Magic: The Gathering Arena will introduce new-ish set Jumpstart: Historic Horizons to the trading card game’s online client on August 12th, revising a popular format by adding cards from the last two physical Modern Horizons sets, along with digital-only cards and keywords.
Publisher Wizards of the Coast announced the upcoming addition in a July 26th blog post, outlining how it is mashing together Magic Arena’s Historic format with the beginner-friendly Jumpstart packs that first printed in July 2020 and has sporadically reappeared online since. Immediately loved, Jumpstart allowed players to take two themed packs into an often zany two-mana colour, 40-card deck sporting combinations like zombie dogs, angelic goblins or cat pirates.
This latest iteration adds 782 cards from both Modern Horizons and Modern Horizons 2, which were initially released as physical cards, along with 31 brand new cards that will only exist as digital Magic: The Gathering collectibles. Players can expect to see three new mechanical keywords on those additions that won’t appear in print because they were designed to take advantage of video game capabilities.
Seek works differently from other “tutor” effects that search the deck for specific cards, often at a sizable cost. Instead, it will pull a random card that matches more broad criteria without the player looking through all those cards and then shuffling afterwards.
Perpetually will permanently alter a card, regardless of whether it’s on the battlefield, in a graveyard or anywhere else. Eschewing counters and rules around checking states, perpetual changes target power and toughness, abilities, creature types and more before that card is even drawn.
Conjure will create wholly new cards in a player’s hand that can be cast at any time and don’t disappear if held for another turn. These cards aren’t treated as tokens, but they do follow all the normal rules around hand size limits, discarding, etc. The mechanic simply takes advantage of the ability to create digital cards that didn’t exist in a deck at the beginning of the match and will disappear once it is over.
All of the cards in Jumpstart: Historic Horizons - over half of which are appearing in Arena for the first time - can be crafted from wildcards or collected by playing in associated events. The 46 themed packets won’t be static, either, because several cards will have a variety of replacements that have a chance to appear each time a player selects it. This is meant to keep the selection interesting but also means those wanting to amass a full collection will likely need to choose them multiple times.
An IGN article from the same day revealed a Jumpstart-exclusive Planeswalker that shows off two of the three new mechanics and showcases what Magic: The Gathering might look like when designed for a digital-only environment. One of Davriel, Soul Broker’s abilities lets players pick from a list of 16 options, some of them boons and others drawbacks for using his power but all of it requiring an amount of words that would never fly in print.
Jumpstart: Historic Horizons will come to Magic: The Gathering Arena for mobile and PC on August 12th but will not see a physical release in any fashion. The digital event will remain active through September 9th and cost 2,000 Gold or 400 Gems for each play. The cards will be added to a player’s collection afterwards and will be legal to play in other Historic queues.