Razzle Dazzler | Outlaws of Thunder Junction
29, Apr, 24

MTG Arena Is Getting Another Power Nine Producing Creature!

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Article at a Glance

Much to the confusion of many MTG players, Outlaws of Thunder Junction is three sets in one. Between the main set, the Breaking News bonus sheet, and The Big Score, there’s undeniably a lot going on. For better or worse, that’s not all this blockbuster set has up its sleeves, as there’s an entire extra release!

Launching on Tuesday, May 7th, Alchemy: Thunder Junction is coming to MTG Arena very soon. As always, this set will contain 30 brand-new cards that are playable in Alchemy, Historic, Timeless, and Brawl. From what we’ve seen so far, the new Alchemy: Thunder Junction cards very much look the rootin’ tootin’ cowboy shootin’ part.

Unfortunately, while these new cards do look good, their playability leaves much to be desired…

Sapphire Collector

Sapphire Collector

As one of the power nine, Mox Sapphire is one of the most powerful cards in all of MTG. Costing no mana at all, this Artifact is a fantastic ramp engine, so long as you can get it into your hand early. Technically, Sapphire Collector can manage this, however, they’re not quite a turn-one play.

Costing three mana themselves, Sapphire Collector is already fairly slow if you want to ramp with them. To make matters worse, to get the Mox Sapphire you’ve got to ask two non-creature spells in one turn. If you’re lucky, this means that you’ll get the Mox Sapphire and it’s all important ramp on turn four…

Thankfully, unlike Oracle of the Alpha, Sapphire Collector does at least put the Mox Sapphire into your hand. This allows you to play it quickly and start getting value from it as soon as possible. In a spell-slinging Izzet deck, this isn’t half bad, but it’s not all good either.

Even with Prowess and its Flashback-providing ability, Sapphire Collector is still fairly slow. Since a Mox Sapphire can only be Conjured once, this card can’t even be a great source of mid-game ramp. Instead, Sapphire Collector appears to be a middling value engine that no deck needs.

Between Izzet Pheonix in Timeless, Izzet Wizards in Historic, and Mono-Red in Alchemy, nothing is clamoring for Sapphire Collector. Due to their aggressive nature, none of these decks wants to only be playing a threat on turn three. Even if Sapphire Collector is potentially useful, casting a Monstrous Rage is much more effective.

Ultimately, we don’t expect Sapphire Collector to see much play outside of Brawl. Here, Sapphire Collector could be a decent tool for spell-slinging Thousand-Year Storm decks, but don’t expect too much.

Grenzo, Crooked Jailer

Grenzo, Crooked Jailer

If you were wondering where all the law enforcement on Thunder Junction was, Grenzo, Crooked Jailer has the answer. Unsurprisingly for a lawless wasteland, the police on this plane are corrupt and into stealing too! Thankfully, on top of being flavorful, this makes Grenzo, Crooked Jailer quite an interesting card.

Right off the bat, Grenzo, Crooked Jailer boasts a brand new keyword ability; Heist. As described by Wizards, this new ability lets you target an opponent and steal one of the cards from their deck. With a choice of three cards to pick from, this ability could be an absolute menace.

“Heist is a new keyword ability that lets you target an opponent and look at three random nonland cards in their library and exile one face down. You may cast that card for as long as it remains exiled, and mana of any type can be spent to cast it.”

Wizards of the Coast

Typically activating once per turn during your upkeep, Grenzo offers consistent and lucrative value while they’re in play. Beyond just stealing your opponent’s cards, Grenzo also lets you cast one spell you don’t own for free each turn. This basically means whichever card you Heist, you get to play for the low low cost of nothing!

Unfortunately, while stealing your opponent’s spells and casting them for free sounds like fun, Grenzo, Crooked Jailer is rather expensive. Costing six mana, it seems unlikely they’re going to see play in any competitive format. Currently, the metagames for Alchemy, Historic, and Timeless are all too fast for a card that only gets going on turn six.

Thankfully, much like Sapphire Collector, it’s likely that Grenzo, Crooked Jailer will see some good play in Brawl. Alongside Obeka, Splitter of Seconds Grenzo, Crooked Jailer can be a real menace. Not only can they steal bigger threats, but with multiple upkeeps you could steal your opponent’s entire deck!

More Alchemy Coming Soon!

Priest of Possibility
Priest of Possibility | Alchemy: Dominaria

According to Wizards of the Coast, more previews for Alchemy: Thunder Junction should be coming soon to delight MTG Arena players. Specifically, we can “look for new previews from the set as we approach next Tuesday’s release.” If past spoiler seasons are anything to go by, this means we should see a few spoilers each day before a big Monday round-up.

For now, we’re left feeling a little bit disappointed by the early Alchemy: Thunder Junction offerings. Since we’ve only seen two cards so far, however, we’ve hardly seen enough to make a fair assessment. Ultimately, we’re just going to have to wait and see what the rest of the spoiler season brings this coming week.

Read More: Leaked Special Guests Threaten Massive MTG Arena Disruption

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