Last updated on April 30, 2024

Miriam, Herd Whisperer- Illustration by Viko Menezes

Miriam, Herd Whisperer | Illustration by Viko Menezes

These days, with a new MTG set there’s a big chance that we’ll get a new creature type, with new mechanics and typal interactions. In an Old-West setting, very similar to games like Red Dead Redemption or movies like Once Upon a Time in the West, both good guys and bad guys gotta saddle their trustful mounts.

Outlaws of Thunder Junction finally brings mounts to MTG, and they behave a little bit like vehicles that are creatures at all times. But are they any good? Let’s find out if there are any mount creatures in OTJ worth saddling up and taking for a spin.

What Are Mounts in MTG?

Bridled Bighorn - Illustration by Edgar Sánchez Hidalgo

Bridled Bighorn | Illustration by Edgar Sánchez Hidalgo

Mounts are a new creature type in Outlaws of Thunder Junction (OTJ) that all share the saddle mechanic. All mounts have a Saddle X ability, with X ranging between 1 and 4 (for now). To saddle a mount, you need to tap any number of creatures with total power X or greater, where X is the saddle value. It's fairly similar to vehicles and crew, although you can only saddle at sorcery speed (that's to say, while the stack is empty during your main phase).

Mount and saddle are more of an offensive mechanic pair than vehicles and crew, since you’ll get the most out of the mechanic while you’re attacking with a mount that’s been saddled. That being said, you can use mount creatures for blocking too.

There are 17 mount creatures in OTJ, and most of them are green and white, because is the color pair that cares about mount creatures the most, especially for Limited formats. With that out of the way, let’s rank all mounts and see which of them you should consider including in your decks and why.

#17. Drover Grizzly

Drover Grizzly

Starting things off, here’s Drover Grizzly, a 4/2 bear that’s in the set to make the 4-power matters theme work in Limited. It can push some combat damage through while saddled thanks to its trample ability.

#16. Bridled Bighorn

Bridled Bighorn

Bridled Bighorn is a 3/4 white creature with vigilance that can get some attacks in, and if you can’t use your 2/2’s to attack anymore, mount this card and generate some tokens. It’s interesting in a go-wide strategy.

#15. Quilled Charger

Quilled Charger

Quilled Charger is a nice top-end red creature in Limited. 5/5 menace when mounted is huge and ends games quickly.

#14. Bounding Felidar

Bounding Felidar

Bounding Felidar is large and has huge potential in decks that go wide. It costs 6 mana though, so it’s a little low in the rankings. It could be better with something like cycling tackled on.

#13. Giant Beaver

Giant Beaver

Giant Beaver is a solid 4/4 vigilance for Limited that’ll perform well in your green decks. Saddle 3 isn’t trivial, but at least you’ll get a +1/+1 counter if you saddle it.

#12. Trained Arynx

Trained Arynx

Trained Arynx is a super solid Limited card, being a 3/1 that can get first strike when saddled. The cost of inclusion as a 2-drop is very low, and most white decks should have at least one or two of these.

#11. Gila Courser

Gila Courser

Gila Courser starts to step things up, impulse drawing whenever it attacks while saddled. Plus it has Saddle 1, which means any small critter or token can crew it.

#10. Congregation Gryff

Congregation Gryff

Congregation Gryff is our Selesnya () build-around card for Limited. It’s a solid 1/4 with flying and lifelink already. Sometimes it’ll get in as a 2/4 or 3/5 while mounted, and that’s hard to race. It’s also a good creature to equip or enchant.

#9. Rambling Possum

Rambling Possum

Rambling Possum is a strong build-around creature. You should mount it with a 1/1 that has a good ETB like Elvish Visionary, attack as a 4/5, and get to recast the Visionary again.

#8. Stubborn Burrowfiend

Stubborn Burrowfiend

Stubborn Burrowfiend can be a good enabler and a payoff for a self-mill strategy.

#7. Ornery Tumblewagg

Ornery Tumblewagg

Ornery Tumblewagg should play well alongside a +1/+1 counters commander, with this green creature being able to spread the counters and even becoming a counter doubler if it attacks while saddled. This card makes a good Luminarch Aspirant impression.

