With a week’s worth of Modern decks with Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf to look at, we’re starting to get an idea of where people think these cards fit in the format. Jace has been slotted into some of the more common control decks and combo decks, while Bloodbraid Elf is powering up all manner of midrange decks. That said, control decks and decks with fast mana aren’t the only kinds of decks that can leverage Jace. There are other styles of decks that can leverage Jace both as a tempo engine, card advantage, and a win condition. Let’s take a look at Klump’s list from this week:
Turns - Modern | Klump, 5-0 Modern League
- Creatures (2)
- 2 Snapcaster Mage
- Planeswalkers (4)
- 4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
- Sorceries (17)
- 1 Walk the Aeons
- 2 Exhaustion
- 2 Part the Waterveil
- 4 Serum Visions
- 4 Temporal Mastery
- 4 Time Warp
- Enchantments (4)
- 4 Dictate of Kruphix
- Artifacts (3)
- 3 Howling Mine
- Lands (23)
- 19 Island
- 1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
- 1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
- 2 Radiant Fountain
We’ve seen variants on this style of deck in Modern before, particularly after the unbanning of Ancestral Vision. Your goal here is to use the early turns to resolve Howling Mines and other cantrips so that you can ensure that you can survive until turn five and then resolve a Time Warp. From there, your Howling Mines and Dictate of Kruphixes become more one-sided every time you resolve a Time Warp or Exhaustion. You can even leverage the combination of Gigadrowse and Exhaustion as additional copies of Time Warp and Temporal Mastery.
This deck relies on the ability to chain together Time Warps to generate an overwhelming advantage. Consequently, one of the biggest issues that this deck has is that the addition of ways to win the game frequently dilutes your deck of early interaction or Time Warp effects. People have tried cards like Narset Trascendent and Celestial Colonnade as well as Jace Beleren and other Blue-based Planeswalkers.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor is far and away better than any of these other options. It doesn’t require you to stretch your mana for additional colors or taplands. It is both an additional win condition as well as card advantage and selection to help ensure you can hit a critical mass of extra turns. However, on top of all of that, Jace is a great tempo engine unto himself.
If your opponents are dependent on large, singular threats like Tarmogoyf, Death's Shadow, or Gurmag Angler, Jace does a fantastic job of effectively buying you multiple extra turns, since you can force your opponent to resolve their threat multiple times. This plan isn’t as good against hasty threats like Bloodbraid Elf or creature lands like Raging Ravine and Treetop Village, but hopefully by that point you’ve assembled enough lands and card draw effects that you can effectively leverage Gigadrowse and Exhaustion to protect your follow-up Jace.
If you’re looking for a midrangey combo deck that can effectively leverage all of Jace’s abilities, look no further. We’re just a week into Jace’s tenure in Modern, as we’re already seeing it in decks of every type across the spectrum from aggro to pure control. That said, if you enjoy nothing more than getting as many Jace activations as possible, this seems like the best deck for the job.