The preview stream heralding Streets of New Capenna, the latest upcoming expansion set for Magic: The Gathering, has come at last! This set is based on 1920's Prohibition-era culture and is lavish, extravagant, and, of course, rife with ties to mobster families. Let's take a look at what Streets of New Capenna has to offer us!
Mechanics of Streets of New Capenna
As is often the case regarding sets where a faction-based system is put in place, New Capenna has five factions (known here as "families"), each vying for a degree of control of the city. Because of the factions, the set has a few set-specific mechanics to represent the five crime families of the plane.
The first we will discuss is Casualty. Casualty is the mechanic of the Maestros, a blue, black, and red-aligned family who are gifted in the ways of the arts, both performing and visual. Because of this, their spells have a tendency to multiply with their kills.
Casualty N (As you cast this spell, you may sacrifice a creature with power N or greater. When you do, copy this spell.)
For a small example of how Casualty affects play, let's look at the card A Little Chat:
As you can see, by sacrificing a creature with a power of 1 or greater when you cast this spell, you get to use this card's effects not once, but twice. Clearly, this mechanic could get pretty out-of-hand quite fast with spells from Strixhaven or even Ikoria's Commander cards like Twinning Staff. Imagine the possibilities!
The next mechanic we will discuss is Connive. This keyworded ability, featured by the white, blue, and black-aligned Obscura family and likely to only be on creatures due to its wording, has been revealed in an official capacity by Wizards of the Coast through the card Raffine, Scheming Seer. To Connive N, you draw N cards and discard N cards, then put +1/+1 counters on the creature with the ability equal to the number of nonland cards discarded this way.
For a frame of reference, this is what Raffine will look like in its showcase frame:
Each of the five family bosses will have showcase art as well as a smattering of other cards in this Magic: The Gathering set. Moving on!
The next card mechanic we will be discussing isn't exactly a keyword, per se, but it functions similarly to one with counters involved. Shield counters, used by the Brokers, the green, white, and blue-aligned crime family of Streets of New Capenna, typically are used for the protection of a creature, granting the creature a pseudo-indestructibility.
Of course, in addition, shield counters can become a resource as well. Just look at the Brokers' boss, Falco Spara, Pactweaver:
This use of shield counters as currency is likely not going to just be on Falco Spara, but other cards may only care about shield counters versus other kinds of counters.
The next keyword to discuss is Blitz. Blitz is rather similar to the Dash mechanic in that it cheats out a creature for a turn, but it is dissimilar in that the creature is sacrificed – although, upon that sacrifice, it then replaces itself with a card drawn into hand. The sacrifice mechanic of the black, red, and green-aligned Riveteers most certainly can synergize with the Maestros and their Casualty mechanic.
The demon dragon Ziatora, boss of the Riveteers, we have learned, has not yet been revealed prior to the stream. Here she is, in all her demonic, draconic glory:
Ziatora, the Incinerator, is a card that works well with Blitz in that you can have her triggered ability resolve before the Blitz end-step trigger does. In this way, you can draw a card and capitalize on Ziatora's strengths at the same time, which is convenient and powerful.
The final new keyworded mechanic in Streets of New Capenna is a take on an older, more common triggered ability. Alliance, used by the Cabaretti crime family, simply triggers when another creature enters the battlefield. This sounds easy to accomplish, but it definitely can have more complex play patterns than it seems.
This set has other themes that have been recurring in Magic: The Gathering for a few sets now, but before we get to that we have one more mechanic, this time one that is returning after much time away (barring one card): Its hideaway! Hideaway has been given new errata, it seems, so that the cards revealed to you are put on the bottom of their owner's library in a random order, rather than any order. This is different from Lorwyn's Hideaway lands and from Watcher For Tomorrow, a creature from the first Modern Horizons set. Need proof? Here's a preview in the form of Wiretapping:
Finally, for our showcase, we have something sickening but seemingly benign as well. Here is Urabrask, Heretic Praetor:
And, as always with the Praetors of New Phyrexia, here is Urabrask's Phyrexian-text version:
These were a bunch of the cards showcased in the premier stream for Streets of New Capenna's preview season. If there are any more on the stream, and it's quite possible that there are, you can find the stream on YouTube and Twitch. Meanwhile, what do you think about these previews? Are they interesting to brew around? Do the cards look fun? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!