Which Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Precon Deck has the Biggest Gun of the West?

Analyzing strengths and weaknesses of 4 MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction Precon Commander decks

Which Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Precon Deck has the Biggest Gun of the West?

Outlaws of Thunder Junction preconstructed Commander decks are out, and each one is a wild ride, befitting the lawless setting of Magic’s newest world. There’s Desert Bloom, a deck that sacrifices barren wastelands for enormous gains, and also Quick Draw, which tests your spell-slinging coordination. What about the Most Wanted, featuring the new Outlaw Creature group specially made for the set? Lastly Grand Larceny promises a grand heist of all your opponents’ cards. If you’re torn on which precon deck to buy, our down and dirty guide should clear the air for you.

Here at Tap & Sac, we’ll be rating the precons based on the following metrics:

Power Level – How does the deck fare against other preconstructed Commander decks?

Value – What are the reprints of value in the deck, and are they still going to retain value?

Upgradability – How easily can a player upgrade the effectiveness of the deck without splurging on expensive cards?

Beginner Friendliness – How easy is it for a beginner to pilot the? Does it utilize exceedingly complex mechanics?

Before we start breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of each deck, here are the full card lists for the 4 Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander decks!

Desert Bloom: Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck Review


Desert Bloom is Land-focused Commander deck that wants to sacrifice Lands, bring them back from the Graveyard, and in the process generate a reliable cycle of value. The Commander Yuma, Proud Protector costs a hefty 8 Mana, but he does cost 1 less for each Land in your Graveyard.

Review of Desert Bloom precon Commander deck, featuring Yuma, Proud Protector from Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Yuma also loves deserts (since we are in a western-themed set), and creates notable 4/2 Plant Warriors whenever a Desert goes into a Graveyard from anywhere. Hence the goal is to manipulate Lands for maximum value, and overwhelm the opponents with plants that

Power Level

The key to playing Desert Bloom is to get that engine going, of regurgitating Lands back and forth between the Battlefield and Graveyard. It’s got cards like Satyr Wayfinder, Eccentric Farmer and the new Dune Chanter as cheap Creatures that can slowly fill that Graveyard with Lands. Just as with most Landfall decks, the value generated from these triggers are going to be massive.

In the late game, you’ve got heavy hitters Avenger of Zendikar and Omnath, Locus of Rage that will give you an army that is pretty much insurmountable when compared to the other precon decks. Rumbleweed is the lite version of Craterhoof Behemoth, but it’s respectable +3/+3 pump and giving everyone the key Trample keyword will be invaluable in beating your opponents.

Desert Bloom also includes 23 non-creature spells, a surprisingly high number for a precon deck. That means you’ll have plenty of option to interact with what the others are doing. Several of them are trying to generate card advantage (Explore and Winding Way), but there’s plenty of removal for Artifacts, Enchantments, and Creatures of course.


Looking at reprints in this precon deck, the main highlight is the Mythic Ancient Greenwarden in its first reprint. Currently it sits at a decent $13 valuation, though this will definitely drop once the deck hits the shelves. The good news is that Ancient Greenwarden is just an amazing card to have in any Landfall deck. If Desert Bloom isn’t flowing as well as you’d like, there are several other decks that Greenwarden can fit in right away.

Scute Swarm and Oracle of Mul Daya are two other notable reprints, with both being key cards for Landfall. Oracle used to cost a pretty penny but lately its holding price is around $5. Chromatic Lantern is also in Desert Bloom but thanks to significant instances of reprints, its price is now below $3. If you’re looking for resale value, then Desert Bloom is not the best precon deck to buy.


Landfall is a mechanic that has been around for awhile, and being a favorite among players, it does get decent support. Felidar Retreat is a nice Enchantment to include since you can get even 2 or more triggers on your turn. And once you’ve got +1/+1 counters on your Creatures, why not add more with Evolution Sage or Bristly Bill, Spine Sower? For additional card draw, Tireless Tracker can generate Clue tokens easily. It’s another of those formerly-pricey cards that has now become a lot more affordable.

