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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
May 18 2022 12:07pm
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STREETS OF NEW CAPENNA

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 Streets of New Capenna brings Magic to a new visual frontier: the aesthetics of circa 1920, Art Deco-infused, real-life urban United States. From a certain point of view, Kamigawa: Neon Genesis could be considered akin to Earth's 21st Century, or even beyond. But it still looks "other" enough, what with all the kami, ninjas and cyber-magic, to feel clearly different from contemporary Japan. On the other hand, there are corners of the city-plane of New Capenna where the scenery really transports us to a gangster movie set during the Jazz Age in Los Angeles (epitomized by Hollywood), New York (mostly as Manhattan), and Chicago. The three iconic US metropolises are directly translated into as many main districts of New Capenna: the wealthy uptown of Park Heights; the hedonistic midtown of Mezzio; and the working-class industrial neighborhood of Caldaia. This big city, the last still active on a otherwise derelict plane, is controlled by five criminal families, each representing a triplet of allied colors: Bant for the Brokers, who are powerful lawyers and racketeers; Esper for the Obscura occultists; Grixis for the aristocratic assassin guild of the Maestros; Jund for the blue-collar Riveteers; and Naya for the carefree party-lovers Cabaretti (as we can see, the influence of Italian-American culture shows up in many of the set's names). Each family has a Demon as its boss.

 Despite the set not being organized around tribal mechanics, the creatures of New Capenna present a few high concentrations. The most obvious of which is Rogue, since everyone in this world is, to some extent, a criminal. We also witness an unprecedented boost for Citizen, marking what's probably the future direction for the recently added tribe.

 

 Also of note, Cephalid returns after 19 years, and Raccoon is introduced to black border. The setting uses several humanoid animals to better distance itself from its real-life inspiration. Each family has one or more distinctive races: Cat for Brokers; Bird for Obscura; Vampire for Maestros; Viashino for Riveteers; Elf for Cabaretti. Among the evergreen tribes that New Capenna lacks are Beast, Goblin, Merfolk, Spirit, and Zombie.

 Let's have a look at the new creatures and their tribes. As always, the main focus is on all the Constructed applications (though Limited is occasionally touched upon), the tribes are presented alphabetically, and you'll find a hypertextual list at the end.

 Infodump

  • Cards: 266 (+15 duplicated basic lands)
  • New cards: 253
  • New creatures: 132
  • Reprinted cards: 13
  • Reprinted creatures: 4 (Corrupt Court Official, Faerie Vandal, Suspicious Bookcase, Tavern Swindler)
  • New Legendary creatures: 19
  • New Snow creatures: 0
  • New artifact creatures: 5
  • New enchantment creatures: 0
  • Triple-subtype creatures: 2
  • Creature types affected: 42
  • Tribes with more than 5 additions: Human (+37), Rogue (+28), Warrior (+27), Citizen (+24), Elf (+13), Vampire (+11), Cat (+10), Druid (+10), Angel (+9), Bird (+9), Soldier (+7), Vashino (+6)

Advisor: +4

   

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 New Tribal Total: 67, online: 58

 Related Tribes: Angel, Bird, Cephalid

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: In a world filled with organized crime and mobsters, the presence of some number of Advisors was to be expected. Considering the heavy references to the Sicilian-American Mafia subculture (starting with all those Italian-sounding names), one wouldn't be surprised to see the tribe rebranded as "consigliori", which is more or less what the entire Brokers family is. However, half of these Advisors have the Obscura watermark, instead, and directly support or pay off the connive mechanic. Ledger Shredder connives itself but at the end of the day it's mostly a solid two-drop that rewards for double-spelling as frequently as possible, something that the connive filtering helps reiterating in a virtuous circle. Similarly, Queza, Augur of Agonies might benefit from a heavy connive build, but she's gonna work well in any deck that simply draws a lot of cards. Four mana of three different colors are probably two too many on the Constructed side of things, otherwise her draining effect could even work as a win condition in storm-like lists. It surely makes Queza into an intriguing, and quite understated, Esper commander. 


Angel: +9

   

   

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 New Tribal Total: 211, online: 208

 Related Tribes: Advisor, Cleric, Nightmare, Rogue, Soldier, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: For being a place where Angels have supposedly disappeared since centuries, we have a surprising large amount of them showing up in Streets of New Capenna. Such wide angelic population likely takes into account the final events of the story, when Giada reawakens her siblings (yeah, there are male Angels in New Capenna. And some who appear nonbinary, too). And the legendary card that depict the (seemingly) teenage runaway Angel, Giada, Font of Hope, is indeed the highlight of the group, being a very impactful tribal lord. She drops for just two mana, which already makes her a very appealing resident of the command zone. She swings for two in the air for free, thanks to vigilance, then she taps to help us cast more expensive Angels, making them increasingly bigger in the process. If it wasn't for her single color not supporting a few very powerful multicolored members, Giada would be the ultimate Angel tribal commander. And even as a monowhite creature, she's still a high pick for the job. Very few tribes are graced with this kind of multifaceted synergy from one of their lords, and for such a low price – even Lyra Dawnbringer appears clunky by comparison.

 The rest of the Capenna Angels features two mythics that immediately return us to top-end territory. Sanctuary Warden hails from the Brokers, therefore comes equipped withs shields – plural, because she (he? they?) gets a whole couple of them. It's an amazing double insurance against death on our six-man 5/5 flying finisher. But it's not even all, since the Warden can trigger, both via ETB and by attacking, the transmutation of any of those counters – or any other we control, really, including loyalty counters – into a card and a 1/1 token. Considering the quantity of renewable sources of counters we have access to in white, from Luminarch Aspirant to Heliod, Sun-Crowned, let alone all the planeswalkers, this is exactly the repeatable card-drawing effect that Commander players were so loudly demanding for years. It requires some setting up, but it doesn't involve any power or cost restriction. It's very close to be a bonafide extra card per turn – plus a token, to boot!

 The monoblack Angel of Suffering is a much weirder affair. His stats are below the curve for a five-drop Angel, and the static ability just switches the gear from a form of death to another. The ratio between cards in library and life total is typically around 5:2 in a 60-card deck, and even lower by the time we manage to deploy a five-mana card. This means it will mostly match the rate of converted loss Angel of Suffering implements with the double mill per damage. In Limited, where you play with 40 cards, the exchange's payoff is even less profitable, but at least we can imagine a five-powered flyer to be game-winning if left unchecked for long. In Constructed, not so much. And as a way to purposely mill ourselves according to gameplan, it's quite convoluted.

 The lower-rarity Angels are strictly designed for Limited, and that includes the two uncommon Advisors I haven't mentioned in that tribe's entry. Angelic Observer has a Citizen tribal synergy – affinity for Citizen, essentially – while Celestial Regulator detains an enemy, provided we control at least one creature with a counter on it. The same stipulation makes Metropolis Angel another source of repeatable card advantage, on an otherwise subpar four-drop flyer that requires us to also play blue anyway. The most noteworthy aspect of these new Angels is the way they're now establishing class subtypes as commonplace for the tribe. It's not just for party purposes anymore, even if the "fixer" Shattered Seraph is a Rogue. These days the Angels are free to have job titles that reflect their various roles in the setting.

 Also noteworthy is Inspiring Overseer, one of the two best commons in Street of New Capenna's draft environment (the other one is Jewel Thief). It's a Priest of Ancient Lore with additional flying, and that was already one of the most pushed commons of Forgotten Realms. Power creep confirmed?


Assassin: +3

  

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 New Tribal Total: 65, online: 62

 Related Tribes: Bird, Human, Vampire

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Curiously, despite the fact that the Maestros are the assassin guild of New Capenna, the only watermarked Assassin we get it's from the Obscura. Raffine's Silencer is a solid connive creature that can take something to the graveyard with her when she dies, but she's clearly not efficient enough to escape the confines of Limited. Same goes for Vampire Nighthawk at home, aka Midnight Assassin.

