MTG Jumpstart 2022 is the final product in a year that’s been stuffed full of Magic: The Gathering, and many Magic players are pretty worn out by the never ending stream of releases. But if you’re an EDH player, this is one final launch you should wake up and take notice of – because I think it’s the most fun Commander product we’re getting in 2022!
Yes, just like practically everything else Wizards puts out these days, MTG Jumpstart 2022 is partially gunning for those who like their Magic multiplayer. While, obviously, Jumpstart is a great product for beginners, the new set also offers 14 fresh commanders, and there’s hardly a dud among them.
Tribal fans have plenty to cheer for, with multiple underdeveloped creature types getting new commanders: rats have Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm; sea monsters have Kenessos, Priest of Thassa; and – perhaps the most mighty of the lot – insects have Zask, Skittering Swarmlord.
There’s loads of great stuff for casual Commander players, and the set seems designed to boost fun little niche themes (that’s kind of the nature of Jumpstart, I suppose). Isu the Abominable looks fun if you want to try and make the snow deck work, while Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence encourages you to hurt yourself, and Runadi, Behemoth Caller is great for big, stompy creature decks.
And I’d be remiss not to mention Kibo, Uktabi Prince. This lord of jank is a pretty bad but hilarious monkey and ape commander that you just know someone in your group is already planning to build. Bananas for all!
There’s even a little something-something for the competitive Commander players. Preston, the Vanisher looks to pack so much power that it would be difficult not to combo off with him, and it shouldn’t be hard to find endless ways to go infinite with this as your Commander. And, hey, Rhystic Study and Kiki-Jiki reprints are in there somewhere.
Why do I think it’s the best Commander product of the year? Did I sleepwalk through 2022 and miss all the myriad EDH sets Wizards thrust our way? (those horny wizards!) Well, no, and I would say it’s stiff competition between this and the MTG Warhammer 40k crossover decks for my top-ranking release, but this one feels more ‘Magic’ to me.
If we look at most of what the year had to offer in terms of Commander (a lot), there’s often a fly in the ointment that spoils the set somewhat. Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate was a bit mismarketed, and lacked the reprints EDH players wanted. They then showed up in force in Double Masters 2022, but that set had such a limited print run and was so pricey, that you’re still better off proxying its most sought after cards.
Okay, the upcoming set is not out yet, so it hasn’t had time to screw anything up, but I can’t help but feel a wave of positive good cheer towards Jumpstart 2022. For me, it feels like a much-needed breath of fresh air after a year of Magic that’s had a lot of ups and downs, and a fair few trials and tribulations.
For many fans, Jumpstart 2022, falling at the end of the year, not over-the-top in power level, and positioned so close to MTG The Brothers’ War, is easy to ignore. But to me it seems like the set that most matches the spirit of Commander. It’s casual, it’s got something for players of all stripes, and – more than anything else – it’s fun!