Milling for 53
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Milling for 53

JumpSTARt: Battle Royale — Devlog #15: Toothy

JumpSTARt: Battle Royale is a star-format Jumpstart product for Magic: The Gathering. This blog post is part of a series chronicling its development.

Previous devlogs:
Devlog #00: Kickoff
Devlog #01: Packet Skeleton
Devlog #02: Drafting
Devlog #03: Star-Format-Friendly Mechanics
Devlog #04: “Event” Cards
Devlog #05: Rhoda
Devlog #06: Zndrsplt
Devlog #07: Nikara
Devlog #08: Khorvath
Devlog #09: Pir
Devlog #10: Trynn
Devlog #11: Ukkima
Devlog #12: Laurine
Devlog #13: Gorm
Devlog #14: Sylvia

EDIT: This has been updated since publication. Vision Skeins swapped out for Words of Wisdom

It’s slobberin’ time! Toothy is here.

Here are the picks for this packet. Below are the reasonings for the card choices.

With a low mana curve and many cards drawn, I’m feeling spicy with 12 spells and 8 lands here. In fact, 10 of these 12 spells can draw you cards. :O

So, Toothy wants lots of card draw, so the “multiplayer event” card slot is filled by Plea for Power. Amusingly, taking an extra turn means it’s still a hidden +1 card draw for Toothy. You might ask yourself then, “Should I let Toothy get 3 +1/+1 counters now and 1 combat? Or 2 combats and 1 +1/+1 counter?”

The artifact slot is filled by Howling Golem. In JumpSTARt: Battle Royale, there are more non-opponents than opponents drawing cards from this, so that makes the effect a little more interesting / enticing.

Same thing with Soaring Show-Off! Which, by the way, is one of the 2 required Warriors for this packet. The other is Saltwater Stalwart, coming through with saboteur draw.

Vision Skeins continues the trend of capitalizing on this star format by having everyone draw cards — it being an instant means it can be a “combat trick” for Toothy!

Same deal with Illusion of Choice — it can do an instant-speed +1/+1 counter for Toothy. And, with all the voting cards in this format, you probably will get a hit for the voting control. (Tongue in cheek reference here with “Illusion” in the name, & Toothy’s creature type is…)

Ominous Seas provides a second option for rewarding you for all that draw power — another way to get large monsters! But, if you draw this late game, you can always cycle it, triggering a card draw for Toothy! Even when you draw this in the early game, you can choose to cycle it, especially if you need the mana (due to this being an 8-land packet).

With all this card drawing, the downside of Bazaar Trademage is mitigated. While Toothy rules the ground, this Wizard can protect the skies for you.

Spectral Adversary is another potentially-large flier. It fulfills the removal slot for you by letting you phase out blockers or problem artifacts/enchantments if you need to. Phasing also lets you protect Toothy from removal while still keeping that stack of counters!

Mystic Confluence is an all-star here — sure, it provides a counterspell option for your blue packet here. But it also can get rid of blockers for Toothy, or boost Toothy up. So flexible.

But if you’re really feeling like a maniac with that Mystic Confluence, perhaps consider bouncing your Toothy to your hand when you have a lot of counters on Toothy. Then see that your library is depleted real low. And then see you have the Laboratory Maniac in play and cackle. You might just surprisingly grab a win this way!

Another reason for Laboratory Maniac’s inclusion is to provide a safeguard. Toothy’s text of drawing cards upon it leaving the battlefield isn’t a may ability. So, if you got those seven counters on Toothy, and you have just six cards left in your library when someone casts removal on Toothy — well, a tear rolls down your cheek at the injustice of this “reward” for your hard work.

Goodbye, Friend

That’s all for now! See ya next time!

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Magic: The Gathering game design

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Bradley Rose

Bradley Rose

Magic: The Gathering and card game design.

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