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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Set Review Commander 2013 – Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge

September 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

 Commander 2013

Fellow EDH-ers, it’s time to rejoice. We now have something to look forward to at the end of the year as Wizards had announced the soon to be release (November 2013) Commander 2013 Edition. This time round it is more focus on the “Shard” colors instead of the “Wedge” colors. Thus far we all know that there will be again 5 new decks each with 15 new cards in them. A total of 51 new cards are going to be added from the set. And as with the previous Commander set, new Legendary Creatures are introduced too.


New Commanders:

The new Commanders are a little different as announced by Wizards thus far. The theme is more focus on the amount of mana you spent to cast them. Since Commanders all require a “Commander Tax” as we recast them from the Commander Zone, the amount of mana required to cast them will keep increasing when we recast them from the Commander Zone. These new introduced “Shard” Commanders play on that theme and actually benefit players as they recast them from the Commander Zone.

Starting with this article, we will start to review the upcoming new Commanders as they are being previewed. So without further ado, let’s start the ball rolling with the first Commander on our list.


Grixis Shard: Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge

Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge

“To cast or not to cast, That is your decision not mine.”

One look at Jeleva reminds me of another General, Wrexial, the Risen Deep. Although working differently, both effectively allow you to “steal” Instants or Sorceries when they attack. Wrexial requires it to actually touch your opponents first (given its evasion ability Islandwalk and Swampwalk) before you could steal an Instant or Sorcery from that opponent’s graveyard. Jeleva outright steals the cards first when it enters the battlefield after you cast her. It is still to be noted that although Jeleva has an ETB effect, the effect will has no effect if she is blink in instead of being casted in as her trigger actually checks for the amount of mana spent to cast her. If she is blink in, she is not considered cast and there is no mana spent this way. The first time this Vampire Wizard hits the battlefield, you get to exile 4X cards to steal from later. 4 is Jeleva’s converted mana cost, whereas That “X” is the number of players at the table. As you recast her for the first time from the Commander Zone, it would 6X due to the Commander Tax, following by 8X and so on. The thing about EDH is that we all have big decks (90+ cards), and all cards except basic Lands are singular in the deck. Milling is almost as good as discard or countering, if you hit a key card as you mill a person’s library. Now the stakes becomes higher here with Jeleva since she exiles cards instead of milling them. Milling major weakness in EDH is that retrieve abilities and spells are so very common and ever a part of EDH, sometimes so much so that it makes milling pointless since everyone has at least one or two ways to retrieve stuff from the graveyard. Jeleva negates that by exiling cards instead. One may argue that you might exile away your own key cards with her too, but her attacking trigger is what neutralized that. As she attacks, you could cast any Instant or Sorcery exiled with her without paying its casting cost. Built with the right build, this could be very deadly as you free cast all those bomb spells with her, and as you may already know EDH is all about BOMB spells. So even if your opponents do not have the bomb spells, you could pack your own deck with them. Nothing beats attacking with Jeleva and then casting either Time Stretch; Rise of the Dark Realms; Searing Wind; or even Cruel Ultimatum.


As a Commander or As a Commoner

Playing Jeleva as the Commander yearns one all the benefits from her ETB (Enter the Battlefield) effect. As her Commander Tax increases, so does the amount of cards you can exile with her as she enters the battlefield, greatly increasing the chance of hitting Instants and Sorceries you could cast when she attacks.

Praises aside, no matter how much mana one could afford, there will still come a time whereby the Commander Tax is going to be so huge that it is just not affordable to cast Jeleva from the Commander Zone. Then one will has to weigh in whether it is more benefit to let her die or find ways to bounce her back to the hand and recast her. Having Jeleva as a Commander does provide the clear advantage of making her easily available instead trying to draw or tutor her out from the deck. Having said that, Jeleva would still make a good Creature too even repeating casting her for her 4cc. Exiling four cards out of everyone is not something to be sneeze at, and not to mention the chance at bomb spells from those exiled cards. Heck given the right amount of library top manipulation on your own part, you could also determine what cards to let Jeleva exile from your library top. Sensei’s Divining Top and Scroll Rack are just some of the permanent ways available.

Scroll Rack

Knowing what’s coming is half winning the battle.



Whether playing her as a Commander or as a normal Creature is entirely up to individual. Given her abilities, Jeleva does make a good Commander for her evasion ability and attack trigger but requires some protection for her abilities to work. She is after all a very BIG target board once she hits play with her abilities. Regardless of how one uses her, library manipulation is a good way to abuse her ETB effect as you determine what to let her steal when she enters the battlefield. Weighing in the pros and cons, I would said that Jeleva is a pretty decent Commander to use, even to the point of abusing her Commander tax. Since building around her would enable you to manipulate what you exile with her ETB effect, and with the increasing Commander tax further hindering your opponents, not to mention also steal from them.

Do leave a comment below and tell us what you think of this new “Grixis” Commander from Nephalia of the Innistrad plane. With that we shall end off today article of Jeleva. Do stay tune for more reviews on the other Commanders from Commander 2013.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.


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