 Aven Heartstabber is the only rare, and introduces us to the unnamed "having five different mana values in the graveyard matters" theme. Which is a convoluted take on previous ability words like threshold or delirium, with the check now requiring more effort to figure out if the state is active (yet another advantage given to the digital platforms). The Heartstabber is arguably the best application of the mechanic, being a small flyer that replaces itself upon dying, and could later become a very respectable 4/4 with flying and deathtouch for a mere two-mana investment. Notably, the death of the first copy makes the subsequent ones easier to upgrade, due to the incidental self-milling it provides.


Avatar: +3

  

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 New Tribal Total: 81, online: 78

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The world of contemporary New Capenna is not overly mystical. The Angels are the original builders of the city, but they're long gone. Traces of the previous civilization called Old Capenna persist, but don't play a much larger role than Ancient Egypt does in a James Cagney movie. Still, there are three Avatars in the set, one of which, Soul of Emancipation, directly represents the otherwise pragmatic Brokers. It's a little jarring to imagine this being of pure light walking the dark alleyways of the city, side by side with some enforcer in a suit. The card itself is a variation on classic Terastodon. The main body is smaller and the cost is more demanding, if one mana cheaper. However, Soul of Emancipation can target creatures too; although it can't target lands, so it's harder to use it offensively by turning a trio of our surplus lands into an army of 3/3s. Which is probably due to the fact that the Soul's 3/3s are flyers, so the opposing permanents we kill must be really relevant. All in all, it doesn't compare to the mightly Elephant, but it'll still probably earn a place in Commander decks that support its colors, since getting rid of three problematic permanents across the board is still worth the hassle.

 Shadow of Mortality also has a clear blueprint in a previous, highly influential creature: in this case, it's Death's Shadow. The diference is even more unforgiving here, since this new Shadow varies in cost, not in body size. In order to be a 7/7 for two, we need to have suffered 13 damage, which places us at 7 life in most formats. In that position, Death's Shadow is going to be a 6/6 for one, which is probably still better. But the real strength of the older Shadow is being able to be preemptively deployed as a one-drop 1/1 when we're at 12; for comparison, by that point Shadow of Mortality would still cost seven mana. It's a legitimate variation in the recipe, but not one that's going to have a whole archetype created around it. It does represent a new 15-mana card, though, alongside Autochthon Wurm and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Draco still stands unchallenged at 16, a reign that lasted 21 years and counting.

 We also get one mythic Avatar, the Big Brother-esque All-Seeing Arbiter. It's mostly a high-profile card-drawing engine in the form of a flyer. If we need to find an analogous from the past, it has to be something like Consecrated Sphinx. The Arbiter is less busted in multiplayer, has a weaker butt that dies to any 4-damage spell, and it involves discarding – although the latter might actually be a perk in the right build. There's also a slightly interactive ability in which the Arbiter gets to neutralize the power of an opposing creature, but it's linked to the "different mana values in the graveyard matter" mechanic, so it's not especially reliable.


Bird: +9

  

 

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 New Tribal Total: 306, online: 292

 Related Tribes: Advisor, Assassin, Citizen, Demon, Rogue

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: The Avens of New Capenna are mostly part of the Obscura family, but some these Bird people belong to the Brokers instead – first and foremost the family head, Falco Spara. His name (which literally means "The hawk shoots") makes him sound like the protagonist of some Italian comic book about a trigger-happy hitman, but he's actually a cold racketeer who manages a complex web of debts and protections in the city. His card is a four-mana 3/3 frampler with a shield, and that's already a good deal. Shield counters shouldn't be underestimated; they're not exactly a "second life", since they can be removed with a simple ping, but more often than not they have to be traded for a full card, either creature or removal. Plus, Falco's main appeal is the ability to convert any token into a Future Sight effect. Granted, we would prefer to keep those tokens, and we can't play lands through Falco, but it's still the kind of stuff a valuable commander is made of.

 There are only two other Birds of higher rarity in the set. One is the "threshold-like" beater Aven Heartstabber; the other is the suggestively named Ledger Shredder (which implies there's some non-corrupt law enforcement in New Capenna, even if the cards don't seem to reflect it). It's a cheap conniver that triggers when we cast our second spell each turn. This makes it extremely efficient, sort of an improved Faerie Vandal that grows more consistently, can't be shocked early on, and more importantly filters our draws and rewards us for doing what we were already trying to be doing. It's currently the most expensive creature from Streets of New Capenna, and it's not hard to see why. Izzet Spells deck are completely in love with this winged handler of evidence. And Bird tribal decks will definitely welcome their new two-drop of choice.

 All the other Capenna Birds are highly playable in Limited, being all flyers with extra value. Nimble Larcenist is a conditional hand disruptor; Swooping Protector is a shield-bearing ambusher; Echo Inspector is a free instance of connive on a solid evasive body; Obscura Initiate and Sky Crier are lifelinkers; and Speakeasy Server is the set's Angel of Mercy, i.e. the common monowhite five-drop flyer with ETB lifegain, a type of card that's been historically picked by draft players as reasonable filler, the most recent example being Shepherd of Heroes in Zendikar Rising.

   


Cat: +10

   

   

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 New Tribal Total: 242, online: 232

 Related Tribes: Citizen, Demon, Rogue, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Cat is another one of the humanoid animals that compose New Capenna's populace, contributing to the urban fantasy feel of this 1920s world. The most prominent of them is Jetmir, Nexus of Revels, the Cabaretti boss, a pleasure-seeking, chubby feline who looks right out of the Cats musical. Jetmir comes with a 5/4 body that's above the curve for a four-drop, but his primary role on the battlefield is that of an Overrun on legs. You want to accumulate enough of a board, then drop Jetmir, perhaps when the opponent is tapped out, stack his various bonuses on top of one another, and go to town with a lethal alpha strike. It's really that simple, let alone something that's going to work much more consistently in Commander – at least as long as we can dribble our opponents' sweepers.

 Jetmir's gang is mostly comprised of Elves, though. Most of the other Cats are loyal to Falco Spara's Brokers, instead, including the "family fixer", Spara's Adjudicators. There's one of these for each faction, as a way to help building three-color decks in Limited. They can all be exiled for two mana at instant speed to turn one of our lands into a triple land; then we get to recall them out of exile by paying their regular cost, in which case the land stop having the additional effect, but we get access to what usually amounts to a late-game beater. The Adjudicators rank among the best of the cycle because their detain ETB might immediately set up a profitable attack.

 The rare Rigo, Streetwise Mentor is also one of the Brokers, of a more "labor union" variety. Rigo is indeed all about the little guy, rewarding a build that's rich in one-powered creatures that are evasive or outright unblockable (so I guess he's also the champion of New Capenna's Exotic Pets). The card draw is capped at one per turn, so it's nowhere near the potency of something like Toski, Bearer of Secrets. But the creatures don't necessarily need to connect, and Rigo is easy to cast, like all the members of the "lieutenants cycle", and is equipped with a shield, so it's not easy to get rid of before he had at least supplied a couple fresh cards. Of course, he remains a build-around card in need of a specific deck.

 The last rare Cat is Black Market Tycoon, an intriguing Treasure generator in a Bear-like body. His Treasures are clearly blood money, because keeping them around hurts us. So we might want to use them to pump Jetmir's Fixer and add permanent counters on it. Or otherwise spend them asap. At the very least, it's like having a mana dork that can perform the Coalition Relic trick of tapping to use an extra mana the following turn, albeit the Tycoon will cost us two life if used this way.

