Smuggler’s Surprise
Smuggler’s Surprise

Smuggler’s Surprise – Outlaws of Thunder Junction

Date Reviewed:  April 30, 2024

Constructed: 4.00
Casual: 4.13
Limited: 4.00
Multiplayer: 3.88
Commander [EDH]: 4.13

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


We get a lot of modal cards these days, but this one has really, really divergent modes involved. I suppose the first one can go in a lot of green decks, and the third one is pretty easy to have active, but the second one is something you really want to build around. At a total of six mana, you could just be casting something that doesn’t require extra cards in hand, but if you did, it wouldn’t be Emrakul and Kozilek together. I think that’s the mode that people are going to get the card to experiment with, as the other two have pre-existing cards with similar effects, and casual players won’t feel as much urgency to have that option for the extra mode outside of a dedicated trick deck. In the competitive formats, though, the Tron-style decks might want to test it out: their big mana plays are already dangerous when they’re only at sorcery speed, and that extra flexibility might be enough of a boost.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4

I wouldn’t necessarily have expected a Trojan Horse reference in a Wild West set, but it’s kind of cool. Syncretism is a natural part of cultural evolution – sometimes a hidden pillar, but a pillar nonetheless.

 James H. 


Smuggler’s Surprise has one mode that’s going to likely raise an eyebrow: the second one, which looks a good bit like one of the two effects of Tooth and Nail. Six mana to trick in any two creatures from your hand is a potentially massive deal, particularly if those creatures are worth more than six mana or just worth bringing in. Of course, the issue is that you need the creatures in hand, and the first mode is a way to try and set up the second one; three mana to get a double Regrowth is okay in a pinch, especially at instant speed, and the ability to pay eight mana to get both is quite nice. If you can set up the first ability, you can definitely get your mana’s worth. The third ability is probably the least exciting, but it’s actually nice in a pinch to protect your threats, and it can definitely be nice to protect your Absolute Units that come in with this spell’s other modes.

In all, this can be a massive blowout; while the middle ability is the main attraction, all three of them make for a nice and synergistic package. This is definitely a spell that can swing things open, though it’s an investment tht needs to be set up for.

Constructed: 4
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 4.25

We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews.  If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email.  We would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc.   😉

Click here to read over 5,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! We have been reviewing cards daily since 2001!