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Best New Capenna Commander Cards – Green, Multicolor, Artifact and Land

It’s time to step up to the Streets of New Capenna! With the prerelease starting up this Friday and the Arena and MTGO releases following a week later (an order I think is quite good for local game stores), we’re heading into a very exciting time for Magic players across all formats. While I love Limited, Modern, Pauper and most every format, today I’ll be focusing on my favorite format of all-time, Commander, with a look at the best New Capenna Commander cards!

As a reminder, my focus is on social Commander rather than competitive EDH. These days, I’ve been leaning more toward a desire to play three 40-minute games in lieu of one two-hour slog, but I’ll be talking about cards from the wider social perspective. My goal when playing Commander is for everyone to have fun but also for me to have a good shot at winning the game – or at least doing the thing my deck set out to do – so if that’s your mindset as well, these reviews will probably resonate with you. I won’t be reviewing reprints, so you can just assume I feel the same way about Disdainful Stroke as I did before we found out it was in this set. I also don’t review every card – if I feel they’re not worth mentioning, I don’t give them a write-up, but we all know there’s a deck out there for every card. In particular, if I don’t mention a card with one of the set’s core mechanics, my thoughts can likely be summarized as “Decent in a deck focused on that mechanic, not great outside of it.” When you inevitably disagree with a review (or think I skipped something good), please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!

This time around, we’ll start with the eligible commanders and then move on to the rest of the set. Please note that all of the cards in this review are from the main set with code SNC – the commander cards, with set code NCC (New Capenna Commander) will be in a separate article. Most of the commanders are within the three-color family identities: Obscura (WUB), Masetros (UBR), Riveteers (BRG), Cabaretti (RGW) and Brokers (GWU), but a few are monocolor cards.

Main Set

The Commanders / White & Blue / Black & Red / Green and Other

Commander Set

The Commanders / White & Blue / Black & Red / Green and Other

 

 

Header - Green

Bootleggers’ Stash

Bootleggers' Stash
Did we need this? Did we need green to have more ridiculous mana? The Jinnie Fay synergy is cool, as is the interaction with Academy Manufactor, but I am not excited about this card existing in Commander. At least mono-green Omnath restricts you to monog-green, but because of the implications of artifacts entering and leaving the battlefield and the fact that destroying this doesn’t mitigate the advantage already gained, this is not just an Upwelling effect, as much as it may seem like one. If you and your playgroup like this kind of thing, then yeah, this is a very powerful and direct card.

Bouncer’s Beatdown

Bouncer's Beatdown

The thing I like most about this card is that it doesn’t target one of your creatures. It just uses the biggest creature you have when it resolves! As “bite” effects go, this is a solid one at its mana cost. 

Courier’s Briefcase

Courier's Briefcase

It’s a good thing this is restricted to five-color decks and sacrifices itself, because we don’t need Yet Another Arcane Signet, but if you are playing all five colors, you’re often going to be base green for the fixing, making this a solid inclusion. Cashing this in to draw three cards will be fairly easy for a lot of those decks, since commanders like Sisay, Weatherlight Captain already ask you to have WUBRG and Ramos just makes WWUUBBRRGG for you!

Evolving Door

Evolving Door

There are a lot of hoops to jump through. I have to pay one up front, sac a creature, get something with exactly one more color and then actually pay that card’s mana cost. No Food Chain-style discount for whatever I sacrificed is kind of a bummer, but I guess that might have been rough in other formats. This card is really weird and restrictive and I don’t have immediate ideas on a home for it, but I’ll be interested to see whether or not other players manage to make this awesome.

Fight Rigging

Fight Rigging

I like that this card triggers in beginning of combat, meaning you can play it precombat and get counter value on the same turn. +1/+1 counter decks often want to spread the counters out among lots of creatures, so it may take quite a while before you get to play the card for free. This would be great in a Skullbriar deck – the counters are sticking around for a long time, which means it’s easier to get to the point where you have a seven-power creature. Kels, Fight Fixer is sad about not having access to a card called Fight Rigging.

Gala Greeters

Gala Greeters

I would imagine the Treasure mode is the most powerful first choice most of the time, as it makes it easier to keep putting multiple creatures into play turn after turn. If you’re a big Beast Whisperer fan, adding Gala Greeters alongside it will make it easier to keep the engine running and get you a pretty big creature with a bunch of life gain added on in the process. I’d certainly play this in Beledros Witherbloom or Chatterfang decks. 

