First Looks at Magic: the Gathering’s Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Howdy Partner! Y’all here from one of them Omenpaths? Dangerous folks have been moseying on in from out of town through those portals from all sorts of planes. Word is there’s a big heist going down, though what everyone’s after is still a mystery. If you’re looking to bring a little law and order to Thunder Junction or think you can strike gold out in the wilds, we’ve got everything you need to know to get familiar with the Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Everyone is flocking to Thunder Junction, a previously desolate and abandoned plane, to try and hunt down the lost treasures of the Fomori. Somewhere on the plane there’s a vault containing all the treasure of the Fomori, and Oko and his gang of nefarious foes are on the hunt to crack it themselves.  

Mechanics of Outlaws of Thunder Junction


Magic the Gathering card Magda the HoardmasterThere’s been plenty of debate about committing crimes in Magic, so let’s get right to it. A crime is any spell or ability (can be an activated or triggered ability) that targets a player, their permanents, cards in their graveyard, their spells, or their abilities on the stack.

The crime is committed as soon as you’ve finished casting the spell or activating an ability, so even if the spell doesn’t resolve or hasn’t resolved yet, it is still considered a crime. Despite the name, crimes don’t necessarily have to be negative either. You could have an opponent gain life or even Giant Growth one of their creatures, and that still would be committing a crime.

Board wipes and spells that don’t specifically target players aren’t crimes, so if you’re worried about going to Magic jail keep that in mind.


Magic the Gathering card Forlorn FlatsA returning mechanic from Magic’s distant past, and the not-so-distant Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation sets, Deserts are back in Outlaws of Thunder Junction. These nonbasic lands are a wonderfully flavorful addition to the set, giving the world a true Wild West feel.

Interestingly, many of the Deserts in Thunder Junction commit crimes, as there is a cycle of them that deals one damage to an opponent when they come into play.


Magic the Gathering card Olivia Opulent Outlaw CommanderOutlaw is effectively Party, though with different creature types. This mechanic groups five creature types – Assassins, Mercenaries, Pirates, Rogues, and Warlocks – together, with cards that will refer to Outlaws in order to refer to multiple creature types at once or to check and affect those creature types.

Interestingly, Outlaw does have an overlap with Party by including Rogues in the creature type grouping. The mechanic is neat since it lets you take older cards with those creature types, and unite them together in a new deck under the new mechanic, which is an interesting way to keep older cards relevant as Magic continues to grow.


Magic the Gathering card Slickshot Show-OffA new keyword that is going to look familiar to plenty of players is Plot. Much like Foretold, you can pay mana to exile a card from your hand at sorcery speed. You can cast it again on a future turn, also at sorcery speed, for free. This lets you pay mana now for cards and have them beef up a future turn by giving you extra spells to cast. 


Magic the Gathering card The Gitrog Ravenous RideSaddle is a wonderfully flavorful mechanic that on its surface looks a lot like Crew but for creatures, and when you dive deeper you’ll see that yeah, its basically Crew but for creatures.

Saddle comes with an associated number, which means you have to tap any number of other untapped creatures with a combined power of that number in order to have the creature be considered saddled. Being saddled isn’t an ability a creature has, it is something that is true about that creature. Once saddled, that creature remains so until it changes zones or until the end of the turn.


Magic the Gathering card Great Train HeistA new twist on modal cards, Spree lets you do practically anything you want with your spells, so long as you have the mana to spend. You have to pick at least one mode on a spell with Spree, and you can’t pick the same mode more than once, but you also have to pay the extra mana associated with it. 

There’s a neat little plus sign next to the mana cost symbol to help remind you that you have to pay a little extra when casting the spell. 

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Spoilers

We’ve already seen cards like Oko, the Ringleader, Sword of Wealth and Power, and Fblthp, Lost on the Range, but there are plenty of new ones revealed today as well. Let’s take a look at Oko’s crew first.

Tinybones, the Pickpocket & Tinybones Joins Up

Magic the Gathering Card Tinybones, the Pickpocket and Tinybones Team UpFrom Oko’s crew comes Tinybones, the Pickpocket, and a legendary enchantment that works wonders with him. Tinybones himself is a legendary creature with deathtouch and who, upon dealing combat damage to a player, allows you to cast a nonland permanent from their graveyard, spending mana of any type to cast it, effectively letting you pickpocket their graveyard for whatever spells you want.

To help facilitate your nefarious deeds, you can play the legendary enchantment Tinybones Joins Up. This one mana rare has any number of players discard a card when it enters the battlefield, committing a crime right off the bat. Then, anytime a legendary creature enters the battlefield under your control you can pick any number of players to all lose one life and mill one card, committing even more crimes.

