Streets of New Capenna: Limited First Look

Published: 04/16/2022

Main Themes

I just love this set. All five mechanics are going to lead to interesting decisions. The mechanics re-weight classic magic decisions which will make them feel fresh and difficult:

I love how the intersection between the mechanics all lead to natural subthemes:

None of the mechanics are parasitic. You don't have to be an alliance deck to have creatures that will trigger your alliance effects. White has plenty of creatures which are good to sacrifice to casualty (though green doesn't really). Counters matter is only a thing at higher rarity, most of the value of shield tokens is in the tokens themselves not second order interactions. Because of this and the incredible quantity of fixing I think four color decks will be very common as you reach into the adjacent factions for premium gold cards.

How Gold is this Set?

This set is less gold than the most recent multicolor sets, Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance, in which each faction had 3 gold commons and a hybrid common. But more gold than the most recent tricolor set, Khans of Tarkir, in which each faction had only 1 tricolor common with morph.

The gold cards are very symmetric among the factions: every allied color pair has 1 common, 2 uncommons and 1 rare (except for Rakdos which has a bonus mythic). The allied commons and uncommons are very tight mechanically: all the Azorius ones care about counters, all the Dimir ones care about 5 cmcs in graveyards etc. This tight theming makes me wonder if simply allied decks could be a thing. I think in practice most sealed pools and drafts will have some adjacent gold card you can't justify not playing but I do see mostly allied color decks splashing a handful of broken gold cards being a common strategy.

Note that if you think you'll always end up in some shard an allied color gold card in this set is as restrictive as a monocolored card in a normal set. An allied color gold card fits into two shards which is 40% of decks. In a normal set you can be any of the 10 2 color combinations of which 40% contain any given color. A 3 color gold card is as restrictive as a gold card in a recent Ravnica set which is half as restrictive as gold cards normally are when all 10 color combinations are viable.

For the shards: one of those uncommons is their charm and the other two are creatures, one of which is legendary. At rare they each have 5 cards: an ascendancy, a removal spell, a mythic legendary creature, a nonlegendary creature, and a double hybrid legendary creature. It's my opinion that all the creatures above common are strong draws to their shard. The removal spells and charms are good but not significantly better than murder (some I'd argue are worse). Maestros Ascendancy image, Riveteers Ascendancy image and Brokers Ascendancy image are all very good, the other two are only okay. Some decks will have to leave Obscura Ascendancy image in the board but if you can support it it's very good.

The fixing is extremely good. There are two cycles of common lands. There's the cycle of tricolored commons which exile from your hand to fix. There's Ominous Parcel image. There's 10 commons which make treasures and there's 1 common and 2 uncommons which are treasures.

Commons Ranking

This is my tentative ordering of common power level. I prefer ranking to ratings because power level isn't constant set to set. The bottom half of commons only get played rarely and exactly what the line between top and bottom for a given color and set varies a lot. I haven't yet played with the cards so these are just my first impressions and of course some cards power levels vary greatly on synergies. Let me know where you think I'm wrong.

White [+]

Blue [+]

Black [+]

Red [+]

Green [+]

Gold [+]

Artifact [+]

Miscellaneous

Instants

common

uncommon

rare

mythic