Magic: the Gathering


Timeless: 10 Best Cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction

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In today's article, we rank the ten best cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction and its sub-sets, The Big Score and Breaking News, for the Timeless format!

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The previews for Outlaws of Thunder Junctionlink outside website have come to an end. The 100th Magic: The Gathering set brings the western theme to the game and also one of the most confusing set division, with separate set symbols for Breaking News, The Big Score and Special Guests.

In this article, we evaluate the ten best cards from the expansion and all its runs that enter Magic Arena for the Timeless format, based on their potential to affect the competitive Metagame or respond to the format's current problems!


Honorable Mentions

Grand Abolisher

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Grand Abolisher doesn't seem to have a more specific home in the current format, but it's a good addition to decks like Naya Winota or Titan Field for situations where we don't want to interact when we execute a play or combo, and we can pick it up with effects who tutor creatures and with Once Upon a Time if we're lucky.

Archive Trap

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Archive Trap is an easy card to enable in a format with Fetch Lands, and spells like Surgical Extraction are excellent for complementing a Mill strategy - if, at some point, this archetype receives more support in Magic Arena.

Harvester of Misery

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Harvester of Misery is an inefficient removal for the format today, but the possibility of using it to remove a creature and then bringing it back with Reanimate can guarantee a space in some lists to deal with smal Aggro or threats like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

As we don't have Living End and Cascade enablers, it is very likely that it will become a Sideboard piece instead of a maindeck card.

Molten Duplication

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The combo with Dualcaster Mage and permanent copy effects gets another addition with Molten Duplication, but it was never consistent enough for Historic and seems even less efficient in Timeless.

Lost Jitte

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Lost Jitte loses value in an environment where Urza's Saga doesn't exist, and not even Stoneforge Mystic's arrival in Timeless can do much to make it an instant staple, especially in the current format where the main decks are focused on combos.

However, its low cost and the possibility of making Atraxa, Grand Unifier not block can give it a slot in archetypes like Domain Zoo or Naya Winota if they opt for a Stoneforge Mystic package.

The Ten Best Outlaws of Thunder Junction Cards for Timeless

10 - Pest Control

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Pest Control doesn't work wonders in the current Metagame, but it could grow in the format if more low-cost permanents start to dictate the competitive scene again, being an excellent replacement for Engineered Explosives and similar cards that aren't in Magic Arena today.

9 - Abrupt Decay

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Abrupt Decay was once a staple in Modern and Legacy, but lost space as other more efficient options in terms of mana value emerged and, today, it competes directly with Assassin’s Trophy, which offers greater coverage.

If the format eventually has access to cards like Force of Will or Force of Negation, it is possible for Abrupt Decay to gain space on the Sideboards as a response against specific hates, such as Grafdigger's Cage, Containment Priest or Pithing Needle.

8 - Path to Exile

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Path to Exile won't replace Leyline Binding in Domain Zoo or Swords to Plowshares in Control decks, but it has room and potential in the format as a complementary removal in Domain and other Aggro lists to deal with impactful threats like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Winota, Joiner of Forces, Primeval Titan or Yawgmoth, Thran Physician without guaranteeing extra life to the opponent.


7 - Mana Drain

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Considering that Mana Drain is not restricted in Timeless, its impact does not seem as relevant in the format as it could be in Vintage due to the lack of artifacts or abilities where the extra mana generated by the spell matters.

Generally, the colorless mana in such a color-cost intensive format today will be used to pay Companion costs or to try to cast Planeswalkers like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria early - which can be terrifying coming on the third turn, but not on the point of Timeless being unable to deal with - or cards with heavier colorless costs like Mindslaver.

I have no doubts about Mana Drain taking the place of Counterspell in the format's blue decks if it remains unrestricted in Timeless and its potential to cause changes in the Metagame if it does so, but Blue-Based Control is low in the format today and archetypes like Izzet Tempo don't benefit as much from its abilities, leaving it in a slightly bad position on the list.

6 - Stoneforge Mystic

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Stoneforge Mystic did not come with Kaldra Compleat or Batterskull, but it has the potential to enable several Stoneblade variants alongside Cryptic Coat and other equipment, such as Lost Jitte or Sword of Fire and Ice, in addition to giving greater consistency to Hammer Time decks, which haven't had a chance to appear in the competitive Metagame.

However, the current Timeless seems too unfair and/or too fast to take advantage of Stoneforge Mystic, which benefits from an attrition-based Metagame. Perhaps an Azorius Hammer would be a good starting home for the newest staple to arrive in Magic Arena.

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5 - High Noon & Mindbreak Trap

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High Noon and Mindbreak Trap are excellent answers to problematic archetypes, such as Underworld Breach lists, which seek to sequence spells to cast Tendrils of Agony or even to block the Omniscience combo with Approach of the Second Sun, which some Show and Tell lists have run as wincondition.

Mindbreak Trap is more universal and allows any deck to have a way to deal with combo, whereas High Noon is a little more restrictive and may not have the same impact, as Deafening Silence is also available on Timeless.

4 - Torpor Orb

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Torpor Orb joins the wide range of Sideboards for Timeless that could have some lasting and positive impact on the format as it evolves. Giving any deck the possibility of blocking ETB effects makes this artifact an excellent addition to the format, being excellent against the already mentioned Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Primeval Titan and some creatures ran by Naya Winota, in addition to locking the famous “free win” with Craterhoof Behemoth.

3 - Force of Vigor

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Free spells are always welcome in a format with a power level as high as Timeless, and Force of Vigor is a way to maximize the efficiency of your mana every turn while protecting from occasional hate, or to respond to an Omniscience or Underworld Breach whenever necessary.


It will be an instant staple and a safe wildcard investment for any player running decks like Titan Field, Yawgmoth, or any other archetype with enough green cards to pay for its pitch.

2 - Reanimate

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Reanimate has the potential to enable in Timeless a timeless Magic archetype that has the same name as its key card: Reanimator - With Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Serra's Emissary and Griselbrand, there is no shortage of useful targets for the archetype, which can take advantage of Show and Tell as well as a more dedicated deck.

On the other hand, despite the existence of Faithless Looting and other similar effects in the format, Timeless lacks Entomb and similar cards for a low cost, which reduces its consistency compared to the Legacy versions.

Since Modern Horizons 3 will feature the Evoke elementals as part of the Special Guests series, we can assume they will arrive at Magic Arena - and the combination of Grief with Reanimate has been one of the most controversial “combos” in Legacy currently, and could have the same impact and even greater controversy in Timeless.

1 - Surgical Extraction

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One of Timeless' biggest problems today is the lack of efficient answers to such a high power level. The absence of spells like Force of Negation doesn't help keep certain decks in check, and the only options are limited to discards, creating a scenario where many archetypes lose viability because they don't keep up.

Surgical Extraction doesn't address this problem, but it's on the right path of punishing more linear strategies and preventing them from having too much redundancy or consistency due to the lack of effects like Extirpate to create permanent hate, and the fact that it being paid with Phyrexian mana will certainly make it a Sideboard staple.


That's all for today.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!