Magic: The Gathering – Outlaws of Thunder Junction ‘Prairie Dog’ Card Preview

The dust hasn’t settled yet for Magic: the Gathering’s Outlaws of Thunder Junction spoilers! The new set is the game’s first-ever western-themed expansion and already features a diverse cast of returning characters from Tinybones to Jace. Thanks to Wizards of the Coast, we’ve got a new uncommon card to reveal – Prairie Dog! 

Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Prairie Dog is a white, 2/2 creature that does a lot despite only costing 2 mana. It has Lifelink, which will sit right at home with white’s life gaining attributes. It also has two other abilities, the first states:

“At the beginning of your end step, if you haven’t cast a spell from your hand this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on Prairie Dog.” While it may seem like a strange ability to have, this ties in perfectly with Thunder Junction’s new Plot mechanic, which casts spells from exile. Doing so will trigger Prairie Dog’s ability and make it grow stronger. If you open one or more Prairie Dogs in your prerelease kit, it could be worth building your deck around Plots. Your opponent could then be facing a rather mean 3/3 or 4/4 dog!

Prairie Dog’s last activated ability costs a fair bit – 1 white and 4 generic mana. Once activated, you’ll get to put an additional +1/+1 counter when one or more counters are placed on any of your creatures. If Prairie Dog is the only beneficiary of this ability, it’s hardly worth the cost even if you’re ‘plotting’ (unless you really have nothing better to spend mana on).

However, it’s a different story on decks built specifically around +1/+1 counters. For example, a green-white deck that utilises counters can extract lots of value for Prairie Dog. Mono white decks built around lifegain will also find Prairie Dog a great addition since it already has Lifelink. Activate that last ability and cards like Ajani’s Pridemate grow twice as fast. 

End Step

Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Our biggest regret with Prairie Dog is that it isn’t actually a dog creature type! It would have been an amazing addition to any Commander deck led by Rin and Seri, Inseparable. As a squirrel, we’ll just ask it to scurry away. Jokes aside, Prairie Dog is a card that pulls above its weight for such a low mana cost, and is certainly playable in popular formats such as Commander.