Magic The Gathering: Streets Of New Capenna Previews – Day One Roundup
With the neon vistas of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty behind us, it's time for Magic The Gathering to head to another glamorous, slightly-modern location. New Capenna is a world made by angels but ruled by demons, and underneath its towering skyscrapers and glittering champagne, a seedy criminal underbelly calls the shots. Streets of New Capenna is Magic's take on gangster tropes, and it's shaping up to be one of the most stylish sets we've ever had.
On the first day of the preview season, Wizards of the Coast showed off the five crime families, and unveiled their mechanics. While much of it was shown off in the debut stream, more cards were revealed accross official channels in the hours afterwards. Here is every single card revealed on day one of the Streets of New Capenna preview season.
Three generic, two white Legendary Planeswalker – Elspeth:
+1: Choose up to one target creature. Put a +1/+1 counter and a counter from among flying, first strike, lifelink, or vigilance on it.
-3: Look at the top seven cards of your library. You may put a permanent card with mana value three or less from among them onto the battlefield with a shield counter on it. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
-7: Create five 3/3 white Angel creature tokens with flying.
The main Planeswalker character of Streets of New Capenna in Elspeth Tirel, who escaped from the Theros underworld and returned to her home place of New Capenna. Her card features a fair few of the set's themes, such as having a variety of counters over just ramming as many +1/+1 counters on things as you can. Her -3 ability being a tweaked Collected Company-type effect is also very nice.
Two generic, one white Artifact:
Pay one white, tap Halo Fountain, and untap a tapped creature you control to create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token.
Pay two white, tap Halo Fountain, and untap two creatures you control to draw a card.
Pay five white, tap Halo Fountain, and untap 15 creatures you control to win the game.
An alternate win condition card that will be right at home in Cabaretti decks is one thing, but having a card that lets you untap your creatures and get benefits at the same time is wild. Just think of this in a deck with Mother of Runes, Speaker of the Heavens, or Pulsemage Advocate. There's a reason why untap effects haven't been used that often, so it'll be fascinating to see if this happens more in New Capenna.
Three generic, two white Artifact – Vehicle:
Whenever Mysterious Limousine enters the battlefield or attacks, exile up to one other target creature until Mysterious Limousine leaves the battlefield. If a creature is put into exile this way, return each other card exiled with Mysterious Limousine to the battlefield under its owner's control.
The flavour on this card is impeccable. Stuffing your opponent's creatures into the back of your limousine to have a little talking to feels so gangster-y, and it's not a bad Banishing Light-like effect to boot. Notable, you can also exile your own creatures, which is a good way to repeat those enter-the-battlefield triggers.
One generic, two white Creature – Elf Wizard:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, scry one. If this is the second time this ability has resolved this turn, draw a card instead.
This is a really good way of limiting an ability without making it completely useless. You'll still only draw one card each turn, but you'll be able to scry an unlimited number of times after it. Of course, you might hit a card you really want and the further scries will be redundant, but it's still better than alliance completely turning off after the draw. Also, the art is fantastic, look at that tiny cow!
A Little Chat
One generic, one blue Instant:
Casualty 1, look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library.
Casualty is the red/black/blue Maestro mechanic and allows you to sacrifice a creature with that either meets or exceeds the listed power. If you do, you copy the spell. Casualty feels like an incredibly strong mechanic, especially when it lets you get card advantage and speed through your deck to find the answers you need.
An Offer You Can't Refuse
One blue Instant:
Counter target noncreature spell. Its controller creates two Treasure tokens.
A one-mana counterspell in Standard is a big deal, but it does come with the significant downside of giving your opponent two treasure tokens. It will be interesting to see how people use this with Goldspan Dragon, as you could target it and counter your own spell for an easy two treasure tokens that crack for four mana.
One generic, one blue Creature – Bird Advisor:
Flying. Whenever a player casts their second spell each turn, Ledger Shredder connives.
