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Ten New Brews for Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard

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Warning!

The decks you are about to see are mostly untested first drafts! They were played Wednesday on the early access Streamer Event on MTG Arena and are my first stabs at the new Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard format. Most are brews jam packed with Outlaws of Thunder Junction cards, while there are also a few updates to previously established archetypes, but it's important to note that these are the first steps and not finished products! Use them as stepping stones for your own deck brewing process, but play them card for card at your own risk!

This is the biggest Standard format of all time.

When Wizards of the Coast announced they were moving Standard rotation from a two-year cycle to a three-year cycle I was very skeptical. Rotation is part of what makes Standard fun, so there was worry that it would get stale as cards stuck around for "too" long.

Whoa boy has that been disproven (at least for this format in particular).

This has been the best Standard format in at least a decade, with a huge variety of decks across all archetypes and a constant array of surprises as the format develops. And now we've got a whole new set to add to the mix!

Today we are going to go over all ten decks I played as part of my Ten New Brews on YouTube and stream, briefly going over each list and my thoughts on how it was, giving it a letter grade, and talking about what kind of potential it has going forward. I played five games of best of one with each deck so the deck's record will also be included, but do note that these matches were played during the Early Access event not on the open ladder. My opponents were all other content creators also trying out all sorts of fun Outlaws of Thunder Junction stuff.

Let's go!


Deck's Record: 3-2

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: High

Standout Card: Tinybones Joins Up

It turns out that crime does in fact pay!

Tinybones Joins Up

As I predicted in my Complete Set Review, Tinybones Joins Up was absolutely stellar. Games with turn one Tinybones Joins Up were night and day compared to games that didn't have it, providing an never ending source of crime and chip shot damage and an unbelievably low cost and rate. With a Tinybones Joins Up in play, all of your legends that trigger off of crimes basically had enters the battlefield abilities on top of their crime triggers, which was amazing.

Gisa, the Hellraiser
Magda, the Hoardmaster
Vadmir, New Blood

The standouts here were the Grave Titan-esque Gisa, the Hellraiser, which was almost always making a huge army and winning the game on the spot, Magda, the Hoardmaster offers both constant mana as well as a big threat, and Vadmir, New Blood starts big and sizes up nicely.

That being said, Rakdos is probably the wrong colors for a crime deck for one reason.

Marchesa, Dealer of Death

Marchesa, Dealer of Death is better than most of the cards already in the Rakdos deck, and with Plaza of Heroes already in the deck and lots of great lands in format, playing Blue for Marchesa feels like a no brainer.

Crime will be a big deal in Standard midrange decks, but this deck has a lot of evolving to do.


Deck's Record: 3-2

Deck's Grade: C

Deck Potential: Low to Medium

Standout Card: Roxanne, Starfall Savant

Terror of the Peaks has returned.

Terror of the Peaks
Storm the Festival

While Terror of the Peaks is a historically overrated card, it still does have some potency as a combo piece, allowing you to translate putting a few big creatures in play at once into a one-shot kill. Of course, the challenge is actually being able to do that. Genesis Ultimatium did a pretty good job of this for the last time that Terror of the Peaks was in Standard, but in this format we're trying out Storm the Festival.

Unfortunately, Storm the Festival is pretty inconsistent, only being able to look at five cards. You can't really afford to whiff on your six mana sorcery, which ultimately makes this deck fairly unexciting.

Roxanne, Starfall Savant

One standout however was Roxanne, Starfall Savant, which did a great job as a standalone threat that provided removal and ramp all in one nice package that also effects the board well. Roxanne is one to watch.


Deck's Record: 4-1

Deck's Grade: B?

Deck Potential: Higher Than Expected

Standout Card: Greed's Gambit

Typically for each set of Ten New Brews decks, I like to go off the deep end once or twice with something that's really out there. However, this time it actually worked!

Greed's Gambit

Greed's Gambit is a silly new enchantment from Outlaws of Thunder Junction in the same vein as Demonic Pact - it gives you some nice upfront bonuses, but threatens to be debilitating if you can't get rid of it. Furthermore, unlike Demonic Pact, it has safeguards built in so you can't even just sacrifice or destroy it. So, what is one to do?

How about pass it to your opponent?

Coveted Falcon
Shifting Grift

In the style of Illusions of Grandeur + Donate decks of old, this deck uses odd rare Coveted Falcon (and to a lesser extent Shifting Grift) to send the Greed's Gambit over to your opponent and make them deal with it! This leaves your opponent under the constant triggers of Greed's Gambit eating away at their resources each turn, and even protects against them destroying it.

