Magic recently released a new supplemental set, Jumpstart 2022, with new cards in every pack and a whole bunch of reprints. The half decks are compatible with the original Jumpstart decks as well as the set specific Jumpstart boosters. A new set means new cards to examine, and in this article we’ll talk about the new ones, what they mean for the game, and how they’ll play.
Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier
FromTheShire: A super cool new Commander, Agrus does a similar thing to some other very fun Commanders we’ve gotten in the past, but resonating abilities across your whole team is something we haven’t seen before. There are a whole host of good abilities that currently are single target like Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder or even a simple Mother of Runes that suddenly become scary as hell when you can sling them wide. Love it.
Beanith: White Mana shenanigans with a slight dusting of Red? This one has certainly earned a place in my Boros (look at me using Magic terminology) Commander deck which I’ve been meaning to put together one day. I’ve already decided to titled it “The deck’s sole purpose is just so I can play Comet, Stellar Pup“.
Loxi: Argus is a Commander that’s sure to see play and do degenerate things like Zada, Hedron Grinder but with abilities rather than spells. I can’t think of a deck this fits in the 99 of, but I’m really excited to see the weird cards people dig up to do work with this.
BPhillipYork: This ability is fine, it’s been done a lot of times, so that territory is mostly explored. The nice thing is redundancy for commander at some point, the big pairing I see possible for this card is with Feather, the Redeemed, but some of the other versions of this like Zada, Hedron Grinder do the copying for free. There’s also the reality that you don’t get to pick copies. It would be tremendously nice if this ability was actually flexible. If you could choose to generate a copy if you wanted for each potential target, suddenly you could turn lightning bolt into a board clear. Though, on the other hand, that would be really strong.
FromTheShire: Nice to get another iteration of Soul Sister, and it’s costed well enough that even if you never activate the blink it’s worth an inclusion.
Beanith: This card fits right into the planned deck “Lifegain shenanigans… or I will only die to Commander damage”
Loxi: Realistically, this is another soul sister. The blink is nice, but I can’t see anyone paying it regularly. Solid for where it fits, with two good tribes to boot.
BPhillipYork: It’s a nice pairing with obvious synergy, but 5 mana is just too much for an ability like this unless you’re going to break it.
Lita, Mechanical Engineer
FromTheShire: Mono white artifacts is definitely limiting yourself somewhat, I think I’m mush more likely to slot this in to and Esper shell to give your team pseudo-vigilance which is pretty excellent. The Zeppelin it creates isn’t bad either.
Beanith: I’ve been having a hard time with Mono-white artifact decks in MtG Arena Standard at the moment so Lita will have to excuse my fit of pique. That said, I kinda also want to see how many Zeppelins I could spawn in too…
Loxi: This makes me wonder if there are some sort of mono-white mill shenanigans to pull with this… Overall a really cool card though. I’m not sure if people will default to Vehicles or some crazy control/combo stuff, but either way I love seeing unique mono-white Commanders.
BPhillipYork: This is a cool artificer, creating token vehicles is neat, fun for a kind of pilot/vehicle deck in the sort of midrange.
FromTheShire: This is interesting as a sort of workaround reanimation thing, and in a deck with a bunch of blink and reanimation so you’re not paying the heavy casting cost I could see this being part of an interesting loop. Probably more work than it’s worth though.
Beanith: I immediately spent five minutes trying to think of all the terrible things I could do recurring ETB effects. Are you proud of me Magic Dad?
Loxi: This card seems fun, but I can’t imagine ever paying the full cost for this card since it does basically nothing on its own.
BPhillipYork: This can be broken, there’s way to create mana enough to blink this, Dockside Extortionist is an obvious huge mana generator here, but there’s also Su-Chi and other sources, you could also do something like sacrificing Gnawing Vermin or Stitchers Supplier and generate a lot of mill, if you were into that sort of thing. Proliferating it will also let you use it as protection for something like Atraxa, Praetors Voice
Preston, the Vanisher
FromTheShire: Let the Felidar Guardian shenanigans commence! Mono white makes it a little harder but there’s still plenty of blink to get some serious value here, and then you can deal with problematic permanents. Great.
Beanith: Maybe throwing in my two cents after a horror evening of facing mono-white decks on MtG Arena is a bad idea… Oh wait, non-token creatures. I’m good now. Plus it’s a bunny rabbit. I’m gonna call him George.
