If you’re an Arena player with a limited budget, here’s the list of cards you can craft with your MTG Arena wildcards on day one – guilt free – without feeling like you’re wasting any value. If you’re more interested in strategy than finances, then consider this to be the list of cards that I think will be most widely played from Streets of New Capenna in Standard and the other Magic Arena Constructed formats.
There’s no need to follow this power ranking completely. The most expensive thing to do on Arena is to switch frequently between decks and colors. On the other hand, if you can hone in on a smaller number of color combinations or strategies that appeal to you, all the better. Craft the cards that fit your preferences and ignore the ones that are likely to idle in your collection.
These are a few cards that I think could be playable in older formats, like Modern. Luxior, Giada’s Gift pairs well with Urza’s Saga and Devoted Druid. Scheming Fence is excellent against planeswalkers and nonland sources of mana. Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer has a Chord of Calling-like feel for creature-based combo decks.
However, since the stated goal here is to spend Arena wildcards effectively, and Modern isn’t available on Arena, these didn’t quite make the final list.
Common wildcards are trivial, but here are a few commons which I think will be significant players.
4. Jewel Thief
A body that’s a real threat, plus a Treasure, for three mana.
3. Inspiring Overseer
A creature that replaces itself with a card, and triggers any life gain synergies you might have. As an Angel, it also has a highly-relevant creature type (more on that to come). I’ve already lost to Inspiring Overseer in Standard.
2. Big Score
Unexpected Windfall already sees significant play. Big Score does the same thing, at a slightly easier mana cost. It’s guaranteed to be useful.
An efficient and effective removal spell. Get your playset on day one.
Rare wildcards tend to be the scarcest commodities, So I’ll spend the most time on those. But first, I have my top five uncommons and mythics.
5. Corpse Appraiser
Another example of a three-drop creature that replaces itself. I’m a fan of Corpse Appraiser, and intend to try out some Grixis Vampires decks.
4. Nimble Larcenist
Even better than the old Sin Collector, which was a widely-played Constructed card.
3. Obscura Charm
Obscura Charm scales in power level with the quality of your three-mana gold permanents. There’s no shortage of those (many appear on this very list!). I think Obscura Charm will be highly useful.
2. Color Hosers
This is a cycle of color hate cards at uncommon. Every single one of them will be useful sideboard cards. The one I like the most is Whack, which kills many problematic creatures including Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Yasharn, Implacable Earth, Jetmir, Nexus of Revels and Raffine, Scheming Seer.
1. Riveteers Charm
Riveteers Charm is probably the best answer in all of Standard for Goldspan Dragon. If that’s not enough for you, it’s a versatile removal spell for both creatures and planeswalkers that gets around ward, shield counters and most other protective measures. It has a second mode where it can be cashed in for card advantage, meaning it will never be a dead card.
You don’t need as many mythic wildcards as rare wildcards, since staple four-ofs (like dual lands) tend to be normal rares. Nonetheless, your mythics are often the most powerful cards in your deck, and it can be stressful to run out of wilds, particularly as a new player. Here are my picks for the most useful New Capenna Mythics.
5. Raffine, Scheming Seer
A highly efficient creature which can be a standalone threat, buff your other creatures and offer significant card selection.
4. Elspeth Resplendent
Elspeth Resplendent is a powerful planeswalker. With her second ability, she can dig you towards whatever permanents are most important for your particular deck. When you resolve Elspeth, you’ll wind up pairing her with another three-mana permanent, and pass the turn with two threats the opponent now needs to deal with.
3. Jetmir, Nexus of Revels
You can usually count on Jetmir to be a 6/4 trample, vigilance for four mana. He also pumps the rest of your team and represents a one-shot kill if you can ever pull ahead enough to have nine creatures on the battlefield.
2. Titan of Industry
Titan of Industry is significantly more powerful than any top-end threat currently available in Standard. It has a great ability to stabilize the battlefield, and will become the premier haymaker for ramp decks.
1. Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
This is the card everyone’s been talking about. I don’t think you can go wrong with any deck that has Ob Nixilis and a reasonable shell of supporting cards.
10. Topiary Stomper
I love Topiary Stomper. You get mana ramping up front and some additional value waiting on delay when you hit your seventh land. Even before it can attack and block, there might be some nice uses for the body, such as crewing vehicles or enabling fight spells.
9. Maestros Diabolist
Maestros Diabolist is a great midrange creature that provides fuel for casualty by generating a steady stream of Devil tokens. It also happens to be a Vampire if that’s interesting to you.
8. Park Heights Pegasus
7. Evelyn, the Covetous
I’ve been enjoying Evelyn in Vampires as well as in non-tribal midrange decks. She provides a lot of value over the course of a few turns, and as a five-toughness flash creature, she doesn’t walk into too many removal spells.
6. Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second
There’s no limit to the ways you can create Treasures, Citizens and other tokens right now. Jinnie Fay can upgrade them all into 2/2 haste Cats, which is remarkably powerful.
5. Endless Detour
Endless Detour is the definition of flexibility, able to handle virtually any problem, at virtually any time it comes up.
4. Void Rend
Similarly, Void Rend is capable of dealing with any nonland permanent at instant speed, with no questions asked. Remember that it’s not just permission spells the ability cuts through, but also ward abilities.
3. Giada, Font of Hope
Giada is one of the most powerful tribal enablers ever printed. With many strong Angels and other life gain synergies available, I think Giada will wind up seeing a lot of play across both competitive and casual formats.
2. Tenacious Underdog
One the strongest black weenie creatures I’ve ever seen. Two remarkable things about Tenacious Underdog are that it has no restrictions on blocking, and that it doesn’t say “exile” anywhere on the card! This means that you can trade it off in the early game, and then blitz it as many times as you like once it’s ended up in the graveyard.
The new “Triomes” will be staples across multiple formats. They represent a significant appeal for playing one of the three-color combinations represented in Streets of New Capenna. Play one and your color requirements are pretty much set for the rest of the game. You can cycle them, search for them when the opponent hits you with Boseiju, Who Endures and in Historic, they’ll even make your Castles enter the battlefield untapped. Once you’ve picked your favorite color combination, investing in the corresponding “Triome” land certainly won’t do you wrong.
Let me know what I missed, and which cards you’re most excited for coming out of Streets of New Capenna.