Stay Safe and Throw Lava

Posted in Card Preview on June 18, 2020

By Mark Heggen

When Doug first started pitching the original concept that would eventually become Jumpstart, two things were immediately clear to me. First, this was a fantastic idea that we absolutely had to make. Second, this was a product unlike anything we'd ever made and bringing it to life was going to require a lot of complex, experimental, and unusual product solutions. There was no playbook for something like this, so, from game design and play testing to printing, collating, marketing, and packaging, we were going to have to make this up as we went.

To celebrate the fact that we actually pulled it off (I still can't believe we actually pulled it off), today, I'm going to be opening up two boosters of Jumpstart, showing you the cards, and sharing a few behind-the-scenes product details as we go.


A note on formats. In his article, Doug walked you through the "default" way to play Jumpstart, in which each player opens four boosters and creates two 40-card decks. Today, I'm going to show off an even quicker mode where you just open two boosters and you're done. One of the interesting things about Jumpstart is that we don't actually know what play modes are going to be the most popular once you all get your hands on it and start trying things out. The team spent a lot of time testing options and making sure these two modes are super fun, but beyond that, we're confident you will all decide what works best for your playgroup and invent tons of new formats using these unusual boosters. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a year after release the most popular way to play Jumpstart will be a format we haven't even thought of yet, which is pretty exciting.


Okay let's open our two boosters and see what we got . . .

Seismic Theme CardWalls Theme Card

Now we're talkin'! I think we can all agree the most annoying part of Magic is that your opponent is allowed to attack you with their creatures, so this combination presents my kind of game plan: we're going to hide behind our defenses and toss lava over the wall until we win.


Let's get into how rarity of themes works in Jumpstart. When the team started brainstorming potential themes, it quickly became clear that some ideas would be really fun to see occasionally, but you wouldn't want to open them all the time. Walls is a great example of this. We ended up going with a rarity scheme where some these themes drop at "mythic rarity," so you'll only see them once in every 121 Jumpstart boosters (both Walls and Seismic are mythic), while other themes that provide more repeatable fun come in several variations and drop more frequently.


Let's start with the first half of our plan: hide behind stuff. As you'd expect, in the Walls theme, you'll find some bulky green defenders . . .

Wall of VinesGrave Bramble

Next, as the old saying goes, "The only thing better than playing a wall is playing a wall that generates resources you can use to play more walls," so we also have tools to do just that.

Overgrown BattlementWall of Blossoms

Carven CaryatidPortcullis Vine

Unfortunately, I'm told that there are some problems that all the walls in the world won't solve, so that's where our Seismic pack comes into play. It's packed full of all sorts of damage-dealing spells that we can use to clean up problems. Let's see what kind of heat we've got in here . . .

Volcanic FalloutMagma Jet

Spitting EarthMagmaquake

Eventually, I suppose we're going to have to win this game, so let's see what our options are on that front. We have creatures that can go on the offense when a window opens up . . .

Seismic ElementalAshmouth Hound

Bloodrock CyclopsMolten Ravager

Or, perhaps we just point melted rocks at their face?

Volcanic GeyserCinder Elemental


You'll notice that most of these cards have the Jumpstart expansion symbol, but Volcanic Geyser has the M21 symbol. Core Set 2021 had a ton of cards that fit right into Jumpstart themes, so we brought them over cleanly, and those cards will look entirely the same regardless of where you opened them. But M21 could only cover so much, so the rest of Jumpstart is built out of reprints and new cards that all get the Jumpstart symbol. It's a bit unusual to mix two expansion symbols within the same booster product, but this gives you a pretty clean way to tell which of these cards are entering Standard.


Finally, deep within every wall beats the icy heart of a merciless killer, so we even have a few tools to destroy our opponents with our walls, which truly is Magic at its finest. We can load them into a cart and roll them at our enemies . . .

Warmonger's Chariot

Or wake them up . . .

Roving KeepGargoyle SentinelAssault Formation

And if all that doesn't get the job done, we've got two final tricks up our sleeve . . .


I've already shown you a rare from each booster, but in Jumpstart, 1 in 3 boosters contains two rares instead of one. This was technically pretty tricky to pull off (grab me the next time you've got a few hours free, and I'll walk you through the printing-speed impacts of mixing non-uniform patterns of security stamps on press sheets), but once our Operations teams cracked it, we suddenly had flexibility to include a lot more lovable rares and mythics in the set, which the team took full advantage of.


Grim Lavamancer

Grim Lavamancer gives the Seismic pack repeatable damage and reach. But how does Walls close out games? Allow me to introduce you to a brand-new staple of Wall decks everywhere, designed specifically for—and appearing only in—the Walls pack:

Towering Titan

In a deck full of big blockers, Towering Titan often comes down at an absolutely huge size. After that, it's just a matter of using your walls as trample fuel, and the win is yours.

Remember that Jumpstart boosters include lands so you can shuffle up and play immediately (even looking at your deck before playing is optional—personally, I prefer to fly blind.)


And, we did something fun with the basic lands! In the spirit of delivering a booster packed full of a single theme, we created special themed basic lands for Jumpstart. Of the 46 themes you can open in Jumpstart, five are based on the M21 Planeswalkers and feature the same showcase basics you can open in M21. The remaining 41 themes each get a brand-new basic land art, and you'll open one in every booster. Let's take a look at the Walls Forest and Seismic Mountain . . .


Walls ForestSeismic Mountain

Putting it all together, here's our full Walls + Seismic decklist.

NOTE: Decklists automatically pull the most recently printed card images from Gatherer. The card images you see here will differ from the received product depending on when you last visited this page, including any special frame treatments which aren't already in Jumpstart. Once Jumpstart has been added to Gatherer, you can view the exact printings there.

Walls + Seismic

Download Arena Decklist

Every combination in Jumpstart creates a unique deck structure and experience, and you can imagine how differently combinations like Walls + Milling or Seismic + Cats would play out—it really is a totally different experience each time you mix these boosters.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have fun playing and experimenting with this weird and wonderful set, and whatever you do, remember our game plan: stay safe and throw lava.

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