Loxi: This card is a nightmare. If you haven’t seen what it can do…ooooh boy, you’re in for a treat. I think this will end up being a really good Commander for high-power blink stuff, but I feel like more players will gravitate towards other options for more value-oriented blink decks.
BPhillipYork: So this card is baffling to read at first, but anyway whenever you cheat out in some way get a non-token creature into play then you’ll get a token that’s a copy of that creature, except it’s a 0/1 white illusion. Okay well, right away with Felidar Guardian this goes infinite. So for Brago, King Eternal and decks like that, or guardian infinite combos, or even just to throw into Derevi for value, this is a neat ability. I probably wouldn’t build around it, though the interaction with things like Replenish and Opalescence is hilarious.
Alandra, Sky Dreamer
FromTheShire: Nice little token generator, and then when you can finally fire off your Stroke of Genius, people are gonna die. It’s a little tough but I could see it potentially slotting in to my recent Commander Focus: Talrand deck.
Beanith: Stupid blue card draw decks always having spare creature removal spell handy. Why won’t you let me make you kill yourself with my Sheoldred, the Apocalypse?
Loxi: Perfect spot for my 2/2 flying tokens of the singer “Drake.” I really like this card though, albeit I’m probably biased as an old-time Talrand enjoyer. I think this version drives you more towards cantrips and card draw, whereas some people go deep on the counterspells for the aforementioned Commander, which is a cool niche.
BPhillipYork: Drawing 5 cards to buff your drakes is kind of in win-more territory but it’s kind of a fun way to cycle through a deck and beat people to death with token drakes.
Hold for Questioning
FromTheShire: It’s interesting as a way for blue to deal with problematic creatures once they hit the board, especially since it shuts down activated abilities. These days it seems like most have triggered abilities so this isn’t a house, but depending on your meta I could see it.
Beanith: And now I’ve been reminded how much enjoyment I derive from preventing my friends from untapping things. Look at your precious planeswalker as it languishes there unable to summon squirrels… my poor Comet? He’s just a good boy, why would you do that?
Loxi: I’ve played this card in the “limited” format for jumpstart, and golly it is a HOUSE there. I think there are better things to do for 4 mana in EDH though, but if you have a lot of Clue stuff going on I wouldn’t bat an eye at it.
BPhillipYork: This is a neat way to remove a planeswalker or creature, though a lot of commanders have triggered abilities, those that neat to attack will be mostly knocked out by this, and the ability to long-term remove commander is really powerful. 4 Mana is steep, but a lot of decks fail to run removal to deal with this and will just be taken out.
Isu the Abominable
FromTheShire: Another excellent Commander I have highlighted in a recent Commander Focus article, I am stoked about Isu! He gives you a bunch of information, lets you do disgusting green ramp things off of the top of your deck, becomes a giant monster….what’s not to love?
Beanith: Lemme check the prices of Snow-covered lands real quick… Hard pass
Loxi: Bant snow! Like Beanith mentioned, I wish it wasn’t a pain to use snow lands outside of proxying, but if you want to make a snow deck I think this is a lot better than Jorn, God of Winter if you aren’t planning on stax-ing it up.
Oh don’t be a baby you two, you can get stacks of them for like 75 cents apiece. You can build your whole mana base for the price of about 2 of the shock lands in another deck.
BPhillipYork: This is a fun, as opposed mean, snow commander. There’s really only one good way to play Jorn, God of Winter and it isn’t particularly fun. Bant snow is just fun value proposition, there’s some really solid bant snow creatures, and this just makes for a fun mid-level commander.
Kenessos, Priest of Thassa
FromTheShire: Pretty intriguing. You certainly want to be leaning into the scry aspect, because as someone who has made a bunch of blind Mayael the Anima activations, that’s a lot to be paying on the hope that you’re cheating out something big off of the top.
Beanith: Lets play a game of “How many Leviathans can I fit into this deck?” Inkwell Leviathan anyone?
Loxi: I really like that this fills a bit of a different niche for sea monsters as a tribe. In Simic, I mostly see people shoot for Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle. Whereas Arix provides good ol’ ramp, this provides a payoff for scrying and cheating things into play rather than purely ramping into them. Personally, I think Kenessos will end up becoming the de-facto commander for the tribe as far as optimal builds go, but I think Arixmethes will be more popular because its just a huge monster; let’s face it, if you’re playing sea monsters, you know what you want.
BPhillipYork: This is pretty decent, scrying out some giant krakens and serpents is pretty nice. 4 is about right to not be a broken source of giant creatures, some of which have really strong abilities. There’s also a lot of effects that modify scry now, potentially enough to build scry focused decks and then just run these as buffs.
