Hello happy folks! Happiest of days today to you and yours! Cheers! Today we are doing another deep dive into my Top Ten cards from Streets of New Capenna with two honorable mentions. Only cards good in kitchen table formats like multiplayer generally, Commander specially, and things like Type Four, Highlander and Five Color count for today's list.
This is a sequel to my first two articles which you can find here:
First, I wrote up my top slate of cards which you can find here. which includes an uncommon hitting #2 (and would have been a breakaway #1 in a normal set without the three basic land cycle).
Secondly, I wrote up 10 and two honorable mentions like another planeswalker, two leaders of families, and then two spicey uncommons hitting in my top three overall. We even have a mass removal spell here to frump around with. You can see my list here!
Ready for this week?
Honorable Mention #1 (#36 Overall) - Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer
Hitting at a nice squared number is this X-spelled Naya Commander that can be a nice Commander with its legendary status and a fun uncommon to kick thangs off! As you can see, this 3-drop with an X can fetch out a X (or less) sized creature card from your deck to the battlefield and that's a Dryad Arbor for 0 and very strong options for 1 from Birds of Paradise for ramping to Esper Sentinel. Note that unlike some previous X fetch spells like Wargate, this only gets permanents with creature in the type line. You also get a 3/1 for your effort, a bit small.
The flexibility and color combo can get everything from removal (Flametongue Kavu, Acidic Slime, Reclamation Sage) to recursion (Karmic Guide, Sun Titan, Eternal Witness) to card draw (Wall of Blossoms) to drawing a game winner like Carnage Tyrant or Craterhoof Behemoth. It's very strong here. It's awesome in Type Four with the ability to only cast one spell per turn and any amount of mana. Note that the X spell is something that will scale poorly with Commander tax so you'll look to bounce an recast or seriously lean into ramp to make sure you have your full deck to choose from. Nice way to kick off the list!
Honorable Mention #2 (#35 Overall) Raffine's Guidance
This is our only common this week! As you can see, this is an aura that gives +1/+1 to the enchanted dork, a bit on a small side and no abilities. You can cast this from your graveyard for 3 mana each time. Compare this to the heavily played Rancor at the kitchen table with +2/+0 and trample and goes back to your hand when creature it's on dies. That's a stronger card with enhanced power, evasion, and just one to keep on replaying, but this has more stickiness. You can answer a Rancor by targeting the dork for removal when it's on the stack, but here that can just be recast from your graveyard. You can discard it early to effects like Looting and Blood counters and then cast it. You can mill it and keep on. Also note that there are decks where a simple +1/+1 to the Commander is quite strong - any Commander deck with a 6-power evasive leader. Six power on your flying Rith, the Awakener is a game win in 4 turns of Commander damage, but 7/6 kills in three turns, so it's a Time Walk there. Nicely done!
#10 (#34 Overall) - Rumor Gatherer
This 3-drop 2/1 is a bit behind the curve, but it's got a powerful alliance trigger to make up for it. Whenever another dork arrives to the battlefield on your side of the table (including tokens) you scry 1. Nice card flow to make sure you get the right card next and if you cast Release the Hounds and make four 1/1s you scry 1, draw, scry 1 and then scry 1. That makes this essential in decks that are dropping more than one dork per turn, like tokens. It's mana free to trigger, doesn't care about size, and plays well with aggro decks too. You also love in in Esper decks that want to set the top cards of your library. I've already tossed it in Commander decks of mine. It's strong with the right support!
#9. (#33 Overall) - Professional Face-Breaker
Speaking of tossing cards into Commander builds I've already toss this into multiple builds from you as well! Our first rare! This powerful 3-mana 2/3 with menace has some built in evasion. As your stuff deals combat damage to an opponent you make a Treasure, just one per combat phase barring first strike or double strike. Nice! And then you can sacrifice Treasures to turn them into an exiled card from your library that you can cast that turn, so card draw. This sacrifice requires no payment like mana or life or even tapping. Do it one at a time until you run out of mana or land drops. Red makes a load of Treasures so you can really punch nicely with them. I really like it with Commanders in red with first strike like Akiri, Line-Swinger who also cares about artifacts or the Voltron Commander partner Rograkh, Son of Rohgrah or the double striking Snapdax, Apex of the Hunt.
