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The Early Winners In New Capenna Standard


The results have started to roll in, which means it's time to go from speculation to empirical data!

While there haven't been any major events yet, the ladder is always running on MTG Arena and the leagues are always running on Magic Online, which means there's always decklists to be had! Today we're going to go over the early winners from Streets of New Capenna that are making waves in Standard by going over decklists from the 5-0s in Magic Online Leagues!

Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

Perhaps the elephant in the room when it comes to New Capenna is none other than Ob Nixilis himself, or maybe that should be phrased "Ob Nixilis and himself" based on how often he shows up doing double duty. Ob has been showing up in tons of places, three of which we will go over today, but the most obvious spot has been slotting right into grindy Rakdos Sacrifice decks.

These decks were already great before the release of Streets of New Capenna and frankly don't need to change much to accommodate Ob Nixilis.

Oni-Cult Anvil
Bloodtithe Harvester
The Meathook Massacre

Built around the slow bleeding engine of Oni-Cult Anvil and The Meathook Massacre, Ob Nixilis, the Adversary slots in perfectly as another difficult to interact with source of both damage as well as token fodder in the form of his devil tokens. The mana curve of these decks is so low that they can almost always get Ob onto the board under their opponents, which is very important because Ob is exceptionally difficult to play against when you are behind, but doesn't do a great job of catching back up.

Add in another few one mana spells to the deck in the form of Unlucky Witness (which forms quite the one-mana tag team with Experimental Synthesizer) and Strangle and you've got a deck with a fantastic engine that can close fast and grind late.

But that's not the only Ob Nixilis deck!

While the Oni-Cult Anvil deck is more of an efficient machine, the Jund take on Ob Nixilis is very, well, Jund.

Esika's Chariot

In a very strange quirk, you can copy the copy of Ob Nixilis with Esika's Chariot, having it slot into an already powerful pile of Jund goodstuff cards. The Meathook Massacre, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Prosperous Innkeeper... the deck basically just reads like a list of all the best cards in Standard.

That's not to say there aren't new cards however!

Tenacious Underdog
Unleash the Inferno

Tenacious Underdog is one of the more impressive creatures in New Capenna, breaking the mold of prior recursive Black creatures in that it can actually block and defend! Couple this with solid stats, recursion, and a great curve into Ob Nixilis and you've got a winner. Strangle isn't Lightning Bolt but it's very efficient, which makes it exciting, while on the opposite end of the spectrum is Unleash the Inferno which can often two for one.

If you love good stuff decks this is a great place to be, but our Ob Nixilis tour isn't over yet!

Swapping White for Green swaps out your four-drops, but doesn't really hurt your overall power level as The Wandering Emperor is also extremely good.

The Wandering Emperor
Vanishing Verse
Wedding Announcement

Add in Vanishing Verse for removal and Wedding Announcement to join Fable and you've got a bit less of the explosive raw power of turn three Esika's Chariot substituted for an even more robust suite of token-based threats. This plays much better against spot removal while also presenting a metric ton of blockers to protect your planeswalkers.

Shakedown Heavy

However, it's not just Ob and Tenacious Underdog here for New Capenna cards, as the very interesting Shakedown Heavy slots in as a change of pace threat to counterpoint all of the small tokens. Shakedown Heavy is surprisingly impressive, as unlike previous cards of the type it can still block even if your opponent pays the tax.

It is not entirely clear which of these midrange Ob Nixilis decks is best as they all bring a little something different to the table, but it shouldn't be too hard to pick which one is right for you. If you like synergy, it's gotta be Rakdos Anvil; If you like aggressively slanted good stuff decks, Jund is your deck; If you prefer to take a somewhat more control stance with lots of planeswalkers, Mardu is for you.

But of course, there are other options.

Raffine, Scheming Seer is a very interesting card, as both the cheapest and most playable of the five family crime-lords.

Raffine, Scheming Seer

Raffine is tricky one, as it's cheap but three-colored and difficult to cast, wants to play with graveyard stuff and lots of attackers, but doesn't really jive well with curving out. Well, this deck is just aggressive enough to make good use of Raffine, also tapping on Kaito Shizuki and a whole host of other planeswalker to keep the aggressive-midrange slant.

Tenacious Underdog
Skyclave Apparition
Vanishing Verse

We see Tenacious Underdog once again, as he is even better here as something to discard to Raffine, as well as a whole host of the usual Orzhov suspects. This is definitely a midrange deck, but with both Kaito and Raffine wanting attackers there's a somewhat aggressive slant. Blue also adds the potential for counterspells out of the board which can be powerful in midrange mirrors.

Various forms of this deck have done a lot of damage early on, making this a serious one to watch. However, there's another Orzhov deck in town as well.

As far as raw power goes, Giada, Font of Hope is one of the most impressive cards in Streets of New Capenna. The concern of course, is the supporting cast.

Giada, Font of Hope
Firja's Retribution
Inspiring Overseer

Well when you add Giada, Font of Hope and Inspiring Overseer to the already existing cast of Angel cards from Kaldheim and the impressive Liesa, Forgotten Archangel, something very nice starts to come together. You're still playing good removal like Vanishing Verse, but you've also got cards that demand an answer immediately as well as good top end cards that do the job all by themselves.

I played my version of this deck on my Monday video this week and it's been quite the surprise, given the failure of the Angel cards to break through previously. This is one to watch.

Our last deck of the day is centered around a card that has really impressed me in multiple shells, Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second.

Jinne Fay may look like just a fun Commander build around, but she is not hard to activate in Standard at all.

Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second
Gala Greeters
Magda, Brazen Outlaw

There are a ton of cards in the format that make treasure tokens, which means Jinnie Fay can turn that into a real board presence very quickly. And you're not giving up much because all of these cards are good anyway! Gala Greeters loves to make tokens and see tons of cards entering the battlefield anyway, while Jaspera Sentinel and Magda, Brazen Outlaw do their thing.

Goldspan Dragon
Moonveil Regent
Dragon's Fire

Add in Goldspan Dragon and friends like Esika's Chariot and Fable of the Mirror Breaker and you've got a good looking synergy deck that checks off the early game boxes but doesn't skimp on power level either. With good removal and some tricky maindeck counterspells (and the ability to sideboard more against midrange decks), this deck is proactive, powerful, and flexible.

Titan of Industry
Brokers Ascendancy
Elspeth Resplendent

That's a lot of New Capenna cards making immediate impact on the format, with a lot more powerful cards also unexplored! This is a great time to be playing Standard, as even the mighty Ob Nixilis is coming down from its initial hype as "the next Oko, Thief of Crowns" as people start to build their decks better to just a very solid planeswalker.

I've been having a blast, and also been getting serious about preparing for the New Capenna Championship in a few weeks where we will get to see New Capenna on full display in the first major Standard event with the set. I can't wait!

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