~We finally received delivery on the new Rise of the Eldrazi Planeswalker, Gideon Jura from Wizards today via Jenna Helland's article . . . and DANG! - He is a beast. Let's get to it now -
Gideon Jura, 3
Planeswalker - Gideon, Mythic Rare
[+2]: During target opponent's next turn, creatures that player controls attack Gideon Jura if able.
[-2]: Destroy target tapped creature.
: Until end of turn, Gideon Jura becomes a 6/6 Human Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
First things first -
A converted mana cost of 5 gets you a white planeswalker with six loyalty counters - not bad at all - and with three colourless and two white mana on the price tag, players can comfortably place this in a two-colour deck - say a White 'n' Red (/) deck with an aggressive profile or perhaps something in the control aisle in Blue 'n' White (/). Perhaps you just want to slip this into a mono-white (Kor) soldier build - wherever your build takes you, we're certain it will be big fun.
Now - it seems prudent to go over some of the rules with the abilities here as there seems to be a little confusion in the community (ourselves included). For this, we will leave it to the experts - namely Solmancer from MTGS who was awesome to post this FAQ for everyone (thanks!) :
0) Rules Review Creatures die in the following ways: - an effect destroys or exiles that creature (e.g. Terminate) - it is dealt lethal damage (damage >= its current toughness) or any deathtouch damage - an effect causes the creature to be sacrificed (e.g. Diabolic Edict) - the creature has 0 or less toughness (e.g. Sickening Shoal)
Planeswalkers dump you in the following ways: - they have no loyalty counters (typically caused by taking damage or their minus abilities) - an effect destroys or exiles that planeswalker (e.g. Vindicate) - an effect causes the planeswalker to be sacrificed (e.g. World Queller)
A Planeswalker that is also a creature, therefore, dies because of all of the above ways. It's the union of the sets, not the intersection!
1) What The Ultimate Means
- First and foremost, this card becomes a white planeswalker creature and has subtypes Human Soldier Gideon. Read the bolded words until it sinks in. Just because he becomes a creature does not mean the card changes color or loses it. Compare to manlands which are normally colorless but become colored, e.g. Lavaclaw Reaches becomes black and red.
- Secondly: you can't has blocks with your 6/6 Gideon because he stops being a creature at the end of that turn. - Anything that would affect a Human, a Soldier, a creature, a white permanent, a white creature, and so on, will affect him. If it can target a creature, it can target him. If it can target a white permanent, it can target him. If it's Saltblast, you're still looking elsewhere and it better not be at my lands or else. So yes, Honor of the Pure, Captain of the Watch etc. all work (immediately) after this ability resolves.
- You cannot attack with Gideon Jura the turn he enters the battlefield under your control and resolves his  ability, unless he somehow gains haste (such as Mass Hysteria). You did not control him since your turn began; he does technically have summoning sickness even though he did not enter the battlefield as a creature. - Once the ability resolves, cards such as Doom Blade, Day of Judgment and the like can destroy him directly (yes, you can get a basic land from Path to Exile too). He is a creature during that turn and therefore a legal target for such effects. Spells such as Chain Reaction will include him in the count for how high the damage goes, and he will have (usually prevented) damage assigned from Inferno and so on.
- If Gideon Jura is blocked by a creature while he is attacking, typically damage will be prevented to him and he will assign combat damage as normal, being a 6/6 creature. He won't lose loyalty counters if damage is prevented or redirected away from him such as via Harm's Way.
- If Gideon Jura becomes a creature and for some reason loses all of his loyalty counters (Vampire Hexmage), he still goes to the graveyard. Because he's still a planeswalker, per the ability's text, he is still subject to the state-based action that causes loyalty-counterless planeswalkers to ditch you.
- If some effect (Unstable Footing, Everlasting Torment) allows for you to damage him while he's a creature, he will both a) lose that many loyalty counters (potentially losing all of them); b) is subject to being destroyed for having lethal damage. Typically, this is 6+ damage assigned. If he should have 7+ loyalty counters and takes 6 damage, he loses the 6 counters (keeps 1), and is destroyed for lethal damage.
- If you equip him or enchant him, the equipment/Aura will generally fall off when he reverts to being a planeswalker again. The aura will presumably go to the graveyard for no longer enchanting its relevant card type. (Confiscate will stay where it is, Persuasion will go away.)
- If an effect (such as Ajani Goldmane or Soul's Might) gives him +1/+1 counters, he will have both the +1/+1 counters and the loyalty counters. When Gideon Jura stops being a creature, he retains both types of counters; they do not cancel out each other (so far, that's only +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters).
