JumpSTARt: Battle Royale — Devlog #23: Rowan
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
Devlog #22: Virtus
The planeswalkers cometh! Rowan is the penultimate packet!
Here are the card choices along with reasoning for the picks below:
The reward you get from casting the expensive Rowan is very circumstantial. If you don’t have any meaningful-enough creatures on board, then upticking loyalty counters doesn’t do anything for ya. The same goes for the -2 ability, if there aren’t creatures that are both tapped and have toughness 3 or less.
To offset this, we have the deadly finisher Fall of the Titans. With two teammates on your side (one of them having the Will packet), along with the inclusion of a Seething Song in the packet, you’re quite likely to be able to cast it for its surge cost! On a flavor note, this gives Rowan Crackle-with-Power vibes!
The same goes for Tyrant of Valakut. In fact, casting for its surge cost feels so likely that I’m counting it as a five-drop here. And watch out for a turn-3 Dragon (with removal from its ETB effect) if you cast Seething Song into it!
In any case, we still want some cards that help synergize with Rowan’s abilities. So, for the first ability of forcing creatures to attack, we have the Sword of Vengeance. Boost up your largest creature so that it can then start slaying any creatures attacking into it. Bonus that the Sword of Vengeance grants vigilance, so you can still swing with the equipped creature and keep up a deadly blocker. This sword also takes care of the artifact requirement.
If you end up ultimate-ing Rowan, there are four cards with decent-enough activated abilities in the packet: Illustrious Historian, Valakut Invoker, Bhaal’s Invoker, and Crawling Barrens.
The Crawling Barrens could also potentially build up large enough to act as a deadly blocker for a Rowan forcing an attack. The Sword of Vengeance granting trample is also nice synergy.
Bull-Rush Bruiser and Azra Bladeseeker fulfill the 2+ Warriors per packet” requirement. The Bladeseeker can help smooth your draw into getting more land. Or, perhaps, flavorfully, find a Sword of Vengeance! Hah.
You gotta be careful with Grenzo’s Rebuttal since you have a Sword of Vengeance and a Crawling Barrens in your packet. Be prepared to lose them if you have them. But, on the upside, you won’t lose Rowan when casting this while other players may end up losing their legendary creature partner commander. This was included for that Rowan-dodging effect while also slotting in as the “multiplayer event” card of the packet.
Let the Sparks Fly
That’s all for this packet! The final packet WILL arrive next!