Outlaws of Thunder Junction - Blue

Geralf, the Fleshwright | Art by Chris Rahn

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands | Allied & Shards | Enemy & Wedges | cEDH | Reprints | Pauper/Budget

Old World Blues

Hello and welcome to our set review of Outlaws of Thunder Junction. My name is Joshua and I’ll be your guide to this lawless land of rogues, mercenaries, assassins, warlocks and pirates. To survive out here you’re going to need a couple of tricks up your sleeve and there’s no color that’s more tricksy than blue! Let’s ride out and find the best blue cards you might want to know about from this set.


Double Down

Let’s start this review at the double. This mythic enchantment is going to make sure that you bring twice the value to the table, so long as you’re playing a relevant creature type. 

We’ve found that doubling effects are very powerful and popular in Magic, just look at cards like Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm and how high that commander is in our ranking to make that extremely clear.

This card puts in a lot of work for outlaw decks. Lots of these creature types don’t see that much support outside of recent sets like this one, so I can imagine this is going to be quite a valuable effect. A lot of Pirates I can think of like Dire Fleet Daredevil and Hostage Taker would be nice to have in multiples. If you’re not playing an outlaws deck or a changeling deck you’re unlikely to need this card, but if you are it’s gonna put in work.

Esoteric Duplicator

This duplication station is going to let us get copies of artifacts that we sacrifice, allowing you to keep some spare copies of those artifacts you sacrificed to Kuldotha Forgemaster. That’s not all though, you can sacrifice the duplicator itself to draw a card. Pay the two and you get a copy of Esoteric Duplicator. See where I’m going with this? Make infinite mana, draw your deck? Thassa’s Oracle? Laboratory Maniac? Not that blue was hurting for options like this, but it’s nice to see another one that allows you to do perfectly normal things as well as degenerate blue things.

Geralf, the Fleshwright

Our beloved reanimator from Innistrad is back, this time a little further from home. Geralf still cares about Zombies, and will no doubt be slotting into the 99 of every Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver deck across the Omenpaths. Geralf does an interesting job at a Talrand impression, which isn’t a sentence I thought I’d say, but let’s explore that. 

Geralf rewards you for casting multiple spells in a turn by giving you a Zombie Rogue token for each spell after your first. In addition, his second ability means that those Zombies are going to buff each other with +1/+1 counters. You’re going to add a lot of power to the board with a card like this, and the Rogue creature type is going to factor into a lot of the outlaw synergy in this set.

Jace Reawakened

Jace is back! Everyone’s favorite character has returned wearing the guise of Ashiok, much to the chagrin of the Theros enthusiasts amongst the Magic community. Jace returns as a two mana planeswalker that you cannot cast during the first three turns of the game. 

I don’t see this as much of a downside in Commander to be honest; your first few turns are very likely going to be spent casting mana rocks and ramp spells. You might be placing down early blockers to prevent chip damage to your life total, or protect any planeswalkers you might be about to cast. 

The low mana cost of this card means you’re more likely to be able to cast it on a later turn and protect it right away with some mana held up to prevent interaction. Once Jace is down however, what does it do for us? 

You’re going to get some steady card selection with the first +1 ability, you’re always discarding a card meaning that this card could be considered in decks where you’re utilizing the graveyard. The second +1 ability allows you to cheat the mana cost on a spell from your hand, so long as it’s not too big a spell. This effectively lets you save mana on future turns. The -6 ability is one that you’re unlikely to pull off, but if you do it notably doesn’t provide you with an emblem. Instead you can copy each spell you cast that turn, perhaps expecting you to save all those cards you plotted to go off all at once.

Simulacrum Synthesizer

Urza would be proud of this one, making construct after construct so long as we feed artifact spells that are mana value 3 or greater into it. The scry 2 is nice, seeing as you’re taking a turn off to play this card on curve for no immediate effect. Scrying into an artifact spell that’s greater than mana value three will mean you can get double the power on the field the following turn.

