Our Favourite Cards from Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna
The newest Magic: The Gathering expansion, Streets of New Capenna, launched on April 29th. Since then, the Hotspawn team has put the new cards through their paces across hundreds of games. Here are some of our favourites!
If you’re looking to get started with Magic: The Gathering, check out our review of Streets of New Capenna’s Commander decks.
- Raffine, Scheming Seer
- Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
- Bootleggers’ Stash
- An Offer You Can’t Refuse
- Lord Xander, the Collector
Giada, Font of Hopes
Very well done on this one, Wizards of the Coast. Mono-white has always had its problems with mana ramp, especially if you wanted to play Angel tribal specifically, as many of the better Angel cards start to have hefty converted mana costs and it can be hard to stay on curve. A legendary creature and with a CMC of one white and one colorless, Giada should be in every angel deck.
Just to begin, she is a Legendary Creature – Angel with 2/2 power and toughness that also has Flying and Vigilance. That alone is better than some cards.
However, on top of that, you can tap Giada to add one white mana to cast an angel spell. It doesn’t end there either; each subsequent Angel you play now enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each angel you already control. That can start to add up!
Once you pair Giada with cards like Resplendent Angel, Righteous Valkyrie, Bishop of Wings, Youthful Valkyrie and Speaker of the Heavens, mono-white is starting to look a lot more aggro and competitive. (Ryan Shay)
Titan of Industry
As soon as I saw this card, I instantly got Elder Gargaroth vibes. Green has plenty of huge creatures that like to trample, but this card doesn’t just stop there. With a converted mana cost of three green and four colorless, it’s not a cheap spell, but gives you a ton of value on entry. Titan of Industry is also great for those who play devotion decks and cards like Nyxbloom Ancient.
You shouldn’t have trouble getting your way to seven mana in mono-green anyways, and once it’s cast, you get to choose two of its four entry options. These options are that you get to either destroy an artifact or enchantment, a target player gains five life, create a 4/4 Rhino Warrior token, or you get to put a shield counter on a creature you control. Topped off with a 7/7 power and toughness, as well as Reach and Trample, this card is a powerhouse. (RS)
This card comes in one of my favorite color combos, that being Jund (black, red & green). One of my more budget picks, this card has a lot of potential. This creature has a converted mana cost of one black, one red, one green and one colorless, making it not too expensive to cast.
Already I like the card when I see its total CMC is four and it has a power and toughness of 5/4 while also having Trample. This card comes with a lot of text, but basically, when it deals combat damage to a player, you get to look at the top card of your library. If that card had a mana value less than or equal to the damage dealt to the player, you can play it for free. If you don’t, you put that card in your hand. If done properly, you could cast some great spells for free using this, and even catch people off guard through the use of its Blitz ability. (RS)
This one is crazy. I can not wait to get my hands on one of these and test out casting multiple spells for free every turn. It mostly fits into a mono-red or blue-red deck type, as you’ll want to be casting as many instants and sorceries as possible. Whenever you cast your first instant or sorcery each turn, you get to exile an instant or sorcery from your grave. Then, you get to copy each card exiled this way previously, and cast any number of copies without paying their mana costs. It works kind of like the Storm keyword in a way.
Although it’s a bit expensive with a converted mana cost of two red and four colorless, if you can get this enchantment out, it should pay off. (RS)
Luxior, Giada’s Gift
Here we have something that I myself haven’t seen in my years of playing the game. Whenever a new mechanic, ability or some new combo comes out, I get super excited and with this artifact, we get just that. Having a converted mana cost of only one colorless, it will be easy to get on the field. Equipping a creature costs three colorless, while equipping a planeswalker costs one colorless.
Once equipped, the creature Luxior, Giada’s Gift is attached to receives +1/+1 for each counter on it, and the equipped permanent is no longer a planeswalker, but now a creature in addition to its other types. This card makes planeswalkers into creatures with power and toughness equal to their loyalty count!
