Is JACE a Sleeper Agent?

Following the new stories for March of the Machine, we begin to question how much control Elesh Norn has over her new acquisitions, her enemy planeswalkers that she’s compleated.

In this, the second part, we’re going to talk about the most mysterious, duplicitous and downright slippery of the Gatewatch, Jace.

Jace was the leader of this little expedition into Phyrexia where he was intending to carry out their enemy’s obliteration using the Silex. That is until Vraska got completed.

One of the ongoing ‘ships’ in Magic is the relationship between Jace and Vraska. And, once he heard her cries, he rushed to her side, mission be damned. This was the plan, of course. Ajani and Tamiyo had enough info to inform Norn of the bond these two planeswalker had. Using Vraska as bait, it was easy enough to draw Jace in for the betrayal.

From there, the mission was damned. Jace, who was carrying the Silex, became despondent and dark; very suicidal. Willing to risk taking the Multiverse with him, he was in the process of activating the Silex. But they were too late. The Phyrexians had their own World Tree called Realm Breaker and it was active and reaching to all the planes. To destroy the tree may have meant to end of all existence. Jace, as stated before, was willing to go that far because he had lost all hope.

But the others moved to stop him and Elspeth took the Silex with her into the Blind Eternities; supposedly gone with it. THAT is still yet to be seen.

As we saw in the final story of ALL WILL BE ONE, Jace succumbed to the Phyrexian Oil and was compleated. But did he really?

Jace Beleren was known for a couple of things that bring that all into question:


Jace is known as a master illusionist. In the final moments of what looked like his last before becoming a ‘compleated’ Planeswalker, he was still using his powers of illusion to weave past enemies and, even used his duplicates to keep his fellow Planeswalkers from taking the Silex. Thankfully, this tactic didn’t succeed. But the fact remains, if anyone can weave a masterful illusion, it’s Jace.

Is it possible that Jace has simply made himself to look compleated? Just look at Jace compleated vs the others. All he has to show for ‘compleation’ is a metal arm and some tendrils. Looks a bit subdued to actually be full Phyrexian especially compared to transformations the others went through.

I definitely think it is possible. But simple illusion would not be enough to mask him in the presence of Elesh Norn. That brings us to his second amazing ability.

Art by Yi Zhen on Artstation


His many mental abilities makes him the one being capable of, not only appearing as compleated, but also manipulating the Phyrexian minds around him to make THEM believe that he is.

Once again, Elesh Norn has allowed her arrogance to overtake her and she has made a grave tactical error. She has allowed a sleeper agent on the inside who may be the best chance we have of unraveling her whole plan.

Art by Eleksi Briclot on Artstation


Even if Jace has been physically compleated, he is also the one being in the universe that has the power to hold onto that shred of humanity in the face of the worst Phyrexia and Elesh Norn has to offer. Even as his body falls to the Phyrexian oil, his mind could totally be hidden away and protected; awaiting a moment in which he can strike Norn where it hurts!

Jace Beleren could totally be the ultimate double sleeper agent; using Norn’s own tactic of hiding in plain sight of the enemy.

“Norn turns toward her holy evangels. Jace slips off—he knows what Norn wants, of course, knows before she has to say a thing.”

In the first episode of the March of the Machine storyline, it was simply stated that Jace knew what Elesh Norn’s plans for him were before she even stated them. He, then, simply ‘slips off’. She just assumes he’s all in and doesn’t challenge him when, at any moment, the true mind of Jace could emerge to thwart her plans.

Was his falling to grief all a show? Probably not, but him basically becoming fatalistic in the end may have been. Whatever the truth, he’s on the inside now. He is in Norn’s head and knows her plan. While she relishes in the hymns of her faithful, she simply forgets that the Planeswalkers, although they tried to join the chorus, were a bit out of synch. Something is wrong. Compleated but not Complete.

We’ve already seen that Tamiyo had a plan B that she activated on Kamigawa. It would stand to reason that the rest of them, including Jace, may have the opportunity to stop the MARCH OF THE MACHINE!

But we’re not done yet! There’s an even more powerful ‘ship’ in the Magic Planarverse that may have the last word on the advance of the Phyrexians and the compleation of the multiverse.


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