Notably, this card cares about artifacts entering the battlefield, not being cast. So if you’re able to do some cheerios Paradoxical Outcome shenanigans or perfectly normal things with Mishra, Eminent One you’re going to see a fair bit of value from this one.

Worldwalker Helm

Just when you thought we’d left Ixalan, it looks like someone left this artifact in a safety deposit box. It’s an Academy Manufactor, but for map tokens! It also allows you to create a copy of a token you control, which in turn will make you an additional map token. I feel like there’s not too much instruction required here, this card is going to go well in decks that care about artifact tokens and that’s about the long and short of it.

Alright, so it’s not quite as powerful as the manufacturer, but extra value is extra value. Just don’t get too greedy or you might end up Overencumbered, artifact hate is on the rise!


Arcane Heist

Every time a new Cipher spell is printed, a Dimir mage cackles with joy. This spell can be encoded on the most evasive creature you control to allow you to freely cast spells from an opponent's graveyard without paying their mana cost. Expect this creature to become public enemy number one, but if you can cast this spell and capitalize on it on the same turn then you’re very likely to at least get your four mana back.

Archmage’s Newt

Our first Mount, Archmage's Newt, is all about giving our instants and sorceries in our graveyard flashback. This creature regrettably lacks any form of evasion, rocks meager stats and is going to provide quite a challenge for you to get past your opponents. The fact that if this creature was saddled it also reduces the Flashback cost to zero means the stakes are quite high. Your opponent’s are going to want to block this, lest you Part the Waterveil for free. 

In a deck with lots of evasion, I can see a home for this. Give it flying, throw an Aqueous Form on it and I’m all over it. It’s just a card that’s going to need a couple of other cards to make it work, and I’m never too hot on cards like that. We’ve got to evaluate cards by their floor, not their ceiling.

Duelist of the Mind

Our latest in our series of World Champion designed cards, a surprising amount seem to be blue! Duelist of the Mind is a creature with scalable power and some relevant evasive keywords. You’re going to be able to hit someone for a lot of damage should you draw a lot of cards in one turn. If your deck isn’t built that way, however, you're going to be provided with a bit of card selection and graveyard support if you can make sure to keep committing crimes.

Fblthp, Lost on the Range

Fblthp, Lost on the Range is perhaps the first appearance of Fblthp that I would consider building around. Our homeless homunculus boasts weak stats but backs it up with ward, which we all know Commander players aren’t a fan of paying for. 

Fblthp gives us a little bit of card advantage and lets us see what’s coming next. The ability to plot those cards for a later turn is a unique way of approaching the ‘cast from the top of your library’ design we see on a lot of cards today. Much like Fblthp, your opponents will be kept guessing with this card and I think it’s a fun new blue commander that makes proper use of one of Magic’s newest mascots. 

If you want a high power version of Fblthp, Lost on the Range, you can read a deck tech from Sam Black over on Commander's Herald.

Forger’s Foundry

As someone who’s written an entire mini series on three mana rocks, I’m always excited to see a new one. This card allows you to protect your spells from graveyard hate, letting you exile them instead for a future turn. Five mana will let you cast a whole bunch of these spells later in the game without paying their mana costs. To be honest? I’m all over this one. I like it! It’s not going to be doing anything too backbreaking, but late in the game sometimes getting back a removal spell or card draw spell is all it takes to bring you back into a winning position. For something as innocuous as a mana rock, I think this could put in some work.

Lock and Load

Blue is really making use of Plot to keep your hand full. As a blue mage you often feel like you’re trying to think several steps ahead, so why not take an earlier turn off and refill your hand on a later turn when it’s more necessary? This is another low floor high ceiling card, but you’re in the colors to take advantage of a card like this. String together some cantrips and capitalize on it later.

