Streets of New Capenna Set Review: Multicolored: Part II

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: put on the Cowboy Bebop OST, reload your Arc Spitter, and welcome to Part Two of our SNC Gold Cards review!

Maestros Ascendancy

With plenty of expendable things to sacrifice such as tokens, this card can have a pretty high attrition potential. 

Indeed, Grixis can create tokens, typically with Young Pyromancer which this card synergizes well with, so if you’re in the market for a list heavily focused on Pyro-like cards, cantrips, hand attacks and removals, this should be an acceptable lategame tool that feeds on the tokens your deck naturally produces to keep your wheels turning and continue casting spells. Just be mindful that you want your deck to be consistent enough to already have tokens on board to use this card immediatly when you cast cast it.

Technically, you could try to run some sacrifice-fodder or a higher density of creatures to use your Ascendancy consistently, but doing so will reduce your density of instants/sorceries, and if you spend a card slot for this card, you really don’t want to miss opportunites to use its effect.

Maestros Charm

This charm will be another easy Grixis staple with its two excellent modes (either a slightly worse Soul Sear or a deeper-digging Strategic Planning) and a niche third one which will still make the difference the very few times you need to Lightning Helix the opponent to survive another turn or finish the game.

Maestros Diabolist

Although this card has a bunch of good attributes, it’s a little all over the place and I fear it won’t really excel at anything. 

Four toughness and deathtouch is great defensively, but this needs to attack to create Devils, meaning Diabolist will slow Aggro down, but won’t pull you ahead on its own. 

Having haste and creating an attacking token is good offensively, but Diabolist can’t create a Devil if you already have one, so if the opponent can afford to take two each turn, you won’t get as much value off of this card.

As a Footlight Fiend dispenser, this wouldn’t be too bad in Aristocrats, but Rakdos, Mardu and Jund are likely to stay much better color combinations than Grixis for Aristocrats builds.

Nimble Larcenist

As an evasive Sin Collector that can hit artifacts, this card is pretty neat. It comes in, nabs something, then trades or starts beating down, and isn’t a bad Ephemerate or Obscura Charm target either.

Be mindful that against creature-heavy decks, this card is a little frail and may miss too often, but unless you’re expecting to face a majority of non-red Aggro lists, this card should perform pretty well.

Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

Similarly to Kaito Shizuki, Ob Nixilis provides an interesting fresh take on how to facilitate untapping with a three-mana planeswalker by creating a copy of itself. If you have a creature to sacrifice, passing the turn with two planeswalkers and one or two Footlight Fiend is going to be a very difficult bomb to defuse, even for Aggro decks.

Devil tokens block Aggro’s one and two-drops pretty well, including first-strike x/1s, and getting them removed can still lead to an opposing creature dying. Then, when you start stabilizing the board, gaining life with the +1 will slowly put you out of harm’s reach.

Against slower decks, the +1 likely won’t make the opponent discard in the first turns, but recharging the -2 ability is still a decent way to generate value. Later in the game, the threat of a seven-damage ultimate, your Devils’ pings and the potential reach coming from your red burn spells will likely force the opponent to discard cards earlier than they would like.

Ideally you should either prioritize sacrificing a 1/1 to the casualy cost to just get your copy, or sacrifice a cheap three-power creature like Tenacious Underdog to create two Devils immediately. Sacrificing a bigger creature is a little suboptimal because said creature is probably either blocking the opponent’s board or pressuring their life total, but if you really expect a sweeper, it’s still one way to play around it.

For sure, offering a Rotting Regisaur to the casualty cost can create an early draw seven, but you would rather sacrifice a critter to have two planeswalkers and a Regisaur… Although I suppose if you untap with this monster truck you’ll probably be able to attack, cast Ob Nixilis, and finish the opponent by nugging them for 7. 

Another great interaction is with Esika’s Chariot which can copy your planeswalker token (note that the copied token will have the same loyalty as the casualty copy when it was created), and produce disgusting scenarios such as crewing your Chariot, feeding your tapped creature to the casualty cost, and cackling as you spam your opponent with Ob Nixilis’s voice lines.

