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How Should I Upgrade the Most Wanted Precon?


We're back for one final Commander precon upgrade for Outlaws of Thunder Junction! You might be wondering where the heck are all the outlaws themselves, though? So far we've covered Spellslinging (Quick Draw), Deserts (Desert Bloom), and Theft/Heisting (Grand Larceny). Those certainly fit classic Western themes, but it's Outlaws of Thunder Junction for a reason. Thankfully, those all show up in this one final list.

The Most Wanted preconstructed deck focuses heavily on utilizing outlaws. By comparison to most of the previous decks, which do something cool in interesting and unique ways, Most Wanted is fairly straightforward. You play outlaws, attack with them, make treasures, and make your outlaws even bigger and harder to deal with! You might find some interesting interactions with the cards themselves, but for the most part, it's largely a "play creatures and turn them sideways" kind of deck.

There's nothing wrong with that play, but there has to be some better ways to optimize things a tad! So that's what we're going to be doing today: looking for cards that can be added in to provide a stronger experience. Before we do so, though, let's check out the basic precon list first!

Most Wanted Precon | Commander | Wizards of the Coast

Card Display

When it comes to upgrading this list, the first thing we want to look at is the most obvious area: figuring out what outlaws are available. After all, the outlaws fuel the core element of the deck by making lots of tokens which then pile up, allowing you to pump your board en masse. Given this, I want to look mostly for evasive creatures that can push damage through rather than focusing on ones with unique effects. We'll still see some of those here, but your main goal here should be to close things out somewhat quickly.

What I found most interesting when looking through the outlaws themselves are how few there actually are, at least in these colors. By far the type with the highest number is rogues, with 260 possible options. From there assassins, pirates, and warlocks have a total of about 70. Finally, mercenaries have the lowest number with around 50 - many of which are the weaker options from the low powered Masques block. Additionally, there are 20 changelings in this color combination. Put together, that's a respectable amount, but we should take a good look at all the available options here that aren't already in the above list.

Naturally, I looked at rogues first. With the largest pool of creatures available, there had to be some decent stuff, and there sure was! In terms of evasive threats, what I was surprised to see is that some of the better options were only recently printed for the first time. In this case I'm talking about Blightwing Bandit, Faerie Bladecrafter, and Nettling Nuisance - each of which works great in a deck like this and was first printed in the Wilds of Eldraine Commander decks. You can also utilize Marsh Flitter and Oona's Blackguard for some additional faerie synergy, which is great alongside Faerie Bladecrafter in particular.

Faerie Bladecrafter
Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats
Laughing Jasper Flint

One other notable that quickly stood out to me was Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats. Unfortunately in a deck like this, you're probably not going to get too deep of a cost reduction, but the other effects are outstanding to have to make your board more imposing. There's also a few great options from Outlaws of Thunder Junction proper that didn't make it into the deck. Aven Interloper is a rock solid option, even if its taxing ability isn't quite as good in a multiplayer game, and Hollow Marauder works great as a cheap evasive threat that also can generate you some solid card advantage at the same time. Finally, there's Dauthi Voidwalker if you're willing to shell out a bit for it. Shadow might as well be unblockable in most games, and shutting down opposing graveyards can prevent the rest of the table from getting up to serious shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, there's also plenty of non-evasive rogues that get up to just that. Gonti, Lord of Luxury interestingly isn't in this list, likely due to their appearance in that one other Gonti deck. Gonti isn't the only great rogue for stealing stuff. Laughing Jasper Flint yoinks stuff left and right while also giving you more outlaws to fuel your core strategy with Olivia. Speaking of that strategy, there's also a couple rogues that actually utilize treasures well, namely Generous Plunderer, Grim Hireling, and Forge, Neverwinter Charlatan. Also, while it doesn't make treasures, Syndicate Trafficker gives you an additional way to make use of your tokens to enable you to push more damage through.

Assassins surprisingly don't have much by way of evasive threats. You'd think - at least from a flavor perspective - that there would be some that are able to sneak by until they're making their attack (Xathrid Slyblade fits this flavor, but lacks actual evasion). The only two actually good evasive cards I could find on this front were actually Vein Ripper and Massacre Girl, Known Killer. Both were just printed for the first time in Murders at Karlov Manor and are in fairly high demand - particularly Vein Ripper which is a major player in a top Pioneer deck right now.

