Jarad’s Orders is a Great Card No One Plays
This is another seriously underplayed card. It does everything.
Sure, it’s a little bit slow, but powerful, versatile tutors are worth it. It even functions as a one card win-condition if you need it. Let me introduce to you some of the various uses of Jarad’s Orders. (And a few more usages for Heliod’s Pilgrim, who I may have an obsession with.)
1. Necrotic Ooze to hand & Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to grave
This is the only win you can tutor the entirety of with Jarad’s Orders. Unfortunately, it’s slow. After Necrotic Ooze loses summoning sickness, you can make infinite Necrotic Oozes by copying itself with Kiki-Jiki’s ability. With a card like Blood Artist, that’s a win when the tokens are sacrificed at end of turn.
But without it, you need to wait until the last end step before your turn, and make the tokens then. This works because Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker checks to exile the tokens at the beginning of the end step, so if you wait until that has passed (during the end step, but past the beginning of it), you’ll get to keep the tokens until the end step of your own turn. That means you can attack with infinite Necrotic Oozes. Necrotic Ooze needs to stick around for two full turn cycles total, so it gives your opponents turn full turns to an on-board win, which isn’t the greatest, but it’s not the worst either.
2. Heliod’s Pilgrim to hand & Kederekt Leviathan to grave
This one is sweet, but it unfortunately places you into 5-color (until a four color, not-white general is printed). Heliod’s Pilgrim fetches Animate Dead, and you cast animate dead on Kederekt Leviathan. When the Leviathan triggers, it returns the Animate Dead to hand (along with all the other permanents in play) and that triggers the leave-play trigger of the Animate Dead, sending the Leviathan back to the graveyard.
This is a sorcery-speed soft-lock on the board, where you can return all permanents to their owner’s hands every single turn. Necromancy makes it significantly better, but that isn’t tutorable from Heliod’s Pilgrim. Sometimes, letting players net mana from Mana Vault will feel bad, but this lock is powerful enough to be worth it, since entire decks will get locked out of the game.
3. Necrotic Ooze to hand & Phyrexian Devourer to grave
This is a combo that sees play in Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. This combo uses the pieces from the Buried Alive combo (Buried Alive for Necrotic Ooze, Phyrexian Devourer and Triskellion, reanimate Necrotic Ooze for near-infinite +1/+1 counters, and near-infinite damage[/c]). By itself, casting Necrotic Ooze and making him indeterminately large with Phyrexian Devourer‘s ability is a little underwhelming, but Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord‘s activated ability let’s you fling him for the win.
4. Heliod’s Pilgrim to hand & Leonin Relic-Warder to grave
These guys make an infinite loop. The Pilgrim grabs Animate Dead again. You bring back the Leonin Relic-Warder with the Animate Dead, and use it’s ability to exile the animate dead. Leonin Relic-Warder will then leave play, returning the Animate Dead, Targeting the Leonin Relic Warder, until you chose a new target for either the cat or the enchantment. This loop wins the game with a Blood Artist effect or Altar of Dementia type effect.
5. Phyrexian Delver to hand & Any Big Creature to grave
Apprentice Necromancer also fits in here, if you’re okay with a one-turn reanimation effect. This trick is very similar to using Gifts Ungiven to find only Unburial Rites and a big creature, causing both to go to the graveyard. There are a number of creatures you’ll want to grab off of this, but the ability to do this makes Jarad’s Orders worthwhile on it’s own.
6. Heliod’s Pilgrim to hand & Any Big Creature to grave
If you’re in White, this is typically better than the above. Once again, the Pilgrim grabs Animate Dead, and it saves you a few life, along with setting up any infinites that Animate Dead enables, such as Worldgorger Dragon.
7. Coffin Queen to hand & Sidisi, Undead Vizier to grave
This interaction is pretty fun. For 3 mana you can tutor with Sidisi (she sacrifices herself) every single turn for the rest of the game. If you’re getting ready for a long game, this is certainly a pretty stylish way to do it. It usually only takes one tutor to get a win, with Buried Alive probably being the safest option.
Frankly, I just like to Sidisi a lot. As many times as I can. Feldon of the Third Path is usable too if you’re in jund and want a flavor upgrade.
Jarad’s Orders is a great card, especially if your deck is well equipped to take advantage of creatures that infinitely loop, with cards like Blasting Station and Blood Artist. Outside that, it can be a very solid include in any strategy hoping to reanimate big creatures. Even just as a card advantage engine in a deck designed to play long games, it’s pretty excellent.