MTG Arena Jumpstart monetization model won’t include booster pack sales

Potential sales could be lost.

Jumpstart MTG
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Wizards of the Coast revealed a trailer for the new MTG Arena format, Jumpstart, today. But the company also said the only way to collect booster packs is by playing in the upcoming event. 

Over 500 cards that are legal to play in Historic will arrive in MTG Arena via Jumpstart on July 16. The new event will run from July 16 to Aug. 16, allowing players to compete with two preconstructed Jumpstart boosters for an entry fee of 2,000 gold or 400 gems. But purchasing individual booster packs isn’t an option, requiring those who want specific cards for Historic to unlock them with wildcards or to repeatedly play in the event. 

Being able to play Jumpstart cards in Historic was a huge selling point for the new format in MTG Arena. And not being able to purchase the booster packs separately in the store has left some players in the community frustrated and upset. 

Investing $10 for 1,600 gems will allow a player to enter the event a total of four times. The entry fee is mostly fair, considering players can keep the Jumpstart cards and use gold as an entry fee option. But there aren’t any gold, gem, or booster pack rewards for wins, just IRCs. The IRC pool will, however, only include Jumpstart Rare and Mythic Rare cards.

Players don’t have to invest time in playing the event to earn cards. But when compared to spending money on other MTG Arena booster packs, at least a player can build up their wildcard collection. Purchasing an entry fee for the Jumpstart event doesn’t have this added bonus. Playing in the event also doesn’t offer fourth card protection.

WotC hasn’t revealed whether Jumpstart will become a permanent mode in MTG Arena at this time, only disclosing dates for the initial event. And if the new format doesn’t become a permanent mode, wildcards will become the only option for unlocking Jumpstart cards to play in the Historic format. 

Update July 14 4pm CT: The IRC pool, according to Lee Sharpe of WotC, will only include Rare and Mythic Rare Jumpstart cards. This information was previously unknown at time of writing and has been updated in the article.