Instead, many of the available assassins are great at clearing the path for your other outlaws by doing what they do best: picking off opponents' creatures. Dark Impostor, Guul Draz Assassin, and even the weak by modern standards Royal Assassin do a great job of this repeatedly. Big Game Hunter and Nekrataal let you do this in a more one-shot manner, but do it a bit more cleanly and cheaply than the others. Murderous Redcap is able to go off repeatedly thanks to Olivia's pump effect, and that same effect will also give your creatures deathtouch with a Mer-Ek Nightblade in play.

Massacre Girl, Known Killer
Murderous Redcap
Gixian Puppeteer

Like assassins, warlocks don't have too many evasive threats (I suppose I should note the remaining types won't be the greatest on this front either, hence the need to focus on them a bit more). Thankfully, there's a few awesome cards. Dream Spoilers acts as some solid repeatable removal. You also gain access to a couple double-faced cards - something Wizards avoids in precons due to logistic issues. Thankfully you as a player can just add them in yourself, which makes Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr // Katilda's Rising Dawn and Shaile, Dean of Radiance // Embrose, Dean of Shadow both strong inclusions. Also, while they aren't so evasive, I'd recommend checking out Archpriest of Shadows, Gixian Puppeteer, and Extus, Oriq Overlord // Awaken the Blood Avatar for some more sweet value plays.

As hinted at above, pirates aren't exactly the most evasive creatures. What they mostly lack in evasion (unless you count menace being on more than a few) they make up for in being hasty threats that bring a lot of value - particularly with treasures. For example, check out cards like Ruthless Knave, Pitiless Plunderer, and Breeches, Eager Pillager. Both make tons of treasure tokens for you to use later with Olivia. You can even go real pricey and pick up copies of Dockside Extortionist or Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer for more power plays. The unfortunate downside of pirates is that many end up on the weak side, owing to the lower power level of the original Ixalan block and only a few showing up here and there outside of that block.

But if you really want low power, you need not look any further than mercenaries. Seriously, the overwhelming majority were from Masques block and they are bad. In fact, setting aside any cards in the precon itself, I could only find three cards that I felt were worthwhile and weren't from something like a Universes Beyond deck. Those are Doomed Necromancer, Rakdos, the Muscle; and Vial Smasher, Gleeful Grenadier. Yeah, your options are pretty sparse. Taii Wakeen, Perfect Shot also works okay, but seeing as you're not dealing a lot of noncombat damage, the card ultimately doesn't work particularly well.

Breeches, Eager Pillager
Vial Smasher, Gleeful Grenadier
Collector's Vault

Now with the core creature additions out of the way, we should probably have a peek at potential treasure synergies. Treasure makers are a dime a dozen nowadays and you can easily find many. Just going down the line to name a few good ones, you can utilize Black Market Connections, Brass's Bounty, Collector's Vault, Currency Converter, Goldspan Dragon, and Magda, Brazen Outlaw - and that's barely scratching the surface. I highly recommend just poking around your collection, or looking up Mardu color treasure generators to see which work best for you. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Revel In Riches as a strong way to end the game utilizing all of your treasures if you don't think you're able to get there solely on the damage front.

Finally, something I considered looking for was abilities to increase your counters on your creatures. Think something like Hardened Scales. Unfortunately, most of these effects are in Green and can't be utilized in this color combination. That said, there is still one in Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion. You can still find other ways to dish out counters, such as making use of repeat proliferate cards like the newly reprinted Contagion Engine or Karn's Bastion.

Past all of this, there's still almost certainly plenty of synergies and interactions that I haven't even tried dabbling in here! Finding ways to put even more counters on things, general artifact synergies, and even broader capabilities for evasion are out there. The great thing about a deck like this, though, is that those elements are broad enough you'll have no problem looking them up yourself or simply adding from your own pool of cards until you find what works. For this piece, though, I really wanted to focus on the core aspects of what the deck is trying to do and let you live your wildest outlaw dreams. I hope you can do just that at your next Commander night!

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

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