 Another noteworthy Cat is the extremely pushed common Jewel Thief, which just blows out of the water any previous green three-drop a la Centaur Courser, by adding not one but two relevant keywords, and a Treasure token to boot. It's beautifully flavorful too: vigilance represents being on the lookout, trample is for breaking and entering, and the Treasure is the jewel that was stolen. It might be another case of power creep for a common, but at least it's brilliant design. And between this and Inspiring Overseer, Pauper has some new toys to play with.

 Civil Servant is, most conspicuously, a Cat (to the point that it looks less like a gangster movie and more like a Zootopia homage), but it's mechanically meant to be played in Citizen tribal. More on that later. Of the remaining Cats, only Mage's Attendant deserves to be mentioned. Two bodies for one card is usually a good deal, particularly in Limited; and in this case, the second body is a Cursecatcher of sort, which is not always going to be relevant, but it could be.

 


Cephalid: +5

  

 

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 New Tribal Total: 20

 Related Tribes: Advisor, Rogue, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Extreme

 Highlights: Remember the Cephalids? If not, nobody would fault you, since the tribe has been dormant since Legions – and that was February 2003, which makes it an incredible 19-year hiatus. They were introduced in 2001 with Odyssey, and have made at least one appearance in the four subsequent sets, then never again. Their name is actually still well-known among competitive players because it gave the name to the old Cephalid Breakfast combo deck, which used Cephalid Illusionist.

 Now, the original Cephalids were weird sentient octopi from an aquatic kingdom near the Otaria continent of Dominaria. The New Capenna Cephalids have been redesigned to be more humanoid, with some kind of Cthulhu-like face but bodies that are capable of walking the streets of a regular city, as well as wearing a trenchcoat and fedora. They also abandoned their previous strict monoblue approach and started dabbling in white and black as well. Almost all of them bear the watermark of the Obscura family. Case in point, their new rare is Obscura Interceptor, a four-drop that does a bunch of different things: it can ambush and trade for a creature with toughness as large as four; it gains life; it loots through connive; and it Remands a spell as an ETB. In fact, the latter is probably the main way to look at the card, i.e. as a Remand on legs, kind of the Esper take on Mystic Snake and Frilled Mystic, though it's more of a tempo gain than a countermeasure. The versatility is commendable, but ends up having the "jack of all trades" issue of not mastering any of the things it attempts to do.

 The legendary "enforcer" Queza, Augur of Agonies is much more straightforward: just deploy her, and keep drawing cards, like you do in a game of Magic. She'll be your win condition, and that's it. Similarly, Psychic Pickpocket is just a conniving Man-o'-War; the extra cost is worth in Limited, maybe not in Constructed. Revel Ruiner, the first monocolored Cephalid that's not blue, is an even simpler conniver with menace. Backstreet Bruiser is an early defender that pays off connive by becoming capable of attacking. All in all, the Capenna branch of the tribe describes one big synergy – which is good design and infuses unexpected new blood into the old, semi-forgotten tentacled guys.


Citizen: +24

   

   

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 New Tribal Total: 27

 Related Tribes: Bird, Cat, Devil, Elf, Human, Raccoon, Viashino

 Impact of the New Additions: Extreme

 Highlights: Citizens unite! This unprecedented boost, which raises their ranks from 3 to 27, looks like the true beginning of Citizen's history. Given that Streets of New Capenna is the first urban setting since the promotion of the subtype to a creature type that can appear on cards, and not just on tokens, it's possible Citizen will now be the go-to tribe for those creatures that in the past didn't fit into any class (things like Angry Mob or Seller of Songbirds), especially when in presence of a city-based plane (with Peasant collecting the same kind of "outcast" in more rural settings. The obsolete Townsfolk subtype used to have this function before being removed during the Grand Creature Type Update). The next visit to Ravnica is going to confirm or disprove this theory.

 On the other hand, it's important to note that there are only two rare Citizens among the 24 printed here, which might cast an unflattering light on the tribe's future: being inherently a receptacle for "regular folk", it might have a harder time accommodating high-profile cards, since those often depict the more grandiose monsters and heroes. We can see for instance how all the rookie mobsters of the initiates cycle are simple Citizens, because they still have to prove themselves and choose a specific career.

 This said, we can see Rigo, Streetwise Mentor embracing the "humble", the "last that shall be first", as a tactical route for success. The tribe is also building a go-wide tribal base, with synergy cards like Civil Servant, Ceremonial Groundbreaker, Take to the Streets, and Angelic Observer, let alone the quantity of cards that can create Citizens in the form of tokens, including repeatable effects like Halo Fountain, Rabble Rousing, Sanctuary Warden, and Stimulus Package.

    

 Most notably, the tribe has a proper lord already, the red carpet celebrity Darling of the Masses, who also doubles as a token generator. She's probably not efficient enough for any Constructed format aside from Tribal Wars, but it's a good first step. Other solid uncommons are the shielded double striker Disciplined Duelist, which synergizes well with the Darling (it's unclear why he's not a Warrior or a Wizard, though), and the curve-topper Cleanup Crew, a strictly better version of Honey Mammoth and Ravenous Lindwurm – the change of subtype might actually be telling here, as this kind of green finisher used to be some massive beast like an Elephant or a Wurm, now it's a band of Citizens at work.

 The other rare beside Rigo is Scheming Fence, a hoser/stealer of activated abilities who is very situational in nature but has a good body for his cost – the same is true of Civil Servant as well, even if that's more of an aggressive two-drop (it can easily attack on turn three as a 3/3 lifelinker), while the Fence proposes himself for a Death & Taxes or Hatebear build. He's not going to make the cut too often, but he can still boast some minor sideboard potential.

 Sizzling Soloist, besides directly embodying the Jazz Age, makes use of the Cabaretti mechanic, alliance, confirming the natural go-wide identity of the Citizens. Voice of the Vermin moves along the same lines, being able to perform a shielded attack while boosting a small companion that's marching towards the red zone alongside him. On the contrary, Unlucky Witness is sacrificial fodder designed for the casualy mechanic, same as the aptly-named Expendable Lackey and the counter-giver Backup Agent. Finally, Gathering Throng gives the Citizens their own "self-fetcher" variant, more expensive than Squadron Hawk but also more hard-hitting than Legion Conquistador.

   


Cleric: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 504, online: 473

 Related Tribes: Angel

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Will Inspiring Overseer and Jewel Thief change Pauper forever (or at least until the power will creep some more)? Time will tell. Even Cleric decks might consider running the Overseer in Tribal Wars, to be honest. And it doesn't feel crazy in Angel tribal, either. Self-replacing is nothing to sneeze at.


Construct: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 147, online: 146

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: There aren't a lot of artifact creatures in New Capenna. Scuttling Butler is the only uncommon one alongside the reprint of Suspicious Bookcase), but it doesn't make a great case for having more.


Crocodile: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 27, online: 26

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: There are Crocodiles in New Capenna's sewers! Just like in 1920s New York City! The card is jut a variation on the "unblockable on demand" like Gearseeker Serpent, Frilled Sea Serpent and Wormhole Serpent (yeah, it was mostly Serpents to have this setup in the past). But it sure makes for a great piece of urban legend flavor.


Demon: +5

  

 

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 New Tribal Total: 137, online: 131

 Related Tribes: Bird, Cat, Dragon, Noble, Sphinx, Vampire

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The story goes like this: back when New Capenna was still Old Capenna, the plane where the city is located, and whose name is now lost, was attacked by Phyrexians. The Angels of the plane, being Angels, organized the resistence, and built the city up as a fortification against the invaders. The Demons of the plane, being Demons, betrayed the Angels. They found out that the angelic essence, called "halo", has a lot of magical properties, and started harvesting it from enslaved Angels. After the Phyrexians were repelled, with New Capenna as the only city still standing, the Demons created a whole network of criminal activities. Halo was at the core of this gangster empire, as the fantasy equivalent of real-world drugs trafficking. Five crime families came to be in the aftermath of the Phyrexian war, and the Demons gave the head of each of them the Demon status, before disappearing themselves.

