Dust off some sleeves and open the deck boxes, because it’s time for the Great Streets of New Capenna deck suite update. Like with every major release, I comb the list of new cards (which in this case doesn’t add cards from New Capenna Commander; I’ll get to those later) for things that I want to jam into my always-growing list of 65 decks.
For those of you new to the process, I use only one copy of any individual new card for the whole suite. This can make things a little difficult, since there are any number of cards which could go multiple places. The even more difficult part is deciding what to take out in favor of the new stuff. Most of my decks have the cards they already want and many of them include some beloved old friends. Saying so long to them is never easy. The reason I don’t list here what I’m taking out is that I don’t make the decision until I have the new cards physically in hand.
Remember that there are cards I’ll be holding back for building new decks with. I’m pretty sure Kros, Defense Contractor (a card designed by fellow Commander Rules Committee (RC) member Scott Larabee, along with the rest of the Brokers deck) is up first. After seeing some sweet interactions while streaming with AmplitudeTV, Henzie “Toolbox” Torre might be next. The only thing that might keep it from not being in line is that I got the precon to play with the other RC members on our stream. We’ll be doing a ten-card upgrade to the deck and smashing each other from there. Look for that starting very soon.
The fewest cards I’ve moved into the suite from any set is about twenty. For a few barn-burners, I’ve exceeded forty. Let’s see how New Capenna stacks up.
Counters matter in the second version of Karador, Ghost Chieftain and this new Elspeth is there to provide them. It won’t take long until we can create a team of beatdown Angels, since that ability is -7 and Elspeth starts with five loyalty counters.
I’ve had this Angel tribal deck for quite a few years and I still love it. What occurs to me is that there are enough good Angels these days to make two different decks and not overlap any cards (like I’ve done with my two Zombie decks, Zombies of Tresserhorn and Gisa and Geralf Together Forever. Anyway, Giada is Angel ramp. I’m here for her as much as she’s here for me.
Make tokens, win the game. I suspect that it might actually be a “win more” card, but I’m willing to take the chance. The card would also fit into my Ruhan Do-Over deck, which features Opposition. And now I’m thinking maybe this is a build-around or feature card instead of a simple addition to something else. Any way you slice it, Halo Fountain will be fun to play.
Rith’s team may be on the verge of becoming a little less of a tribal deck and simply one that just creates 1/1s. What I like about Rabble Rousing in comparison to older hideaway cards is that it still has additional use once the hidden away card has been played. Sure, the lands still tap for mana, but Rabble Rousing will continue to build an immense swarm
We can play Sanctuary Warden here due to all the counters we create. I think I’ll trade a counter for a creature and a card any day. Alternately, I might just wait to put Sanctuary Warden in that Kros, Defense Contractor deck.
Although it’s turned into a big mill deck, milling with The Mimeoplasm started so there was stuff in graveyards to copy. As more cards came along that milled bigger portions of decks, the focus shifted. Now being able to cast this and copy it at the price of a cheap creature means that libraries will disappear quicker and there will be more delicious stuff to eat. It must be said that I’ll enjoy playing this more when we return to in-person games, since I can just look at graveyards instead of having to ask people.
A card about drawing cards in a deck about drawing cards? This should be grand.
Thassa, God of the Sea is mostly about Merfolk, but other sea creatures come along to help every now and again. Reservoir Kraken it just too good to pass up. While it’s going into this deck for flavor reasons, functionally it might be interesting in some sort of stax-y deck that limits the number of creatures opponents can untap.
Halloween with Karador
Alongside the relatively busted Doom Whisperer, I suspect that Body Launderer is going to end up putting loads of the right creatures (meaning those ripe for reanimation) into the graveyard. Its death trigger will get a number of things that are in the deck, most of them quite saucy:
Body Launderer could have also gone into Jorn’s Snow Rogues without a problem.
One of the reasons that I have three Karador, Ghost Chieftain decks is that there are so many self-mill and reanimation cards worth playing. We can’t jam them all into one deck, so multiple decks it is.
Losing life is nothing to the Zombies, who revel in it. Most of the time, sacrificing a Zombie is good for the deck instead of bad, so we’ll see a double Cut of the Profits.
I love that there’s a common from the set that I want to play. I’m also a fan of the False Demise mechanic, doubly so when there are Clones in the mix.
Not only is the sacrifice outlet good for putting creatures into the graveyard for reanimation purposes, but also as a combat trick to make Old Stickfingers bigger. This deck will have no troubles in having five different mana values in the graveyard.
