Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

Get ready to reach for the sky (or your deck), because Magic: The Gathering’s latest expansion set, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, is nearly here! Releasing on April 19, 2024, Outlaws of Thunder Junction is Magic’s 100th expansion. With a rootin’ tootin’ stick ‘em up Wild West theme, the set focuses on the dastardly deeds of Western villains and anti-heroes, so saddle up, partner!

The set consists of 276 regular cards, breaking down to 91 commons, 100 uncommons, 60 rares, 20 mythic rares, and 5 basic lands. The product line is the usual array, as the set comes in booster packs, collector booster packs, bundles, and four new Commander decks.


New Cards

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

Outlaws of Thunder Junction brings a lot of new cards, features, and mechanics to the table. There are “Most Wanted” showcase cards, which feature highlighted characters on mock-ups of the classic “Wanted” posters from the WIld West. There are also “Breaking News” showcase cards, which imitate old-timey newspaper pages. 

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

The Player Spotlight card of Nathan Steuer, the 2021-22 Magic World Champion, is included in this set, titled Duelist of the Mind. And Desert land types make their return, fitting for the Western setting of the set.

There are also new card types to be found in the new set. Outlaw is a new typal coupling that refers collectively to the Assassin, Pirate, Rogue, Mercenary, and Warlock creature types.

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

Speaking of creature types, there are five new ones in Outlaws of Thunder Junction: Armadillo, Coyote, Mount, Possum, and Varmint.


New Mechanics

“Committing a crime” is a new game action whenever you cast a spell or use an ability that targets an opponent or their cards (including spells, permanents, and anything in their hand, library, or graveyard). Crimes are an encouraged action in this set, of course, given its focus on outlaws.

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

Plot is a new mechanic that is similar to previous mechanics like foretold and suspend. When you pay a card’s plot cost, the card goes into exile, but you can cast it later without needing to pay its mana cost. This is a good way to save certain cards for a particularly damaging turn later on, but there’s also risk, as now your opponent can potentially see what you’re trying to set up.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction introduces Saddle, a new keyword ability that goes with the new Mount creature type. Similar to crew, it’s activated by tapping any creatures you control with total power equal to or greater than the saddle value. Unlike Vehicles, creatures with saddle can still attack and block like normal, but when saddled they have access to more powerful abilities. 

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

Spree is a new keyword found on instants and sorceries that grants modality (similar to escalate). Spells with spree have several effects with different levels of cost. Cards with spree can have cheaper effects that are easier to use early in a game, and costly effects that are better used at the end when more mana is available.


Commander Decks

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

There are four new preconstructed Commander Decks that are part of this release. The four decks are: Desert Bloom, which is Red/Green/White with Yuma, Proud Protector as its featured commander; Quick Draw, which is Red/Blue with Stella Lee, Wild Card; Most Wanted, Red/White/Black with Olivia, Opulent Outlaw; and Grand Larceny, Black/Green/Blue with Gonti, Canny Acquisitor.

Altogether there are 10 new Commander cards included in the four decks, and all reprints of previous Magic cards feature new art.

Saddle Up And Ride With Magic’s Outlaws Of Thunder Junction

There is also a new kind of card exclusive to Commander decks. Bounty cards are special cards that feature the various villains of this set, but they are not to be used in your normal playing deck, as the cardbacks have a unique design. Instead, they are used in a shared side deck called a bounty deck. Bounties begin on the third turn, and each Bounty card has a condition specifying when a player may capture it and claim the stated reward. There are four different reward levels, and every turn you wait increases the level of the reward. Once the reward is claimed, you set aside that Bounty card and move on to the next one in your bounty deck. There are twelve in total to collect, three in each Commander deck.


In Conclusion

Outlaws of Thunder Junction brings the excitement and devilry of the Wild West to Magic: The Gathering in a big way. As Magic’s 100th expansion set, it takes the game into a whole new world with powerful new cards and intricate new mechanics. It’s going to be awesome to see what Magic players do with this set.

Pre-orders are available now at Zephyr Epic, so act quickly before these cards are all rounded up. Yee-haw!