Outlaws of Thunder Junction Precon Highlights

The Best Cards from the Thunder Junction Commander Precons

Kristen GregoryCommander

Outlaws of Thunder Junction arrives April 19 and brings with it four new Commander Precon decks. Fourty new cards feature across the Most Wanted, Grand Larceny, Quick Draw and Desert Bloom decks, along with some juicy reprints. What are the highlights? Kristen has the details.


Before I cover the new cards, I’d like to first look at some of the great reprints these decks have on offer.

Command Beacon is a really nice utility land if your Commander costs five or more. I run it in my Syr Gwyn deck that relies on Gwyn heavily.

Blue gets some reprint treats with Shark Typhoon, an excellent token maker in spellslinger and enchantress builds, and Mind’s Dilation, which sees much more use now with decks like Bant Kellan and Izzet impulse draw/Plot decks wanting to cast from exile constantly.

Green eats well, with Ancient Greenwarden the most expensive reprint of the lot. It doubles up landfall triggers and acts as a Crucible of Worlds, while blocking like a champ. Along with Oracle of Mul Daya, both of these see extensive play in lands decks.

Another mainstay of Commander right now is Treasure, and the excellent Rain of Riches sees a nice reprint to keep the price low. Academy Manufactor joins it as a rather infamous value engine at this point. At least it’s highly available. 


We have a rundown of how to upgrade each of the Precons, so if you’re interested in the face Commander, be sure to check those out. Chances are you’re better off picking up the precon rather than singles at that point. 

Otherwise, let’s look at the best of what’s on offer. I’m a rebellious cowgirl so we’re going to go in reverse order this time, and start with the multicolor cards.

Felix Five-Boots is an on-damage Slimeharmonicon. Did it need Ward {2}? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it helps a lot given you need this to survive to get those benefits. If you’re feeling spicy, load this deck up with Cipher cards and Swords and other equipment. Just a solid all-around card.

Eris, Roar of the Storm has hearts a-flutter among my playgroup, and it’s easy to see why. This is kind of Manaform Hellkite on a Commander, and you best believe that that should go in the 99. This is a really fun value win condition for spellslinger that gives it something to do that isn’t hard control, voltron, or combo. 

Vihaan, when built properly, is likely to exceed the power level of Olivia, Opulent Outlaw. His strength lies in the ability to play all of the treasure making cards and not really care about your creatures otherwise. What’s more, you’ll always have mana for combat tricks given your mana is attacking, with vigilance. Will require some playtesting, but is sure to be a strong one.

Graywater’s Fixer is just all around value for any deck playing Outlaws, even if you’re only playing one or two of the creature types nested. 

Dream-Thief’s Bandana is the equipment most interesting to me here. It’s only two to play and one to equip, and though it’s not quite Mask of Memory (what is?) in the right deck it’s some serious card advantage. 


Dune Chanter was what they called me after I wouldn’t shut up about Hans Zimmer’s score. Unlike this Plant Druid, though, what I have in Reach I lack in ability to color fix. Color fixing at 3 isn’t new, but being able to mill instead if you have nothing better to do is

Rumbleweed is a really fun card, in flavor and execution. It will also dole out executions, given it not only comes in for cheap in the mid to late game, but gives a mini-Hoof overrun effect too. Ideal if you want to hold up interaction. Shame it doesn’t have haste, but it’d be a bit overclocked if it did.

I’ve thought long and hard about this card, and in short, this is where I’ve ended up:

It’s not as good as Baleful Strix. There are times when you will just have this be a french vanilla creature.

Where this card excels, though, is in four (or even three) plus color decks that are distinctly not aggro, and enjoy putting up a roadblock. Remember I said that Aggro is Really Good Right Now? Well, this is the kind of card that foils it. 

Obviously gets a lot more playable if you care about deathtouch or reach (Tadeas?), on-damage card draw, and if you have ways to discard cards or sacrifice lands. You’d want to be casting Harrow rather than Cultivate, basically. 


Crackling Spellslinger is kind of expensive at five mana, which means you need to craft your deck in a very specific way to take advantage of her. Given she can give ritual spells storm, it’s reasonable to use her to springboard to significant amounts of mana. Generally speaking, it’ll be easier to go off with her in a deck like Rionya that can essentially “plot” her and get the EtB on a later turn. Definitely powerful, but needs a bit of work to get there.

