The end of Magic The Gathering’s Streets of New Capenna previews may be in sight, but we’ve still got the biggest party in the city to attend. Cabaretti shindigs are where the great and the good come to mingle, relax, and be strong-armed into serving the demon cat crime lord Jetmir. You’re free to leave, of course, but it’ll likely be in a body bag if it’s before Jetmir says so.
A new cat/dog tribal, plenty of alliance, the most ridiculous Treasure-producing artifact we’ve ever seen have finally been revealed and, weirdly, more unblockable fish headline day six of New Capenna’s previews. Here is everything reveale.d.
Three generic, one white Creature – Elf Druid:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Celebrity Fencer.
Alliance is the Cabaretti family’s mechanic, giving creature enters-the-battlefield triggers their own ability word. Celebrity Fencer’s is one of the more potent ones we’ve seen so far, as it’ll be incredibly easy to make her massive very quickly.
Four generic, one white Enchantment:
Hideaway 5. Whenever you attack with one or more creatures, create that many 1/1 green and white Citizen creature tokens. Then, if you control ten or more creatures, you may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost.
The white hideaway enchantment is a bit more difficult to trigger than some of them, but with the Cabaretti’s token-production theme it shouldn’t be too hard to get that free card. It especially helps that this thing is a monster of a token printer itself.
Refuse To Yield
One generic, one white Instant:
Target creature gets +2/+7 until the end of the turn. Untap it.
It’s a cheap and nasty combat trick that works better on blocking than attack. This isn’t particularly a bomb card but having the creature untap is always handy.
Expert Rescuer (translated name TBA)
Two generic, one white Creature – Human Rogue:
Lifelink. When Expert Rescuer enters the battlefield, return a target creature card with mana value two or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. That creature cannot attack or block for as long as you control Expert Rescuer.
Though this seems like a kind of rubbish creature reanimation tool, it’s actually a fantastic blink target. Return a creature, then blink Expert Rescuer to allow the original to attack and bring another back all at once. And at three mana it’s within range for Sun Titan in Commander, so you’ve got a lovely train of ETB creature recursion, likely ending in something juicy like an Esper Sentinel.
Two generic, one white Instant:
This spell costs two generic less to cast if it targets a red creature.
Knockout Blow deals four damage to target attacking or blocking creature and you gain two life.
The red hate does make Knockout Blow more intriguing, but this is a Standard card that’s likely not going to make its way out of the format.
Five generic, one white Creature — Angel Advisor:
This spell costs 1 less to cast for each Citizen you control.
This is likely a card for limited play only. A 3/3 flier for six mana is way overcosted, and having to jump through the hoops of having lots of Citizens to make it cheaper just isn’t worth the payoff.
Buy Your Silence
Four generic, one white Sorcery:
Exile target nonland permanent. Its controller creates a Treasure token.
Exiling a permanent over just destroying it is good, but at five mana and giving them a treasure token at the same time, this is a tough sell.
Two generic, one blue Creature – Bird Citizen:
Flying. Pay one generic and either one white or one black: Obscura Initiate gains lifelink until the end of turn.
Another card you’re not likely to see outside of Standard and Limited, but at least Obscura Initiate isn’t as expensive as Angelic Observer.
Sleep With The Fishes (translated name TBA)
Two generic, two blue Enchantment – Aura:
Enchant creature. When Sleep With The Fishes enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature and you create a 1/1 blue fish creature token with “this creature cannot be blocked”. Enchanted creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s untap step.
Who’d have thought fish were the hidden threat of New Capenna? This is the second card in the set to make unblockable fish tokens, but this one also ties it up in a freeze effect to keep another creature locked down. Great for control or ninja decks, this could see a lot of play.
Two generic, one blue Creature – Human Rogue:
Flash. When Psionic Snoop enters the battlefield, it connives.
Instant-speed conniving is solid. This could be a surprise blocker for when your opponent thinks they’re safe to attack, or it could be an emergency piece of card draw for when you’re in a pinch and have mana to waste.
Angel of Suffering (translated name TBA)
Three generic, two black Creature – Nightmare Angel:
Flying. If you take damage, prevent that damage and mill twice that amount of cards instead.