All in all, I expect this planeswalker to see tons of play in any Rakdos/+ deck as long as you run twenty-five or more creatures and token-producing spells. I’m looking forward to jam this in Grixis Midrange, and in the meantime I’ll pin my « Best card in the set » medal to Ob Nixilis’s tuxedo.

Obscura Charm

With two slightly overcosted interactive modes and a third mode that’s dependent on your density of three-mana multicolored cheap permanents, I feel like this charm gets the shorter end of the stick.

That being said, Eliminate is good, and the pseudo-Negate still gets the job done if it hits your opponent’s interaction or a tutor effect. The reanimation mode certainly has the biggest potential, but when actually looking at your card pool, you may either realize that good hits aren’t as plentiful as you would like, or you’re starting to over-evaluate a few cards.

Overall, I still think this card has good enough potential off of its sheer versatility, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see it lose popularity if people don’t get to use the reanimation mode often. After all, Esper is a top-tier color combination when it comes to interacting, and already has plenty of cheaper spells in its arsenal.

Obscura Interceptor

It seems like WotC attempted to make an Esper Command, but the card fell into the design cauldron and now always does all four modes at the same time. 

Considering how much of everything this card does, this card is very likely to be an Esper staple: it’s a flash threat with high power, a lifelinker with high power, a powerful tempo play à la Venser, Shaper Savant, and even offers a tad of card selection and/or graveyard setup.

Ognis, the Dragon’s Lash

For Aggro decks, a 3/3 haste for four is a little underwhelming without evasion or a game-finishing ability, and creating tapped treasures with what will often be your top curve isn’t much of a tempo push. It’s not a terrible card per se, but the four-drop slots are already highly contested and I don’t see Ognis making the cut when Thundering Raiju is already a rare sight in red Aggro’s biome.

That being said, this card should fit well in Gruul Bard Class decks, which want their high density of legendary spells and have uses for the beatdown aspect of this card and its ramping potential.

Park Heights Pegasus

Selesnya being the best at both dumping bodies on the board (through token production and/or mana ramp) and putting +1/+1 counters on things, this aggressive two-drop has all the right attributes to be a great card in most Selesnya/+ proactive decks.

Having access to an evasive Ophidian is a nice way to keep finding creatures to develop your board and ways to hit with your Pegasus, and importantly continues applying pressure instead of sitting back to generate value with more passive cards.

Raffine, Scheming Seer

Although Raffine’s starting starts are a little unimpressive (at least she’s hard to kill for a three-drop), she can grow on her own, and repeatable looting on a creature is great at setting up the graveyard, sculpting your hand and digging through your deck. 

Even just on its own, this card is good defensively, versatile, and can grow into a must-kill target which should give it a good seat in Esper Midrange. If you have other creatures, it’s all the better and Raffine can be quite explosive, but don’t dream too much: if you connive for two or more each turn, you won’t put as many counters on your creatures as you may think, unless you’re okay with clogging your hand with lands.

Rigo, Streetwise Mentor

Although a three-mana 2/2 with a shield counter isn’t bad to begin with, the attack trigger is certainly what you want to focus on. Interestingly, each of Rigo’s colors have popular low-power creatures that can trigger it. 

White easily creates 1/1 tokens, and has staples like Selfless Savior or Esper Sentinel, Blue has flying mens like Spectral Sailor and Siren Stormtamer, and Green has mana dorks like Llanowar Elves and Gilded Goose.

You’ll definitely need a relatively high density of critters to make Rigo worth the slot, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it every once in a while in at least Azorius Aggro, Selesnya Tokens and White Weenie. I have a few doubts on Bant decks though, since they usually lean more into Midrange with bigger bodies, and playing a three-color deck gives you access to less demanding value tools.

Riveteers Ascendancy

Although this card has good potential in Aristocrats, it isn’t as much of an auto-include as one may think, despite having a bunch of right words written on it.

As powerful as the trigger is, it is limited to once each turn, which doesn’t let you close games as quickly as other payoffs like Mayhem Devil and The Meathook Massacre.