You can also consider white cards that can blink Yuma, Proud Protector out and back onto the Battlefield, in order to get more triggers. Ephemerate does this twice, and so does Cloudshift and Acrobatic Maneuver. If you have the budget, Conjurer’s Closet can do the same every turn.

There’s also a case to have some protection spells for your ever growing number of Creatures. The new Smuggler’s Surprise is one, but Heroic Intervention, Boromir, Warden of the Tower and Invasion of Gobakhan does that and more.

Beginner Friendliness

On the surface, the very high casting cost of Yuma, Proud Protector can turn new players off. Without a lucky draw and getting Lands quickly on the Battlefield, you may never get to see your Commander even take a swing at any player.

Once Yuma stays on the board, triggers are going to start flying, and that could be either fun or terrifying for the beginner. It’s best to have someone beside advising on sequencing and watching out on what triggers are missed (as likely there will be). Once the flood of Lands and Creatures are complete, we imagine it’ll be very satisfying when the newbies taps everything for the big attack.

Final Score

Desert Bloom is no doubt a strong deck, helmed by an explosive Commander. It gets tricky to not fall behind because of his high casting cost. But if everything flows nicely and there is minimal disruption from the other players, Desert Bloom offers a nice blend of power and fun. (3.1 out of 5)

Quick Draw: Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck Review


Quick Draw is a wild take on the spell-slinging archetype and provides ample opportunity to copy spells not once but multiple times. Stella Lee, Wild Card is a blue-red Commander that can let you copy an Instant or Sorcery, provided you’d casted 3 spells in that turn (these can be any kind of spell).

Review of Quick Draw precon Commander deck, featuring Stella Lee, Wild Card from Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

In order to help replenish your hand, Stella also has a nifty ability to Exile the top card of your Library when you play your 2nd spell a turn. You’ve got a limited window to play it but it does help in keeping the spell count going in order to make use of your Commander. The goal is to generate double the value of big Instants or Sorceries, since Stella can usually only copy it once.

Power Level

The way Quick Draw wins is likely by flying Creatures. Through Eris, Roar of the Storm (likely the deck’s secondary Commander), Elemental Eruption, and Shark Typhoon, you’ll be creating 4/4 or bigger threats as you cast more and more non-Creature spells. The deck is full or card draw spells, from the classic Ponder and Preordain, to bigger ones like Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. All of that is necessary to keep the fires burning for Stella Lee, Wild Card.

Once you’ve cast 3 spells, you’d want to copy a ground-shaking spell such as Volcanic Torrent and Mizzex Mastery to gain incredible amount of value that no other precon deck can keep up. If you copy Elemental Eruption and it was the 4th spell cast that turn, you’ll be creating 5 4/4 Flying Dragons. As you’ll likely be winning the game by air combat, remember to protect your key permanents Eris and Shark Typhoon. Once they’re destroyed, the precon deck has no way to bring them back.

Alternatively, there is Niv Mizzet, Parun that can throw multiple points of damage just by drawing cards. Cast 1 of your many Instants to draw 1 or more cards, and each draw leads to a point of damage. It’s a slower kill but can add up pretty quickly.

Quick Draw lacks in the threat-removal department. Pongify is a valuable inclusion, and you’ve got a nice Arcane Denial counter spell, but apart from that you’re left with Chaos Warp and Curse of the Swine. So while you are stringing card-draw spell after card-draw spell, you’re pretty much letting the opponents build up on their own.


There are several well-received reprints in Quick Draw. Veyran, Voice of Duality is a powerful Commander on its own, and gets a much-needed reprint since its only edition from Strixhaven kept on creeping up in price. Bloodthirsty Adversary is also a very playable Mythic Rare to get reprinted, and then there’s powerful uncommons like Electrostatic Field and Propaganda. The latter will likely hold on to value since there is always a shortage of good blue cards, but expect the former to fall to the levels of a regular uncommon.

