JumpSTARt: Battle Royale — Devlog #24: Will
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
Devlog #23: Rowan
Such strong Will power! The final Jumpstart: Battle Royale (and second planeswalker partner) packet is here! Here are the card choices for the Will packet along with reasoning for the picks below:
The “2+ Warriors” requirement was true for all 19 of the other packets. But not this time. I was squeezed for space trying to check off other boxes for the spellslingin’ Will.
However, having one packet in the product that doesn’t meet the requirement still leaves you with a deck (of two packets) that just has half as many Warriors as the other decks.
The goal of the “2+ Warriors” requirement was to ensure that the cards that cared about your team’s Warriors were able to synergize. To make up for a deck not having as many Warriors when one of the packets is the Will packet, there are six cards in this packet that can draw you more cards (including the Clue token created by Hard Evidence). Hopefully, this will naturally draw you into those extra Warriors.
Two mechanics shine through in this packet: storm and magecraft.
The Rowan packet spotlighted surge, which leveraged the fact that you had two teammates rather than one teammate you might typically see in other environments.
Will, on the other hand, highlights how the shared turns aspect of Jumpstart: Battle Royale (as well as there being five players) allows for storm to thrive just a bit more.
And storm creates copies of spells, which triggers magecraft. The magecraft cards were a nice supplement, especially the Spell Satchel, which meets both the artifact requirement of the set as well as provide just a bit more mana for your to be able to cast Will earlier (or enable more spells for storm).
Hard Evidence is a solid early play blocker but also helps enable storm.
Crow Storm and Talrand’s Invocation both also provide necessary creature slots while also being sorceries for the instants/sorceries theme.
Order of Succession is our “multiplayer event” card. Notably, your Will can’t be stolen (and neither can your large Giant in Hall of the Storm Giants). Though, look out for losing your Archmage Emeritus to a greedy teammate.
Counting the Hall of the Storm Giants and the other cards that either create a creature token or is a creature card, the Will packet just barely meets the 6+ creatures requirement.
Temporal Fissure and Mana Drain both are answers to any permanent type, supplementing Will’s ability to frost a couple creatures. Mana Drain helps provide a boost in mana both for either casting Will early or to create a larger storm turn.
I’ve designed each packet to roughly have 4 rares and 1 mythic rare. However, each packet also gets a nice utility land in addition to this, assuming said packet isn’t using the land slots for other needs. The Will packet still does have 5 cards that are either rare or mythic rare. However, one of those rares IS the utility land. To help offset this slight downgrade, we’ve upgraded one of these five cards from rare to mythic in the form of Mana Drain.
Will allows you to cast planeswalker spells cheaper; so including Kasmina helps ensure you don’t miss out on that neat benefit. Kasmina also provides a creature token for you, fulfilling a creature slot. Lastly, what a flavor win to have Kasmina hanging out with Will in this packet!
Mentor’s Guidance also does the flavor bridging, but it’s also got 2 generic mana in the mana cost, so it can be reduced to one blue mana by Will. And it’s a nice synergy piece for your magecraft cards.
There and Back Again
Where there’s a Will… there’s a way back!
Now that all 20 packets have been designed, it’s time to go back over previously-designed packets and find where revisions should be made. Now that each packet has the context of each other packet, we can see what kind of card effects across the packets or packet combinations are present and course-correct accordingly.
Notably, Battle for Baldur’s Gate has released during the development of Jumpstart: Battle Royale, giving us potential new multiplayer-improved cards to choose from (in fact, there’s already a card or few being used in the latter packets of this project as previews were rolling in).
See ya next update!