19, Apr, 24

Official Outlaws of Thunder Junction Cowboy Bebop Crossover Revealed!

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Universes Beyond is now a central part of the world of Magic: the Gathering. Crossovers from Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead, and everything in between have been popping up in Magic products recently. Want to take down your opponents with Starscream? You can do that! Alternatively, you can now pilot your Commander deck with Jeff Goldblum.

The wide range of crossovers is so far-reaching that Magic players are beginning to have trouble figuring out what’s real or not. A Deal or No Deal proxy ended up garnering a lot of confusion recently because that crossover in the MTG universe is now a believable one.

One genre we see seldom crossovers with is Anime. We do get a lot of anime artwork, and collaborate with Mangaka legends like Junji Ito, but in terms of actual Anime IP crossovers, MTG does not have many, if any.

That said, one new crossover was revealed for Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Some players may be scratching their heads a bit since this crossover is being revealed after Outlaws of Thunder Junction has officially released. It’ll all make more sense when we discuss the recently revealed Cowboy Bebop crossover appearing in Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Cowboy Bebop Cards!

Unveiled recently is a Thunder Junction-related Cowboy Bebop promotion. Oko’s heist crew is stealing the look of the Bebop crew for a series of cheap noncreature spells. The cards all appear to take their own spins on the opening animation of the show.

All of the cards featured in this promotion are reprints of existing commons and uncommons that are legal in the current Standard format. Here’s what each of the cards are reprints of:

  • Ossification
  • Disdainful Stroke
  • Go for the Throat
  • Lightning Strike
  • Snakeskin Veil

As far as utility goes, these reprints are rather interesting. Yeah, they’re not the most financially impressive reprints in the world, far from it. That said, all of these cards do see consistent play in Standard, meaning that anyone who wants to add some Bebop flare to their decks can do so.

While we are currently exploring a new Standard format, most of these cards do see play in some way, shape, or form. Go for the Throat and Disdainful Stroke were commonly found in decks pre-Thunder Junction. Go for the Throat may be replaced by Shoot the Sheriff depending on the established meta, but that’s difficult to tell for sure.

Snakeskin Veil is newly reprinted, so it’s tough to know if that will see Standard play yet. Lightning Strike didn’t see too much Standard play pre-Thunder Junction, but is seeing an uptick thanks to the problem that is Slickshot Show-Off. Finally, Ossification does see some light Standard play pre-Thunder Junction in Toxic decks.

Some players may have already figured it out with the language of these cards, but this is a Japan-only promotion. The announcement is incredibly fresh, so details on how to acquire these promotional cards are still hazy for a majority of the community, including ourselves. It does appear that at least one of these will be featured as a WPN promo in Japan, however.

To promote the Cowboy Bebop promotion, the official Japanese Magic: the Gathering channel released a revised opening scene to Cowboy Bebop using the new card art. At the very end, they show off the five new cards with what appears to be a playmat of the Disdainful Stroke artwork that features Oko. Once again, we are not sure how to acquire this playmat as of yet, but if American players are interested in acquiring these Japanese-exclusive goodies for themselves, Hareruya has been the best place to find these exclusives when they are available in our experience.

Read More: Thunder Junction Creates New MTG Splinter Twin Combo!

Deceptively Expensive, and Extremely Well Received

byu/memorylanewizard from discussion

Just because these Cowboy Bebop promotional cards are reprints of cheap cards does not necessarily mean they won’t be worth anything. Many MTG players speculate that these reprints could be worth big money, especially if you’re trying to buy these cards from North America.

Otherwise, MTG players appear to absolutely love this classy Anime crossover. Offering a rework of the Cowboy Bebop opening is a great way to promote the new material, and really makes the crossover feel seamless.

Many comments like the one from Chas3000 suggest that “This is how you incorporate other properties in a classy way.” Despite these being Japanese exclusives, it’s clear that the interest in these cards has already reached a national audience.

There is some confusion about why these particular promotional cards were selected. Many players speculate that these promotional cards would be even more popular if Commander-related staples were chosen instead of some cheaper cards that are popular in two-player formats like Standard. One comment suggests that, while these card choices may seem strange to North American players, two-player formats may be much more popular in Japan in comparison to North America. Since these promotional cards are regional exclusives, tailoring them to what sees play there makes complete sense.

What do You Think?

It’s clear from the sudden excitement and commentary around these cards that this Cowboy Bebop crossover is a huge hit with the entire MTG community. It’s a shame that these ended up being Japanese exclusives, but with the absurd amount of competition for the TCG industry in Japan, working on some exclusive promotional material does make sense.

Hopefully, Wizards of the Coast gets some positive signals for how strongly this smaller crossover was received and considers doing a variation of this with stronger availability in the future. Cowboy Bebop may be a Japanese exclusive, but maybe a One Piece, Naruto, or Trigun crossover will be something that will be easily accessible to everyone.

Read More: Top Five Most Expensive MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction Cards

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