Prowess was a keyword I fell in love with the moment it got spoiled. I’ve always enjoyed “shotgun”-like decks and effects; slapping Assault Strobe and Brute Force on Kiln Fiend is exactly my idea of a good time. Prowess, and similar abilities, give “out-of-nowhere” power that leaves our opponent wondering if they should have seen that coming.
Soulblade Djinn essentially gives all our creatures prowess. While it’s not as ridiculous as Jeskai Ascendancy combo, this is quite a dangerous ability. Being mono-blue, the djinn is already associated with casting lots on noncreature spells. Whether we’re turning Opt into a temporary anthem effect or using Time Warp-like spells to buff our creatures and give ourselves another turn to attack, enabling the djinn is simple. The real power comes when we venture out into other colors.
The first thing to explore is cantrips. For those who are not hip with the Magic lingo, cantrips are spells that say “Draw a card” on them. Usually this is in addition to some minor effect. Some examples include Cloak of Feathers, Leap, Bind, or Shadow of Doubt. Manamorphose is one of the most infamous cantrips because not only does it draw a card, it also adds the same amount of mana spent to cast it which means it triggers “whenever you cast” abilities for no net cost. That’s why it’s played in Storm in Modern. Casting cantrips can provide some small benefit to our creatures, but mostly they trigger Soulblade Djinn to buff the whole team and then replace themselves in our hand. Using cantrips it’s easy to cast five or six spells in a single turn, which means our creatures are going to be huge!
Jeskai tokens was one of my favorite standard decks to play. Soulblade Djinn wasn’t in that deck, but looking back I wish it was! I’ve wanted to make a Jeskai tokens deck for Commander since then, but I didn’t find what I was looking for until earlier this year when Kykar, Wind’s Fury was printed.
Kykar and the Djinn fuel each other like the best of friends. One makes 1/1 tokens, and the other pumps them up! The way their abilities stack together can make attacker math difficult, but unless your tokens have haste you only need to count how many times the Djinn has triggered for your non-summoning-sick creatures.
What’s great about the Djinn’s ability (and prowess in general) is that it is triggered by all noncreature spells. This means artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers trigger the ability as well! Playing something like Everflowing Chalice without kicking it is a free +1/+1 to our team. If we play something like Glorious Anthem or Collective Blessing we are giving both a temporary and permanent anthem effect to our creatures. True Conviction would give everything double strike and lifelink alongside the Djinn’s buff, and if we keep up the enchantment tribal idea we could run Sigil of the Empty Throne for maximum value. Garruk, Primal Hunter is a great play with the Djinn since his -3 ability would draw us five cards the turn he is played (since the Djinn buffs himself).
Speaking of Garruk, there are a lot of cards in green that care about the greatest power among creatures we control. Probably the most notorious is Overwhelming Stampede. Combining it with Soulblade Djinn is extremely powerful, since we are already utilizing the Djinn by creating many small creatures. If the Djinn is the creature with the greatest power that you control, casting Overwhelming Stampede will buff your whole team for +5/+5 alongside gaining trample. That’s already an awesome deal, but since we’re in blue we have noncreature options to make this even more devastating. If we’re casting cantrips like Opt or Serum Visions prior to stampeding, we increase that buff by one per cantrip (not to mention the buff that the djinn already gives to everyone).
Become Immense is a ridiculous card for this strategy. If we’re using cantrips to buff the Djinn already, we’re going to have a lot of spells in the graveyard. That means Become Immense will be very cheap to cast, potentially getting down to just one mana to give our Djinn +7/+7 (when the djinn’s ability is factored in)! Pairing it with Overwhelming Stampede means we are going close out a game very quickly. We don’t have to rely on Become Immense either; cards like Might of the Masses or Gaea’s Might can also give great value for the price.
Souldblade Djinn is one of the least breakable cards we’ve covered on Gemstone Mining. It doesn’t enable many combos, and the things it does enable aren’t something we can turn infinite. The Djinn can easily slot into a storm deck looking to cast a bunch of spells, and if that storm deck happens to be one making a bunch of creatures through Empty the Warrens or Kykar, the Djinn should provide a lethal boost to those tokens. I hope this has inspired you to run the Djinn in your next build. Join me next time when I cast Wheel of Fortune while I control Nath of the Gilt-Leaf and Impact Tremors.