Impulse
Sleight of Hand
Insatiable Avarice

The rest of the deck is just good interaction to go alongside with the best setup cards the format has to offer. Cantrips like Sleight of Hand and Impulse can help you find the right pieces, while the new Insatiable Avarice can be both tutor as well as card draw as the game needs.

This deck was surprisingly effective, as all of the removal and card draw bought plenty of time to set up the combo. One thing the deck might want more of is bounce spells, as we got to Otawara, Soaring City back a Greed's Gambit from our opponent in their draw step one game to make them discard their hand and reset for next turn!


Deck's Record: 3-2

Deck's Grade: B+

Deck Potential: Medium to High

Standout Card: Slickshot Show-Off

Holy moly is Slickshot Show-Off pushed.

Slickshot Show-Off

Slickshot Show-Off is the rare card that has just everything going for it. The "super prowess" effect is just perfect on a creature with flying and haste and the cost is cheap, and even without the plot ability this would be an excellent card. However, with the plot ability, you've got the chance to set up some crazy one-shot kills.

Twinferno
Monstrous Rage
Snakeskin Veil

A single Twinferno and a single Monstrous Rage is an astounding 16 damage on Slickshot Show-Off, and mixing in basically any other spell will provide you with lethal. Furthermore, there are a number of great protection spells in the format like Snakeskin Veil, putting your opponent in an extremely difficult spot once you've plotted it.

This version was trying to go all in on the combo kill elements, which was wildly explosive in some games but struggle to come together in others. It's possible you'd just rather be Blue for cards like Sleight of Hand to help put it all together.


Deck's Record: 2-3

Deck's Grade: C

Deck Potential: Low to Medium

Standout Card: Caustic Bronco

Saddle is one of the new mechanics from Outlaws of Thunder Junction, but don't let the similarity to crew and vehicles fool you... it's much easier to use both in gameplay and deck-building.

Seraphic Steed
Caustic Bronco
The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride

Rather than spending mana on a card that literally doesn't do anything unless you've got another creature around to get it going, the saddle creatures in this deck are all perfectly reasonable on their own, and they can even help crew each other! Seraphic Steed makes angels, Caustic Bronco does a nice Dark Confidant impression, and The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride is the oddest of the bunch but definitely hits hard.

Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero
Frontier Seeker
Miriam, Herd Whisperer

The support isn't bad either, with Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero drawing cards at a good rate, Frontier Seeker also providing card advantage and a body, and Miriam, Herd Whisperer doing a nice lord effect that can also protect you when you decided to crew up.

While some of the cards like Caustic Bronco were super impressive, the deck played out awkwardly and had a few too many mediocre cards like Intrepid Stablemaster and Mobile Homestead. That being said, the core mounts alongside Miriam and Wylie Duke could definitely be something worth looking into.


Deck's Record: 3-2

Deck's Grade: B

Deck Potential: Medium

Standout Card: Nexus of Becoming

We haven't had a true, Aetherworks Marvel-style "slot machine" deck in Standard for a while, but that might all change with Make Your Own Luck entering the format.

Make Your Own Luck

Five mana for a sorcery that draws three cards and plays one of them for free is pretty wild, but also extremely dependent on which card you are playing for free. Only getting to see three cards means that you'd like at least a third of your deck to be good hits, and even then you're going to be missing a decent amount of the time, but the potential is very high.

However, that wasn't even the standout card here!

Nexus of Becoming
Portal to Phyrexia
Threefold Thunderhulk

Nexus of Becoming comes in a bit heavier at six mana, but like Make Your Own Luck having your "play stuff free" card also draw cards is a very nice place to be. Dropping a 3/3 Portal to Phyrexia was obviously incredible, but things like Threefold Thunderhulk (which is a 6/6 thanks to the counters) and Titan of Industry was pretty awesome as well.

Finding the right mix of things to do with a critical mass of big spells may prove difficult, but there's a lot of cool things happening here.


Deck's Record: 2-3

Deck's Grade: C

Deck Potential: So Close But So Far

Standout Card: Nurturing Pixie

It feels like a +1/+1 counter deck has been so close in Standard for the last year, but just hasn't been able to cross the finish line.