Prizefight

Prizefigh

If your Neyith or other fight-focused deck wants another instant-speed fight effect, this one is better than Pounce thanks to the Treasure. Whether it beats out the ones that add +1/+1 counters or do other things is going to be deck-dependent, though Khalni Ambush is likely my first go-to for fight effects most times.

Titan of Industry

Titan of Industry

Seven mana is a lot for sure, but the enters the battlefield trigger is fantastic. The shield counter mode doesn’t target, so you don’t have to worry about losing out on that unless your other targets for the trigger get removed or you just lose all your creatures. If an opponent invests resources to get rid of this right away, you’re still left with something like a 4/4 with a shield counter on it. Plus, it’s a huge building that punches! This is a fun new top-end threat for green that doesn’t have oppressive Craterhoof vibes.

Topiary Stomper

Topiary Stomper

Seven lands is not that many for a green Commander deck, and the Plant type leads to some fun interactions with Avenger of Zendikar and Phylath. If you’re deep on landfall and looking for higher density of Rampant Growth effects, this is a great option.

Vivien on the Hunt

Vivien on the Hunt

For six mana, I’m not sure an ultimateless planeswalker is what I want. +2 for a Birthing Pod activation is decent, and the “draw” ability at +1 is fine too, but most of the time I’d rather just play cards that more directly do what I want them to do. If you’re really dependent on pod chains in your deck, this does add some redundancy, and I suppose the flexibility between the three abilities is decent, but I think there’s just so much more value in the six mana slot these days.

Workshop Warchief

Workshop Warchief

This is a ton of value at just five mana! Blitzing this in seems like a great value proposition, but just playing it is already fantastic. If you’re in a midrange green strategy that wants to control the board early but not worry too much about getting wrathed, this slots in nicely alongside Thragtusk as a threat that leaves something behind. I like this with Xenagos, God of Revels, Neyith or Grand Warlord Radha.

 

Header - Multicolor

Aven Hearstabber

Aven Heartstabber

Decks high on flashback synergies or self-mill can use this as a low-end threat that replaces itself, but I really wish this had the courtesy to be a Rogue instead of an Assassin. 

Black Market Tycoon

Black Market Tycoon

This is interesting – a mana creature that lets you store up some mana for later if you’re willing to take a little damage. I’d play this in Korvold as a way to generate Treasures as sacrifice fodder on the cheap, since you’re not going to be keeping your Treasures around from turn to turn anyway. If you’re looking to float Treasures from turn to turn, maybe don’t play this card.

Brokers Ascendancy

Brokers Ascendancy

This looks very interesting in planeswalker-focused decks, especially ones taking advantage of The Chain Veil or Teferi, Master of Time. +1/+1 counters are a little easier to come by than loyalty counters, after all. An Atraxa Superfriends deck would definitely want this as kind of a backup Atraxa, and if you’re going wide with counters for cards like Kodama of the West Tree or Simic Ascendancy, this does perform well outside of the planeswalkerverse.

Brokers Charm

Brokers Charm

This has some solid flexibility – it’s creature/planeswalker removal, it’s card draw and it’s enchantment destruction. It’s certainly harder to cast than something like Generous Gift or Beast Within, but in a Bant deck, I might try this instead of running both of those just to see if the card draw mode is useful more often. 

Cabaretti Ascendancy

Cabaretti Ascendency

Does the fact that you can always opt to put the card on the bottom no matter what it is make this better than the Phyrexian Arena variants that have somewhat fallen out of favor these days? Cards like Garruk’s Uprising make it easy to draw cards in green these days, and red has plenty of pseudo-draw available, so I’m not sure this does much unless you really need the scry-like effect of this card in your upkeep. 

Corpse Explosion

Corpse Explosion

A cheap sweeper that hits planeswalkers too? That seems pretty powerful for just three mana. That said, you need to be filling your graveyard actively to make this work, and you especially need something with six or more power to clear a late game board consistently. I can certainly see Chainer, Nightmare Adept or Anje Falkenrath decks having what it takes to use this card effectively.

Endless Detour

Endless Detour

The flexibility is what makes me even think about this card. Obviously this is stronger in 1v1 formats, but if you can knock a spell off the stack or fizzle a reanimation spell, you’re slowing things down a decent amount. Plus, like any card of this type, it’s great when someone’s cracking a fetchland. 

Exotic Pets

Exotic Pets

Most ability counters won’t be that useful on these unblockable Fish, but getting a +1/+1 counter on one and a shield counter on the other doesn’t seem horrible if you’re using something like Bident of Thassa to draw cards or trying to continue being the monarch turn after turn. Most weird counters don’t do much on their own, sadly.

