Outlaws of Thunder Junction Review, Part 4 of 4: The Big Score Cards

Magic’s newest expansion takes us to the newly introduced plane of Thunder Junction for a rootin’ tootin’ treasure huntin’ time. A new set means new cards, and we’re wrapping up our review with the Big Score cards from the set. 

Last time we covered the monocolor cards, and this time as usual we won’t be looking at everything, and we’ll be doing this primarily but not exclusively with an eye for Commander play.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Ancient Cornucopia

Marcy: A potentially scary card for decks that use many colors, but even a combo of 3 colors might be enough to get decent value out of this. I think certainly has a home in Commander decks, and the fact that it doesn’t enter tapped is a nice bonus for the expensive cost as a mana rock.

Loxi: This is a really nice card for both dedicated lifegain decks and decks that run a lot of multicolor spells and could use some incremental lifegain. Being tied to green is a bit meh, since green is the color that has the best non-artifact options for ramping, especially at three cost or less. If you need a lifegain source, it’s there, but I wouldn’t rush to jam this in every green deck.

Ryan: I’m not super sold on this mana rock, unfortunately. Three mana rocks are getting better and better, but since there’s so much competition, you can’t afford to play mediocre ones. Most of the time you’re going to be gaining 1-2, maybe three life a turn, which isn’t nothing, but probably not enough to be super relevant to the game.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Bristlebud Farmer

Marcy: Food token decks exist, and this gives you two, along with an interesting way to utilize them. I don’t even know if you need the deck to focus on Food to get value out of this card, but the ability to self-mill and grab something valuable is nice. Sadly, you need to wait a turn to get value out of that part of the card, but you do get a sizeable body in the meantime.

Loxi: Food stonks go up. If you pilot a Food deck or an artifact deck that can generate more copies of the Foods he makes, it’s a solid draw engine. A bit slower than other draw engines, since it requires you to attack and doesn’t have haste, but it’s all stamped on a really solid body.

Ryan: Pair this jacked plant up with a card like Academy Manufactor and you’ll have yourself more tokens than you’ll know what to do with. You only get to return a card from among the three cards you mill, but it is effectively saying you get to draw a card when he attacks, assuming you have a Food token to sacrifice. Pretty good creature if you can keep the Food flowing.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Collector’s Cage

Marcy: I actually like this pretty well. You can get decent Hideaway value and I think you can do so pretty fast; white has a lot of small creatures that you can pump up easily, so getting three different power levels should be pretty easy.

Loxi: At first read, I passed over this card, but the more I think about it the more I like it. It’s cheap to cast initially, and one mana to make a counter when you need to isn’t a bad rate when you have a bit of extra mana. Getting three creatures of different powers is pretty easy, especially in a deck themed around counters. I think the real home for this will be in decks that care about both having counters as well as artifacts in play, like Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon.

Ryan: It’s not a bad card, but I’m not sure how good it is. It’s a somewhat slow +1/+1 engine, letting you creep up a creature’s power turn after turn, or spread those counters across the board. You’d want to run this in a Commander deck with plenty of counter synergy, but outside of that it might not have a home.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Esoteric Duplicator

Marcy: Because nothing bad has ever happened when it comes to copying artifacts, I’m sure this will be totally fine. Even just as a card draw engine that keeps renewing itself, it’s good value.

Loxi: I mean, this is just pretty busted right? Every artifact sacrifice deck ever will benefit from using this to get more value from their regular gameplay loops, and two mana will basically always be worth it to just get the card back at the end of the turn. Note it also is the next end step, not your next end step, so your instant speed shenanigans can run free here.

Ryan: Esoteric Duplicator seems pretty good; being able to copy any of the artifacts you sacrifice for whatever reason for two mana each can take you a long way. If you’re not going for a specific artifact combo or are looking for a more long-term engine, this little Clue might be a good inclusion.

FromTheShire: Immediately obviously busted; hell, if you get extremely lucky in Limited you can two card combo Mindslaver lock your opponent because why wouldn’t both of those end up in the draft after they mashed Big Score into this set because the last Aftermath set did so poorly. Take infinite turns with Ugin’s Nexus or just do “fair” non-infinite artifact shenanigans.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fomori Vault

Marcy: Important to note this isn’t restricted to sorcery speed or similar ‘on your turn’ clauses, so a deck that runs a lot of artifacts can use this during an end step to dig up the piece they need, which for decks like Affinity or similar types of heavy artifact decks, could end up being invaluable.

Loxi: It’s a nice utility land for any graveyard focused decks that run artifacts. I don’t particularly think it’s anything crazy at three mana per use, but entering untapped is a nice touch.

