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Previewing More Outlaws of Thunder Junction

 More Outlaws of Thunder Junction - BG: Vraska, Annie, Rakdos, Oko, and Kellan

I don't usually sing praises of Magic sets before I play them, but for the first time in years, I'm getting excited reading through the previews.

Limited is my favorite way to play Magic, and this set looks fantastic in that regard. Desert synergies, powerful gold cards, cool mechanics, and creatures that can block efficiently are all reasons why I'm looking forward to the set.

Regarding Constructed, I've highlighted a few cards with some potential.

Bristly Bill, Spine Sower

Bristly Bill, Spine Sower - 2 mana green creature

Bristly Bill, Spine Sower is a generically powerful creature in lots of contexts. Something most recent Standard decks have been missing is two-drops with the ability to snowball. Bristly Bill can do that, but while the mana in Standard is close to its best, we don't have fetch lands to really abuse Landfall.

Where I'm most excited about this card's potential is alongside Slogurk. Bristly Bill can put counters on Slogurk allowing it to be returned easier, double its counters in the late game, and work in any versions with Splendid Reclamation or the like. Bill is also legendary to reduce the cost of channeling lands like Otawara and Takenuma. Slogurk decks also typically play high land counts, so you'll never miss a land drop that is beneficial for Bill.

It seems to fit in nicely and synergize so well with my favorite card in Standard, and it's a powerful threat that can stand on its own as the game develops.

Bristly Bill has other potential uses. I can see it as a nice "curve topper" in an aggressive shell. You can plan to cast Bill on turn three after curving out and following up with a fetch land, whether it be a card like Evolving Wilds in Standard or a true fetch land in Modern for a deck like Hardened Scales.

Bristly Bill looks like an all-around solid two-drop that can also have a big impact later in the game. I like this card a lot.

Caustic Bronco

Caustic Bronco - 2 mana black creature

Speaking of two-drops with snowball potential, Caustic Bronco is the latest Dark Confidant variant. This card looks like it could see some play if the Standard format allows it to attack regularly, which if paired with a lot of removal and/or Raffine, it very well could. I love the idea of curving this into Raffine and opening the door to draw extra cards and filter through them. Later, you can saddle it to start draining the opponent's life and the game should end quickly. Outside of a deck like Esper, it could potentially see some play in a deck like Golgari Midrange.

One of the big issues with two-drops recently has been they don't leave behind value, which leads to three-drops dominating the format. Cards like Fable of the Mirror Breaker, Wedding Announcement, and Raffine dominated Standard for so long and we didn't have many ways to get extra cards at two mana. Caustic Bronco isn't a broken card, as its design is similar to a card like Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, but it is an option at three mana that will help you play through mulligans and other powerful cards that generate tons of value.

I think Caustic Bronco makes sense to try in decks like Golgari Mid, Esper, and potentially Dimir Midrange.

Slick Sequence

Slick Sequence - 2 mana red-blue instant

Slick Sequence is easily my favorite design of the set, which is why I'm highlighting it here. It's so simple but beautifully designed.

Slick Sequence allows for one-for-one early interaction, and it becomes more powerful as the game develops. It leaves you up a card when you sequence it with another spell and kill something. Additionally, it's designed to work well with plot, a key set mechanic.

I'm not sure this card will see any Constructed play. It's almost there, and I could see it in something like an Izzet Prowess deck with a card like Slickshot Show-Off.

I love this card and hope there are enough two-toughness creatures in Standard for this to see play.

Make Your Own Luck

Make Your Own Luck - 5 mana blue/green sorcery

This is a cool design with potentially powerful applications. Obviously, my mind is immediately drawn to Eldrazi with cast triggers that can take advantage of Make Your Own Luck or perhaps Atraxa.

Its obvious home in Standard would be Domain, as you could high roll an early 0 mana Atraxa into play. The problem with pure card draw cards is that you fall too far behind on the board to a point you can't recover. When permanents are providing value and threatening your life total, spending a turn not adding to the board can be devastating. Make Your Own Luck makes up for it by giving you back tempo and hopefully recouping at least the amount of mana you spent on it on the following turn, giving you an opportunity for an incredible follow-up turn.

A Pioneer Marvel deck is the first deck that comes to mind after reading Make Your Own Luck. Aetherworks Marvel had issues with redundancy and hitting the correct pieces when you spun the Marvel and looked. Make Your Own Luck is a solid plan B. It's likely not good enough, but I'm interested in trying to build and test it out.

Make Your Own Luck's biggest issue is that it's a five-mana card that incentivizes you to play lots of other expensive cards, and we all know you don't have a bunch of time to dawdle these days. Brainstorm effects could potentially fix this issue some, but they're few and far between.

Make Your Own Luck is a cool card, and I'd like to try it out, but I think it will be too clunky. I definitely want to see how it plays in Vintage Cube, though.

Aven Interrupter

Aven Interrupter - 3 mana white creature

Aven Interrupter is a new and flashy white three-drop reminiscent of Spell Queller.

The Interrupter will chew up a ton of the opponent's mana by exiling their spell and forcing them to spend two extra mana to cast it on a later turn. It works against cards like Supreme Verdict and can be used to protect your spell from a counterspell.

It looks solid on its face and likely will see a lot of play, but the taxing effect is attached to the creature, so you can shock the Interrupter and freely cast your spell. This isn't necessarily a big problem, but Aven Interrupter will play best at the top of the curve in a white aggressive deck, and there are already many options for that at three mana.

At the very least, I expect white aggro decks to play some of these in their sideboards against slower controlling decks since it will be a nightmare to lose so much mana and tempo to this card.

Aven Interrupter is all-around solid, cleverly uses the set's new mechanic, and provides a lot of utility. We will see a decent amount of this card in the future.

Seraphic Steed

Seraphic Steed - 2 mana white/green creature

Here's another powerful two-drop that can snowball like crazy. A Seraphic Steed on turn two into a four-powered three-drop on three is going to end a lot of games before they get a chance to start.

This two-drop also has first strike that makes blocking it exceptionally hard. After it's saddled and connected once, it will be easier to saddle and make another 3/3. It will be hard to lose a game when this creature makes two tokens.

While I think this card is good, it forces you to play out creatures to saddle it. Instead of your spent mana interacting with your opponent's blockers, it will be providing new jockeys to ride this steed, making it vulnerable to a few blockers.

Seraphic Steed is powerful if unchecked, but it's less exciting if it can't create an Angel and live through it.

It's a solid card that might see some play if a deck can support it, but it's not worth building around too much.

Assimilation Aegis

Assimilation Aegis - 3 mana white/blue creature

Assimilation Aegis is a weird card but in a good way. It's not the most powerful removal spell since it's relatively mana-inefficient, but it provides us with the ability to clone what it exiles, which adds a lot of upside.

I can see a world where the opponent cheats an Atraxa into play and we're able to exile and clone it for a huge hit. However, if an opponent puts an Atraxa into play, they're going to have a bunch of extra cards, such as a Leyline Binding to exile this.

I like how this card overlaps into the Commander world as a cool card for that style of gameplay but also a card with practical uses in 60-card formats.

One of the most potentially useful applications is as a one-of to tutor up with Stoneforge Mythic in eternal formats as a removal spell for the midgame.

I like that this card exists, and I love how it was designed, except for the lack of ward 1. An Aegis is a powerful magical shield, and adding ward 1 to this mythic rare seems reasonable. Other than that, I'm glad we have another potential tool in Stoneforge Mystic's toolbox.

I love what I'm seeing so far, and I'm excited to play with Outlaws of Thunder Junction, especially in Limited.

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