Connive is the white/blue/black Obscura family's central mechanic. Whenever you connive, you draw a card and then discard a card. If the card you discarded is anything other than a land, the creature that connived gets a +1/+1 counter. Ledger Shredder is also the latest in a recent push towards 'light taxing' cards like Monologue Tax and Mangara the Diplomat which could make it see a decent amount of play in Commander.
Four generic, one blue Enchantment:
Hideaway 5. Whenever you draw your first card during each of your draw steps, draw a card. Then, if you have nine of more cards in hand, you may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost.
Hideaway is a returning mechanic that lets you look at the top few cards of your library and exile one face-down. In New Capenna, a new hideaway number has been introduced, letting you look at more or less than the top four as it was in Lorwyn. Wiretapping effectively lets you draw two cards at the start of each turn, and in blue decks hitting that nine-card requirement is going to be very, very easy.
A Cut Of The Profits
X generic, two black Sorcery:
Casualty 3, draw X cards and lose X life.
This is easily the most brutal art we've seen for this set so far, and the card itself isn't bad either. A sacrifice outlet that lets you draw cards is fantastic, although be careful when copying the spell not to lose too much life.
One generic, one black Sorcery:
Choose two target creatures controlled by the same player. That player sacrifices one of them.
This might not be the greatest forced sacrifice card ever printed, but it is going to be a great way to work around shield counters and indestructibility.
One generic, two black Instant:
Destroy target creature.
Murder's a classic. It isn't the most efficient removal spell out there, but it's a quick and dirty way to get a creature out the way. The new art is awesome too, showing Ob Nixilis killing the head of the Maestro family, Lord Xander.
Jaxis, the Troublemaker
Three generic, one red Legendary Creature – Human Warrior:
Blitz 1. Pay one red, tap Jaxis, discard a card: Create a token that's a copy of another target creature you control. It gains haste and "When this creature dies, draw a card. Sacrifice it at the next end step. Activate only as a sorcery.
Jaxis was the card used to reveal the Riveteer's mechanic, Blitz. Blitz is an alternate casting cost that puts the creature onto the battlefield with haste. When it dies, you can draw a card. The catch is, the creature sacrifices itself at the next end step, so you'll never have to wait for ages to get that draw. Jaxis also effectively creates blitzed copies of other creatures you control, which is ripe for abusing somehow.
Urabrask, Heretic Praetor
Three generic, two red Legendary Creature – Phyrexian Praetor
Haste. At the beginning of your upkeep, exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn. At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, the next time they would draw a card this turn, instead they exile the top card of their library. They may play it this turn.
After the year-long gap between Vorinclex in Kaldheim and Jin-Gitaxias in Kamigawa, we all thought we'd be in for another long wait before seeing the next Praetor. Instead, we get Urabrask, the red Praetor just one set later. This card is terrifying, as with just a few more cards you can completely lock an opponent out of the game. If this card doesn't get Drannith Magistrate banned, it will be a big surprise.
Two generic, one red Creature – Devil Warrior:
Trample, haste. Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, double Devilish Valet's power until end of turn.
Alliance is the Cabaretti ability and is effectively an umbrella word to describe effects that trigger whenever any creature enters the battlefield under your control. Devilish Valet doubles his power each time, and so with just five creatures (easily done with Cabaretti's token generation) you could turn this 1/3 into a 32/3.
Light 'Em Up
One generic, one red Sorcery:
Casualty 2. Light 'Em Up deals 2 damage to target creature or Planeswalker.
A shock that can be copied by sacrificing a creature isn't terrible, although it only being a sorcery is a bit disappointing. Considering Lightning Bolt is legal in Pauper, it's hard to see where this will find a home outside of limited formats.
One red Sorcery:
Strangle deals three damage to target creature or Planeswalker.
This targeting Planeswalkers is handy, but otherwise it falls into the same camp as Light 'Em Up. It can't hit the face so it won't be played in burn decks, and in Pauper there's Lightning Bolt which can do this and more at instant speed for the same cost.
One generic, one green Artifact – Treasure:
When Courier's Briefcase enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token. Tap it and sacrifice it to add one mana of any colour, or pay WUBRG, tap it, and sacrifice it to draw three cards.
