Last updated on September 25, 2023

Righteous Valkyrie - Illustration by Chris Rahn

Righteous Valkyrie | Illustration by Chris Rahn

Jumpstart was a nice idea on MTG Arena. Players chose between two random decks, mixed them, and played. All the cards in these decks were then added to your collection.

But players had some criticism. Notably that the price of entry was too high, and it was difficult to get access to the exclusive rares/mythics from the format. Enter Jump In!, the second attempt at this style of format, and a much more impactful one that I think you definitely should play.

Let me tell you why!

What Is Jump In! on MTG Arena?

Mountain (Jumpstart) - Illustration by Titus Lunter

Mountain (Jumpstart) | Illustration by Titus Lunter

Jump In! is another iteration of Jumpstart that offers you a selection of two 20-card packets, which you then mix to form a 40-card deck and play against another player. Although I liked the idea of the original Jumpstart formats and events, the price of entry was too high at 5,000 gold. At least for me. Jump In! events cost only 1,000 gold (or 200 gems) for what’s essentially the same thing.

Jump In! is restricted to cards already in Standard and Alchemy, while Jumpstart had its own exclusive cards and cards intended for the Historic format. Jump In! is one of the events available on MTG Arena.

How Does Jump In! Work?

Jump In! gives you two decks to choose from, and then you mix them. You then play with the newly created deck. All these cards are added to your collection so that you can play with them in other Constructed formats.

These decks will be usually two colors as you play with basic lands in your deck’s colors and one or two common tap lands. Each packet you choose has 20 cards: 12 nonland cards and 8 lands. So your final deck will be 40 cards: 24 nonland and 16 lands, which is on par with a typical Limited deck.

Jump In packets

You get to choose between packets when you start. Each packet shows you the color(s) and the theme.

Jump In Celestial + Lorehold packets deck example

Here’s a deck I built combining Celestial (white angels) with Lorehold ().

Is Jump In! Worth Playing? Who Is It For?

Jump In! is totally worth playing. It’s mostly aimed at newer players, but it’s interesting for veterans to try new stuff and get new cards. The gameplay in Jump In! is similar to Limited formats where you have a bunch of related commons and uncommons and a rare or mythic.

Unfortunately there are going to be times when you combine two packets to make a poor deck and get trampled by the opposition, which may scare some newer players. But it’s still an awesome tool to get MTG’s mechanics right and get a sense of Limited gameplay, all for a reasonable 1,000 gold or 200 gems. Jump In! is awesome to teach mechanics and Limited gameplay to players that aren’t feeling confident in joining a Quick Draft or playing Sealed Deck.

Another nice thing is that you can get a glimpse of a set’s theme since the packets are themed. For example, the new packets added in March of the Machine bring packs themed around Elesh Norn and her forces among others.

What Are the Rewards for Jump In!?

As low as the price entry is, the biggest rewards for playing in Jump In! are the cards you open in the packets. The reward for winning a match is an ICR (individual card reward), which is usually uncommon but has a 5% chance of being rare.

In fact, players usually spend the gold, get the cards, and don’t even play because of these low rewards. It’s worth grinding to see if you’ll open the right packs if you’re looking for a card or certain combinations of cards. Besides, you get plenty more cards in Jump In! if you compare the 1,000 gold you spend to enter and get a single booster in MTG Arena store, including more rares and mythics.

What’s a Jump In! Token?

Players that make a new MTG Arena account get five Jump In! tokens when they defeat certain challenges, which grant access to the Jump In! event. Each Jump In! token grants access to a Jump In! event only.

List of Jump In! Packs

What Are the Best Jump In! Decks?

If you’re thinking about getting cards for Standard and Alchemy formats, here are some cards to look out for and what packet you can find them in:

Otherwise, go with the flow and experiment. You won’t be rewarded for winning a ton since the goal of this format is to learn, experiment, and add new cards to your collection. There are so many possible combinations that it would be impossible to analyze them all. And most of them will be bad, but practice makes perfect.

