Spoilers are Coming!! Well, for Magic: The Gathering (M:TG) players anyway. In fact, they are already here. If you look on the M:TG website, they have already revealed so many early spoilers concerning the newest set, Ixalan. The set has just about everything that geeks could want: pirates, treasure maps, merfolk, cities of gold, and dinosaurs. That’s right everybody, they’re actually making dinosaurs in this set. Old Fogey isn’t the only one now!
Monday, Aug. 29 Wizards of the Coast published an article on their website that went over the card mechanics of Ixalan which include Enrage, Raid, and Explore. Now, I won’t be going over these mechanics just yet because while these are some pretty big bombs to drop, Wizards of the Coast dropped the biggest bomb since they introduced the first cycle of Planeswalker cards in Lorwyn.
They released the new Jace Beleren card called Jace, Cunning Castaway. The last we saw of Jace was at the end of the Hour of Devastation battle between Liliana, Chandra, Gideon, Nissa, Jace, and Nicol Bolas. Without much effort, the granddaddy dragon dispatched all of his rival planeswalkers. Jace suffered major psychic trauma and was almost killed, but managed to planeswalk away to a random plane which turns out to be Ixalan.
In my opinion, I wanted a blue/black Jace that was teetering on the edge of dementia. He’d have abilities that caused players to draw and discard cards and maybe some milling added in. What we got was a pure blue Jace with a converted mana cost of three with three loyalty counters when he enters the battlefield.
His abilities read as such:
+1: Whenever one or more creatures you control deal combat damage to a player this turn, draw a card, then discard a card.
-2: Create a 2/2 blue Illusion creature token with “When this creature becomes the target of a spell, sacrifice it.”
-5: Create two tokens that are copies of Jace, Cunning Castaway, except they’re not legendary.
So we do see some madness in the draw/discard ability. The illusion creatures are a nice touch since Jace has a few of those with his name literally on it. The last ability though had many people scratching their heads.
Previously, planeswalkers had what was called the Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule where only one Jace was allowed on your field. If you played Jace, Unraveler of Secrets when you had Jace Beleren on the field you would have to choose which one you would want to stay on the board.
Not anymore! Wizards is doing away with this rule and adding the Legendary type to the Card Type of the Planeswalker. If you notice on the Jace, Cunning Castaway card, he is listed as “Legendary Planeswalker – Jace.”
Now with the uniqueness rule gone, when Ixalan releases, this means that if a player activates Jace’s third ability he can create more Jace’s and then if left unchecked, those Jace’s could create even more Jace’s.
Insane right? Well, that sort of fits Jace’s mindset at the current point in the overall story.
And this goes for all planeswalkers past, future, and present. You thought defeating one Gideon of the Trials was bad. Wait until Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Gideon Jura, Gideon, Battle-Forged, and Gideon, Champion of Justice are join the fight. Those all turn into medium sized creatures that are instantly indestructible for the remainder of the turn.
The same could be said for Liliana, Chandra, Nissa, Sorin, and all the other planeswalkers they’ve made multiples of. At least there is only one Tibalt, am I right?
Seriously though, all Tibalt insults aside, this is going to shake things up a bit. How people build decks will change because of this new rule.
The other interesting thing about this change is that planewalkers are now considered “Legendary” just like creatures. And just like other creatures, there are both legendary and normal creatures. Does this mean that we might see normal planeswalkers later on in the future?