Rousing Refrain and Winged Boots are other niche reprints from previous precon decks that will have some utility in other decks. After release, expect most cards to see some drops in price but Shark Typhoon, a key card in this deck’s strategy, could retain some value.


There are more “cantrips” that can be added to further fuel Quick Draw’s spell count. Brainstorm comes to mind, and there is also Consider. The lack of Mana rocks is also a concern, so why not add a Mindstone or Commander Sphere – both of which can be sacrificed to draw cards when needed.

The newly reprinted Terror of the Peaks from the main set can also be effective as you create so many dragon tokens. It’s not an Instant or Sorcery that can be copied, but it can help do direct damage to opponents when Creatures can’t punch through. Bonus Round might benefit your opponents, but it’ll help you even more if you can cast this as your first spell of the turn. To get some regularity in copying Instants or Sorceries, consider Chandra, Hope’s Beacon. Thanks to Chandra’s passive ability you can copy one spell a turn while making use of her other abilities.

Whether you rely on counter or damage spells, you should upgrade Quick Draw with more options. Resculpt is cheap and effective since it can target both Creatures and Artifacts for 2 Mana. Even a Lightning Bolt will be good to have since it costs 1 Mana and easy to add to your spell count. If you’re able to copy it, that’s a total of 6 damage. At the end of the day, cheap and low-costing Instants and Sorceries are very easy to find, and that makes Quick Draw worth upgrading.

Beginner Friendliness

Spell-slinging can be hard to keep track, and it becomes complicated when multiple copy or cast triggers need to be carried out. Quick Draw is not the kind of deck that we would be handing out to the new player, even though the thought of cheating out copied spells is definitely exciting.

As it stands out of the box, the early game and a considerable part of the mid game would simply be casting card-draw spells or small Creatures, while getting your Commander onto the Battlefield. That doesn’t sound like fun.

Final Score

Quick Draw can be incredibly powerful once you’re all set up and ready to fire off. It does take a while to get there, and the building up process isn’t going to be that fun or interactive for the new players. However with some cheap and incisive upgrades, this deck can be a real powerhouse (3.3 out of 5)

Most Wanted: Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck Review


Most Wanted is the definitive Outlaws of Thunder Junction deck, for being built around the new Outlaw classification (consisting of Rogues, Pirates, Assassins, Mercenaries and Warlocks). On her own, Olivia, Opulent is a decent 3/3 Flyer and Lifelink-er for 4 Mana. Her first ability lets you create Treasure tokens for each Outlaw that connects with a player. So even though there’s no green in the color identity, this deck can ramp up fast.

Review of Most Wanted precon Commander deck, featuring Olivia, Opulent Outlaw from Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

The second ability uses those Treasures to put +1/+1 counters on each Creature you control. The strategy is direct – flood the blood with early Outlaw attackers, buff them up with Olivia’s ability, and finally hit for even more damage.

Power Level

Even though all 33 Creatures in this preconstructed deck are Outlaws, on paper it looks like mish mash of the best Outlaws in Magic history. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since Olivia, Opulent Outlaw just needs them to connect. Many have their own unique triggers, such as Rankle, Master of Pranks and Dire Fleet Ravager. but they don’t synergize that much with each other than being Outlaws.

The deck comes equipped with a good number of Mana rocks (7), likely to help you cast the significant number of expensive Creatures. A Revel in Riches reprint would have fit nicely in this deck, but perhaps too powerful considering its ease in generating Treasure. The deck’s arsenal of target removal is impressive, even though there are only 14 Instants or Sorceries in it. Hex, the new Shoot the Sheriff and Requisition Raid are all nice inclusions – cheap yet effective. To add a bit of fun factor, Seize the Spotlight and Mass Mutiny can temporarily steal opponents’ Creatures, and you can sacrifice them to Deadly Dispute later on.

Because Most Wanted is so reliant on your Outlaws connecting and dealing damage, it is particular vulnerable to board wipes. There are no counter spells, or any other effect that protects your Outlaws from mass removal. One of those can easily devastate your board and even as you rebuild it may be too late to catch up.


