Outlaws of Thunder Junction - Annie Flash, the Veteran Deck Tech

Annie Flash
(Annie Flash, the Veteran | Art by Kieran Yanner)

Tapping a Veteran

Let's not beat around the bush. We've got a new legend from Outlaws of Thunder Junction, and she's a doozy. It's Annie Flash, the Veteran.

Having a fair simulacrum of Sun Titan in the command zone seems good, especially at flash speed. Where Annie actually got pushed, however, is in her second ability. Impulse drawing the top two anytime you tap her will add up quick, especially with all of the various means of untapping her in Naya.

Top 10 Instant-Speed Untap Effects in Naya (Per EDHREC Score)

  1. Saryth, the Viper's Fang
  2. Aggravated Assault
  3. Halo Fountain
  4. Quirion Ranger
  5. Wirewood Symbiote
  6. Vitalize
  7. Samut, Voice of Dissent
  8. Scryb Ranger
  9. Seeker of Skybreak
  10. Village Bell-Ringer

That's a heck of a list, with even a couple high-powered combo options if we wanted to go that route. Before we get too caught up in step two, however, there's still step one to think about: How are we going to tap Annie consistently?

It's All In the Wrist - Annie Tap Synergies

In Naya, there are 60 different cards that have some version of "tap an untapped thing" on them. We'll come back to how unbelievably small that pool feels in a moment, but for now, let's look at some of the highlights that are going to be real workhorses in just about any Annie Flash deck.

Relic of Legends and its colorless companion Honor-Worn Shaku are going to be the cards you're looking for in the turns leading up to playing down Annie Flash. They allow you to tap her as many times as you can untap her, and make mana to cast the spells she'll be exiling off the top. Combine that with both being returnable with Annie's ETB, and these are the biggest no-brainers out there. Being able to play down Annie, recur a Relic of Legends out to the battlefield, then immediately tap Annie for a green to see what two cards come off the top, before you then tap Relic to play down a two drop? That's just the beginning of a Storm turn, there.

If you can't wait for three mana, however, then there's always the more limited version of Springleaf Drum, which, as it turns out, is actually representing a much larger contingent of permanents that can do the same thing.

The versions that make a mana are undoubtedly going to do the most work for you, allowing you to immediately tap Annie to start seeing more cards, then using the mana you just made to play them. There are also several that make tokens or pump creatures, both of which are at least worth looking into. Mostly you'll be looking at the six lands and three creatures that can tap a creature one time to make a mana of any color.

The real means to start going nuts with ripping cards off the top of your deck with Annie are still undoubtedly those things that can indefinitely tap her anytime you find a means to untap her, and there's perhaps an even better version of that effect than Relic of Legends: Earthcraft.

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Most well-known for going infinite with Squirrel Nest, Earthcraft is still a force in its own right, allowing you to take brand new creatures that still have summoning sickness and tap them to make mana. Alas, with the first use-case being more well-known than the second, playing Earthcraft does come with some associated heat. But I have good news on that score: With Annie Flash, you don't need Squirrel Nest for that heat to be deserved. With excess mana from Earthcraft and creatures coming out of your ears with Annie's ETB and her tap ability, having Annie Flash and Earthcraft on the same board is more than enough for any player to start thinking you're the problem, real quick.

You might be asking how I know all this? Well, because I've been playtesting the deck, that's how!

Perpetual Motion Machine

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Commander (1)
Ramp (20)
Land (35)
Tokens (10)
Untappers (20)
Mill (3)
Removal (6)
Recursion (2)
Finishers (3)

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So how does it play? With all of the ramp, it tends to get Annie down by turn four, and will sometimes go nuts that very turn if you had some mana or a tap effect in the graveyard. If you do get to untap with her? It's almost an instant win, although that "instant" win can take a while as you speed through your deck, making tokens and untapping your board. The quicker version is Gilraen, Dúnedain Protector and Village Bell-Ringer, a fair version of the many combos with Village Bell-Ringer we'll go over when we get to Annie's cEDH potential. A couple tutors, a bit more interaction, the more unfair combos, maybe an Aluren, and you could make this thing into a monster in no time.

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, however...