Ryan: Another card that seems neat but what do you do with it, you know? Yeah I could pay three mana, tap it, and discard a card to take a card from the top, what, four or five cards, maybe ten or more in an artifact-based deck, and put that in my hand. Or I could spend one blue mana to Brainstorm or take that three mana and play a Tinker.

FromTheShire: Well you better not play that Tinker in anything outside of Vintage since it’s banned everywhere else. In artifact decks this can be extremely powerful with the rate they can generate tokens like Treasures and Clues, rapidly turning into three mana to tutor the best card in the top 10-20 of your library. If that card isn’t good enough to give you an advantage over the rest of the table’s blind draws, you need to build that deck again.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Generous Pluderer

Marcy: I like the sort of ‘friendly’ part of the card, but also I think this card could be hilarious against decks like I mentioned above. Imagine just one-shotting an Emry, Lurker of the Loch deck.

Ryan: I honestly love all these anti-Treasure token effects. Generous Plunderer punishes one of your opponents for having too many artifacts by either forcing them to sacrifice them all or smack them in the face with them all.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Greed’s Gambit

Marcy: If you’re facing an opponent with limited Enchantment interaction, this is great. If you’re not, you’re probably going to kill yourself.

Ryan: This feels so bad, you basically Cruel Ultimatum yourself when it leaves the battlefield, except you have to sacrifice to more creatures so it’s even worse. Best case scenario, you can Harmless Offering this to someone and see what happens.

FromTheShire: Already created a pretty funny Against the Odds deck in Standard that either donates it with Coveted Falcon or sacrifices it in response to the trigger with Torch the Tower. In Commander I’m not sure it will be quite mean enough for decks like Blim, Comedic Genius, but as befits the name, it will be a great joke for you at least.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Harvester of Misery

Marcy: A baby Massacre Wurm or similar creature sweeper, the discard effect is also very nice, especially in a color that can often fetch things back out of the graveyard easily. Since it’s a discard trigger and not a cast, this also makes it removal that gets around counters.

Loxi: A nice sweeper for small things, it might be fun in Blink decks that can flicker it a bunch to wipe the board. It’s a flexible removal piece, which always can be useful to have. It’s not groundbreaking, but it provides some good utility to Spirits as an archetype.

Ryan: Seems like a bomb in Limited formats and that’s about it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Hostile Investigator

Marcy: In a forced discard deck, there’s good value here. You get a trigger off of the ETB, and then persistent triggers from making opponents discard. Also, a decently sized body at 4/3, meaning you need harder removal to get rid of it.

Loxi: It’s probably going to be a staple of forced discard decks. Investigating for just playing your deck normally is good. At the least, I like the design philosophy around this card. It promotes you using discard to incrementally gain value as you slowly rip through players’ hands rather than just force them to dump their hand at once, which is a much more fun play pattern than “hand go boom.”

Ryan: Whatever case this guy is on, it has taken him far from Ravnica. It is nice to see Magic continue to include themed creature types like Detective in other sets. The discard effect slapped on Hostile Investigator lets you slowly draw cards while your opponents lose them, but not overwhelmingly good since the Clue token you make requires a mana commitment to get your cards.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Legion Extruder

Marcy: I’m not super in love with this, but I could certainly see value in it. Two damage isn’t nothing, and sacrificing artifacts for fairly big-sized bodies seems good.

Loxi: Where I really like this is in any deck with red + Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer, since there will be both synergies for the Golems as well as the sacrifice trigger itself.

BPhillipYork: Decent enough ETB and could be used to endlessly generate Golems off of tokens, which could generate their own ETBs or sacrifice triggers.

Ryan: This is such a weird card to me design-wise. It’s a mini-removal spell, letting you Shock something when it ETBs and then you can churn out some 3/3 Golems by trading in your weaker artifact, which seems fine but not great. You also don’t really want multiples of Legion Extruder since it already requires a fair amount of resources to make those Golems.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Loot, the Key to Everything

Marcy: Cute design, kind of whatever. Card types, rather than number, is going to keep this from getting out of hand, which I think for his cost and such is fine. But not an overly exciting card, considering the set is technically based around this guy.

Loxi: Fun lil’ guy, albeit not the most exciting gameplay wise. Temur decks that run enough varied card types can use this pretty well though.

BPhillipYork: This is not like a new joke or really a fresh one; I mean I didn’t read the story or listen to excerpts but oh the prize is called Loot. Like, the thing about Borderlands is it’s pretty old. So if you’re going to riff on the aesthetic you still need to be funny; you can’t just translate actual jokes from Borderlands into Magic. Like, you still have to be kind of funny. You still have to write something new.