Despite this set being based on the five three-colour families, there are people who don't belong to any of them, such as this courier. The ability feels most aligned with the red/white/green Cabaretti, who love to make creature tokens. It's also neat to see another non-token Artifact after the Mimic from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
One generic, one green Creature – Elf Druid:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, choose one that hasn't been chosen this turn. Either put a +1/+1 counter on Gala Greeters, make a tapped Treasure token, or gain two life.
Though it has a limit built-in to the card unlike Devilish Valet, this is still showing how powerful alliance might be as a mechanic. Three creatures each turn gives you a +1/+1 counter, two life, and a (tapped) treasure token, which is nothing to sniff at. Hopefully there aren't too many "this ability only triggers once each turn"-type effects in the wider set, though.
Vivien on the Hunt
Four generic, two green Legendary Planeswalker – Vivien
+2: You may sacrifice a creature. If you do, search your library for a creature card with mana value equal to one plus the sacrificed creature's mana value, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.
+1: Mill five cards, then put any number of creature cards milled this way into your hand.
-1: Create a 4/4 green Rhino Warrior creature token.
A mythic Planeswalker without an ultimate ability is odd, but Vivien on the Hunt is a really flexible Planeswalker. She can help you trade up your creatures to something bigger and better, help fuel graveyard decks by milling five cards each turn, or help load up your hand for a Stompy strategy.
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
One generic, one black, one red Legendary Planeswalker – Nixilis
Casualty X. The copy isn't legendary and has starting loyalty X.
+1: Each opponent loses two life unless they discard a card. If you control a Demon or Devil, you gain two life.
-2: Create a 1/1 red Devil creature token with "When this creature dies, it deals one damage to any target".
-7: Target player draws seven cards and loses seven life.
A Planeswalker with casualty is a really interesting design space for the mechanic. By sacrificing a big enough creature, you could have an Ob Nixilis ready to ultimate straight away, and it not being legendary makes it ripe for abuse from other copying effects. The ultimate is interesting too, being either a lethal blast of damage to an opponent or an easy way to get major hand advantage depending on the format.
Three generic Artifact Creature – Cat:
When Chrome Cat enters the battlefield, scry 1.
It might not be a central theme of New Capenna as it was Kamigawa, but artifacts are still a fairly substantial part of the set. A 3/2 for three generic isn't terrible, but it isn't exactly world shaking either.
Three generic Artifact – Vehicle:
Haste. Crew 1. Whenever Getaway Car attacks or blocks, return up to one target creature that crewed it this turn to its owner's hand.
It's a classic gangster trope, but Getaway Car has a lot more utility than just being a clever reference. Being able to bounce creatures back to your hand works not just for protecting your pieces, but for also re-triggering mechanics like Alliance. It also pairs nicely with Blitz, to get your creature back to your hand before it needs to sacrifice.
New Capenna Tap Lands
Enters the battlefield tapped.
Tap to add one of two colours.
Pay two generic and one of both colours, tap the land, and sacrifice it to draw a card.
The community hasn't yet decided on a name for these lands. Considering we're not terribly far from Kaldheim rotating out of Standard, it is very handy to have new common-rarity dual lands available, even if they're nowhere near as good. The three-colour triome lands will still be the ones to find, but these will help smooth out your mana when playing a New Capenna three-colour deck.
One green, one white, one blue Creature – Human Citizen:
Double strike. Disciplined Duelist enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it.
Shield counters a new type of counter introduced in New Capenna and are the main mechanic of the Brokers. As the name suggests, shield counters prevent any damage being dealt to that creature, and stop it from being destroyed through other means, but only once. After that, the counter falls off and the creature is vulnerable again. It's an interesting way of making a rebalanced indestructible, which has posed a problem for Standard in the past.
Falco Spara, Pactweaver
One generic, one green, one white, and one blue Legendary Creature – Bird Demon:
Flying, trample. Falco Spara enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it. You may look at the top card of your library at any time. You may cast spells from the top of your library by removing a counter from a creature you control in addition to paying their other costs.
