By Tom Trapman & Mana Pool Staff

OTJ Header

Outlaws of Thunder Junction are dusting up the deserts, and we have some really interesting new tools for commander. Before we dig in, I just want to take a second and tip a cowboy hat to Wizards and point out that Karlov Manor and Outlaws are two sides of the same thematic coin.

In Karlov, we followed the story of investigative crime fighters trying to solve a multiversal mystery, and now we’re rolling with a bunch of criminals trying to break into a mystical vault filled with epic treasures.

It’s crime-time, and apparently, crime pays in the Magic multiverse.

Gisa, The Hellraiser

First up, let’s look at new legendary human warlock Gisa.

The armies of the undead get a powerful new Commander, giving all your Zombies and Skeletons +1/+1 and menace, but she also has built-in protection in the form of Ward, which is always nice. The real power is her final ability which creates a pair of buffed Zombie Rogues (who are also outlaws) once a turn whenever you commit a crime, which in most games of Magic, is going to happen all the time.

Gisa says Hi! Gisa the Hellraiser on Mana Pool

Committing a crime

You commit a crime as you cast a spell, activate an ability, or put a triggered ability on the stack that targets one or more of the following:

  • An opponent
  • A spell or ability an opponent controls
  • A permanent an opponent controls
  • A card in an opponent’s graveyard

Crime is rampant in the Multiverse, and cards like Gisa as well as Magda, the Hoardmaster and Oko, the Ringleader make sure you get to benefit from it.

Oko and Magda Browse OTJ on Mana Pool

New Mechanic: Spree

Cards with Spree give you a menu of options, and the more you can pay for, the bigger the effect. Check out Final Showdown.

Final Showdown Final Showdown on Mana Pool

This gives me Dark Tower vibes. For six mana, you’ve got a classic Wrath of God-style board wipe. For one more you get to keep your most powerful creature on the battlefield, and for one mana extra you can make sure that everything else is going to hit the graveyard by making them lose all their abilities until the end of the turn.

Or you can mix and match depending on your situation. All at INSTANT speed. This one is going to surprise people.

Last but not Least: Plot

I love Plot.

It’s on theme, and it rewards thinking ahead. Plot is all about investing in your future, and setting things up for a big dramatic turn. One of my favorite aspects of Magic is the game’s ability to create great stories.

Big comebacks where you topdeck the exact card you need to win. Getting the perfect setup to combo off.

I’m a Spike on the surface, so I like the competitive aspect of Magic, but deep down there’s a Timmy in there that gets a lot of enjoyment from doing silly, splashy, dramatic plays and Plot feels like a great way to combine those two goals.

Slickshot and Jace Browse OTJ Creatures on Mana Pool

Slickshot Show-Off can hang out as a plot, waiting in the wings for your opponent to let their guard down, and then show up and do an incredible amount of damage when paired with some efficient burn spells.

Jace/Ashiok let you Plot 3 mana or less cards for a few turns, and then get double value from those plotted cards (and whatever else you cast that turn) on his ultimate.

These are the kinds of cards I am excited to try out and get my Timmy wheels turning.

On top of those cool new mechanics, we’ve also got a new Sword to play with, enemy fastlands, the return of Deserts, and a slew of Special Guests to be on the lookout for.

Several cards from Outlaws Browse OTJ Mythics and Rares on Mana Pool

Plus there’s this guy coming to a draft table near you in the future. :)

Holy Cow from Outlaws Holy Cow on Mana Pool