As one of Magic: The Gathering’s most popular and powerful planeswalkers, Jace Beleren has seen plenty of iterations and planeswalker designs over the years. With 12 different planeswalkers, and one bonus one, the range and roles that Jace has played vary but are all focused on one thing: manipulating card draws and giving players control over the game.

Not all Jaces are created equal though, and some of Jace’s designs have been extremely niche, experimental, and sometimes just not good. We’ve gone ahead and ranked them based on individual card power, pitting Jace against Jace to see which is the best (the answer shouldn’t be terribly surprising).

Bonus: Space Beleren

Card of Space Beleren over Art Background

Space Beleren comes to us from Unfinity. While it is a Jace card, it’s a little too weird to rank properly. This card is only legal in Commander, Vintage, and Legacy thanks to Unfinity’s new selective semi-tournament legal status. The absolutely wild Space Sculptor passive ability to divide the board and force combat situations is could be fun!

12. Jace, Architect of Thought

Card of Jace Architect of Thought over Art Background

This may get a lot of hate but Jace, Architect of Thought is the worst Jace. Players seem to love the card. It was pretty good when it was in Standard back in the Return to Ravnica block, but this card just doesn’t do anything. By the time it comes down on turn four, its first ability doesn’t do enough to protect it. Your opponent will likely have a few stronger creatures by this point, and when they attack through it, they can still do a good chunk of damage to Jace.

Jace’s second ability to Fact or Fiction is okay if it survives long enough to make it worth it. Even then, four mana to potentially draw just one card is a big commitment for little reward. Architect of Thought’s ultimate ability is great, but it will take you five turns to activate it and the payoff depends entirely on your opponent’s deck.

11. Jace, Arcane Strategist

Card of Jace Arcane Strategist over Art Background

Jace, Arcane Strategist might seem a little basic compared to others on the list and that’s because it came exclusively in the War of the Spark Planeswalker Deck, a themed preconstructed deck designed for newer players. For six mana you can activate his plus one ability to draw a card, which already makes it better than Architect of Thought. Its passive adds a +1/+1 counter each time you draw your second card a turn, and it ultimately lets you swing in for a win.

10. Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage

Card of Jace Ingenious Mind-Mage over Art Background

Another Planeswalker Deck exclusive, this time from Ixalan. While marginally better than Arcane Strategist, it’s a pretty narrow margin. Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage lets you draw a card, which is good. Untapping could lead to some interesting play lines, but for six mana this Jace just isn’t worth it.

9. Jace, Mirror Mage

Card of Jace Mirror Mage over Art Background

Another classic example of a planeswalker just not doing anything. Yes, you can smooth out your draws with its scry ability but you can only reliably draw low-cost cards to avoid taking Jace out with its second ability.

Also, Jace, Mirror Mage is a lie: it doesn’t cost three mana, it costs five. If you pay this Jace’s kicker cost you create a nonlegendary token copy, which is cool and very thematic for Jace, but still not very good.

8. Jace, the Living Guildpact

Card of Jace the Living Guildpact over Art Background

Finally a kinda good version. Jace, the Living Guildpact lets you control your draws and it protects itself, but comes with a pretty lackluster ultimate ability. This Jace’s first ability lets you Fateseal yourself, looking at the top two cards of your library and putting one of them into the graveyard, leaving the other on top. While decidedly not a draw effect, it will fill your graveyard which can be useful for other strategies.

This Jace can protect itself for -3, bouncing a nonland permanent back to its owner’s hand. You could target anything from a creature to enchantment, or another planeswalker, whatever is giving you the most trouble at the time. The ultimate ability forces all players to reset their hand, shuffling their hand and graveyard back into their library and drawing a fresh seven cards.

7. Jace, Cunning Castaway

Card of Jace Cunning Castaway over Art Background

Back when Jace went through his hot pirate phase, he went HARD. At three mana, Jace, Cunning Castaway is one of the cheapest Jace cards printed, so it’s off to a good start. While its plus ability isn’t strictly a draw effect, forcing you to draw and then discard whenever creatures you control deal combat damage is still a useful effect.

Cunning Castaway fuels its first ability while protecting itself by creating a 2/2 Illusion token, which is fine. Not great, not terrible, just okay. This Jace gets interesting when you start creating copies of the planeswalker with its final ability.

6. Jace, Memory Adept

Card of Jace Memory Adept over Art Background

While this Jace doesn’t protect himself it is still the king of Mill decks. Jace, Memory Adept’s casting cost is a little steep at five mana, but the constant stream of milling that happens with him is well worth it. This Jace’s first ability draws you a card and mills your opponent one card. Nothing fancy, just some good ol’ fashioned draw shenanigans. The real power is in his second ability, a zero loyalty cost effect that mills ten cards from any player. It’s a repeatable Glimpse the Unthinkable: just activate this four or five times and you’ve all but won the game.

5. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Card of Jace Wielder of Mysteries over Art Background

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries doesn’t just help you win the game, it’s a win condition all in itself. Wielder of Mysteries’ passive ability states that you win the game if you were to draw a card from your library and cant. Jace’s plus ability has any player mill two cards and then you draw one, accelerating your win condition by three cards if you target yourself. There’s also a -8 ability that is all but irrelevant, but it does provide a neat second win condition.

4. Jace Beleren

Card of Jace Beleren over Art Background

The original Jace from all the way back in Lorwyn, Jace Beleren is efficient and does one thing extremely well: drawing cards. Its plus ability has everyone drawing a card, you and your opponents. In a hard control deck, it doesn’t matter if they have cards, you’ll counter them or destroy them. In a group hug Commander deck, everyone will love you and attack other players. It’s a win-win!

If you’re feeling stingy, you can activate its minus ability to draw a card. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can tick Jace up to its ultimate to have the target player mill twenty cards.

3. Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

Card of Jace Unraveler of Secrets over Art Background

Functionally, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets seems very similar to Jace, the Living Guildpact, just better on every level. Its plus ability has you scry 1 first, then draw a card, smoothing out your card draws to maximize your turns. Then it protects itself with its minus ability, bouncing a creature back to its owner’s hand. And finally, if you can activate this Jace’s ultimate ability you gain an emblem that counters the first spell an opponent casts each turn, effectively shutting them out for the rest of the game.

2. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound

Card of Jace Vryns Prodigy over Art Background

This little baby Jace has a lot going on, starting as a creature before evolving into a planeswalker once your graveyard has reached five cards. Once transformed, Jace can shut down a creature by giving it -2/-0, which is okay but admittedly not great. Its power comes from Jace, Telepath Unbound’s minus ability, effectively giving an instant or sorcery flashback until end of turn. Cards you might have discarded with Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy’s draw and discards effect, or maybe a removal spell you cast on a bothersome early creature coming back to take out a mid-game threat.

1. Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Card of Jace the Mind Sculptor over Art Background

Surprising absolutely no one, Jace, the Mind Sculptor is hands down the best Jace planeswalker ever printed. Its plus ability can either help your draws or keep an opponent perpetually in limbo by dictating what they draw. For zero loyalty counters, you get a repeatable Brainstorm. Every turn you can draw three and tuck two away. Then by spending one loyalty counter you can bounce a creature back to its owner’s hand.

After you’ve controlled the game entirely, and if you haven’t won hard enough, you can activate Jace’s final ability to exile an opponent’s library and force them to turn whatever cards they have in hand into their new library. An absolute powerhouse of a planeswalker and the peak of design for Wizards of the Coast.

Ryan (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over at Twitter where he occasionally rants about everything from cats to Lord of the Rings.

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