Smoldering Stagecoach
5, Apr, 24

New Quick Draw Commander Deck Delivers Insane Copy Effects

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Article at a Glance

After ten days jam-packed with content, the spoiler season for Outlaws of Thunder Junction is finally over. As usual, the set’s spoiler season finished in spectacular fashion with the debut of four preconstructed Commander decks. Each boasting an interesting strategy, a handful of new cards, and a plethora of reprints, it’s no wonder these decks sell well.

Out of the four Commander decks from Outlaws of Thunder Junction unsurprisingly, each one loves committing crimes. While their face Commanders may not focus entirely on this new mechanic, the decks certainly deliver. This is especially true for the new Quick Draw deck, which copies spells en masse.

If you’re looking to commit an awful lot of crimes in an instant, Quick Draw is undoubtedly the deck for you.

Stella Lee, Wild Card

Stella Lee, Wild Card

To kick things off with the deck’s face Commander, Stella Lee, Wild Card plays heavily into the deck’s spell-slinging and copying antics. Providing Impulse Draw and a copy effect on big turns, Stella Lee can get a lot done when you play your cards right. Thankfully, through the new Plot mechanic, setting up these major turns is now a lot easier to do than normal.

Right now, it’s unclear which of the deck’s two Commander options will be the go-to. That being said, Stella Lee seems like the obvious first choice since they play into the deck’s core theme. By allowing you to continually copy and cast spells, Stella Lee should ensure you always get the best value from them.

While this seems like a rather powerful strategy, as always, the alternative Commander mixes things up a little.

Eris, Roar of the Storm

Eris, Roar of the Storm

At a starting cost of ten mana, Eris, Roar of the Storm is hardly a cheap Commander right off the bat. Thankfully, they do feature a rather potent cost-reduction ability which makes them playable on turn four. So long as you’re casting the appropriate mana value spell each turn, Eris’ cost isn’t nearly as bad as it seems.

Once in play, Eris, Roar of the Storm generates additional value on top of the second spell you cast each turn. Unlike the deck’s many copy effects, this ensures that even cheap spells and draw can pack a serious punch. By creating 4/4 Dragons with Flying and Prowess, Eris can assemble quite a devastating team rather quickly.

Just like Stella Lee, Eris, Roar of the Storm works wonders with the new Plot mechanic. Sadly, within the Quick Draw deck, only two cards have Plot right out of the box. Subsequently, you’ll likely have to spend some time upgrading the deck if you want to be plotting all the time.

Thunderclap Drake

Thunderclap Drake

If you’re a fan of Goblin Electromancer, Thunderclap Drake is the new card for you. Offering the same cost-reduction effect on instants and sorceries at an easier cost, Thunderclap Drake will already be an auto-include within many decks. As if that wasn’t enough already, Thunderclap Drake can also copy a spell in a pinch!

While their cost-reducing effect is bound to always be useful, Thunderclap Drake’s copy ability is best used late game. When doing this, you ensure you get the maximum value, as presumably, you’ve played your Commander a few times by then. While maximum value is always enticing, there’s always the option for early-game shenanigans should you really need to copy something.

Ultimately, Thunderclap Drake is just a good card for a great many spellslinger decks. As a result, we can expect to see them cropping up in quite a few lists going forward. This may potentially lead to them being rather expensive, but we’ve have to wait and see about that.

Crackling Spellslinger

Crackling Spellslinger

Out of the four new creatures in the Quick Draw Commander deck, Crackling Spellslinger is undeniably our favorite. Capable of giving the next spell you cast Storm, Crackling Spellslinger facilitates no end of shenanigans. Unfortunately, thanks to their high cost, maximizing this card’s potential isn’t all too easy.

Costing five mana, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to cast Crackling Spellslinger while also independently generating a high Storm count. Thankfully, Crackling Spellslinger has Flash, so you’re able to profit off your opponent’s spellcasting. While this doesn’t guarantee they’ll always be effective, it’s nonetheless capable of generating insane value.

At worst, Crackling Spellslinger is another Storm-based wincon waiting to happen. That being said, in the Quick Draw deck, there aren’t any burn spells. While this is hardly the end of the world, it nonetheless squanders the potential of Crackling Spellslinger somewhat. Still, that’s nothing that a few upgrades and changes couldn’t fix.

Smoldering Stagecoach

Smoldering Stagecoach

As if the trend wasn’t clear enough already, Smoldering Stagecoach is yet another new card that facilitates fantastical spell-slinging antics. Not only do they scale with the instants and sorceries in your graveyard, but they can give those spells Cascade. Thankfully, both one instant and one sorcery spell each get Cascade, so there’s a lot of potential.

To limit their effectiveness somewhat, Smoldering Stagecoach does have to attack first to make this happen. While this is a slight dampener, especially since they have to be crewed too, there’s nonetheless potential. After all, within the Quick Draw deck, there are a fair few huge spells that you can Cascade with to great effect.

Between Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise, Smoldering Stagecoach can certainly facilitate some impressive turns. Even if you don’t have these exact spells in hand, however, it’s rare that Cascade is ever a bad thing.

Leyline Dowser

Leyline Dowser

In theory, Leyline Dowser can be quite an effective draw engine in the right hands. That will be the case, at least, provided you’re familiar with the top of your library and you can mill the right cards. When this happens, Leyline Dowser essentially lets you draw an instant or sorcery, which is obviously great for this preconstructed deck.

