Outlaws of Thunder Junction Preview Recap – Jace, Mana Drain, and More!

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Outlaws of Thunder Junction previews kicked off today, where Wizards of the Coast dropped a bunch of cards on their WeeklyMTG stream to start the hype! Didn’t watch the stream? No problem! Here’s everything you need to know about the cards revealed from Outlaws of Thunder Junction by Wizards today.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Thunder Junction

Kellan, the Kid
Tinybones, the Pickpocket

Market Price: $11.11

Vraska, the Silencer

Let’s begin by looking at the previews from the Outlaws of Thunder Junction base set, these are the cards you’ll see most when cracking those Play and Collector Boosters, starting with the Planeswalker of the release, Jace Reawakened.

Jace Reawakened

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Jace Reawakened - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

It’s worth noting that Wizards only usually accommodates one Planeswalker per Standard release due to the Omenpaths and characters losing their spark, but for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, there’s two Planeswalkers! Jace Reawakened sees a nod to Serra Avenger, a card that had the unique typing of being unable to be cast in the first few turns, but the effects Jace provides are pretty interesting. From simple rummaging to turning a nonland card into a Plot (it goes into exile and can be re-cast as a sorcery) to copying spells, this Jace is well-rounded for the low cost of two Blue mana.

Rakdos, the Muscle

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Rakdos, the Muscle - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Next, we have Rakdos, the Muscle, who comes with a suite of excellent abilities, especially for those who play Prosper, Tome-Bound in Commander. Sacrificing creatures and gaining effects is something Rakdos (the color pairing) does best, so this will no doubt be a popular card to collect upon release. A four-mana, flying tramping threat? Count me in.

Annie Flash, the Veteran

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Annie Flash, the Veteran - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Annie Flash, the Veteran makes her debut in Outlaws of Thunder Junction as one of the dastardly companions of Oko’s crew. Annie cares about returning permanent cards with a mana value of three or less back to the battlefield, and you also gain a pseudo-card advantage (in the form of exiling cards from the top of your library) by attacking with Annie!

Gisa, the Hellraiser

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Gisa, the Hellraiser - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

If you’ve been the fantastic Outlaws of Thunder Junction story, Gisa (of Innistrad) returns as she’s eager to raise some cowboy corpses! Gisa, the Hellraiser offers a notable buff to skeleton and zombies you control, but is also an amazing payoff for committing crimes! When you commit a crime, you create a tapped 2/2 Zombie! Unfortunately, you can only trigger this effect once per turn, but Gisa will no doubt become the Limited bomb of Thunder Junction.

The Mechanics of Thunder Junction

Final Showdown

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Final Showdown - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

The mechanics of Outlaws of Thunder Junction were also revealed today, where Plot, Spree, and Saddle are the new mechanics. Spree is a variant on Escalate, a keyword introduced in Eldritch Moon. Spree cards care about paying an extra cost to receive an effect. So for the card Final Showdown, you can flexibly cast this for two or six mana to gain a particular effect based on the situation. You can also cast Spree cards for all of their effects if you have the mana available to do so. As for Final Showdown, this seems to be an excellent card for any White Commander build as you have access to a Dress Down along with a Wrath of God for good measure.

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Saddle is also new to Outlaws of Thunder Junction, where it’s a keyword that is essentially Crew but for creatures. If you successfully saddle a creature, the saddled creature will receive a bonus effect. Take The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride where if you saddle the Legendary Beast and then attack with Gitrog, you may draw X cards and put up to X Land cards from your hand onto the battlefield tapped. However, you do need to sacrifice the creature saddling the Gitrog to get this effect,

Slickshot Show-Off

Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Rare

Slickshot Show-Off - Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

We’ve already discussed Plot with Jace Reawakened, where it’s a variant on Foretell from Kaldheim. Plot allows you to pay an alternative cost and exile the card from your hand. Then, you may play the card without paying its mana cost, but you can only do this as a sorcery. Plot is a way to scheme your opponents and keep them guessing, but some cards benefit from playing Plot such as Fblthp, Lost on the Range.

