Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Blue Planeswalkers in Magic: The Gathering
Blue is the color of control in Magic, and its planeswalkers emphasize drawing cards to keep your hand stocked throughout the match. Alternatively, some can weaken your opponent's monsters, compensating for blue's relative martial weakness; and others return cards to the hand, forcing your opponent to waste time and resources recasting them.
Many of blue's planeswalkers are alternatives of legendary mage Jace; bear in mind that you can only control one of the forms at once, so try not to overload your deck with planeswalkers sharing the same name (even in different versions). But with many cerulean spells available, which units reign supreme? These are the 10 best blue planeswalkers in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4
Sadly, Jace's Mind-Mage mode only enters with five loyalty counters considering his cost of six mana, but he wields not one but two +1 effects, letting you pick between drawing a card or untapping all your creature. And if you manage to pull off his ultimate -9, you permanently gain control of up to three creatures, stealing your foe's strongest units.
Jace also enjoys the sorcery support "Grasping Current," which bounces two creatures from the field to the hand and searches him from either your deck or graveyard. A decent card, although you can attain extra draws at lower prices with units like...
9. Jace, Memory Adept
For his taxing price, Jace's Adept form only has four loyalty, but his +1 lets you draw and mills the top card of any player's deck, helping you force a deck-out loss on your opponent or stock your own graveyard.
Alternatively, his +0 doesn't draw, but it mills ten cards from a player's deck, an excellent deck-out tactic, and his -7 has any number of players draw 20 cards. Not only can this stock your hand (combo with cards that give infinite hand size like "Reliquary Tower"), it can remove yet another 20 cards from a foe's deck, useful for that deck-out win if you've been diligently attacking their library.
8. Mu Yanling
Since Mu's not a Jace card, you can have her and any Jace fielded simultaneously, though she requires a hefty chunk of six mana. Still, +2 makes a creature unblockable for the turn, useful for activating direct damage effects and scoring commander damage in EDH format. -3 simply draws twice, but try to save for Mu's brutal -10 effect, which not only taps all opposing creatures but offers you an extra turn, clearly the way for a game-winning invasion.
7. Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace's Architect form carries a fair loyalty to mana ratio, and his +1 has enemy creatures who attack next turn lose one power that round, punishing aggressive strategies. -2 reveals the top three cards of your deck, has an opponent separate them into two piles, and lets you take your pick (the others are placed on the bottom of your deck), an interesting draw alternative that lets you see what you'll acquire.
Architect also carries a great -8, letting you search through each player's deck (including your own), exile a non-land, and cast the cards for free. This is absolutely monstrous in multiplayer, but it's still fierce in 1v1, letting you pull Eldrazi or other high-cost titans to quickly finish a match.
6. Jace Beleren
Jace's Beleren form is surprisingly cheap, costing just three mana, and he can quire two loyalty at once. Sadly, +2 has all players draw a card, so your opponents receive the same benefit you do, but you can use -1 to have only yourself draw, letting you switch between +2 and -1 to gradually out-draw your opponents while building loyalty.
Ultimate -10 mills the top 20 cards from a player's deck, handy if you're running a deck-out strategy; otherwise, spend your excess loyalty to fuel Beleren's -1 effect and give him extra health in case he's attacked.
5. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Since she's not Jace, Tamiyo can be combined with today's other units, and despite a mediocre starting loyalty, she has a nice ability spread. +1 taps a permanent and prevents it from untapping during its next untap step, a great way to dull bigger threats. This combos excellently with her -2, which lets you draw a card for each tapped creature a player controls.
Then, ultimate -8 provides an emblem that gives you an infinite hand size and lets you retrieve any card sent to your graveyard, letting you repeatedly recover spells and wear your opponent's down with sheer numbers.
4. Jace, Cunning Castaway
Another rare three-cost planeswalker, Jace's Castaway rendition has a lackluster +1, letting you draw and discard if you land direct combat damage that turn. -2 is better, creating a 2/2 illusion creature token than sacrifices itself if targeted.
However, the real treat is -5, which creates two non-legendary copies of Castaway, letting you control all three. Used in tangent with the enchantment "Doubling Season", you can construct infinite Jaces in a single round (since they arrive with six loyalty, enough to harness and survive their ultimate); from there, conjure infinite 2/2 tokens and swing with them on your next turn for the win.
In addition to his lenient mana fee and infinite potential, Cunning Castaway is surprisingly cheap for a planeswalker, costing less than four dollars, letting him fit snugly in several of my own blue structures.
3. Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
Jace's Unraveler of Secrets mode arrives with a fair loyalty count and three potent effects. +1 scries then draws a card, giving some control over what you attain, and -2 bounces any creature (even your own) back to its owner's hand.
Even better -8's emblem counters each opponent's first spell every turn; pull this off, and you'll likely win. Again, use Doubling Season to have Unraveler enter with ten loyalty, enough to immediately trigger the effect without killing Jace.
2. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy/Jace, Telepath Unbound
This transforming double-sided card initially begins as a 0/2 creature, and since he's legendary, he can serve as commander in EDH mode. His tap effect draws and discards a card, and if there are at least five in your graveyard, he shifts into his planeswalker form.
Telepath Unbound arrives with a surprisingly high five loyalty, and his most notable trait is his excellent -3, letting you cast recast instants or sorceries from the graveyard that turn (sending them into exile), essentially giving them flashback.
1. Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Mind Sculptor offers not three but four tantalizing abilities. +2 essentially scries, though you can perform it on any deck, not just your own. But you'll likely use +0 more often, as it draws three cards, then places any two from your hand on top of your deck, essentially giving a free "Brainstorm" and letting you set the effects of cards with miracle (which are cheaper immediately after being drawn).
Additionally, -1 bounces a creature back to hand, an excellent removal for such a low price. Very rarely will you gather 12 loyalty, but if you do, -12 exiles all cards from a library, then shuffles the player's hand into their now-empty deck, a brutal penalty that will impose a deck-out loss within a few turns.
With his four great effects, it's no surprise Mind Sculptor is a blue commander staple, although obtaining a real copy costs an obscene amount of money.
Supporting Planeswalkers in Magic
In addition to the afore-mentioned Doubling Season, check out the "Oath" support cards to further enhance your spellcasters. Remember you can only have one Jace planeswalker fielded at once, but to expand your options, try blending blue with other colors. For instance, pairing with green accesses fierce units like "Nissa, Steward of Elements" and "Kiora, Master of the Depths."
For its excellent counterspell potential, blue remains arguably the strongest color in 1v1 commander games, and today's planeswalkers further assert its dominance. But for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of mono-blue planeswalkers, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
me on March 31, 2020:
this goes to stand for that blue has some surprisingly good deceitful tactics on blue Planeswalkers, adding to it's already formidable manipulation, a tough characteristic to beat.
Anonymous on August 07, 2019:
So many Jace cards. I am shocked at how OP Jace can get.