From Anime to Yargle-Z
Hello again friends. I feel like we were just here, talking about the same thing.
You may remember me from literal weeks ago, discussing the reprints of The Brothers' War, but we're off that business now. We're onto new things, and by "new things" I mean "old things that are new again," like cargo pants. In a way, reprints are basically cargo pants.
Since we're rushing to shove one more release into the year of our lord 2022, we've got to provide you, fair reader, with one more round-up of relevant reprints, and thankfully there are plenty to discuss. New in Jumpstart 2022, there's a card that hasn't seen print in almost exactly 20 years, and there are several reprinted mere weeks ago, likeor . In fact, 766 of the 834 total Jumpstart 2022 cards are reprints. We will not discuss all of them. Heck, I'm not even going to talk about half. Even so, there's a lot to go over, so let's get started.
The Japanese art Jumpstart reprints
Along with the other smattering of reprints, some with new art and some without, Jumpstart 2022 includes a total of 45 anime art cards -- mostly cards that are already quite popular. That's reflected in the pricing for these new versions, with Balan, Wandering Knight leading the way at around $30, compared to the five bucks for the original Commander 2017 version (which, until recently, I thought was wearing a pumpkin on his head). Anime treatments aren't new, of course, as War of the Spark featured an anime version of each planeswalker appearing in the set. And more recently, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty offered plenty more anime cards for me to ignore. Unlike in Kamigawa, the anime treatments in Jumpstart seem like an afterthought, but I'm not here to yuck anyone's yum. For as excited as I was to see old-bordered cards make a return in recent years culminating in The Brothers' War, there are plenty of players who can't stand that frame. Let people like things, that's what I always say, even if it's cat girls and fish boyfriends.
That said, most of the choices for a new anime version aren't terribly popular outside Karn, Kiki-Jiki,, , and possibly . Many players will be picking these up because of the anime art, rather than because they want the card first and the art second. isn't played nearly as much these days thanks to , but if you slap an anime girl on there, that might change for some people.
Since its original printing as a common (if you can believe it) from Prophecy, blue's #1 most beloved card of all time has seen five other printings before Jumpstart 2022. None of those printings have been in main set releases, with a Secret Lair, a Judge Promo, The List and even the first iteration of Jumpstart sprinkled in there. And this time around, we have a more "in-universe" theming for the card (read: not League of Legends) featuring Zimone and Rootha, two less than two-year-old characters about whom I may have already forgotten.
Did we need it? Sure, it's not the most common question concerning Rhystic Study -- that question, as you might have guessed, involves one, paying it, and did you. But from a strictly monetary standpoint, the Study Tax extends much further than a Commander table, all the way to your wallet. You'd be hard-pressed to find a copy of Rhystic Study for much less than $40, and unlike the reprints that we saw in The Brothers' War, a new version here might not change that much. So yes, we definitely need more copies of Rhystic Study around (from a player access perspective, not a remaining sane against blue players perspective) and it's good to see it here. But a $50 preorder price doesn't bode well for those looking to get a copy on the cheap.
Did we want it? This one's easy. Yes. Moving on.
I guess I could elaborate. According to EDHREC, of the 873,000 decks that have a color identity that allows it to play Rhystic Study, it appears in 262,362 of them. I'm no paratrigonometrician, but according to my calculations that's 30%. And it's likely the number is quelled somewhat by the aforementioned price-tag, whether that be decks on budgets or just the principle of not wanting to buy a copy of a blue common for $35. That makes it the most expensive blue common in all of Magic, by the way. It's even more expensive than a copy of an Arabian Nights . Yeah, I said it.
We've had so much talk about Phyrexian this and Phyrexian that lately, so it's nice to see the return of one of the original Phyrexian troublemakers in the Plaguelord. Instead of the harrowing Kev Walker art from Urza's Legacy, with its singular "carrier" creature type and its description of what it's like to be a Detroit Lions fan, we see our boy get a new skin courtesy of Magic newcomer Raf Kayupov, a former Pathfinder art contributor hailing from Russia. And this one's got new notes.
Did we need it? The only version of Phyrexian Plaguelord that will run you more than a buck would be the weird oversized printings from Eighth Edition and randomly the 2013 Comic Con. Even the original printing, often times the best printing, is only two quarters. Is that because it's not a very good card? Maybe. But don't tell that to the foil prices. When it comes to foils, our buddy the Plaguelord benefits greatly from scarcity, with a $70 Urza's Legacy foil and a $35 foil from Eighth Edition. That's not really relevant to our discussion here, I just think it's neat. Oh, and by the way, as of this writing the Jumpstart 2022 version is preordering for $10, which is a dumb price and don't pay it.
