We finally have the full Streets of New Capenna set list. The set is interesting and, in many ways, powerful. “Treasure” would be my one-word summary of the set. That said, while there is a lot of treasure in the set, it’s not over the top like many would have you believe.
I picked a few moer cards to discuss and examine in today’s article.
I’ve seen lots of comparisons between this and Thragtusk. The comparisons aren’t unfounded, but this card is better in many ways. Workshop Warchief can be blitzed in to kill a planeswalker while also leaving a 4/4 behind instead of a 3/3. Its trample is solid, too.
Many have noted that there’s a huge downside in the difference between Workshop Warchief dying and Thragtusk leaving the battlefield. Many have said that it’s not as good to blink, but that’s not important these days. Most importantly, bouncing and exiling it will not leave value behind, which makes the card a worse version of Thragtusk.
I expect Workshop Warchief to see some amount of play in Standard and perhaps Alchemy. It doesn’t look like a replacement for the limited circumstances Thragtusk is played in eternal formats, as the big incentive for Thragtusk there is the card’s five life.
Thragtusk hasn’t kept up with the rest of Magic. It’s just not what Magic is about anymore as power has crept up. We’ll still see it in sparse numbers, but it’s not the four of auto-inclusion that Thragtusk was by any stretch.
Titan of Industry
Titan of Industry looks a bit mopey as a seven-mana creature. You generally don’t want your Reclamation Sages or Thragtusks to cost this much. However, if there’s enough loose treasure running around, you may need to evaluate your six-, seven-, and eight-drops differently.
However, this card isn’t that desirable. It’s a cool card, but I’d hope you can do better things with seven mana.
Oddly, lots of people compare this to either Mantis Rider or Siege Rhino. Fleetfoot Dancer, however, is its own card. Much like Workshop Warchief, I don’t think it will age as well as the other cards.
Fleetfoot Dancer, while obviously a strong card, has issues with how cards in general have scaled. It’s much easier to set up against because having effective blocks or removal will make the card generate no value, whereas Siege Rhino always provided something. It can come out swinging and pick on planeswalkers like Mantis Rider could and continuously provide additional life against aggressive decks putting lots of games out of reach.
Fleetfoot Dancer is strong enough to be a pillar of the format if the format shapes up to be aggressive, but if it’s more midrange, combo, or control, the card will be barely playable. Context matters a lot with this card, but it’s certainly a solid card you’ll want many copies of if you choose to play it.
When I first read this card, I thought it was a sweet design. It is, but I want my Anger of the Gods to be unconditional. The circumstances in which you want a non-token three damage sweeper are going to be pretty rare. I’m not that excited about this card, but it may have some uses in a Naya Token deck. Unfortunately, trying to include it in your random Omnath-style decks probably won’t work out well.
This is a solid removal spell we’ll see in some number, but it’s likely too expensive to be a four-of include. Almost every permanent now provides value when it’s cast, so Void Rend will almost always leave you down material. This is more acceptable on cards that cost one or two mana because you’ll at least gain mana out of the deal. At three mana, it’s too expensive to go all in on. Void Rend is a slam-dunk-bread-and-butter include in esper decks, but nothing to be over the moon about.
This is similar to Void Rend, and I have very similar criticisms, but this card is a bit better. Having the ability to hit a card on the stack is much better than destroying most permanents. I expect decks that can consistently cast Endless Detour will be in the market for a way to interact in this way. It’s a solid playable card that will definitely see some play.
Lagrella, the Magpie
Don’t waste your time and energy trying to figure out exactly what this does. This allows you to exile one creature per player, and they come back when it dies. You get a counter if it’s your creature. Obviously a nice-sized body for a Fiend Hunter, it’s much harder to cast, and it’s much worse than Brutal Cathar or Skyclave Apparition. It won’t see much play while those cards are legal.
Unleash the Inferno
I see a lot of people excited about this card, and there’s one reason I like it—Esika’s Chariot. It’s not a completely clean answer, but it answers most of that card on its own.
Other than that, Unleash the Inferno is, at most, a sideboard card for very specific decks that have creatures or planeswalkers and either enchantments or artifacts and that can’t sacrifice the creatures or planeswalker Unleash is targeting. I expect to see Unleash the Inferno in some cases, but it’s too expensive to be a huge player unless there’s a big percentage of the field that you can get lots of onboard two-for-ones with Unleash. It’s a sweet card to be able to access, though.
This is a sweet fix to other broken graveyard abilities like Delve. Aven Heartstabber is a lot of work to turn on. If there’s a way to consistently turn it on, it has a feel similar to past Rogues decks where it’s cheap and plausible enough to turn and may be worth building around. This is specific to blue allowing for playing a cheap threat that lets you interact with the stack when needed. I mostly think Aven Heartstabber will miss, but it’s close if you consistently turn it on.
Tainted Indulgence is one of the best cards in the set, and it will see play across formats. People play Chart a Course occasionally to set up various graveyard shenanigans. Tainted Indulgence can do this, but also it’s an instant. As the game progresses and you draw more of these, it will naturally turn itself on into two-mana-draw-two. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the card we collectively acknowledge as the best in the set.
Evelyn, the Covetous
I absolutely love this design. The hybrid mana allowing it to be played in Mono Black, Dimir, Rakdos, or Grixis Builds is a bit perplexing but a cool take on Hybrid mana. Evelyn can provide two cards worth of value at instant speed for five mana while also being a threat on its own.
Future Evelyns will be able to check for previous ones, as well. I’m not quite sure this card can compete with other cards at four and five mana when we have cards like Goldspan Dragon, it’s pretty close if a deck wants to lean into flash threats. If that’s the road you’re going down, this is a good card to try out.
If you’re not really leaning on flash but want to focus on value, curving Sorin, the Mirthless into Evelyn will get you four cards to choose from when you untap with Evelyn in play. If you happen to find some instants, you can use Evelyn on both players’ turns.
This is a card that has some playability in Standard while also being a really cool and well-designed card for Commander rather than focusing on one or the other. This may be my favorite design in the set, even if it doesn’t end up quite good enough, it certainly is close.