repeatable version of them is great. Synergizing with madness and flashback is amazing. While it feels a little odd to have a creature version of arguably the most quotable personality in Magic's history, you can't argue with results, and if you've ever seen Jaya take over a game, you know the results firsthand.
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 5/5
Limited: 5/5
Mutiplayer: 4/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Jaya Ballard, Task Mage which is a three mana
2/2 Red legendary creature that can effectively turn any card in hand into Pyroblast, Incinerate, or Inferno at the cost of a discard and one, two, and seven mana respectively.  The first ability is primarily sidedeck or situational, though the second being reusable Incinerate is enough to maindeck her in many Red burn builds.  The Inferno effect may not see play as often as Incinerate or even Pyroblast, but the option is nice for a finisher should the game go on for a while or in Multiplayer.  Haste or Hexproof effects are an excellent addition to a deck with Jaya andSwiftfoot Boots or Lightning Greaves are practically made for her.  Overall this is a very powerful card that embodies versatility and aside from needing cards in hand, which can somewhat be mitigated by card drawing engines, this is one of the most flexible and effective creatures with tap effects.
For Limited this is a major bomb that can make any deck drastically better just by being in it.  Removal wins games and turning any card you draw into it is a fast path to victory.  The format often has a lack of natural removal and an excess of mana or bad topdecks, all of which is addressed by Jaya.  The Legendary status isn't a drawback when you only have access to one and any Sealed should run her provided most of the mana sources are Red to get over the two thirds specific casting cost. 
The lack of real drawbacks also make her an absolute first pick in Booster and a card to worry about for any opponent.
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 5.0
Multiplayer: 4.5


      Welcome to a new week of card of the day reviews here at Pojo.com! This week, my family and I chose some of our favorite cards, and they all turned out to be red, so get ready for a heat wave! Kicking off the week, we look at Jaya Ballard, Task Mage from Time Spiral. Jaya Ballard is a rare red legendary creature human spell shaper. Jaya Ballard costs two red and one generic mana. Jaya Ballard is a 2/2 that has three abilities. The first ability is pay one red mana, tap Jaya Ballard, discard a card from your hand, destroy target blue permanent. Her second ability is pay a generic mana and a red mana, tap, discard a card, deal three damage to target creature or player, a creature hit this way cannot regenerate. Her last ability is pay five generic and two red mana, tap, discard a card, deal six damage to each creature and each player.

      Jaya Ballard, Task Mage was a planeswalker before there were planeswalkers, that is why she has three abilities. And they all are amazing! I love Jaya Ballard so much, she is definitely one of my favorite Legendary creatures. So versatile, and so useful. I do wish that the toughness had been a bit higher, but she certainly serves her purposes. Any blue permanent had better be careful of her first ability, planeswalkers included. Three damage can handle many things, or just be a decent blow to your opponents face. And her final is just crazy for board control. There will be things left after it goes off, but not much.

       I really wish that Jaya would have had protection from her own spells, but I guess that would have made her too powerful, and besides, she is just fine the way she is. Going to continue blowing things up with her, see you guys tomorrow for more card of the day reviews here at Pojo.com!
Limited: 5/5
Constructed: 5/5
Casual: 5/5
Multiplayer: 4/5

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