Livescore Wednesday, April 24

Affinity in Magic: The Gathering has returned to Standard through Hellspur Brute in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, a Minotaur with big stats, and Trample in Red. 

Tapping into the Western themes of MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction (OTJ), the design team brought back Affinity to work with the Outlaw mechanic. Affinity in Magic is a keyword ability, also known as a mechanic, first introduced to players during the Mirrodin Block. Within OTJ, the keyword is reducing the casting cost of an Uncommon called Hellspur Brute, which is normally a five-drop with Trample and 5/4 stats. 

An Outlaw within the OTJ set is an Assassin, Mercenary, Pirate, Rogue, and/or Warlock you control. Some cards may have two Outlaw types, but the creature will only count toward a reduction of one mana toward the casting cost of Hellspur Brute due to the “and/or” in the text. 

  • Card name: Hellspur Brute
  • Casting cost: 4R
  • Type: Creature—Minotaur Mercenary
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Keyword: Trample
  • Stats: 5/4
  • Affinity for Outlaws: This spell costs one less to cast for each Assassin, Mercenary, Pirate, Rogue, and/or Warlock you control.
  • Flavor text: “The last fool who called him ‘cowboy’ earned a free ride to the bottom of Blacksnag Bog.”

Hellspur Brute is a Mercenary, so having one copy on the board will reduce the second copy’s cost that is in hand. The Uncommon likely isn’t a build-around in any MTG forma,t but it will pop off in OTJ Limited. A reduction of two can have you playing Hellspur Brute as early as turn three, and most likely leaving your opponent feeling miserable if they don’t have any removal. Hellspur Brute is even a solid 99-card in Commander. And depending on the remaining OTJ spoilers, The Mercenary might become a staple in an Outlaw Affinity deck

You can test out Hellspur Brute and the Outlaw mechanic when Outlaws of Thunder Junction drops into local game stores through Prerelease events on April 12.

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