FromTheShire: The Pirate bit is funny, but is it worth paying an extra mana compared to every other Clone effect to tack on some card draw? Yes. The answer is yes.
Beanith: Yaaar, that be my first mate Pirate Inkwell Leviathan
Loxi: Another good clone card! I feel not that excited seeing more of these when they drop, but its neat. I’ll snag one for Sakashima of a Thousand Faces.
BPhillipYork: Probably the best card in the set. Copying a creature and giving it a combat research type effect is really nice.
Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm
FromTheShire: Uhhh, so this is a monster for Rat tribal decks. The only saving grace for your opponents is that they don’t buff themselves, but you’ll figure out a way around that easily, I have faith in you. Rats are a cool tribe with a couple of different build paths so this is great to see.
Loxi: Objectively best new Commander for Rats, in my opinion. I like seeing the tribe getting support, but I feel like seeing “X many cards in the deck” Rat builds are not nearly as exciting as just running all the crazy weird Rat cards, so I hope to see more of the latter rather than more of the same.
BPhillipYork: Another rat commander is nice, but this seems weaker than other, extant commanders, on the other hand, it has a very on point rat ability, harkening back to the original Plague Rats.
FromTheShire: He doesn’t let you combo off, but Rodolf will do some powerful and annoying stuff, even if he’s just in an aristocrats shell. What do you know, the first time I put Gray Merchant of Asphodel into play this turn, it DID make me gain at least 5 life! Who could have foreseen this?
Loxi: Rodolf is cool, but he’s a bit expensive and combines two archetypes that might be a bit hard to slap together. Being both lifegain and reanimator is unique for sure though, and oh BOY he’s got good keywords as well as built in protection. I don’t think he’s my cup of tea, but he’s gotta be good if the niche appeals to you.
BPhillipYork: I like this ability, having payoffs for life gain is a decent way to make some incidental life gain actually useful. Usually it’s gain arbitrarily large amounts of life and never die and nobody cares because you still lose to Thassa’s Oracle, but this is a fun way to gain some life and get something out of it and build a deck around that. Built in lifegain is really icing on the top here.
Loxi: This card is hilarious. I don’t think its crazy good, but its fantastic and I will be running it. If you’re in a politics deck, it’s a great tool. Hitting planeswalkers is a nice touch.
BPhillipYork: Wizards seems serious about having additional sources of already existing counters that do interesting things, and slots really nicely into either of the existing bounty commanders. I’d expect to see more bounty commanders running around.
Ardoz, Cobbler of War
FromTheShire: Really wish this was legal in Modern, though I suspect not granting haste to others might mean this comes up short. Still would like to give it a go in something like 8 whack though. In Commander this could close out a game if you’re going wide with a Krenko or something, and it can be found with Moggcatcher. If you’re in that position you have a wide variety of ways to close it out so again I think it could use some testing.
Loxi: Ardoz will be making her way into my modular Mono-Red goblin deck for sure, but I think she’s not the most exciting as a Commander. In the 99 she’s a solid include, and if you want to go deep on haste-enablers its not a bad payoff.
BPhillipYork: The fun play to me here is Mana Echoes and generate infinite goblins. As a 1/1 for 2 that gives +2/+0 to creatures when they enter, it’s nice, but does this really turn a loss into a win or let you close a game? In commander I’m guessing no.
Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence
FromTheShire: Glad she flies, that ups the value of the counters by quite a lot. Not have access to black is a definite downside but this will still be a super fun and annoying deck.
Loxi: A solid finisher for group slug, and as a Commander will just let you run all of the fun pain and suffering cards. Want games to end faster? She’s a solid pick.
BPhillipYork: I like this a lot, really fun kind of card. Suicide red is an interesting archetype, and I’m glad to see more devils showing up.
FromTheShire: Really really great, especially if you are going wide with a bunch of tokens. Adding impulse on top of it is even better.
Loxi: Please new players! Did you get the Kardur, Doomscourge starter Commander deck? This card is phenomenal there!
BPhillipYork: The raid ability is really solid, and turning your cannon fodder into real fodder for a cannon is really nice. This plays nicely with Sneak Attack type decks, especially those looking to sacrifice the attacing creatures.
Mizzix, Replica Rider
FromTheShire: Copying spells gets spicy quickly, and there are a ton of ways to not cast from your hand between all the great impulse cards, flashback, suspend, foretell, Etali, Primal Storm, etc. Can synergize very well with the original Mizzix as well, which I always like.
