G'day, jumpers, Jake FitzSimons here to review the best new cards from Jumpstart 2022 for cEDH. Why review a casual introductory set for a decidedly non-casual and non-introductory format? Because big things come in small packages: the original Jumpstart had a disproportionate impact on cEDH for its size, just 37 new cards.
quickly rose to staple status, protecting all manner of green-based wins and making players everywhere wonder just how far Wizards is willing to take a single green pip. was instantly singled out as Naya's most efficient way to go infinite with , something the Unicorn continues to do this day. saw play as a commander herself, on account of her naturally powerful color identity and being an infinite mana outlet. Even was almost something, if not quite enough to get off the ground.
All this to say that despite targeting brand new players looking to understand this wonderful game, Jumpstart can pack a punch in the power department. So, does Jumpstart 2022 live up to its predecessor? No way. But even bad cards deserve reviews!
Ardoz, Cobbler of War
Let's run through the checklist. Card advantage? Nope. Mana advantage? Nope. Combo potential? Weirdly... yes. If you can mange to cobble together infinite mana, will cobble together infinite Goblin tokens. This is of course doable with the help of and a , not to mention unwieldy combos like and , but these aren't especially convenient to assemble in a mono-red deck.
More than that, 1 commander in the form of , and a mana-making, Dwarf-dumping, combo-clock in the form of , faster and fiercer than could ever be.isn't the first mono-red commander to fit this bill. can do it, as can and fellow Goblin, . You'll note that none of these commanders are common sights at cEDH tables, and for good reason: being an infinite outlet is not enough to justify a commander in cEDH. Meanwhile the mono-red commanders that do see play have far leaner combos and utility besides. Red has the only "zero-card combo"
Beyond flavor, an overbearing love of Goblins or the desire to upgrade your existingdeck, I would avoid this Jumpstart Goblin in cEDH. There's nothing here you can't get elsewhere.
Isu the Abominable
Playing cards from the top of your library is the basis for various cEDH cards like, , and . With the right support, it's a powerful source of card advantage and easy to turn into a game-winning combo. Unfortunately, what separates from its predecessors is the severity of its restriction.
Granted, you'll run into Snow-covered basic lands in cEDH, but this is almost always to meetrequirements, very occasionally to enable . Outside of the basics and the Astrolabe, you'll see an here and there, maybe a once in a blue moon, but not nearly enough playable cards to warrant a commander that relies on a snow permanent sitting on the top of the deck.
This would be a different story ifwas a snow permanent for some reason. That's not something I ever thought I would want, but here I stand, looking at the first ever legendary Yeti and wondering what a Bant alternative to would play like. Ultimately, is a fun and flavorful card, but not one that belongs at a cEDH table.
In the event you have your heart set on snow (Christmas is right around the corner), I would recommend looking into . He has access to better combos, he can break parity on stax effects, and he can produce a lot of mana once the snow starts piling up. Check out this cEDH list!
Kenessos, Priest of Thassa
It's not quite, it's not quite , it's , a different Simic two-drop with an infinite mana outlet! It's also a significantly worse infinite mana outlet because it provides no relevant card advantage to speak of (everything I just said about applies here, just replace snow with Kraken, Leviathan, Octopus, or Serpent), but if you insist on doing things the hard way, can get you there via and .
Simply tutor produce infinite mana as you usually would with Hullbreaker Horror. You'll need to replace the with an or , but once you've got infinite colored mana you can activate until you land . Name Human with and you can keep activating until is on top. Search for , reset the with so you can put every other creature into play, cast the for something ridiculous, and bam, you've got yourself a win.to the top with a , cheat it into play with , and
Kibo, Uktabi Prince
The natural conclusion to the rich lore established inand , reminds us what being a Gruul mage is all about. See fig. 1 for more information on this.
is a bit heavier on the monke side, but the sentiment of the cute Elf girl is there. What's cuter than handing out free bananas? Anyway, let's be honest about the potential of a commander that actively makes mana for your opponents: it's very low. Whichever way you peel the banana, for to meet even one requirement for cEDH viability (mana production) he'll need to fulfill it for everyone else as well. It should come as no surprise that group hug effects aren't good at competitive tables.
You could fill adeck with the likes of , , to stop artifacts from being used at all, followed by and and their ilk to guarantee triggers, but you'd be left with a stax deck that has to rely on unplayable Monkeys and Apes to actually close the game out.
