Challenger Decks have returned in 2021! Face off with your friends or in tournaments with some of the most powerful decks of the current meta at great prices!
Challenger Decks are great ways of being able to get into the current meta of Magic. These decks offer reprints of some of the most powerful cards in the game, allowing anyone to pay for a strong deck at a very competitive price.
Are you a lover of an aggro-powered deck that can wreck right out of the gate? Then Mono Red Aggro is perfect for you. Break the game with your four copies of Bonecrusher Giant and a copy of Embercleave, making sure you can easily take out the competition in a few moves.
Like being a bit more of a headache for your opponent? Then Dimir Rogues are your go to. Dimir Rogues focus on milling your opponent’s deck while also scratching away your opponent’s health, regardless of how many creatures are on the field. This is made all the more powerful with the four copies of Drown in the Loch and the three copies of Bloodchief’s Thirst, allowing you to spot remove nearly any target that your opponent could play to the board.
Perhaps you prefer total control over the board? Then dive into Azorius Control. Enjoy powerful cards like Elspeth Conquers Death, Skyclave Apparition, and Glass Casket. Even if you don’t like this style of play, all you need to do is get a copy of Yorion, and suddenly you are playing the most powerful deck combo the meta has seen.
Perhaps the last two decks have been a little too mind game for you. Perhaps you enjoy the simple things in a Magic game – crushing your opponents creatures and grinding their bones into bread. In which case, Mono Green Stompy is your best bet. This deck is filled with some of the biggest heavy hitters in the meta, including Kazandu Mammoth and Lovestruck Beast. Add in the Garruk, Unleashed, and you will crush every game.
The Challenger Decks of 2021 are coming out on April 2nd! Pre-order your copies of these decks at Three Kings Loot now!
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With the release of Kaldheim behind us, it is time to look at the cards that have (so far) affected the game in major ways. While some of these need a specific synergy to get going, a lot of these cards can be added to any deck for a win condition. Just make sure you have enough specific mana to be able to cast them in the first place!
So, without further ado…
Cosima, God of the Voyage holds a lot of possibility. With a low mana buy in, you have a lot of potential to exile Cosmina early, then bring her in later as a heavy hitter. If you are also running vehicles in the deck, The Omenkeel on the reverse of Cosima can also be a handy for getting your opponent to exile more and more of their deck. This could be especially useful in a Dimir Rogue deck for more mill capability.
A very underrated card, Koma, Cosmos Serpent can be a big contender. While having a seven mana buy in is a big set back, it is also a spell can’t be countered coming into the field. Add in the endless swarms of Koma Coil’s that get added at the beginning of your upkeep, and you will be swarming the board. Do you want to overwhelm your opponent or control their effects? Up to you.
This surprises no one. Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter is widely considered the best card in the Kaldheim release. Getting Tibalt on the field can be a bit of pain, but it has an immediate payoff. Being able to exile cards from both your deck and your opponent’s decks to cast them later within one turn is a huge advantage. Add in the fact you can eventually target and exile your opponents big bad to cast it on your side of the field, and you are nearly unstoppable.
Want to make a big splash in any game? Throw this puppy into the mix.
The big bad of red/white dwarf decks. Flying, haste, and massive mana recursion, Goldspan Dragon does it all. Since it isn’t a legendary creature, throw as many as you want into the deck, and you are going to be swimming in treasure tokens and mana. This is card is especially aided by Magda, Brazen Outlaw. If you’re having difficulty drawing into a Goldspan, just sacrifice some treasure with Magda to search for it. You can’t go wrong with a winning combo like that.
The win all and be all of control Saga’s, The Trickster-God’s Heist is a great addition to any blue/black/multi-mana deck. This card is especially useful when you are playing numerous low tier creatures, such as zombies or shapeshifters. Switching out your low grade creatures for your opponents win condition creature can be a huge advantage. Don’t underestimate the power of this card, or the strategy around it – this clutch piece could win you the whole game if you play it right.
Do you know any Kaldheim cards here that deserve to be in the top five? Let us know in the comments below!
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Well, it feels good to be back! After a long hiatus, I am very pleased to be back and writing content for Three Kings Loot.
Yes, that’s right, I am BACK!