Did we want it? Phyrexian Plaguelord can be played in 907,000 decks, according to EDHREC. It appears in, uh, fewer than that. To be specific, 2,285. That's about two-tenths of 1%. I don't think it deserves that kind of disrespect -- it's fine in black token decks like , and it's an all-star in decks that want cards with art depicting a figure's right profile, like , or .
For a card that's only been in one set, there sure are a lot of versions of Goldspan Dragon. The mythic treasure dragon from Kaldheim saw four versions just from that set, as well as one extra appearing on The List. Kaldheim, I'm sorry to remind you, is less than two years old by the way. All versions, including the new one in Jumpstart 2022, sport the same Andrew Mar art.
Did we need it? While Goldspan Dragon did soar to heights as high as $40 about a year ago, it like all of us has seen its hoard of treasures subjected to an economic downturn. Even still, a regular, boring old Kaldheim version will still run you about $15, so it certainly needed a reprint.
Did we want it? Despite what you may read on social media, Commander players love making treasure tokens, and few cards in red not nameddo it better than Goldspan Dragon. EDHREC clocks the dragon in around 55,600 decks of the 850,000 that can play it, which is a hefty number considering its not cheap. It slots into both treasure decks and dragon decks pretty seamlessly, however, as well as being a great selection in "artifacts matter" decks like or . It remains to be seen how much Jumpstart 2022 will provide players with the cards they're looking for, but it's never a bad thing to see more copies out there of a fun card that fits in many decks.
Another card printed in only one regular set, Lyra Dawnbringer was and still is the spiritual successor of though you won't hear me complain about the current Chris Rahn version and his affinity for sunset color schemes.. With a second printing (but a fourth version, because that's how modern Magic is) in Jumpstart 2022, more Commander players get to make that angel tribal deck they've always dreamed of that isn't helmed by . Alas, there's no new art,
Did we need it? At the time of this writing, Lyra is the third most expensive card in Dominaria, behind onlyand . A plain version clocks in at about $15, and unlike many of the other cards we've talked about so far, the Jumpstart 2022 version is already cheaper. That bodes well for its affordability, and since it's a cool legendary angel, there will be plenty of players happy to hear it.
Did we want it? As a commander, Lyra's at the helm of 934 decks on EDHREC, which isn't exactly earth-shattering. Also not surprising is the fact that about 850 of those 934 decks are angel tribal. Would that number be higher if the card was cheaper? Maybe, and hopefully we'll find out, but it's worth noting that for angel tribal, Lyra is far from the only option. There's the aforementioned Giada, or, , and even . As a member of the 99, however, Lyra's even more common, appearing in 14,000 decks. Though as you might expect, the vast majority of those decks are helmed by Giada.
He's a perverter, he's got eyeballs on his shoulder blades and he's a hell of a lot more expensive today than he was a couple years ago. Appearing only once before, in Champions of Kamigawa way back in 2004, Seizan has become a sought-after gem following many, many years of being largely ignored. While I usually advocate for new art whenever possible simply because I like having options, I'm glad Kev Walker's original art remains on the Jumpstart 2022 version. Just look at this guy.
Did we need it? I've already alluded to it, but Seizan is one expensive boy. The Champions version is about $35, with the new Jumpstart version not too far behind. But that pricetag is a recent development -- the price jump happened earlier this year, and before that Seizan hovered around $8 while. Before that, though, he was only a couple bucks. It turns out that a certain subset of people really want to make their friends suffer by pairing Seizan with . We'll have to see if a Jumpstart reprint moves that price needle at all, but with more copies of a card only printed once in 2004, it stands to reason that it will.
Did we want it? Much like other cards we've discussed (not named Rhystic Study), it's likely that the high price tag on Seizan has tempered its use in Commander decks. As per EDHREC, Seizan only appears in 4,900 decks as a card in the 99 of other commanders (mostly Sheoldred or). As its own commander, it's even more rare, seeing only 489 decks built for it. I think that as more people secure copies, we'll see that number rise, however.
I doubt many people had "20-year-old black enchantment" on their reprint Bingo card. But here we are, with a new version of Oversold Cemetery. Before this Jumpstart 2022 version, the card had seen printing only once, in its original set of Onslaught just about two decades ago to the day. I love this card, so I'm happy that it now exists more widely, assuming people can actually get their hands on Jumpstart enough to open their own Oversold Cemetery.
Did we need it? Well, as I said it was only printed once 20 years ago, so I'd say yes, we needed it based on that fact alone. The Onslaught version is also around $15, which is a lot for an enchantment that might not do anything for an entire game.
Did we want it? I'd have liked to see new art, considering I've been staring at the Tom Baxa version for two decades, but that's not his fault. Oversold Cemetery doesn't see a ton of play, likely due to a combination of its obscurity and price tag. Out of nearly a million decks on EDHREC, only about 4,000 play it (my decks being three of those 4,000). Hopefully that number goes up a bit now with a reprint.
