We have our very first previews from the upcoming set Streets of New Capenna! It will be centered around five “families,” which each correspond to a combination of three colors. Our first round of previews includes five new Triomes and one enchantment, all of which look powerful, useful and exciting!
Let’s start with Brokers Ascendancy. Right off the bat, “Ascendancy” is a throwback to a cycle of tricolor enchantments from Khans of Tarkir (see Jeskai Ascendancy and Abzan Ascendancy for examples). These provided powerful static effects that fell in line with the theme of the color combination, and provided you and your creatures with a long-run advantage. Brokers Ascendancy will probably be no different.
Perhaps the Brokers will have some sort of +1/+1 counter theme. It’s also possible that Brokers Ascendancy is simply a powerful standalone card. Because at face value, this enchantment is awesome. Giving all of your creatures +1/+1 is a pretty fair rate at three mana, and getting to repeat that effect every turn accumulates to a massive advantage if you can keep creatures on the battlefield for the long haul. That’s not even to mention increasing the power and survivability of your planeswalkers.
To help evaluate Brokers Ascendancy, let’s compare it to a couple of different cards.
Basri’s Solidarity is a fair rate. If you can deploy a few creatures, you get a good amount of power and toughness for your troubles and can even tap into some +1/+1 counter synergies.
Glorious Anthem is also a fair rate. It costs one more mana, but has the very significant advantage that it will also pump up future creatures, which hit the battlefield afterwards.
Brokers Ascendancy has this nice quality, that it benefits future creatures as well as existing ones. However, it does have one flaw relative to the above cards, which is that its impact is on delay. You can’t cast it and immediately make a big attack into opposing blockers.
Generally, this is a bad quality for Constructed Magic. You’d rather have your impact frontloaded, to put you in a winning position right away, rather than backloaded. It’s generally harder to claw back from behind than it is to preserve an existing advantage.
All told, my assessment is that Brokers Ascendancy is so powerful that it makes up for this downside. It’s less of an aggro White Weenie card and more of a midrange card. It will be particularly good for decks interested in blocking, and interested in playing slightly longer games. It will also be an outrageous Limited bomb.
First, and most obviously, they tap for three colors of mana. That’s awesome for facilitating multicolor strategies. Right now, the mana in Standard and Alchemy is great for two-color decks with plenty of dual lands, plus Pathways and Forsaken Crossroads, but it’s not necessarily great for decks of more colors.
Change that opening hand to Jetmir’s Garden and Barkchannel Pathway and now you’re all set! Trilands are essential for players who want to tap into three or more colors, or even for casting double-colored cards in two colors.
Next, these lands cycle for three man. This provides insurance against mana flood, and helps you have a play to make on every turn. Top-decking a Mountain on turn 10 is typically extremely unhelpful. But top-decking Ziatora’s Proving Ground gives you another shot at a fresh draw.
Cycling also makes these lands especially good with cards that put them into your hand from your library or graveyard. Here are a few examples, across multiple formats.
Finally, the trilands have the basic land types of all of the corresponding colors. This may not seem like much, but there are a number of cases where it’s a very big deal.
Going back as far as Modern, you can use “fetchlands” like Verdant Catacombs to find trilands. This makes for a mana base with extremely reliable access to many different colors of mana.
Here’s what Ozymandias172, a specialist of older formats like Legacy, has to say about these lands.
It makes sense to finish out the triome cycle, but I think they are a net negative for Modern/Pioneer.
Removing mana restrictions homogenizes more decks towards 4C soup nonsense while pushing out 2/3 color midrange/control. Money pile/Niv aren't particularly fun gameplay either.
— Matthew (@Ozymandias172) March 3, 2022
Several modern decks already play 2-3 triomes. The 5c niv mana base in pioneer had like 10 triomes and 4c omnath and 4c ascendancy play them too.
— Matthew (@Ozymandias172) March 4, 2022
“Net positive” or “net negative” is outside the scope of today’s article, but it’s important to note that these lands have Modern and Legacy players talking. Allow me to translate some of this discussion.
The fetchland plus triland mana base that’s available in Modern makes it remarkably easy to play four and five colors. This lessens the need for players to be conservative with mana bases of only two or three colors. Once more players are playing with four and five colors, you start to see the best cards in the format showing up in all the decks. Everyone gets to play with Expressive Iteration, Wrenn and Six and Prismatic Ending (a few examples) when everyone is playing many-color mana bases.
Two cards which come up over and over again when it comes to the trilands are Omnath, Locus of Creation and Niv-Mizzet Reborn. The power level of these cards is through the roof – a payoff for constructing a complex many-color mana base. The trilands make these mana bases much easier. In other words, the cost of these cards goes down while the payoff for playing them remains extremely high.
To put it simply, these lands are guaranteed to see play in virtually every format they’re legal. For a simple man like me, I’ll probably stick to four Ziatora’s Proving Grounds in my Standard Jund deck, and one in my Modern Jund deck to search for with Verdant Catacombs and Bloodstained Mire.
More advanced strategies could easily see eight to 12 trilands supporting four colors in Standard, Alchemy and Historic. Modern Omnath and Niv-Mizzet decks will play one copy of several different trilands so that a turn one fetchland can fix for whatever colors the situation calls for.
They also facilitate easy splashes. For example, imagine a Dimir deck that wants to play a few copies of Valki, God of Lies. Well, playing with Xander’s Lounge fixes for blue and black, but also allows you to cast the Tibalt backside in games that go long.
These lands are so good they’ll even see play in two-color decks. I often find myself wanting a ninth dual land beyond the Pathways and “slow lands.” So in my Orzhov deck, I might start my mana base with four Brightclimb Pathway, four Shattered Sanctum and one or two copies of Raffine’s Tower. The cycling ability makes it a high quality land even for decks that don’t take advantage of all three colors!
You might want to save up a few Arena wildcards to craft your favorite triland when New Capenna comes out.