Though Angel of Suffering could backfire, it’s an absolute powerhouse for self-mill decks. Nobody will want to touch you if it means filling up your graveyard, and there are plenty of ways to inflict damage on yourself to speed it up. In the right places this could be one of the best self-mill cards ever printed.
Sanguine Spy (translated name TBA)
Two generic, one black Creature – Vampire Rogue:
Menace, lifelink. Pay one generic and sacrifice another creature: look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.
At the beginning of your end step, if there are five or more different mana values among cards in your graveyard, pay two life. If you do, draw a card.
There’s a lot to love about this card. It’s an instant speed sacrifice outlet, graveyard filler, and can give you card advantage. You might struggle with meeting the mana value requirement for the second ability in some formats, but it’ll be a piece of cake in others.
One generic, one black Creature – Human Rogue:
Tap Tavern Swindler, pay three life: Flip a coin. If you win, gain six life.
This is the first time Tavern Swindler has been printed with new art, having first appeared in Return to Ravnica and been reprinted numerous times since then. While it isn’t bringing anything Standard that was desperately needed, it’s always nice to see a just-plain-fun card like this make a comeback.
Shadow of Mortality
13 generic, two black Creature – Avatar:
If your life total is less than your starting life total, this spell costs X less to cast, where X is the difference.
First, Robin Olausson has been absolutely killing it in their art for Streets of New Capenna. We’ve seen three cards so far – Shadow of Mortality, Stimulus Package (later in this roundup), and Shadow of Mortality, and all of them have been fantastic.
In a lot of formats, it is so easy to lose 13 life. Death’s Shadow decks in Modern and Pioneer, any black deck in Commander, and so on. In Standard you may be flying a bit too close to the sun going down to seven life to play a 7/7, but it’s still impressive.
Shroud Destroyer (translated name TBA)
Five generic, two black Creature – Horror:
Sacrifice a creature, discard a card, or pay four life as an additional cost to cast this spell.
When Shroud Destroyer enters the battlefield, each opponent sacrifices a creature, discards a card, and loses four life.
New Capenna sure loves sacrificing things, and Shroud Destroyer invites your opponents to the party and forces them to bin their own creatures. Discarding, sacrificing, and losing four life whenever Shroud Destroyer enters the battlefield makes it prime Orzhov Blink material.
Three generic, one red Creature – Human Citizen:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, target creature an opponent controls can’t block this turn. If this is the second time this ability has resolved this turn, that creature attacks during its controller’s next combat phase if able.
It’s not quite Goad in Standard, but it isn’t far off. Forcing a creature to attack is probably the more interesting effect of the two on this card, though it does only trigger with the second creature that enters the battlefield. Alliance is going to be such a scary mechanic when multiple pieces are all triggering simultaneously.
Treasure Truck (translated name TBA)
Three generic, one red Artifact – Vehicle:
Trample. Whenever Treasure Truck deals combat damage to a player, create a Treasure token for each artifact you control. Crew 3.
Though it isn’t as heavy a theme as it was in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, New Capenna still has plenty of vehicles, and Treasure Truck is certainly up there as one of the best we’ve seen. It’s easy to get lots of artifacts out, and it snowballs to even more on the next turn for each Treasure you haven’t cracked in the meantime.
Slippery Talker (translated name TBA)
Two generic, one red Creature – Devil Citizen:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Slippery Talker deals one damage to each opponent.
Slippery Talker doesn’t feel like much, but this could be a sneaky killer. Throw out enough tokens and you could be pinging your opponent to death with ease.
Smuggler’s Stash (translated name TBA)
Five generic, one green Artifact:
Lands you control have “Tap: create a Treasure token”.
Just when we thought we were out of the shadow of The Great Henge, another expensive, borderline broken green artifact hits Standard. I’ve made my feelings on this card known already, but Wizards really needs to ease up on Treasure tokens, especially in green.
Two generic, one green Creature – Human Druid:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, you gain one life.
Did we really need yet another Soul Sisters card? In Standard along we’ve got Prosperous Innkeeper, Kor Celebrant, and Lunarch Veteran, and in Historic we’ve got Soul Warden, Impassioned Orator, Ajani’s Welcome, and Daxos. There are so many cards like this out there already. It is great to see Carly Mazur back doing art for Magic after their debut in Strixhaven’s Mystical Archive.