A mono-black finisher since time immemorial, Exsanguinate is ubiquitous despite only being printed in Scars of Mirrodin in 2010 and more recently some Mystery Boosters. Is there anything more pure in Commander than tapping Cabal Coffers for 23, making it 40 with Doubling Cube and draining the table for a combined 114 wizard hats?
Did we need it? For a 12-year-old uncommon, Exsanguinate has held its value for much of existence, largely thanks to never being reprinted until now. It peaked last year, as many cards did, touching double-digits with an $11 price tag. It's less than half that now, but it's still more than you might expect to pay for a card like it. Sure,might have supplanted it as the go-to black finisher, but real Commander players still swear by Exsanguinate. I'd say it was due to see a new printing.
Did we want it? Of the 941,000 decks on EDHREC that can play it, roughly 6% do. That's 52,000 decks playing an X-spell that doesn't do anything other than drain life. To put that into perspective, most people don't even play real real Commander players swear by. Exsanguinate goes in anything that makes a lot of mana, which is most things in Commander, especially mono-black go-big decks that make all that mana by paying life, like ., a card that
If Oversold Cemetery is exciting due to the sheer time between printings, Aftershock is even moreso. Aftershock has seen only one version, in 1997's Tempest. That's 25 years between versions. And as iconic (to me, anyway) as the Hannibal King art on the original version is, it's awesome to see Drew Tucker take a crack at the fissure. Bonus points are also awarded for replacing a dour Karn quote with a tongue-in-cheek nod to deed claiming.
Did we need it? No, the Tempest version is a bulk common.
Did we want it? Again, no. It only shows up in about 1,200 decks out of nearly 900,000. But 25 years between printings! How neat is that?
First showing up in Visions from '97 as a voyeuristic ape that hates artifacts, Uktabi Orangutan has a weird history, both in terms of reprints and in terms of suggestive art. On the reprint side of things, the Jumpstart 2022 reprinting is only the third time it's been printed in a set that's legal to play, the other version being from Sixth Edition (there's also a black-border foil Arena League 2000 promo printing of the Sixth Edition version). The Orangutan, however, has been printed in non-legal gold border seven times. It was a popular primate in tournaments back in the day, what can I say.
The other reason it's such a weird card is because of its Una Fricker art. Fricker did the art for 39 cards between Mirage and Urza's Destiny, adding three more in Time Spiral. She also returned to Magic for one piece of art in Unhinged that called to attention the somewhat NSFW art of the original Uktabi Orangutan,. With a new reprint, the tale continues in new art from Milivoj Ćeran, as we see a baby monkey enjoying our destructive ape's antics while its parents watch from afar. It's the circle of life. Unless you're an artifact, I guess.
Did we need it? Even with the meme-ness of it all, the original version from Visions is about 30 cents. Alsoexists in this very release.
Did we want it? The new flavor text implies that the pair in the background of the original art are royalty, which makes it even weirder for a random orangutan to be swinging through what are apparently the king's bedchambers. So while we didn't really want a reprint, it's these kinds of bizarre Magic in-jokes that make the game rewarding to obsess over. Right? Right.
The Best of the Rest
- (tenth printing, last seen Double Masters 2022)
- (sixth printing but first with new art, last seen in the last Jumpstart from 2020)
- (12th printing and first with new art, last seen in Game Night: Free-for-All, released like a month ago)
- (eighth printing, last seen in Commander Legends, and again, new art for the first time)
- (ninth printing for the big plant boy)
- (sixth printing, last seen in Double Masters 2022)
- (technically the second printing, but eighth version)
- (49th printing, last seen used as insulation in drafty attics)
- (third printing, last seen on The List and as the best common in Kaladesh)
- (seventh printing, though other than the Amonkhet version, it's only appeared in supplemental sets)
- (everyone's favorite snaky lady has only appeared twice before, last in Commander Collection: Black)
- (fourth appearance if you count Midnight Hunt Commander and Innistrad: Double Feature)
- (technically the eighth printing, but other than a Secret Lair and a The List appearance, it's the first reprint since 2005)
- (fourth printing, last seen in a Duel Decks release and Planechase)
- (seventh printing, last seen in a Secret Lair, and before that Masters 25)
- (other than a Duel Decks release in 2011, this is the first version since the original in Darksteel, and first with new art)
I told you I wasn't going to talk about every one of the reprints, but if you count the anime treatments we touched on 70 of them. Sure, that's less than 10%, but I have other things to do. I'm sure I missed some interesting ones though, and I'm hoping you let me know in the comments which reprints you were most delighted to see in Jumpstart 2022. And if you still haven't had your fill of the last Magic release of 2022, head over to Jake's cEDH set review or Angelo's non-legends review. They'll both be glad to have you. Anyway, see you in 2023!