Only caring about sacrifice also means you won’t gain any value from your creatures getting removed or trading with the opponent’s creatures.

Being an enchantment, it’s way harder to interact with than a creature, but doesn’t add pressure on its own in what remains a proactive creature-based deck.

To be fair, every Artistocrats payoff has upsides and downsides (triggering off of nontokens, only triggering with sacrifices, costing you life, etc.), you just have to identify them and take them into consideration. If your build has a lot of free sacrifice-outlets and is focused on grinding people out more than putting pressure and quickly throwing your whole team at the opponent, Riveteers Ascendancy will likely be an important piece of your deck.

As a quick note: despite this card’s similarity with Kami of Mourning, which people enjoy running in Pod strategies, the once-each-turn limit prevents this from comboing out with your Prime Speaker Vannifar, likely ending the conversation right there.

Riveteers Charm

Yet again, this is an excellent charm with two great modes and a situational third that’ll still save you when you need to interact with the opponent’s graveyard. Just be mindful the draw mode won’t be very good on turn three and you should rather delay it like an Expressive Iteration. As long as you run enough threats, discard spells and versatile removals (ideally burn spells), this will very often net you two or three cards, if you don’t just use it as a Soul Shatter.

Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer

Rocco doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but tutoring is still an excellent meal in Singleton, and if you’re playing green you’ll gladly add this card to your suite of Fauna Shaman, Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate, Finale of Devastation and other creature tutors. Although adding three mana to your tutor target is limiting, it’s not too far from what most tutor spells cost anyway, and the added 3/1 body prevents you from falling behind on tempo when you tap-out to tutor something.

Scheming Fence

As a pseudo-Phyrexian Revoker with more toughness and an upside, this card may have a shot in Gladiator, as a tutor target in green Toolbox decks for example. 

Although, being a hatebear creature, its power is largely dependent on how many viable targets you’re facing, and contrary to Revoker, you need your target to already be on board as Scheming Fence comes in. So there are a bunch of little details that do make this card less powerful than it seems. 

It’s worth mentioning that despite this card’s inability to steal loyalty abilities, you can and should still hose planeswalkers with it if you can’t kill them with your board.

Snooping Newsie

Although this card doesn’t compare exceedingly well to Aven Heartstabber, a 2/2 for two with the potential to become a 3/3 lifelink can be appealing in Dimir Midrange, notably those running a graveyard subtheme with cards like Champion of Wits, The Scarab God and Liliana, Death’s Majesty.

Self-mill creatures also fill the small niche of enabling dredgy payoffs such as The Gitrog Monster, Wonder or Slogurk, the Overslime, and although this deck still looks more like a Muldrotha, the Gravetide Brawl deck than a competitive Gladiator deck to me, if it ends up seeing the light of day, it will be partly thanks to more enablers like Snooping Newsie.

Tainted Indulgence

Fellow Dimir players, we’ve got our own two-mana staple cantrip to compete with (or rather pair with in my case) Expressive Iteration!

Setting up your hand and graveyard early, and turning into a two-mana instant-speed Divination later, this card isn’t greatly simple: it’s simply great.

Toluz, Clever Conductor

3/1 and 4/2 are both good stat lines for a looting creature, and the exile ability pushes this card even further when it dies, which is a likely fate for a low-toughness creature. Toluz also synergizes with other looting effects, blood tokens, cycling, channel and even messes with hand attack, which is all but insignificant.

Getting your Toluz exiled or bounced won’t get your card back, which dismisses her from the “graveyard setup” category, but “fair” looting is good enough as it is. Besides, green can’t do much besides killing her, and Aggro decks in general can’t just stop attacking and wait for an exile spell.

While most colors have a few ways of exiling Toluz, I can predict experienced player will learn to kill or attack into this creature asap, rather than waiting and giving their opponent time to put more cards under it, at the risk of getting blown out by a sacrifice effect or one of your own cheap removals on Toluz fishing back four cards.

Unleash the Inferno

They really hit the bull’s eye with this Jund Command. It destroys a relevant permanent, then another one, and most importantly: you don’t have to connect neurons and choose modes, the card does it for you.