Just last week, we saw Alan from Mental Misplay get quite some mileage from an early Shakedown Heavy. The fact that it adds menace means that there’s no chump blocking early with sacrificial favorites like Sakura-Tribe Elder or Yavimaya Elder, which also leads to some tomfoolery via ninjutsu. The card might matter a little less in the mid-game, but that remains to be seen.
No deck, but…
I just want to call out the card because I’ve seen clips from Arena where the software is fortunately doing the math. Even in the simplest Goblin deck, Devilish Valet is going to get absurd. I don’t look forward to fellow RC member Scott Larabee stuffing Devilish Valet into his Zurzoth, Chaos Rider deck.
The deck is all about threaten effects, so drafting creatures into service is on-brand. Getting the Treasure token just makes the whole thing a little sweeter and well worth the extra mana paid for the spell.
Maybe I should save Jaxis for that Henzie blitz deck, but my promise is only to put a single copy of new cards into existing decks. All bets are off when it comes to new builds. Still, it feels a little cheaty to know that it’s going somewhere. Nonetheless, it does sacrifice shenanigans, which is right up Thraximundar’s alley.
This version of Urabrask will do the double-duty work of expanding our own possibilities while restricting those of our opponents. This particular Kresh deck could do a better job of drawing cards, which is effectively what this version of Urabrask does.
And…there we go! Plus, it’s an artifact, not an enchantment (which it seems like it should be). That means Glissa, the Traitor can grow it back if need be.
I don’t even have Treasure-makers in this deck and I still want to play this delightful common. OK, now I want to put Treasures into it, too. You win this one, Studio X.
There are plenty of decks in which we’ll have a creature with power six or greater to put the counter on. I chose Roalesk, Apex Hybrid because the deck hasn’t gotten much love recently. It’s a fun one, so it deserves to be played. Since Fight Rigging keeps putting counters on creatures even after the hidden-away card is cast, we’ll have plenty of stuff to proliferate.
I had to double-check the deck list to make sure I had the kind of Birthing Pod chain that I want to go along with the latest version of Vivien. The second ability is no slouch, either, since we can just choose to leave creature cards in the graveyard. We can pick and choose, so if there’s something immediately capable of being cast, we keep it. Otherwise, it’s reanimation fodder.
This is one that I’m not 100% that I’m doing, but if it goes somewhere, it goes with Rith. The reason I might not jam it in is that Jetmir is also one I’d love to build around. I’ll dust off that Hazezon Tamar and we’ll go full Sand.
As promised last time, Jinnie Fay is headed right into Rin and Seri, Inseparable in order to make larger Cats and Dogs. We can decide if we’d like to take the more aggressive path (Dogs) or the life-gain trail (Cats). There’s a fair amount of play in this card, so I look forward to the decision-making.
Kresh gets another toy — one that will play well alongside Stalking Vengeance. I’m considering Cauldron of Souls to put alongside Riveteers Ascendancy, plus it’s just a useful card when killing graveyard action is expected.
Scheming Fence has a neat ability in that it can steal abilities, but sometimes a different creature comes along that we’d prefer to take from. That’s when the blink abilities in this deck, like with Eldrazi Displacer, come into play. We can reset to the creature we want.
Sometimes we just want something dead. Void Rend will get us there. The only way to make the spell do nothing is by getting rid of the target, and that’s what we’ll have wanted all along.
Card draw and land ramp are occasionally problematic in this Kresh deck, so Ziatora’s Envoy will help a great deal, especially on earlier turns. The ability to play it for its blitz cost means we can have it in the graveyard later for some Living Death action.
Kresh getting more love and help. Ziatora provides a little duplication for Riveteers Ascendancy and end of turn sacrificing. Dealing damage and making Kresh larger is what life is about.
There are obvious places for the lands to go. I wondered why just a few decks were getting most of the love from this set, then realized that the cards in Streets of New Capenna really are tailored to the three-color decks, even if the particular cards aren’t three colors.
Adun Oakenshield’s Toolbox
Unlicensed Hearse is my pick for sleeper card of the set. Its first ability will be useful even if we never attack with it. In a game in which it stays around for a while, it’s going to be huge with an inconsequential crew cost. The reason it’s going in this deck is that it’s a toolbox-y card which can get downright aggressive.
That’s thirty-seven cards, plus the Triomes (Jetmir’s Garden, Raffine’s Tower, Spara’s Headquarters, Xander’s Lounge, and Ziatora’s Proving Ground) which will end up somewhere as well. There’s a consideration to just jam them all into my one five-color deck, Children of a Greater God. We’ll see how that pans out.
Adding in over forty cards tells me that there are sweet cards abound on the Streets of New Capenna. When we get around to some of the singles from New Capenna Commander, the combined sets will have contributed more than fifty cards to the deck suite, challenging for one of the highest counts ever.
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