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Upgrading Cabaretti Cacophony


We're back for one more final Streets of New Capenna Commander precon update! There's only one more deck to talk about and that's the sweet Cabaretti Cacophony deck. The Cabaretti are all about the life of the party on New Capenna and love to have a good time. They're always hosting the best shindigs and are always looking to bring in more to their numbers to bring about a bigger and better spectacle. Case in point, this precon's face legend Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva.

Kitt Kanto brings with her a token and brings all of your opponents into the party by forcing them to fight others. Have you ever been to a rock concert and been on the edge of a mosh pit? At some point someone will likely push you in and you end up joining the fray for a short while. With Kitt Kanto and the Cabaretti Cacophony deck, it's like we're trying to do exactly that but in a game of Commander.

Let's check out the precon list!

Cabaretti Cacophony Precon | Commander | Wizards of the Coast

When it comes to updating the five precons from this set, this one was surprisingly the toughest. That's saying something because I frankly love token decks. I've gushed about this point a lot, but if there's a token deck to be had, I'm all there, and so I expected this one to be a pretty easy time. There's two problems that I had though. The first is that the themes were a bit...odd together, as utilizing tokens and chaos (or goad in this case) together felt quite unusual to try putting together. The other is that, frankly, the precon is actually quite excellent on its own! Every token generator works well, pretty much all the new cards are excellent, and the only obvious change is the usual mana issues and adding a few extra staple cards to the mix.

Agitator Ant
Bloodthirsty Blade
Sizzling Soloist

If you can think of a good goad card, it's probably in here already. Disrupt Decorum is one of the only big ones I can think of that isn't, but as the idea with this deck is that it's supposed to be repeatable goading makes it not feel quite as ideal to me. I did think about approaching some other chaos elements to kind of add more to the mix but even that felt less than ideal. They can be fun if done right and in small doses, but they're also not the kind of thing I'd like to make a focus in a list like this and tend to not be very new player friendly.

With regards to the token side, though, oh boy are there tons of excellent token generators! The thing about token making cards is that there's no shortage of great mass producers, and as such it's really hard to say there's a wrong approach to take. There's tons of great choices here too, with the likes of Scute Swarm, Felidar Retreat, Assemble the Legion, Martial Coup, and March of the Multitudes! They even dug real deep for a couple options like Artifact Mutation and Aura Mutation!

Assemble the Legion
Felidar Retreat
Scepter of Celebration

Many of the new cards fall onto either side of either goad or token making, and even both in the case of Life of the Party. There's definitely a much stronger bunch of cards on the token making side, though. Indulge // Excess, Prosperous Partnership, and Grand Crescendo can all spit out tons of small tokens while Crash the Party and Killer Service make oodles of bigger ones. There's even Scepter of Celebration, which basically gives an equipped creature black-bordered squirrellink (see Earl of Squirrel). Some of the cards even give your board big powerups like Bess, Soul Nourisher, or do that as well as making more tokens like Phabine, Boss's Confidant and Cabaretti Confluence. A couple oddballs round things out like Rose Room Treasurer, False Floor, and Master of Ceremonies. All told there's lots of excellent and interesting new cards to go around.

Upgrades must be made, however, so let's look at an updated list!

Cabaretti Cacophony Revamped | Commander | Paige Smith

Beyond the usual mana adjustments, the first thing I did here was look into what kind of chaotic stuff could be done. I looked at and initially added some cards like Avatar of Slaughter and Marisi, Breaker of the Coil, but felt like they were a bit much. I even cut some of the other goad-oriented cards like Bloodthirsty Blade just because I wanted to lean a little more on the token side and you were still going to be goading plenty with Kitt Kanto herself. That said, we've just kicked off Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate previews and have already seen some goading going on, so maybe this will be something worth revisiting with a little time.

Avatar of Slaughter
Halo Fountain
Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second

From there I went to look at the token making cards. As mentioned above, the choices already in the precon are actually quite excellent and I love what's going on. I cut a few of the new cards that I'm personally not as fond of - even if they do work fine enough in the original list - and added a couple other great new options. Halo Fountain, Rabble Rousing, and Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second all work wonderfully here. A couple favorites also join the party, such as Avenger of Zendikar, Rhys the Redeemed, and Maja, Bretagard Protector. There's a lot of great token-making planeswalkers to choose from, but I went with both Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury for this list here.

I also added a couple other sweet cards to the mix. Jetmir, Nexus of Revels is, of course, a must in a token-heavy Cabaretti deck. So too is the new Bennie Bracks, Zoologist who will continually draw you cards with how many tokens you'll be making. I also cut the cool Mutation spells in favor of Krosan Grip (and, to a certain degree, the aforementioned Freyalise). There's also a great way to gain life - as well as make a couple tokens now and then - thanks to Trostani, Selesnya's Voice. And if you need a card back from the bin, there's always good old Eternal Witness to fall back on.

Jetmir, Nexus of Revels
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice

Ultimately, what I went with for upgrades were a lot of personal preferences. Most of the card choices already present in the deck are great, and so these are just the kinds of things I would do if I were to upgrade the list to fit my own preferences and choices. The beauty of this list and a lot of token decks in general is that you can make them your own. As such, don't take anything I'm doing here as law, but rather use it for some ideas as to the things that can be done. There're so many ways to do token decks - and especially chaotic ones at that - that it's not hard to build it how you want on your own budget.

Regardless of what you do, though, you'll be bound to have a great time at your next Commander night. After all, getting together with a bunch of friends and playing a ton of EDH is a party in and of itself. If you're having that good of a time, why not bring the ever appropriate Cabaretti to join in the fun?

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

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