How Good is it Now: Jeweled Lotus, the Black Lotus Successor?

Almost 4 years after the reveal of Jeweled Lotus, we look back at how it has shaped Commander.

How Good is it Now: Jeweled Lotus, the Black Lotus Successor?

In our How Good is it Now series, we look at newer, modern-day MTG cards that rocked the Magic community. Over time, sentiments and meta shift, and cards either grow in stature or fade away to obscurity. We look back at their performance both in gameplay and price, and offer our own thoughts on what is to come.

When Jeweled Lotus was first released in 2020’s Commander Legends, it sparked debate and players were excited on what it could do. It is essentially a close cousin of Black Lotus – the most famous MTG card of all time – with one minor drawback. They both cost 0 to cast (meaning free), and you can sacrifice it to add 3 Mana of any one color. 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 in Commander Legends (2020)

Since then, Jeweled Lotus has become a common sight in many Commander decks without a tight budget. It became so popular (and pricey) that Wizards decided to reprint it in Commander Masters. Its price has never gone below $60, stays in $100 range for long periods of time, and at times has gone up to $110. This shows that there is strong demand for the card, partly caused by its limited supply.


Why is Jeweled Lotus so good in the Commander format when other previous Lotus iterations have failed? Let’s take a look at the other Lotus cards in Magic’s history:

Comparing Jeweled Lotus to All the Other “Lotus” Cards

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

Lotus Petal is amazing but only adds 1 colored Mana, and effectively a one-time use. 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. It will provide good, consistent value in the late game, but it doesn’t let you ramp from turn one.

Lotus Vale is a Land that can tap each turn for 3 Mana of any color, just like a Black Lotus, but it does require you to sacrifice two untapped Lands when it enters. Even when played on turn 3, you are effectively generating 3 Mana from your Lands. As the game progresses, Lotus Vale provides continuous value.

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-colored decks will be able to make the most of out it.

Timeless Lotus is the newest member of the family and comes with a twist. It adds all 5 colors of Mana, so more than the Jeweled Lotus‘ 3 Mana. However it does cost 5 to cast and it Enters the Battlefield tapped as well. Timeless Lotus received plenty of hype when it was released in 2022 but has not seen much play since then.

Just like in any format, speed is crucial, even if not the absolutely most important.

Jeweled Lotus is a Key Card to Cast Your Commander on Turn One

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. Even Mana Crypt has less capability to cast a Commander on turn one.

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-color casting cost 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.

Three Things Jeweled Lotus Still Suck At

1. Jeweled Lotus Can Only be Used Once

In competitive and high-powered Commander games, Mana-producing Artifacts are standard inclusions, and it’s not surprising to see Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, 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 is no different. However, Jeweled Lotus is mostly a card that can be used only once, since it has to be sacrificed.

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 is Clunky for Commanders With Three or More Colors

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. Almost Useless in the Late Game Except for Commander Tax

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. Jeweled Lotus can help to pay for that tax if you draw it late. However, 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. Over time, it has become a staple for higher-powered decks. Because it is in such high demand, its price also remains prohibitively high for the casual player. Nevertheless, we expect this new Lotus to stay prominently in the Commander meta because for what it was meant to do, it does it exceedingly well.

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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