Outlaws of Thunder Junction Prerelease Info

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Prerelease Info
Saddle up, planeswalkers! Join Oko and his band of outlaws as they ride into Magic's first wild west expansion, the Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Join us this April as we take a sneak peak at this brand new Magic expansion!  For a full rundown of how our prerelease events work, and what changes are afoot with this set read on!

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Prerelease Information

Ready for the big score? Join us for up to six sealed prerelease events this April. If you've never played at a prerelease before - no worries! We've got some helpful tips and reminders for you below, along with links to all of our events and preorder information to boot. 

Sealed Prerelease Events

Each event will consist of a sealed event of some variety (regular or 2 Headed Giant), and last 3-4 roun

ds of play. More on that just a bit further down. If you’d rather draft a prerelease, we have you covered the Tuesday after prerelease weekend!

Bonus Draft Prerelease Event!

As soon as we open on Friday, April 12, we'll have the entire product suite available for you! And that’s not all - we’ll also be able to sell individual packs, including play and collector boosters, alongside bundles, commander decks…basically anything you could ask for to help you stir up trouble.

You'll get your first crack at trying out play boosters at one of our prerelease events. Each prerelease kit contains six play boosters, plus one foil year-stamped card that you can use as part of your prerelease pool.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Preorders and Buy-A-Box Promo Information

Preorders for Outlaws of Thunder Junction are already up on our web store when you’re ready for them. As with most recent sets, preorders for whole boxes (see below) will also receive the set's buy a box promo (while supplies last).

You'll receive one buy-a-box promo for every purchase of the following items:

  • Play Booster Boxes
  • Collector Booster Boxes
  • 6 Prerelease Kits

You'll get 1 promo per qualifying item(s) purchased. So if you preorder 6 prerelease kits and a set booster display, you'll get 2 of these lovely promo cards. 

Preparing for a Prerelease at Phoenix

Once you've preregistered for your event(s) of choice, there's a small checklist of things to do before prerelease weekend rolls along. If you're planning to play at one of the in-person events, here's what you'll need to be aware of:

  • Review our current guidelines regarding in-store play. (updated May 17, 2023)
  • Per our new in-store play guidelines, players who need an accommodation to attend a prerelease event should request them at least 48 hours prior to the event.
  • Food and Non-alcoholic drinks are allowed inside, so please do make sure you bring a snack and water bottle in case you get hungry between rounds.
  • Optional, but highly recommended: Download the Magic Companion app to your phone or tablet.
  • Optional, but highly recommended: Make sure you have a login setup with the MTG Companion App (if you play Arena, these login credentials are the same for both game and app).

What to do during Prerelease Weekend

If you're playing in one of our in-person events, just make sure you arrive at the store before the event's start time. We recommend aiming for about 30-45 minutes prior to the event to make sure you can get checked in, find a seat, and get comfortable in the space. You can do some trading, or pick up some sleeves or what have you, and it's way easier if you do that ahead of start time rather than during deck construction.

The Prerelease "How to"

All of our regular Outlaws of Thunder Junction prerelease events will be a sealed (or limited) format events. That means you'll be given 6 play boosters of Outlaws of Thunder Junction and a foil prerelease promo inside of your prerelease kit. We'll give you about 45 minutes to open those packs, sort them, and build deck out of the contents inside. Here are all the deck building requirements: 

  • Minimum Deck Size is 40 cards
  • You may use the contents of your prerelease booster packs (plus the date stamped promo) to build your deck.
  • Aside from basic land, you may only use whatever is in your prerelease kit to build with. (No trading with other players or combining multiple pools, please). 
  • There's no cap on the number of cards of the same name you can have in the deck (ex: if you open 5 of the same card, you can use all 5 if you want).
  • You may adjust your deck between games or matches. If you're just not doing well with what you built, maybe try a different combination of colors!

Once you've got your deck built, set the rest of your card pool aside until the end of the event. Don't trade anything away yet, cause those leftover cards will be your sideboard. 

Prerelease Prize Support

All of our prerelease events are run with an eye towards having the best possible time, learning, and trying out new ideas and strategies that come from every new set. So with that in mind, we stick to a simple pack-per-win prize structure that looks a little like this:

  • 4 Wins - 4 Packs
  • 3 Wins - 3 Packs
  • 2 Wins - 2 Packs
  • 1 Win - 1 Pack

With the exception of the Friday at 3 PM event, each event will have a maximum of 4 rounds. All prizes will be awarded to players in the form of Outlaws of Thunder Junction play boosters once they've finished with the event. Only play 2 rounds and need to drop? No problem! Just let us know you're leaving and we'll give you whatever prizes are owed at that point.

Because the 3 PM Friday event will be constrained to 3 rounds in order to make sure that the 7:30 PM event can start on time, it will have a similar prize structure to the one listed above, but adjusted slightly. In order to accommodate the missing round, the final round of the event will count for 2 boosters (so you can still win as many as four packs if you 3-0 the Friday event).