Smirking Spelljacker

So what we have here is essentially a five mana counterspell, that allows you to cast the spell you wanted to counter and comes down with a body. Obviously the impact of this spell is going to be a bit variable, after all do you want to cast the spell you countered, if it was an Inkshield you might not want to cast it when you attack. A Wrath of God might not be the right move either. I think if it was me, I’d spend the five mana on Spell Swindle, grab myself some treasures for next turn and then I can use them to cast my spells!

Step Between Worlds

Step Between Worlds is a wheel, so that’s already got a lot of Commander players' attention. It’s not a forced wheel however, it gives players the choice of whether they’d like a new hand or not. The cost to plot this card is quite high, but so is the impact. Drawing a fresh seven cards for no mana on a later turn is very appealing. This card will no doubt end up in decks like The Locust God, but I have a feeling it’s got a home in spellslinger decks too. Helping you keep your grip full is going to be a powerful ability for that decisive turn you decide to Storm off.

Stoic Sphinx

Sphinxes can be detectives in Karlov Manor, but not outlaws it seems! Maybe they don’t make cowboy hats that are big enough, which would be a real shame. This Sphinx has flash, flying and hexproof so long as you haven’t cast a spell this turn. I can see this being a bit of a backbreaker in limited formats. In ours though? I think we can do better. Outside of a Sphinx typal deck, I can’t see this card seeing a lot of play.

The Key to the Vault

It’s always interesting when you see equipment in blue, you just know the card is going to do something a little strange. This card allows us to cast cards from the top of our library for free, so long as we can hit our opponent with the creature this equipment is attached to. 

Fortunately for blue, we’re in the colors of evasion with multiple ‘can’t be blocked’ and flying effects. This card is best attached to a larger creature, because you want to see as many of the cards from the top of your deck as possible. The equip cost of three is quite hefty but if you think about it through the lens of potentially casting a card for free, then that equip cost may pay dividends. For a long time I’ve played Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders as a commander and I see this card slotting into that deck, well… Wonderfully. Pair this with some of the free attach spells you get in red like Magnetic Theft and hopefully you’ll be able to pull an extra combat spell from the top of your library and go to town!

Three Steps Ahead

Our first card with Spree, and wow is this a strong mechanic. Modal spells are very strong by nature, we’re playing a singleton format so spells that let you choose multiple options are like getting extra cards in your deck. I can’t really say enough about this card. Everything it does, blue wants to do. The fact that you can combine any number of them, or all of them in a Sublime Epiphany-esque spell is going to make this one a hard spell not to include in a mono blue deck.

Thunderclap Drake

We’ve got a really solid blue card here that I can see going into a ton of decks. Instant and sorcery cost reduction is something blue has in abundance, because honestly it’s something blue wants in abundance. The second ability to copy a spell for each time you’ve cast your commander this game? Heck even if that’s once it’s nice to cast Temporal Manipulation twice?

Riding on Out

Alright, so that’s my look at every mythic and rare from Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Thunder Junction Commander and The Big Score! These bonus sheets are getting kind of crazy! What did you think of the cards from the set? Will you be slotting any of these into your decks? Let us know in the comment section below. As always, I’ve been Joshua and you can find me here and here if you’d like to chat about your latest brews! 

I’ll see you in the next one, I’d better take my leave because this town ain’t big enough for the both of us! Thanks for reading!


Joshua is a Medical Researcher from the UK. He's played Magic since Dragons of Tarkir and loves all things Commander, the more colours the better! When not playing Commander, he can be found insisting Jund is still a viable deck in Modern and painting tiny plastic miniatures on Twitter @PrinceofBielTan

EDHREC Code of Conduct

Your opinions are welcome. We love hearing what you think about Magic! We ask that you are always respectful when commenting. Please keep in mind how your comments could be interpreted by others. Personal attacks on our writers or other commenters will not be tolerated. Your comments may be removed if your language could be interpreted as aggressive or disrespectful. You may also be banned from writing further comments.