This means you can now enchant a planeswalker, equip it with other things, and enemies can’t attack it directly unless they have spot removal. I can’t wait to see the neat tricks people pull with this card. (RS)
Raffine, Scheming Seer
This Legendary Creature – Sphinx Demon is the boss of the Obscura family in New Capenna. Her dark visions started occurring once she sided with archdemons when the angels fell during the city’s inception. Her prophecies were discarded by people as they were grim, but unfortunately for them, they came true.
Raffine, Scheming Seer was used heavily in the most recent championship as a part of the amazing Esper Midrange deck. For the cost of three converted mana, you are getting a 1/4 flying Creature that has Ward 1. Raffine’s ability triggers when any creature attacks, so she doesn’t need to attack to generate value, making her pretty handy at times. (Luna Meschiari)
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary is one of the most expensive regular version cards in New Capenna. He was a human tyrant who decided to become a planeswalker once he realized he was manipulated by demons. Ob Nixilis also became a demon when he was cursed by the Chain Veil.
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary has a converted mana cost of one colorless, one black, and one red, and has Casualty X, meaning you can sacrifice a creature with power X or greater to create a non-legendary copy of the planeswalker with X starting loyalty. If the copy is placed, a 1/1 red Devil creature token can be created. You can then use the other copy to force enemies to lose 2 life unless they discard a card, and gain 2 life in the process. (LM)
Bootleggers’ Stash is an Artifact with a converted mana cost of five colorless and one green. With Bootleggers’ Stash on the battlefield, you can tap your lands to create treasure tokens, which persist across turns, instead of losing access to unspent mana. That makes it a great card in Commander, but do keep in mind that it is scalable determined by the number of lands in play.
In certain formats, you can use Bootleggers’ Stash with Time Sieve to create infinite consecutive turns for yourself. How? Just sacrifice five Treasure Tokens and tap Time Sieve. You will then get an additional turn, and you can continue to do this as many times as you want, provided you can still draw cards from your library. (LM)
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
An Offer You Can’t Refuse is essentially a budget alternative to Swan Song for Commander, although there are differences that make them interesting and unique. For a converted mana cost of one blue, you can counter a noncreature spell. Instead of a 2/2 Bird token, you give the countered spell’s controller two Treasure tokens. That immediately seems like it should not be worth it and in some cases, it isn’t. However, the ability to counter any noncreature spell can be an enormous advantage. This is the edge that, if used correctly, can turn the tide of the battle. In theory, you can even counter your own spell for mana ramp. (LM)
Lord Xander, the Collector
Lord Xander, the Collector is a powerful Legendary Creature and is the boss of the Maestros family in New Capenna. This Vampire Demon Noble provides a couple of ways to reduce the enemy’s resources through the course of the game. With a converted mana cost of four colorless, one blue, one black, and one red, he is quite expensive to play, but he has an immediate impact on the course of the game.
He offers three different abilities to significantly pressure your opponent. The first ability is triggered when Lord Xander enters the battlefield. When this occurs, the opponent will have to discard half of the cards in their hand. The next ability is triggered when Lord Xander attacks. Now, it is the opponent’s library that gets milled by half. Last but not least, the third ability happens when Lord Xander dies. In this case, the opponent has to sacrifice half of their nonland permanents.
Now, if this is not a game-winning card, I don’t know what it is! (LM)
Gala Greeters has an immense amount of value packed into a single low-cost creature spell. For a converted mana cost of one green and one colorless, the 1/1 Creature – Elf Druid enters the battlefield. While its stats may not be impressive for its cost, Gala Greeters’ value comes from its use of the Alliance ability.
In Streets of New Capenna, cards with Alliance have their ability triggered whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control. In the case of Gala Greeters, you can choose from three options: adding a +1/+1 counter to Gala Greeters, creating a tapped Treasure token, or gaining 2 life.
While each option can only be chosen once per turn, adding any type of token or nontoken creature to your board can strengthen Gala Greeters, add mana for ramp, or help you heal out of lethal range. Both green and white have a ton of token generators in this set, so it’s not difficult to secure a lot more value than you’d expect from such an inexpensive card. (Matthew Rawle)
Halo Fountain is a very interesting card in that it provides its own win condition, albeit one that you’ll likely never be able to take advantage of. It is an Artifact with a converted mana cost of two colorless and one white, and features numerous abilities.
