Redesigning New Capenna Limited – Balancing Brokers and More

With Streets of New Capenna Limited being out for nearly a month, the votes are in and it doesn’t seem to be the most popular format. There are some inherent issues with it being essentially a guild set, locking you into one of the five allied color pairs rather than giving you access to all 10. But beyond that, there is some serious color imbalance with white and Brokers getting the lion’s share of the best cards at common and uncommon while red and Riveteers struggle to put up any kind of fight against those top performers.

While I was feeling frustrated by my experience in this draft format, I was reminded of an article that my podcast co-host Ben Werne wrote last summer with regards to Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. In the age of Alchemy and rebalancing cards for power, he set off to correct some issues with blue’s lack of power, venture’s poor performance and the dominance of red and black in that format. I thought it might be fun to do the same thing here with SNC. Today, I’ll attempt to solve some of the major issues I see with Streets of New Capenna Limited by looking at its mechanics, rebalancing individual cards and even designing some new cards of my own. Let’s get started!




Header - The Big Picture

Before we get into rebalancing specific cards, I want to zoom out on SNC and take a look at some of the biggest offenders in my experience and how we might change them for the better. First, I want to put a spotlight on shield counters.

Dapper ShieldmateDisciplined DuelistSwooping Protector

I actually think shield counters are an incredibly cool design and for the most part, the creatures they’re on are appropriately costed (no, not you Disciplined Duelist). I think you’re often paying a premium for the benefit of a shield counter and there are certainly ways to interact with these cards favorably. Deal Gone Bad, Hold for Ransom and Run out of Town all give you ways at common to trade one-for-one with a creature with a Shield counter on it.

The problem is that when you get to red and green, they struggle immensely to not get savagely outvalued by these cards. As far as answers, red has Call in a Professional at uncommon and green gets no clean answers at all! I would propose either a redesign of shield counters to give red and green’s current removal the ability to interact with them or give those colors the tools at common to one-for-one like white, blue and black have.

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