Annie Flash, the Veteran

Magic the Gathering Card Annie Flash, the VeteranThe only original villainous character in Oko’s crew is Annie Flash, the Veteran. A red, green, and white legendary creature, Annie Flash is a retired villain who is returning for one final score. When she comes into play, you get to bring back another permanent card with a mana value of three or less to the battlefield tapped, which is on par with cards like Sun Titan since she too costs six mana.

What sets her apart though, is her ability to impulse draw two cards whenever she becomes tapped, letting you play those cards this turn. Since the set has the new mount ability, there’s a good chance you’ll be getting some extra cards off of her no matter what.

Kellan, the Kid

Magic the Gathering card Kellan the KidBy now most players should be familiar with Kellan since he’s been more or less the main character of the Omenpaths arc. He makes an appearance at Thunder Junction, still on the hunt for his father, and this time has combined all three of his recent colors into one card. Kellan, the Kid is a green, white, and blue creature, who rewards you for casting cards from places other than your hand.

If you do cast a spell from a zone like the graveyard or from exile, you get to cast a permanent spell with equal or lesser mana value for free. If you don’t choose to, you get to ramp a bit by putting a land from your hand onto the battlefield. 

Vraska, the Silencer

Magic the Gathering card Vraska the SilencerThe recently desparked and de-Phyrexianized Vraska is back with Vraska the Silencer. She seems to be back to her villainous ways in Thunder Junction and comes with a very powerful new ability to back her up. 

Anytime a nontoken creature an opponent controls dies, you can pay one mana to return that card to play tapped and under your control, though this time it’s a Treasure artifact. This ability plays up Vraska’s roots as a Gorgon, turning your opponent’s creatures into stones and preventing their graveyard from filling with too many good creatures. 

Rakdos, the Muscle 

Magic the Gathering card Rakdos the MuscleHot off the heels of Murders at Karlov Manor is Rakdos, the Muscle as a ridiculously powerful iteration of the monstrous demon from Ravnica. No longer content to sleep away his time as one of the original guild leaders, Rakdos has come to Thunder Junction to join Oko in his heist. 

Rakdos lets you impulse draw cards from the top of any player’s library whenever you sacrifice another creature, with the number of cards you exile being equal to the sacrificed creature’s mana value. You have until your next end step to play those cards so think carefully before you go sacrificing creatures. This isn’t a may effect either, so you have to target someone when it triggers. As if Rakdos needed more abilities, he also comes with a built-in free sacrifice outlet, letting you sacrifice a creature to make him indestructible until end of turn, though you have to tap him and you can only do it once per turn.

Gisa, the Hellraiser

Magic the Gathering card Gisa the HellraiserOko and his gang aren’t the only villains on this plane, a ton of other evil faces from Magic’s history have joined in on the hunt. Gisa finds herself on Thunder Junction all the way from Innistrad. This version of her is incredibly powerful too, with a demanding ward effect and raising all sorts of hell along the way.

Anytime you commit a crime, you get two tapped 2/2 Zombie Rogue tokens, though it only triggers once each turn. Then she gives your Skeletons and Zombies +1/+1 and Menace, just to make her undead army even stronger. As an amazing little detail, the Zombies in her art have cowboy hats on, which is just fantastic. 

Jace Reawakened

Magic the Gathering card Jace ReawakenedPerhaps the biggest shock in Outlaws of Thunder Junction is the return of Jace! And as a planeswalker! Something is clearly up though, as Jace seems to have the same appearance of another planeswalker, Ashiok. From the artwork alone it is hard to determine exactly who is in control of who, or what deeper meaning comes with his reappearance, but its certainly going to be a wild ride getting this Gatewatch planeswalker back.

What’s Up With All The Set Symbols?

There are quite a few different set symbols in Outlaws, and that comes from a few behind-the-scenes changes that happened during the development of the set. 

You’ve got The Vault, also known as The Big Score, a bonus sheet filled with cards of immense power. You can find cards like the Sword of Wealth and Power here, which can be found in regular Play Boosters and in Collector Boosters with different art and border treatments. These cards are all Standard legal so if you open them you can play them. 

There’s also the Breaking News bonus sheet. Made to look like an old-timey wanted posters, these cards are all cards that commit crimes in some way. Among them include the original Oko, Thief of Crowns, Mana Drain, and Thoughtsieze.

Special Guests are also back in this set, so while it’s not a new set symbol, it is another type that can pop up in packs, along with certain Commander cards that can be found in Collector Boosters. 

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