JumpSTARt: Battle Royale — Devlog #22: Virtus
JumpSTARt: Battle Royale is a star-format Jumpstart product for Magic: The Gathering. This blog post is part of a series chronicling its development.
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
Devlog #15: Toothy
Devlog #16: Silvar
Devlog #17: Cazur
Devlog #18: Timin
Devlog #19: Kamber
Devlog #20: Okaun
Devlog #21: Yannik
Bleed them dry with the Virtus packet!
Here are the card choices along with reasoning for the picks below.
Virtus wants to hit the opponent, but Virtus is easily blocked and will easily die. Luckily, we have a few tricks up our sleeve:
- Virtus’s Maneuver, our “multiplayer event” card, can return a Virtus back to your hand
- Fake Your Own Death can be a great combat trick for any of your creatures, but Virtus can snap back into action this way. It also helps to have an extra Treasure token given the eight lands in the packet.
- Thrilling Encore is here to both return Virtus but to also support a few other creature cards you’d rather keep on the battlefield. This black packet doesn’t opt for mass creature destruction that affects your own creatures, so this is a nice counter for the other packets that DO wipe the board.
- Blade of the Oni beefs up Virtus and grants menace, so that’ll either accomplish helping Virtus live OR let you deal deathtouch damage to two creatures. It also fulfills the artifact requirement for the packet.
- There’s a chance your Gorm teammate will help clear the way for Virtus!
A problem with Virtus is the diminishing returns from landing the hit on an opponent. That’s where extort comes into play. (Besides including extort being a commentary on how JumpSTARt: Battle Royale is uniquely a two-opponent format and how extort is most tempered in this environment compared to other multiplayer formats.)
With the inclusion of Thrull Parasite and Basilica Screecher, this packet opted for a lower mana curve, so you can have wiggle room for extorting. Thrull Parasite can impact the Rowan & Will partners but also create a threat on board for any creatures that like to duel with +1/+1 counters. Basilica Screecher is our lone flying support here, if ya ever need to face a Dragon or something. *knocks on wood*
Thrasher Brute helps further the extortion while still keeping in line with the “2+ Warriors per packet” requirement. In fact, this packet has an extra Warrior, to uptick slightly the life drain support.
Blitz Warriors Night Clubber & Tenacious Underdog not only help Thrasher Brute but also give you a way to draw even more cards to help you keep casting spells for extortion.
Try out the sweet synergy of Night Clubber cast via Blitz; and then, when it’s blocked, cast Fake Your Own Death. You’ll draw the card, get to keep the Night Clubber permanently, but also have stacked yet another “creatures your opponents control get -1/-1 until end of turn.”
And then Tenacious Underdog’s repeated casting is such a deadly combo with an extort creature and Thrasher Brute on your side. You’re gaining life, drawing cards, and draining your opponents along the way.
Syphon Mind helps draw you four cards (and maybe irks your teammates, hah!), so you can continue to sling spells for extort.
That’s all for now! Catch ya next packet!