Like any new main set release, there’s sure to be some Standard shakeup, and Streets of New Capenna is no exception. Here are my top 10 New Capenna Standard cards I believe will be the most impactful.
10. Riveteers Charm
Riveteers Charm looks like the best one to me of the entire cycle and Jund Midrange should be pretty happy to run four copies. Being able to kill your opponent’s best creature or planeswalker for three mana is already a solid deal, but the real MVP ability of this card should be casting it at the end of your opponent’s turn for three new cards. Thanks to the wording saying “you may play those cards,” this also includes lands.
9. Nimble Larcenist
This card may be a bit controversial on this list and probably looks very unassuming until you realize that around 20 to 30 percent of every deck’s mana base in Standard are double faced cards that are usually instant or sorcery cards on the front side. Even though the body is quite small for the investment, the ability is incredible against slower decks and should make this card a nightmare for control decks.
8. Tenacious Underdog
Every time I tried to build a black/X aggro deck in Standard, I usually lament at the poor available two-drops I’m presented with. Tenacious Underdog isn’t going to break Standard, but it is a solid high-power creature to curve out with that can be used as a casualty. Thanks to blitz saying “sacrifice” at the end step and not “exile”, you can also keep bringing it back from your graveyard every turn against control decks.
7. Giada, Font of Hope
Angel decks are always popular and Giada is a much needed two-drop that fits right into the Orzhov build that was already making waves earlier in the past format. Thanks to the buff, your creatures should always be bigger than your opponent’s, the ramp ability is amazing and the body itself isn’t bad either.
6. Ziatora’s Envoy
If Jund Midrange becomes an archetype, this guy will be the centerpiece of it. For four mana, you get quite a decent body that doesn’t get blocked easily thanks to trample. Once it connects, you get to play a land or spell from the top of your library or put it into your hand if it’s something like a removal spell when your opponent doesn’t have a good target in play. I thought that was already quite good, but you get to cast it without paying the mana cost?! Ziatora’s Envoy will be a must-kill creature for every deck, because if they ever let you untap with it and clear the way with removal, there will be no stopping it.
5. Obcsura Interceptor
This 3/1 creature combination of Mystic Snake, Remand and Vendilion Clique with lifelink on top looks like a great tempo play. If your opponent plays into it with a big spell, great, you essentially got yourself an instant speed Time Walk. And if they don’t? Just flash in the 3/1 flyer that will help you in the damage race and continue building your board.
4. Elspeth Resplendent
Orzhov Midrange is one of the biggest players in Standard at the moment with cards like Wedding Announcement, The Restoration of Eiganjo, Welcoming Vampire and Luminarch Aspirant. What do they all have in common? They all cost three or less mana, making Elspeth an excellent play on an empty board that immediately brings another threat with her, making it quite difficult for the opponent to deal with the problem. Combined with Brokers Ascendancy, you can even ultimate her ability on the very next turn after you play her!
3. The Triomes
Lands that produce three different colors and cycle on top of that are usually so valuable that oftentimes even a slow two-color deck will be happy to play some. Thanks to Triomes, Pathways and slowlands, it should be fairly trivial to build three, four or even five-color decks in this new Standard format.
2. Workshop Warchief
Thragtusk is back and this time it picked up a blitz ability to boot. Every green midrange deck should be happy to run three or four copies between its main deck and sideboard, and actually even control will be happy to board them in against anything aggressive. As a fan of aggro decks myself, I can already feel the struggle of trying to fight through multiple Workshop Warchiefs against every green opponent.
1. Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
I believe that Ob Nixilis is going to be even better than it looks and will dominate Standard for months to come. Three mana for not one, but possibly two planeswalkers that can tear apart your opponent’s hand in a few turns or help you defend them with Devils is a crazy deal, especially considering that Standard offers a lot of cheap fodder like Voldaren Epicure, Shambling Ghast, Eyetwitch, Unlucky Witness or Skyclave Shade. And if your opponent would rather keep the cards (for a few turns anyway), they will be losing life at a rapid pace, which plays right into your aggressive plan.