If you used to frequent the Three Kings Loot website, I had a series entitled “Casual Encounters”. I broke down fun, casual sixty card nonsense for your enjoyment. I have since taken a break from writing and moved on to other interests. My interests in other formats evolved, and life moved on. But now I am back and very pleased to be able to share my thoughts with you once again.
What do I play now? I have moved on to playing Commander, but I still play in a very Casual sense. Budget friendly decks are my go to, full of unusual, underplayed, or janky cards. I love to brew up decks of all sorts, but there are a few constants. First off, I usually avoid brewing with infinite combos. Many of the game groups I play don’t much enjoy those elements. Stax pieces that lock a player out of the game are also frowned upon. However, I still love creating decks that generate value through both combat and spell synergy.
So, what is this Epic Experiment business? Back in January 2020, I started a Commander-focused podcast entitled The Epic Experiment Podcast. My co-host and I talk Commander every week, discussing new Commander deck builds. We decided that in order to differentiate ourselves from some of the other podcasts that we would create a limitation that would set us apart. We wanted to keep cards accessible, and keep decks that we brew budget friendly for our listeners. Our one year anniversary is rapidly approaching and we are both so happy with how far it’s come.
The result was what we call ‘The Epic Experiment’ format, where only use cards that have been printed since the Return To Ravnica block. There are loads of super powerful cards that have been printed and are still accessible without forcing us to break the bank.
What you can come to expect from me in each article is some sort of theme or topic that is getting air time in the world of Commander. Regardless of the topic, you can always expect a deck list and a few highlighted card selections that should clock in around $100-$150 based on what Moxfield.com generates for card prices.
For my first article of 2021, I wanted to break down some of the ways in which I brew up new decks each week. I want to show that deck building isn’t as intimidating as one may think, and to help some new voices in the deck building world.
Let’s be clear folks, I am not making Tier 1 decks that win in a hurry. I aim to build a deck that is a modest power level that typically seeks to win through creature combat. I rarely put infinite combos in my decks, but prefer to create incremental advantage through a number of moving parts. Some call this sort of deck “Battle Cruiser”, others call it “Casual”. In the end, I just prefer having fun. Sure, winning happens sometimes, but I prefer to have my decks “do their thing” and enjoy my game instead of prioritizing winning.
The foundation of any functioning Commander deck starts with your ramp package. There is a direct correlation between spending more mana and having a chance to win the game. Therefore, ramping effectively is integral to any strategy. Now, as a player who looks to control his budget cards such as Mana Crypt or Mana Vault are far too pricey and so I need to make other budget choices. The obvious things are Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, and a host of other two mana artifacts. However, if you want to go off the beaten path, you can go down the path of favorites of mine like Spinning Wheel, Heraldic Banner, or Lockets from Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance, and other mana producing artifacts.
The choice of ramp options expand if you are a player in Green because you can play additional lands with a plethora of spells. Cultivate, Kodama’s Reach, and Farseek lead the charge, but other options exist. Grow from the Ashes, Circuitous Route, and Migration Path fill this second tier of options, not to mention the options available to you through a host of creatures to help you find lands of a variety of sorts.
While artifacts and additional lands make up the most common options, there is a growing suite of cards that create Treasures, or artifacts that produce a mana of any colour when sacrificed. There are very expensive options like Dockside Extortionist and Smothering Tithe, but budget players may be more familiar with things like Prying Blade and an unblockable creature or Pitiless Plunderer. This new option gives decks of all stripes a way to keep pace and cast some of those haymakers earlier than anticipated to hopefully sneak a win.
In each of my decks I dedicate eight-to-ten slots for ramp and I prioritize playing extra lands over artifacts. I put special value on creatures that have ramp effects because once the effect has been used, you now have a body to attack and block. Farhaven Elf, Solemn Simulacrum, War Priest of Thune and the like get my continued attention for exactly these reasons.
A functioning Commander deck must have ways to remove your opponent’s threats and so some form of removal is key. Again, I allot six-to-ten slots to address problems of all sorts, not just creatures. I play two or three board wipes, with the remaining slots are dedicated to targeted removal spells. I am very fond of creatures with these abilities, so Reclamation Sage, Ravenous Chupacabra, and War Priest of Thune are all big favorites of mine. That said, I do value instant speed interaction, so Murderous Cut, Heartless Act, Heroes Downfall, and the like always get a good long look before I declare a deck to be ready to be played.