Falco Spara is the boss of the Broker crime family. Crooked lawyers who run numerous protection rackets across New Capenna, their main playstyle is in using counters in unorthodox ways. For example, Falco Spara allows you to use counters to cast spells from the top of your library.
Perrie, the Pulverizer
One generic, one green, one white, one blue Legendary Creature – Rhino Soldier
When Perrie enters the battlefield, put a shield counter on a target creature.
Whenever Perrie attacks, target creature you control attacks, target creature you control gains trample and gets +X/+X, where X is the number of different kinds of counters among permanents you control.
The Brokers' design motif of needing different kinds of counters over spamming one type is really interesting, and Perrie the Pulverizer makes it a central theme of the Bedecked Brokers Commander deck. A counter strategy where proliferate isn't a central theme is going to be a challenge, but the payoff from Perrie will be more than worth it.
Kamiz, Obscura Oculus
One generic, one white, one blue, one black Legendary Creature – Cephalid Rogue:
Whenever you attack, target creature can't be blocked this turn. It connives. Then choose another attacking creature with lesser power. That creature gains double strike until the end of the turn.
The face of the Obscura Operations Commander deck, Kamiz likes to sit back and watch as other creatures go to combat for her. She makes frequent use of the Obscura connive ability, giving you hand advantage and making your unblockable creature even bigger. This could go well with some of the ninjas we just saw in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.
One white, one blue, one black Creature – Bird Rogue:
Flying. When Nimble Larcenist enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. You choose an artifact, instant, or sorcery card from it and exile that card.
Apologies for the card image on this one, the only copy we've seen so far has been an animated .GIF showing off the gilded foiling. Regardless, Nimble Larcenist doesn't feel like it's up to much – three mana of different colours is a big ask, especially when you can't exile lands, creatures, Planeswalkers, or enchantments with it.
Anhelo, the Painter
One blue, one black, one red Legendary Creature – Vampire Assassin:
Deathtouch. The first instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn has casualty 2.
The face of the Maestro Massacre Commander preconstructed deck plays heavily with the casualty mechanic, and in a format where cards like Torment of Hailfire and Time Warp are legal, this could be great. Between this and the previously announced Lord Xander, Maestro is getting some seriously scary Commanders.
Henzie "Toolbox" Torre
One black, one red, one green Legendary Creature – Devil Rogue:
Each creature spell you cast with mana value four or greater has Blitz. The blitz cost is equal to its mana cost. Blitz costs you pay cost one generic less for each time you've cast your commander from the command zone this game.
Many people are confused about how this card works. When you cast a spell, you cast it, pay the cost, and then it goes on the stack. This card changes the card in that small gap between casting and paying for it to allow you to then pay the alternate Blitz cost instead. Keep in mind Henzie can't reduce coloured costs, either.
Ziatora, the Incinerator
Three generic, one black, one red, one green Legendary Creature – Demon Dragon
Flying. At the beginning of your end step, you may sacrifice another creature. When you do, Ziatora deals damage equal to that creature's power to any target and you create three Treasure tokens.
Ziatora is the boss of the Riveteers, Capenna's volatile gang of blue-collar workers and those trampled by New Capennan society. You can either fire off lots of small creatures to make plenty of Treasures or pump-up big creatures for devastating damage. This feels like it'll work especially well alongside Storm-kiln Artist from Strixhaven.
Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva
One generic, one red, one green, one white Legendary Creature – Cat Bard Druid:
When Kitt Kanto enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token.
At the beginning of combat on each player's turn, you may tap two untapped creatures you control. When you do, target creature that player controls gets +2/+2 and gains trample until the end of turn. Goad that creature.
The face of the Cabaretti Cacophony Commander precon uses your amassed armies of tokens to goad the biggest threats on the board. Goad forces a creature to attack anyone but you, and is the first ever "Commander Evergreen" keyword. We're likely to see it a lot more in Commander products from now on as it's a great way of forcing a table to break a stalemate.
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