Three generic, one green Creature – Elf Druid:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, target creature other than Elegant Entourage gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn.
Elegant Entourage doesn’t have the strongest alliance effect in the world, especially compared to Celebrity Fencer who has the same cost but in white. Gaining trample does make it a potential win condition if you find a way to create enough creature tokens though, so it isn’t completely pointless.
One generic, one green Creature – Human Druid:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Venom Connoisseur gains Deathtouch until the end of the turn. If this is the second time this ability has resolved this turn, all creatures you control gain Deathtouch until the end of the turn.
It’s a good thing we’re not far from Kaldheim rotating out of Standard, because this is going to be scary alongside Fynn, the Fangbearer. Throwing Deathtouch onto all your creatures makes this perfect for a swingy deck where you attack with all creatures, though it only lasts to the end of the turn, making having Deathtouch on blocking a bit harder.
One generic, one green Creature – Elf Druid:
Alliance: Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Attended Socialite gets +1/+1 until the end of turn.
Attended Socialist is just a worse Elegant Entourage and Celebrity Fencer. It’s nice and cheap, but with no evasion and it only lasting until the end of the turn, it isn’t up to much.
Hired Thug (translated name TBA)
Four generic, one green Creature – Rhino Warrior:
Whenever Hired Thug attacks or blocks, it gains +X/+X until the end of the turn, where X is the highest toughness amongst other creatures you control.
The art on this one is a perfect encapsulation of why Streets of New Capenna is shaping up to be such a good set. The card itself is pretty decent too, especially when used in a green/white deck with Refuse To Yield.
Obscura Store (translated name TBA)
When Obscura Store enters the battlefield, sacrifice it. When you do, search your library for a basic Plains, Island, or Swamp card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle and you gain one life.
The second of the cycle of colourless lands that immediately sacrifice themselves to search for their family’s colours, joining Maestro Domain from a few days ago. It’s more limited than other fetch lands, but I still don’t think it’s as terrible as people make out.
When Cabaretti enters the battlefield, sacrifice it. When you do, search your library for a basic Mountain, Forest, or Plains card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle and you gain one life.
The Cabaretti colourless fetchland. There isn’t much to say here that wasn’t just said for Obscura Store. These are meant for limited formats where it’s usually recommended not to run more than two colours – that’s a big ask for a three-colour-matters set, so having these lands sprinkled in at common rarity helps smooth mana out.
Two generic Artifact – Vehicle:
Tap Unlicensed Hearse: exile up to two target cards from a single graveyard.
Unlicensed Hearse’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards exiled with it. Crew 2.
An excellent bit of graveyard hate that gets bigger and bigger the more you use it. It might be a bit tricky to track in a complicated game though, so it might be best to keep the exiled cards to one side in a separate exile pile.
One blue, one black Creature – Bird Assassin:
Flying. As long as there are five or more mana values among cards in your graveyard, Aven Heartstabber gets +2/+2 and has Deathtouch. When Aven Heartstabber dies, mill two cards, then draw a card.
Aven Heartstabber is a signpost for the blue/black graveyard-matters draft archetype. For two mana it does a lot: it flies, it mills, it gives you card advantage, and it can get Deathtouch as well. It isn’t bad, but it does depend on how efficiently you can prime your graveyard for those effects.
Syndicate Infiltrator (translated name TBA)
Two generic, one blue, one black Creature – Vampire Wizard:
Flying. As long as there are five or more different mana values among cards in your graveyard, Syndicate Infiltrator gets +2/+2.
You can drop a Syndicate once you’ve prepped your graveyard with Aven Heartstabber. It doesn’t have the Deathtouch of the former, but a 5/5 flier for three is excellent.
One blue, one black Instant:
Draw two cards. Then discard a card unless there are five or more mana values among cards in your graveyard.
This works well even if your graveyard isn’t ‘online’ yet. It can either give you straight card advantage or help feed your graveyard, and at instant speed this could see a lot of play in Dimir or blue/black+ decks.
One black, one red Creature — Devil Warrior:
Whenever you sacrifice another creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Body Dropper.