Ryan: love this little guy. Look at him. I want to build a deck so bad around him and make him my precious little buddy. He’s a little situational and kinda feels like a win-more commander. You need a fairly well-established board to do much with him, since you want to be able to cast those spells you’re exiling and want a substation number of cards exiled at the same time.

FromTheShire: I’m old and grumpy and I hate it. Nothing about this card makes sense art wise, timing wise, lore wise… Like 30 seconds of thought in to all the plot holes around 3 years later Grogu abandoned in a Borderlands Vault as the ONLY treasure who is the key to fixing every character in the multiverse showing up on every plane like in this set  and your brain starts to hurt. Not sure why they also felt the need to use it as a vehicle for letting us know Jace and Vraska declined to visit Multiversal Planned Parenthood either.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lost Jitte

Marcy: We have Jitte at home, but actually jokes aside this card has some real potential. Getting in the first time to get a charge counter on it will mean that the next creature you put it on will just become extremely evasive, or just bigger. The untapped land part stands out as a sort of oddball ability of the three, but I think this card will certainly have see use in decks that use equipment.

Loxi: It’s a weaker, but cheaper Umezawa’s Jitte. If you’re new to the Magic sphere, that card is a classic Eternal 60-card format all star, and while I don’t think this punches as high as that card did, it’s still a solid piece of equipment. I likely wouldn’t run this outside of dedicated equipment decks or decks that really need some evasion, but it’s nice as a generic tech piece.

BPhillipYork: This is another callback card; neat to see a new Jitte I guess, and this is pretty solid. Some fairly abusive things you can do by untapping a land if it’s all enchanted up, or otherwise taps for a lot, and putting counters onto certain creatures can be very dangerous. A lot less toolbox-y and inherently powerful than the other one though.

Ryan: While not as objectively strong as its older brother, Lost Jitte is still a powerhouse. Untapping lands can help rocket you ahead a few turns, pump up one of our creatures, or remove a blocker from the board. If there are any good equipment-based cards in the next few sets, Lost Jitte is gonna skyrocket in price.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lotus Ring

Marcy: I feel like there’s some sort of combo potential here from constantly equipping, sacrificing, and then equipping it again. I’m not entirely sure though if that does anything specifically off the top of my head that makes this broken, but it certainly seems like there’s value to be found in this card.

Loxi: If you want a nice Storm-off turn, it’s helpful to set that up for sure. I wouldn’t just run this for value though.

BPhillipYork: Basically a mana battery, which is fine. Sometimes you need a bunch of mana on one turn to win.

Ryan: I know there’s some combo here, but I couldn’t tell you what it is. There has to be some equip Commander or a sacrifice engine to power out some infinite mana but who knows what that looks like, I certainly don’t.

FromTheShire: Puresteel Paladin and tokens anyone? Looking forward to seeing the combos.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Memory Vessel

Marcy: Oh, I do not like this card. There are so many ways to break things with this card for sure, and while your opponent gets cards too, the obvious reality is your deck is made to play this way and theirs is not.

Loxi: I can’t believe we found a way to break Prosper, Tome Bound!

BPhillipYork: This is fairly bonkers in many ways; there are a lot of “not from hand” triggers now, and this also effectively just refills your hand if it’s empty, which red is fairly good at to begin with. At a cost of five though you should have a plan to win or do quite a bit off this, not just use it as a value piece.

Ryan: I mean, this seems incredibly good. Exiling a whole new hand to pull from is pretty silly. Make sure you crack this with a Drannith Magistrate out to absolutely hose your opponents for a turn, or take an extra turn so make sure you’re the only one getting access to those bonus cards.

FromTheShire: Choose your own broken thing to do with it, there are many.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Molten Duplication

Marcy: There were already combo decks using this in Standard during the pre-release events that kept copying Trumpeting Carnosaur, so I think it is fair that you can expect to see this card popping up in combo decks, except maybe just not in Commander, where I think a singleton copy of this card dilutes the power of it.

BPhillipYork: Really solid duplicator. Two mana is super cheap and there are plenty of things that you can use this to create a ton of mana or generate a ton of triggers, or go off to win the game.

Loxi: Agreed with BPY; the real value of this comes from the cost efficiency. While there are plenty of other duplicating effects in the game, this is probably the most cost and card efficient way to get something twinned.

Ryan: This is only two mana?? That’s wild. Imagine making a token of Etali, Primal Conqueror. Plus you can discover into this, so maybe that deck will make a come back.

