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Advanced Jumpstart: Innistrad's Enemy Colored Humans


We're back once again for more Advanced Jumpstart! Last week I covered Innistrad's humans, keeping with the tribal theme of this whole series. With most of the tribes of the plane, they follow a simple two-color setup. Vampires fall into Rakdos, Zombies are Dimir, Werewolves are Gruul, Spirits are Azorius, and Humans are Selesnya. For most of these tribes, there's a little bleed over into other colors, but not much if at all. This is largely for Limited balance and helps keep them together, hence why Humans have the most to offer with White and Green.

However, there are a lot more to the Humans of the world than just these two colors. Like many planes, humans make up the majority of the plane's denizens. On a plane like Innistrad, there are also many ways that we see humans. The White and Green side are a normal neutral state where the humans band together and stand strong to protect their homes and their way of life. There are other faces of humanity in all different colors, however, and that's more what I want to discuss today. As such, I'll be focusing on a few enemy color combinations today to help better represent those sides of humanity.

I won't be covering every enemy color combination here, as I don't believe they all necessarily fit. Golgari's sacrifice theme is more nature-based and doesn't vibe well with Innistrad humans in my opinion. Simic, on the other hand, is more about self-mill and as I've said in previous pieces that doesn't work very well when it comes to Jumpstart because it only accounts for half of your deck. That and, frankly, it also doesn't lean too well on the human side of things. I'll be focusing instead on the other three color pairs today to show a few different sides to humans on Innistrad.

We start today with a little of the evil and darker side of humanity with the Orzhov color pair.

Within the hallowed walls of Avacyn's church lies a terrible secret of corruption. Many of the priests and those of the Lunarch council are actually members of the Skirsdag - worshippers who serve demons to further their own selfish goals. Humans are weak and fragile, and on a plane like Innistrad, some simply feel that siding with the demons is the best way to survive or else to further their own might in the process. This is well represented in the Orzhov side of humanity, which shows the duality of the light and the dark on the plane.

Hanweir Militia Captain
Westvale Abbey

The plan: make a bunch of unsuspecting - or otherwise willing - humans and sacrifice them. This fuels the demons they worship and seek power from. Hanweir Militia Captain flips into Westvale Cult Leader to make a ton of tokens or else you can get some with Westvale Abbey, Gather the Townsfolk, and Jerren, Corrupted Bishop // Ormendahl, the Corrupter. You can also sacrifice some non-tokens with Liesa, Forgotten Archangel - an angel who consorted with demons herself - in order to keep the train rolling.

By sacrificing these humans, we can do all kinds of things. Primarily, we'll be looking to make some demons. Westvale Abbey turns into Ormendahl, Ecstatic Awakener flips into a demon of its own, and Skirsdag High Priest makes a bunch of demonic tokens. Alternatively, Extricator can make a whole bunch of eldrazi horrors to beef up your board. Sacrificing to Disciple of Griselbrand gains you life, Rite of Oblivion gets rid of problem permanents, and Mask of Griselbrand draws you a ton of cards. There's no shortage of ways to use these feeble pawns to fuel your demonic machinations!

But humans aren't always power hungry. Some of them are desperate. And that desperation shows in the Boros side of humanity on Innistrad.

Have you ever watched a horror movie that takes place in the distant past? Maybe it's not necessarily a movie but a cartoon parodying old gothic horror films. In many of these scenarios, it's not uncommon to see angry mobs being formed in an attempt to defeat a perceived evil. Torches, pitchforks, the works. Anything to drive the horrors away. This is simply another facet of Innistrad's humans. They're a desperate folk, struggling against the monstrosities of their world.

Unruly Mob
Rally the Peasants
Kessig Malcontents

We see this motif represented on a number of cards on the plane. Unruly Mob is the most obvious, as it continually comes back with every return to Innistrad because it's so on point with the temperament of humans there. Similarly you get cards like Town Gossipmonger // Incited Rabble - once a potent card in White Weenie decks of the era - where someone goes around spreading a rumor that causes an angry mob itself. Kessig Malcontents, Rally the Peasants, and Nahiri's Machinations also depict this well.

What this all lends to is an excellent aggressive strategy fueled by desperation and hopelessness. We can supplement this as well with some other great aggressive cards that don't quite have that same flair to them. Thalia's Lieutenant and Savior of Ollenbock are great examples of this - both highly aggressive cards that don't necessarily have that same air of hysteria to them that others do. Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brute is a little more on the werewolf side, but the effect is so good and he's great as a human too so I let it slide. You also get cards like Ride Down and Sunrise Cavalier, which are these humans taking a stand and coming together in a more organized way.

Some humans aren't in it for power or survival. Some just want to prove their and test the limits of their intelligence. This brings us to the Izzet-colored Humans of Innistrad.

Now, I'll admit: there's much less humans here than the first two packs. That's more out of necessity, though. Blue and Red tends to be a very spells-matter theme, and considering the pack you'll pair with this won't likely have many instants or sorceries, as many as possible need to be here. That's not to say they aren't represented though. Everyone knows Snapcaster Mage as a tremendous force of Innistrad, and the thematic Thing in the Ice which, despite not being human, was too good to pass up here.

Less known, though, are Thermo-Alchemist and Ardent Elementalist. Thermo-Alchemist provides you with a win condition by repeatedly damaging your opponent over and over and your spells fueling his genius. Ardent Elementalist is a newer card, however, that lets you get spells back from the graveyard. This can help in a pinch by getting some extra card draw, additional damage through, or else countering a spell.

Ardent Elementalist
Cackling Counterpart

One of the coolest ways to go off with it, though, is to use Cackling Counterpart to copy the Elementalist getting back Cackling Counterpart. This way you can loop it for as many times as you have mana. By doing this, you can make a ton of creatures to overwhelm your opponent. It gets better if you have Thermo-Alchemist, though, because you can also use every instance of Cackling Counterpart to ping your opponent, whittling their life down more and more. Alternatively, you can use this method to flip a Thing in the Ice. You do lose your tokens, but you get back the original to keep the chain looping all over again once the Thing is flipped.

And that wraps up one last round of Advanced Jumpstart on Innistrad. I hope this provides some cool interesting takes for you and your escapades in building some cool refreshing takes on Jumpstart. Take some of these out along with ones I've written about in the past, some original Jumpstart boosters, or the upcoming Jumpstart 2022 later this year and have a great time with your friends. There's a lot this format has to offer and I'm only scratching the surface, so take what's been offered here and make it your own. Like many other formats: the possibilities are simply endless.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

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