Enemy Fast Lands in Thunder Junction! 

Inspiring Vantage
Botanical Sanctum
Spirebluff Canal (Borderless)

An exciting aspect of Outlaws of Thunder Junction is the reprint of the Enemy Fast Lands, first printed in Kaladesh. These have become staples in Pioneer and Modern, where cards such as Spirebluff Canal began to rise in value due to demand outstripping circulation. Now reprinted in a Standard set, these will be some of the best cards to pick up on release weekend as their demand is evergreen, and it’s fantastic to have Concealed Courtyard, Spirebluff Canal, Blooming Marsh, Botanical Sanctum, and Inspiring Vantage back in Standard. It’s worth noting that Standard Boros Convoke players will be interested in playing Inspiring Vantage since you now have the option to cut Thran Portal. Huzzah!

The Breaking News Cards of Thunder Junction

Oko, Thief of Crowns
Dust Bowl

Breaking News is the bonus sheet for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, and the first to see an introduction within the Play Boosters product line. Breaking News cards do not become Standard legal upon release, so you can’t play Mana Drain or Oko, Thief of Crowns in Standard, sorry. However, these cards do keep to their previous legality!

Mana Drain

Double Masters 2022, Mythic

Mana Drain - Double Masters 2022 - magic

Much like the Enchanting Tales in Wilds of Eldraine, Breaking News can influence the Limited format to notable effect. Thoughtseize and the flavorful Crime // Punishment are already announced to be in Breaking News, and the theme this time around is committing crimes! To commit a crime in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, it’s whenever you cast a spell or activate an ability that targets an opponent or their stuff (spells, permanents, hand, library, or graveyard). Unfortunately, using non-targeted removal does not count as committing a crime!

While you can’t play Mana Drain, Clear Shot, and Oko, Thief of Crowns in Standard, they’re pretty serviceable reprints. Mana Drain, being one of the best counterspells printed, is an excellent opportunity for Commander players to snap up copies. But, you can just also play Mana Drain when playing Outlaws of Thunder Junction Limited which also sounds like a ton of fun! And in a similar theme to Wilds of Eldraine’s Enchanting Tales, you can open exotic printings of these Breaking News cards in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Collector Boosters.

The Big Score (Vault) in Thunder Junction

Sword of Wealth and Power

Market Price: $21.10

Oltec Matterweaver
Transmutation Font (Extended Art)

Why have one bonus sheet when you can have two?Big Score (sometimes called The Vault) is a selection of potent cards that serve as treasure in the massive vault at Thunder Junction. Unlike the Breaking News cards, the Big Score cards are Standard legal as these were meant to be part of a March of the Machine Aftermath-style Epilogue Booster release, but Wizards withdrew the Epilogue Boosters from the product line due to poor sales and reception. However, these Big Score cards do appear in Play Boosters, with stunning Vault treatments appearing in Collector Boosters.

Torpor Orb

New Phyrexia, Rare

Torpor Orb - New Phyrexia - magic

Revealed today is Torpor Orb, a long-time played card in Modern as it quells any enter-the-battlefield triggers from creatures. With this printing in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, it does make Torpor Orb Pioneer legal, so it will be interesting to see how the card fares in the eternal format. Another The Big Score card revealed is Vaultborn Tyrant, a Dinosaur that creates a token copy of itself when it dies.

Vaultborn Tyrant

Outlaws of Thunder Junction: The Big Score, Mythic

Vaultborn Tyrant - Outlaws of Thunder Junction: The Big Score - magic

This is a really exciting card for Dinosaur players. Not only do you receive a token copy when the Dinosaur dies, but you run the chance of gaining three life and drawing a card if you can meet the criteria, which is effortless to achieve with a Green-focused Commander strategy. Plus, it only becomes more silly the more token-doubling effects you have in play, such as Doubling Season or Parallel Lives, since Vaultborn Tyrant isn’t Legendary. In total, there will be 30 cards from The Big Score, where Sword of Wealth and Power and Nexus of Becoming are already confirmed part of this bonus sheet. 

