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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Juzám Djinn
Image from Wizards.com

 Juzam Djinn
- Arabian Nights

Reviewed July 2, 2014

Constructed: 3.10
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 4.10
Multiplayer: 3.15

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Juzam Djinn

A 5/5 that comes down cheap, and slowly bleeds you. Definitely worth it, since you're losing 1 life while your opponent is taking 5 damage or chump blocking each turn. Of course, there are ways for an opponent to turn the tables on you. A high-toughness Wall will block the Djinn every turn, at which point you're paying 1 life each turn to force him to use his best blocker, while another creature gets through. I'd call that a fair trade-off. A Pacifism or other neutralizing card that doesn't remove its target from play would be especially damaging, if your opponent has them. These days, most such removal exiles its target, in order to deny you the ability to sacrifice it for a benefit.

Juzam Djinn is an interesting example of how Magic has changed over the years. Today, a 5/5 with no evasion or other combat-relevant ability and no way to deter kill spells is only moderately scary. (When Juzam was printed, "being a black creature" was almost as good at stopping kill spells as hexproof.) There's also far more mana rocks in circulation, so even in Mono-Black you can get a 2BB creature out on Turn Three if your deck is built for it. (Then again, Dark Ritual could put a Juzam in play on Turn Two...) Losing 1 life per turn isn't nearly as big of a drawback as it once was either, since black now gets more lifelink and life drain effects. It's still a beast if you can get it out early, but it's hardly the Stuff of Legends it once was. Heck, Plague Sliver in Time Spiral block only saw play because it was tech against Sliver decks.

Constructed- 2.5
Casual- 4
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 3

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Juzam Djinn

This guy. This is the guy. You know all those 5/5 creatures for four mana and some disadvantage (or, in Rumbling Slum's case, advantage) we've played with over the years? None of them would be here if not for this guy. And I'd like to think the fact that most of them are fairly strong is also following in Juzam Djinn's footsteps: the regular damage each turn can add up, but his power and toughness beat an awful lot of creatures, even if you don't get him out on the first turn with Dark Ritual. If you're not used to creatures with obvious disadvantages after seeing the Theros block, always remember two things: five is a larger number than one, as in he deals more damage to other things than he does to you; and five is a larger number than four, as in the comparison between his power and his mana cost. That's just math. You can't argue with math.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5 (did anyone really draft Arabian Nights?)
Multiplayer: 3/5


Welcome back readers todays card of the day is one of the most iconic Magic cards of all time, once the face of Magic this powerful creature personifies black perfectly, a downside or drawback in exchange for power. Outside of this cards historical applications there’s not a whole lot to this creature, this card has been outclassed several times over due to the increase of power of black creatures and creatures in general. Once fearsome this creature has fallen by the wayside, outside of casual play and limited environments its contained in this creature is simply outclassed and remains more of a relic of the glory days of Magic, a nostalgic but still playable card.

Constructed: 1.5
Casual: 2.5
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 2.5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Juzam Djinn which is a four mana Black 5/5 that deals one damage to you during your upkeep steps. This was a very powerful creature in the earlier days of Magic as it was well above the mana curve and had the support of Dark Ritual to get it into play earlier. Several recent creatures in Black can do more in the right deck, sometimes with no drawbacks aside from an entirely Black mana cost. There are still a few decks where this will find a slot as it is strong for the color and doesn't demand a great deal of support.

In a Limited format with this available it is a solid threat for the cost, even with the loss of life, and can be a worthwhile first pick in Booster. For Sealed it depends on the pool as it can help push the deck into being at least half Black, but is not strong enough in the late game to carry a deck by itself.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.5

Michael Sokolowski

Juzám Djinn was released during 1993 in the Arabian Nights set - the very first Magic: The Gathering expansion set ever, coming down after Alpha, Beta and Unlimited, but before Revised. How good was the Djinn back then?

It was one of the best creatures in the game.

You're looking at a 5/5 for 4 mana. Not only are you looking at a 5/5 for 4 mana, you're looking at one from a time where Hill Giant was a thing. Not only was Hill Giant a thing, but there were these fun little cards called Dark Ritual and Sol Ring which could help you cast Juzám Djinn on turn 1.

So, yeah.

Now, though? It's still actually good. I don't think anyone will ever really complain about a 5/5 for 4 mana. Unless it has some ridiculous downside. And you know what? Taking 1 damage every turn isn't a ridiculous downside. Black is well known for paying life in exchange for more power, and with an early 5/5 you should be able to dish out more hurt to your opponent than you take from paying the price for power. Plus black has plenty of Drain Life effects to help keep you in the game.

Would you still play it now, say in constructed or casual, assuming you could get your hands on one? Well, you COULD. It's not a bad card, in any era. All that's really changed over time is that there is now more competition. Juzám Djinn isn't the only 5/5 for 4 mana in black anymore. Now you've got things like Phyrexian Scuta and Plague Sliver and Abyssal Persecutor and of course by far the most powerful, the mighty Phyrexian Obliterator.

It's almost as if Juzám Djinn was giving us a sneak peek at the "power creep" that would take place in the future. A card before its time.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 4
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 4


Deck Garage

Juzam Djinn
Juzam Djinn is one of the most iconic cards in Magic for multiple reasons. When he was first printed, a 5/5 for 4 mana was unheard of, even with the drawback of 1 life per turn. Take a look at the Magic: The Early Years and see what kind of power 4 mana usually gave you. Bog Wraith. Giant Spider. Hill Giant. War Mammoth. The Djinn outclassed everything else you could do for its cost, and even at a higher cost, there weren't many creatures that could face down a 5/5 and live. Even today, while it might not be the powerhouse it once was, you could do a lot worse.
Secondly, the Djinn was one of the first cards that helped us see that life could be a resource. Some players looked at it and saw the damage it did to its controller and thought it was terrible. Smart players recognized that it was a small price to pay for the havoc it could cause when it turned sideways.
A third reason it was so iconic was because of the art. Along with Shivan Dragon and Serra Angel, the menacing smirk of the Djinn became one of the faces of Magic. Players would see his image and know it represented Magic. 
Constructed: 4 (5 back in its heyday)
Casual: 4.5 (who could ignore the cool factor of slapping him on the table?)
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 3

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