Other Annie Strategies

Annie is anything but narrow. In fact, I would call her one of the most flexible Naya commanders that's ever been printed. Here's a few other strategies you can pursue with Annie if the more typical brew doesn't suit you.

Annie Vehicles

While Boros has been the go-to for Vehicles for a long time now, adding green certainly isn't going to hurt things. In fact, some of the better Vehicles will almost certainly see play in even the more typical tap/untap brews, given that they allow for indefinite tapping of Annie.

Smuggler's Copter comes down early, hits hard in the air, and fills your graveyard with things for Annie to recur. Mobile Garrison can untap Annie every combat step, then allow you to immediately tap her again with its Crew ability. Finally, Cultivator's Caravan provides some expensive ramp that will help you get your expensive commander down in the first place, then immediately start tapping her once you do.

If you wanted to go all-in on Vehicles with Annie, however? Her four power Crews a lot more than Smuggler's Copter.

First off, I think we have to at least consider the possibility that we've found the deck for Colossal Plow, finally. While it's tempting to load up an Annie Vehicles brew with all sorts of expensive Vehicles like Skysovereign that she can Crew, the cheaper ones she can recur that still have a high Crew cost are really where this brew is going to shine.

Colossal Plow might be a bit disappointing in the early game, but if you can manage to set up a cavalcade of "this creature Crews that Vehicle, which Crews that Vehicle, which is big enough to Crew Plow", then it will immediately get Annie into play, probably with another creature beside her that can immediately Crew Plow again to get some cards off the top for any excess mana you have left over. Failing all that? There's always Peacewalker Colossus, which will let you Crew all these greedy Vehicles you're sure to employ, and is also recurrable with Annie's ETB. In short, there's a lot of Vehicles out there, they're more resilient to board wipes than creatures are, and even if you do run out, you can just grab more off the top of the deck with Annie.

Fringe Flash cEDH

I don't think it's quite there, but in this day and age of cEDH getting more and more midrange, I don't think that I'd dismiss Annie out of hand, either. With her coming down at flash speed, it would be easy enough to ignore all of these untap synergies and just use her as a straight value engine that can get key pieces out of the graveyard and "draw" cards off of the top in a fashion that doesn't trigger Orcish Bowmasters or Consecrated Sphinx, all at instant speed.

Those that have played cEDH in these colors will be familiar enough with the play pattern of milling a bunch of your deck into your graveyard to get an Underworld Breach into play by flashing back a Sevinne's Reclamation. Annie allows the same for one additional mana with her ETB, leading to the typical Breach lines available in Naya, although unfortunately only at sorcery speed (there might be something there at instant speed with Aluren, Emergence Zone, Savage Summoning, or Scout's Warning, but now we're getting into the land of the fantastical).

What's more interesting to me is the control things you can do at instant speed with Annie. One of the most enticing is Ranger-Captain of Eos, allowing for a repeatable Silence that also fetches you game-winning single-mana creatures like Esper Sentinel, Allosaurus Shepherd, or Dragon's Rage Channeler. Perhaps even better with a full graveyard, however, is Eternal Witness, allowing you to grab back interaction from your graveyard, such as Silence once again, Deflecting Swat, or Veil of Summer.

All that, however, is just to keep you alive to get to your win-condition. While I do think it's worth including an Underworld Breach and a Grinding Station to perhaps luck into a victory after a large Hermit Druid activation, I think there's a much better win-con out there in cards that naturally synergize with Annie's tap trigger.

Both Emiel the Blessed and Temur Sabertooth make infinite creature untaps with Village Bell-Ringer. It does require having creatures that can tap for the two mana to activate Sabertooth, or the three mana to activate Emiel, but in either case you will end up with infinite mana. You can also end up with infinite treasures if you have a Dockside Extortionist instead of a Village Bell-Ringer. If that doesn't win you the game outright, you can then play Annie and get every three mana or less permanent in your graveyard onto the battlefield by repeatedly blinking or returning her to your hand. If that doesn't do it, then you may need to go find a tap effect like Relic of Legends or Earthcraft to then exile your entire deck and win with Grapeshot or go through the rigmarole of Grinding Station and Underworld Breach. All of this is doable at instant speed, thanks to Annie Flash's flash (and a copy of Emergence Zone somewhere in your deck).

