Last updated on August 11, 2022
Grunn, the Lonely King | Illustration by Mathias Kollros
Wizards recently announced that we’ll get an accompanying Jumpstart set to go with every Standard set. This means that we’ll have a lot more jumpstart boosters available to us, so I thought it would be worth reminding ourselves just what Jumpstart boosters are!
Let’s jump right in and see what these packs have in store for us!
What’s a Jumpstart Booster? What’s the Purpose?
Unity of Purpose | Illustration by Jason Felix
Jumpstart boosters are a product that’s designed to be opened and then played with immediately. They’re very beginner friendly but are also appealing to more veteran players with some sought-after reprints, spicy newer cards, and unique gameplay.
Ultimately, while the main purpose is to be a new way to enjoy Magic and one that’s good to introduce new players to help them learn the rules. Jumpstart boosters also double as another avenue for WotC to introduce some new cards into Commander. Not to mention another way to get reprints of sought-after cards out into players hands.
What Comes in a Jumpstart Booster?
Each Jumpstart booster contains 20 cards, consisting of seven to eight lands while the rest are a mixture of all kinds of spells. All the spells in the booster match a given theme, like goblins, elves, or rainbow, with 46 different themes available in the original release.
46 new themes will be introduced in Jumpstart 2022. Each theme can come in up to four different variations, each with slightly different card lists, giving a total of 121 different decks available so far.
The boosters also come with rares and mythics. Each booster will contain at least one rare, with one in three having an extra one. So far there are no foils included in Jumpstart packs. And while most of the lands are fairly ordinary basics, one in each booster matches the theme of the booster, and some (like the Phyrexian Swamp) are collector’s items. Mono-colored boosters will come with a land from the “thriving” cycle, too.
We also know from the Showcase video shown in summer 2021 that each Jumpstart 2022 booster will come with one “booster fun” card with alternate anime-styled art.
How Do Jumpstart Boosters Work?
Aetherworks Marvel | Illustration by James Paick
There’s not much you need to do to prepare. You take any two Jumpstart packs, open them, and “shuffle up and play” (i.e., shuffle both decks together and play a game of Magic with your new 40 card deck!). While this is mainly intended to be a 1v1 game, there’s nothing stopping you from playing some multiplayer with your friends, like Two-Headed Giant.
You can end up with some very strange combinations since the themes of the packs are fairly varied. You might open angels and dogs or well-read minotaurs. And while no combinations are particularly ill-suited together, you could hit the jackpot and find a couple decks that work together amazingly.
Some people like the idea of these randomly-themed decks so much that they’ve built something like a Cube from them. If you have some friends come over you can each take two previously opened packs at random and play as if you’d just opened them. There’s definitely some replayability here if you have a few decks on hand.
What’s the Difference Between a “Regular” MTG Booster and a Jumpstart Booster?
The main difference between a regular booster and a Jumpstart booster is that Jumpstart boosters are designed to be played out of the pack with just two of them and you don’t need to do any deckbuilding at all, unlike other Limited formats where you still need to decide what to put in your deck. Like normal boosters, they can still be opened just to build your collection, but in my opinion you’re missing out on some fun by just doing this!
Why Did Theme Boosters Change to Jumpstart Boosters?
Change of Fortune | Illustration by Sam Guay
Theme boosters never really found the right home and seemed a little unfocused. The niche they were aiming for was superseded by set boosters in the end, but theme boosters stuck around, often taking up shelf space in stores and going unsold.
Lackluster theme boosters combined with the end of the free intro decks provided to local game stores left a big gap in products to introduce new players to the game. No doubt WotC noticed the popularity of Jumpstart as a very new-player-friendly format with fairly simple card designs and players who just wanted to dip their toes into Magic. And going for a low price makes them even more attractive to someone who wants to find out if Magic is for them.
A further bonus of a product like this is that it’s not like an intro deck where you buy one and you may not want to tweak the deck afterwards. You can very easily buy more boosters, try out new theme combinations, and then try out a different combination later! Hence, Jumpstart boosters overtaking theme boosters.
How Many Packs Are in a Jumpstart Booster Box?
There are 24 Jumpstart packs in a Jumpstart booster box. This is enough for 12 players to build 2-pack decks., Or for two people to build six different 2-pack decks each.
Are Jumpstart Booster Boxes Worth It in General?
Reidane, God of the Worthy | Illustration by Jason Rainville
As with any Magic product, the value of Jumpstart boosters is partly subjective. On top of the value of the singles in the packs, there’s also value of it being a good teaching tool, an onboarding product to the hobby, and just a fun play experience. But there’s definitely value in the Jumpstart packs.
Allosaurus Shepherd is the poster child of value in the Jumpstart set and is worth around $50. Other cards, like Rhystic Study and Bruvac the Grandiloquent, are worth upwards of $20. And there are around 15 cards in the set currently worth more than $10, and many more worth more than the price of a booster.
This is after a number of waves of the set coming to stores, so clearly there’s a want for both the new cards in the set and the reprints.
How Many Rares and Mythics Are in a Jumpstart Booster Box?
As I already mentioned, there’s at least one rare or mythic in each Jumpstart booster, with one in three having a bonus rare. This means that each Jumpstart booster box will have 32 rares or mythics on average.
Are Jumpstart Boosters Limited Release?
Jumpstart boosters aren’t limited release. There have been multiple waves of the first set released to stores, and it’s still relatively easy to find on the shelves of your LGS despite selling well. At this point it’s unknown how future Jumpstart sets will be released, but it’s safe to assume they’ll be readily available.
Do Jumpstart Boosters Have Cards from The List?
Jumpstart boosters don’t include cards from The List, possibly because it would make it difficult to include them while keeping “shuffle up and play” part of the experience.
How Many Jumpstart Booster Boxes Are in a Case?
A case of Jumpstart booster boxes contains six booster displays, each with 24 booster packs.
Finale of Promise | Illustration by Jaime Jones
So, in the end, is Jumpstart a good product? I’d say so. Anything that makes the game more accessible can only be a good thing. They’re also clearly fairly popular with Magic veterans, and not many products can be said to bring fresh and seasoned players together like this.
If you haven’t tried this yet, I encourage you to give it a go. If nothing else, it might be a good way to get your friend, partner, or family member interested in this hobby that we all love.
Have you shuffled up and played Jumpstart yet? If so, what whacky themes did you open? What would you like to see included in the next release? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
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