Streets of New Capenna being focused on allied three-color combinations, it is only logical that up to forty-five cards made the cut into the Multicolor part of the set review. Time being money, let’s not waste it any further: play the Cuphead OST, put on your Brass Knuckles, and welcome to Part One of our SNC Gold Cards review!
As a self-replacing cheap evasive creature that will trade up in prolonged games, this card is reminiscent of Baleful Strix, which is a good classmate to copy from.
While having one, two and three mana-value cards in the graveyard will be trivial in any deck, the need for zero and/or four+ mana values will likely push this card towards Midrange, Control, and three-color decks where you play a reasonable amount of cycling lands, looting effects, and cards that cost four or more mana.
Black Market Tycoon
Simply tapping to create a Treasure is an original take on a mana-dork, offering more flexible mana management, such as spending six mana on turn four off of this card alone. Being a two-power mana-dork also makes Tycoon useful when you don’t need the mana, in the same manner as Paradise Druid and Lotus Cobra.
On top of that, this card has some potential in more synergistic decks focusing on Treasures or sacrificing permanents.
Sadly, it isn’t too rare to have Treasures lying around that you don’t need to use for multiple turns, and this creature will force you to crack them or take significant damage. But honestly, if you keep your treasures sitting around for that long, they are probably as useful to you in this game as your dusty box of commander playables.
Reminiscent of Slaughter-Priest of Mogis, while Body Dropper isn’t as explosive, it gaining counters makes more sense for a cheap Aristocrats payoff. It fits better into common play patterns where you progressively grind value off of your sacrifice-fodder while threats like this and Ravenous Squirrel hit harder and harder each turn.
Being a sacrifice-outlet itself and gaining menace helps a lot in making sure you deal high damage on the turn you pop off instead of getting chump blocked.
Although two toughness is a bit fragile for a three-drop, casting a free Commune with Nature on death is a nice way to keep hitting gas. Four power is nothing to sneeze at, and vigilance will help you find an opportunity to trade with one of the opponent’s creatures.
As long as you run about thirty-five creatures, your odds of hitting will be in the 90%, which makes this card reasonable for most Naya decks since those colors have excellent creatures in their pool.
This card has very good snowball potential, even though you can’t use your +1/+1 counters immediately unless you’re blocking. As long as you’re creating tokens or running a high amount of creatures, this repeatable Glorious Anthem will be a powerful grind tool that’s cheap and hard to interact with.
Adding counters on planeswalkers is nice too, but won’t make or break a Superfriends deck. The most important thing is still to have your planeswalkers stick, and controlling the board or establishing a strong line of defense will help your planeswalkers more than giving them an extra counter each turn.
This card will be an easy Bant staple with two great modes and a situational third one. Instant-speed draw two for three mana is great, and destroying an enchantment is sometimes a necessity. Biting creatures and planeswalkers is rare and valuable, and most Bant decks should naturally run enough creatures to use this mode consistently.
Cards like Herald’s Horn do see play every once in a while for sure, but they’re more often played in Mono-Red Goblins and similar decks that play too few colors to have many other options to generate value. Since you’re playing three colors, you should already have access to plenty of other value-generating cards that’ll be more mana-efficient and impactful than this very slow enchantment.
This is a great versatile spell for Tokens decks, capable of adding to the board when you need to develop, killing a planeswalker or applying pressure by blowing up a big blocker, or straight-up winning when you’ve developed a big enough army.
While some Naya builds may not have the creature count to make this work like a charm, Naya’s strength mostly lies in its creatures, meaning this card should often be justifiable even in decks not built around tokens.
For a self-replacing creature, this has very respectable stats, and the added value of binning the two other cards instead of putting them on the bottom is a nice touch.
Requiring a creature to exile is a little annoying, but Grixis kills creatures for breakfast, so against creature decks I’m confident you’ll get your two-for-one in most games.
It will be harder to get the free Strategic Planning against Control decks, but cheap creatures that replace themselves are very effective against them, so as long as your build is proactive and runs about twenty-five creatures or more, you should be able to make this card work consistently and be very satisfied with it.