The Special Guests of Thunder Junction

Stoneforge Mystic

Double Masters, Rare

Stoneforge Mystic - Double Masters - magic

Special Guests return once again for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, where this selection of curated cards doesn’t change card legality upon release.  As for Stoneforge Mystic, the card will be Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander playable as before. Special Guests often see a thematic nod to whatever plane the card is associated with, and while Stoneforge Mystic is a card hailing from Zendikar, the creation of the Omenpaths means you can have these flavorful nods across various planes. Basically, you can open Stoneforge Mystic wearing a hat in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Play Boosters.

Mystic Snake (Borderless)
Prismatic Vista (Borderless)

Market Price: $30.76

Brazen Borrower (Borderless)

As for the rest of the Special Guests, these were announced by Wizards of the Coast during the WeeklyMTG Stream. 

  • Brazen Borrower
  • Desertion
  • Morbid Opportunist
  • Port Razer
  • Scapeshift
  • Mystic Snake
  • Notion Thief
  • Desert
  • Prismatic Vista 

The Commanders of Thunder Junction

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck - Grand Larceny

Market Price: $33.61

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck - Quick Draw

Market Price: $40.67

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck - Desert Bloom

Market Price: $30.90

As part of the WeeklyMTG Stream, the face-commanders from the upcoming Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commanderset also saw a reveal today. In total, there are four Commander Precons to support Outlaws of Thunder Junction, each supporting a different mechanical theme. Let’s get to it!

Yuma, Proud Protector

Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Yuma, Proud Protector - Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Yuma, Proud Protector leads the Desert Bloom Commander Precon, where cards with the Desert subtyping make their return. Essentially, Yuma is a Titania, Protector of Argoth of sorts, but for Desert cards, where you create a Plant token each time a Desert card is put into the graveyard from anywhere. So, you’ll want a bunch of effects that allow you to draw into Desert cards and discard them, so you can create an impressive army of Plants! Yuma is also discounted with the number of Desert cards in the graveyard, so this is a really strong way to beat Commander tax when playing the singleton format.

Gonti, Canny Acquisitor

Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Gonti, Canny Acquisitor - Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Gonti, Canny Inquistor is in charge of the Grand Larceny Commander Precon, where all you care about is stealing the opponent’s cards! This is something Gonti has done very well since the days of Kaladesh, but now, the Aetherborn Rogue has expanded into Green and Blue, allowing for a robust Sultai build. With this build, being aggressive and evasive is key as you’ll want to steal all the cards from your opponents. Gonti coming with a passive effect to reduce these costs by one generic mana is nice, and suspect this will be one of the more popular Commander Precons upon the April 19 release.

Olivia, Opulent Outlaw

Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Olivia, Opulent Outlaw - Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Similar to Gonti, Olivia comes to Outalws of Thunder Junction to cause trouble! Leading a group of bandits, Olivia, Opulent Outlaw cares about the Assassins, Mercenaries, Pirates, Rogues, and Warlocks, who are now rounded into a group called Outlaws. It’s similar to the Party keyword from Zendikar Rising but with different subtypes. With an army of Outlaws, Olivia wants to create as many Treasure tokens as possible and then use that treasure to grow her army! You can expect the Most Wanted Commander Precon to be the more aggressive out of the four.

Stella Lee, Wild Card

Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mythic

Stella Lee, Wild Card - Commander: Outlaws of Thunder Junction - magic

Lastly, Stella Lee, Wild Card leads the Izzet-colored Quick Draw Commander Precon that cares about slinging spells and slinging those spells before anyone has a chance to react. Stella Lee focuses on the “whenever you cast your second spell each turn” design, where you’ll exile and play cards or you can copy an instant or sorcery spell you control. However, you do need to cast a bunch of spells to activate this effect, which shouldn’t be a problem in an Izzet build.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction previews are ongoing until April 5, and if you want to keep up with information on the Wild West Standard release, we’ve got a handy guide that is regularly updated with everything you need to know about the set. Remember, ChannelFireball has an exclusive Outlaws of Thunder Junction preview card on 03/27, and so does TCGplayer on 03/28! Yee-haw!