 All this to say that these five Demons, the bosses of New Capenna, aren't actually Demons. They're a Bird, a Cat, a Vampire Noble, a Sphinx, and a Dragon that have been given the title of Demon, and some of the associated powers. It's a strange way to approach the concept of "demonic mafia", but an intriguing one as well. However, it also means these five cards are too disparate in colors, abilities and strategical value to be tackle on as members of one tribe. It's better to review them when talking of their other major tribe, which more accurately reflects their nature.

 They do count as Demon, though. Regardless, it doesn't seem likely for a Demon tribal deck to be interested in most of them. They'd require a double if not triple splash. Mechanically, they're all over the place and mostly far from what Demon decks are usually about. Falco Spara, for one, wants to be surrounded by creatures with counters; Jetmir and Raffine ask for a wide board. Lord Xander and Ziatora are perhaps the most Demon-like or Demon-friendly of the group, the latter in virtue of the free Fling, which might be used on another big Demon as a win condition, and the former because he reminds of certain over-the-top effects of Demons like Malfegor and Rakdos the Defiler.


Devil: +4

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 41, online: 40

 Related Tribes: Citizen, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Devil sort of takes the place of the absentee Goblin in the New Capenna ecosystem. There's only a handful of them, hailing from Cabaretti or Riveteers. The highest rarity goes to the former family with its Devilish Valet, which uses alliance to redouble its trampling power. Such a deal could scale up to some scary amount of squared power every time multiple creatures hit the battlefield at the same time (easy to achieve with those that make ETB tokens for instance, like Exhibition Magician). But the Valet starts just at one power, so it's an uphill road. Haste is also hard to exploit that way, because it requires us to have extra open mana past the initial three, in order to trigger alliance with additional fresh creatures.

 More influential in drafts is the uncommon Body Dropper, the signpost for the black-red sacrifice sub-archetype. He's simply an efficient two-drop that grows when we sacrifice creatures and acts as a sacrifice outlet himself. The payoff for his sacrifices is just menace for the turn, but in a build where other sacrifices spontaneously happen around him, he can quickly become a threat.

 Mayhem Patrol exploits the Riveteers mechanic of blitz to essentially cycle when a 2/2 menacer ceases being relevant on the board, while Witty Roastmaster takes us back to alliance, this time to obtain incidental damage to the opponent's face. Both are okay filler cards in Limited, nothing more.


Dinosaur: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 120, online: 119

 Related Tribes: Plant

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: A lone Dinosaur roams the Streets of New Capenna! Except it's a garden hedge ornament that somehow came alive. It may feel a bit random in the setting, but it's actually a pretty good card, working as a ramp spell on turn three, until it gets online as a vigilant beater not too much later on. Standard has already welcomed this vegetable T-Rex as a crucial multifunctional tool for Monogreen Ramp lists.


Dog: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 101, online: 96

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The first ever artifact creature to double as Treasure, this golden automaton doggie provides a decent board presence on turn one, especially against X/1 attacker, and then a potential mana boost on turn two (plus sacrifice synergies, if they matter). It's not going to radically change the pace of its tribe, and Akoum Hellhound probably still remains the best one-drop Dogs can run in red, but it plays better than it looks, even in later turns.


Dragon: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 256, online: 251

 Related Tribes: Demon

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The dragoness Ziatora is the leader of the Riveteers, the champion of the working class and the last of the Dragons of her plane. On the battlefield, she's a big evasive threat as a baseline, but what really forces the opponent to get rid of her asap is the optional Fling she gets access to every end of turn. She can't fling herself, but everything else is fair game, including possibly some high-power creature that threatens to close the game right there. Alternatively, she can sac something expendable, perhaps for a gain, and collect three Treasure tokens in the process. Granted, ramping after we already cast a six-drop might be a moot point, but Treasures represent free sacrifice triggers, as well as artifact and token presence, so the synergies may go beyond the mere mana acceleration. Overall, Ziatora is definitely more of a Timmy/Tammy card than a competitive Constructed playable, always running the risk of being answered before getting down to business, even in Commander. But deployed at the right time (i.e. when the opponents are tapped out) on the right board (i.e. when we control another big creature to sacrifice immediately), she might be able to steal a game out of nowhere.


Druid: +10

   

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 246, online: 242

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human, Rogue

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Each of the crime families in New Capenna descends from a traditional fantasy trope that existed in Old Capenna and has been distorted over time to adapt to the new state of things. The Cabaretti, for example, were originally Druids; now their communal rituals have turned into crazed parties, but they still count as Druids. Somehow. Although, to be fair, some of these cards really don't make much sense as members of the tribe.

 On the bright side, there's powerful stuff here. Gala Greeters is an incredible two-drop that could trigger up to three times per turn, choosing between a trio of options that offer a wide range of possible synergies. Do you want mana? Lifegain? A bigger creature? Do counters matter for you? Or artifacts? Or sacrifices? The quantity of things the Greeters can do for us, without asking for a single extra resource, is honestly dizzying. Recurring question: do they make sense as Druids? Well, there's some exclusive druidic gala, and they welcome guests to it, so yeah, they could be some of the Druids organizing it. The most wonderful thing about this card is that they made eleven localized variants to act as box toppers, each depicting a different festivity from the various countries. You can look at them down here (all with the English text, though they of course only exist with localized text). The artwork is by an artist of each country, and it's universally excellent.

 Next we get the lieutenant of the Cabaretti, Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's adopted Elf daughter. She's a solid 3/3 for three with easy-to-cast hybrid mana cost. Most of all, she's a build-around card for token decks, upgrading every 1/1 or Treasure (or Food or what-have-you) to a hasty 2/2 or vigilant 3/1. Probably the latter, most of the times (she does look more like a cat person, though. After all, her daddy is a big Cat!). She also makes for a fun commander, if not exactly a broken one. A go-wide token deck is bound to be more interested in Jetmir himself as a leader. But she still offers a cool replacement effect, and has a wonderful name that sounds like the protagonist of a ballad from The Threepenny Opera. Does Jinnie make sense as a Druid? Guess so, Jetmir probably sent her to study at some fancy Druid Academy.

 Rocco is the bartender and chef of the Cabaretti club, the Vantoleone. The accompanying lore tells us Rocco is nonbinary. The card itself is a Chord of Calling on a stick, which is less amazing than it reads, because flickering Rocco does nothing, and the X cost can't be reduce in any way. So it's basically a Chord of Calling that gives us a bonus 3/1 body. Which has its merits, mostly as redundancy in singleton formats, but it's not efficient enough to compete with all the other options for tutoring in most Constructed environments. As one could expect from an uncommon, to be fair. Limited doesn't dislike the effect, though, as a way to stabilize a board. Does Rocco make sense as a Druid? Well, brewing potions leads to brewing cocktails, so we can safely mark this off.

 What's really sketchy, flavor-wise, is Elegant Entourage. The card is great, at least for Limited, since it gives trample to our largest fattie every time we drop a creature, allowing for crucial attacks. It can also be triggered at instant speed by casting spells like Cabaretti Charm (or activating Glittermonger while Jinnie Fay is on our side of the battlefield, if we want to be more creative). And it's a four-drop 4/4 as a baseline, which is good stats. But why are these two Elves considered Druids? The art and flavor text clearly characterize them as nightclub bouncers. Which, in turn, is not what an "entourage" is! What a messy flavor. They definitely are elegant, though.

 Venom Connoisseur is another solid alliance two-drop. A single creature entering the battlefield allows the Connoisseur to attack past almost any blocker, unless they want to trade. The second creature drop extends this privilege to the whole team. She's not as effective as Gala Greeters, and will probably exhaust her career in Limited, but she's still a strong enough uncommon that could even make sense in deathtouch-oriented builds in Commander. Also, she's a legit snake-mongering Druid.

