New Thunder Junction Commanders Are Surprisingly Bad at Crime

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At long last, the spoiler season for Outlaws of Thunder Junction is finally here. To kick this off, as always, Wizards hosted their latest Debut livestream for the next premier set. As always, this jam-packed livestream, and following aftershow, revealed all manner of exciting new cards. Between soon-to-be staples, fantastic reprints, and great Commander cards, Thunder Junction has it all.

With spoilers sorted, mechanics managed, and reprints rounded up, the last reveals on today’s agenda are the Commander cards. For better or worse, only a handful of these have been revealed so far, but that will all change soon. On the 4th of April, all four Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander decks will be revealed in just a few hours. Until then, we’ve got a whopping five cards to enjoy!

While five may not be a lot of MTG cards, they’re nonetheless important. Today, we’ve got the four face Commander cards to dissect as well as a brand-new Commander-focused mechanic: Bounty. Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into all the latest Commander cards coming to MTG in April!

Olivia, Opulent Outlaw

In Outlaws of Thunder Junction, one of the main new mechanics is Outlaws. Okay so technically Outlaws is more of a batch than it is an entirely new mechanic, but it’s still thematic and interesting! To prove this point, Olivia, Opulent Outlaw is the first Outlaw Typal Commander that we’ve seen, so far.

Offering a steady stream of Treasure Tokens, so long as you’re attacking with Outlaws, Olivia can ramp insanely hard. Beyond this already interesting ramp potential, Olivia, Opulent Outlaw can make your creatures huge too. By sacrificing two Treasures for three mana, you give each creature you control two +1/+1 counters which is fantastic.

Given their abilities, Olivia, Opulent Outlaw obviously wants a pretty robust board to enable their shenanigans. Even before that, however, being a 3/3 with Flying and Lifelink for four isn’t bad at all! Since they’re an Assassin, they can even make some Treasure Tokens themselves, to start your ramping antics.

Even without seeing anything else from the Most Wanted deck, Olivia, Opulent Outlaw appears to be a great Commander. With there being no shortage of Assassins, Mercenaries, Pirates, Rogues, and Warlocks in MTG, building a deck around them should be a breeze. Couple this fact with the assumption that Most Wanted will include plenty more support, and they could be a real threat!

Right now, we’ll have to wait and see just how good the Most Wanted deck ends up being. If we’re lucky, this deck could be a real hit, even if the trend of stellar reprints doesn’t continue.

Gonti, Canny Acquisitor

Gonti, Canny Acquisitor

Hailing from the Grand Larceny deck, Gonti, Canny Acquisitor is all about stealing your opponent’s cards. To facilitate this, Gonti handily makes each spell you cast but don’t own one mana cheaper. While this is a nice bonus, their real strength lies in their second ability, which actually does the stealing.

Whenever one of your creatures deals combat damage to an opponent, you steal one of their cards. As usual, mana of any color can be used to cast these spells, so you’re not out of luck against an off-color opponent. This is very good news as to maximize Gonti, Canny Acquisitor’s effectiveness, you want to go after all your opponents.

So long as you’re not spreading yourself too thin, you could be pilfering up to three cards every single turn. Since these are slightly cheaper to cast, achieving this will make you a serious threat, to say the least. For better or worse, by targeting everyone and stealing their cards, you’ll also paint a massive target on your pack.

While Gonti, Canny Acquisitor is a very exciting card on their own, their deck is currently a mystery. Given its colors, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the most control-focused out of the bunch, but that remains to be seen. For now, even without any support from their deck being revealed, MTG players are nonetheless excited about Gonti’s latest villainous outing.

Yuma, Proud Protector

Yuma, Proud Protector

Leading the Desert Bloom Commander deck Yuma, Proud Protector is… a bit weird honestly. Costing an immense eight mana, Yuma is focused on Land to an insane degree. Specifically, Yuma cares about lands in your graveyard, which is a little weird considering their plant-loving flavor.

Flavor aside, Yuma, Proud Protector does justify their immense eight mana cost with some impressive abilities. For starters, their cost can be easily reduced by the number of lands in your graveyard. Thanks to Fetch Lands, Dredge, and Self Mill, this should hardly be an insurmountable hurdle.

Once their mana cost is paid and they’re in play, Yuma, Proud Protector immediately gets to work living up to their name. By sacrificing a land, Yuma lets you draw a card while also potentially creating a 4/2 Plant Warrior token. This token-creating effect will happen every time a Desert card gets put into your graveyard.

Currently, MTG only has 20 Desert cards, however, Outlaws of Thunder Junction should be adding at least 10 more. Thanks to this, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to create a steady stream of 4/2 tokens. Thanks to Yuma’s color identity, these tokens can be further multiplied by Anointed Procession and Doubling Season.

Ultimately, much like Gonti, Yuma will require a good deal of support from their preconstructed deck to be effective. Hopefully, the new Commander cards inside Desert Bloom will facilitate this, as Yuma, Proud Protector is very interesting.

Stella Lee, Wild Card

Stella Lee, Wild Card

Considering MTG’s fondness for a somewhat random Wild Mage, Stella Lee isn’t all too much of a Wild Card. That being said, Outlaws of Thunder Junction is set in the Wild West and Stella Lee is a card, so we can give them a pass. Speaking of passing, Stella Lee definitely passes the bar for interesting Commander potential.

Focused on casting as many spells as possible, Stella Lee, Wild Card should facilitate some insane Izzet antics. Admittedly, some setup is required to do this, however, Stella Lee thankfully helps with that. Whenever you cast your second spell in a turn, you get a bit of Impulse Draw to fuel more spell-slinging.

Should you have enough mana, after casting three spells Stella Lee can be tapped to copy one of your spells. While this is obviously a powerful effect, paying for everything, even in Commander, is somewhat difficult. Well, it would be so long as Plot didn’t exist, at least.

While we don’t know exactly what the Quick Draw deck contains, it seems a given that Plot will be a core mechanic. Allowing you to pay for spells before casting them later, this new mechanic allows you to set up massive turns. With Stella Lee, Wild Card as your Commander, this means there should be no trouble casting and copying spells like Magma Opus.

Out of the gaggle of gang members we’ve seen so far, Stella Lee sadly looks the most bland. While they’re by no means bad, each other Commander option is significantly more unique or exciting. Hopefully, the rest of the Quick Draw deck will prove they’re a lot more exciting than their middling first impression.

Bounties

Commander Bounties

Last but not least, MTG players also have a new Commander-exclusive mechanic to enjoy in Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Playing into the Wild-West flavor of the set, this mechanic allows players to receive rewards for completing certain actions. As seen on Bounty: The Outsider, one such action is casting a spell from anywhere other than your hand.

Importantly, while Bounties do look fairly fun already, they are an optional mechanic. This means that if you don’t want to play with them, you don’t have to. For better or worse, this may make finding a table that lets you use these cards somewhat difficult. In total, there will be twelve Bounty cards, three of which are found alongside each preconstructed Commander deck.

As you can see on the helper card when using Bounties, a number of rewards are up for grabs. Starting at just creating a single Treasure Token, the reward will steadily increase until you’re getting card draw and Two tokens! Considering these rewards are added bonuses for something you may be doing already, Bounties definitely have a lot of potential.

Sadly, as fun as they may be, Bounties may be seriously limited by their optional nature. Similarly to Planechase, this may soon have Bounties mostly lost to the annuls of time. Hopefully, before this happens, players will be able to get a fair few games in and have a great time.

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