Jumping the Start

Look, I get it. We have Core 2021 leaks/previews going on now, we’re about to start preview season in earnest. 

We also have Double Masters coming up soon, and what feels like tons of Mystery Boosters on their way to retailers.

We might even get our local stores open soon! We know we aren’t getting any MagicFests in 2020, but today I want to focus on a product called Jumpstart that is going to be released in about six weeks. 

Let’s dive in with what we know and what value is to be gained.

First, the basics. We’re looking at the official Jumpstart page and the Draftsim aggregation. We’re getting more than 500 cards in this set, a number that would have seemed ludicrous before Mystery Booster showed up and blew us away.

There are exactly 37 new cards in this set, legal only in Commander, Vintage, and Legacy. This is where the value is likely going to be concentrated, but we’ll come back to that in a moment. We’re also getting about 120 reprints from Core 2021, leaving us 350 reprints of existing cards. We don’t know yet if there’s going to be foils, or Box Toppers, or Showcase cards of some kind. 

We did get told that there’s no foils, but I’d be surprised if there were no special versions, and special can mean a lot of things. 

The set is designed to be played like this: Grab two packs (20 cards to a pack) and combine them together. Each booster has a theme that won’t be apparent from the outside, and this is designed to be this sort of mix-and-play experience. If you dig randomness (which I truly do!) then this promises to be fun.

What I want to think about is that with 350 reprints and a short list of known themes, there’s some higher risk-of-reprints out there that I want to get out of. 

Here’s the list of themes alluded to so far, and keep in mind that some of the themes are ‘Mythic Rare’, meaning that they will have only one set of 20, whereas other themes can have a random selection of themed cards. For each of these, I’m going to list a likely reprint and a dream reprint. We don’t have pricing for this yet either. This is only part of the 46 themes, too. The cards in this set are going to be Historic-legal too, and that will inform the picks I’m making.

“Above the Clouds” (Quite likely flying as a theme)
Should be: Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Will be: Sephara, Sky’s Blade
Flying is UW territory, and Linvala hasn’t been printed in a couple of years. Sephara is a payoff for playing a bunch of small flyers, and bringing her back in sequential Core Sets is not a huge deal. 
Should be: Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Will be: Brimaz, King of Oreskos
This is a pretty easy call, as Brimaz hasn’t been printed in forever and has a good price tag. That price will drop, though, so you should move out on the extra copies you have in your binder.
Should be: Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Will be: Liliana, Heretical Healer
I don’t think they are going to go Cleric here, and these two line up nicely in terms of characters and abilities. 
Should be: It that Betrays
Will be: Void Winnower
I don’t think they are going to add any other legendary Eldrazi to Historic, and It That Betrays would be too awesome given all the sacrifice triggers running around. Void Winnower fits with the recent even/odd cards they’ve printed.
Should be: Norwood Priestess
Will be: Beast Whisperer
Too many people have never played with a more fair Timmy, Power Gamer, and this would make me super happy. Oracle of Mul Daya is another juicy target, but I think in the end we’re going to get a boring, efficient, and inexpensive card.
Should be: Garruk, Apex Predator
Will be: Garruk Wildspeaker
I don’t think they’ll do two colors in these packs, so we’ll get the OG version who has never been able to get expensive or cheap, because of strong demand and regular reprints. I’d expect his Packleader, Horde, and Companion to come along as well.
Should be: Dockside Extortionist
Will be: Goblin Wizard
This is a pipe dream of mine. The Wizard is impressively efficient if allowed to live, and breaks the mirror right in half. Extortionist needs a reprint badly, even though Limited isn’t the best spot for this ability the price is too high and will fall abruptly when it’s reprinted.
Should be: Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Will be: Isamaru, Hound of Konda
I’m surprised to find that this goodboye hasn’t had a reprint since the original appearance in Champions of Kamigawa. He is a Mystery Booster foil, but given that we aren’t ever going to get to open much of the Retail Edition, I don’t think that has a huge bearing. I understand, those of you who are mad at the wide range of Cats, but Hounds are a tiny subtribe.
Should be: Phyrexian Altar
Will be: Phyrexian Crusader
I want the big value here, from a card that just blew by being reprinted in Ultimate Masters. Another reprint wouldn’t keep it down for long. Instead, we will get middling value and a wrecking ball of a Limited card. 
Should be: Dockside Extortionist
Will be: Hostage Taker
I know I said they’d avoid two colors, but there’s nothing more ‘what’s yours is mine’ than the UB pirate, but this would be a stunning place to get the Extortionist too.
Should be: Kokusho, the Evening Star
Will be: Ghostway
This is just a guess, but Lingering Souls at rare would be understandable too. That card is far too busted at uncommon.
Should be: Feast of the Unicorn
Will be: ????They are going to print some new Unicorn here that will be worth money.
Should be: Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Will be: Vampire Nocturnus
Vampires sorely need a lord, a payoff, and this is it. Historic Vamps will totally be a thing, and a fun one if you like a touch of chaos. I’m quite certain that in M10 they never figured White as the secondary color for the Vampire tribe.
Should be: Tree of Perdition
Will be: Tree of Perdition
Sure, Bant gets stuff like Arcades to animate walls, but I’m eager to see this killer wall come back into vogue.
Should be: Thrasios, Triton Hero
Will be: Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
I won’t be shocked if all the Origins flip-walkers are in this set. They are neat to play with and quite fair. Thrasios isn’t, and I shudder to think of a Historic format where this and Kinnan are both payoffs for big mana decks.

Even if my picks are wrong, Jumpstart is going to offer us money. It’s meant to be a fun summer diversion, something that will perfectly fill downtime at a MagicFest or other events. Instead, it’s going to be crammed between other releases: Core 2021, the flagship of summer, and Double Masters, the high-value reprint festival. There will be a very short window to buy this and play this, and that means you should stock up on the reprints (not a lot of copies going into circulation) and the new cards (ditto) when we’re all going gaga for the cards in Double Masters.

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.