By Tom Trapman & Mana Pool Staff

The unveiling of the four Commander Decks from Outlaws of Thunder Junction has presented a blend of familiar faces and fresh characters to bring to the table.

These decks, inspired by the frontier spirit of Thunder Junction, explore various themes, ranging from “I like to steal things” to “Pew, pew everybody”. Let’s explore.

Olivia, Opulent Outlaw: The Treasure Monger

Olivia, Opulent Outlaw Olivia, Opulent Outlaw on Mana Pool

Leading the “Most Wanted” deck, Olivia, Opulent Outlaw, has a Smaug-like love for treasure. Her ability to generate treasure tokens whenever an outlaw deals combat damage means you will likely be floating in a sea of extra mana.

The focus on Outlaws, a newly introduced collection of existing dastardly creature types, including Mercenaries, Rogues, Assassins, Pirates, and Warlocks, offers diverse deck-building options.

There are plenty of fun options for upgrading if you’re looking for some outlaws to spice things up. Rankle, Master of Pranks gives you a flexible way to mess with your opponent’s game plans, and Robber of the Rich plays nicely into the theme of “more, more, more!”

Rankle and Robber Browse OTJ on Mana Pool

Gonti, Canny Acquisitor: The Spell Thief

Gonti Gonti, Canny Acquisitor on Mana Pool

Speaking of more, Gonti returns with a flair for the dramatic in the “Grand Larceny” deck. As a commander in the Sultai colors, Gonti’s kleptomaniac abilities allow you to pilfer spells from your opponents, creating a dynamic playstyle centered around using the enemy’s arsenal against them.

This ability, coupled with cost reductions for the stolen goods, encourages a strategic depth where anticipation and adaptation are key.

Gonti’s deck promises a blend of control, surprise, and sheer enjoyment from commandeering opponents’ strategies.

Why play your cards, when you can play your opponent’s cards. Bring in cards like Hostage Taker and Praetor’s Grasp, and you’ve got yourself a party.

Hostage Taker and Praetor's Grasp Browse OTJ on Mana Pool

Stella Lee, Wild Card: The Spell Slinger

Stella Stella Lee, Wild Card on Mana Pool

Stella Lee introduces players to a high-octane Izzet deck, “Quick Draw,” designed around casting multiple spells in a single turn. Rewarding players after the second and third spells each turn, Stella enables access to the top of the library and the ability to duplicate instant or sorcery spells.

This design caters to fans of the Storm mechanic, offering avenues to chain spells for explosive turns. The inclusion of ‘Plot’ cards adds a strategic layer, allowing for future planning and sudden swings in the game’s momentum.

Izzet has plenty of options for making your instant and sorcery spells cheaper like Baral, Chief of Compliance and Goblin Electromancer, so if setting up a flurry of spells is what makes you giggle, Stella Lee has what you’re looking for.

Baral and Goblin Browse OTJ on Mana Pool

Yuma, Proud Protector: Guardian of the Lands

Yuma Yuma, Proud Protector on Mana Pool

Lastly, we have Yuma, who leads “Desert Bloom,” a deck that emphasizes putting lands into the graveyard. As a Naya commander, Yuma’s high mana cost is mitigated by his cost reduction ability, so if you want to be able to make the most of Yuma’s abilities, you need to build around him pretty hard.

The full decklist hasn’t been revealed just yet, but presumably a fair number of the Deserts in Outlaws of Thunder Junction will be included in the precon, but if not, those will be the first inclusions you will want to make, as well as every Desert ever printed to maximize your Cactus-based-lifeform of an army.

Lucky for Yuma, there is no shortage of ways to get lands into the graveyard for a profit. Cards like Scapeshift and Crop Rotation make it easy to get Yuma into play on the cheap, or create a burst of 4/2 plant tokens when you need them.

Scapeshift and Crop Rotation Browse OTJ on Mana Pool

Bounty Banner

Collecting Bounties

With the release of the Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Decks, Wizards is also introducing a nice Western-themed minigame in the form of Bounty cards.

Each bounty card describes the condition under which a player may capture them and claim their reward. Only the player whose turn it is can claim a reward, and only one reward may be claimed per turn.

There are four different reward levels for bounties, and each bounty uses the same reward chart. If you claim a reward on the turn that bounty was first offered, you create a Treasure token—the level 1 reward. If a bounty goes unclaimed at the end of the turn, the reward level increases until the maximum reward is offered at level 4, two Treasure tokens and a card.

Bounties are a fresh way to keep the game moving and add a little extra fun to your next Commander game.