This being said, it is worth considering that Jund is already excellent at dealing with every permanent type, four mana is not nothing, and there will be a few scenarios where you want to destroy an artifact/enchantment, but the opponent either has no creature, or their only creature is too big to hit another target afterwards. I think the biggest appeal with this card is to release you from the need to run narrower cards like Reclamation Sage and limit your artifact/enchantment suite of answers to cards like this and Maelstrom Pulse.

Void Rend

Apparently they forgot to design a card for Obscura, so they just put an automatically generated staple at the last minute…

There isn’t much to say about this card aside that it’s boringly excellent. Three mana is right at the limit of what you normally want to spend to destroy something, but hitting any nonland is why Banishing Light is an Azorius Control staple in the first place. And this is an instant, and uncounterable! This card is just bonkers, and the only nonobvious thing I can say about Void Rend, is that it renders me angry.

Lord Xander, the Collector

Although I think a lot of people are making too much fuss about this card, I still think it is worth talking about, and not because of social pressure. Clearly, Xander isn’t worth casting for face value and if you want to run it, you should cheat it into play, which is commonly achievable in Reanimator.

His ETB is a nice way to get a little more value off of your reanimation, and will eventually run the opponent out of gas if you start a ping-pong game of “I kill your Xander” and “I reanimate my Xander”. The death trigger is a very real deal too, as it will wreak havoc on your opponent’s board if they don’t have an exile effect. To be honest, if we had access to cards like Footsteps of the Goryo or (clears his throat) Recurring Nightmare, I would be legitimately excited by this card as its biggest upsides are essentially these two abilities.

The problematic part with this Vampire is its attack trigger, which a lot of people overvalue, but another bunch of more spiky players undervalue as well. In general, milling half your opponent’s deck won’t help you very much until you third attack (and attacking three times with a 6/6 should win you the game regardless), and instead will profit your opponent by filling their graveyard with Regrowth targets and recursive cards.

I think the reality is in between: you won’t be instantly murdered for milling a ton of cards from your opponent’s deck, but if they answer Xander after one attack, they will very likely get some value in the exchange, although not every deck bothers about using its graveyard. On the other hand, if you put most of your efforts into getting a 6/6 with no evasion on board, the easiest way to buy some time against it is by chump-blocking, which won’t work as much with Xander.

So all in all, I think this card is an interesting reanimation target to have access to, as it’s not the most threatening when deployed and can backfire a bit, but is still a 6/6 with an alternative way to pressure an opponent, and most importantly: it is designed with the intent to be removed, and will have more impact in these scenarios than other threats solely focused on winning the game.

Ziatora’s Envoy

So, what if Nashi, Moon Sage’s Scion picked up a +2/+2 hammer, didn’t make you pay life, could put your card in hand for later and was actually worth casting on curve? 

With its premium stats and a great value-generating ability, this is an excellent Midrange card, which Jund generally leans into anyway. 

The blitz ability is just the icing on the cake, letting you push through the final chunks of damage, or cast your Envoy for a kamikaze attack that will bring you a two-for-one in most cases.

Ziatora, the Incinerator

As a six-drop that wants other creatures to Fling and other cards in hand to use the Treasures, Ziatora doesn’t necessarily convice me as much as other threats.

Jund gives you access to plenty of cheaper monsters, notably Ziatora’s Envoy and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King which also bring you more resources instead of asking you to feed them other ressources to work.

If you’re looking for a big threat to ramp into, Ziatora also competes with six-mana planeswalkers, Inferno of the Star Mount, Kogla, the Titan Ape and other chunguses, and lacks a bit of immediate impact or resilience in my opinion.

But honestly, if you’re in the market for this big Demon Dragon, you’re probably mostly looking for cool, powerful splashy Magic, and as someone who’s diminutive is literally Timmy, I condone your behavior (dare I say support it!)

Here ends our tour of New Capenna’s suite of Gold cards. Now, I wouldn’t want to sound unmannerly, but there’s business to attend to and Magic games to be played! So hop in your Getaway Car and go build some decks with those new tools, will ya?