Just How Amazing is Jeweled Lotus in MTG Commander?

The release of a new kind of Lotus in Commander Legends has got the entire Magic: the Gathering (MTG) community buzzing. Jeweled Lotus is essentially a functional Black Lotus – the most famous MTG card of all time – with one minor drawback.

Jeweled Lotus costs 0 to cast (meaning free), and you can sacrifice it to add 3 Mana of any one colour – just like Black Lotus. The only restriction is that this Mana can only be used to cast your Commander. And let’s not forget that Black Lotus is banned in the format.

Jeweled Lotus will change the Commander landscape, as it can help cast your Commander on turn one.
Jeweled Lotus will be released in Commander Legends (Nov 2020)

Let’s take a closer look at why Jeweled Lotus is a major addition to the Commander format, and compare it with other Lotuses with similar abilities.

The Closest Black Lotus Ever

Jeweled Lotus is, in my opinion, the closest and most powerful variant of Black Lotus that has ever been printed.

Lotus Petal is amazing but only adds 1 coloured Mana. You could use Lotus Petal to cast your Commander on turn one, but it would likely require another specific Mana-producing Artifact in your opening hand.

Gilded Lotus taps for 3 Mana each time, but it costs 5 to get onto the Battlefield. Lotus Vale also taps for 3 Mana but is a Land and can usually only come into play on turn three.

Lion’s Eye Diamond is functionally the closest to Black Lotus, also costing 0 and adds 3 coloured Mana. But it comes with a hefty cost of discarding your entire hand of cards. It works well in specific combo decks, and is mostly undesirable in others.

Nyx Lotus is the worst of the lot, costing 4 Mana and coming into play Tapped. Although it has the potential to add significant amounts of Mana due to Devotion, realistically only mono-coloured decks will be able to make the most of out it.

Just like in any format, speed is crucial, even if not the absolutely most important. Here’s why Jeweled Lotus is an amazing card for the Commander format:

Jeweled Lotus is Amazing to Cast a Turn One Commander

In Commander, many would argue the foremost strategy is to, yes, cast your Commander and get it on the Battlefield to start making use of its abilities. This singular ability of Jeweled Lotus that it does so well is the main reason why it is so powerful and can alter the Commander landscape from here on.

Let’s consider Artifact-centric Commanders like Urza, Lord High Artificer and Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain. An opening hand with any Land and Jeweled Lotus will mean an instant turn one play for your Commander.

Once Jhoira is out, her engine kicks in and you could cast any other 0-costing Artifacts (plenty around like Ornithopter) to start replenishing your hand.

Urza, Lord High Artificer also provides immediate benefit, as you create a free Construct token. You can then tap that Construct to add 1 Blue Mana if so needed, to cast another Artifact like Sol Ring or leave up for a possible counter spell such as Swan Song or Spell Pierce. It could even counter your opponent’s very own Jeweled Lotus!

In most cases, Commander with a single-colour CMC of 3 and 4 would benefit the most with Jeweled Lotus in the deck. A Najeela, the Blade-Blossomed would mean a free 1/1 token on turn two, with potentially many more to come, just because your opponents are unable to deal with a Creature on their own first two turns. Don’t forget that the 1/1 Warrior tokens create even more tokens, so things go south pretty quickly!

Emry, Lurker of the Loch is another high-impact Commander that can easily make use of Jeweled Lotus. A turn-one play would mean a turn-two activation. The biggest downside is that Emry has no use in bringing back the Jeweled Lotus back into play since it can only generate Mana for Commanders, so it would have to bank on the 4 cards that were put into the Graveyard.

3 Reasons Why Jeweled Lotus Just Isn’t That Great

1. Plenty of Other Powerful Cards in Competitive Commander

Any casual player of the Commander format knows that powerful cards are the norm. Mana-producing Artifacts are standard inclusions, and it’s not surprising to see Sol Rings, Mana Vaults, Mana Crypts, Signets and Talismans on turn one.

Powerful Lands such as Gaea’s Cradle are still legal in Commander, and provide easy ramp for competitive players. These are all relatively expensive cards, and Jeweled Lotus will likely not be any different.

Because the Commander format is an eternal one, meaning it taps onto the entire history of MTG cards (barring some banned cards including Black Lotus), there are going to be plenty of alternatives in both casual and competitive settings.

A case could be made that Moxes, such as Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox and Mox Opal are inherently more useful because they provide continuous use over multiple turns. Sure you don’t get 3 Mana in one tap, but you also don’t have to sacrifice it.

2. Jeweled Lotus Doesn’t Help Commanders With Three or More Colours

While a Jeweled Lotus can get your Urza Lord Artificer, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain into play on turn one, it is clunkier to cast other Commanders who have three or more colours in their casting cost. This is because Jeweled Lotus adds 3 Mana of the same colour, and combined with your first Land, that’s two different colours available.

Let’s look at Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice, another popular Commander that has a cost of 4 Mana but with 4 different colours. Even with a Land and Jeweled Lotus in play on turn one, it will not help you cast Atraxa till turn three, assuming you’re unable to find ways to generate different coloured Mana.

3. Pretty Useless in the Late Game

With your Commander already out on the Battlefield, and lots of Mana resources available from Lands and other Mana-producing Artifacts, drawing Jeweled Lotus late in the game could bring your entire game down.

Late game is when players are looking for a card to significantly turn the tides. It is when the Battlefield is thick and immovable. A Jeweled Lotus would do absolutely nothing for you, not even free Mana to activate abilities, unless you are running a deck that synergises with Artifacts such as Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain.

Perhaps the only good use of Jeweled Lotus in the late game is to help pay for the Commander tax. In most games, players have to recast their Commander at least once, and the 2 extra Mana of tax starts to add up. This new Lotus could help out a little if you draw it late. Though with plenty of Lands available, its impact could be minimal.

End Step

Overall, Jeweled Lotus is certainly a great card with a single purpose: to get that Commander out on turn one. It works best with certain Commanders – definitely not all – and get less attractive the longer the game drags on.

Seeing the card in your opening hand will feel like a dream, while not having it will feel like a clutch. It will likely not have the same longevity and utility as other must-haves like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, but Jeweled Lotus certainly has its place.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Ted

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.

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