MTG Breaking News: A Truly Villainous Outlaws Of Thunder Junction Preview!

Jeremy Noell has spent almost a decade of Magic using his Outlaws of Thunder Junction preview card, and that’s no tall tale!

Illustration by Magnus Jansson

Gold buys death. Death earns gold.

Have you ever seen a Magic: The Gathering card and immediately thought, “I need to build a deck around that!”? That’s been most of my MTG experience.

Learning to play in my friend Ricky’s basement the night before our high school senior class trip, pulling out Skyshroud Behemoth and Scaled Wurm.

Learning to play by the real rules while working at Cedar Point, trying to make Laquatus’s Champion and Mutilate work together.

Getting back into the game in college, attempting to deck my opponents with Forced Fruition.

Starting my job here at Star City Games, working with judges who played EDH, and building around Maelstrom Wanderer.

Then 2014 dropped a spell from the skies, just for me. Khans of Tarkir was the new set. I saw Villainous Wealth and knew I needed to build around it. In Standard, I played an Elfball-style deck trying to ramp to cast Villainous Wealth, with X being seven or eight. It only won about 10-20% of the time, but each time I cast Villainous Wealth, I was giddy.

The Command(er) of Villainous Wealth

For Commander, I started to brew my third Commander deck after Maelstrom Wanderer and Kaalia of the Vast / Tariel, Reckoner of Souls.

There were only a few options at the time for Sultai commanders. Vorosh, the Hunter was okay, but unexciting. The Mimeoplasm didn’t really work with the deck’s theme. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant was good, but I didn’t want to risk milling Villainous Wealth and giving away the theme of the deck. Damia, Sage of Stone was one of the boogeymen of the format, and just having her in the Command Zone would draw early fire.

I didn’t have to wait long to choose, as the answer came in the very next set, Fate Reforged, with Tasigur, the Golden Fang. A decent blocker and built-in recursion? Sign me up.

The deck evolved, as most Commander decks do, but the biggest change came with Commander 2020 and Zaxara, the Exemplary. Making blockers for every X-spell really helps to preserve the life total while building up resources.

Commander Riches

The deck was, and still is, built around trying to cast Villainous Wealth as many times as I can. I don’t want to gain infinite mana and knock someone else out right away. That’s boring and can be accomplished with any manner of X-spells.

No, I want to turn the tables and beat them with their own cards.

As such, there are a lot of ways to return Villainous Wealth from the graveyard. The classic Eternal Witness, Regrowth, and Archaeomancer are joined by Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, Scribe of the Mindful, Praetor’s Counsel, and Long Rest. I also highly suggest any deck with green that focuses on a single card add Riftsweeper. With all the ways to exile cards from graveyards, it’s always good to have some insurance. 

Magic Card Back

It’s been ten years, and I don’t plan on slowing down with Villainous Wealth. And thanks to today’s preview, I can make headlines every time I cast it.

Say howdy to Villainous Wealth, Outlaws of Thunder Junction Breaking News-style.

Howdy, Preview!

Thank you to Wizards of the Coast for the preview!