Magic The Gathering: Streets Of New Capenna Previews – Day Eight Roundup
Here we are, at the last day of Magic The Gathering's Streets of New Capenna's main set previews. We've now seen the vast majority of what this set has to offer, and it's shaping up to be incredibly exciting. There is so much to love about New Capenna, and on its last day we're headed back to hang out with the very first family we met at the sneak preview last month: the Brokers.
A family of corrupt lawyers and politicians, the Brokers are happy to offer you protection from their own thugs in exchange for total loyalty. In today's previews, we have a lot of the Brokers' shield tokens, some decent white card draw tools, and the set booster made-for-Commander exclusives. Keep in mind the full reveal of the five New Capenna-themed Commaner 2022 decks is next week, on April 18 and April 19.
Four generic, one white Creature – Bird Citizen:
Flying. When Speakeasy Bartender enters the battlefield, you gain one life for each creature you control.
It costs a lot, but Speakeasy Bartender could be a decent payoff for some creature token-heavy decks. It isn’t even that aggressively costed, with the closest example being Angel of Renewal, which costs one mana more.
Two generic, one white Sorcery:
Return up to three target creature cards with total mana value three or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
White weenies are going to love this, as it behoves you to run lots of very small, very cheap creatures. It also pulls back cards like New Capenna’s Extraction Specialist, which can be useful.
One generic, one white Enchantment – Aura:
Enchant opponent. At the beginning of enchanted opponent’s end step, you, and enchanted opponent each draw a card.
When you attack enchanted opponent or a Planeswalker they control, or when they attack you or a Planeswalker you control, sacrifice Tenuous Truce.
This is one of the cards announced to be coming in set boosters, as part of the made-for-Commander set booster collection. It’s effectively a cheaper, enchantment version of an earlier made-for-commander card, Crimson Vow’s Wedding Ring. Either player can remove it just by attacking, which makes this a strictly political piece over Wedding Ring being able to effectively take another player hostage.
Three generic, one white Creature – Bird Citizen:
Flash, flying. Swooping Protector enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it.
This is meant to be cast in response to a declared attacker to surprise them with a sudden, temporarily invincible blocker. And, as far as that singular use goes, this is brilliant creature to just throw out there. Finding ways to bounce it back to your hand to keep giving it shield counters could be interesting, too.
One white Creature – Cat Citizen:
Four generic, one green or blue: Brokers Initiate has base power and toughness 5/5 until end of turn.
With all the initiates revealed, it’s safe to say Riveteers Initiate is probably the best of the bunch. Brokers Initiate’s activated ability is very expensive for just turning it into a 5/5 when others gain keywords like lifelink (Obscura) and deathtouch (Riveteers).
Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
Three generic, one white Legendary Creature – Elf Druid:
Convoke. At the beginning of each end step, if you created a token this turn, draw a card.
Another of the made-for-Commander set booster exclusive cards, Bennie Bracks is a nice, easy piece of mono-white card draw. God forbid a while player draw more than one extra card each turn, but it’s not like it struggles to produce creature tokens to trigger this. Plus, it says “each end step”, so you could be drawing four cards each Commander turn cycle.
Four generic, two white Creature – Angel Soldier:
Flying. Sanctuary Warden enters the battlefield with two shield counters on it.
Whenever Sanctuary Warden enters the battlefield or attacks, you may remove a counter from a creature or Planeswalker you control. If you do, draw a card and create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token.
Another tool for Neon Dynasty’s Isshin is Sanctuary Warden. Counters are so easy to come by that removing them for card draw is a great trade, and this also helps protect you from another player’s -1/-1 counters in a pinch.
One generic, one white Artifact – Equipment:
When Citizen’s Crowbar enters the battlefield, create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token, then attach Citizen’s Crowbar to it.
Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and has “pay one white, tap this creature, and Sacrifice Citizen’s Crowbar: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.”
Equip: two generic.
Token production and a delayed disenchant all in one make Citizen’s Crowbar a decent card. It isn’t the greatest equipment ever printed, but it isn’t exactly Cement Shoes either.