Pay one red, one black, Sacrifice another creature: Body Dropper gains menace until end of turn.
Body Dropper is a huge payoff for the red/black sacrifice theme. No matter if you’re paying for casualty or sacrificing for other effects, Body Dropper will get bigger and bigger. He’s also a sacrifice outlet on his own, and even that gives him an evasive keyword to sweeten the deal. This is just great value all-round.
Two generic, one red, one green Enchantment:
When Stimulus Package enters the battlefield, create two Treasure tokens.
Sacrifice a Treasure: Create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token.
After the Smuggler’s Stash bomb, we really didn’t need another use for Treasures. Being able to sacrifice them at instant speed to make Citizen creature tokens is a ludicrous way of stacking up those alliance triggers. With how many Treasures this set pukes out, Stimulus Package could become a major problem.
Park Heights Pegasus (translated name TBA)
One green, one white Creature – Pegasus:
Flight, trample. Whenever Park Heights Pegasus deals combat damage to a player, draw a card if at least two creatures entered the battlefield under your control this turn.
Flying and trample (or, as it’s delightfully known in MTG slang ‘Flample’) is always a nice combination. The requirements to draw a single card are a bit steep (have two creatures enter and deal combat damage with Park Heights Pegasus), but it isn’t completely impossible.
Darling Of The Masses
Two generic, one green, one white Creature – Elf Citizen:
Other Citizens you control get +1/+0. Whenever Darling of the Masses attacks, create a 1/1 green and white Citizen creature token.
Another one for limited play. Citizens are quite common in New Capenna, but elsewhere they’re a very rare creature type that means making this work outside of limited or dedicated Citizen Standard decks could be tough.
One white, one blue, one black Instant:
This spell can’t be countered. Destroy target nonland permanent.
For when you just need something on the board gone, there's Void Rend. No jumping through hoops, no extraneous triggers, this is a simple, clean, unstoppable removal card that could see play for a long time.
Cabaretti Ascendancy (translated name TBA)
One red, one green, one white Enchantment:
At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. If it’s a creature or a Planeswalker card, you may reveal that card and put it into your hand. If you don’t put that card into your hand, you may put it on the bottom of your library.
As long as you’re topdecking creatures or Planeswalkers, Cabaretti Ascendancy effectively gives you two draws each turn. In every other instance it’s also a great way of filtering the cards you don’t want before you go to your draw step, making this an all-round winner.
One red, one green, one white Sorcery:
Incandescent Aria deals three damage to each nontoken creature.
The Cabaretti love creature tokens, so it makes sense to have some non-token creature hate built in there as well. This could open you up for an easy victory by swinging in with your collected forces, providing your opponent doesn’t have any chunky blockers.
One generic, one red, one green, one white Creature – Elf Druid:
Trample, lifelink, haste.
This is the most keyword soup-y card we’ve seen in New Capenna so far, and the first thing that springs to mind is that this will be excellent alongside Odric, Blood-cursed from Innistrad: Crimson Vow. Four mana for a tramply, hasty lifelinker is impressive, and those keywords can be put to good use elsewhere.
Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer
X generic, one red, one green, one white Legendary Creature – Elf Druid:
When Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer enters the battlefield, if you cast it, you may search your library for a creature card with mana value X or less, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.
As a creature tutor, Rocco’s a tad expensive. Juggling three colours on top of paying the mana value of the creature you want to find is a big ask, but as the commander of a deck kitted out with reducing the X cost, this could be powerful.
Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second
One red or green, one green, one green or white Legendary Creature – Elf Druid:
If you would create one or more tokens, you may instead create that many 2/2 green Cat creature tokens with haste, or that mane 3/1 green Dog creature tokens with vigilance.
Jinnie Fay may have just usurped Rin and Seri as the go-to cat and dog tribal Commander purely for how easily she can make tokens. Any kind of token may be turned into one of the two, which means you’ll still have access to Treasures and other kinds of tokens when you need them. In Commander, you could run Dockside Extortionist, Brass’s Bounty, Smothering Tithe, and Smuggler’s Stash, make them all come in as creatures, and get a ludicrous amount of value from the alliance triggers.
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