Academy Manufactor is reprinted again in Most Wanted. Even though it’s becoming a common sight in these preconstructed decks, we feel it’s a wonderful decision by Wizards of the Coast, since a card like Manufactor can be used in a huge number of decks, being colorless and able to benefit Treasure or other token generators. The other notable reprint is Command Beacon, another universal card that be slotted into any Commander deck if you’re worried about high Commander taxes.

Many Check Lands, Scry Lands and Pain Lands make an appearance too, and all some of the more useful dual lands without breaking the bank. The only valuable Mythic Rare reprint is Breena, the Demagogue, one of the face Commanders from Strixhaven and had steadily grown in value over the years. It’s far from being staple, so expect its price to drop again once these Commander decks are released.

Among the Uncommons, Boros Charm and Lightning Greaves top the pile, and if you look at the deck lists close, Most Wanted is the only preconstructed deck in Outlaws of Thunder Junction to have Lightning Greaves included.


If Creature combat is the main strategy, then there needs to be ways to protect your Creatures, or at least your Commander from targeted removal. White has plenty of single-target protection such as Loran’s Escape or Blacksmith’s Skill. And as mentioned in the other deck, Unbreakable Formation and Flawless Maneuver can provide a nice save when someone tries to destroy all Creatures.

Let’s take a look at some better Outlaws that one can substitute in. Archpriest of Shadows provides a lot of upside and also helps rebuild your army after board wipe. Considering Most Wanted doesn’t have strong card draw effects, you’ll need every piece of card advantage you can find. Breeches, Eager Pillager offers flexible options, creating more Treasures or helping you again some card advantage. Only Pirates will trigger Breeches’ ability, but that doesn’t really affect the usefulness of the Goblin Pirate. Extus, Oriq Overlord has a strict color cost, but its built-in Double Strike means you get to hit the opponent twice and trigger Olivia’s ability.

Imagine having Fathom Fleet Swordjack and 10 Treasures created from previous attacks. Swordjack can deal 10 damage directly to the opponent without even needing to get through. Even if it dies, there’s always Encore for one last swing to each opponent!

Beginner Friendliness

A deck that fits directly into the set’s western theme and involves good ol’ combat to win? There’s probably nothing better for a beginner to get started with Magic or the Commander format. If there’s any nitpicking to be done, it’s that if the army of Outlaws ever gets wiped out, it’s quite a downer for any player to get out of that hole. Back in Town is one new card in the precon deck that can reasonably bring a large number of Creatures back, but the chances of drawing it is low, especially when this deck isn’t built for card draw.

Final Score

You’ve got the most ideal gift for the newbie player in Most Wanted, but on the downside, it’s just not that strong or resistant to the explosiveness of other decks. The Mana curve for the Outlaw Creatures are middle to high, and they don’t necessarily gel well together without Olivia, Opulent Outlaw leading the charge. That’s said, it holds decent reprints and we promise it’ll be a ton of fun among lower-powered decks. (3.5 out of 5)

Grand Larceny: Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander Deck Review


Be prepared to be the ultimate thief in Grand Larceny, where its CommanderGonti, Canny Acquisitor – is known for casting opponents’ cards off their Library. The Acquisitor is a beefy 5/5 for 5 Mana, in black, green and blue colors.

Review of Grand Larceny precon Commander deck, featuring Gonti, Canny Acquisitor from Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Gonti, Canny Acquisitor is great because it gives a 1 Mana cost reduction for any opponents’ spells that you cast. And in each combat, there’s a chance to steal a card from each opponent, giving you good card advantage if you plan your attacks well, and the best part is you can still cast those cards even if your Commander is no longer around.

Power Level

Naturally, you’ll find several cards in Grand Larceny that tries to steal cards from the opponent so that you can cast them. Thief of Sanity, Gonti, Lord of Luxury and Cunning Rhetoric. Many other Creatures will try to give you card draw, even though those won’t benefit from Gonti, Canny Acquisitor‘s cost reduction. The goal here is to outvalue your opponent with cards, using even their own against them. If they have a big threat, you’ll want to take it from them and use it for yourself.

