Published on 11/28/2022

Let's Do The Jumpstart Again

Cranial Translation
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Are you ready for some monkey business?
Greetings and welcome back to another issue of Cranial Insertion! Jumpstart 2022 is hitting the stores this Friday, and I'm very excited about it. I love Magic, but I suck at deckbuilding, so the idea of just shuffling together two packs and playing with the resulting deck is really appealing to me. Also, there's some interesting new cards in this set which are certain to generate lots of rules questions for us to answer. Today, we'll look at some of the questions that might come up while playing with Jumpstart 2022.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to us by email to or tweet short questions to @CranialTweet. One of our writers will reply to you, and your question might appear in a future article to educate readers like yourself.

And now, without further ado, let's jump into Jumpstart 2022!

Q: So are these cards going to be Standard legal?

A: I'm afraid not. Jumpstart 2022 is a supplemental product, not a set release. Like any other supplemental product, it contains new cards that are unique to Jumpstart 2022 which are only legal in constructed tournaments for eternal formats such as Legacy or Commander. It also contains reprints of existing cards that are legal in whichever formats those cards were already legal.

Q: Are there any restrictions to which themes I can combine with each other?

A: Not at all! While some themes have adjective names, like "Gross", and others have noun names, like "Cats", there is no requirement to combine the themes in a way that makes grammatical sense. You can combine two adjective themes, like "Gross Morbid", or two noun themes, like "Cats Elves", or even two of the same theme, like "Cats Cats". The only restriction is that you're combining the entire contents of two booster packs, so you can't open four packs and take ten cards from each of them.

Q: What's the color identity of Kibo, Uktabi Prince?

A: As a card, Kibo is mono-green, but its color identity is red/green because there's a mana symbol in its rules text, which counts towards the card's color identity. If Kibo is your commander, you're allowed to have red and/or green cards in your deck, and if you want to include Kibo in a deck under another commander, that commander needs to have at least red and green in its color identity.

Q: I control Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier and Angelic Cub. I play Sandstone Bridge and target Agrus Kos with its ability, and pay for Agrus Kos's ability. Does that trigger Angelic Cub's ability?

A: Yup! Agrus Kos's ability makes a copy of Sandstone Bridge's ability that targets Angelic Cub. This means that Angelic Cub went from not being the target of an ability to being the target of an ability. Assuming that this was the first time that happened this turn, Angelic Cub's ability triggers.

Q: If I target Agrus Kos, Eternal Soldier in my graveyard with Cemetery Recruitment, can I use its ability to return all other creature cards from my graveyard to my hand as well?

A: No, that doesn't work. Agrus Kos's ability only works while it's on the battlefield, so targeting it while it's in the graveyard won't trigger its ability. Also, Cemetery Recruitment is a spell, and Agrus Kos's ability only kicks in when it becomes the sole target of an ability.

Q: I used Termination Facilitator to put a bounty counter on my opponent's Dwynen's Elite. If they block my Rampaging Baloths with Dwynen's Elite, can I assign 1 damage to the blocker and trample the rest over onto my opponent?

A: No, 1 damage is not enough to trample over a 2/2. Even though 1 damage is enough to cause Termination Facilitator's ability to trigger and eventually destroy your opponent's Elf, trample doesn't look that far into the future to determine whether some amount of damage is lethal. In fact, trample doesn't look into the future at all. "Lethal damage" is simply a number that's calculated by taking the blocker's toughness and subtracting any damage already marked on it or damage being assigned to it at the same time by another attacker, regardless of whether it takes more (or less) damage than that to actually destroy the blocker. Deathtouch creates an exception to this rule, but Termination Facilitator does not. You have to assign 2 damage to Dwynen's Elite, and you can assign the remaining 4 damage to your opponent.

Q: I control Alandra, Sky Dreamer and managed to draw a fourth card this turn. Does Alandra's first ability make another 2/2 Drake token?

A: No, Alandra's first ability doesn't trigger on every second draw each turn. It only triggers when you draw the second card in a turn, which can happen at most once each turn.

Do you want to build a snowman?
Q: If I control Isu the Abominable and the top two cards of my library are Snow-Covered Islands, can I play both of them?

A: No. Isu's ability gives you permission to play snow lands from your library, but there is a restriction in the rules that prohibits you from playing a land if you don't have a land play left for the turn. In the absence of effects that increase this number, you only get one land play per turn, and any land you play counts towards that limit regardless of whether it comes from your hand or from the top of your library.

Q: No creature has died yet this turn, but I control a sacrifice outlet such as Spawning Pit. Can I cast Tragic Slip on an opponent's creature and then respond by sacrificing a creature to turn on the morbid effect?

