17, Apr, 24

These Thunder Junction Powerhouses Can Resurrect Dead Archetypes!

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Article at a Glance

Outlaws of Thunder Junction cards are finally legal on Magic Online and MTG Arena, and it’s no surprise that players are eager to try out the new goodies. There are lots of interesting and powerful synergies involving new cards that players have hyped up for a while. Now, we have the opportunity to try them out. Will Jace Reawakened and Valki, God of Lies take over Pioneer? Is Oko, the Ringleader worthy of praise, or will it completely fall short of its predecessor?

As players work on finding out the answers to these questions, it’ll be interesting to see what cards end up overperforming. There are a lot of unique cards with plenty of untapped potential. On top of that, one of the cool things about this set is that many of the cards, while clearly powerful, don’t inherently slot right into top-tier archetypes. In fact, many of them require relatively specific supporting casts to maximize, which should make this phase of deckbuilding experimentation even more intriguing.

Today, we are going to focus on a handful of cards that may be able to revive some underperforming archetypes. These upgrades may be able to provide the necessary spark to give these strategies new life. Let’s start by taking a look at two awesome designs that could help take Modern Affinity to the next level.

Tooling with Modern Affinity

Simulacrum Synthesizer

Affinity is a deck that once thrived in Modern. Cards like Cranial Plating and Arcbound Ravager built the backbone of an incredibly explosive and scary deck to play against. However, the banning of Mox Opal largely took the wind out of its sails.

In recent years, Affinity decks in Modern have gotten by thanks to the power of Urza’s Saga but have been structured quite differently. The deck has become a lot less aggressive, as cards like Thought Monitor and Sojourner’s Companion have made their presences felt.

Unfortunately, Affinity in its current state has a lot of air and is rather reliant on Construct tokens from Urza’s Saga to help close the game. Add on the fact that Artifact hate cards like Force of Vigor are quite problematic, and it makes sense why the deck has faltered. Well, Simulacrum Synthesizer is here to change that.

Simulacrum Synthesizer is an incredible card when paired with Affinity Creatures like Frogmite and Myr Enforcer. Thanks to Artifact Lands like Mistvault Bridge and Darksteel Citadel as well as cheap other Artifacts such as Ornithopter and Springleaf Drum, it’s not difficult to imagine following up Synthesizer by casting multiple Affinity payoffs for free. Despite spending zero mana, Synthesizer will still trigger and provide some enormous Constructs.

Satoru, the Infiltrator

Taking things a step further, some players have suggested adding Satoru, the Infiltrator as a card advantage engine. Given the sheer volume of cards you can cast for zero mana in this deck, the upside is certainly there. Synthesizer provides lots of pressure while Satoru helps you never run out of gas, which were two areas that prevented this deck from being more popular. I’m excited to see this deck in action.

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A Powerful Two-Drop for a Deck That Needs It

Slickshot Show-Off

Slickshot Show-Off is undoubtedly one of the stronger cards in the set and is a great upgrade for red aggressive decks in Standard and Pioneer. However, one deck in Modern has been begging for this card for quite some time. Modern Prowess has been in dire need of a potent two-drop, and we may have finally found the answer.

Monastery Swiftspear and Soul-Scar Mage are slam-dunk inclusions in Modern Prowess shells. They pair super nicely with all of your cheap cantrips, burn spells, and free spells like Mishra’s Bauble and Mutagenic Growth. Meanwhile Dragon’s Rage Channeler is excellent here given the high density of spells and helps make Underworld Breach an incredible finisher.

Things get really dicey after that, though. Some players choose to splash for Questing Druid, but this card is a bit on the slower side. Others stay the course and play Sprite Dragon, but this card is incredibly weak to Orcish Bowmasters and Wrenn and Six.

Enter: Slickshot Show-Off. This card hits harder than Dragon, survives turn-two Bowmasters, and can easily end the game in one hit with Breach or some Mutagenic Growths. This card should add an immediate upgrade to Modern Prowess, which has not been a top-tier archetype for a while.

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An Elite One-Drop for a Deck That Needs It

Forsaken Miner

Next, we transition over to Pioneer. As a recursive one-drop with two power, Forsaken Miner is a very similar card to Bloodsoaked Champion. However, there are a few things separating it from other cards like it.

Right off the bat, we should mention just how easy committing Crimes is. Almost any black deck will be playing Thoughtseize and Fatal Push as is, so returning Forsaken Miner to play is easy. Like Bloodsoaked Champion, Forsaken Miner unfortunately cannot block, which restricts its versatility. However, aggressive decks can still make use of this.

This brings us to our next point. Obviously, mono-black aggro is the perfect home for Forsaken Miner. It works well with Smuggler’s Copter and the deck is naturally assertive. The issue is, even an improvement in the one-drop slot might not be enough to bring this deck back from the dead. So, what other deck could make use of this card?

While it isn’t a clear inclusion, there’s an argument that Pioneer Rogues decks can utilize this card. Beyond the usual suspects, this deck plays Drown in the Loch as yet another way to commit a Crime. The deck has been severely lacking a one-drop Rogue to pair with Thieves’ Guild Enforcer, and this card delivers. Adding an extra one-mana Rogue not only makes it more likely you can curve out, but it makes Soaring Thought-Thief much stronger. Not being a good blocker is a big knock in Forsaken Miner, but it definitely helps with the Tempo-style starts the Rogues deck is capable of.

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Solid Flash Threat Joins the Party

Aven Interrupter

Finally, we have Aven Interrupter for Standard. Aven Interrupter isn’t the most incredible card, since any spell you exile your opponent can replay the following turn. Still, this is a big tempo swing in your favor. As such, some players are hyped for its potential role in Boros Convoke sideboards. Even delaying a board wipe a turn can be big game given how explosive Convoke can be.

In addition, though, this card may be able to help Azorius Flash shells which have fallen out of favor in recent months. On top of being a solid Flier with Flash, there are a number of strong cards that are good to counter with this. Worldsoul’s Rage and [tooltip]Memory Deluge[/tooltips] out of Temur ramp, for instance, get way worse when your opponent casts them without paying their mana costs.

Now, you can pass with three mana at the ready, and your opponent has to fear any mix of Aven Interrupter, Tishana’s Tidebinder, and Werefox Bodyguard, which all help cover different bases. This card, along with the rest of the Thunder Junction cards we mentioned, are very strong when built around. As players start to innovate with all that the new set has to offer, we look forward to seeing which new cards end up standing out.

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