Three generic, one white Creature –Human Soldier:
Dapper Shieldmate enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it.
As long as it’s your turn, Dapper Shieldmate gets +2/+0.
This is probably a limited piece more than anything. Entering with a shield counter could make it ripe for abusing (infinite blink plus the Ozolith, for starters), but the same could be said for a lot more interesting Brokers cards in this set as well.
Promise Of Safety (translated name TBA)
One white Instant:
Put a Shield counter on a target creature. Scry one.
One white mana for one-off invincibility, scrying, and being able to trigger commanders like Feather, the Redeemed could make this see quite a lot of play in several formats. Not exactly a staple, but arguably one of the better instants in this set.
Wingshield Agent (translated name TBA)
Two generic, one blue Creature – Human Soldier:
Wingshield Agent enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it. Whenever Wingshield Agent attacks, another target creature gains flying until end of turn.
Shield counters make WIngshield agent tricky to remove, and it giving another creature an evasive ability is really good.
Case The Joint
Three generic, one blue Instant:
Draw two cards, then look at the top card of each player’s library.
Drawing two for four mana is expensive and looking at the top card of a library isn’t a powerful enough ability to justify the cost.
Two generic, two blue Creature – Shapeshifter Rogue:
You may have Undercover Operative enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it enters with a shield counter if you control that creature.
There are plenty of powerful ETB effects in New Capenna, so being able to just do them again with a shapeshifter is powerful. There is an impetus to copy creatures you control, but you are still allowed to copy someone else’s if it works better for you.
Even The Score
X generic, three blue Instant:
This spell costs three blue less to cast if an opponent has drawn four or more cards this turn.
Draw X cards.
A new tool for Thassa’s Oracle and Laboratory Maniac decks arrives with Even The Score. There are decks that love to make other players draw cards where this could be immensely useful, and even then, three blue for uncapped draw at instant speed is awesome.
Two generic, one blue Enchantment:
Whenever an opponent casts a spell from their hand, you may reveal the top card of your library. If it shares a card type with that spell, counter that spell and that opponent may cast the revealed card without paying its mana cost.
Countering spells is good, but doing it at the cost of them casting your own stuff off the top of your library gives this an almost Divine Gambit-level drawback in most decks. Throw in a Drannith Magistrate, on the other hand, and this could be usable.
Slip Out The Back
One blue Instant:
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. It phases out.
Last year’s Adventures in the Forgotten Realms saw phasing come back to Magic as a deciduous keyword, but we haven’t seen too much of it in Streets of New Capenna. It’s also cool to see it in blue, as other recent uses of it have been more skewed towards white.
One generic, one black Creature – Human Warrior:
Blitz: Two generic, two black, pay two life.
You may cast Tenacious Underdog from your graveyard using its blitz ability.
It’ll be a nightmare to keep Tenacious Underdog away, and each time it enters, it could be triggering a whole load of alliance abilities. Even paying two life to do it isn’t too much of a drawback, especially in a set where we have cards like Shadow of Mortality to think about.
Deal Gone Bad
Three generic, one black Instant:
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn. Target player mills three cards.
Being able to choose a player other than the creature's controller is powerful. Mill decks and graveyard decks will love this, and -X/-X spells are a great way to circumvent shield counters.
Riveteer Collector (translated name TBA)
One generic, one red Creature – Viashino Rogue:
When Riveteer Collector dies, create a Treasure token.
Blitz: two generic, one red.
One of the smaller pieces of Treasure production in the set can be Blitzed to make one each turn if need be.
Three generic, two red Sorcery:
Destroy all artifacts, then Structural Assault deals damage to each creature equal to the number of artifacts that were put into graveyards from the battlefield this turn.
Structural Assault is a neat bit of Treasure hate-come-pseudo-board wipe that can’t just be answered by your opponent sacrificing them all. They still entered the graveyard, so they still count to the damage total it deals to all creatures.
