Along with Streets of New Capenna, we’re getting five new preconstructed New Capenna Commander decks on April 29! That means tons of new cards tailor-made for my favorite format, and I’m going to review them all right here!
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. When you inevitably disagree with a review (or think I skipped something good), please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!
Leading the Maestros Massacre deck is Anhelo, who focuses on sacrificing creatures to copy instants and sorceries. Casualty 2 will require a steady stream of creatures to sacrifice, so getting Talrand going early will ensure you have a solid stream of fodder after your first spell. Casualty goes great with magecraft abilities, so try Deekah, Veyran, Professor Onyx and more!
Henzie “Toolbox” Torre
Riveteers Rampage features “Toolbox”, who lets you cast costly creatures from your hand in Fast and Furious mode. Since your creatures will be Gone in 60 Seconds, you’ll want to fill your list with great ETB/dies effects that leave a board behind. Cheaper options like Beetleback Chief are a great start, but going all the way up to cards like Wurmcoil Engine, Triplicate Titan and more allows you to better leverage the discount from Toolbox’s static ability. Throw in Sneak Attack, Ilharg and more as backup! Also, if you’re feeling nasty, try Protean Hulk.
Kamiz, Obscura Oculus
Kamiz is in charge of the Obscura Operation deck, and I like that it’s not totally linear. You want to be attacking with multiple creatures so that you can make one unblockable, do a conniving loot and then make a smaller creature have double strike. My two basic ideas are “saboteur” creatures that have effects when they hit players – give your already evasive ones (which are generally smaller) the double strike and make the larger ones unblockable. Specters and Ophidian-style creatures make sense for the smaller portion, while Mindleech Mass and Spawning Kraken are sensible high end cards. A Ninja theme also works!
Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva
Kitt Kanto, the headliner for Cabaretti Cacophony, wins my “most likely to be mistaken for an obscure Jedi” award for this set. “Cat Bard Druid” is also a heck of a type line! All that aside, I love that we have another goad commander. Load up with some token generators and throw in goad cards that play well with wide boards, such as Grenzo, Havoc Raiser and Marisi, Breaker of the Coil. Laurine, the Diversion also lets you sacrifice artifacts or creatures to goad more and more. Just make sure you have a plan to take out whoever’s left at the end!
Perrie, the Pulverizer
Finally, Perrie is the display commander for Bedecked Brokers. One quick note – for fans of Palliation Accord, that card’s counters are getting changed to “palliation counters”, so no shenanigans will be possible there. That said, you can easily rack up tons of relevant counters – +1/+1 counters and their relatives are a start, and ability counters from Ikoria make plenty of sense, but see if you can work in brick, charge, component, depletion, divinity, enlightened, fade, flood, gold, harmony, invitation, isolation, landmark, lore, loyalty, manifestation, mining, page, point, slime, slumber, storage, suspect, time and wish counters – and that’s just the beginning!
The Beamtown Bullies
So we’re intentionally giving away creatures from our own graveyard and forcing other players to attack with them. The nonlegendary clause rules out Phage shenanigans, but there are plenty of other possibilities. Leveler, Inverter of Truth and Eater of Days have horrible enters the battlefield triggers, and Ebonblade Reaper’s attack trigger is hilarious as well.
Kros, Defense Contractor
The increased focus on politics in these decks is immediately obvious! Passing counters to opposing creatures is a fun way to equalize things around the board, with cards like Evolutionary Escalation, Tempt with Glory and Orzhov Advokist playing a solid role in this type of strategy. You may want cards like Propaganda and Ghostly Prison to set up a little bit of a pillow fort when Kros isn’t around to protect you. Instant speed ways to add counters to creatures if you’re concerned you might be attacked are good ideas too!
Parnesse, the Subtle Brush
I love the idea of selectively allowing opponents to copy my spells. Commanders that turn politics into mechanics in a way that’s actually powerful are really exciting to me! Removal spells are, of course, fun options, since your permanents effectively have “ward – pay 4 life.” That said, you don’t just get to give away spells whenever you want – you have to go through the effort of copying them yourself first, which seems like a lot of work to get what you want. It works fine with built-in copy mechanics like casualty, but you’re going to want permanents like Double Vision and Echo Mage to copy your spells over and over so you’re not stuck holding a grip of Twincasts.
Phabine, Boss’s Confidant
Parley returns on a commander! If you get Citizens off the trigger, you get to attack with them that turn, as they have haste, and the simultaneous draw means you get first crack at sorcery-speed goodies in your second main phase. Adding additional combats and copying the parley trigger both seem like great ways to leverage Phabine, especially since the +1/+1s will persist throughout the rest of your turn. I would push the additional combat theme to take advantage of Legion Warboss, Goblin Rabblemaster, Loyal Apprentice and other such token generators that trigger in beginning of combat, which means Impact Tremors and the alliance cards from this set would all work wonders.
Tivit, Seller of Secrets
Finally, a voting-centric commander! Dig up all your council’s dilemma and will of the council cards for this one… all 13 of them, not counting Tivit. Baldur’s Gate doesn’t seem like a voting-type setting, so I’m concerned Tivit’s a little undersupported and will be for the foreseeable future. That said, the ETB/damage trigger alone is quite strong, and if you just want to play Tivit for value and throw in your favorite Esper cards, that should be totally fine.
Eric Levine, also known as RagingLevine, is an accomplished Magic Judge, having head judged many Grand Prix events as well as the Mythic Championship. He's been writing about Commander since 2012 and enjoys building casual, fun decks to play with friends after long days at tournaments.