Pinter’s Picks: Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Hello and welcome to another installment of cards catching my eye for Legacy and/or Vintage from the latest set. I looked back at some previous articles and it seems like I’m at least identifying the right cards, even if my reasoning is a little off. I think everything here has some amount of potential, with a few that are almost locks to be making top 8s as soon as they’re legal. Let’s dive in!

Aven Interrupter

Three mana 2/2 Flash Flying is certainly not enough, but adding a taxing effect is interesting. I think it’s best shot is in Legacy, and the most obvious home there is Death & Taxes. For Vintage the best fit would be Mono White Initiative, but I think most of your other options are better, unless you wanted a silver bullet against Yawgmoth’s Will and/or Underworld Breach.

High Noon

I scrolled past this one initially when seeing it spoiled, since it didn’t seem like you could take advantage of affecting both players. However, this effect has seen play in the past when it cost three total mana, so being cheaper might be enough as the tool a deck playing fair needs to slow down the opponent. On top of that, they even added an ability for when you drew multiples and wanted to cash in a Lava Axe that can target anything. I feel like this is a sideboard card, not main deck caliber.

Geralf, the Fleshwright

The fact that it says ‘spell’ without any restrictions is what caught my eye. Depending on format, you can stack baubles, Moxes, cantrips, etc to build a quick Zombie army that grows as 2/2, 3/3, 4/4. I don’t know where this fits necessarily, but something with critical mass like 8 Cast that wanted non-artifact threats would make sense.

Jace Reawakened

If you’re wondering why I added these other pictures next to Jace, you might have been lucky enough to not have to deal with Turbo Valki/Tibalt decks. Because of the wording of the ‘Plot’ mechanic, you can set Valki aside, but cast Tibalt when the time comes. Another cute thing I’ve seen is adding in Leyline of Anticipation to allow casting Jace on your Opponent’s turn 2, since that would be legal. Now, this means we have to have A + B + C, but if you can pull it off it would be powerful.

Insatiable Avarice

Three mana topdeck tutor is not impressive, but Painful Truths has seen play in both Legacy and Vintage. Arguably it’s easier to get three different colors of mana, but the older formats have access to Dark Ritual and this could help provide a sink for that later game mana. One other side note is that this targets, and you could attempt to finish off an Opponent with Orcish Bowmaster interaction.

Highway Robbery

While the rate of the draw effect in red is what caught my eye, the bigger story here is the Plot ability. Being able to invest on an earlier turn and then cash in once you’ve done the prep work feels obliquely powerful. I could see this as an enabler for Painter when you accidentally draw your Goblin Engineer targets, or a way for the Stompy decks to cash in a City of Traitors that would just get sacrificed anyway.

Magebane Lizard

The stats on this one are certainly not aggressive, which is at odds with the type of deck I would expect to play it. Pushing across damage quickly, hoping the triggers from the Lizard would protect from an opponent comboing off. In that case, you’re likely better off with Pyrostatic Pillar for the same mana cost. However, only one of those options pings the opponent for casting Force of Will.

Slickshot Show-Off

Stats are not terrible on this one, but what drew my eye here again is the Plot mechanic. If I’m right on my evaluation, I can see the cheaply-costed ones seeing play. Sprite Dragon is a card that has seen Vintage play, due to being able to go through cantrips or cheap artifacts. Putting this on layaway means your mana will be ready to fire off a few spells and pump this for a big hit. Listen, I’m not telling you to play Assault Strobe, but it would certainly pack a punch.

Trash the Town

So my process for writing these articles is to have an open word document and copy/paste images throughout spoiler season and then write it up at the end. I’ll admit when I read this card again I didn’t know what past-Jeremy was thinking, until I remembered about the interaction of the kicker effects. There was a member of the Vintage Discord who paired Riding the Dilu Horse with Dreadhorde Arcanist because of how those bonuses don’t wear off at the end of turn. That’s why the +1/+1 counters of this are worth considering. Once the Arcanist is permanently large you get to flashback bigger spells for free. Like Time Walk!

Pest Control

This card scares me and if not for another card coming later, I would expect it to be the best card in the set. Now, the reason why it bothers me is due to the types of deck I like to play and how vulnerable I specifically am to this sweeper. Being able to clean up both the tokens and the tutored target of an Urza’s Saga all in one card is great. The fact that the worst case scenario is cycling away and replacing itself still impresses me. I think the hardest ask of this card would be the mana cost, but that feels like a five color control deck would gladly pay.

Satoru, the Infiltrator

This has more uses than I initially thought. Whether your creatures are the pitch-cast elementals, hopping into play like Ichorids or Narcomoebas, Dread Return targets, or even the lowly Ornithopter, you’ll be drawing a bunch of cards. The issue I have is that you’ll be drawing more of the same, and I don’t know if that’s enough. Although I don’t play it, I would wonder if this fits into the Ninjas deck of Legacy. Would need to confer with a judge about the ninjitsu ability, but that could actually fit the curve there.

Lavaspur Boots

Last and certainly not least is my pick for the most impactful card from this set. Why? Only costing 1 to equip and granting Haste to the Urza’s Saga token I just made in my Upkeep. Being able to speed up the clock by a healthy amount can help close games faster. Depending on the rest of the deck around it, letting a late game top deck of a Goblin Welder gain immediate impact could break the game open too. I reread the card one more time and realized I completely overlooked that it grants Ward 1, which will be to your benefit when your Opponent also forgets and tries to take you down while tapped out. No take-backs!

So, what do you think about my picks this time around? Did I miss something that you have your eye on? Come find me in the All-Stars or Swish Gaming Discord @JPinterMTG and let me know. See you next time!

Apr 30th 2024 Jeremy Pinter, Team Swish

Recent Posts