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A certain coyote and roadrunner from Looney Tunes race across a pair of new MTG cards

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Magic: The Gathering card art for Cunning Coyote from Outlaws of Thunder Junction
Image credit: David Auden Nash/Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering’s long awaited wild west set, Outlaws of Thunder Junction is shaping up to be a party of familiar faces, both from within the popular trading card game’s universe and without. Old friends and (sexy) villains don cowboy hats, while plenty of cards make tall tale references, puns and flat-out groan worthy jokes.

An unassuming duo of red Mana creatures plays things a bit more coy, hiding their Looney Tunes origins deeper than the card name. Cunning Coyote and Resilient Roadrunner were recently teased during the lead-up to Outlaws of Thunder Junction’s release in mid-April, and every element evokes the Sysyphian chase-turned-animated gags of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Both creatures sport the Haste keyword, but Acme Corporation’s most loyal customer grants another target creature +1/+1 and haste until the end of turn, insinuating that the race is on. This mangy scavenger also has Plot, a fresh mechanic from Outlaws of Thunder Junction that lets you exile the card from your hand for a nominal cost and then play it on a later turn for free. Wile E. always has a plan, even if the equipment or execution tend to literally blow up in his face.

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Whoever controls the roadrunner (Road Runner, officially) can spend three colourless Mana to make this fleet fowl unblockable except by other creatures with haste, calling to mind the ludicrous speed of its animated inspiration. Both creatures sport two power and toughness each and could therefore take each other out if not for one hilarious problem - Resilient Roadrunner has protection from Coyotes. One single card has been printed with the ‘coyote’ creature subtype in MTG’s entire history, and we just mentioned it.

Even the art ties these two cards together, as David Auden Nash’s illustrated diptych showcases both predator and prey wreathed in yellow lightning as they streak across Thunder Junction’s expansive deserts and mesas. The coyote’s mouth is open wide in anticipation crucial inches away from the roadrunner’s tail feathers. I hate to break it to him, but he’s never catching that bird.

A cheeky reference on an MTG card is a spot of good luck in an otherwise rotten year for Wile E. Coyote. Warner Bros. buried the reportedly finished Coyote vs. Acme film, a live action/animation hybrid where the titular Looney Tune finally takes the corporation to court over all its faulty tech and false advertising, before it got close to touching a theatre screen.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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