Jumpstart 2022 Review - Nonlegendary Cards

(Disciple of Perdition | Art by Alix Branwyn)

Legendary Review | Nonlegendary Review | cEDH Review | Reprint Review

Jump Up, Jump Up, and Get Down!

Hello, everyone! It’s your friendly neighborhood Jesguy here, and welcome to the JumpStart 2022 Nonlegendary Set Review!

This set review is going to be a bit different! Considering that JumpStart 2022 only has 51 new cards, we've decided to split the reviews in two. The one that you're reading now will cover all of the new nonlegendary cards in the set. The second review, written by the wonderful Mike Carrozza, will be released on our sister site, Commander's Herald, and will cover all of the brand new legendary creatures!

We've got 37 cards to go over, so let's get a jump on 'em and start right away!


White


  • Angelic Cub is a nice addition to any Heroic-like builds, such as Feather, the Redeemed. It's cheap, grows over time, and comes with built-in evasion. It's basically the perfect creature for those decks!
  • Chains of Custody is a cheaper version of Faith Unbroken. Usually, Oblivion Ring effects aren't that good, especially if they're an Aura, but in Aura decks specifically, having an easily tutorable piece of removal that also adds Ward 2 to your creature is pretty solid!
  • Distinguished Conjurer isn't as good as Soul Warden, but an Impassioned Orator with the ability to blink a creature is a lovely card indeed. While Blink decks already have more efficient ways of, well... blinking, I think this is a wonderful addition to Lifegain decks that focus around gaining small increments of life over time, like Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim.
  • Ingenious Leonin is a cute cards for Cat decks, but I think it's a bit to expensive and unwieldy to see any play outside of them, and even this is tenuous at best. A five-mana vanilla creature that you need to put four mana into before you get an effect isn't the power level Magic is at anymore nowadays.
  • Magnanimous Magistrate, on the other hand, is the expensive card that I like. In Sacrifice and Aristocrats decks, this basically gives you double the death triggers on all of your one-mana creatures. You can then sac this, reanimate it, and start the fun all over again! It's pricey, sure, but it can provide a ton of value, especially if you have sac outlets and Blood Artist effects readily available.

Blue


Pirated Copy

Whenever a Clone variant costs more mana than the quintessential copiers out there, like Phyrexian Metamorph, Clever Impersonator, Body Double, Sakashima the Impostor, or Spark Double, I tend to give it some side-eye. It has to provide some kind of excellent additional value to compensate the extra cost, y'know? Body Double can clone creatures in the graveyard, Progenitor Mimic clones itself, the brand new Callidus Assassin kills the creature it clones, and so on. These three pricy clones are certainly worth their additional costs.

So how much additional value does the additional card draw text add to Pirated Copy? Well, it isn't as straightforward as its brethren above. If you're just putting it into a deck willy-nilly, I think it's going to underperform compared to one of the more efficient or powerful options. In decks that can take full advantage of all of its abilities, though, it's one of the best clones around now!

Flying, Pirate, and Token decks are the ones that first come to mind when I think of homes for Pirated Copy. When it enters the battlefield, Pirated Copy will keep its Pirate creature type, which is big game for Pirate-centric strategies, since they're often hurting for playable Pirates. On top of that, Pirates often have plenty of evasive creatures, meaning they can take full advantage of its card draw ability. The same is true for Flying decks, making it a great option there too! Finally, in Token decks, plenty of your creatures end up sharing names, meaning your army of tokens has the ability to now draw you oodles of cards.

I think Pirated Copy is an excellent addition to blue's suite of Clones, and while it might be a bit more niche than your average Shapeshifter, it certainly is no less powerful when used correctly.