Fleetfoot Dancer

Fleetfoot Dancer

Decks looking for piles of keyword abilities are going to be excited about this, but in Naya colors, that mostly means pairing Akroma, Vision of Ixidor with Tana, the Bloodsower. It’s a decent threat for Rienne decks looking for an efficient creature to recur as well. 

Forge Boss

Forge Boss

If you’re just sacrificing your Reassembling Skeleton or similar every turn, you can put in a ton of damage every turn cycle with Forge Boss. You don’t get the unrestricted power of a Guttersnipe-style card thanks to the once per turn restriction, but if you’re going off with Mayhem Devil regularly by sacrificing creatures, you’ll enjoy this effect.

Maestros Ascendancy

Maestros Ascendancy

A Grixis spellslinger deck almost certainly wants to use this to pseudo-casualty back cards from its graveyard. Since Kess decks can already cast cards from the graveyard easily, and since this operates on the “once during each of your turns” timing just like Kess, there’s some confusion in my mind as to exactly where this would fit, but looking ahead to the Commander product for this set, Anhelo is an interesting option for sure. The more cards like Talrand that you’re playing, the easier it is to have creatures to sacrifice whenever necessary.

Maestros Diabolist

Maestros Diabolist

The Devil token is good casualty fodder, or it would be if it weren’t already attacking when it entered! This probably trades off awkwardly and accomplishes very little most of the time.

Meeting of the Five

Meeting of the Five

“Spells with exactly three colors” is incredibly restrictive, even for a multicolor-themed deck, so while this card looks like a ton of fun, I don’t think it’s going to accomplish much. You don’t even get enough mana to cast an Ultimatum for free after this resolves, since you only get two of each color!

Metropolis Angel

Metropolis Angel

What makes this better than the Phyrexian Arena variants I constantly harp on? Well, you can get a card out of it the turn you play it quite easily. One toughness is a little awkward, but if you’re looking for some extra card draw in a Bant Counters deck, this is a reasonable option, albeit one that’s likely easy to replace.

Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

If you’re willing to sacrifice something huge, you could be drawing seven cards and losing seven life in no time! Seriously, though, if you’re not sacrificing something, you’re probably not doing what this card needs you to do. You might think, looking at this version of Nixilis, that the card doesn’t do quite enough, but when you consider having two copies, it seems a lot more powerful. The +1 isn’t amazing since it gives opponents choices, but either outcome is probably fine. I’m very excited to sacrifice a Lightning Rager from Rite of the Raging Storm or a 3/1 from Chandra, Flamecaller to get things started and pump out multiple Demon tokens before starting to build back up. You could even set one copy toward the ultimate ability while minusing the other one – you get even more versatility with the two paired together!

Obscura Ascendancy

Obscura Ascendancy

This is a lot of work – you have to cast a one-cost spell, then two, three, four and five to get to the real payoff, and the higher you go, the harder it is to get the trigger going. That said, if you get to that payoff in an Esper Spirits deck, you’ve got quite the Glorious Anthem on your hands. There’s not really an Esper Spirits commander, though, so you’ll have to pick something more utilitarian and then shoehorn in the spirit theme. This seems like too many hoops to jump through to be really good, but it could be fun, and that’s what matters to a lot of us.

Obscura Charm

Obscura Charm

Countering a spell or killing something is a great start for a modal spell, and when you add in the recursion mode, I think we have a winner on our hands. There are enough cheap utility creatures in these colors worth bringing back with a card like this, and with three good modes it’s not going to rot in your hand for the entire game. 

Obscura Interceptor

Obscura Interceptor

Most of the time you’ll want something like Venser, Shaper Savant before you slot this in, but since this is also a Wizard, it plays just as well with Riptide Laboratory and has the upside of looting in the process. I don’t think you’ll want to go full Esper Wizards, but a little Wizard package in a controlling deck featuring something like Aminatou could work. Plus, it’s a solid blink target! 

Park Heights Pegasus

Park Heights Pegasus

This is a low-cost way to add some card draw to a Selesnya (or any deck with GW) tokens deck. You can get it on the battlefield early, cast your Raise the Alarm or probably something better, and then bash an opponent. 2/1 isn’t huge, but a flyer like this will net you quite a few cards if you can drop it on curve. The biggest problem is that it’s not as good of a top-deck since people will usually have flying creatures later, but it’s worth a shot in Rhys the Redeemed, Jetmir or similar as a turn-by-turn source of cards. You might do better just playing Mentor of the Meek, Welcoming Vampire and so on, though.