Jump In! Strategy Tips

A good tip is to start with a 2-color packet and pick a mono-color packet that matches your first packet in both color and theme. This way you have better chances of building a cohesive deck while landing some dual lands and a gold rare or mythic.

If both packets are aggro-oriented or control-oriented, they’ll mix well. High-power packets are generally better than high-synergy packets. For example, a venture into the dungeon deck wants as many venture cards as possible. When you mix a venture packet with, say, a lifegain packet, you’ll be stuck with two strategies that don’t really mix.

Mulligan more! The difference between your best and worst cards in this format is huge, and starting with one of the rares or removal spells goes a long way. Think of your deck as a bad Limited deck, and a lot of times the game is decided by who plays a rare first, or who has removal for their opponent’s rare.

Is Jump In! Good for Building Your Collection?

In a certain way, yes, Jump In! is good for building your collection. Especially for players that aren’t fond of drafting. Once you know which cards you’re in the market for it’s easier to get rare and mythic rare staples by playing Jump In! events than by buying booster packs.

Alternatives to Jump In!

Well, there’s always drafting and buying new packs! But these also come with disadvantages.

For example, if I buy a pack on MTG Arena, I don’t know exactly what I’m getting. And I also need to choose a set. With more than 10 sets available, which one do I get?

Drafting is good when you know how to play Limited and have a good win rate (at least above 50%). When you have a high win rate in Limited, you start to chain these events for free and get the most bang for your buck.

Is Jump in! Only Standard Cards?

Not exactly. All the cards in Jump In! are Standard or Alchemy cards. One of this format’s objectives is to ease new players into these formats by providing them with staples to build decks.

Jump In! packets rotate or have cards changed with every set to match the Standard and Alchemy formats.

How Often Are Jump In! Packets Updated?

Jump In! packets are updated with each new set. The latest update was in Streets of New Capenna, with five packets representing the five tri-color families and five packets representing the 2-colored themes like Citizen tribal and counters matter.

How Long Will Jump In! Be Around?

Jump In! has been available on MTG Arena since 2021, and WotC hasn’t said anything about ending Jump In!. Judging by the recent updates in March of the Machine, the format is here to stay!

Since WotC has been updating Jump In! with every set release, I’d say that the format is going to be a pillar for MTG Arena. Of course, it could be discontinued in the near future, but until then we get to appreciate this nice format. 

Wrap Up

Arena Trickster - Illustration by PINDURSKI

Arena Trickster | Illustration by PINDURSKI

Well, that’s it for today folks! MTG has a high barrier of entry and complexity of play, but they really hit the nail on the head with Jump In! considering that one of Arena’s main objectives is to ease people into the hobby. It’s a cool event that caters to beginners while still appealing to veterans.

Thanks so much for reading, and please tell me how you’ve been enjoying Jump In! in the comments below. And if you play lots of MTG Arena, consider downloading Draftsim’s addon, Arena Tutor. It’s free, it’ll give you insight into Constructed and Limited, and it even uses AI to predict what your opponents are playing.

Thanks for reading folks. Stay safe, and until next time!

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  • Avatar
    Erstrik May 15, 2023 10:09 am

    It’s not only standard packs.
    I got a baldur’s gate pack yesterday who is not playable in standard format

    • Nikki
      Nikki May 15, 2023 3:36 pm

      Quite right, looks like the inclusion of Alchemy-legal cards was missed. Thanks for the correction, it’s been fixed!

  • Avatar
    Be September 18, 2023 9:02 am

    I didn’t see this addressed (but maybe I missed it) – but how many games does one token entitle you too?

    I’ve just signed up for arena and spent my first “jump in” token – I’m currently 5-1 with my deck. I assume at SOME point it tells me I’m done. Is it 7 wins or 3 losses (whichever comes first) or some other metric?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha September 18, 2023 11:36 am

      I am pretty sure it is unlimited until you get incredibly bored of your deck, which I guarantee will happen! Otherwise, they periodically change the seasons and deck compositions for Jump In, so the deck would “expire” at that point.

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