Many other players talk about generating card advantage, namely in the form of drawing additional cards. But after having a guest on our podcast, I have broadened this idea and just call it ‘generating advantage’. This is a way for you to generate additional resources, and leverage them in some way to pull ahead of your opponents. It could be drawing cards off the top of your deck, or it could be saproling tokens or treasure. I have a good ten-to-fifteen sources of resource generation in whatever strategy I intend to brew.
Since I play very few infinite combos, I need to create other ways of winning my games. My trademark win-cons are hard to deal with permanents that will often end the game reasonably quickly. In some of my decks there are things like an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger or a Craterhoof Behemoth, but more often than not it is something less typical and far more budget friendly. An example of something that I might try to use as win con from the most recent Kaldheim might be something like Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Scute Swarm from Zendikar Rising, or an Eldrazi like Deathless Behemoth that we make unblockable or flying. As we go through our articles, I will often point where budget options that will still make your deck fun to play.
The rest of the deck will have a variety of value pieces, pet cards, or other interesting selections. I will try to explore some of these to help newer and experienced players control their budget.
And now for the good part! This week’s deck submission:
This Maja Bretagard Protector deck is a Green/White looking to take advantage of the Landfall trigger built into Maja. This should help you generate all sorts of advantages and push your deck into the winners circle by virtue of the raw number of tokens you produce. This deck also highlights some of the tenets I maintain as I build my decks.
For example, the ramp package contains selections like Circuitous Route, Cultivate, Grow from the Ashes which seem like auto includes, but also Spinning Wheel, Avacyn’s Pilgrim, a Nissa’s Renewal. My favorite piece of ramp tech in this sort of deck is Sakura Tribe Elder and Emeria Shepherd because they work together to loop and allow you to get all the plains in your deck out in one fell swoop because of the Landfall interaction on the Shepherd. This synergy can very quickly help a G/W deck get ahead on mana and hopefully pull ahead in the game.
My advantage generation in this Maja Bretagard Protector deck is fairly self-evident because the commander is all about Landfall. But there are other ways in which you can get there. Mentor of the Meek is a solid addition that can allow this sort of token deck to refill its hand, as can Huatli, Radiant Champion. Avenger of Zendikar, Felidar Retreat, and Admonition Angel are other Landfall payoffs that this deck will leverage to great effect and can make sure this deck has plenty of bodies on the battlefield to make use of. However, the fun one here is a convoked March of the Multitudes and the hope is to cast it for about… oh… maybe a million (but if X=ten, I’ll be pleased).
The removal is pretty clear with Austere Command, Hour of Reckoning, and Realm Cloaked Giant playing the role of the sweepers. Then there is plenty of other removal in the form of Knight of Autumn, Beast Within, Generous Gift, and Acidic Slime playing the roles of targeted removal. While this is a little on the light side, it can deal with a variety of threats. This will hopefully buy you time to have enough tokens to take over the game with Maja Bretagard Protector.
Lastly, the win-cons in this Maja Bretagard Protector deck are a little different. The deck is built to go WIDE, so overrun type effects are your go-to tools for your end game. No Craterhoof this time, but his little brother End-Raze Forerunners makes an appearance along with spells like Return of the Wildspeaker, Shalai, Voice of Plenty, and Divine Visitation. If making a pile of large tokens isn’t enough, Divine Visitation is the start of a super powerful enchantment package that pushes up the power level of this deck, but also the budget. Regardless, making 4/4 Angels with Flying seems like fun and makes the grade as a potential win condition.
Overall, the Maja Bretagard Protector deck clocks in at $140 USD according to Moxfield.com and should give a newer player a starting framework that is hopefully within their budget and allows them to get into the game and enjoy playing Commander with their friends.
Well, that wraps up this week’s article. Look for me in the future to expand on some of the ideas raised here! Whatever you are doing, and wherever you are, stay safe. This is Epic Experiment Podcast signing off and wishing you all the best wherever you next play Magic.
Do you have suggestions of what to help boost this deck’s potential? Then leave your suggestions in the comments below!