X generic, one red Instant:
This spell costs two generic less to cast if it targets a blue permanent.
This spell can’t be countered.
Torch Breath deals X damage to target creature or Planeswalker.
Another mana sink that could be a decent use of all those Treasure tokens red is making this set. It isn’t going to add new heat to burn decks thanks to not being able to target your opponent’s face, but there are surely some fun Brash Taunter-flavoured things you could do with it.
Rhox Striker (translated name TBA)
Five generic, one green Creature – Rhino Soldier:
Rhox Striker enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it. As long as Rhox Striker has a shield counter on it, it has trample.
It has impressive stats while it has a shield counter on it but becomes a fragile nearly vanilla creature as soon as it loses it.
Titan of Industry
Four generic, three green Creature – Elemental:
Reach, trample. When Titan of Industry enters the battlefield, choose two –
- Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
- Target player gains five life.
- Create a 4/4 green Rhino Warrior creature token.
- Put a shield counter on a creature you control.
This is the kind of big, splashy, expensive green mythic rare that’s always fun. It doesn’t do anything hugely unreasonable, and at seven mana it’s maybe a bit much (especially considering Elder Gargaroth is six mana and triggers on attack as well), but it’s a fun card with awesome flavour.
Three generic, two green Creature – Rhino Warrior:
Trample. When Workshop Warchief enters the battlefield, you gain three life.
When Workshop Warchief dies, create a 4/4 green Rhino Warrior creature token.
Blitz: four generic, two green.
So far, blitz has felt rather weak compared to the other family mechanics, but Workshop Warchief is a cool use of it. Three life and a 4/4 Rhino every turn by blitzing this isn’t the worst way to spend six mana in New Capenna by a long shot.
Voice of the Vermin
Three generic, one green Creature – Human Citizen:
Voice of the Vermin enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it. Whenever Voice of the Vermin attacks, target creature you control has base power and toughness 4/4 until end of turn.
A Citizen with a decent payoff? Voice of the Vermin is super flavourful to represent the unincorporated citizens of New Capenna and can also turn them into more intimidating attackers.
One generic, one green Creature – Human Warrior:
Riveteers Decoy must be blocked if able.
Blitz: three generic, one green.
It can be easily chump blocked in normal circumstances, but there are ways to make this kind of effect an absolute nightmare for your opponent. The best example in New Capenna may be alongside Venom Connoisseur’s second alliance trigger to give all your creatures deathtouch.
Scarab Halo (translated name TBA)
Two generic Artifact Creature – Insect:
Pay two, exile Scarab Halo from your graveyard: create a Treasure token.
Any colour can make a Treasure token with Scarab Halo. Though we’ve seen a lot of big Treasure outlets in this set, this one feels like a reasonable, lower-end tool that could slot nicely into lots of decks.
Three generic Artifact:
When Threefold Signal enters the battlefield, scry three
Each spell you cast that’s exactly three colours has replicate 3.
The third made-for-Commander set booster exclusive revealed is Threefold Signal and brings back the rather obscura replicate mechanic. It’s a killer though, as you can pay three generic as many times as you like to make an unlimited number of copies for three-colour spells you cast. The fact this works for any kind of spell and not just instants and sorceries is also wild.
One red, one green Creature – Cat Warrior:
Pay one red and one green: Jetmir's Fixer gets +1/+1 until end of turn. If mana from a Treasure was spent to activate this ability, put a +1/+1 counter on Jetmir's Fixer instead.
With how often you can produce Treasures in New Capenna, it shouldn't be difficult to get a +1/+1 counter on Jetmir's Fixer every turn. With no built-in evasion it can still be chump blocked though, so this isn't necessarily a game-ender on its own no matter much mana you put into its sink.
Rigo, Streetwise Mentor
One green or white, one white, one white or blue Legendary Creature – Cat Citizen:
Rigo, Streetwise Mentor enters the battlefield with a shield counter on it.
Whenever you attack a player or Planeswalker with one or more creatures with power one or less, draw a card.