Grand Larceny also has the strongest secondary Commander among the Outlaws of Thunder Junction precon decks. Felix Five-Boots is a powerhouse, adding an additional trigger for any Creature that deals combat damage to a player. It’s on a similar level to the Commander favorite Yarok, the Desecrated, although dealing combat damage is harder to pull off. Having a 5/4 boss with Menace and Ward 2 for 5 Mana is no slouch, and no one will argue if you choose to swap in Felix for Gonti as your face Commander.

The deck will take more time to take off due to higher costing cards. There are seven cards that cost 7 Mana or more, so drawing even one of these in your opening hand is rather high and unwanted. Culling Ritual is a perfect addition to clear the board of any low-costing non-Land permanents, affecting even tokens and Mana rocks. Supported by green ramp spells (Three Visits, Cultivate) and 5 Mana rocks of its own, Grand Larceny should hold its own pretty well.


In terms of reprints, Grand Larceny isn’t a successful haul. Mind’s Dilation is currently the most valuable reprint but being such a high Mana cost and once-a-turn effect, we expect the value to drop over time. You do get Filter Lands, Pain Lands and Check Lands to help bring up the value of reprints, but overall it isn’t much to shout about since other preconstructed decks include similar lands.

While our rating only reflects reprints, Grand Larceny does have a couple of new cards that show the most promise of holding a high value even in the months ahead. Tower Winder is a great ramp Creature for just 2 Mana, allowing you to search for a Command Tower and put it into your hand. With the Tower being able to tap for any color of your Commander’s identity, Tower Winder is an ideal color fixer and later on it’s the perfect blocker with both Reach and Deathtouch. We also mentioned Felix, Five-Boots being an outstanding Commander in its own right, and we’ll likely see a lot of new decks that are built around it. With such high demand, expect the price to remain high too.


Assuming you’re keeping Gonti, Canny Acquisitor as your leading Commander, there are some upgrade options available to steal cards off the opponent’s Library. The recently released Outrageous Robbery can Exile multiple cards at a go. Although it comes with a high cost, each card will enjoy a 1 Mana cost reduction thanks to Gonti. Blightwing Bandit will work with Gonti too, just make sure you have some Instants to cast on the opponent’s turn, and you’ll get to Exile more cards from the opponent’s deck. That said, there is indeed a lack of Instants and interaction with threats that are on the board. Including a Pongify, Heartless Act or maybe even a Cyclonic Rift will help you get those triggers.

Beginner Friendliness

Based on the fun of stealing other people’s cards to use against them, Grand Larceny will be a hit among all player levels, even beginners. Triggering a Brainstealer Dragon on each of your turns and draining players for lots of life sounds like a blast.

It does require some careful strategy to get your attackers to connect, and this might not be so easy among new players. The deck is also not as focused as others that have a bigger support base of cards. You’ve got Ukkima, Stalking Shadow that seems out of place, and then there’s The Mimeoplasm that doesn’t actually cast opponents’ spells or use cards from Exile.

Final Score

Grand Larceny feels like a gang of very talented individuals that want to steal stuff, but aren’t coordinated enough to do it well. Everything relies on what you get from the opponents’ decks, and those cards may not even be great alongside your thieves. It wants to do lofty things, and will be a nice chaotic element in a casual game of Commander, just don’t expect to pull off consistent wins. (3.1 out of 5)

End Step

Were you surprised by the results? There’s a mix of fun and danger in the Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander precon decks, even though none really outdid the rest in the reprint value department. Here’s a summary of which decks did the best: Get yours and start shooting!

Highest Power Level – Quick Draw

Highest Value – Quick Draw, Most Wanted

Highest Upgradability – Most Wanted

Highest Beginner Friendliness – Most Wanted

Highest Overall – Most Wanted

Get your decks and start shooting!

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.
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