  • Biblioplex Kraken is a nice pickup for Sea Monster decks. It has a scry effect that some Eligeth, Crossroads Augur players might like, but when Eligeth can scry 6 total times for less mana with creatures like Cryptic Annelid, I suspect this isn't really his jam. Most decks aren't in need of a creature that only lets you scry and has situational evasion, but it could certainly be a lot worse! *stares at Ingenious Leonin*
  • Hold for Questioning is an expensive Claustrophobia that makes a Clue, and that's about it. Some decks might care about Clues, but these effects are often even worse than Oblivion Rings, so its status as an Aura doesn't even help this one in the same ways as Chains of Custody.
  • Launch Mishap is a cute way for Artifact decks to have a counterspell that also produces an artifact, which is a nice little niche to occupy. It can counter nearly any commander too, so at the very least, it's never dead! I reckon flying theme decks would have the most interest in this one, since they like the flying token and will want to counter enemy flying blockers.
  • Merfolk Pupil is a little common that's a nice, cheap pickup for Merfolk decks. Looting is always welcome, and having relevant creature types is never a bad thing. Who knows, even Wizard decks could want it, since it's only two mana.
  • Soul Read is just kind of bad. It's nice for Limited, but I don't want to pay four mana to do either of these things in EDH. Pass.
  • Synchronized Eviction gets a grade similar to Soul Read. We aren't really interested in this effect in our format, since blue already has cheaper and more permanent forms of removal, and while the potential cost reduction is nice, it's unnecessary, because even if it was three mana it still wouldn't see much play.

Black


Termination Facilitator

Termination Facilitator is cute, but outside of specific strategies, I don't expect to see it much.

Assassin-centric decks is the name of the game with Termination Facilitator. Being able to ensure a creature or planeswalker dies whenever they are hit is some really nice tech, but there aren't many strategies outside of the Assassin creature type that really want things dead that badly that they need to find a more creative way than just Murdering it.

Don't get me wrong, it's great in decks like Ramses, Assassin Lord and Mari, the Killing Quill, and perhaps the odd pingers deck like Kelsien, the Plague, but that's about it in my estimation. It isn't a bad card, just niche. It knows its home, and it'll shine there.



Red


Brazen Cannonade

Another Outpost Siege variant? I'll take it! Aggressive red decks will love Brazen Cannonade. Dealing damage if your attacking creature dies, and then having access to an extra card until the end of your next combat, is just grand. Any deck that goes wide with tokens, like Krenko, Mob Boss, is also in the market for the Cannonade, since it puts your opponents into such a huge bind. Even Aristocrats decks can get in on the fun since they can sacrifice an attacking creature after it dealt damage to trigger Brazen Cannonade along with any Blood Artist effects they have lying around. Ouch!

Overall, Brazen Cannonade is an excellent design and is exactly the kind of card that plenty of proactive strategies will want to use. Thumbs up!

Ogre Battlecaster

Snapcaster Mage? Nah, this is Slapcaster Mage.

Ogre Battlecaster is certainly a cool card, essentially letting you Flashback your spells for an addition two red mana. Right off the bat, Sevinne, the Chronoclasm and Isshin, Two Heavens as One are two commanders that may be interested in the Battlecaster, since they will each double its attack trigger in some capacity.

On top of these two, any deck that runs Dreadhorde Arcanist, like Feather, the Redeemed, Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest, or Blanka, Ferocious Friend, would also take a second look at the Battlecaster, since it helps Flashback their suite of pump spells an additional time!

Ogre Battlecaster is a fantastic addition to various aggressive and Spellslinger lists, and it has plenty of homes across the format. I like this one a lot!


  • Coalborn Entity is just an outlet for infinite colored mana since it can hit players and kill the board. That's about it. Otherwise, it's just as embarrassing as Ingenious Leonin.
  • Daring Piracy is another version of Goblin Assault, which is already in over 5,000 decks. Purphoros, God of the Forge and Ognis, the Dragon's Lash are standouts commanders for it.
  • Goblin Researcher is mediocre red card draw. We've gotten so spoiled with all the ways red can accrue card advantage nowadays that a slow, clunky creature like this isn't even worth looking at. No thanks.
  • Plundering Predator is the style of Dragon I'm a softie for. I love big, silly fliers with small, incremental effects, but being five mana hurts it a lot. At two or three, I could see this as a great inclusion for any Dragon deck, but at five, it just competes with too many other better cards. Sorry, friend.