 The third rare Druid is the very straightforward triple French vanilla Fleetfoot Dancer. Those are three very relevant combat keywords on a 4/4 body. Sometimes, simplicity pays off, even if it's hard to envision a three-colored four-drop with no built-in resilience used as a finisher in a competitive format. It works for Mantis Rider because it's a three-drop, and a Human. Also, he just dances. Are those old ritual dances repurposed as a ballroom craze? Let's go with that, sure.

 To round the count off, there's a couple more alliance Druids at common, but they're not very high picks in Limited. And they're all socialites of some kind or other. The Cabaretti druidic line has really turned decadent over the years. Also, Rakish Revelers is arguably the worst of the fixer creatures, albeit it does help trigger alliance twice.

  


Elemental: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 493, online: 485

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Other than a marvelous pun name, Titan of Industry is the set's heaviest hitter. It's hard to fathom what it's actually supposed to be (a walking skyscraper kaiju that's the personification of Capenna's industrial revolution?), but all we need to know is that it's one of the most expensive creatures in the set, and the one with the largest body, alongside Shadow of Mortality. But while the Shadow is just a vanilla 7/7, the Titan comes equipped with reach, trample, and not one but two ETB abilities chosen among four different options. It's a veritable Value Town, and already ranks among the must-play green curve-toppers for Commander – a club that encompasses timeless classics like Terastodon and Woodfall Primus, and used to include the now banned Sylvan Primordial, a card the Titan may remind us of. It lacks the way to hit multiple opponents at once, which is going to help dribble the ban hammer, and it's more about board position than ramping. But it's still what easily amounts to three spells rolled into one. Most of the time, we can look at it as a 7/7 with strong offensive and defensive capabilities that's also hard to kill thanks to the shield, and is accompanied by an additional 4/4 body. So in order to completely neutralize the advantage of this card, an opponent has to destroy the Titan twice, then destroy the Rhino too. Not to mention the lifegain, and even more so the artifact and enchantment hate, are solid options as well.

 Standard ramp decks have started to incorporate the Titan in their gameplan. It might not be as effective as a wincon as Hullbreaker Horror or Koma, Cosmos Serpent, but it's close to that level and it doesn't require blue.


Elf: +13

   

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 478, online: 464

 Related Tribes: Citizen, Druid, Rogue, Shaman, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Most Elves in Streets of New Capenna are Cabaretti Druids. Gala Greeters in particular seems perfect for an Elf build that's easily capable to consistently generate creature drops turn after turn. On the other hand, Jinnie Fay requires tokens to replace, but to turn Elf tokens into Cats and Dogs is probably not going to benefit any Elf deck. And the combat proficiency of Fleetfoot Dancer is not the kind of advantage the tribe is usually after.

 Elsewhere, Rumor Gatherer is definitely a strong card for creature decks, quickly scaling up from scrying to outright drawing cards. The double white in her cost doesn't look too Elf-friendly, though. Brazen Upstart as Commune with Nature as a deah trigger, and is probably going to trade in attack or defense, thanks to vigilance and a lopsided 4/2 body. But it might just be too slow and clunky for Elf lists, which in most formats get the superior option of casting Lead the Stampede for three mana, without bothering with splash colors. Darling of the Masses is only accidentally an Elf, and cares only about Citizens.

 This leaves us with some minor Limited playables like High-Rise Sawjack, i.e. the set's "Spider", as well as the Treasure-maker Glittermonger, whose intriguing activation demands specific ways to exploit the tokens, beyond just being a mana battery – Elves clearly don't need a four-drop to ramp.


Horror: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 234, online: 233

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: New Capenna's solitary bogeyman can't escape its uncommon-level overcosted mana value, but the ETB effect sure is annoying for the opponent. The design where we have to pay one price so that the opponent is forced to pay all three is also pretty cool. One is tempted to try and reanimate Dusk Mangler and then try and flicker it repeatedly; but at that point all that effort might be better off redirected to superior targets. Not least because there's a built-in fail case for the Mangler's trigger, where the opponent has no cards in hand (frequent to happen if we're just hardcasting it for seven mana), a random token to sacrifice, and a high life total. In such a case, the 5/4 vanilla body alone won't justify the whole endeavor.


Human: +37

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 2840, online: 2634

 Related Tribes: Assassin, Citizen, Druid, Rogue, Soldier, Warrior, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Irrelevant

 Highlights: You have to give it to New Capenna: it didn't end up being a Human-based world, despite the setting easily lending itself to that scenario. After all, the top-down design was taking inspiration from a real-life era, or at least its pop culture representation. Luckily, all those Rhino bodyguards, Ogre boxers, and literal Cat burglars rescued the set from feeling one-note, characters-wise, and reinforced the urban fantasy angle of it all.


Insect: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 184, online: 180

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: This is a portable halo container in the form of a brooch with a scarab theme, so it's unclear how it gets to be alive. I'm guessing there is supposed to be some kind of magic at work, akin to the living Equipment of Neo Kamigawa. At any rate, it's just a filler two-drop that's meant to help fix the mana in Limited. There definitely have been worse versions of this type of card, which speaks to how sophisticated the draft environments have become nowadays.


Kraken: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 23

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: A Kraken is not really the kind of creature you'd expect to meet in an Art Deco setting, but there still have to be ports and ships and sailors in New Capenna (it's partly meant to be New York, after all), so it makes sense for a sea monster or three to join the party. It's as good an occasion as any for the aquatic tribe to gets its own Desecration Demon, which instantly becomes the third least expensive member, after Kraken Hatchling and Nadir Kraken (Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle is also mana value 4, but harder to cast). In this marine take, the cost and body remain the same, with trample and ward replacing flying. The way the opponent is given to appease our alarmingly cheap threat is less demanding – just a tap, not a sacrifice – but the consequence is much more favorable for us, since we get an unblockable Fish out of the deal, rather than the growth of our permanently tapped 6/6. Of course the Demon couldn't be kept away from combat forever, short of having a token generator at hand; the cost in resources it caused was in its case the provided advantage. But while still a good four-drop, it wasn't hard for the opponent to keep it busy just long enough to tempo us out, nullify the board presence and win the game in the meantime. With the Kraken, more board presence is exactly what we get every time the opponent decides they can't afford to be attacked by some hard-to-kill 6/6 trampler. And those nimble little Fish are the opposite of the large fiend – they can't be stopped at all.


Nightmare: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 63

 Related Tribes: Angel

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Is Nightmare a better tribe than Angel for converting regular damage into twice the amount of milling, in exchange for about half of a Baneslayer Angel? Probably not. Although the sensation persists that there might or will be some kind of Phyrexian Unlife combo involving this guy.


Noble: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 53, online: 52

 Related Tribes: Demon, Vampire

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The aristocracy of New Capenna is entirely localized within the Maestros family, and that's especially true of their former leader, the Vampire Lord Xander (spoiler alert: he's the only boss to end up killed by Ob Nixilis during the latter's attempted power grab). At seven mana, he's the more expensive of his cycle, and repays that cost with three separate triggers: when he hits the battlefield, when he attacks, and when he dies (which, I just realized, is meant to forebode his destiny). Each trigger halves the content of a different zone of the opponent, albeit rounded down, which means a content of one is not affected. The ETB targets the hand, which might not be too relevant if we're hardcasting Xander – by the time the players are casting seven-mana spells, they might not have very large hands. The milling upon attacking is also kind of a mixed bag, since the moment a 6/6 keeps being able to attack, it's probably dealing damage as well. This leaves us with the death trigger, which might be equally irrelevant if we're on topdeck mode on an empty board. We deploy Xander, the opponent discard a land, cast removal, and basically nothing has happened. Unfortunately sparing the lands place this effect very very far from annihilator. Overall, Xander is capable of some mischief, but his whole presence could also prove a complete dud.


