10 Best MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction Cards


Magic: The Gathering’s Outlaws of Thunder Junction has arrived, bringing us the best of the West as our favorite villains band together to take on a new, Wild West-inspired plane. A lawless land, Thunder Junction is a plane full of crime, debauchery, and untold riches, at least for those brave enough to put their necks on the line.

The set brings a whole host of keywords, from plotting future spells to bringing the outlaws of the outback together to devastating effect. These new cards are powerful, bringing us all new ways to play with tempo and flexibility. But of these cards, which ones are truly the best?

This list will go over the 10 most powerful cards in Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Given that there are several ways to play MTG, this list will grade them for use in a standard or limited setting. For those with more interest in commander cards, check out our list of 10 Best Commanders from Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Stingerback Terror

The Stingerback Terror card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Hellbent was one of my favorite keywords in MTG’s history, so this modern take on it had to find a way onto this list (even though its probably just a bit below the top 10). Plot the card when possible and place it on the field whenever your hand starts to get low. The card isn’t perfect; a three-cost do-nothing turn can be bad for tempo decks, and the lack of haste means the enemy will have time to respond. Still, a 4 (or 3) cost 7/7 with flying is a pretty fantastic body for its cost, and emptying your hand shouldn’t be hard in Red. It even has trample, so when this bad boy hits the field, there’s little a player can have that can stand in its way.

Magda, the Hoardmaster

The Magda, the Hoardmaster card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Magda is an insanely powerful card for Red decks, providing both ramp and endgame strength if needed. Committing crimes should be easy in Red, using tons of cheap damage spells to either clear creatures or damage the opponent. The reward is flexible, giving you treasures that can either be used to keep up the tempo by providing you with more mana for spells or saved to provide solid flying bodies, with haste, later. It lacks effect as soon as it hits the field, which hurts some red decks, but it should have many opportunities to make up for the loss in tempo.

Assimilation Aegis

The Assimilation Aegis card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Exile target creature cards are staples in any format, whether they’re a common with a downside or a mythic with an upside. The upside of this mythic target exile is very much on the higher end of things. Use Assimilation Aegis to take away your enemy’s best creature, then equip it to turn your creature into their better one. The card is simple, direct, and game-changing. Blue-White players should have no trouble getting use out of this card. Let your opponent think they’ve finally gotten around your counterspells with a creature before taking it as your own. Hilarious and soul-crushing.

Goldvein Hydra

The Goldvein Hydra card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

It would be hard to find cards that are a bigger no-brainer than this card. It may not be the most powerful, but it feels like it should be effective in almost any situation. Throw as much mana as you can into it, and it provides a solid body that can threaten immediately with haste, ignore chumps with trample, and defend against retaliation thanks to vigilance. Your opponent manages to kill it? You just get all the mana you spent, minus 1, to play with again. This set also provides a solid amount of cards that manipulate +1/+1 counters, so it can be both built around and just slotted into any Green deck. You can even play it for a small amount of mana to chump block and just use it as a mana dork. Simple, powerful, effective.

Bristly Bill, Spine Sower

The Bristly Bill, Spine Sower card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Speaking of cards that manipulate +1/+1 counters for Goldvein Hydra, Bristly Bill is a card that provides constant benefits as soon as he’s played, with the ability to pop off late in the game. Landfall decks will get constant use as Bristly Bill stacks counters on your favorite creature. The game starts to get late and your opponent hasn’t removed him? Make your biggest creature even bigger. Bristly Bill is a hard creature for enemies to deal with, as getting him out early means they have to choose between killing Bill to stop the growth or killing whatever creature Bill has been putting his counters on. And if the player can’t deal with both in time? The game is as good as over.

Final Showdown

The Final Showdown card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Final Showdown is more expensive than a normal board wipe, but, as seems to be the case for many of these modal cards, the extra cost is well worth it. 6 mana for a field wipe is pretty expensive, probably 1 more than many would like it to be, and 2 mana more expensive than possibly the best board wipe of all time, Supreme Verdict. However, the ability to remove all abilities does what no other board wipe can. Was the creature indestructible? Not anymore. Did the creature have some kind of leaves-the-battlefield effect, or an ability that would allow it to hang around? Now it doesn’t. The extra cost provides a finality that no board wipe has known. While its high cost may be prohibitive, it still can’t be understated how powerful it can be. And for one more mana, you can even keep your own favorite creature. How nice is that?

Slickshot Show-off

The Slickshot Show-off card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Slickshout Show-off is going to be a staple in almost every deck that runs red, barring full creature decks. Plotting a creature with haste means you can wait for the perfect moment to attack, and flying means chump-blocking it will be much harder. It’s fast, aggressive, and evasive. Even better, it’s patient when you need it to be. Red-Blue decks can even just use this as their main finisher, playing three spells in a turn to swing for 7 damage out of nowhere.

Three Steps Ahead

The Three Steps Ahead card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Three Steps Ahead is a control player’s dream counter. At worst, it’s a Cancel, the usual any target counter. At best, it’s a Cancel that also copies your best creature or artifact, while also refilling your hand with the better of two cards. Cantrips are already insanely powerful cards, and while this does cost a lot of mana to get the bonus effects, the flexibility and possible upside are too good to pass up. What more can be said? Your opponent gets to do nothing, while you might still get to do something. It’s a win-win for you.

Terror of the Peaks

The Terror of the Peaks card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

Red decks are getting a ton of new toys in this set, and Terror of the Peaks might be the best. A perfect choice for a top-end card in fast Red decks, the card embodies a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” mentality. The card is a 5-cost 5/4 flyer, which isn’t a bad body on its own. If your opponent wants to even begin dealing with it, they have to pay 3 life for any spell that targets it. Fans of Red Deck Wins-style decks will know how important that 3 life is, as most players will have well below 10 life by the time this hits the field. However, if they don’t deal with it, the game is pretty much over. On your next turn, not only does Terror get to swing for 5, but your enemy also takes damage equal to the power of any creature you play, usually straight to their face, given that the card says any target. Terror of the Peaks demands an answer immediately, and still hurts even if they have one. Enemies have to pick their poison, and it’s going to sting either way.

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride card from Magic: The Gathering's Outlaws of Thunder Junction set.
Image via Wizards of the Coast

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride is one of my favorites from this set, and it shouldn’t be too hard to see why. A 5-cost 6/5 with haste and trample is already a solid body, being able to get onto the field, ignore chump blockers, and do damage immediately. Beyond that, it has one of the most useful and efficient draw abilities I’ve seen in a while. Gitrog is a mount with Saddle 1, which means a creature with at least 1 power can be tapped to mount Gitrog. If Gitrog deals combat damage to a player, which he should, the rider can be sacrificed to draw cards equal to its power. That’s already incredibly useful, but all lands you draw this way can also be placed directly on the field. Gitrog is a solid body, that provides insane draw, and places all drawn lands on the field, making it so that your next turn is just, if not much more, dangerous than the turn you played Gitrog. Damage, card draw, free plays, this card has everything you could want, especially in Green-Black.

These cards will make a fine addition to any deck, especially in standard and limited. Don’t agree with me? Comment with the cards I snubbed below! Magic: The Gathering is always dropping cards full of creativity and possibility, and Outlaws of Thunder Junction is one of the most creative sets we’ve seen yet. There are decks to be build, brews to be made ready. Take a few of these cards and see where they can take you in your next match!


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