If you’re just winging it and hoping for value, sadly Leyline Dowser isn’t nearly as good. Since only a milled instant or sorcery spell will be returned to your hand, there’s a high potential for misses. In theory, you can try and try again by tapping legendary creatures, but that’s hardly a reliable strategy.

While it may not be the best in the Quick Draw deck, Leyline Dowser still has potential in other strategies. In a mill-focused legendary-heavy deck, for instance, this card could be a great value engine. Most of the time, however, this card seems just okay at best.

Forger’s Foundry

Forger's Foundry

Thankfully, while one of the deck’s new Artifacts may be a dud, Forger’s Foundry is actually rather good. Capable of providing a little extra mana, Forger’s Foundry allows you to exile cheap sells to cast them at a later date. Not only does this double the value of the spells you play, but it also helps facilitate Storm shenanigans.

With over two dozen low-cost spells that Forger’s Foundry can copy, there’s undoubtedly the potential for big turns. Unfortunately, making those happen will require keeping Forger’s Foundry around until the right moment, which isn’t guaranteed. Problematically, unless you’re able to cast its second ability, you may end up worse off in the long run.

Due to harming Quick Draw’s graveyard synergies, you’ll have to be careful how and when you use Forger’s Foundry. Thankfully, since Forger’s Foundry’s first ability is a “may” ability, you do have the choice to be careful or not.

Pyretic Charge

Pyretic Charge

Moving into the new instants and sorceries, Pyretic Charge can potentially offer a quite sizable buff to your board. To do this, however, you’ll have to discard a fairly stacked hand, which isn’t ideal outside of a Madness deck. Thankfully, Pyretic Charge is a lot more than just a situational buff, as it also draws four cards.

Even with Plot, in Quick Draw, Pyretic Charge isn’t worth much more than its draw effect most of the time. Thankfully, outside of this preconstructed deck, the card has a lot more potential due to the buffs it provides. Alongside The Locust God or Krenko, Mob Boss this buff is invaluable.

Elemental Eruption

Elemental Eruption

While Pyretic Charge seems somewhat unsuited for Quick Draw’s game plan, Elemental Eruption is much more on point. Much like Eris, Roar of the Storm this new card simply creates 4/4 Dragons with Flying and Prowess. On its own, for six mana, this ability obviously isn’t great, but Elemental Eruption does have Storm.

While it’s hardly a dedicated Storm deck, Quick Draw still has some good Storm potential. With multiple low-cost draw spells and cost-reducing abilities, getting a decent Storm count shouldn’t be too difficult. From here, casting Elemental Eruption should provide good value, especially if you manage to copy it.

While copied spells sadly don’t add to the Storm count, you can still copy Elemental Eruption to great effect. Should you do this, you can easily flood your board with Dragons that are primed to win you the game. All you’ll need is a way to provide Haste so they’re not left waiting for a turn.

Lock and Load

Lock and Load

Last, but by no means least, Lock and Load is almost the Storm draw card that players have been clamoring for. Unfortunately, since Lock and Load only cares about the instants and sorceries you cast, it’s not nearly as powerful as desired. That being said, this card still has an awful lot of potential on the right turn.

Thanks to its slightly increased Plot cost, it’s easy to set up a good turn for Lock and Load to pop off with. This should ensure that you always get your mana’s worth when casting this card. That will be the case, at least, so long as this spell doesn’t get countered.

Unlike Storm, Lock and Load doesn’t create any copies of itself depending on the Storm count. This means that an opponent only needs a single counterspell in order to completely nullify your plans. Considering the strength of Storm, this change may be somewhat warranted, but it nonetheless hurts Lock and Load’s potential.

Reasonable Reprints

Veyran, Voice of Duality

In a very welcome change, it has seemed that many recent Commander decks have included a number of absolutely insane reprints. Often offering well over the decks’ market value in reprint value alone, decks from recent sets were a no-brainer purchase. Unfortunately, this trend has seemingly stopped with Outlaws of Thunder Junction, as the reprints are just okay this time around.

In Quick Draw, there’s only one reprint that’s worth more than $10. This card is Veyran, the Voice of Duality, which currently costs around $13.50. Capable of doubling the triggers on cards like Guttersnipe Veyran sees a good deal of play, so it’s great to see a reprint.

Sneaking in just under the $10 threshold, Bloodthirsty Adversary is worth around $9. Capable of chipping in for damage and copying your spent spells, Bloodthirsty Adversary is a potent multiformat staple. Outside of Commander, Bloodthirsty Adversary currently sees the most play in Standard, so the reprint is very much welcome.

Below these two somewhat pricy cards, there are four cards in the $6 – $7 range. Each seeing healthy Commander play, the reprints of Pongify, Rousing Refrain. Winged Boots and Shark Typhoon are good but not exceptional.

Last up of the notable cards, Propaganda is getting a new print to likely drop its price below $5. Alongside this, the reprint of Arcane Bombardment is currently worth around $4. A similar price can be found on Archmage Emeritus, which is also getting reprinted.

A Good Showing So Far

Overall, while the reprints may be somewhat underwhelming, the Quick Draw Commander deck still looks like a lot of fun. With spell-copying antics aplenty and lots of creatures that synergize with each spell cast, the deck has a very interesting game plan. Whether or not that game plan will be any good, however, remains to be seen.

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