Ogre: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 105, online: 100

 Related Tribes: Rogue, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: Ogres quite naturally took the role of the "heavies" of the New Capenna world, alongside their fellow "big dudes", the Rhinos. Their rare Shakedown Heavy literally confirms it, depicting an easy-to-bribe debt collector. The mechanic is similar to Desecration Demon and Reservoir Kraken, but also Clackbridge Troll: an incredibly advantageous body/cost ratio, giving the opponent a chance of stopping it in exchange for a bonus. In this case, the Heavy can be prevented from attacking if the opponent agrees to let us draw a card. Generally speaking, giving the opponent control over an outcome is rarely going to play the way we'd like, and a four-toughness creature, even with menace, is not impossible to block somewhat profitably. And at best, it's a more fragile Phyrexian Arena. Still, having a 6/4 on our side on turn three is something the Ogres rarely get (considering the tribe's originator was a 2/2 for that cost), and at least no amount of bribery can stop the Heavy from blocking.

 A mythic Ogre is also not something that we see often. In fact, we saw it happen only once before: believe it or not, out of 105 Ogres printed in black border, the mythic rarity symbol was applied only to Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder from Commander 2016 – which makes Body Launderer the very first mythic Ogre from a set where rarity actually matters. Interestingly, he's also not some kind of violent thug like all the others in the set – I mean, he's probably violent still, but he's an undercity forensic pathologist, or some other morgue official, complete with fancy clothes and a punny name. The card has a clear pattern to it. We want the Launderer to grow in size while other creatures die (or are sacrificed) around him; then he'll trade for something, with the help of deathtouch, and a dead creature with lesser power will come back to the battlefield. There are perhaps too many steps for what starts as an unimpressive four-mana 3/3.

 Simpler and more effective (not to mention, endowed with a hilarious flavor text) is Crooked Custodian. Just a more threatening Grizzly Bears, at the cost of not being able to block during the first turn of his service. The other common Ogre is also a paragon of efficiency for Limited, since Girder Goons can be blitzed for four mana, providing a 2/2 body and a four-powered swing without costing us a card. The alliterative uncommon Pugnacious Pugilist – the ring fighter was clearly an unmissable trope for the setting – is another blitz creature, but he's especially noteworthy for creating a Devil token as his trusty coach who won't accept any "seconds out!" warning. He's not going to overshadow Goblin Rabblemaster or Legion Warboss anytime soon, but at least his entourage comes with the usual death trigger of all Devil tokens, so they're basically stored damage.


Pegasus: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 19

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: A rare Pegasus is, in itself, an extraordinary event. It occurred only twice before: with Vryn Wingmare in Magic Origins, and with Boreas Charger in Commander 2018 (and, again, the rarity of cards from non-draftable Commander products is mostly symbolic). For two mana, the tribe usually gets forgettable commons like Concordia Pegasus. Then again, it also gets serviceable 2/1 flyers like Stormfront Pegasus and Mistral Charger. Despite the double color, Park Heights Pegasus is exactly that, with its green side prompting the addiction of trample, which is hardly relevant on a two-powered flyer. The main appeal is the off-chance of drawing a card every now and then. And, sure, drawing cards is a huge deal, but how often is that condition going to be satisfied? Is this Pegasus just a privileged poseur?


Phyrexian: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 229, online: 227

 Related Tribes: Praetor

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Another Phyrexian sighting, this time on a former Phyrexian domain – although those who invaded New Capenna were a completely different strand of the race compared to those who are currently ruling Mirrodin under the rebranded name of New Phyrexia. On top of that, Urabrask is a dissenter who might or might not turn into an ally of the anti-Phyrexian faction, if not even the future key to the defeat of the Elesh Norn regime down the line. For now, he's getting a new incarnation that has the same cost, body and keyword of the previous Urabrask the Hidden. But instead of granting haste to our team while forcing the Kismet treatment onto the opposing one, this Urabrak is affecting the players's influx of cards – something that instantly makes him much more interesting. We get to perform a free impulsive draw at every upkeep, essentially amounting to an extra card. At the same time, our opponents have their regular draw step transformed into an impulsive one. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it means they won't be able to save the card for the right moment; they might even be prevented to cast it at all, if it exceeds their current mana allowance, or if it's a reactive card like a counterspell. Plus, we'll get to know what it is, since it gets exiled face up. Urabrask remains the smaller and less flashy of the Phyrexian leaders, but this time he came slightly closer to Constructed playability, while still rating as a 50-cent mythic.


Plant: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 58, online: 54

 Related Tribes: Dinosaur

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Plants and Dinosaurs, together at last! To be fair, both tribes are green-centered and can use built-in ramp at three mana. Topiary Stomper is solid through and through.


Praetor: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 10

 Related Tribes: Phyrexian

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Oh yeah, in our slow march towards the return to New Phyrexia (which hopefully will be announced when the 2023 releases will be revealed on August 18), every Phyrexian we get is also a Praetor, because the extraplanar travel is currently affordable only to the bosses. Urabrask marks the tenth member of this strange quasi-sub-tribe. Only Sheoldred (assuming she's still alive) and the big honcho Elesh Norn are still unaccounted for.


Raccoon: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 2

 Related Tribes: Citizen, Rogue

 Impact of the New Additions: Extreme

 Highlights: And so it happened, the Raccoons have come to black border. Not that they had any big presence in the Un-sets either – there's been just one of them in Unstable. Also, it's useful to reiterate that the Tanukis from Kamigawa didn't need to have the Raccoon subtype, because real-life tanukis are actually dogs that look like raccoon (hence the common nickname of "raccoon dogs") but aren't biologically related.

 Anyway, these first two Raccoons are both humanoids and both common fillers for Limited. Masked Bandits is one of the "fixers" – and not the worst one at that, since a 5/5 vigilant menacing body is going to stay relevant in the late game, too. Or at least that's what happens in the Capenna environment.


Rhino: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 43

 Related Tribes: Soldier, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Not a bad showing for Rhino, whose humanoid variety, called Rhox, doesn't appear very frequently – the last two occurrences were Rhox Veteran in Modern Horizons and Master Symmetrist in Strixhaven. Now we get five Rhino folk at once, including a juicy rare in the form of Workshop Warchief, aka the second advent of Thragtusk. This Riveteers labor leader has the same body and mana value of the original Beast, but he's harder to splash, the amount of lifegain is reduced, and, fatally, he doesn't synergize with flickering and bouncing. On the other hand, he has trample, his residual token is bigger, and the blitz option makes it so we can essentially cycle him if we're digging for something more impactful than a 5/3 trampler. Still a great value creature that's showing up as a serious midrange option in competitive Standard decks.

 All the other Rhinos are fairly playable too. The Riveteers "enforcer" Mr. Orfeo and the overtly factionless Freelance Muscle both enhance the body of one attacker; Security Rhox synergizes with Treasures with the goal of becoming a two-mana 5/4; and Rhox Pummeler is just a viable curve-topper for Limited, the last in a long line of vast improvements over dear old Craw Wurm – now with a trample-enabling shield making it a pain to profitably block.


Rogue: +28

   

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 368, online: 348

 Related Tribes: Angel, Bird, Cat, Cephalid, Druid, Elf, Human, Ogre, Raccoon, Shapeshifter, Vampire, Viashino

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: Of course in a world where everyone is a criminal, Rogue has got to be the most crowded tribe of the environment (Human aside). Unlike Citizen, though, there's no tribal synergy for Rogues; every one of them stands for themselves.

