All Jin-Gitaxias wants to do is make people better. Ezuri isn’t the only Mirran he’s converted to Phyrexia’s ways either. Today’s Bad Draws shows what other compleated monstrosities could have been in Commander 2015 Edition.
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Sometimes, a 10 drop is something insane like Omniscience. Other times, it’s not as great as you’d hope it would be for the investment. Jin Gitaxias has a pretty insane effect, but honestly? He’s a little bit too awkward.
Ok first things first. The flash. I mentioned in my review of Cryptic Command how leaving mana up is often a tell that will make players play around certain cards. While it’s quite unlikely you will be playing around Jin Gitaxias, a person playing blue leaving 10 mana up is essentially a giant warning sign in most situations. From a combat perspective, a 5/4 with flash is nothing to turn your nose up at, but for 10 mana it’s a quite lackluster. Still, it can be annoying to play against anything with flash because of how bad it can make combat.
But we all know the body isn’t what people play Jin for. Let’s take a look at that first ability. Drawing seven cards? Well then. If there’s one thing I hate playing against it’s opponents who always have cards in their hands. I don’t even really need to go into how annoying this is. Your opponent having a large quantity of cards over you just means you have infinitely less resources than they do. Magic is a game of trading off cards, trying to figure out an advantage, and drawing a huge amount of cards makes your opponent’s position hopelessly better than yours. That’s just not a good feeling because it essentially means all the work you’ve done in the game has been reversed, or at least a large portion of it. The worst part of this is that it happens at the end of your opponent’s turn, so without an instant speed response Jin’s worst form is a 10 mana draw 7, which is actually perfectly on par with a Stroke of Genius for 7. Kinda funny isn’t it?
The second ability is the worst though, and that seems to be the theme with these praetors. Your opponents gaining resources is annoying but it’s a part of Magic; it’s far more annoying when you lose all of yours. In the case of Jin, you have two options. Either dump all your cards on the table, or discard all of them. A few reasons why this is absolutely horrible and frustrating:
Instant speed responses are literally impossible to have unless you have some way to draw cards on board
You’re forced to top deck your way out of the game after your first turn, which doubles as protection for Jin because you have to find removal
Even if you manage to draw well and cast a lot of spells, odds are Jin made you discard SOMETHING of use, and your opponents get to operate with their huge amounts of resources safe in the knowledge that there are no tricks from your side
Having a hand is one of the most relevant things in Magic. Games are won and lost simply based on whose hand is better, and this just in: 7 cards are way better than 0.
So why isn’t Jin so incredibly annoying? Well there’s a couple reasons. First is his enormous cost. A 10 mana card is getting pricey even for EDH, and likely means your opponent can’t cast any other spell during whatever turn they cast Jin on (flash sorta gets around this but not really). Second, Jin’s first ability actually has a small downside in that it triggers on your opponent’s end step, meaning they will have to discard down to hand size before their turn is over (a small downside, but a downside nonetheless). Third, Jin’s second ability is easy to counter given the right cards. Yes they are few and far between, but cards like Reliquary Tower are pretty popular in EDH, and infinity minus 7 is still infinity. This makes his ability one of the easier ones to counter in EDH. It really all comes down to his cost though. 10 mana is just too much to invest in this card. It makes him easy to see coming, it makes it devastating for your opponent if he’s removed, and all in all his effects are a little bit too slow and flexible for him to be as backbreaking as some of his friends.
His abilities are insane, but they need a lot of time to kick in to their full effect. That’s a little bit flavorful huh?
au where Jin saves Sheoldred after Elesh wiped out her and her army, but Jin’s experimental methods left some to be desired as perfect. Sheoldred reawoke with memories of being married to Elesh Norn, and EN still wants to kill her, but Jin was also testing out highly regenerative tissue, so it takes more power than Elesh can muster to kill Sheoldred again. Also the mount thing is now like a giant dog and over-affectionately licks Elesh every time they meet.