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What kind of cards should you be holding onto to make up your next favourite Magic deck? What decks have been dominating Magic tournaments? Well, Meta-Man has arrived with all you need to know about the Magic meta in January! Let’s dive right into with –
If you want to piss off every Magic player in the world, then this is the route to go. Rogue archetypes in any TCG are a great way to out perform your opponent in unexpected ways. In the case of Magic, control your opponents ability to play creature and non-creature cards while also milling them out of their deck.
The key creatures of this deck are Ruin Crab, Merfolk Wind Robber, Thieves Guild Enforcer, and Soaring Thought Thief. Each one of these you want to max out, allowing you to mill through your opponent’s deck very quickly. Boost Ruin Crab’s Landfall ability by maxing out Fabled Passage to double the mill capability. Add Lurrus of the Dream-Den to give yourself Lifelink and have access to spells from your graveyard.
Non-creature spells are what make this deck really a headache to go up against. Max out Lofty Denial, Heartless Act, Bloodchief’s Thirst, and Drown in the Loch to control every aspect of your opponent’s casting capability. If you really want to focus on the control aspect of the deck, throw in a few Negate‘s or Essence Scatter‘s. However, if you really want to get a rhythm going, switch out the Negate and Essence Scatter to max out Into The Story to draw into more counterspells or into more mill creatures.
You may be tempted to drop an Ashiok into the deck to offer you access to a planeswalker, but that may slow down your end goal. Instead, consider Cling to Dust, Extinction Event, or Lullmage’s Domination to help boost your control game.
There is no better feeling than swarming your opponent and boosting your front line with unbeatable creatures. If you are itching for a battering ram of a deck, then Gruul is the way to go.
As with any red deck, there are the classics – Bonecrusher Giant, Rimrock Knight, Fire Prophecy, and Shock. All of these will help clear your opponents board before you begin to really lay down the heat. You can also consider Embereth Shieldbreaker for an artifact negate and Edgewall Inkeeper to be able to get a bigger draw pool.
Make sure to max out Brushfire Elemental, Kazandu Mammoth, and Scavenging Ooze, to get more creatures on the board. Brushfire and Kazandu will quickly become your most power creatures with their Landfall capability, while Scavenging Ooze is a solid low tier creature to throw out if you need blockers, especially if your graveyard is getting filled with creatures faster than expected. Make sure to max out Fabled Passage into your lands to boost Brushfire Elemental and Kazandu Mammoth’s damage potential.
The cards that truly make this deck are Embercleave, Crawling Barrens, Shatterskull Smashing. Once you are able to equip Embercleave to a creature, you will be tanking most of the creatures your opponent can throw at you. Shatterskull Smashing will give you a huge damage boost if you need to tank something big, and Crawling Barrens can become a 2/2 creature if you want an unexpected defender.
As a last note: one of the most powerful card you can add is Klothys, God of Destiny. Being able to bump your mana pool or your life and deal damage even before you jump into your damage step is INSANE. I’ve seen a lot of decks that throw this in the sideboard, which seems nuts to me. If you can, make sure Klothys is one of cards that makes the cut.
Esper Doom is a fascinating deck, but can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at. The key is being able to put trigger some powerful Saga and Enchantment cards to reduce your opponent’s casting capability.
The four cards that are key to this deck are Yorion, Sky Nomad, Elspeth Conquers Death, Elspeth’s Nightmare, and Doom Foretold. Set-up both Elspeth Saga’s before playing Yorion to be able to be able to trigger the effects twice by blinking them with Yorion’s special ability. Doom Foretold is a great way to either reduce your opponent’s hand size, or to deal damage and get a blocker on the field to defend yourself without having to sacrifice Yorion. Max out Skyclave Appartion and you have a powerful control creature to exile your opponent’s creatures.
Maxing Golden Egg and Omen of the Sea will help keep control of your side of the board. Drop your Golden Egg whenever you are hurting for life or mana, while Omen of the Sea will help offer a little control over your card draw. Throw in some Negate‘s, Eliminate‘s, and Heartless Act‘s to be able to infuriate your opponent with total control of their casting potential.
Know any other cards that would help boost these decks? Let us know in the comments below!
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With the coming Magic release of Kaldheim, there is a lot of potential, especially with the overt references of Norse myth in the flavour text and advertising material. While there are plenty of characters and events that take place in Norse myth, there are some especially interesting and niche characters that are amazing to see in the pre-release spoilers.
