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MTG Thunder Junction creates a new way to play Commander

The next premier MTG set, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, is introducing a new Commander mini-game, where players complete to claim bounties.

MTG Thunder Junction art showing a frontier town with strange plantlife behind

Upcoming Magic: The Gathering set Outlaws of Thunder Junction is introducing a new mini-game for Commander. In the same vein as Planechase, the new ‘Bounties’ system will add greater variety and unpredictability to your Commander games.

The latest in a spree of fresh MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction reveals, this system features a separate, shared deck of Bounty cards, which players will compete to earn rewards for completing.

Bounties are optional missions that any MTG Commander player can go after. For instance, the Bounty card ‘The Outsider’ asks you to cast a spell from anywhere apart from your hand during your turn.

The longer a Bounty has gone unfulfilled, the better its reward will be. So for instance, the first turn a Bounty is revealed, the reward for completing it is just one treasure. But if it isn’t completed for three turns, the reward will be two treasure tokens and drawing a card. Here’s the full list of Bounty rewards.

Bounty Reward Level Reward
1 Create a Treasure token
2 Create two Treasure tokens
3 Create two Treasure tokens or Draw a card
4 (Max level) Create two Treasure tokens and Draw a card

This looks like it’ll create some interesting gameplay. You might want to complete a Bounty early on, just to prevent the next player claiming it at a higher reward level. Or you might take a gamble, leaving a more difficult Bounty to go around the table, in the hopes it’ll remain unbeaten and you’ll be get to claim it at a higher level on your next turn.

The Rules for Commander Bounty

To play with Bounties, you’ll need to set up a Bounty deck with 6-12 Bounty cards in a face-down pile. On the starting player’s third turn, you turn the first card face up to reveal the first Bounty. After that, when a Bounty is claimed, simply turn up a new one at the start of the next turn. And once all Bounties are claimed, shuffle them together to reform the deck.

Wizards recommends you play with twelve Bounty cards, to make gameplay less predictable, but says the minimum to play the mini-game is six. It’s not yet clear where you’ll find Bounty cards, but presumably you’ll either get six with each Thunder Junction Commander deck, or they’ll be found in Thunder Junction packs.