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Snow Jumpstart

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Enjoy the wintry holidays every time you play Jumpstart, thanks to Kaldheim's new snow cards.

Designing your own Jumpstart packs gives you a creative outlet similar to designing your own Cube. The difference is when you invite your friends over, who may or may not be as zealous about Magic, you can leap straight into dueling games by shuffling two random packs together. Jumpstart allows for a quicker, more casual way to play Limited.

Today I'm offering up four potential snow packs on a rime-crystal altar. To appease Jorn, God of Winter, I'm stripping off and running naked through the Snow-Covered Forest, lying down in the powder and making snow Valkyries. As to not bring down the wintry wrath of those of higher power, I built the four packs without a single copy of Arcum's Astrolabe.


Jorn, God of Winter

The first thing to note is that Jumpstart packs aren't restricted by color identity in the same way as other casual formats. Though this pack is Green, the multicolored aspect of Jorn, God of Winter is all upside. It's a bonus level that we'll sometimes be able to access. It'll be easier to cast the Rimestaff if our other pack is Blue or Black, but even if not, we can cast Into the North and search for our prismatic land, Shimmerdrift Vale, and gain the second color with Glittering Frost.

In point of fact, this pack has a slight ramp theme. Limited decks rarely have a strict game plan, especially in Jumpstart when diluted by another random pack. But we do have the two cards mentioned to accelerate us, along with Centaur Omenreader, a curiously snow creature from Future Sight. These ramp elements will allow us to quickly deploy our snow payoff, Conifer Wurm, our evil snow plow, Phyrexian Snowcrusher, and our, er, Gargantuan Gorilla.

Gargantuan Gorilla

Jumpstart packs will occasionally upgrade one of their uncommons into a second rare. In this case, I'm not sure it's actually an upgrade, but that too is fine. It's good for these packs to play a card or two that's more silly than strong. Smashing your opponent's creatures against your gorilla's chest will lead to memorable games, and that's what we're truly seeking in casual. Apparently, this gorilla hates the cold of snow lands, so much that he gains trample. That's a win-win for us, especially if we have Ram Through.

Whether or not you consider Gargantuan Gorilla a payoff, let's examine a new pack with different ones.


Spirit of the Aldergard

Snow creatures synergize with each other and with snow-covered lands. Again, this one lets you search up your Shimmerdrift Vale, should you need the fixing. Unlike the last pack, we're more focused on attacking, deploying three-powered creatures, and then strengthening them further with Blessing of Frost.

Blessing of Frost

The strength of this and other snow cards revolves around how many snow lands you control. The number to include in each pack is an interesting question. When drafting the snow archetype, you never get all snow lands. In Jumpstart, you're building your deck with another random pack, which may or may not be snow. I decided to build these packs with five snow lands. If your second pack also has them, you'll have a full ten, which represents a number you might get in a lucky draft. With five snow lands, you'll often have one by turn four. A second one will make cards like Blessing of Frost extra exciting. It'll be like waking up one morning to find everything glittering and pristine.

Snow fans may well wonder at the absence of Glacial Revelation. You love to hope for a white Christmas, to see five snow cards on top of your deck. However, since we don't have control over our second pack, which will likely have another theme, Glacial Revelation will most often be disappointing. Other snow synergies are much more forgiving. For instance, Berg Strider requires only a single snow land to gain the full strength of its gale.


Chillerpillar

Kaldheim denied us Chillerpillar, so we'll have to enjoy it in Jumpstart. Achieving the two snow lands won't be easy, but neither is climbing Mount Everest. With luck and grit, you may achieve similar snowcapped heights, even if you must rely on cards like Thermal Flux.

Frost Raptor will most often be a Wind Drake, but the important point is it's findable by Frost Augur. We should expect to achieve one activation of Adarkar Windform. The frigid gusts will force away our opponent's flying blocker and allow us to descend on our foe's summer dreams with flurries.

The ability of Rimewind Taskmage is powerful and achievable with two snow creatures and two snow lands. Winter's Rest can also add to your permanent count. Before we move on, we should take a closer look at the art of Rimewind Taskmage. What we don't see are his nipples, but it's pretty clear he prefers them to be rock hard in the cold. Otherwise, he would've worn a full shirt.

Rimewind Taskmage


For this last pack, we're going deep into the snow. I included a ninth land, in Frostwalk Bastion, as well as the silly card Arcum's Weathervane. The deep-search of Foresee can also find us more snow lands, or the payoff for achieving a winter wonderland.

Icebreaker Kraken

Now I love me some sea monsters. This one requires even more setup than most, but it'll drag your foe beneath the ice into the freezing darkness, sure enough. This kraken can turn your opponent's best-planned arctic adventure in Shackleton's. Can you imagine paying only six mana, with six snow lands, to cast Icebreaker Kraken? Those are some Constructed dreams. In Limited, it'll take us much longer to release the kraken.

The good news is that we have some potent cards to help us survive. Icy Manipulator was always a Limited bomb, tapping down your opponent's best creature. More annoying, it could freeze lands and leave them mana screwed. Icebind Pillar is more fair and flavorful, and on the subject, I want to gush about this artifact's Blue color identity. Giving artifacts color does much to make them more reasonable. Can you imagine if Embercleave had been colorless and playable in every deck? The requirement of rr at least prevented the wildfire from spreading over every aggro deck ever, limiting the damage it could do to formats.

One format I don't ever expect to disappoint me is Jumpstart. I hope you and your friends enjoy it as much as I have.

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