I don’t see this card at all in Control and Midrange decks. You often run too few creatures to reliably cast this early, and if you need a sweeper, you can’t afford to wait ages for it to be functional. Even if you do have a high creature count, you likely won’t be in the market for sweepers that can’t be used differently when you’re the aggressor (contrarily to Sweltering Suns or The Meathook Massacre).
The one saving grace for this spell could be Reanimator, where throwing a big creature in the bin is an essential part of your game plan anyway. With reanimation spells being expensive and few of your reanimation targets being Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, setting up a turn three or four Corpse Explosion may actually be one of your best shots at winning games against Aggro. In slower games you should also be able to cast your Corpse Explosion for four/five damage to clear the board without killing your reanimated monster.
Color requirements aside, this is a very punchy Aggro card.
Unfortunately, going three-color Aggro isn’t the most judicious because it hurts your mana consistency and increases your need for tapped lands, two important angles where Aggro decks usually get an edge over greedier decks by playing few colors.
Reminiscent of Mirran Crusader, this is a very good target for counters, Auras and Equipment thanks to its double strike and built-in protection.
Although a 2/1 double strike alone probably won’t keep its shield counter for ages, you should still often get a two-for-one in scenarios where this card is involved, which makes this card a good choice for most Bant creature-based decks.
As a three-mana Commit // Memory that can also interact with graveyards, this card is likely to become a staple in Bant decks. This spell allows you to momentarily interact with anything, whether it’s an already resolved Questing Beast, a game-winning Tainted Pact, or a life-saving Wrath of God. Putting the target on top even handles indestructible permanents and uncounterable spells.
It’s also worth mentioning you can put your own things back on top, and while I’m not a fan of using these effects to “protect” one of your cards in response to a removal or counterspell, buying back a card from your graveyard should come up every once in a while: even though it is a one-for-two, returning a combo piece or an impactful situational card like a board wipe will make up for the card loss in situations where you just need something specific that’s present in your graveyard.
Although blue Tokens decks are rare, this is still a great Token card in abstract, adding multiple evasive bodies that take Glorious Anthem buffs really well. Exotic Pets also synergizes very well with counters, not only because you’ll copy the ones already on board when you cast this card, but also because the fish tokens are powerful +1/+1 counters holders on their own.
Falco Spara, Pactweaver
Without synergies, 3/3 flample for four isn’t the most impressive compared to other contenders in these colors such as Questing Beast or God-Eternal Kefnet.That being said, surviving a trade or removal is very good against both Aggro and Control, and Falco Spara can also replace itself with its own counter.
Obviously, this card is preferable in a deck putting counters on creatures, which the Selesnya colors often do, sometimes repeatedly with cards like Scavenging Ooze or Luminarch Aspirant, which is even better.
Trading counters for cards is a very profitable deal, and green decks are good at chaining cards from the top (see Ranger Class or The Great Henge). Moreover, this ability plays around wraths by letting you keep threats in your hand while still developing board presence to force your opponent to react.
The card draw helps a lot making this card playable in Aristocrats, as it makes Fatal Grudge card-neutral and your entire deck is based on trading expendable stuff with your opponent’s more precious resources.
Since Aristocrats runs some enchantments, this offers some enchantment removal in strict Rakdos, which isn’t nothing. Catching a planeswalker with it will come up less often as you’ll unlikely want to sacrifice the few planeswalkers you run, and your archetype is inherently good enough at controlling the board and attacking planeswalkers. For creatures and artifacts, your deck will likely create plenty of expandable tokens you’ll gladly throw at your opponent.
Just be mindful that if you sacrifice a card with multiple types such as an artifact creature, the opponent will only have to sacrifice one permanent with a corresponding type, not two.
4/4 trample/haste is an old classic when it comes to pressuring planeswalkers and opponents down, and lifelink on a big body is great against Aggro, either to play the defense and stop them in their tracks or to start racing them.
Being three-color tends to push this card towards Midrange since Aggro decks rarely run more than two colors, and this card will be great in Midrange for its simple yet powerful versatility, but if you want to play Naya Aggro, you’ll still gladly run this card for its punching potential.
