Day 1 of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons spoilers showcase new mechanics

Humans receives support.

MTG Arena Esper Sentinel Jumpstart Historic Horizons
Image via WotC

Historic is getting an influx of new cards from Modern Horizons and Modern Horizons 2 alongside 31 digital-only cards in Magic Arena‘s upcoming set, Jumpstart: Historic Horizons.

Historic Horizons spoiler season began today and runs through Aug. 3 with the set releasing on Aug. 12. The set contains over 700 cards with 200 being new to Historic. The first Jumpstart in 2020 had a major impact on Historic bringing in several format defining cards like Muxus, Goblin Grandee. The upcoming Historic Horizons includes many powerful cards from the Modern Horizons series.

Today’s spoilers showcased the three new mechanics in Conjure, Seek, and Perpetually. It also included a pair of Planeswalkers and several Modern Horizons reprints.

Stay tuned for the exclusive Dot Esports Historic Horizons packet reveal on July 29 at 9am CT.

Tome of the Infinite

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  • Mana value: 2U
  • Type: Legendary Artifact
  • Rarity: Rare
  • First ability: U, tap: Conjure a random card from Tome of the Infinite’s spellbook into your hand. It perpetually gains “You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast this spell.”

Tome of the Infinite creates a variety of cards, some being all-time powerful effects. Cards like Dark Ritual and Swords to Plowshares are able to be Conjured with this card’s activated ability. Tome of the Infinite can grab one of Light of Hope, Swords to Plowshares, Force Spike, Ponder, Dark Ritual, Duress, Assault Strobe, Lightning Bolt, Fog, or Giant Growth.

The top end of this card is great. Getting a Swords to Plowshares, Ponder, or Lightning Bolt is excellent for Blue decks. These are useful cards in almost all situations. Other cards aren’t desirable hits. Duress, Force Spike, and Light of Hope are fina cards, but significantly less powerful than the best options.

Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv

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  • Mana value: 3R
  • Type: Legendary Planeswalker Sarkhan
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Starting loyalty: Four
  • First ability: +1: Dragon cards in your hand perpetually gain “This spell costs one less to cast”, and “You may pay X rather than pay this spell’s mana cost, where X is its mana value.”
  • Second ability: 0: Conjure a Shivan Dragon card into your hand.
  • Third ability: -2: Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv deals three damage to target Creature.

The first ability of this Planeswalker is good. Reducing the cost of Dragon spells in your hand and letting you pay any mana to cast them helps Rainbow Dragon strategies. This card will compete with Sarkhan, Fireblood as a card to help cast Dragons a turn early.

Conjuring a Shivan Dragon is fine, especially in a situation where you’ve run out of gas. Sarkhan coming with removal with its third ability is a great way to kill an opponent’s utility Creature and save Dragon’s Fire for a more substantial threat.

Lumbering Lightshield

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  • Mana value: 1W
  • Type: Creature illusion
  • Rarity: Common
  • Stats: 1/4 
  • First ability: When Lumbering Lightshield enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals a nonland card at random from their hand. It perpetually gains “This spell costs one more to cast.”

Lumbering Lightshield is a nice Common that could see Historic play. A 1/4 body that comes in on turn two stops a lot of aggro strategies from attacking for a few turns. Giving a card in an opponent’s hand a one mana tax is good disruption.

White decks in Historic are able to heavily tax opponent’s spells with Thalia Guardian of Thraben and Elite Spellbinder. In a dedicated blink deck Lumbering Lightshield can tax multiple spells.

Thalia’s Lieutenant

  • Mana value: 1W
  • Type: Creature Human Soldier
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Stats: 1/1
  • First ability: When Thalia’s Lieutenant enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on each other Human you control.
  • Second ability: Whenever another Human enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Thalia’s Lieutenant.

Historic Humans will be a real threat when Historic Horizons drops. Thalia’s Lieutenant is a strong addition to the archetype that buffs your Creatures and gets bigger itself. This is a spell that must be answered early or it will become a lethal threat. It’s a great early play and top deck later in the game.

Ranger-Captain of Eos

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  • Mana value: 1WW
  • Type: Creature Human Soldier
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Stats: 3/3
  • First ability: When Ranger-Captain of Eos enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a Creature card with converted mana cost one or less reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
  • Second ability: Sacrifice Ranger-Captain of Eos: Your opponents can’t cast noncreature spells this turn.

Ranger-Captain of Eos is another excellent addition to Historic Humans. The card’s enter the battlefield ability will take some experimenting to find what the best card to search for is. Finding a Selfless Savior is an option in a variety of decks from Orzhov Auras to Humans.

The ability to shut down an opponent’s noncreature spells for a turn is strong. This can clear the way to cast your spells without having to worry about counterspells. The ability is also an effective way to slow Izzet Phoenix decks down.

Esper Sentinel

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  • Mana value: W
  • Type: Artifact Creature Human Soldier
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Stats: 1/1
  • First ability: Whenever an opponent casts their first noncreature spell each turn, draw a card unless that player pays X, where X is Esper Sentinel’s power.

Artifact and Humans strategies can take advantage of Esper Sentinel’s card draw. This spell puts your opponent in a tough situation of paying extra mana or letting you draw a card. The effect gets better when couples with buff spells like Thalia’s Lieutenant or Steel Overseer. Esper Sentinel is an excellent turn one play in a variety of archetypes.

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