#8. (#32 Overall) - Ziatora, the Incinerator
This 6-drop 6/6 flyer is on curve. You can (it's a may effect) sacrifice a dork at the end of your turn to shoot any target for damage equal to its power and make three Treasures. I love this leader of the Riveeters so much that my first Commander deck from this set was from him! (You can check it out here). There I built around things like Ball Lightnings that are around for just a turn with a 6 power with haste for three mana so they can pay for each other with the Treasures and deal 12 damage in combat and targets. I also like this with Threaten effects that steal a dork, swing, and then sacrifice to Ziatora before giving back. I also really like this with power doublers and damage multiplayers like Gratuitous Violence. It's very powerful but pricier and harder to cast hence it hitting my third list overall.
#7. (#31 Overall) Even the Score
Ever since the first set (Alpha) we've had powerful X draw spells in Blue like Braingeyser and the banned-in-Standard Stroke of Genius a few years later. Stroke of Genius was one more mana to start (3X vs 2X) but it was at instant speed. Right now, there are 10,223 of those registered over at EDHREC.com in decks, which is pretty high for a blue card, at 2% of decks. That's enough I'd consider it a staple. This is still three mana at instant speed to start but costs UUU instead of 2U so it's not splashable in many other colors, which reduces its value. However, if your foe has drawn at least 4 cards this turn, it's three less to cast so you can draw three more cards with your free mana so that's pretty good. Drawing 4+ cards happens a lot in multiplayer from Wheel of Fortune to Howling Mine. Good stuff there. Don't wait to cast this until you get the three more cards just cast it when you can. Good option for the format in the right deck.
#6. (#30 Overall) - Raffine, Scheming Seer
Clocking in at #30 overall is Raffine, the leader of the Obscura Family. At just three mana this is also the cheapest leader. And you net a flying, ward 1 leader. When you swing, target attacker connives X where X is the amount of attackers you have. With a few of those on your leader you could easily turn Raffine into a 6/9 in a turn or two for a quick Commander damage clock. You just need attackers that will survive and are cheap, like 1-drops with evasion like Gudul Lurker and Slither Blade. You would also want to add in combat damage to a player abilities like Coastal Piracy and Grim Hireling and equipment like Sword of Fire and Ice. Very synergetic with attacking and the conniving en masse can easily lead to mass recursion like Living Death and Twilight's Call. Good stuff.
Top Five Time!
#5. (#29 Overall) - Topiary Stomper
Our token ramp spell in this set is this fun 3-drop 4/4 Dinosaur with vigilance that ramps a basic to the land tapped and then cannot attack or swing until you have 7 or more lands, so early on you cannot play into it, but a later top deck will be fine unlike most ramp spells since this can serve as a 4/4 vigilance dork. Good stuff for the win, but one more mana than a Rampant Growth effect and modern Commander decks are all about slimming down their ramp from three mana card advantage Cultivates to two mana card neutrality Farseeks. This is better in blink brews and can block and swing in midrange stuff once you have enough lands.
#4. (#28 Overall) - Ognis, the Dragon's Lash
Sitting at the fourth spot in this fun Jund-ish colored card. It counts for all three colors for Commander color identity but you can cast her with flexible mana. Nice flexibility for your Commander needs. Ognis has haste and a nice 3/3 body for four mana. Whenever your hasted dorks swing, you create a tapped Treasure token for each one. That makes this a legendary Commander that cares about haste, since you can get loads of those good to go. One of our own writers has built around Ognis. Check out Jason's build! He went with haste enablers and other creatures in the color. I really like this with fellow Streets of New Capenna card Gruul colored enchantment Stimulus Package that lets you sacrifice Treasures for 1/1 dorks and go wide and then you give them haste on the next turn for more Treasures and more Treasures into tokens. Enjoy the synergy!
