Streets of New Capenna | Commander Decks analysis
All five of the new commander decks from Magic the Gathering: Streets of New Capenna have been released and ready for sale on 29th April.
We are going to have a quick overview of these products to let you know what to expect from the decks and the strategy we think you should taken when playing these decks. This is not an upgrade guide or anything specific about what cards are in the deck.
We want to show you what the decks could do in a nut-shell so you know which deck(s) will suit your playing style so you know which ones you'll have most fun playing.
This deck wants to sling spells and sacrifice creatures doing it in order to copy instants and sorceries. The face card of this deck is Anhelo, the Painter. This creature allows you to copy the first instant or sorcery you cast each turn so long as you sacrifice a creature with power 2 or greater. This is a new mechanic in Streets of New Capenna called Casualty.
So the aim of this deck is to produce power 2 creatures and the easiest way of doing this is through token generators. Ideally these tokens will be generated as a result of casting an instant or sorcery. This will create a loop of tokens to sacrifice and spells to copy all at the same time. That way if you copy that spell you are getting the fodder ready for the next spell to copy. This way you would net more tokens than you sacrifice.
Cards that produce tokens when spells are cast could be Shark Typhoon or Talrand, Sky Summoner. These cards will generate fodder to sacrifice and what instant and sorceries you choose to copy is up to you. As you will be sacrificing a power 2 creature there will have been some mana committed to this. So copying a spell is good but you don't want there to be a higher mana cost for doing this. Say you play a 2/2 create for 2 mana then cast a 1 mana burn spell. Is it worth 3 mana to have a copy of would it be more worth while to copy a 3/4/5 mana spell instead as copying that is going to net you a mana positive difference.
We see the new Blitz mechanic a lot like the way Sneak Attack works. For anyone who doesn't know this card. It is a 4 mana enchantment that allows you to pay 1 Red and put a creature from your hand onto the battle field. It gains haste but sacrifice it at the beginning on the next end step.
This theme works well for a Devil Rogue face card of the deck Henzie "Toolbox" Torre. It seems like you want to be sacrificing them and recasting over and over to reduce the Blitz cost of your other creatures cards with mana value 4 or greater.
So with this in mind you'll be wanting to play anything that lets you sacrifice things for value. If you Blitz in a lot of creatures you want to be able to sacrifice them for value rather than just letting them go to the graveyard at the end of the turn anyway.
If there are going to be lots of creatures in your graveyard you want to be able to being them back to the battlefield. So you're looking at some reanimation spells. With Green and Black in the deck, I wouldn't worry about running out of those kinds of spells.
So this deck wants large creatures, mana value of 4 or greater. If you have cast your commander a couple of times you'd be able to blitz these creatures out cheaper. Then we need some sacrifice outlet to gain value from the Blitz creature. And finally some graveyard recursion to do it all over again.
The first thing I see with this deck is Damage Triggers. Kamiz, Obscura Oculus lets a creature become un-blockable, gives another double strike and you can Connive. Connive is anther new mechanic that allows you to draw and discard, then if you discard a nonland card you can out a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
Breaking down this card we have the need to attack each turn as this is the only way Kamiz's ability triggers. Then you give a creature un-blockable and Connive. Then choose another attacking creature to get Double-Strike.
What we need for this deck is creatures. They don't need to be evasive to start with as you can give them un-blockable. What you need are creatures with deals damage to player triggers. It would be good to have attack triggers as well as most of the time your creatures are attacking whenever they can.
Cards like Augury Adept gains you life and draws you cards when you deal combat damage. Most of the Swords would be good in this deck. Worldslayer comes to mind but you will lose friends if you play this card. Perhaps this is an equipment and aura style deck. Usually you'd expect to see Red in equipment decks but this works well with the Black instead.
Giving a second creature double strike is good as well, if this creature already has evasion, then dealing combat damage triggers will trigger twice. Dromar, the Banisher. Whenever they deal combat damage to a player play 2 and a Blue to bounce all creatures that player controls, of a chosen colour. Do that twice it is like a one player Cyclonic Rift.
Making 1/1 tokens feels very Green/White but adding a splash of Red into it creates Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva. Whenever Kitt Kanto enters the battlefield make a 1/1 creature token, nothing particularly exciting about that as it's only an ETB. The second part is more interesting, at the beginning of combat on each player's turn you may tap 2 untapped creatures. When you do target creature that player controls gets +2/+2, Trample and is Goaded until the end of turn.
So to make this deck work you need a couple of things. Either the ability to pump out tokens all the time or untap all your creatures on every turn. These are the elements I would focus on when building around or improving this deck. Goad is good for most of the game until it comes down to 1 vs 1. Then it doesn't do anything and in some cases could be bad if your opponent has bigger creatures with trample coming at you.
Felidar Retreat is a Landfall token generator. So as long as you aren't missing land drops that is a creature for you every turn. Cathar's Call or something similar lets you create tokens at the beginning of your end step. Divine Visitation is great as all your 1/1s suddenly become 4/4 flying angels. First Response lets you create 1/1 tokens if you lost life each turn. Akroan Crusader pops out a 1/1 whenever you target it with a spell.
Arasta of the Endless Web and Archon of Sun's Grace both pop out tokens whenever you cast certain types of spells. Avenger of Zendikar is an option if you want loads of tokens at once. This way you are able to take advantage of tapping creatures on each other turn rather than needing to jump through hoops to get more tokens.
For the untapping side of things we are cards like Awakening (this will effect other players as well though). Drumbellower untaps all your creatures during each other's untap step. Seedborn Muse is a card everyone will think of in this situation. There is also Rally of Wings and Vitalize that are Instants that will allow you to untap all your creatures.
Look at and reading this card it looks like a traditional Gruul type card. Whenever Perrie, the Pulverizer attacks, target creatures gains +X/+X and Trample until the end of turn where X is the number of different kinds of counters amount permanents.
So that last bit isn't so much a Gruul type ability so this something that needs a closer look. When Perrie enters the battlefield you can put a Shield counter on a creature so that is +1/+1 at the very least. But what about adding some other types of counters. Planeswalker loyalty counters? +1/+1 Counters? How about ability counters like Deathtouch and Lifelink. There was a lot of that in Ikoria so perhaps we can take some influence from there.
The first thing that springs to mind when it comes to different types of counter is something like Doubling Season or Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. This allows you to double the number of counters that are being put onto a creature. This doesn't directly impact the +X/+X as the counters need to be different but with Shield counters, these prevent damage so having extras can't hurt.
Crystalline Giant is a great example of getting different counters on one creature. This creature needs to survive a few turns to make sure you get a variety of counters. If you play this alongside The Ozolith, whenever a creature dies you can move counters on and off The Ozolith. Artifact removal is less common that Creature removal so having all the counters stored on The Ozolith you have a better chance of keeping them for longer.
There are also a few cards from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths that allow you to put certain counters on creatures when they ETB. This could also bolster the variety of counters. Say if Crystalline Giant gets 3 different counters, Perrie gives you a Shield counter. If you get a Planeswalker out like any Ajani and put +1/+1 counters on something. You could be looking at +6/+6 and Trample on an attack. Stick that onto Perrie themselves and you're looking at 9 Trample Commander Damage. 3 Turn clock for an opponent.
So this was our initial look at the commander decks. We have not looked through the deck lists or looked into these anymore than the face commander as this was the intention of Wizards of the Coast that this is the commander for your deck. We have just looked at their abilities and worked out the best way of building the decks. Some of the cards mentioned might even be in the deck lists of the decks.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and have a great time playing Streets of New Capenna.