For one white mana, you can tap Halo Fountain, untap a creature you control, and create a 1/1 Citizen creature token. For two white mana, you can tap Halo Fountain, untap two creatures you control, and draw a card. These two abilities alone make it a solid value generator, not only adding to your board presence and your hand, respectively, but creating opportunities for you to trade more favorably with your opponent and better defend against their attacks.
The Artifact’s third ability, and arguably its most intriguing, allows you to spend five white mana to tap Halo Fountain. If you are able to untap 15 – yes, 15 – creatures you control, you win the game on the spot. While it is important to note that these creatures can be untapped at any time – you can choose to attack with a board full of tokens and untap them all before even one enters combat – it’s very unlikely that you will ever have that many creatures on the battlefield at once. There is some synergy with Rabble Rousing, which is an Enchantment that creates a token creature for every attacking creature, but it’s difficult to consider this a reliable win condition.
In spite of this, Halo Fountain’s other two abilities create an incredible amount of value for the cost and are more than enough to justify running it in your deck. (MR)
Each of the five families in Streets of New Capenna has their own Ascendancy card, an Enchantment based on their theme and mechanics. Obscura Ascendancy allows you to create and strengthen Spirit tokens; Riveteers Ascendancy lets you sacrifice a creature to return a creature with lesser mana value from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.
In my opinion, the most impactful of the Ascendancy Enchantments is the Brokers Ascendancy, which has a converted mana cost of one green, one white, and one blue. While it doesn’t allow you to be as creative as the other Ascendancy cards, sometimes you just want to take care of business. Brokers Ascendancy strengthens your entire board at the beginning of your end step, adding a +1/+1 counter to each creature and a loyalty counter to each planeswalker you control.
Play cards like Rabble Rousing, Sanctuary Warden and Reservoir Kraken and you will quickly find yourself awash with token creatures. You can also passively add value to Elspeth Resplendent and Vivien on the Hunt, taking advantage of their loyalty abilities while helping to mitigate their costs. (MR)
Similar to Gala Greeters, Workshop Warchief has an immense amount of value packed into one card, albeit with a higher converted mana cost of three colorless and two green. It is a 5/3 Creature – Rhino Warrior with Trample that gives you 3 life whenever it enters the battlefield. Additionally, when Workshop Warchief is destroyed, it creates a 4/4 Rhino Warrior token. If there’s an opening for lethal, you can also cast it for its Blitz cost of four colorless and two green mana.
Again, a big reason I’m a fan of Workshop Warchief is its flexibility and value. For just five mana, you’re getting a heal and a combined 9/7 statline across two creatures. Casting it for its Blitz cost so it gains Haste is also a useful option, as the token will be left to defend and you can draw another card. (MR)
Vivien on the Hunt
Vivien on the Hunt is an incredibly powerful end-game planeswalker that allows you to put your biggest threats directly onto the battlefield, or at the very least create an army of Rhino Warrior tokens. Vivien on the Hunt has a converted mana cost of four colorless and two green, and enters the battlefield with four loyalty counters.
You can remove a loyalty counter and create a 4/4 Rhino Warrior token; add a loyalty counter, and mill the top five cards of your library, adding any creature cards you mill to your hand, or add two loyalty counters and sacrifice a creature under your control to put a creature with the mana cost of the sacrificed creature plus one from your library to the battlefield. By sacrificing a creature with a mana cost of three, you’d be able to replace them with a four-mana creature, and so on.
Anything you can do for free in Magic is a very powerful effect; while Vivien does reward careful deckbuilding (you cannot replace sacrificed creatures with other creatures that have the same mana value or less), being able to put strong creatures with beneficial entry effects directly onto the battlefield more than makes up for the restriction. Creatures placed onto the battlefield this way also aren’t tapped when they enter, so they are free to attack or defend immediately if they can.
Vivien on the Hunt is unlikely to have the same sort of impact that The Wandering Emperor or Wrenn and Seven had in the sets before her, but the constant threat she provides is exactly what you want in the late game. (MR)
What are your favourite cards from Streets of New Capenna? Have you discovered any cool combos or interesting ways to use these cards combined with cards from past sets?