- Wither damage that isn't prevented (Everlasting Torment) will place -1/-1 counters on him. As previously mentioned, they will remain present if you make him a creature again (or give him +1/+1 counters to effectively get rid of the -1/-1 type). Like any creature, he can theoretically go to the graveyard for having 0 or less toughness.
2) What the Group Hug (+2) ability means
- You can't use this ability if it can't target anyone, which means he doesn't get +2 loyalty counters. (This is possible in a duel and your opponent names this card with Runed Halo or is controlling True Believer, Ivory Mask, Spirit of the Hearth, etc.)
- This ability basically means that on the targetted opponent's next turn's combat step, every creature he/she has must attack the planeswalker that turn if able. That's it. It doesn't change combat in any other way. Those creatures controlled by that opponent that can't avoid attacking during combat (they don't have abilities or don't have defender for instance) must be declared as an attacker, and they must attack the taunting Gideon Jura.
- Any and all creatures you control can block as usual. This is no different than usual rules where a creature normally attacks a planeswalker. The only thing this ability does is require that creatures controlled by the targetted opponent attack not-you that turn if able. That doesn't mean your creatures suddenly turn catatonic and can't get in the way of the assault. The only one who has to do something different is your opponent. You can do whatever you want (that's legal) with what you want, including (but not limited to!) kill off the weenie rush with your fatties.
- All creatures that can attack Gideon Jura upon resolution of his +2 ability do so on that opponent's turn. The only reason they would not be able to is if an effect or ability (defender, Moat, summoning sickness, etc.) stops it from happening. Those creatures must be declared with Gideon Jura as the recipient of the pain. He's a masochist.
- If any of the creatures forced to attack him have Annihilator, and he must be sacrificed to it, creatures attacking him will not assign combat damage. Trample damage will not be assigned to you, either. Creatures either attack you, or one of your planeswalker(s). Trample only works against blocking creatures as far as the overflow goes. Just as a creature with trample dealing dealing excess damage to a player does not trample to another player, the same is true for a creature and "trampling through" a planeswalker to its controller; it doesn't happen (except in a very corner case we don't need to get into as it's outside the scope of this thread).
- If for some reason Gideon Jura leaves play after using this ability, creatures will not be forced to attack him, even if he comes back before that required attack step occurs (for example, the effect of Oblivion Ring, or his being replayed after bouncing him). They were required to attack the one that left play, not the current one as it is a new object.
3) Experiment Kraj
- I forget which rules update it was (M10 or Zendikar?), but loyalty abilities were given their own section of the rules, in similar vein to mana abilities. In short, the abilities typically seen on just a planeswalker (+2, -9, etc.) are intrinsically sorcery speed and "one of these abilities only from this particular permanent". In short, they made it a quality of the ability rather than the card type, just like a quality of mana abilities is that they do not use the stack. Even more in short: Experiment Kraj does not go infinite.
- Per KPDaly16: If Experiment Kraj is able to use his +2 ability, those creatures can't attack Experiment Kraj as it is neither a player nor planeswalker. The restriction is ignored and they gambole off freely into the wild red space of the combat part of the mat at Pro Tours.
4) Miscellaneous - In multiplayer, if for some reason multiple players were able to use his +2 ability to target the same player via different copies of the card (for instance, player 1 bounces another player's and plays his/her own targetting player 4, repeat for player 2 and 3), then that player will effectively be required to attack the most recent +2 ability (given that it's the only Gideon Jura they can attack; they wouldn't get confused because the others aren't Jedi Mind-Tricking anymore). In the example, this would be player 3's.
This Planeswalker is awesome and we will be a force in casual constructed as well as making it onto the circuits. Players everywhere are now examining combos and synergies to see where Gideon may fit.
Some suggestions right off the bat . .
> Use the +2 ability while you have Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs in play to puke out 3/3 Ogre tokens.
> Use Gideon with that other awesome Planeswalker, Elspeth, Knight-Errant to make Gideon a 9/9 flyer - yeah! - take that Baneslayer!
> Be cruel and use Day of Judgment before you morph Gideon into soldier mode to take control of the board with the only power still standing.
~That's it for now - we will get around to looking at the other new Rise of the Eldrazi cards, Joraga Treespeaker and Artisan of Kozilek in a latter post - until then, start planning your pre-orders. Perhaps you need to go back to pick up some Worldwake cards that passed you by - we suggest having a look at this deal at MTGMintCard - a FatPack for only $29.99 ain't bad at all.