This reminds me of a spell from Battle for Zendikar: Gruesome Slaughter. While outlaws are going to be smaller than Eldrazi most of the time, casting this for four at instant speed is a significant upgrade from {6} at sorcery speed. Better than it looks, especially if you have a cheeky Aurelia to untap your stuff and attack.

Hey, its Dragonstorm, but less broken. And a lot easier to cast. And still pretty good. Just a solid win condition for spellslinger, honestly. Pack Roar of Resistance for some haste and a bit more damage.

Contender for best art in the set, Embrace the Unknown takes me back to Behold the Beyond from Shadows Over Innistrad. Boy, I’m feeling nostalgic today apparently. Anyways, that card itself: it enables cast-from-exile by giving you a repeatable impulse two, while also enabling cast-from-anywhere-that-isn’t-your-hand synergies with Retrace. I like it a lot.


On to black, and we get a really solid little recursion spell. For four mana this is kind of like Thwart the Grave in party decks, except with this you can essentially “kick” it to get back more and more stuff. I’d happily pay for it, but I’m still playing Living Death first.

Discreet Retreat is an interesting one. Is this just a staple for any black deck running Outlaw creature types? Quite possibly. Could see a bit more interest once we get the Assassin’s Creed set; though could just as likely see a reprint. 

Ooo, an exile creatures wipe. I’ve been pretty high on Farewell and Terminus lately, so this piques my interest. Enough black decks can get to eight mana, between green, Cabal Coffers, and treasure, so it’s playable. Getting to cast what’s exiled with it is sweet. This is going to feel amazing when you exile the board and then cast two or three creatures and combo off with someone else’s deck.

This is quite expensive for a Ninjutsu card, but I think it’s good enough to make some lists. Making a treasure is nice, but getting to manifest an opponent’s card as well? Yeah I’m into it, even just in a Ninjas deck. 


She’s got a blue hat, and what she’s stealing is blue too. I am definitely going to play Arcane Heist, as it will dabble with whatever busted stuff my opponent is trying to pull off. I already love Dire Fleet Daredevil, and this is a repeatable easier to cast Memory Plunder that can go in an Izzet deck. 

Forger’s Foundry is honestly just kinda neat. It’s a three mana rock, but it does so much. This is going to help you pop off in storm decks, and it’s going to allow you to tuck a few removal spells under it and then just repeatedly cast them on later turns to close out a game. Inspired. 

Lock and Load isn’t super interesting to me, but I can’t deny how clutch it is for any deck wanting to tear through their spells, whether storm or otherwise. The only downside is finding a turn where you’re happy to pay four to plot it, and also telegraph that you want to murder everyone in value generation next turn. 

Thunderclap Drake is very, very good. A 2/1 flier for two that cost-reduces your gameplan and can get into trigger on-damage effects is already a solid place to start, but giving it a late-game ability to help you storm off and/or win is amazing. You can even do the whole five mana in one turn. 


Between the cowboy hat and the sunken halo, I’m not entirely sure how this Angel has any peripheral vision left. That said, rule of cool: Zendikar Angels are badass. How’s the card?

Well, it’s not quite creeping Sun Titan, because it’s only an EtB, but… any white deck that wins via combat will be happy to play this card. A 10-point life swing is not to be scoffed at, and Encore can bring back your whole board if enough players are still kicking. 

Angelic Sell-Sword makes tokens, and does so consistently. Is that worth the squeeze? Certainly in Giada, where it’s likely to achieve the draw a card clause by just curving out. Don’t forget, 1/1s mean Skullclamp

We’re almost ready to depart; We Ride at Dawn.

I like this one quite a bit, but I’m still unsure how good it is. I want to say that any tokens deck with a four plus mana Commander is happy to play this, but I really don’t know if it does quite enough.

Honestly though, more cards like this that need more complex evaluation is only a good thing. I’m going to test it out for sure. 


The Thunder Junction Precons have some cracking Commander cards in. Be sure to check out these other related articles to learn all there is to know about the set.