The best thing I can find to pair withis , but aside from being impossible to tutor in Gruul, it's still just card advantage paired with your commander. Until Studio X sees fit to design something that combos with Bananas, belongs elsewhere. The search for a competitive monke commander continues.
Great name, very unfortunate mana cost. At three mana or so, this would serve as an interesting source of card advantage by targeting a, a , or anything else on the field you know your opponent is going to keep swinging with.
It also suffers from the terribly unfortunate combat damage stipulation. If it simply read "deals damage" it would work the same as , , or and make for another combo piece with . Granted, it would still be five mana, but at least that way it would have been on the right track. Next.
Preston, the Vanisher
You might be so bold to accuse me of writing this whole review as an excuse to talk about 2. With in play you need only flicker, reanimate, or otherwise cheat into play and hey presto, you've got yourself infinite mana and infinite 0/1 Illusions.. You might be right. It's easily the strongest card in the set from a cEDH perspective, low as the Jumpstart 2022 bar might be. The easiest combo you can execute with requires a furry friend,
That's... almost a win. Yes, you've essentially executed a one-sided and aptly named, but you'll likely have to pass the turn anyway: infinite 0/1s are about as threatening as infinite 0/0s. If an opponent happens to have and in hand, they can still untap and pay for it cleanly with their remaining lands. That won't come up often, but there's a reason the vast majority of cEDH combos win the game on the spot rather than requiring another cycle around the table.
Compared to, capable of winning immediately with just one other card ( ), probably won't have what it takes. Mono-white has various inherent disadvantages, none of them solved with . While could theoretically generate a lot of advantage with profitable enter-the-battlefield triggers and reliable blink effects, they don't yet exist in such numbers and quality to build an entire deck around. Likely not a commander, but there's still potential in the 99!
Many cEDH players ask the question: "Is this a card for? My gut says not quite, but let's run through why it might be. For one, two is better than one. Doubling up on stax effects is potent. A single is a headache for the whole table, but someone will find removal eventually. forces them to find two pieces. Some Human stax effects even work better in multiples, like and . can even improve your nonHuman token creators with an Illusion of .
Speaking of improving your nonHuman count, the tokens thatare always Illusions, never Humans. The exponential effect this creates is overwhelming - each new flip with guarantees successive flips. And then to the major downside: is a Rabbit. Not a Human. That means you'll have to pay the honest cost of four mana, creating a little tension on the mana curve. won't do anything until is in play and you have flippers, at which point the deck is already in a good position. I fear will prove a bit "win more", but at least he's "win a lot more".
The best home forwill be under the wing of . Typical lists already use by virtue of its utility with . Beyond , also relies on for its primary combo line, and some lists dabble in . Essentially, it won't be hard to make Illusions.
But the real appeal is the new winning linescreates with and in . Fetch out with either green tutor while you have in play and you won't just have infinite mana, you'll have infinite untaps as well. Which means infinite pod triggers!
So, what's the strongest cEDH card from Jumpstart 2022? Thereprint. Followed by , then . Oh, strongest new card? . Blink synergies aren't new to white, but they're rarely this interesting. It's certainly a card to keep your eye on, even if it doesn't immediately find a home.
These are the last new cards3 we'll see for 2022, and I think it's fair to say we're ending the year with a whimper rather than a bang. And that's okay! I don't expect every new set of cards to have an impact on cEDH, but it's fun to evaluate them nonetheless.
All up, 2022 has been a powerful year for cEDH, even if Jumpstart 2022 hasn't contributed to it. It's not on par with 2016 4 or 2020 5, but the earlier half of the year saw some huge developments across the format. Stay tuned for my year in review where we'll go over the best and worst and have a good laugh at everything I got wrong!
- Obviously it requires cards, but it is unique as the only commander that not only goes infinite with another card, but finds that card. As nothing needs to be in your hand to execute this combo, some think of it as a zero-card combo.
- Important to note that this combo won't work with Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward. The legendary rule kicks in and precludes the chance to chain exiles
- That we know of. There's usually something unexpected over Christmas.
- The printing of the original Partners.
- Deflecting Swat, Fierce Guardianship, Jeska's Will, Jeweled Lotus, Opposition Agent, Hullbreacher, Thassa's Oracle, and Underworld Breach. Arguably the most powerful year in the history of cEDH, but that's an article for another day.