From the moment Jace, Memory Adept was spoiled, I wanted to build a deck around it. While this version of Jace doesn’t appear to be nearly as broken as the previous incantation, it offers card advantage, and some serious milling power.
Hedron Crabs combined with a couple of Zendikar fetchlands offer additional milling sources on the cheap.
This deck also seems like a natural place to include Chancellor of the Spires, a card I’ve been wanting to use for a while, but never really had room for.
One other card I wanted to make sure I included was Surgical Extraction. It’s an incredibly cheap instant that can absolutely gut any combo-based deck such as Splinter Twin or even some Valakut builds.
Throw in your standard counter magic, a couple of card drawing options, and you’re pretty much set with the build I’ll be giving a test drive this Friday night.
Now, I’m still tinkering with things a bit so don’t hold me to these totals. For example, I’m not sure how many Gitaxian Probe’s I really need vs. Visions of Beyond or even an extra Jace or Sphinx.
However, in the limited testing I’ve done, I can tell you the combination of Jace’s Erasure and Jace’s Archivist can be incredibly productive.
I’m expecting a meta-game flooded with mono-red builds, and probably a couple of Caw-Go decks as well, so my sideboard will probably focus on preventing the burn.
The deck started off with a bang against a Puresteel Paladin deck, but stalled out in game 2 and 3. Despite having several card drawing options, the deck had a difficult time keeping pace when it got into the mid-game.
My next match was against a UB Control/Vampire hybrid that appeared ill-conceived and even more poorly executed. I quickly dispatched my opponent but didn’t really take that as a positive reflection on the build.
The third deck I faced was Grixis Twin. While Surgical Extraction did strong work preventing the combo, I once again struggled as the game dragged on. The lack of creatures, and lack of options for dealing with resolved creatures emerged as an evident flaw for the deck. The first game was decided by Lavaclaw Reaches while the second came to a screeching halt when my opponent resolved an Inferno Titan.
My last match ended up being as close as you could get to a mirror match with a rogue’ish type deck like this. Fittingly, we ended up drawing when my opponent milled us both for 20 at the end of a long third game.
This deck was a bit of a disappointment for me. While I didn’t expect to run the table with it, I was certainly hoping for a better showing. After my FNM matches, I played a few more games against the Hawkward and Caw-go builds and didn’t stand a chance. I haven’t yet decided whether it’s a salvageable concept or not. Its possible adding white for things like Gideon Jura, Oblivion Ring and Day of Judgement would help, but I suspect I’d simply be building a worse version of UW Control or Caw-go.
I considered adding green for some ramp, but space is limited and I have serious doubts about milling someone fast enough even with mana acceleration. It’s probably best to set the idea aside for now and pick it up again when the sting of defeat isn’t quite as fresh.