Rest in Peace | Signature Spellbook: Gideon
3, Apr, 24

New MTG Big Score Cards Hose Tier One Standard Strategies!

Article at a Glance

Outlaws of Thunder Junction is a rather strange set with regards to how its bonus sheets are handled. The Breaking News bonus sheet functions quite similarly to other bonus sheets, such as the Enchanting Tales subset of cards from Wilds of Eldraine. These cards are exclusively reprints that, despite showing up in the Limited environment, only remain tournament legal in formats they already were allowed in. So don’t worry, no one will be casting Oko, Thief of Crowns or Mana Drain against you in Standard.

However, the Big Score cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction will be Standard legal. Even though these cards feature an alternate expansion symbol, they will be introduced to the format. This group of cards are somewhat reminiscent of March of the Machine: the Aftermath but can be found in play boosters of Outlaws of Thunder Junction, nonetheless. Today, a bunch more of these cards were spoiled. There’s a nice mix of reprints and strong new cards to talk about, so let’s get to it.

Pest Control

Pest Control

First up, we have an extremely efficient “board wipe” of sorts. Destroying only non-Land permanents with mana value one or less is a narrow effect, but there are a handful of strategies that may get completely blown out. Convoke shells in Standard and Pioneer are certainly at the top of that list. These decks rely on a high volume of one-drop Creatures that produce Artifact tokens, such as Thraben Inspector, to work alongside Gleeful Demolition in helping Convoke out Venerated Loxodon or Knight-Errant of Eos.

Much like Temporary Lockdown, Pest Control cleans up all of these small Creatures and tokens. Missing out on two-drops can be a big deal in some matchups, but so can utilizing this effect turn two on the draw against Convoke. You don’t even have to worry about Enchantment removal ruining your day, and you can always Cycle away Pest Control in situations where you don’t need it.

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Omenpath Journey

Omenpath Journey

Next, we have a unique source of ramp that seems well-suited for Commander. There are a few different ways to utilize this card. The first is to simply use it as a source of ramp. Every turn for five turns, you get to put a Land onto the battlefield tapped. This alone is strong, even if you are simply grabbing various dual Lands. Where things get interesting is when you factor in utility Lands.

Omenpath Journey may be random in the sense that you may not get the Land you want put on the battlefield right away if you search for multiple Lands, but you have all the agency outside of this. If you want, you can use Omenpath Journey to search for only Dark Depths and Thespian’s Stage, guaranteeing an elite set-up in two turns. Even searching for Glacial Chasm and nothing else can be a strong play in certain circumstances.

What makes Omenpath Journey powerful is its flexibility. If you need Lands, grab a bunch. Otherwise, you can use it as a tutor of sorts. In some decks, you may even be able to blink Omenpath Journey and keep the Lands flowing. The world truly is your oyster.

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Lotus Ring

Lotus Ring

Lotus Ring is a very funky card that clearly references the power of Black Lotus. In this case, you do have to jump through some hoops to get your mana, though. You have to pay for the Equipment and pay three mana to Equip it to a Creature, then sacrifice the Creature to get three mana. This is a huge cost, of course, unless you are able to abuse it.

Fortunately, cards like Puresteel Paladin can lend a hand. If you have a large board of Creature tokens and a couple other Artifacts lying around, you can use Lotus Ring in conjunction with Puresteel Paladin as a mega ritual of sorts. Even cards like Forensic Gadgeteer that can reduce the Equip cost of Lotus Ring can do the trick. You just need a sizeable board and some big stuff to cast.

There are also some cool combos to be had with Lotus Ring. For instance, if you control Fervent Champion and Koll, the Forgemaster, you can generate infinite mana rather easily. Start by Equipping Lotus Ring to Fervent Champion (this costs zero mana, thanks to Fervent Champion’s final ability). Then, sacrifice it for three mana, triggering Koll to return Fervent Champion to your hand. Now, cast it again using one of the three floating mana, Equip once more, and repeat! It’ll be cool to see what other combos players come up with in the coming weeks.

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Simulacrum Synthesizer

Simulacrum Synthesizer

Simulacrum Synthesizer is definitely one of the new Big Score cards with the most Constructed potential. In Standard, we’ve seen Artifact decks succeed in the past, utilizing cards like Thran Spider and The Mightstone and Weakstone to pull ahead and grow your Artifact count. Simulacrum Synthesizer is a great win condition in conjunction with these cards. It’s incredible with Skitterbeam Battalion, too, netting you three huge Construct tokens from Simulacrum Synthesizer.

In older formats like Modern, this card works very well in conjunction with Affinity payoffs. Getting to play Simulacrum Synthesizer, then follow up with Frogmite, Sojourner’s Companion, or Myr Enforcer without investing any additional mana can let you build a big board out of nowhere. Simulacrum Synthesizer will surely be a Commander staple on top of this, rocking right alongside Urza, Lord High Artificer.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace

Finally, we have a top tier reprint that may finally help shake things up in Standard. In the latest Magic Online Standard Challenge this past weekend, Temur Worldsoul’s Rage decks made up the entire top four! The power of Aftermath Analyst has been on full display. The idea behind the deck is to maximize Lands from Streets of New Capenna like Brokers Hideout that go to the graveyard.

From there, Aftermath Analyst and Worldsoul’s Rage can bring a bunch of these Lands back from your graveyard at once, gaining you extra life and ramping you in the process. Eventually, Worldsoul’s Rage can be used as a Fireball effect and end the game in one hit.

As strong as this deck is, it is quite reliant on the graveyard. Aftermath Analyst, Worldsoul’s Rage, and even Memory Deluge become a lot worse in the face of Rest in Peace. Rest in Peace can also help keep Reenact the Crime and Slogurk, the Overslime decks in check.

In this sense, while Rest in Peace isn’t a super pricy reprint by any means, it should have major Standard implications for the foreseeable future. The design team definitely didn’t mess around when it comes to these Big Score cards. Expect them to play big roles across multiple formats going forward.

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