Thunder Junction Rules Update: Stealing Land Doesn't Count as Committing a Crime

Naomi Krause • March 17, 2024

ARIZONA IN A WIZARD HAT - In the Release Notes for the upcoming Outlaws of Thunder Junction Magic set, Wizards of the Coast confusingly clarified that stealing your opponents' lands isn't a criminal activity.

Committing a Crime, the premier mechanic of the expansion, triggers after targeting opponents, anything they control, and/or cards in their graveyards. The notable exception, apparently, is targeting your opponents' lands, which are up for grabs with zero repercussions. 

"We analyzed lore implications of the mechanic and discovered that stealing lands is a legal and ethical gray area," said Mark Rosewater. "If you bolt an opponent's Cephalid Snitch, that's a crime. If you Thoughtseize a Cephalid Constable out of their hand, that's also a crime. If you cast Conquer on a Plains that just so happens to be sitting sort of near someone else who's already using it, that was clearly unclaimed territory and thus perfectly legal."

We asked Vorthos expert Gary Twobrooks about the lore implications, and he adamantly denied that any problematic issues could pop up from within the junction.

"There were definitely never people on the plane before, so it's a victimless crime," began Twobrooks. "Oh those sentient Cactusfolk with clothes are from a different cowboy plane where everyone Bloomburrows into Venus fly traps and shit. They don't even look like us, so they don't count, shut up.

"At the end of the day, we're a trading card game. We decided that ethnic cleansing and colonialism are way too intense to touch on. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find a way to slot Thrun, the Last Troll into my Ixalan Conquistadors deck."

The company reportedly conferred with their inclusivity consultant, a 13-year-old kid actively being kicked out of an Overwatch lobby, and he said they should be in the clear whatever.

"There's no real world influence, this is all fiction," continued Rosewater. "It's just a story about a bunch of powerful people from far away coming to a large expanse of at least somewhat occupied land and taking whatever they want through violence and coercion. Those are the good guys! We gave Oko a cowboy hat!"

Wizards closed the release with "It's a moot point anyways, no one can ever really 'own' land. Wait, no-"

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