Three spots left (but...seven cards left...).
#3. (#27 Overall) - Luxior, Giada's Gift
Planeswalker decks are very popular in Commander and the kitchen table. Registered over at EDHREC.com it's run in a very strong 12,158 decks of all color combos. This slides right in. Luxior gives the equipped dork a fat +1/+1 boost for each counter on it like loyalty counters or charge counters or +1/+1 counters on things where they'll be double their normal size. Shoot +1/+1 counters are ever more popular with 23,879 decks running that that this can double the size of! I also like this in the newly debuted Bant and Azorius counters matter brews that this is printed with. Nasty synergy here for our many brews and our only charting artifact and colorless card in today's list. Enjoy!
#2. (#26 Overall) - Soul of Emancipation
Hitting at the two spot in my penultimate place this week is this 7-drop 5/7 in the Bant colors. A bit small. And pricey. On arrival to the battlefield, you can destroy up to three target non-land permanents, and then the controller of those destroyed dorks makes a 3/3 Angel token with flying, so they get some evasion. This is pretty strong in multiplayer play as you can easily have three nasty targets like Consecrated Sphinx, Elspeth, Sun's Champion or Mind's Eye to hit and you are fine exchanging those powerhouses with a 3/3 flyer especially in a 40 life format like Commander. If you only have two targets you care about, swap something of yours past it's time like that Solemn Simulacrum, Eternal Witness or Arcane Signet for a 3/3 flyer. This is also strong for Type Four where you get removal for things attached to a albeit smaller 5/7 body for the format. This heavy cost, three color identity, and smaller body means it's unlikely to get played as much in Commander since it's all about slimming down mana costs, but it still very powerful there. Hence it's spot here on my third list but near the top.
Which cycle made my top spot?
#1. (#25 Overall) The Hideaway Enchantment Cycle
Many of these enchantments have fun effects and triggers at the kitchen table that will last after they hideaway. Each of them digs down five cards. Let's look at each of them in color order:
The White one is a key one that has already gotten play in my Commander token deck and Standard brews that win with Halo Fountain. It doubles your attacking force with 1/1 Citizen dorks. It does so over and over again! It's also an easier to get hideaway cast with 10 dorks or more after it triggers, so you only need to attack with 5 to win, quite easy in token brews. Lots of cards make 5 in one go like Deranged Hermit. It's the strongest but requires the right build to bust it out of.
The Blue one is another 5-drop which will trigger when you draw your first card on your draw step, and you'll draw again, so this this is a Howling Mine for just you. You get the free card when you have 9 cards post trigger so that's pretty easy as well, just untap with a full grip of 7.
The Black one is a much cheaper 3-drop that triggers on your upkeep. Then you can mill 3 cards and then if there are 20 or more in your graveyard then you can get your free card. Getting free repeatable self-mill in decks that want it is pretty great, and it's nice in Sultai decks with self-mill triggers or in reanimation, or Dimir decks that want to win with Laboratory Manic and Oracle of Thassa.
The Red one is also a three. When you cast a multicolored spell, like your Commander, you get a Treasure token, and you can spend one of each mana to get your free hideaway card. This has all five colors in its identity, so in Commander it's limited to 5 color brews, but it's not bad there since they are likely to have a lot of multicolored stuff. Treasures are great in those brews, and this loves Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Like serious love...
The Green one is also a fun 3-drop that triggers on combat. You can place a +1/+1 counter on a dork your control which slides into +1/+1 builds quite nicely. Then you can get the free spell if you control a 7 power. Again, like one of our earlier cards, this is really strong in a 6 power Commander that would normally kill in four Commander Damage hits but now will kill in three and get you the card right now. Like the aforementioned Rith, the Awakener or Atarka, World Render that gives itself double strike on attacking. Very strong cycle to end on!
And there we are! So...what did you think of my third list? Ready for another next week? I hope so!