Ozolith, the Shattered Spire
Agatha's Soul Cauldron
Botanical Brawler

Seriously, we've had great synergy pieces like Ozolith, the Shattered Spire, Agatha's Soul Cauldron, and Botanical Brawler for what feels like forever, but the deck just can't get in consistently or fast enough to do what an all-in synergy deck needs to do.

Nurturing Pixie
Lost Jitte
Ornery Tumblewagg

That being said, there are some pretty sweet new cards for the deck. Nurturing Pixie is an exciting standout that gives you quite a bit for only one mana, providing a threatening body as well as the ability to replay your cards for value. Lost Jitte isn't quite Umezawa's Jitte, but still plays well when the +1/+1 counter matters, and Ornery Tumblewagg doles out counters reasonably well.

That being said, too many of the important cards cost two and there aren't enough good 1-drops, leaving the deck often in very awkward spots. Bummer.


Deck's Record: 3-2

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: Medium to High

Standout Card: Freestrider Lookout

Deserts return!

...

Okay, so they weren't that big of a deal the last time around, but the big thing here is how these new deserts interact with the crime mechanic.

Lush Oasis
Freestrider Lookout
Arid Archway

The new crime land common duals fix your mana, chip away at your opponent, but perhaps most importantly commit crimes. This turns Freestrider Lookout into an absolute machine, giving you an extra land each turn, chipping in more damage, and will even occasionally get a land on your opponent's turn too! The bounceland Arid Archway is also fantastic in this shell as well with all the extra land effects.

Bonny Pall, Clearcutter
Outcaster Greenblade

So, what's this all building up to? That is sort of the issue. Bonny Pall, Clearcutter is an excellent 6-drop that really does everything you want a 6-drop to do, and Outcaster Greenblade is one of the few actual payoffs for playing deserts, but beyond that we ended up with thirteen lands in play and not much to do in a lot of our games.

There are good things happening here but it's a tough puzzle to crack.


Deck's Record: 4-1

Deck's Grade: B

Deck Potential: Medium

Standout Card: Malcolm, the Eyes

Wait, Pirates? Is this The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Ten New Brews or what?

Malcolm, the Eyes
Breeches, the Blastmaker
Reckless Lackey

While there are obviously a lot of Ixalan cards in this deck, Outlaws of Thunder Junction brings us a trio of pirates that help both critical mass as well as raw power level. Malcolm, the Eyes is the standout, providing an awesome aggressive body that produces a clue basically every turn, while the other Breeches also plays off you playing lots of spells to produce extra value or removal. Reckless Lackey isn't exactly Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, but it does provide a reasonable third 1-drop which helps fuel the second spell synergies.

Zephyr Singer

Speaking of synergies, with the extra 1-drops and the cards that care about second spells, Zephyr Singer becomes the perfect curve topper that takes advantage of the first to help fuel the second. And that's to say nothing about the huge body and putting all of your pirates into the air too.

With just enough removal with Kitesail Larcenist and Witchstalker Frenzy, this one did surprisingly well!


Deck's Record: 2-3

Deck's Grade: C

Deck Potential: Worse Than Multicolored Versions

Standout Card: Tinybones Joins Up

Skeletons!

Corpses of the Lost
Forsaken Miner
Tinybones, the Pickpocket

Corpses of the Lost is an extremely powerful typal card, giving you a Glorious Anthem effect alongside haste, while also producing a threat itself, with the chance for more as the game goes on. The problem is that there just weren't enough actual skeletons to field a team in Standard. Well, once you add excellent 1-drops Forsaken Miner and Tinybones, the Pickpocket to the equation, things start looking much better!

Gisa, the Hellraiser
Tinybones Joins Up

Add in Gisa, the Hellraiser (which pumps skeletons too!) and the Tinybones Joins Up package and you've got a pretty solid typal aggro deck that's got some top end too.

Unfortunately, like Rakdos this also seemed to just be an inferior version of the crime deck when compared to Grixis with Marchesa. There isn't quite enough aggression to really be a full-on aggro deck, and once you enter the midrange space you're just not getting enough of a benefit for being mono-colored.

Another Set, Another Pro Tour!

I'm already itching to try again with over half these decks, but alas the full release on MTG Arena isn't until next week.

That being said, this is an important set because we've got Pro Tour Outlaws of Thunder Junction happening very soon! Having a Pro Tour in a brand-new format is an awesome experience, and the set will barely be a week old before we're shuffle up in Seattle to put all our theories to the test!

Of course, I'll be stopping in at CoolStuffInc.com's CommandFest Dallas on my way to Seattle, so I hope to see you there!


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