Loxi: Cast from exile will most likely be the build for this, but it’ll be cool to see decks for the archetype in red/blue. I’m also pretty sure this could be a really good suspend Commander? That sounds like it could be spicy…
BPhillipYork: Wow. This is another “from exile” but even better. Copying your commander is funny. Grant you’ll need a way to make it “not legendary” but even so.
FromTheShire: Nice that it has first strike and buffs itself so it might actually be able to do this more than once, which is a frequent downside of these types of cards. Having to pay full price for the spell itself is a bit of a downer as well.
Loxi: Eh, its recursion but I’d probably pass unless I was playing some real aggro-type deck.
BPhillipYork: Flashback effectively being pasted onto all your spells is really solid. The most obvious target would be extra combat spells, especially if you’ve adding on some mana generators from attacking (various treasure generators, Neheb, some dragons). Potentially a solid piece in a combat attack deck.
FromTheShire: Anything that doubles counters or tokens is highly prized, and this is no different. Being somewhat limited in scope is fine, if your deck is doing anything with counters this is basically an auto-include. Nice that you have ways to tutor it as green, and that it can come down super early if you want it to.
Loxi: Aside from the obvious Hydra tribal include, I think more effects to help Hardened Scales type decks on a budget would be nice. Hopefully this drops down in price as the set becomes more accessible.
BPhillipYork: So basically another Hardened Scales more costly but with more upside, this card is going to be really pricy I would predict. Works really really nicely with Atraxa +1 counter decks, since it’s frequently hard to get +1s onto things to get the ball rolling.
Kibo, Uktabi Prince
FromTheShire: Absolutely love the call back to the early days of Magic and Uktabi Orangutan. For the time being, there are a couple of good Apes and approximately one good Monkey so not a great tribe, although there are at least enough to make a deck if you want to go that route and not just mass Shapeshifters. On the other hand, this seems like exactly the sort of thing where we may turn around a year or two from now to find out this was just beginning to seed a bunch of cool cards.
Loxi: I heard a lot about this being a good way to beat up on Treasures, which is probably true. Its a cool deck idea and unique support for a new tribe, but I’m waiting on opinions until I see him in action more.
BPhillipYork: So there’s like a whole little story that plays out if you look at the art of Uktabi Orangutan, Uktabi Kong, and this card, which is like, fun, but also kind of… anyway that’s about 39 monkeys or apes now, which is enough to make a fun tribal deck. If you count shapeshifters (I do not) that’s a basis for a deck, there are ways to give people treasures and tokens at times, so there’s a neat little deck to be made there.
Runadi, Behemoth Caller
FromTheShire: Mana dork that massively pumps your big monsters plus gives them haste, in green? Hell yes.
Loxi: Stompy, rampy. Nothing new and crazy, but I always love cards that are appealing to new Timmy players.
BPhillipYork: Well this is just a commander for a deck full of big fatties, in mono-green. More power to you. Fun if that is what you want.
Zask, Skittering Swarmlord
FromTheShire: Playing lands from your graveyard is a great effect, and there are a metric truckload of Insects these days, including some pretty good ones like Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest and Caustic Caterpillar that you’re going to be real happy to cast over and over. Plus it fuels your graveyard and slings deathtouch around? Sign me up.
Loxi: This card is absolutely a bomb and is the Commander I’m most excited for from the set. I think this enables Insects to be an insanely powerful tribe since it just does SO much for the cost. I will be building this for sure, and I’ll phone back when I get to make a brew.
BPhillipYork: This seems potentially playable, more support for insects is good, and more ways to play lands from the yard is strong. Casting insects from your grave but then having them be put into your library is a weird kind of effect. If you can get creatures to be cast at flash speed you can respond to the trigger going on the stack and recast the insect right away, which is probably the way to break this. Wirewood Symbiote is a weird card and there might be a way to build a loop around that. Endless Cockroaches has it’s own trigger, which might let you mill out your deck if you can loop it.
FromTheShire: Solid rock with a nice rider to help you hit your land drops on time.
Loxi: A two-mana rock with upside. Yeah, I’ll run it for sure, it’ll be a budget staple.
BPhillipYork: This probably makes the cut as a playable 2 cost mana rock, the look for a land is useful and also a may, which means it’s all upside.
That wraps up our look at the new cards in Jumpstart 2022. If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.