This card embodies what Grixis Midrange wants to do with its sweepers: buying time with cheap interaction and your own creatures to pressure the opponent into committing, and cleaning the leftovers with a three-damage sweeper that doesn’t kill your four-toughness creatures. Except this card gives you extra leeway by shrinking their Elder Gargaroth and buffing your Young Pyromancer before sweeping the board, making this “DIY Plague Wind”-scenario more common.
Costing five mana hurts this card quite a bit, but the absence of double pips is a real boon for a three-color manabase, and although Control decks will likely favor Crux of Fate, I think Midrange decks will enjoy having access to a very permissive sweeper that won’t punish you for running a few cheap creatures like Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Tokens being among the things you’d want to sweep away, this card is unlikely to see much play in defensive lists.
A Tokens deck might look to use that spell as a one-sided sweeper, but naya Tokens will likely still play nontoken payoffs and token-producers like Chatterfang, Squirrel General, Legion Warboss or Welcoming Vampire. On top of that, Tokens decks are naturally good against small creatures and are more concerned about big blockers, so the few interaction slots you can afford will probably already be filled by white and red single-target removals.
In specifically Transmogrify decks though, this card can technically be run with no downside besides not killing opposing tokens.
Jetmir, Nexus of Revels
Jetmir should fit in any Tokens or creature-heavy list, which most Naya decks will be anyway. In these decks, Jetmir will easily be a pseudo-Glorious Anthem attached to a 6/4 vigilance, and sometimes even more.
The most promising thing with this card is how it can act as a pseudo-Craterhoof Behemoth when you have a big board while still only costing four mana, which makes it reasonable to cast and/or grab with a Fauna Shaman, Finale of Devastation or Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer.
Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second
Jinnie Fay is a different take on Chatterfang, Squirrel General, which makes her tailor-made for token-focused decks, whether Naya or Selesnya.
Being able to turn noncreature tokens such as Treasures into bodies, and getting to choose between two different creatures adds valuable versatility to this card, on top of being a 3/3 for three which fits your aggressive plan better than enchantments that solely upgrade your tokens.
Lagrella, the Magpie
At first glance, Lagrella looks like a stronger yet color-demanding Fairgrounds Warden, but her ability to exile one of your own creatures importantly adds combo potential to this card, on top of some interesting board-management depth.
First of all, let’s talk combo : combining three creatures like Lagrella, Glorious Protector, Lumbering Battlement or Hostage Taker can create infinite “enter/leave the battlefield” loops that can be used to win the game when paired with a payoff like Witty Roastmaster. It’s really demanding and easy to interact with, but it’s still a game-winning combo available in decks focused on creature tutors. Lagrella is actually one of the best among these combo pieces, because it only costs three mana and can buy you some time by removing an opposing creature.
Now, the biggest issue with these pseudo-removal creatures is that if they are removed or you have to block and trade them, the opponent just gets their creature back. But with Lagrella, if you have an ETB creature on your board, you can exile it as well and regain some value and board presence as a consolation prize if she dies. Technically, if you are on defense, exiling one of your own creatures isn’t necessarily very intuitive since you likely want to block with it, but exiling a critter like Spirited Companion won’t weaken your board as much, and will pay you dividends if your opponent can answer Lagrella.
Against control decks very low on creatures, this card can also be used to simply gulp one of your own dudes and have it come back immediately after the opponent sweeps your board. It’s not overly exciting, but it’s an acceptable secondary use for what is usually a combo piece and/or an anti-creature card.
If you think you’ve seen every Gold card in New Capenna, you got it all wrong! Sit in the Mysterious Limousine and enjoy the ride, we have plenty of other cards to see in Part Two of this set review !
“Sometimes I think that the other four colors are just a vessel to be able to experience the color Blue. Like, there needs to be context : if everything was Blue, nothing would be Blue. It would be meaningless. But because there are the other colors, we all eventually reach the point in our lives where we realize we’re Blue mages. Not everybody has reached that point yet, but eventually you do. And even if it takes many lifetimes : eventually you realize you’re a Blue mage.”
– Patrick Chapin