Magic 2010 (or M10 as the cool kids are calling it) is the first Magic: the Gathering core set with new cards in it. Here’s a Robot Viking exclusive preview of a new red creature – Jackal Familiar.
Ok, yes, I know this isn’t quite as exclusive as it could be, since the full spoiler was leaked earlier this week. But where else can you read about this card with such wit and charm? Who else can provide the necessary context crucial to understanding this card’s place in Magic’s rich history? Nowhere, that’s where.
It’s interesting what you can get for one red mana these days. A 2/2 creature at this spot on your mana curve is fantastic, and with a red deck, the drawback is easily overcome. Drop your Jackal Familiar on turn one. He won’t be attacking anyway, what with the summoning sickness and all. Turn two, drop a creature with Haste. A Mudbrawler Cohort makes a nice teammate for your Jackal. What seems at first glance to be a fairly mediocre common suddenly seems to be making red even faster.
In a sealed deck or booster draft tournament, Jackal Familiar is still a decent creature to include in your deck. You may not be able to count on getting the turn two haste creature to take advantage of his speed, but almost every limited format game comes down to a creature battle. As soon as you have a few other creatures on the Battlefield, the drawback vanishes and you have a sturdy 2/2 to do some extra damage or group block to destroy a larger enemy creature.
What exactly is this card improving on? It’s a scaled down Ember Beast. It’s the little brother to Mogg Flunkies. It’s an Okk with some chance of actually being useful. It’s the card that will finally make you throw away all your Orcish Conscripts. Just don’t use it in your Exalted deck.