FromTheShire: Good lord. Along the lines Marcy said, if people immediately know this goes infinite during their prerelease, how do you think it fares when paired with every other card to ever exist?


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Nexus of Becoming

Marcy: Cheating this out early and then using it to cheat out other things is potentially very strong. Abuelo’s Awakening comes to mind, for example.

Loxi: Ironically, I think this card is best used when you can cheat/ramp it out and then use it to cheat out other things. It’s pretty nice if you have big effects on creatures that don’t care as much about their stats.

BPhillipYork: This is an okay way to cheat out expensive creatures. They’ll come in at only 3/3 but if you want them for their triggers or effects than that’s solid enough, though again you’ll be missing ETBs. But at six mana this hardly seems usable; there are much cheaper and better ways to cheat out big things.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Oltec Matterweaver

Marcy: This card feels like it got lost (get it) from Ixalan and then just randomly showed up here. Possibly good in decks that play lots of creature artifacts.

Loxi: Most decks that run heavy on artifact creatures or artifacts and creatures (see: Equipment) will like this as a great way to just generate more artifacts on board. It’s criminally cheap for how easy it is to allow this to effectively get two-for-ones on all of your cards (they can’t copy themselves since it’s on cast, but you’re effectively just getting another card on board of something you already have).

BPhillipYork: There are some pretty fat creature tokens you can copy, or there are now plenty of ways to copy permanents on the stack, and this will enable that strategy going fairly nuts, but then needing to cast creatures to keep generating your tokens is a bit of a non-bo.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Omenpath Journey

Marcy: For four mana, I think you need to find a way to get this out faster to really take advantage of the ramp it provides. I think a Domain ramp deck or similar structure. The only issue is that there’s not really any other benefit to this than spending four mana to just eventually get five lands on the battlefield, but then again, you’re able to get five extra lands, and decks that use specific lands like Caves or other land types there could be value here.

Loxi: This generates a lot of mana over a really long time, which is a pretty fun take for a ramp spell. It definitely fits best in something that wants to play slow, as traditional “ramp” decks won’t want to wait five turns to cast a fully-powered bomb.

BPhillipYork: This is an interesting slow speed ramp, though if you can turbo it out turn one or two it’s not too slow, I could see playing this in a stax deck.

Ryan: Just one word of advice with Omenpath Journey, if it gets blown up, you lose all those lands forever.

FromTheShire: There’s risk if you have five valuable lands under it, but there are plenty of decks that are currently happy to pay five mana for Hour of Promise to tutor two non-basic lands. You’re almost certainly getting your Cabal Coffers at end of turn, is a one mana discount worth risking it getting blown up with your Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth still under it? A lot of times I bet the answer is yes.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Pest Control

Marcy: I think this is super strong, really. Great sweeper, once it outlives usefulness you can just cycle it. Really solid.

BPhillipYork: This is an extremely solid sweeper with the bonus option to cycle it away if you don’t need it.

Ryan: Absolutely devastating to any token-themed deck for just two mana. It might be a bit niche, but could be very disruptive in the right hands.

FromTheShire: Get wrecked, aggro decks. Or just any deck with early plays in Standard. Super playable even if it didn’t have cycling. We’re going to be seeing this A Lot.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Sandstorm Salvager

Marcy: Flavor aside due to the callback, you’re basically pay three mana to get a 3/3 token and then you get a 1/1 body that has a neat ability if it doesn’t get immediately nuked off the board.

Loxi: Two mana for extra counters and Trample isn’t bad, being a 1/1 sucks a bit though.

BPhillipYork: Nice Golem enabler, why isn’t it a Splicer?


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Simulacrum Synthesizer

Marcy: A lot of really solid artifacts in this set, some of which work well together. I think there’s maybe a place for this in Emry, and possibly other artifact heavy decks that run blue or colored mana for sure.

Loxi: This is a nice value generator/finisher for Artifact Control decks. I don’t have too much to add, it’s a solid piece for any Artifact decks that need a top-end finisher of some kind!

BPhillipYork: There’s quite a few ways to generate a construct horde now so this could be a fun piece in a deck that just builds up a horde of constructs which would get fairly massive fairly quickly and just beats people to death.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Sword of Wealth and Power

Marcy: No protection from specific colors but instant/sorcery removal is an interesting trade for what this weapon does. I think there’s some steps involved to making this valuable, but in a spell-slinging or maybe prowess style deck, or some form of Bogles, maybe this could pay off? Kind of expensive for most of those decks, though, I think.