Riveteers Ascendancy

Riveteers Ascendancy

It’s Scrap Trawler but for regular creatures! It only happens once each turn, and it does bring the creature back tapped, but if you’re looking to reverse your pod chain back out of your graveyard or just get a lot of value with your Viscera Seer on each player’s turn by bringing back creatures with ETB/dies abilities over and over again this is your card. Any Jund sacrifice commander can happily incorporate this alongside creatures with built-in recursion for themselves or other cards – think Eternal/Timeless Witness, Reassembling Skeleton, Garna, the Bloodflame even Masked Admirers.

Scheming Fence

Scheming Fence

This can shut down a planeswalker, but it won’t borrow the loyalty abilities. I’d be more apt to knock out a Staff of Domination, Trading Post or similar, so if your playgroup frequently uses those, this is an interesting way to handle those effects while taking advantage of the Fence’s ability copying powers. It’s unreliable, and probably more likely to show up in 60-card constructed, but it could be interesting in specific metas.

Snooping Newsie

Snooping Newsie

At some point I will show up at a table with this card and just start singing the Newsies soundtrack until my opponents simply quit. 

Soul of Emancipation

Soul of Emancipation

It’s a Terastodon-like that hits nonlands instead of noncreatures! Giving opponents 3/3 flyers is kind of awkward, especially since this doesn’t fly, but if you hand them out evenly to your opponents they probably won’t all attack you, right? If you have plenty of permanents you want to destroy, you can hit your own stuff, but since you can’t blow up excess land it’s going to be a little harder to use this to benefit yourself.

Stimulus Package

Stimulus Package

I love the idea of turning Treasure into creature tokens, especially alongside something like Chatterfang or Jinnie Fay. Of course, any token doubler adds another level of multiplication to the process as you make Treasures and then Citizens, so bring your Anointed Processions and Parallel Lives to the party. Put this in an Ognis deck, add a Fervor effect to give the tokens haste, and start going wild.

Unleash the Inferno

Unleash the Inferno

I love the use of excess damage here, and I think a lot of two-for-ones are going to be had at the hands of this card. The mana cost is pretty restrictive, but I’m going to try this out in Jund decks as a way of compressing some of the point removal needs to open up more spaces for fun cards.

Void Rend

Void Rend

No countering my slightly more restrictive Vindicate! It can’t hit lands, so that’s a bit of a disappointment, but most Esper decks will still want this as a really solid piece of point removal. Not much else to say about this straightforward card!

Ziatora’s Envoy

Ziatora's Envoy

This card, however, has a lot more going on. A four mana 5/4 trampler that gets us additional cards when we manage to get through? Sign me up, and double the power with Mr. Orfeo, the Boulder while you’re at it. If you’re building around the new Zangief from the Street Fighter Secret Lair, this is solidly on theme regarding the use of excess damage, and if not, it’s a solid addition to Jund decks looking for a reasonable value play.

 

Header - Artifacts

Luxior, Giada’s Gift

Luxior, Giada's Gift

Yes, we have plenty of combo potential here. Devoted Druid is an obvious starting point, but I honestly just want to put this on a high-loyalty planeswalker, give that planeswalker some kind of boots for shroud or hexproof value, and beat down while continuing to activate. I can’t wait to get killed by a Karn Liberated who’s holding this.

Unlicensed Hearse

Unlicensed Hearse

If you’re interested in Vehicles at all, this is an interesting piece of graveyard hate, but you have to try to figure out when it’s safe to put it at risk. Once you start attacking, graveyard appreciators will try to kill it so they can get their shenanigans going again! 

 

Header - Lands

“Family” Lands

Botanical PlazaRacers' RingSkybridge TowersTramway StationWaterfront District

In budget or rarity-restricted lists, these are going to be solid dual land options. Outside of that, I’m unconvinced. I’m sad we only get the allied ones, but that makes sense in a world of shards, I guess.

“Family” Fetches

Brokers HideoutCabaretti CourtyardMaestros TheaterObscura StorefrontRiveteers Overlook

These don’t have color identity restriction issues, so you can play them even if you’re only in some of the colors listed if you’re really in need of more Terramorphic Expanses. Again, budget/rarity restricted lists will want these, especially since three color mana bases are tough on the wallet.

Triomes

Jetmir's GardenRaffine's TowerSpara's HeadquartersXander's LoungeZiatora's Proving Ground

Finally, the Triome cycle is complete! Which ones will have harder names to remember? Probably still the Triomes? Okay. Anyway, these are fantastic and you should play them, just like the Triomes. They’re fetchable, they’re cyclable, they’re good.

Okay! That’s everything in the main set. See you soon with the Commander-specific set review!

 

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