#6. Calamity, Galloping Inferno

Calamity, Galloping Inferno

Calamity, Galloping Inferno is your typical Limited bomb, attacking as a big hasty creature and also creating copies of the creatures that saddled it. It’s a nice addition to an extra attack-steps commander deck since you keep the copies of the creatures until your end step.

#5. Seraphic Steed

Seraphic Steed

Having first strike and lifelink makes Seraphic Steed a good creature already. It’s a nightmare against red decks with some auras or equipment around, and if you can mount it, you’ll get a 3/3 flying angel for your efforts. Not bad at all.

#4. Fortune, Loyal Steed

Fortune, Loyal Steed

Fortune, Loyal Steed is a solid card by itself, as a 2/4 that can Scry 2 on ETB. The saddle cost is the lowest at 1, and after you attack with Fortune while saddled, you get to blink both this card and the creature that saddled it. Unlike Rambling Possum, the creature that saddled Fortune will return to the battlefield and not to your hand. 

#3. Archmage's Newt

Archmage's Newt

Archmage's Newt is small, but this blue creature can wreak havoc if it hits once. Getting to play instants and sorceries with flashback is strong, and you’ll cheat a big spell if it’s saddled. The big challenge is the hoops you have to jump through, as hitting with a 2/2 without evasion or haste isn’t trivial, and there’s the Saddle 3 cost. It’s safer to think of this card as something similar to a Dreadhorde Arcanist, in the sense that you’ll hit with a 2/2 and cast something cheap again. 

#2. Caustic Bronco

Caustic Bronco

Caustic Bronco does a good Dark Confidant impression when it attacks. You can choose between paying life equal to the mana value of the revealed card, or having each opponent lose life if the Bronco is saddled. This black creature is an excellent addition to aggressive and midrange decks.

#1. The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride

The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride is a 6/5 frog horror with trample and haste, which is already Constructed-playable material by itself. It gets better if you saddle it, though. Let’s say you saddle it with a 3/3, then Gitrog attacks and deals combat damage to a player. You’ll get to sacrifice the 3/3, draw three cards, and put up to three lands on the battlefield. The card is solid both as a Standard-level threat and a Commander card.

Best Mount Payoffs

Congregation Gryff Miriam, Herd Whisperer

Green-white in OTJ is the mount-matters color pair. Congregation Gryff and Miriam, Herd Whisperer are cards that reward you for playing and saddling lots of mounts.

Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero

Creatures that need to tap or untap to give you a benefit work here too. We have an awesome example in Wylie Duke, Atiin Hero. It’s a 4/2 with vigilance, so it’s not tapping to attack, But you'll draw a card if you use Wylie Duke to saddle a mount. The card can even saddle Seraphic Steed alone, which is the card with the highest printed saddle number.

MTG has a few mechanics like inspired that incentivize you to tap and untap a creature. The best of these cards is King Macar, the Gold-Cursed and Pain Seer. The same thing can be done with those crazy untap cards from Shadowmoor like Knacksaw Clique and Order of Whiteclay.

Bucolic Ranch is a land you’ll want to include in your mounts-matter deck. Similarly, cards like One Last Job, Throw from the Saddle, and Frontier Seeker get better if you have mounts in your deck.

Finally, it’s interesting to turn a drawback into a benefit with mounts (and vehicles, for that end too). If your creature has to attack every turn or is goaded but you don’t have a profitable attack, it’s better to mount another creature or crew another vehicle instead.   

Round Up

Archmage's Newt - Illustration by Edgar Sanchez Hidalgo

Archmage's Newt | Illustration by Edgar Sanchez Hidalgo

Mounts are a nice new addition to MTG, both as a new creature type and gameplay-wise. It makes sense in the cowboy Old-West-themed set, so that’s a flavor win. Although many of the mounts will see more play in Limited, there are a few that can see Standard or EDH play, so I wouldn’t count mounts out yet. Plus, there are synergies to be had with tapping and untapping creatures too.

What do you think about mounts? Are you excited to try them in Limited and Constructed? Let me know in the comments section below, message us at our Draftsim Twitter, or join the Draftsim Discord. Thanks for reading guys, and I’ll see you next time.

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