Unlocked Pro Trader: The Magic Way-Back Machine

Occasionally, I like to take a trip back through Magic’s history and look at old sets and see if there is anything we can learn. Released all the way back in December 2022, a set called Jumpstart 2022 came out, and while reviews were positive, the set was quickly abandoned by players and collectors later in the week when Starter Commander was released and the Dominaria Remastered spoiler season kicked off. What went wrong? Was the initial hype unfounded? Why did most people only play one Jumpstart prerelease event or fewer? Today we’re going to take a look at Jumpstart 2022 because no one knows what’s in that set and see if there is anything we can learn for the next time a set comes out (Friday). 

If you remember back to December 2022, Jumpstart had a very popular commander named Kibo, Uktabi Prince. If you can’t remember all the way back 3 sets ago, that’s OK. Not many people remember this, but there were actually 14 total Legendary creatures in Jumpstart – a sane and rational amount of Legendary creatures. It was a risky gamble and WotC, to their credit, learned their lesson and haven’t had a set with fewer than 50 Legendary creatures come out since. With only 14 Legendary creatures, did such a small (lol there are like 900 cards in this set and Ben Bleiweiss tweeted about it today but I deactivated my account so you’ll have to take my word for it) set impact the format?

As it would turn out, the impact of the set never truly materialized in the window between its release and the release of the next set and no commander got even 400 decks built around them in that period. The likelihood that builders would return to the set after this many products have come out in the interim seems unlikely, leaving me to believe that Kibo will remain the most popular commander. I think, however, there is some merit to discussing some of the other commanders because it’s very likely commanders with identical abilities will be printed in the next year due to the law of averages and we can apply these lessons to that product.

Get it? He’s a rabbit and his name is presto and he’s a magician and he pulls stuff out of his hat! That might not sound that funny to you, but when you realize that they only had a few weeks to work on this 819 (literally) card set, it’s amazing that anything this flavorful made it into the set.

First up, we have the new cards which people who built Preston when it first came out might not have had access to. These cards are all solid in a Preston deck, but I don’t see anything financially relevant. If these cards haven’t popped after this much time has passed, it’s unlikely they will because of Preston.

I fully realize that Teleporation Circle is NOT Conjurer’s Closet and never will be. But, like…

Closet really likes to be $10 despite multiple printings. I think with one printing, Circle can be $10 and I am betting on it.

I really hope it’s not obvious to you why this card never got there because it isn’t to me. This card is bonkers and it’s from a terrible set no one wanted to buy. And yet…

One nudge can get this from 15 pennies to 15 dimes, 15 quarters is not out of the question imo. I’ll take that. This card isn’t great and instant speed versions of this with upside like Otherworldly Journey exist but if you build this deck, you play every Flicker and that includes Flicker.

I’m personally building this as Bant landfall and relying on my lands to give me all of the triggers I need, but a lot of people insist on playing a bunch of dumb snow cards and I only like one or two of them.

Don’t even love this as a spec as much as I like it as a card and I’m marveling at how cheap every snow card from Kaldheim is. They tried to make snow a thing and Isu isn’t going to be enough. MH1 gave us good Snow stuff, but also made the boxes so irresitable there is too much of all of it.

Second spikes are great, but look at this graph to see what third and 4th spikes do. If you’re worried about the Mystery Booster printings, there is always the foil that costs… something.

CK does indeed have a $45 NM copy and 3 MP copies for 20ish but I am not convinced this is a $100 NM foil. CK has one if you think it is, though. There are a lot of MP copies on TCG player closer to $50 than $100 and this isn’t unreprintable, but the foil did get a little help from not being on The List.

Most of you will recall what a wild year 2022 was and though several products have been released since early December 2022, we’ll always fondly remember the two days we were thinking about Jumpstart before we started Dominaria Remastered spoiler season in earnest. Could we have had something special with Jumpstart like we did with Emiel and Tinybones and Allosaurus Shepherd, plus great reprints like Craterhoof? Maybe, but it doesn’t do us any good to look that far back and wonder “what if?” That does it for me this week, folks. Thanks for reading my words and brooking my tone. Until next time!