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What Are the Wanted Poster Cards in Outlaws of Thunder Junction?

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Outlaws of Thunder Junction is by far one of the most expansive and unique Magic: The Gathering sets to date. With a base set of 276 cards and three unique bonus sheets, this set boasts not only the most cards in a Standard-legal Magic expansion, but also the most variety in card treatments.

In my last article I talked about the Breaking News cards, a bonus sheet of spells that show up one in every play booster that depict various crimes being committed across Thunder Junction. Breaking News features a specific borderless treatment, showcasing each art as if it were a headline of Prosperity Post, Thunder Junction's premier newspaper.

By far the most unique and dynamic art treatment of the set, however, is the Wanted Poster art treatment featured across thirteen different legendary creatures.

As its title suggests, the Wanted Poster card treatment showcases the dastardly villains appearing across the plane, each vying for their slice of the pie of the treasures Thunder Junction has to offer. A western-inspired art frame that has its roots in American wild-west history, the Wanted Poster card treatment is by far the premier borderless art treatment of the set.

Lore

Only thirteen characters are featured in this borderless art treatment. First up, we have the mastermind himself, Oko, the Ringleader.

In the Magic story, Oko travels to Thunder Junction to plan one of the biggest heists the multiverse has ever seen. With an ancient vault discovered on the plane he brings together a rag-tag team of villains from across the multiverse to join him in his treachery. This rakish crew being himself, Vraska, Tinybones, Rakdos, Annie Flash, and most surprisingly, his fae-son Kellan, who has spent the last couple of expansions searching for his father.

These six legends of the multiverse, as well as a handful of other Magic antagonists, make their appearance across the OTJ story arc. Among them are Geralf and Gisa from Innistrad, Satoru Umezawa from Kamigawa, and Eriette from Eldraine.

Each Wanted Poster art features its primary character in a full portrait, with a minimalist background to highlight their physical appearance.

Collectibilty

The thirteen Wanted Poster art treatment cards can be found in both Play Boosters and Collector Boosters. According to the official Wotc pack breakdown, the chance of opening a Wanted Poster card in a Collector Booster is about 6%. Worth noting in terms of story flavor and collectibility, Oko, the Ringleader appears less often than the other twelve Wanted Poster cards, as he is the #1 "most wanted" of the set. Oko being a rarer pull also makes sense since you can open a borderless treatment of the card in boosters, giving more variety in the cards you can open.

Art Influences and Historical Implications

Wanted Poster cards are by far the biggest art flavor win for Outlaws of Thunder Junction. While wanted posters have been featured in various forms of media over the years (notably its use in the pirate manga sensation, One Piece), their origin is rooted in American Old West history. With the US wild west of the 1800-1900s being the backdrop inspiration for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, it would be remiss to talk about this art treatment without bringing up its historical influences.

During the 1800s, wanted posters were used as advertising to track down and offer rewards for the capture of various criminals. By looking at some of these posters we can see the relationship between their styles and the Wanted Poster treatments in OTJ.

One of the most famous posters, issued by the US Government, was released after the murder of president Abraham Lincoln by John Wilks Booth. The wanted poster details the murder and rewards for turning in Booth and his two accomplices.

In the Old West, wanted posters were used to advertise rewards for various outlaws that had succeeded in robberies, petty theft, or murder.

Funny enough, "Kellan, the Kid '' is a direct reference to the notorious Billy The Kid, who was an outlaw in New Mexico and Arizona during the late 1800s.

Billy The Kid was a famous outlaw who evaded imprisonment multiple times, rumored to have killed 21 men including both a sheriff and deputy, before his untimely demise.

Portrait of Billy The Kid, 1880

While Kellan isn't nearly as villainous as this American outlaw, being the son of Oko and hero-turned-outlaw in his set is why his name draws inspiration from this historical criminal.

Conclusion

Overall, the Wanted Poster art treatment is a fantastic use of a borderless card treatment that takes actual inspiration from the American Old West. While only featured on a handful of cards, it's a sensible art style that's reserved only for the most notorious and story-centric villains to Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Taking direct inspiration from posters featuring the likes of Jesse James and Billy The Kid, this art style is another unique card treatment that boosts the collectibility of the set.


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