Hi, I’m g-rey and welcome to the White portion of the Streets of New Capenna Set Review! Even in a world of crime families and multi-colored madness there are many exciting new mono-colored cards to in store. From niche includes to multi-archetype staples, New Capenna has something to offer everyone
Boon of Safety
One of white Aggro’s most obnoxious traits is that they easily get to blank removal spells. While the best of these effects are stapled to creatures like Selfless Savior, instants like Gods Willing and Sejiri Shelter are still very good. Compared to those last two, this loses the flexibility of allowing you to get around blockers, but it does protect against sweepers. Just be wary of the “flavor” text on Stomp on Bonecrusher Giant and Questing Beast that stops damage prevention, as that gets around shield counters.
One of the biggest boons that Equipment decks have gotten the past few years is Wizards printing more and more of these Living Weapon style Equipment. While the Equipment portion of the card is fairly lackluster, it gives Equipment decks an on-theme disenchant effect. This has already proven to be a very powerful effect on Cathar Commando and Outland Liberator so expect to see this as an archetype staple going forward.
Gone are the days of white Control decks scrounging for good sweepers. Wrath of God, Day of Judgment, and Doomskar all take the cake over this, with how critical sweepers are to control decks, having more depth to the pool of efficient sweepers is more than welcome.The most immediate comparison is Shatter the Sky and while which one is better will be meta dependent, both are likely good enough to make the cut if you really just want the board gone.
Now this is exactly the type of planeswalker I love. If you have any sort of board when you play her, the +1 will make it so taking her down in combat will be almost impossible for your opponent. Not to mention that every single one of those ability counters pushes any sort of racing scenario completely in your favor. If you don’t have a board though, Elspeth also has you covered, not only getting you a body to protect her, but even giving it a shield counter, making it so much harder for your opponent to push through to kill her. And while normally it isn’t prudent to judge planeswalkers by their ultimate, Elspeth protects herself so well and gets to that seven loyalty so quickly that those five Angels will come into play very often.
As for where Elspeth fits into the format, she is likely too slow for the fully aggressive builds of mono-white but will be a perfect fit in any style of Counters deck or white Midrange deck. I’m most excited for her in GW or GWx Midrange, since the larger creatures will wear the flying and lifelink counters incredibly well, and the one thing Questing Beast was missing was first strike.
While the immediate home for Extraction Specialist is Aristocrats, there is a home that I am far more excited about. Yes, getting back a Blood Artist or Putrid Goblin that has already died is massive value, and exactly the type of effect that Aristocrats will love, the deck I will be jamming this the most in is Prime Speaker Vannifar. Not only can this get back Corridor Monitor in the combo chains, but any of your mana dorks that get murdered while you’re setting up. Any card that fits into the Combo and is good against both Aggro and Control seems like a perfect fit in an admittedly pet deck of mine
Giada, Font of Hope
Eat your heart out Silverbeak Griffin! Giada might be the card from this set that I will be casting the most. Even disregarding the Angel text, she is an incredibly efficient flier, carries Equipment incredibly well, and makes racing brutal. However, that angel text is anything but filler, and will lead to some of the most punishing curve-outs in the right deck. Many of the three and four-drop threats that white Aggressive and Midrange decks have played just happen to be Angels, and getting even a single extra counter out of Giada will put your opponent very far behind.
This is a card that screams to break it. If you can turn the fountain into a creature with something like The Blackstaff of Waterdeep it is able to both tap and untap itself. This can get a ton of value from the army of 1/1’s it makes, but when combined with a mana dork that can produce two or more mana, it lets you draw your entire deck. Whether or not a shell that wants to incorporate all of these pieces will form remains to be seen, but I am excited to see it if it does.
This card is never going to win awards for the flashiest card, but as a strictly better Priest of Ancient Lore Inspiring Overseer is the perfect way to grease the wheels of a Blink deck, as well as more niche decks like Clerics. While these minor upgrades are easy to overlook in favor of flashy rares and mythics, they are just as important to creating well rounded decks
Call of the Death-Dweller is a card that has gone in and out of aristocrats shells for a while now, and while Patch Up loses the possibility of getting a Mayhem Devil with a deathtouch counter, the possibility of getting back 3 one-drops is rather exciting, especially since most of the one-drops in Aristocrats tend to die into another body. Six death triggers for one card is an excellent rate, and that upside may make it worth considering. The biggest downside of these style of cards is that they can never progress your game plan unless you already have a loaded graveyard, meaning that outside of Aristocrats, patch Up is unlikely to see much play.
Merfolk Branchwalker has long been a staple of green aggressive decks, and Raffine’s informant looks to be the white equivalent. A potentially 3-power two-drop that gives you card selection in a color that rarely gets it is a big bonus. While the competition for two-drop slots in Mono-white Aggro is fierce, this is one that I am excited to try out, since it gives you much more control about when it is a 3/2 than Branchwalker does. And any time we can increase the number of Humans in these white Aggressive decks without sacrificing quality, the better cards like Thalias Leutnant and Expedition Supplier become. Beyond purely aggressive purposes, I can see this possibly slotting into Esper Reanimator shells as a cheap defensive play that can set up a reanimation target while digging for a way to bring it back.
Rumor Gatherer is another in a long line of creatures that allow you to get repeated advantage just by following your game plan and just playing more creatures. So far, the best version of this effect has been Welcoming Vampire, which has a significantly better body, and only requires one creature to enter to get the card draw, instead of the two needed for the Gatherer. However, in dedicated Token decks, which are often putting three or more creatures into play on any given turn, the additional scrys that the Gatherer offers adds up quickly to almost guarantee a constant flow of exactly what you need at that time. Unlike the Vampire, I doubt this will see play in generic strategies, simply due to the 2/1 body being pretty anemic, but I expect this to be a staple of Token decks for quite some time.
When looking at cards that are in my Control decks purely as finishers, I have three boxes that I need them to check off. They need to be hard to remove, end the game quickly, and either gain me card advantage or stabilize me from far behind. Sanctuary Warden checks all of these boxes, especially if you have counters other than its own shield counters to pull off for that trigger. However, the competition that this has is incredibly tight, and while I doubt that she will ever replace staples like Shark Typhoon or any of the many planeswalkers, being able to survive your own sweepers after coming down makes this a serious contender for the remaining finisher slots.
If you are a fan of Plains, there is a ton to be excited about in New Capenna. From aggro staples, to control mainstays, to niche inclusions for pet decks everywhere, expect to see New Capenna all around for years to come.
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I’m a passionate Magic player who plays a lot of Gladiator and Limited! I’ve been playing since Kamigawa block and have been a loyal blue mage for the majority of that time. My favorite decks are UW Control or UB Tempo!