Streets of New Capenna is tough to evaluate. It clearly has a lot of powerful cards, but where they fit and how they interact with the rest of Magic’s storied history is still hard to predict. Regardless, there are some clear winners when it comes to the best cards in the set, with plenty to get excited about whatever format is your preference.
One for the Commander players first. This could have been Lord Xander, the Collector or even Urabrask, Heretic Praetor, but Jetmir is just more powerful and less likely to lose you friends. This Cat Demon is a monster as the general of a token deck where its trivial to have nine creatures under your control.
The Gala Greeters aren’t that exciting on the surface. A two-mana 1/1 Elf Druid doesn’t exactly blow minds. The rules text though, changes that significantly. This thing can ramp, gain life and turn itself into a genuine threat in short order. Pair this with a creature heavy deck, or token production in your Jetmir deck, and you have a very powerful card indeed.
Ascendancy cards have done some pretty cool things in the past, and now that we’re back in a three-color block, they can shine once again. Brokers Ascendancy is the best of the bunch; it fits in a creature deck, counters deck, superfriends deck and is a massive bomb in Limited. It has the drawback of not doing anything until the end of the turn it enters play, but a few turn cycles with this can get out of hand so fast that drawback is acceptable.
Two cards for two mana is a solid rate, and in decks that want to fill the graveyard, the drawback can be a massive advantage. In older formats such as Modern, it won’t be too difficult to make this extremely powerful, and should see play if there’s a decent control deck in Standard too.
Already controversial, this Treasure token generator is a beast in Commander. It allows players to build a frankly absurd number of Treasure tokens at rapid pace, and makes holding up mana completely risk-free. Paired with Seedborn Muse or Wilderness Reclamation, this is absolutely insane value.
Arguably the best of the charm cycle, this has a ton of utility in many formats. It will likely see play in Modern Jund sideboards, as well as handling creatures with ward in Standard. The three modes are all good, and this is never a dead card even in the late game.
4. Void Rend
A phenomenal answer to almost anything. The only real drawback is that mana cost, having to pay white, blue and black is not always easy, but in the right deck this is a powerhouse removal spell that has the massive bonus of being uncounterable. The only way it could be better is if it exiled, but destroying any nonland permanent for three mana, guaranteed, is a great rate.
Luxior has incredible potential because of its use in Modern. Paired with Devoted Druid, you can create infinite mana. Of course, you can already do that with Vizier of Remedies, but this is a card you can find with Urza’s Saga or Stoneforge Mystic, and is reasonably powerful in other decks too. This equipped to Heliod, Sun Crowned, is a heck of a beating once he’s able to attack.
Ob Nixilis is back, and he’s brought a friend; Ob Nixilis. The return of a classic character is always welcome, even more so if the card he appears on is good. Ob is a powerful three-mana ‘walker that can be two three-mana walkers by just sacrificing a creature. Plenty of decks actually want to do that, and even in a midrange deck, having two planeswalkers pumping out tokens or making your opponent discard cards is going to build advantage fast. The -7 ability is fantastic too – if you’ve played against Griselbrand, you’ll know exactly why.
1. The ‘Triomes’
The three-colored lands that we last saw in Ikoria are back, completing the cycle. These are going to be staples for Commander and Standard players, and see fringe play elsewhere. Coming in tapped is definitely a drawback, but two advantages balance that out – they’re fetchable because they include basic land types, and cycling means they’re rarely a dead draw.