I know many of you are used to me posting about Magic: The Gathering and the many releases that it puts out into the card game marketplace. However, it’s not often that I’ll talk about what it’s like to get into Magic: The Gathering for the first time. Luckily, after a recent experience at the Dominaria United press event, I now have seen the best way to introduce people to the world of Magic: The Gathering and all the cardboard crack that it contains.
Jumpstart was introduced with its own 42-themed boosters in 2021, but with Dominaria United, Jumpstart becomes the main format used for introduction to Magic: The Gathering.
Jumpstart melds an easy way of deckbuilding with the “shuffle up and play” speed of the Constructed format. The set introduced a new way to play Magic: The Gathering that mashes together themes from throughout the history of the game and lets you skip the deckbuilding part. To play a game of Jumpstart, players simply open two boosters and shuffle them together to form a ready-to-play 40-card deck.
At the Dominaria United press event, we were given a chance to choose between using Jumpstart to play, or drafting via the usual Pre-Release kits that are used at Pre-Release events. Everyone picked Jumpstart without really knowing what was about to happen, and what happened was a really good time.
Jumping into Jumpstart, we were given 2 packs of Dominaria United: Jumpstart to open and throw together. I opened a weird combination: Black and Blue. As many know, Black uses a lot of “Graveyard” mechanics (Returning used cards to your hand to play again through the cost of sacrificing a creature or your own life pool), and Blue is a “counter” mechanic (Stopping your opponents spells and summons before they happen). But, once we got to playing it became easy to understand the cards and how to work them together.
That’s the beauty of Jumpstart, unlike pre-constructed teaching decks used in the past, the cards used are easy enough for beginners to play with and give enough challenge and skill for knowledgable players to do some amazing things. The decks are balanced so that no combination is going to be more powerful than the other and give you an idea of what new (or in the case of Dominaria United, old) mechanics are in the set. Within moments, we have people dropping huge “bombs” (Large mana cost creatures that do big damage) onto their playing fields and having a grand time.
After we played a few games using the decks we made from 2 packs of Jumpstart, we were given another 2 packs and allowed to give those a go. While we did have a bit of an issue with one of the Jumpstart themes due to a printing error, for the most part just about everyone ended up with combinations of each color of Magic: The Gathering, giving us many different types of decks to use against each other as we laughed and gasped at what we were doing.
When the night ended, everyone was very impressed with the format, saying that they wanted to use it more for these types of preview events as well as using them in pre-release packs and finding more ways to get the format into the hands of players. Magic: The Gathering has a winner on their hands with Jumpstart as it becomes THE way to introduce and teach new players, and some older returning players, the ways of throwing cards the Magic: The Gathering way.
Review Disclosure Statement: Magic: The Gathering – Dominaria United Jumpstart products were provided to us by Wizards of the Coast for preview/review purposes. The reviewer was invited by Wizard of the Coast to this preview event. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.