There are cards in Magic that are powerful in a duel deck, but not much use in multiplayer formats like Grand Melee. Other cards are great in multiplayer and irrelevant in a duel. Then there are cards that are strong in both. Jace, the Mind Sculptor took over standard on his release and stayed top dog until he was banned. So how does such a powerful card fare in grand melee?
Jace, the Mind Sculptor costs four mana, two of which must be blue. He enters the battlefield with three loyalty counters and has four abilities. Indeed, there is barely room for the card art with the wall of text this card throws at you.
The first ability adds two loyalty counters and annoys an opponent. You get to look at the top card of target player’s library and have the option of putting that card on the bottom on that player’s library. If you suspect a player has something in his deck you don’t want to see, there are worse things to do than leave them drawing land for two of three turns. In later rounds of a grand melee, they will be unlikely to survive for long.
Jace’s second ability costs no loyalty counters. You don’t add or remove anythig, the ability simply happens once per turn, if that is what you want. That may very well be what you want. The card Brainstorm is restricted in the Vintage format we play. This ability is Brainstorm. Draw three cards, then put two cards on top of your library in any order. Brainstorm. For free. Every turn. Nice.
The third ability removes a single loyalty counter and returns target creature to its owner’s hand. Good for getting rid of attackers or defenders, depending on your need.
Given that any of Jace’s first three abilities can be used from the turn you cast him, you might be forgiven for not looking much at the fourth. It costs the removal of 12 loyalty counters. In return for this you exile -exile- a players library. Their hand is then shuffled into their library. Nasty, but unlikely to be used.
In many ways rating Jace, the Mind Sculptor. In the end my verdict is strong. A deck based around Jace, the Mindsculptor will do well, and this deck can additionally strengthen any deck you add it to. Jace’s first three ability are great for any blue deck, and the players on either side of you will need to take notice when he’s around. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is not the all-powerful force he is in duel, but he is still a strong card.