A: The answer is a "yes, but..." The "yes" part is that Tragic Slip only checks during resolution whether a creature has died this turn, so it doesn't matter whether this condition was true when Tragic Slip was cast. The "but" part is that if you're hoping to hold back the sacrifice in order to bait out a counterspell, that's not going to work in your favor. If your opponent responds to Tragic Slip, you get priority again to do the sacrifice before Tragic Slip resolves, but if they don't, then Tragic Slip just resolves right away and only gives the -1/-1. The only way you're guaranteed to get the -13/-13 is if you hold priority and do the sacrifice before asking your opponent for a response, but in terms of the information you're giving your opponent, that is exactly the same as if you just do the sacrifice before you cast Tragic Slip.

Q: I control a Faerie, and my opponent casts a spell with mana value 2. I respond with Spellstutter Sprite to counter their spell, but in response they destroy Spellstutter Sprite. Does the spell still get countered?

A: No, but the reason might be different than what you expect. Destroying Spellstutter Sprite doesn't remove its ability from the stack, so the ability still gets a chance to resolve, but it does change the number of Faeries you control. You're down to only controlling one Faerie now, and when the ability rechecks whether its target is still legal, it finds that the spell is no longer a legal target because its mana value is greater than the number of Faeries you control.

Q: I control two Thopter tokens that were created by Whirler Rogue, and I copy one of them with Pirated Copy. If I deal combat damage to my opponent with one of the original Thopters, does that trigger the card draw ability of the copy?

A: Absolutely! The ability triggers whenever that copy or a creature with the same name as it deals combat damage to a player. The Thopter tokens have the name "Thopter Token", and the Pirated Copy copies that name, so its name is also "Thopter Token" even though its creature types are Thopter and Pirate and it's not a token.

Q: I control a Magnanimous Magistrate that has four reprieve counters left on it, and a creature with mana value 5 dies. Can Magnanimous Magistrate return that creature to the battlefield if I remove all reprieve counters from it?

A: No, that doesn't work. When an effect or game rule instructs you to do something that's impossible, you simply do as much as you can and the game moves on, but costs are different. The fragment "you may remove that many reprieve counters from Magnanimous Magistrate" is an optional cost, and you can't pay a cost that includes an impossible action, or make a choice that would result in an impossible action.

Q: I control Preston, the Vanisher and Wispweaver Angel. If I Flicker of Fate the Angel, does that kick off a loop that lets me make as many 0/1 Illusion copies of Wispweaver Angel as I want?

A: Yup! When the Angel comes back from being Flickered, both its own enter-the-battlefield ability and Preston's first ability trigger. The Angel's own ability can be used to flicker something useful outside of this loop. Preston's ability makes an Illusion copy of Wispweaver Angel, and you use that copy to flicker the original Wispweaver Angel, which restarts the process. Repeat until you have amassed the desired number of Illusion tokens, and then you stop the loop by flickering something else with the last token, or simply choosing not to flicker anything with the last token.

"Trust me, it'll be fun!"
Q: If I enchant a creature I control with Impending Doom and it dies somehow, does that trigger Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence's ability?

A: It does! While the damage is dealt by Impending Doom rather than by the creature, that difference does not matter to Auntie Blyte. Impending Doom is a source you control that's dealing damage to you, and that's enough to trigger Auntie Blyte's ability.

Q: Can I activate Conductor of Cacophony's ability more than once per turn?

A: Absolutely, provided that you have enough black mana and enough +1/+1 counters on the Conductor. Conductor of Cacophony has an activated ability that doesn't mention any kind of activation restrictions, so you can activate it as often as you can pay the activation cost.

Q: What about Dutiful Replicator? Can I pay multiple times to make multiple token copies?

A: No. Dutiful Replicator's ability is not an activated ability. It has a triggered ability that triggers and resolves once, and when it resolves it gives you the choice between paying or not paying anything.

Q: Can I enchant my Seat of the Synod with Mechanized Production?

A: Certainly! Mechanized Production can enchant any artifact you control. It doesn't matter whether it has other card types besides artifact.

Q: I control a Pestermite and an Undersea Invader. Does Synchronized Eviction cost less?

A: It does! Pestermite is a Faerie Rogue and Undersea Invader is a Giant Rogue, so you do control at least two creatures that share a creature type, namely Rogue.

Q: Can I cast Launch Mishap without a target just to create a Thopter token?

A: I'm afraid not. Launch Mishap targets a creature or planeswalker spell, and it doesn't say anything such as "up to one" to indicate that the target is optional, so you can't cast it without a legal target.

Q: Do I have to discard a card to cast Electric Revelation for its flashback cost?

A: Yes. The flashback cost is an alternative to the mana cost that allows you to cast the card from your graveyard, but it doesn't replace any additional costs such as Electric Revelation's own additional cost.

And that's all the time we have for this week. Thanks for reading, and we hope you have fun jumping into Jumpstart 2022!

- Carsten Haese

About the Author:
Carsten Haese is a former Level 2 judge based in Toledo, OH. He is retired from active judging, but he still writes for Cranial Insertion and helps organize an annual charity Magic tournament that benefits the National MS Society.


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