SPOILER ALERT AHEAD! If you don’t want to know any of the coming cards in the release of Kaldheim, leave now!
I touched on the children of Loki a little bit in the last article about Kaldheim’s Norse inspirations. Jormungandr is the first child of Loki, with Hel being the second, and Fenrir being the last.
Jormungandr may be familiar as the World Serpent, the snake that has wrapped around the Earth, stuck with its tail in its mouth. This hulking creature is more than likely represented by Koma, Cosmos Serpent, an absolute control beast coming into the meta as a blue-green. Similar to his brother in colour, Fenrir appears to be Sarulf, Realm Eater, a green-black mana legendary creature. The only one of the siblings that I haven’t been able to find is Hel, which I can only assume would become a black mana creature.
While all of these creatures operate on their own well enough, it would be something to behold if these cards were able to find a synergy together. This might be possible if Hel is a black or black-blue mana card, making a blue-green-black deck between the three of the demi-gods.
If you have ever heard of The Witcher, you probably already know about the Wild Hunt. This traveling caravan of doom roams the skies, bringing omen and potential destruction with them. The Wild Hunt is led by a single rider, followed by a single woman and an army of spirits. Different stories tell different versions of the tale, suggesting that the leader of the Hunt could be Odin himself, ghosts, or a legion of demons, similar to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Thus far, the closest group I could find that could be a reference to the Wild Hunt would be the Bloodsky. The archetype is a black mana focus as demons. This would synergize well with the coming Dread Carn, able to create their legion of undead following behind the lead horsemen, absolutely filling the board with zombies and spirits. There is still more to learn about the Bloodsky through their flavour text, but it seems likely that we should keep our eye out for a Wild Hunt – Tibalt mix coming to the meta pretty soon.
The Gods have made themselves known in the pre-release spoilers. Valki taking on the mantle of Loki, Alrund taking on the mantle of Odin – the list goes on and on. However, I have yet to find a representation of Mimir.
Mimir is one of the wisest deities in Norse myth. Odin cut off Mimir’s head, carrying it around if Odin was ever in need of assistance or knowledge throughout his travels. This would be a great card for any kind of blue deck, especially to help introduce the ‘foretell’ ability. Chain that with some of the exile abilities that are popping up with the Planeswalkers, such as Kaya and Tibalt, and you have a strong combo deck waiting to happen.
I could go on and on about other hopes I have for this set, and all the exciting things that have already been announced, but I want to hear what you think – leave a comment down below about what cards you are excited for coming into the Kaldheim release!
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With Kaldheim coming out in February, there is lots of be excited about in the world of Magic. Inspired by Norse mythology, Kaldheim mentions the World Tree, Valkyries, and plane shifting Gods. But what exactly do these references mean?
Let’s go over the basics so you can enjoy of the mythological splendors ahead.
In Norse myth, the World Tree (also known as Yggdrasil) is the universe, holding all of the planes of existence. It is prophesied to exist until Ragnarök, the Apocalypse, that shall end the reign of Gods, and all of humanity.
Across the World Tree, there are a total of nine realms that exist – there is Asgard, the land of the Aesir (The Gods); Alfheim, the land of the Bright Elves; Jotunheim, the land of Giants; Nidavellir, the land of Dwarves; Nilfheim, a land of ice and mist; Svartalfheim, the land of Dark Elves; and Vanaheim, the land of the Vanir (More Gods).
I know what some of you are thinking – where is Valhalla? Isn’t that the whole thing for Vikings? All I want to do is scream ‘FOR VALHALLA!’, and you’re telling me I can’t?
Have no fear my ferocious brethren – Valhalla awaits.
Valhalla is not a plane of existence, but instead a mead hall in Asgard, where slain warriors go if they die in battle. The alternative to Valhalla, dying from sickness or any other non-violent, is going to Hel.
No, not Hell. The child of Loki one.
Let me explain.
Hel is one of the three children of Loki. That’s right kids – Tom Hiddleston got it on with a giant and is actually a baby daddy.