Though it can’t be used in a mono-white Commander deck thanks to the hybrid mana, this is an impressively good piece of card draw for white decks in other formats that, shockingly, triggers more than once each turn. White weenies is getting a lot of love in New Capenna.
Soul Of Emancipation
Four generic, one green, one white, one blue Creature – Avatar:
When Soul of Emancipation enters the battlefield, destroy up to three other target nonland permanents. For each of those permanents, its controller creates a 3/3 white Angel creature token with flying.
It’s like Terastodon, but not quite as good. It can destroy creatures instead of lands, which is useful, and it technically costs one less than Terastodon too. The problem is it requires three colours of mana over one, and it gives your opponent evasive creature tokens. This could play a similar role to Terastodon in some decks, but elsewhere it could backfire.
One green, one white, one blue Instant:
The owner of target spell, nonland permanent, or card in a graveyard puts it on the top or bottom of their library.
There are a lot of choices on this card. You must decide whether you’re targeting a spell on the stack, a nonland permanent on the battlefield, or a card in a graveyard, and your opponent then picks where it goes. Once all those decisions are made, though, this is a flexible bounce spell for just three mana.
Two generic, one green, one white, one blue Creature – Cat Citizen:
When Spara’s Adjudicators enters the battlefield, target creature an opponent controls can’t attack or block until your next turn.
Pay two, exile Spara’s Adjudicators from your hand: target land gains “tap: add green, white, or blue” for as long as Spara’s Adjudicators remains in exile. You may cast Spara’s Adjudicators as long as it remains exiled.
The Brokers’ common mana-fixer. Like the rest, you’re much better off using the ability then ever actually playing it as a creature.
Three generic, one blue, one black, one red Creature – Vampire Rogue:
When Glamorous Outlaw enters the battlefield, it deals two damage to each opponent and you scry two.
Pay two generic, exile Glamorous Outlaw from your hand: target land gains “tap: add blue, black, or red” for as long as Glamorous Outlaw remains in exile. You may cast Glamorous Outlaw as long as it remains exiled.
Glamorous Outlaw is the Maestro common mana-fixer. Six mana to deal two damage and scry two is a big ask, so, once again, you’re not expected to play this as a creature unless you’re desperate.
Three generic, one black, one red, one green Creature – Racoon Rogue:
Pay two generic, exile Masked Bandits from your hand: target land gains “tap: add black, red, or green” until Masked Bandits is cast from exile. You may cast Masked Bandits for as long as it remains exiled.
The Riveteers’ common mana fixer. One thing a lot of players are forgetting about these cards is it’s a way to keep a creature safe in exile for when you’re struggling for blockers. Maybe you need to quickly rebuild from a board wipe or have had unlucky draws and don’t have anything to cast – creatures like Masked Bandits and Spara’s Adjudicators will sit in exile waiting for you cast them and are mostly impossible for your opponents to interact with.
One generic, one black, one red, one green Creature – Viashino Warrior:
Whenever Ziatora’s Envoy deals combat damage to a player, look at the top card of your library. You may play a land from the top of your library or cast a spell with mana value less than or equal to the damage dealt from the top of your library without paying its mana cost. If you don’t, put that card in your hand.
Blitz: two generic, one black, one red, one green.
This is a clunkily-worded card with a long run-on sentence in the middle that some players, especially newcomers not used to Magic’s verbosity, may stumble over. In effect, whenever you deal damage with Ziatora’s Envoy, you can either play a land from the top of your library or cast a spell with mana value less than the damage Ziatora’s Envoy dealt.
Meeting Of The Five
Three generic, one white, one blue, one black, one red, one green Sorcery:
Exile the top ten cards of your library. You may cast spells with exactly three colors among them this turn. Add two white, two blue, two black, two red, and two green. Spend this mana only to cast spells with exactly three colors.
A sorcery that needs very exact deckbuilding to really pull off, and even then, you'll have to pay the mana costs. It's a splashy spell, but the chance of this being useless and you losing access to cards you really needed is high.
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