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Mechanics

Thunder Junction is a frontier plane where the law is loose and justice is sparse. In that wild west style world we've got a few new mechanics that fit perfectly into the theme - Crimes, OutlawsPlot, Saddle, and Spree. We’ll give a brief overview of them here, along with a few examples but for a full run-down of the mechanics and an in-depth discussion of them, head over to Wizards’ own write-up.


It's time to be gay and do...Crimes! A crime occurs when you target an opponent (or their stuff) with any spell or ability. So if you've done that, congratulations! You've committed a crime! Cards in Outlaws of Thunder Junction will refer to the act of committing crimes, or check to see if you've committed crimes during a turn. Like Oko here.


If you see "outlaws" referenced on a card in this set, they're referring to a whole collection of creature types. Assassins, Mercenaries, Pirates, Rogues, and Warlocks are all considered outlaws.


Before you can commit the crime, you've got to plot it! Plot is an activated ability on a card in your hand. When you plot, you exile the card out of your hand face up on the table. On a future turn, you may cast the plotted card as a sorcery without paying its mana cost.


They say the west was won on horseback. Well in Thunder Junction, horses are just one type of creature to wear a saddle. Saddle is an activated ability that will appear on creatures this set. Similar to vehicles, you can saddle up by tapping any number of creatures with power equal to or greater than the card's saddle number. Unlike vehicles, most creatures with saddle are just creatures. By saddling them, you unlock powerful abilities when they attack.


There's nothing more fun than a little crime...spree. Spree is an additional cost that you can pay on certain cards in this set. Depending on how much extra mana you chip in, spree will add extra effects. Each spree effect will be listed on the card alongside a mana cost. To add that effect into your spell, just pay the listed cost in addition to any other costs you decide to pay.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction Prerelease FAQ

Here's a few commonly asked questions about prerelease events and in-store play events. If your question isn't on this list, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at the store! We're happy to answer any questions you might have.

Q: How well do I have to know Magic to play at a prerelease?

A: Not that well really! We ask that you have a working knowledge of the game (i.e., you know how to play, and no one's going to need to explain turn order or any of the basics), but beyond that we'll do our best to accommodate any and all skill levels. Prerelease events are a fun and casual environment, and if you're having a tough time with something we'll have a judge or tournament organizer available to help you through it.

Q: What should I bring with me to the event?

A: Here's a short checklist of items that are either required or good to have:

  • Optional but recommended: A well fitted mask to wear while at the tables.
  • A water bottle and energy bar or dry-snack (it's a good idea to have something if you're hungry and a round goes long).
  • Sleeves and a deck box (you also can buy these at the shop if you forget them)

Q: Should I preregister for the event?

A:  If you're able to, yes absolutely! Preregistration locks in your spot at the event. The last thing you need or want is to show up on the day of and find out we sold out the night before (which is a thing that has happened in the past).

Q: If I preregister and can't make the event, what happens?

A: That depends on you! In the event you aren't able to make it to the event, you can either contact us to request a refund, or stop by as you're able to and pick up the prerelease kit we would have handed you if you had gone to the event. If we don't hear from you, we'll assume you want the prerelease kit and hold it til the next time we see you.

Q: I've never built a deck for limited before. Any pointers?

A: We've got a few! Here's a short list of handy tips when building a limited / sealed deck:

  • Stick to 40 cards! That's roughly 23 spells and creatures + 17 land. Those numbers will shift a little bit depending on what you open, but broadly that's where you should aim to be.
  • Play the colors that let you play your best cards. 
  • Don't be afraid to experiment! You can switch your deck around between rounds and between games. Every card you're not actively using in your deck is part of your sideboard, so if one color combo just isn't working for you, maybe wait until the match is over and try swapping it around.
  • It's okay to ask for help from other players. This is a prerelease; we're here to have fun and enjoy the new set. You'll often find that we've got several players at each prerelease that enjoy helping and mentoring newer players through the deck building process.

Q: Any other advice on getting ready for a prerelease?

A: Yup! If you can, try to familiarize yourself with the set ahead of time. Keep an eye out for spoilers! By the time you're reading this, spoiler season will already have started and you can bet that there's a few really cool looking cards and mechanics out there that need reading up on. 

Q: What if I need to swap from one event to the other, can I do that?

A: Sure! As long as there's still a spot at the event you want to swap to, yes definitely. Please email us (or contact us through the contact page of our website) and we'll get right on it. Please don't call - we want an email or contact form so that we have a record of when the request was made.

Q: Where's the best place to park for a prerelease event?

A: If you're not familiar with Capitol Hill, you should know that parking is at a premium. If you're planning to drive to us for one of our events, we recommend either parking at the paid lot at Harvard & Pine, or parking at one of the park & rides along the light rail route and taking the light rail into the Capitol Hill stop. We're just across the street.

Having said all of that - if you're in a hurry and need to find parking right away, our neighbor, Dick's Drive-In, has now allocated a small number of parking spaces along the wall of our building as paid parking. You'll need to download the pay-by-phone app to get started, and instructions are available next to each paid parking space.

And that's it for our Outlaws of Thunder Junction Prerelease Guide! We hope you found this informative and helpful, and we hope to see you at one of our many prerelease events!