Wizards of the Coast on Tuesday released a new video spotlighting the upcoming introduction of the Jumpstart set and gameplay mode to Magic: The Gathering Arena. Jumpstart is a new way to play Magic: The Gathering. Borrowing ideas from games like Smash Up and Magic creator Richard Garfield's Keyforge, Jumpstart removes the deckbuilding hurdle from Magic. Instead, players open up packs that contain decks pre-built around a theme. They then combine two themes into a ready-to-play deck. While Jumpstart is a unique Magic: The Gathering format, it will also introduce 300 new cards into the Arena-only Historic format when it releases on Thursday.
Wizards' new video shows how the Jumpstart format works in Arena. Players pay 2000 gold or 400 gems to participate in a Jumpstart event, which will be available from July 16th through August 16th. Players choose two of the 40 available themes to make their Jumpstart deck. They can then play in the event until it ends or they can resign at any point and create a new deck. Players keep the cards they pick to use in Historic formats, so it pays to choose different themes with each new entry.
The influx of 300 new cards from Jumpstart into Historic comes at a critical time for Magic: The Gathering Arena. On August 1st, the game will host its second Arena Open tournament, where players can win up to $2,000. The tournament format is Historic, and these new cards, plus Monday's bans, are sure to shake up the metagame.
The Historic format will expand again later in August when Arena introduces the Amonkhet Remastered set, marking the return of Amonket cards to the game. Amonkhet sets were available in Arena during its closed beta phase. Wizards removed the sets during a previous Standard rotation that coincided with Arena entering public beta about a year before introducing Historic. Amonkhet Remastered adds another 300 cards to Historic, meaning the format will gain 600+ new cards over two months.
Standard will see a different kind of shakeup later in the year. Zendikar Rising launches in September and will trigger the annual Standard rotation. Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, and Core Set 2020 will leave the format, leaving only Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, Core Set 2021, and Zendikar Rising playable.
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