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Bloodthirsty Jumpstart


If you're a vampire, every night is Halloween. You rouse yourself at sundown, put on fancy clothes. You scare people, or trick them, and you indulge in a crimson treat.

We're closing out this spooky month by expanding the vampire tribe in our Jumpstart play experience with the color Red. After two packs full of riotous undead, we'll celebrate with more Black scares and a Trick or Treat White, designed by the Reddit Jumpstart community. But first, the dessert!

Bloodcrazed Neonate

This aggressive pack craves to curve out with an early threat, such as Bloodcrazed Neonate or Falkenrath Exterminator. Cast removal on any staid guardian who gets between you and that tasty morsel, juicy with blood. Or simply deny the ability to block with Crossway Vampire, Voldaren Duelist, or Markov Warlord. These three creatures enable your decadent lifestyle. They're the wingmen for your nightly sins.

Combat tricks such as Borrowed Hostility are particularly good here. You're compelled to attack, and your opponents must block, lest your young bloods grow up into seasoned killers. I picked Borrowed Hostility specifically because its single mana will give you a tempo advantage in winning even trades. Also, the +3/+0 will allow for some bloodbaths with Markov Blademaster.

Borrowed Hostility

Given how good combat tricks are in this pack, you could well include more of them. But as tempting as it is, I would abstain from Vampiric Fury. Remember, half your pack will likely be non-vampires, and playing a trick that doesn't affect half your creatures is no treat. It may well be even madness.

When a vampire catches a whiff of fresh blood, we can well imagine it smells like walking nose-first into a candy shop. The air is redolent with sweetness. It tastes of childhood happiness and mouth-watering bliss. All those around you, every human, is a candy with a pulse, ready to be gobbled down, and helpless to resist your strength.

Insatiable Gorgers
Incorrigible Youths

With such a ravenous desire to drink blood, it's no wonder that some vampires are Red, and others go mad with hunger. Their madness allows them to spring into a killing frenzy faster than expected. Enable them with sanguine toastmasters such as Ravenous Bloodseeker and Furyblade Vampire.

Ravenous Bloodseeker
Furyblade Vampire

We're playing six madness cards and six enablers, including Anje's Ravager. This lovely vampire came from Commander 2019. Though I love the idea of playing it in Legacy, the better home for it is the casual format of Jumpstart. I extend to Anje's Ravager the warmest of invitations inside our pack.

Anje Falkenrath leads the most aggressive family of vampires on Innistrad. Her blood hunts grew even more crazed with the approach of Emrakul, but even before, townsfolk shut their doors tight against her, trembling against the deadbolt. The dread they experienced may well have triggered defense mechanisms in their brains to take away the horrible memory.

In Magic, memory loss is often represented through discarding cards from your hand. The game mechanic is well suited to the frights of Halloween, but there're already packs in the first Jumpstart set dedicated to making our opponent discard. Instead we're going to continue the theme of self discard.

Horror of the Broken Lands

Horror of the Broken Lands is the perfect sort of card to build synergistic packs. It's both an enabler and a payoff, and that concentration of theme is needed for Jumpstart. There aren't many card slots in each pack, and shuffling it with another will dilute your strategies, though it does of course offer the chance of new interactions, in similar delightful discoveries to playing Chaos Draft.

In this pack we have several situational cards, from Easy Prey to Suffocating Fumes. If they don't suit the situation, you can discard them to activate your synergies. My favorite in this pack is Pitiless Vizier. Talk about a threatening activation.

Pitiless Vizier

The tendency in cycling decks is to skimp on lands. The trouble is, many of our cycling costs require Black mana, which we'll have fewer of if we trim Swamp cards. Instead of going too low on lands, I added two lands that cylce. Barren Moor counts toward one of the pack's four allotted uncommons. Polluted Mire fills the Jumpstart pack's nonbasic land slot.

Beyond cycling, I included two cards with abilities that let you discard. Haunted Dead will give you the power to pitch basic lands, as will Skirk Ridge Exhumer. The latter makes Festering Goblin tokens. Every card from Time Spiral referenced one that came before, no trick and no joke.

While Vile Manifestation may not be a strong discard payoff, Archfiend of Ifnir certainly is. And let's not forget you have the option to play every card out as is. Cycling and discarding simply gives you more opportunities to smooth out our draws, which is what we want in a Limited format.

For the final Halloween-themed pack of the month, we're featuring a guest list from Jumpstart Reddit. We may not be able to attend seasonal parties this year, but you're welcome to join the fun with us online as we talk Jumpstart and brew additions to our new favorite format. This month's creator contest was won by Graymonster for a whimsical deck that I would've never thought of.

Trick or Treat White | Jumpstart | Graymonster

This generous pack is all about giving your opponent choices, or denying them that chance. If you attack with a Glittering Lion while they're tapped out, our crystal kitty will never take damage. That's also true of the Knight of the Holy Nimbus, which is again a Time Spiral card that references the past.

When we must give our foe a decision, don't make it an easy one. Death or Glory is the Fact or Fiction of resurrection. Liar's Pendulum sets up mini-games, similar to my old favorite Cursed Scroll. The card Generous Gift doesn't give a choice, and that elephant may not be the treat your opponent wanted. Don't forget you can treat yourself by targeting your own permanents.

You may notice the enchantment package. What is Opal Gargoyle doing in the deck? Why, it's a Halloween decoration of course. As kids remember how we tiptoed past those spooky statues, braving synthetic spiders and plastic skeletons on our quest for candy? Well in this pack, those props can come to life, and then your foe had best be afraid, regardless of their age.

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