In the movie Thor: Ragnarok, Cate Blanchett plays the Marvel interpretation Hela. However, instead of being an Australian warrior woman in black and green spandex, Hel is a giant woman, with the head and torso of her natural form, but her legs nothing but bones and rotting flesh. Being banished from Asgard by Odin, the Father of all Gods, Hel tends to those who died outside of battle. It is not the worst place to go in death, but certainly not the best.
Instead, if you want to make it to that mead hall in Asgard to drink your cares away, you have to die in battle. Only then will you be visited by a Valkyrie.
The Valkyries are, simply put, the most badass angels in mythological history. Loyal servants to Odin, these warrior maidens fly down to capture the souls of those who died in battle in full battle regalia. They are known to smite warriors that they do not favour with ease, and guard heroes and vessels that were important to them.
So, you may be wondering – who else lives in Asgard? Who would you be able to be drinking buddies with after you have your over dramatic, super cool action movie death in the midst of battle?
Norse gods are placed into two different factions – the Aesir and the Vanir. The Aesir are warriors naturally, able to strike down waves of enemies with ease. The Vanir are innate magical casters, using subtly instead of brute strength.
This distinction means little in the later myths of the Gods but is significant in the beginning. The Aesir and the Vanir began as foes, erupting into full war. Eventually, the Aesir and Vanir grew wary and called for peace. In doing so, each God spat in a cauldron, and thus the God Kvasir was born, the God of Knowledge.
The most famous Gods in Norse mythology will be familiar from the Marvel universe – Thor, Loki, and Odin, the three Gods who would find themselves in trouble the most often in Norse myth.
Some other notable figures include Freya, a witch goddess; Tyr, the god of Justice who lost his right arm to bind the demigod Fenrir; and Hoenir, who was the Odin’s loyal little screw up. He doesn’t have any real divine powers, but always gets himself pulled into Odin’s schemes or adventures. He never does anything or saves anyone – he is there to be captured, or to mess up a plan.
So, if you are ever having a rough go of it, just remember – you’re doing better than Hoenir.
There is so much left to say about Norse mythology – Ragnarok, the gods travelling to different planes, the apples of Iun – the list is endless. And from this expansive world, Kaldheim is going to give you a taste and explore this endless and beautiful tradition, reminding the world of the magic of the Norse.
So go forth, warrior – seize your weapons, your magics, and claim your seat in Valhalla!
Are there other aspects of Norse myth that I missed in the article that you have spotted in the preview cards? Make sure to comment below your thoughts!
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MTG Kaldheim a visit to the plane of the Vikings. Magic the Gathering is kicking off 2021 with a Norse mythology-inspired set; Magic’s take on what a world inspired by Vikings might look like. Kaldheim feels like another great set like Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was.
Number of Cards: 285
Prerelease Events: January 29th – 31st, 2021
Release Date: February 5th, 2021
Official Three-Letter Code KHM
The planeswalker Kaya visits a world of prophecy and legend, mortals and monsters. A world of many realms, epic sagas, bound by one truth. Viking or Valkyrie, Elf or Dwarf, all belong to the World Tree, all are supplicants to the gods. Gods who travel between the realms to their bidding for peace, for bloodshed, or for their own amusement. But what if there was a way to harness this power? A weapon with the ability to protect all. A weapon of pure strength. Forged for a god. Or … in more creative hands, a weapon of unimaginable chaos.
Jumpstart is an all-new way to play Magic: The Gathering. The elegant concept is perfect for players both new and old that can’t wait to start casting their spells. All you have to do is take two booster packs of Jumpstart, shuffle them together, and begin playing. Each 20 card pack contains 1-2 rares (33% of packs have 2 rares!), 7-8 lands, and focuses on a certain theme (goblin, dog, Garruk, etc.). One of the lands in each pack will feature new art focused on that pack’s theme. For example, a land in a dog-themed pack could have an image of a happy dog lounging in the middle of some plains. In addition to its simplicity, players that love tribal synergies and those that love being surprised by unexpected interactions will enjoy this product.
On top of a fun new way to play, Jumpstart also has plenty of cards that players of Eternal formats will love (especially Commander). Check them out below!
Wizards of the Coast has also created a new casual type of prerelease event to accompany this excellent casual product. Every prerelease player will be given a match slip and once that slip has been filled with match results, you’ll get an exclusive Jumpstart promo card. Win or lose, the most important thing is that you’ll be having fun. We hope to see you there!