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Friday, June 24, 2011

New M12 Jace Spoiled on G4TV. Mill Runs Rampant.

Welcome back, everyone!

Today we'll be looking at the newest Mythic Rare to be previewed from Magic 2012. We knew last week that Jace, Chandra, and Garruk would probably be getting new versions (thanks to some Japanese semi-spoilers of different artwork and different Japanese names compared to their Lorwyn brethren).

What we didn't now was what any of them would do...until now.

We saw with Belltower Sphinx yesterday that Milling would make its presence known in Magic 2012. But we didn't know how much until now.

Let me introduce you to Jace, Memory Adept!!!!

Courtesy MTGSalvation.com
The image may not be clear enough on what exactly this new version of Jace does, so I'll type it all out.

Jace, Memory Adept
Planeswalker - Jace
+1: Draw a card. Target player puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
+0: Target player puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
-7: Any number of target players each draw twenty cards.
4 Starting Loyalty
Mythic Rare

O.O  Can you say "OMG"? This Jace is a miller's dream! For the same cost as Traumatize you get repeated milling of 10 cards a turn!

"But he can't protect himself! (see Garruk's "make a 3/3 creature" or Jace, the Mind Sculptor's "bounce a creature" abilities for examples)"

Well, no. This Jace definitely needs to be used in combination with some protectors. (Hmm...you know, Gideon Jura was wondering if he'd ever protect a Jace again. ;)  ).

So let's break down how useful his abilities are:

"+1": Finally, a Jace that draws you a card without going "-1" and builds itself up! AND it mills the top card of a player's library. How can you argue with that? Is it super powerful? Well, if players were doing "-1" on Jace Beleren to draw cards without giving their opponent anything, I think they'll happily "+1" to get the same thing and deny their opponent.

"+0": Mill 10? Seriously? Beleren had "-10" to mill twenty! And now we're getting "mill 10" for free? Can you say "Heck yeah"? This alone will make it a casual player's dream, and for tournaments if he can be protected and proliferated enough to keep living I can imagine Jace, Memory Adept being the centerpiece of a competitive Mill deck and winning games.

"-7:" Seriously?! DRAW 20? Okay, so for a mill player they basically got Jace Beleren's ultimate at 3 fewer loyalty needed and an extra loyalty already tacked on (Memory Adept starts at 4 vs. Beleren starting at 3). That and they no longer would need to worry about dumping a big Eldrazi titan and losing all that work. But what gets me is the multiplayer application. "Any number of target players"? So at worst I could help all my teammates and myself by drawing 20 cards each, and if we're smart enough to be running Reliquary Tower we'll never have to worry about discarding? While we get all the answers we probably could ever need? I'll happily pay 7 loyalty to do that. Now where did I put my Doubling Seasons so I could do this first turn out? :) :)

Where do I see Jace? If players can protect him enough and/or Proliferate him up enough, I think Mental Adept could be seen in competitive Magic. If Innistrad is a Graveyard-based block like some are expecting, you can mill yourself for advantage so he'll still see competitive play. Casually, EDH/Commander, and the like I can definitely see him getting play value. If I could pick these up for $10-$15 each, I'd do it. He'll be very popular, and we've seen that the casual market can make prices higher than cards may deserve (take Doubling Season, for example. $18 on the low end for NM copies? But it's not in competitive decks.)

What do you think? Too powerful? Not powerful enough? Are you approaching those conclusions from a competitive or casual standpoint (or both)? Let us know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. I think it's over-hyped. Isn't the next set supposed to have a lot of graveyard-based effects? That would make milling potentially dangerous. Memory Adepts final ability is not much different than Beleren's, but it takes one additional turn to pop it without losing the card in the process.

    Besides that, it cost five mana and can't bounce creatures. It's too vulnerable. Gideon can take a beating and kill tapped creatures in the process. Garruk and Elspeth can produce tokens. Jace, Memory Adept can't protect itself at all.

    The only reason people play Jace Beleren is for the 3 card draws and to kill Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Yes, Memory Adept can do this too...but at a higher mana cost. I don't see this as a card that will see four copies run, if any at all in competitive play. Also, there is more planeswalker hate in Standard now than there was before the previous set, and Memory Adept is just as weak against a counter-Jace as Mind Sculptor was.