Outlaws at Thunder Junction ropes the Wild West into MTG

April 20, 2024

On Wednesday, Wizards of the Coast held a special pre-release launch event at Fortress Melbourne for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, the latest set for Magic: The Gathering, released on Arena on 16 April, and for tabletop on 19 April. The event was full of eager MTG fans ready for a look at the new set, some turning up in themed cosplay as the new set centres around a Wild West vibe, both in its visual style and mechanics.

Thunder Junction is a new plane, featured for the first time in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, where villains from across the planes have converged seeking The Vault, the treasures of Maag Taranau. Oko, the fey planeswalker, has shown up as the ringleader to a gang of outlaws, with his half-fey son Kellan hot on his trail. Oko’s gang is highlighted with special ‘Wanted’ poster art, exclusive to Oko himself, Vraska, Tinybones, Kellan, Annie Flash and Rakdos. With all this talk of Wild West villainy, Outlaws of Thunder Junction has changed its types to match the theme, with ‘Outlaws’ now covering Rogues, Pirates, Assassins, Warlocks and Mercenaries, with other types described as non-outlaws. For instance, some cards such as the Instant ‘Shoot the Sherriff’ allows you to target any non-outlaw creature in play and destroy it.

The stylised artwork also extends to a range of reprinted Instants and Sorcery cards, re-imagined as the front page of ‘Breaking News’ bonus sheets, that all have an outlaw flavour, such as using ‘Fling’ to throw a creature at a target, or imbuing trample on your own creatures. A range of actions are now also classified as ‘Crimes’, including targeting an opponent or their hand, permanents, spells, library or graveyard. This can work in your favour, as creatures like Gisa the Hellraiser can create 2/2 Zombie Rogue tokens for every crime committed.

There’s also a range of other mechanics in play to mindful of, as you’ll frequently come across cards mentioning ‘Spree’, which grants some Instants and Sorceries additional effects at additional costs as you go on a ‘spree’ yourself. For instance, the Great Train Heist starts with an effect that untaps all creatures you control and adds an additional combat phase, and can then proceed to let you gain +1/0, first strike and create treasure tokens, depending on how much mana you have available. You can also easily identify spree cards from a little black triangle added to the cards’ corner, with a little black triangle with a plus sign.

‘Plot’ allows you to exile a card face-up, to leave it to plot its revenge, so that it can be cast on a later turn without the mana cost. Trusty steeds are also featured with ‘Mount’, which require you to tap a number of creatures equal to the Mount creature’s ‘Saddle’ value to unleash powerful effects.

There are also plenty of rare cards to discover, with the The Vault providing an opportunity to find 30 Mythic Rares, which appear in a variety of treatments, including a special Vault Frame and Raised Foil. Special treatments also extend to borderless art cards on a variety of Rares and Mythic Rares. 10 Special guests also appear as part of ‘The List’, such as the Homunculus Fblthp, available both in foil and nonfoil.

Additionally, as part of the launch for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, as special event known as ‘Heist Season’ has been announced which will run until 31 May. Heist Season encourages players to participate in events at local Wizards Play Network (WPN) stores in Australia and New Zealand to collect exclusive rewards, including a bandana, badges, posters and special metal tokens. Qualifying events include Prerelease Events, Limited Events (Draft and Sealed) and Friday Night Magic events for Outlaws of Thunder Junction.