Loxi: Protection from instants and sorceries means you can dodge a lot of board wipes with this, which can be vital when you have a key creature you need to stay alive but need to clear a path for it. It’s interesting in that it wants to be in a deck that casts instants and sorceries but doesn’t want to ever be hit by them, so I can see some merit for this in a control deck as well to get some extra value and kick some butt with a finishing creature.

BPhillipYork: Yet another entry in the “sword of this and that” series; all the color combinations have been covered so, uh pro instants and sorceries is fine. I’m sure they’ll come up with other ways to iterate on this. Protection from lands and enchantments? Protection from colorless? Protection from creativity? This one is pretty nasty for extra combat decks though.

Ryan: Certainly the most unique of the Mirran Swords, but it has one huge downside compared to the others. It doesn’t grant an easy way to slip the equipped creature past your opponents. The big benefit of other Swords is that in a game of Commander, the odds are pretty good that at least one player is going to not be able to block your creature since the protection from colors prevents blocking. Sword of Wealth and Power doesn’t grant that boon, unfortunately, so you need to make your own opening.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Tarnation Vista

Loxi: What in tarnation vista?

Marcy: Loxi stole my joke.

BPhillipYork: Okay enters tapped mana fixer that also is potentially a mass mana generator, tapping two lands for five mana, so a net of three is solid.

Ryan: I’ve seen some confusion with people thinking this works like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. It doesn’t, it only adds a maximum of five mana, and that’s if you have five different permanents, each one with a different color associated with it. It takes so much work for such a little payoff.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Territory Forge

Marcy: I think the only interesting thing here is that you can exile a land, but at five mana, what land are you exiling that you haven’t already died to?

Loxi: Five basically uncheatable mana removal, not my favorite.

BPhillipYork: An interesting single target exile that also steals it, but five mana and artifact speed is very slow for that. Effectively taking a land could be pretty powerful, or expensive artifacts.

Ryan: It’s a five-mana do nothing. Yes, it does stuff, but does it really? It’s a single target removal spell that becomes a copy of the removed thing, but only for artifacts and lands. There are bound to be niche cases where this is good, but it feels like one of those cards that’ll sit in your hand as you second-guess yourself on whether or not the target is worth it.

FromTheShire: I hate when my opponent has an indestructible land when I’m playing Ponza but I’m not sure I hate it this much.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Transmutation Font

Marcy: An eight mana tutor, assuming you cast it. I think it could have value if you can get it onto the field otherwise, and also have the tokens, which becomes a lot of moving parts to do something other things do easier and cheaper.

Loxi: The tutor is effectively eight mana + a tax, so not really great to cheat things in. Generating the tokens is nice, but I do think it’s going to need to stick around for a while to make some value back.

BPhillipYork: If this wasn’t five mana, or had some mana reduction on it, like affinity for artifact tokens, it would be a lot more viable. Still a token generator that is also a tutor is solid enough, but it’s quite expensive.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Vaultborn Tyrant

Marcy: I’m a little less impressed by this guy than the others, if only because I think at seven mana he doesn’t actually end a game. Yes, he’s scary, but his copy trigger is off death, not ‘leaves the battlefield,’ which means there are a lot of easy ways to remove him and not care about his trigger at all. That said, assuming he sticks the landing and you start being able to cast other things, he’s a scary card engine that you need to remove twice.

Loxi: It’s a really good top-end draw card for green stompy decks and Dinosaur decks alike. There aren’t many frills here; it’s just a good green creature all around.

BPhillipYork: Wow that’s a lot for seven mana. Compare this to Force of Nature or Craw Wurm and…. like wow draw a card and three life and when it dies it automatically copies itself. That’s a lot for a 6/6 with trample for 7 that also lets you draw off big creatures.

Ryan: Green feels very pushed in Outlaws, and this Big Score Dino just reinforces this feeling. Whether or not there’s an actual deck here is still up in the air, but if there’s a place for this Dinosaur, you can bet people are going to find it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Worldwalker Helm

Marcy:  Someone at WotC really wants pushed artifact/token copying decks, and we’re all going to have to live with the consequences.

Loxi: Surely this won’t be used to make an obscene number of tokens in artifact decks, right? In all seriousness, this is another goodstuff artifacts card that feels a little forced, since I think you can reasonably play this in most decks that care about artifacts.

BPhillipYork: It really seems like WotC loves to double down and then triple down on potentially problematic “when you make a token, make an additional” effects, there’s quite a few of these now. And there’s plenty of ways to generate tokens and use those tokens to do powerful things, like Clock of Omens for starters.

FromTheShire: Have we learned nothing.


Next Time: Commander Decks

That wraps up our look at the Big Score cards. Join us next time as we start our coverage of the companion Commander decks. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.