27, Mar, 24

Incredible Thunder Junction Wizard is a Multi-Format Upgrade!

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Article at a Glance

Today was a big day when it comes to spoilers. A massive number of new cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction were previewed, showing off the uniqueness and flavor of our next premier set. There were also a bunch of pricy reprints included in the main set, Breaking News bonus sheet, and beyond. With so many cards getting revealed all at once, it can be hard to focus in on the ones with the highest potential in Constructed.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Today, we are going to focus on one card in particular that has clear homes in multiple formats. This card is evasive, hits hard, and has some interesting play to it thanks to its Plot ability. The card in question is Slickshot Show-Off. Let’s dive right in and take a look at what makes this card so special.

A Great Card on Rate

Slickshot Show-Off

Slickshot Show-Off is quite the card. For two mana, you get a 1/2 with Flying and Haste that gains a significant buff when you cast non-Creature spells. This alone makes it almost certainly strong enough to see Standard play in red aggressive shells. As good as mono-red is in Standard, one weakness has certainly been the two-drop slot.

Fugitive Codebreaker was a nice upgrade from Murders at Karlov Manor, and alongside Monastery Swiftspear, incentivized players to utilize lots of cheap spells alongside them. After that, though, cards like Pyrotechnic Performer or Charming Scoundrel are pretty significant drop-offs in power level. Well, Slickshot Show-Off seems like a great immediate replacement. It works perfectly with various burn spells and Monstrous Rage.

Speaking of Monstrous Rage, Slickshot Show-Off looks like a perfect inclusion in Boros Heroic in Pioneer, too. Between the plethora of one-mana pump spells this deck has access to, it’s easy to get Slickshot Show-Off’s power through the roof on your attacks.

Even though it doesn’t maintain its growth into future turns (cards like Tenth District Legionnaire keep +1/+1 counters when you target them, for instance), it makes up for this by having its power grow by two when you cast a non-Creature spell. Additionally, you can target another one of your Creatures and Slickshot Show-Off will still get pumped, which is a big deal. However, what really sets the card apart in this archetype is its Plot ability.

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Maximizing Plot

In many decks, the Plot ability on Slickshot Show-Off won’t come up super often. After all, if you’re going through the trouble of spending two mana on turn two for the card, you might as well cast it and get the extra point of damage in thanks to Haste. The thing is, there are some important circumstances where the Plot ability is super important. For Heroic, it enables you to easily protect your powerful Bird Wizard.

Part of what makes the Boros Heroic deck so strong is that, even against decks with removal spells, cards like Gods Willing and Loran’s Escape force the opponent to have multiple removal spells in one turn. As such, it isn’t always worthwhile to slam your potent two-drop on turn two. Sometimes, it’s worth waiting until turn three to play a third Land and hold up protection.

This is where Plot comes into play. In attrition-based matchups, you can Plot Slickshot Show-Off turn two, then cast it turn three with all of your mana up. This can let you get a big attack in with protection spells at the ready. Even if you don’t have a third Land, Plot makes sure that your potent two-drop is safe from a single Fatal Push.

In a similar vein, much like Foretell, getting to save mana on a future turn has its perks. For instance, against UW control, rather than playing further into Temporary Lockdown, you can exile Slickshot Show-Off, cast it after the board wipe, and get a massive attack in. In other strategies, such as Boros Pia, Nalaar, Consul of Revival shells, you may even get a small bonus for casting Slickshot Show-Off from exile. There are simply tons of ways to abuse this card.

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A Wizard Subtheme

Speaking of abusing this card, the fact that Slickshot Show-Off is a Wizard opens the door for further brewing possibilities. In Pioneer, this card makes casting Wizard’s Lightning for one mana much more reliable. Alongside Soul-Scar Mage and Ghitu Lavarunner, you should have a high enough density to make things work.

In Modern, we’ve seen Izzet shells incorporate Flame of Anor, which is an incredibly powerful card if you control a Wizard when you cast it. Typically, this card shows up in tempo strategies alongside Snapcaster Mage and Tishana’s Tidebinder. With a more aggressive slant, Slickshot Show-Off could be a strong inclusion.

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Going Even Deeper

Orcish Bowmasters

When talking about Modern, likely the easiest home for Slickshot Show-Off, though, is Izzet Prowess. Izzet Prowess generally makes use of Soul-Scar Mage, Monastery Swiftspear, and Dragon’s Rage Channeler as elite one-mana threat. After that, things get a little dicey.

Sprite Dragon used to be a strong inclusion, but the presence of Orcish Bowmasters makes it much more difficult to find a window to tap out for it. Some players have chosen to splash for Questing Druid, but this isn’t the most aggressive card and forces you to play another color. Slickshot Show-Off is the perfect card to fill this role.

With free spells like Mishra’s Bauble and Mutagenic Growth in the mix, this card can pile on tons of damage in short order. Throw in Underworld Breach, and you may be able to win the game in one hit! Ultimately, the potential for this card is through the roof, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it becomes a strong multi-format staple.

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