 The only mythic of the bunch, the conniving "death matters" Ogre Body Launderer, isn't especially exciting. Luckily, there are plenty of new rare Rogues to make up for our morgue doctor's relative shortcomings. Two of them are lieutenants: the three-drop Toluz, Clever Conductor for the Obscura and the five-drop Evelyn, the Covetous for the Maestros. Toluz is a corrective for her family's signature mechanic, and discard effects in general: if she happens to be around when you're pitching cards to connive, or to anything else, you can store them safely in the exile zone, and then get them all back as soon as Toluz dies. She starts the process with her own instance of ETB connive, and as a 3/1 she'll have no trouble trading in combat when it's time, but any exile-based removal is sure going to ruin this little plan. Her casting cost is low enough, but she really needs all-aroun synergies to be worth it, perhaps of the kind that involves her starting from a command zone. Also, it's unclear what her epithet means. The little lore we have about Toluz has her as a thief. Does she work a day job as a ticket inspector? (Is that a public transportation map display in the background?) Does she direct the Obscura choir? Who knows.

 More clear is Evelyn's role as Xander's former lover and continuous confidante, as well as one of Capenna's older Vampires, still able to remember the old world before the five families. She's all about collecting works of art and other mementos, which is what gives the name to the counters she places on the cards she exiles and lets us play from the top of each player's library. She's basically a slightly more expensive Gonti, Lord of Luxury that's less likely to trade for another creature in later turns, since she lacks deathtouch, but can instead ambush a small attacker via flash. Furthermore, the absence of Gonti's selective look at the top four cards is compensated in two ways, as Evelyn doesn't just exile cards from multiple libraries (including ours, which is the one that contains the spells we really want access to), but her effect isn't necessarily a one-off, either; it's in fact repeated as an ETB of each Vampire we deploy under her watch, which makes Evelyn a Vampire tribal option much more than a random value Rogue.

 With the exception of the risky Treasure maker Black Market Tycoon, all the remaining rare Rogues from Streets of New Capenna come in Esper colors. Extraction Specialit is a 3/2 lifelinker that replaces itself with, at most, a two-drop. The mechanic is intriguing, since the "extracted" creature remains on the battlefield waiting for the Specialist to die before springing into action. This causes the ability to be particularly weak to sweepers, as well as spells that deal damage to multiple targets. It also requires a very specific setup that even a white aggro deck is not likely to satisfy on turn three, especially on the play.

 Errant, Street Artist, the Banksy of New Capenna, is an extremely specialized one-drop whose only function is to copy a spell that we put on our stack without casting it, i.e. she copies a copy that wasn't cast (some copies are). Casualty is the New Capenna mechanical pairing that immediately comes to mind – and, notably, Errant cannot be used for casualty purposes, since her power is zero. She will make casualty better, but she won't be used as fodder! It's a very narrow ability, but exploiting it isn't too demanding, and the combination of flash, defender and haste is quite unique – Errant is in fact the second monoblue creature to ever have haste, the first being Bonded Fetch from Future Sight, further highlighting the experimental nature of this card.

 Still in the business of copying things, but in a more straightforward manner, Undercover Operative is a strictly better Clone (double blue cost notwithstanding) that has a chance of providing a shield counter to the mimicked creature, as long as we controlled the original as well. This kind of midrange card has never had much success because it's outright terrible on an empty board, and still plays poorly when all we have available to copy is not worth four mana – which is why the only clone to ever see competitive play was the two-drop Phantasmal Image.

 Moving over to monoblack, Sanguine Spy is a three-drop that tries to fulfill several roles, perhaps too many. It's a decent two-powered beater that's hard to block due to menace and can help us race thanks to lifelink. Unrelated to that, it has the repeatable option to surveil for one mana. In doing so, it tries to unlock its card-drawing trigger that requires the presence of five different mana values in the graveyard. But in order to get there via surveil, we have to sacrifice creatures, so it's also a sac outlet. No doubt there are builds that can lead to a board state where Sanguine Spy is the missing key for greatness, but it seems like stars have to align in a specific way for that to happen.

 Finally, some of the Human Rogues of lower rarities have applications in Limited, particularly the blue connivers Hypnotic Grifter and Psionic Snoop. The "heroic" double striker Illuminator Virtuoso won't always find good combat tricks to be paired with.

   


Shaman: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 439, online: 434

 Related Tribes: Elf, Viashino

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Only a couple of Shamans in the set, mostly because one of the five families is an all-Druid faction, and the two tribes often overlap thematically, at least whenever green is involved. The Elf Brazen Upstart still belongs to the Cabaretti for some reason, giving them a good-not-great self-replacing three-drop with high power. This kind of triple-colored cost also tends to become more of a burden when we exit the specificity of the New Capenna Limited environment, where it's the norm and it's heavily supported.

 The Viashino Pyre-Slege Arsonist is a pinger for sacrifice decks. Its design is reasonable, but the card is not really comparable to the glorious Mayhem Devil, which for the same mana value and at the same rarity gave us a larger body, didn't require neither tapping nor mana, could hit multiple targets, and was triggered by the opponent's sacrifices as well. Still, the Arsonist is not a terrible piece of synergy in the right build.


Shapeshifter: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 112, online: 109

 Related Tribes: Rogue

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: It's borderline incredible that the name "Undercover Operative" had never been used for any other card so far. The closest we got in the past was Covert Operative from Legions. Well, at least this one will have more chances to see some modicum of play, if strictly in a casual capacity, given that it's really not that much better than plain old Clone.


Soldier: +7

   

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 751, online: 690

 Related Tribes: Angel, Human, Rhino

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: It looks like Soldier is a job description that concerns uniquely the Brokers. After all, they are the descendants of Old Capenna paladins, so it sort of makes sense for them to still identify with some level of martial organization. Aside from the two Angels and, to an extent, the trampling Rhino, the most important new Soldier is Lagrella, the Magpie. She's essentially a multicolored Banisher Priest (or front-face Brutal Cathar), but she also gives us the option to additionally exile one of our creatures, which will come back strengthened by two +1/+1 counters. This way, any effort the opponent makes to get their creature back is going to be punished by our own safeguard. Granted, we need to have something that we're okay storing under Lagrella for the time being, but we're not required to play her that way. Also, she's much better than your regular exiler in multiplayer, given that she's able to target the whole table at once. She really does a lot of work for an uncommon.

 All the other Human Soldiers are Limited filler cards that traffic in shield counters, placing them either on themselves (Dapper Shieldmate, Wingshield Agent) or on others (Brokers Veteran).


Sphinx: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 67

 Related Tribes: Demon

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: The Obscura faction is populated by psychics and fortune tellers that use their clairvoyance to run cons, manipulate and blackmail, so it's only fitting for their leader to be a Sphinx. Raffine is quite small and cheap for her tribe's standards. In fact, she's the cheapest Sphinx in existence, alongside Vexing Sphinx, and is tied for smallest body with Rescuer Sphinx and Master of Winds. Ward grants her some additional resilience, which is useful, because we want Raffine to stick around as long as possible. If she does, she'll be able to massively connive every turn we attack – and it's important to note that it's not necessary for her to be one of the attackers. This suggests a peculiar Esper build that contains a high density of creatures, ideally evasive. Once Raffine is online, the more critters we attack with, the bigger we can make one of them, while filtering through our deck at a breakneck pace, perhaps also exploiting graveyard or discard synergies in the process.

 Standard has already adopted the Raffine's way of thinking by reworking the previous Orzhov Midrange list around her, adding self-recurring beaters like Tenacious Underdog as well as evasive attackers like the unblockable Ninja tokens from Kaito Shizuki.


Vampire: +11

   

   

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 New Tribal Total: 332, online: 327

 Related Tribes: Assassin, Demon, Noble, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, Wizard

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: The best new Vampire hailing from New Capenna is Evelyn, the Covetous. She's expensive, but act as a lord that adds a double impulsive draw to every Vampire we play afterwards, and that's just in one-on-one games. The hybrid mana even makes it so we'll still be able to cast her in monoblack builds, so the multicolored angle is not a concern.