Green


Benevolent Hydra

Honestly, I don't have a lot to say about Benevolent Hydra. Not because it's bad, but because it's so obviously good that I can't add a whole lot to it. A scalable Hardened Scales that also has the ability to hand out two +1/+1 counters whenever it wants? Yeah, that's just a good card. Hydra and +1/+1 Counter decks are the obvious homes here, and it will do excellent work in each. I know I plan on finding room in my Falco Spara, Pactweaver deck for this fella.

Aside from just card performance, I wanted to mention that Benevolent Hydra is Eric Deschamps' final Magic illustration before he moves on to personal projects. Eric has illustrated over 200 cards and has been an artist at the core of the game for many years. It's sad to see him go, but I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.


  • Giant Ladybug is a nice piece of Limited mana fixing, but for EDH, it's embarrassing. Not interested.
  • Mild-Mannered Librarian looks like one of those cards I'd trash, but it does have a small niche. Tovolar, Dire Overlord is always on the lookout for more one- and two-mana Wolves, and while it takes a bit of investment, I thought it was still worth a mention.
  • Primeval Herald, unlike its name and art suggests, is no Primeval Titan, but an Elf that Rampant Growths whenever it ETBs or attacks is still a solid card in most green decks! Thumbs up!
  • Rampaging Growth is a sweet card in terms of flavor and design, but I don't think anyone's going to pay four mana to ramp only a single basic land, especially if it's vulnerable to removal for a turn.
  • Spectral Hunt-Caller is another card aimed at Limited. We already have Overrun and Triumph of the Hordes, we don't need this.
  • Towering Gibbon can be quite huge, but EDH has no shortage of massive monsters. This card isn't bad, it just doesn't really stand out, which is arguably worse.

Colorless


  • Dutiful Replicator is]just perfect for Token decks that use unique or interesting tokens, like Esix, Fractal Bloom or Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. That said, for four mana, it can be a bit clunky depending on your deck's power level.
  • Infernal Idol is a great little rock for black decks that don't mind taking a bit slow. Any mana rock that can be used late game to draw two cards is worth keeping an eye on.
  • Instruments of War is a nice pickup for decks revolving around a specific creature type, but I'm not sure it's worth it for four mana, even if it has flash. I think these styles of decks have better anthem options usually, and on top of that, I think I'd rather spend the extra mana for Vanquisher's Banner if given the choice.

Planar Atlas is the best two-mana rock since Arcane Signet, full stop.

While it doesn't provide fixing, it ramps you while also giving you the ability to hit your next land drop (as long as you're running enough lands, of course). This is a great addition to our format as a way to help smooth out the early game and hopefully help create fewer non-games.

A+. This is probably the most impactful card in the entire set.


Jump Around!!

And there we have it! All the nonlegendary cards from Jumpstart 2022!

Despite the deluge of product, I am so happy to see another Jumpstart set. These sets always provide plenty of interesting cards and great, niche commanders to brew with. Having such a varied array of themes to design for really allows WotC designers to make fun, interesting cards. On top of that, there are usually some excellent reprints, too!

What about you, though? Are you excited for Jumpstart 2022? Are there any fun or interesting cards that you're itching to add to your deck? Or are you just tired, like so many of us, and just want to nap away the next three set releases? Make sure you let me know down below!

You can reach me on Twitter (@thejesguy), where you can always hit me up for Magic- or Jeskai-related shenanigans 24/7. Do you have any comments, questions, or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to leave them below or get in touch! Stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep fighting the good fight. I support you. No justice, no peace.

Angelo is a Connecticut resident who started playing Magic during Return to Ravnica, and has made it his mission to play Jeskai in every format possible. Along with Commander, he loves Limited, Cube, and Modern, and will always put his trust in counterspells over creatures. He is still hurt by Sphinx's Revelation's rotation out of Standard.