Wilds of Eldraine spoilers continue to roll in, and there’s a ton of powerful spoilers and gorgeous reprints to make use of. From strong Adventure Enchantments ready to see Commander play to one of the most efficient tutors printed in recent years, the Wilds of Eldraine main set has a lot going for it. In addition to new cards from the main set, there’s also a notable bonus sheet to look forward to. For anyone that enjoys collecting cool designs, Enchanting Tales cards add a unique element to set boosters and collector boosters alike.
Speaking of set boosters and collector boosters, there is another group of cards that players can open specifically in these packs. Today, a handful of Jumpstart cards were previewed. Much like with previous new-to-Magic Jumpstart cards, these cards will be legal in the same Constructed formats that the main set Wilds of Eldraine cards will be legal in. As a result, these Jumpstart cards will indeed be Standard legal, just like the main set cards from Wilds of Eldraine. That being said, there is a pretty big distinction between how to access these Jumpstart cards and where you could find Jumpstart cards in the past.
No Jumpstart Packs?
You read that right. The Jumpstart cards from Wilds of Eldraine will not be featured in Jumpstart packs at all. Instead, you can find Jumpstart exclusive cards only in set boosters and collector boosters of Wilds of Eldraine. This means that these cards will not be in draft booster packs, and as such, will not impact the Wilds of Eldraine Limited environment. There are 15 Jumpstart cards in total to collect: five rares and 10 uncommons.
In set booster packs, you can find regular versions of all 15 cards in the two wildcard slots and traditional foil versions in the foil card slot. Collector booster packs give you the opportunity to open extended art versions of the rares, but only in non-foil.
While it’s nice to retain the option to open and collect these Jumpstart cards, it’s very strange to not see them get their own packs. A big part of the appeal of Jumpstart cards in the first place is that they provide you with a quick and easy way to build an MTG deck and play with your friends. All you had to do was take two 20-card Jumpstart packs, shuffle the contents together, and start playing. This helped give newer players access to a simple, repeatable, and fun way to start learning the game.
By appearing only in set and collector boosters, this option is taken away. As a result, these Jumpstart cards feel a bit out of place, especially by not showing up in draft. That being said, a few of the Jumpstart cards are quite strong in Commander, which should help give at least some of the Jumpstart cards a home.
Powerful Typal Top-End
Recently, we discussed the abundance of incoming support for both Rat and Faerie typal Commander decks. It appears that the Jumpstart cards are delivering a handful of additional options. For Faeries, Faerie Slumber Party is an excellent tempo play. While a six mana Sorcery that bounces all Creatures is certainly below the curve, it’s easy to set up a scenario where multiple opponents have Creatures that get bounced. Not only does this set them behind if they had built out a big board, but you get rewarded with two Faeries for each opponent that was forced to return a Creature.
This card is especially strong alongside Tegwyll, Duke of Splendor, one of the Commanders for the upcoming Wilds of Eldraine Dimir Commander deck. Tegwyll both pumps your other Faeries and draws you cards when they die. Having a way to create lots of Faerie token in one card is a great addition to the deck.
Ogre Chitterlord is another six-mana typal payoff that creates a bunch of tokens, but this time the tokens are Rats, not Faeries. Ogre Chitterlord does everything you want. It adds multiple Rats to the board when it enters or attacks, and even pumps your Rat army, assuming you control five or more Rats.
The only downside is that this card is red, meaning Rat Commanders like Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm cannot utilize this card. Luckily, Wilds of Eldraine gifted us with Totentanz, Swarm Piper, a solid Rakdos Commander for a Rat deck.
For decks that are looking to flood the board with tokens beyond just Rats and Faeries, these Jumpstart cards have you covered. Perhaps one of the strongest token payoffs is Malevolent Witchkite, which can draw you a boatload of cards as long as you have cards to sacrifice to it. This also works quite nicely with Role tokens from the main set. For example, pairing this alongside Twisted Sewer-Witch in a Rats deck can allow you to draw a bunch of cards by sacrificing all of the Wicked Role tokens that are made, rather than having to sacrifice the Rat tokens themselves.
Another card that can provide card advantage is Rowdy Research. The card gets a discount for each attacking Creature, so if you have a bunch of tokens to attack with, you can make this card cost as little as one mana.
Lady of Laughter also draws you cards, specifically on your end step if at least two non-Land permanents entered the battlefield under your control. Any card that produces two or more tokens can help make sure this ability triggers and keep the cards flowing. That said, only drawing one card a turn does make Lady of Laugher a weaker pick overall.
Wildwood Mentor pays you off in a different way, growing each time a token enters the battlefield under your control. Combine this with cards like Avenger of Zendikar that can create lots of tokens at once, and you’ve got a gameplan.
While these Jumpstart cards aren’t super likely to make a big impact in Constructed, it’s nice to see cards like Ogre Chitterlord and Malevolent Witchkite that seem like slam dunks in the right Commander shells. It will be worth monitoring how Jumpstart cards are treated in the future, given that these cards were originally intended to be put in Jumpstart packs, but will ultimately end up in set and collector boosters instead. Does this imply that Jumpstart products are soon going to be a thing of the past? Only time will tell.