 Lord Xander, the Collector doesn't look like something Vampire decks will be exceedingly interested in, unless they have a strong reanimation theme (I guess he's not a bad target for Recurring Nightmare in casual Legacy). And the third legendary from the Maestros, Cormela, Glamour Thief, is designed to be a complement of spellslinging builds, where she can ramp the mana used for instants and sorceries, before eventually regrowing one of those upon death. She actually reads better than she plays in that kind of deck as well, since the ramping is predicated on getting a semi-useless four-drop on the battlefield first, and the opponent doesn't have a huge incentive in killing Cormela to begin with. Also, if her name is meant as a variation of the Italian "Carmela", that's really not a glamorous name, let me tell you.

 The Maestros are the Vampire faction on New Capenna, so they also get the rare Maestros Diabolist, a three-drop deathtoucher that creates a Devil token whenever it attacks – provided we weren't already controlling one. There's some clear synergy with sacrifice effects, along the same lines of recursive token producers like Ophiomancer or Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia. The main problem here is that the Diabolist places itself and its little Devil in harm's way, so it could be easy for the opponent to put a stop to all the shenanigans if we can't sacrifice the token at instant speed.

 Once again for the relatively affordable cost of three Grixis mana we can also play the uncommon Vampire Corpse Appraiser, a 3/3 that finds us the best card among the top three of our library. However, in order to trigger such juicy ETB, there need to be a creature for the Appraiser to exile from a graveyard (I guess that's when the appraising takes place), which might be difficult to accomplish on turn three, leaving us with an underwhelming vanilla beater. Sanguine Spy is similarly not always going to deliver on its promise of card advantage if external circumstances don't allow it, while the rest of the common and uncommon Vampires, which include the "fixer" Glamorous Outlaw (arguably the worst of its cycle), are functional but uninspiring.

  


Viashino: +6

  

  

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 New Tribal Total: 50

 Related Tribes: Citizen, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: The Viashino dragonfolk don't typically appear in too many planes – in fact, only Dominaria, Ravnica and Alara have included them in the past – so it's always thrilling to see them move in new surroundings. New Capenna has them as one of the main populations of the Riveteers (which, lest we forget, are led by an actual Dragon), and graces them with two rares. Ziatora's own lieutenant is appropriately called Ognis, the Dragon's Lash, and is a "haste lord". Her payoff is Treasure production as an attack trigger, which is pretty neat, if bound to reach a point of diminishing returns. Even without any hasty companion, though, Ognis is a serviceable four-drop with a decent body that swings right away and guarantees we hit six mana on turn five. Not really game-breaking, but definitely playable, especially with that hybrid mana counteracting the need for three different colors. Truth be told, she looks right at home in a Gruul list.

 Still characterized as a Dragon loyalist, all the elements that compose Ziatora's Envoy come together to facilitate its goal of giving us extra cards, possibly for free. It has to connect for at least some amount of damage, so it gets trample. It works better when performing a surprise attack, so it gets blitz. The free spells are dependent on the amount of damage, and the Envoy could naturally supply five of those, for the ideal outcome of a free five-drop. In theory, it's amazing. In practice, it will rarely play up to its potential in a competitive game. But ability aside, it's still a solid four-mana 5/4 trampler that would deserve a home in a Jund midrange list – if that list existed.

 The rest of the Viashino encompasses a few valuable creatures, mostly for Limited purposes. Pyre-Siege Arsonist is the sacrifice-based pinger; Riveteers Requisitioners is very efficient, since it gets part of its cost back in the form of a Treasure when it trades; Riveteers Initiate is a filler two-drop with deathtouch on demand; and Plasma Jockey perpetuates the long tradition of red creatures that neutralize a blocker.


Warlock: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 58, online: 57

 Related Tribes: Vampire

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: This lone Warlock synergizes with both lifegain and life as payment. Aside from some fetch lands, having both enablers at once in the same deck seems hard to accomplish, and generally speaking, a 2/2 that costs five doesn't look like the best starting point for this kind of plan. Just compare this Scrivener to Bloodthirsty Aerialist, which isn't even seeing a ton of play.


Warrior: +27

  

  

  

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 New Tribal Total: 865, online: 842

 Related Tribes: Angel, Cat, Devil, Human, Ogre, Rhino, Vampire, Viashino

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: The streets of New Capenna are mean and populated by belligerent types that are always spoiling for a fight. As a consequence, some of the best creatures in the set are Warriors! We've seen for instance the high-value Thragtusk redux, the Rhino Workshop Warchief. The Ogre Shakedown Heavy and the Viashino Ziatora's Envoy are less of a slam dunk, but still quite valuable, as is the "haste lord" Ognis, the Dragon's Lash.

 As for the Humans, there are several that leave an unforgettable impression with their street-level combat skills. Tenacious Underdog is a two-drop 3/2 the first time we play him, but his real strenght is the ability to being blitzed again and again from the graveyard, which turns him into a cantrip that swings for three. On an empty board, like the one left in the aftermath of The Meathook Massacre, it becomes a serious win condition – it involves exchanging three damage for the payment of two life, but we also get a fresh card at every iteration, thus outgrinding the opponent through card advantage.

 Professional Face-Breaker also provides cards, in her case by sacrificing Treasures to impulse-draw them. And she can earn her own Treasures as a payment for smashing the opponent's face (the flavor here is really on point), an endeavor which is facilitated by menace and could be delegated to others anyway.

 We find the same old-timey fighting stance in the artwork of Jaxis, the Troublemaker as well, another monored 2/3. Jaxis is a Riveteers boxer and a working-class heroine for the underprivileged masses that live in Caldaia. And she's a Kiki-Jiki that also rummages, turning excess lands or other less useful spells into fresh cards – a theme shared by all these high-profile Warriors of New Capenna, which seem capable of much more than just breaking bones. Jaxis can also be blitzed for two, in case a single rummaging token is already enough, or if paying the four mana of the regular cost is too slow for our tastes. Should we choose the blitzing route, we'll draw two cards for three mana, and we'll still get a token copy until the end of turn, to be exploited as we please.

 Honorable mention for uncommon Human Warrior: Night Clubber, not just for the terrific pun, but because when we blitz it, it becomes a cantripping Make Obsolete. It's particularly effective in the set, because Streets of New Capenna contains a fair share of one-toughness creatures and creature tokens, but it's not too unusual fact in Magic as a whole, too.

    

 Honorable mentions for common Human Warriors: both Caldaia Strongarm and Wrecking Crew are decent picks in draft (both are five-drop 4/5s, with different extra perks), if perhaps not too high on the totem pole of desirable commons.

 


Wizard: +5

  

 

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 New Tribal Total: 878, online: 854

 Related Tribes: Cephalid, Elf, Human, Vampire

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: New Capenna is a film-noir urban fantasy, a pragmatic world with not much room for high magic, aside from the angelic halo. It makes sense for Wizard to be an unrepresented class. Hell, one of them, Exhibition Magician, doesn't even look like it's an actual spellcaster. Aren't the Citizen and the Treasure conjured uniquely through a stage trick? Be it as it may, she makes for a good common, just like the simple conninving two-drop Raffine's Informat. Of course Obscura is the family that's most likely to comprise real Wizards, hence Obscura Interceptor, the flashy four-drop that casts a Remand.

 Syndicate Infiltrator is faction-less, but also not particularly Wizard-y, as it's just a Dimir-colored Phantom Monster that grows larger in the late game. Rumor Gatherer is the one Cabaretti Wizard, and exploits alliance to scry and occasionally even draw cards. White card draw, here's another odd thing that happens on the Streets of New Capenna.


SUMMARY

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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.


BEST NON-BOSS IN SHOW
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THE BOSSES
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THE LIEUTENANTS
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THE ENFORCERS
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THE FIXERS

  

 

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THE INITIATES

  

 

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THE INTERNATIONAL GALA GREETERS

   

   

  

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KUMA'S TRIBAL EVALUATIONS