Bant Knightfall - The Best Jace Deck

by Kelvin Chew on 16 February 2018, Friday

Kelvin Chew

 

Bant Knightfall - The Best Jace Deck

Hi everyone, Banned & Restricted Announcement was made, and I was excited to see Jace, the Mind Sculptor getting unbanned. However, I feel that it might cause most of the Blue midrange and control decks are forced to play with 
Jace, the Mind Sculptor to be competitive.

 

Jace, the Mind Sculptor


I remember piloting a Blue-Green-Green
 Lotus Cobra deck at Singapore Nationals 2011. It qualified me for my first major tournament, the 2011 World Championship. The deck featured mana accelerators to power out a turn-three Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The card feels so unfair.


With the unbanning, I feel that many creature-based decks have got worse. Creatures which do not give an immediate adv tage, or creatures which cost three or more mana are liabilities. Some creatures in these categories include
 Knight of the Reliquary, Gurmag AnglerTasigur, the Golden FangThought-Knot Seer, Endbringer, Platinum Emperion and Wurmcoil Engine.

Can you imagine spending your turn to cast Madcap Experiment or delving your entire graveyard to cast Gurmag Angler only to have it bounced by Jace? Remember, you still have to deal with the planeswalker on the board after that setback.

 

Knight of the Reliquary Gurmag Angler Tasigur, the Golden Fang Thought-Knot Seer Platinum Emperion Wurmcoil Engine

 

 

 

Bant Knightfall with Jace


Today, I will be discussing Jace, the Mind Sculptor in the Bant Knightfall deck, the archetype which benefits the most from the unbanning. I have been exploring with various builds, but this is the version I will be bringing to Magic Online once it is available for play.

 

This version focuses on the Knight of the Reliquary and Retreat to Coralhelm combo and tries to win as quickly as possible.

With Jace, the Mind Sculptor, digging for missing combo pieces are much easier, and we can shuffle away extra mana dorks in the late game with the help of fetch lands. Voice of Resurgence buys us time and helps protect Jace by being an excellent blocker.




Jace Over Collected Company

 

The biggest change to Bant Knightfall is the removal of Collected Company for Jace, the Mind Sculptor

 

Path to Exile Retreat to Coralhelm


Originally, I tried to fit both these cards together, but I was unable to maintain a high enough creature count for Collected Company to be effective. Taking away four Path to Exile, some Retreat to Coralhelm, four Collected Company and some Jaces, we are left with 25 - 26 hits with Collected Company. This is not a good number, especially when eight of these creatures are mana dorks.

By removing Collected Company from the deck, we are no longer restrained regarding deckbuilding requirement, and it allows us to optimize or tune the deck more freely.



Pros and Cons of Jace and Collected Company

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

  • Pros
    • Allows us to play more spells instead of creatures.
    • Acts as a removal spell which can be reused several times.
    • Offers a different angle of attack against your opponent.
    • Card advantage and card selection.
    • Planeswalkers are strong against combo and control decks.

  • Cons
    • Jace is weaker against creature decks.
    • Double blue in mana cost, which can cause us to take damage from our mana base.

 

 

Collected Company

  • Pros
    • Great against creature decks.
    • Allows us to build a board position more quickly.
    • Can be played at instant speed, which interacts well with Spell Queller.
    • You can turn around an unfavorable board state with a "lucky" Collected Company.

  • Cons


I also think that decks like Jeskai Control or Grixis Shadow will likely adopt Jace, the Mind Sculptor as well, making it a difficult matchup for Bant Knightfall. These decks have a lot of cheap removal, and they can clear the board at instant speed and drop Jace, the Mind Sculptor against us.

Collected Company is a great card for attacking Jace, the Mind Sculptor but we still have to deal with future Jaces after they clear our board. Board sweepers like Supreme Verdict are more effective if we play a lot of creatures, but if we play Jaces instead, it allows us to generate an advantage which is more difficult for our opponents to answer.



Matchup Comparison

 

Jace, the Mind Sculptor Collected Company


In some matchups, Jace, the Mind Sculptor is better. In other matchups, Collected Company is better. I will now discuss some of the most popular matchups.

 

 

 

At the moment, I prefer main decking Jace, the Mind Sculptor over Collected Company but if the metagame shifts, then switching back is the correct choice.



Building and Exploring Our Sideboard

Now that we don't have to play Collected Company anymore, it allows us to play more spells. Worship is one of the best cards against creatures deck and I like the card a lot. Decks like 5-Color Humans, Burn, Affinity, and Hollow One have insufficient ways to deal with it.

 

Worship Blessed Alliance Grafdigger's Cage


Blessed Alliance is a great sideboard card because it covers a wide variety of matchups. For example, it allows us to gain life against Burn, and it helps us kill Etched Champion against Affinity. It's also fantastic against Bogles, which just won Grand Prix Toronto, by the way!

Grafdigger's Cage is also great because it shuts down Dredge, Storm, Vizier Company, and Hollow One decks. With the rise of Jace, the Mind Sculptor, I also like Negate to combat the mirrors.

 

Settle the Wreckage Gideon, Ally of Zendikar Stony Silence


Other options include Settle the WreckageGideon, Ally of ZendikarStony Silence, and these are all cards which we could not play while we had Collected Company in our deck.

I hope this article helps you build a better Bant Knightfall deck which best suits the metagame on your play-style. If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them in the comments section or via Twitter. Thanks!

@KelvinCh3w
 




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