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It must also be stated that Annie's ETB allows for a Food Chain interaction that will likely be enough to find a Squee or Eternal Scourge if you have a tap effect in play. This is undoubtedly another line that can be pursued with her that allows for a fringe cEDH brew.

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As I said initially, there is some doubt in my mind as to whether this is good enough for cEDH, but there's no question that there's a high-powered deck here. If it is indeed a "nine" as opposed to cEDH, however, there might be a more fun brew to be had out there.

Naya "Oops, All Untaps!"

If you've been playing for a long while, you may have encountered a bit of a meme deck with Selvala, Explorer Returned. It's not good, per se, but it is a bit hilarious. What it seeks to do is simply fill a deck with every cheap untap effect possible that will instantly untap Selvala, then play Selvala down and roll the dice, as it were. With Selvala drawing a card and making mana with every Parley activation, you have a significant chance to have a crazy turn in which you draw 10-20 cards and continue to rack up mana as you continually untap Selvala with your 30 untap effects. From there, you play a big X spell or the other cards you drew that weren't untap effects, and hopefully acquire enough value to pull out the win early.

While there are a few more hoops to jump through, there is a similar avenue you can pursue with Annie Flash, only with the inclusion of red which allows for access to rituals, Storm spells, and Underworld Breach.

The added hurdle is, of course, the general tap effects we've been discussing, Earthcraft and Relic of Legends. Since Annie doesn't make mana on her own like Selvala does, you'll need one of these two to continue playing your cheap untap effects. Luckily, there are several tutors that can go find them for you in Naya, including Enlightened Tutor, Gamble, Idyllic Tutor, Sterling Grove, Goblin Engineer, Oswald Fiddlebender, Moon-Blessed Cleric, and Moonsilver Key.


I'm sure there are a half-a-dozen ideas I haven't even thought of that are also very brewable with Annie Flash, but there are a couple I wanted to head off at the pass, as well.

While a first reading of Annie Flash may have you coming away with her being a bit more similar to Sun Titan, I implore you to reread!

showcase preview card art for Annie Flash, the Veteran

Her enter the battlefield trigger does indeed come with an added caveat of you having to cast her, so don't do anything crazy like put together the entire barebones of a deck fully dedicated to Oblivion Rings and blink effects, only to be crushed when you find out that none of it's going to work. While enter the battlefield effects are indeed going to be great with Annie, hitting her with a Flickerwisp will do precisely nothing (other than untapping her), so be careful!

Another card that reads really good with Annie initially is the powerhouse that is Swift Reconfiguration. And it is, sort of. Swift Reconfiguration can make something into a Vehicle that Annie can then crew, allowing her to tap indefinitely, which is where all the nonsense starts. The natural target for this would seem to be Annie, as then she could tap herself, and being an artifact, could also have access to all of the artifact untap shenanigans like Voltaic Key and Clock of Omens. The only problem is, Vehicles have been errataed. That's right, in yet another example of reading the card no longer explaining the card, the true text of Vehicles has been updated, to read as follows:

MTG comprehensive rules 702.122 detailing updates to the crew mechanic since fallout release

Did you catch it? I must admit, it's pretty similar, but there is now one additional word in there. "Tap any number of other untapped creatures you control". That one word, however, is enough to keep Annie under control when it comes to Swift Reconfiguration, making you have to turn another creature into a Vehicle to crew her. Mind you, it's still probably worth including, as a great removal spell that can also protect your pieces, but just be aware of the new restriction.

Go On, Git!

As I stated previously, there's probably a ton of ideas for Annie I haven't covered (ooo, maybe Landfall?), but that's no surprise, given how flexible they made her. In short, if you can get the mana to get her down early, she's going to do dumb things for as long as she sticks around. Even better, she also emulates Golos when she doesn't, easily grabbing mana sources from the graveyard to get you to where you can just recast her the next turn again, whether that be Fetches, mana dorks, or creature 'rituals'.

Whether you end up following one of my examples or brewing your own thing, however, I want to hear about it! Let me know in the comments what you think Annie might be good for, or drop a link to your deck so I can see how you broke her!

In the meantime, thanks for reading, and here's to more fun cards out of Outlaws of Thunder Junction!

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.

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