G'day cEDH players, Jake FitzSimons here, fresh off the streets with a review of New Capenna. I was bound to love this set on account of all the mobster movie references, and I love it even more for all the cEDH staples it includes. This is a long one, so let's hop right in!
We're starting a little soft, andis hard to evaluate. Unless you can guarantee that the permanent your opponent gets back is completely useless, this is strict card disadvantage. You spend a card and two mana to get back a card, and one opponent will get back a card of their own. Bringing back a spent from an opponent is fine, but in that case all you'll be able to get is a fetchland or a zero drop yourself. This could feasibly be great, but it's far from reliable. I think all too often it will rot in your hand without decent targets.
Rhystic Racoons? Racoon Study? Chittering Tithe? I'm not sure what stupid nickname I'll give this but I do know I think it's pretty good. Usually cards that rely on your opponents doing something they aren't guaranteed to do is a risky gambit, but the number of cards that trigger is higher than you might think.
Most obviously, fetchlands will trigger the Treasure clause. You'll see a littlein cEDH, but it's not much to bank on, whereas nearly every deck runs every fetch it can. Yes, your opponents can wait to crack their fetch to keep you from your Treasure, but this won't always be convenient for them.
More interesting is the draw. It's a shame you won't get the card when your opponent gets theirs, but it does mean it plays much better with a Wheel that you or your opponents cast because you'll draw three cards in the end step either way. How reliable is the draw otherwise? Here's a list of staples that will always trigger it:, , , , , Wheel of (Mis)Fortune, , and . Here's a list of staples that will occasionally trigger it: , , , , .
And finally (and I think this is what matters) the list of commanders that will trigger it.is the most reliable and popular, but you've also got both Selvalas, Sythis, Rielle, Kels, Korvold, Tevesh, Chulane, Edric, Shorikai, occasionally Thrasios, rarely Kraum, and of course, GITROG. The poor frog can't help but trigger both halves of every turn. All up, I think this card advantage engine is going to pan out quite nicely and make it into a lot of white decks happy to play a slower game.
An Offer You Can't Refuse
Better than? Ohhh, fuggedaboutit! Better than , , ? Ayyy, thinkaboutit! It feels like it could be, but I'll concede this is a polarising card and it might be one that needs a lot of testing given how low the floor can be.
Now, giving an opponent two Treasures is a horrible downside, but for an unconditional counter against any non-creature, I think the juice is worth the squeeze. What I care more about is that I can answer, , , or all with the same card and all for one mana.
Ideally, this will be the last counter you use, not only because it's near universal whereas other one mana interaction pieces carry conditions, but because it's worse the earlier you use it. you even stand to draw a couple of cards. I'm also sure will figure out a way to break it, because why wouldn't he?and are so ubiquitous that this will feel like a one mana now and then. If you happen to have a
Errant, Street Artist
A copy effect that can only copy other copies that weren't cast is cool, but extremely hard to build around. If you can get a copy ofonto the stack without casting it (no, won't work) you can probably go infinite with , but even then you'll need an actual wincon. Too much trouble for too little payoff. I can see Errant finding a home in some Krark lists, but I'm sure they've got better ways to get more copies than paying for an activated ability.
This thing is pushed. While a 1/3 flyer for two mana that grows would make for a passableattacker, it wouldn't see play. But the Connive mechanic from New Capenna, that's the real kicker here.
I'm probably being too pedantic here, but I've seen a lot of discussion aboutbeing "card advantage". It may only be a difference of terminology, but I would call this card "selection" rather than advantage. The difference between filtering cards and actually drawing cards is significant.
Nitpicking aside,is still incredible, because card selection at this rate can almost be better than advantage. Short of a coming down, it's safe to say that most of your opponents are going to be casting two cards per turn, particularly early on. And while they are, you're filtering through library like a lunatic. Something I missed on first glance with this card is that it specifies any player. You can trigger it yourself, which makes it much more reliable than I first thought, and makes it pretty likely you can Connive the turn you play it.
I thinkwill show up in a lot of the same places that does, and absolutely shine in certain lists. Anything looking to fill their bin for or looking to get involved with shenanigans is going to get a lot of milage out of this birb. I'm particularly excited to see it in .
There's some stiff competition, but this is the funniest card in the set. The idea of turning something like The Gitrog Monster or Ruric Thar into a legitimate businessperson is too good. I can see the frog now, shuffling about on a train on the way to work, grumbling about how things were different back in the Nephalian Highlands, how he never had to fill out tax forms in the mud of Lake Zhava.
As for how good the card actually is, it's hard to say.has seen a little play in the past, so it's not like the effect is bad, it's just hard to justify over more conventional removal. The difference between this and Transformation is that this doesn't cantrip, but saving one mana is fantastic. More than that, having additional blue cards is always nice for the sake of .
Shadow of Mortality
A fifteen mana spell in cEDH would be a complete joke ifand didn't exist. While most Smasher decks eschew maximising her raw damage, committed fans remain, and I imagine will be right up their alley. But Yuriko doesn't need to be asked twice. She's already playing double digit jank for the sake of the flips. Both and float in and out of Yuriko decks, but Shadow offers something else entirely - it isn't a completely dead card!
Draco can't do a thing, and while Blinkmoth can be exiled to blue counters it's usually useless. But Shadow? It's not uncommon you'll go below 28 life, even when you're the one playing beatdown. And when you do, you have a 7/7 for two black mana. Some cEDH decks just aren't equipped to deal with something so big.
Get ready to eat a lot of knuckle sandwiches. This is's little sister and for just three mana, she'll generate you three treasures every combat step like the queen she is. I adore in Yuriko, and this kind of payoff is incredible for combat centric decks. In fact, I'd wager any deck that plans on attacking regularly will consider this a mandatory inclusion. This card is particularly exciting for and for that very reason, and that's just the Treasure production.
The treasure consumption is just as powerful For one thing, PFB becomes a pseudo-Tymna herself, giving you three impulse draws per turn if you're happy to sacrifice all three Treasures. This not only makes PFB a value engine by itself, but a truly wild one in decks that naturally produce treasures, like, , and of course, . Even better, it works as a wincon. While most decks capable of looping Dockside infinitely will have an outlet for the mana in the command zone, PFB allows you to exile and play your entire library in the event you can't access your commander.
An automatic staple, and another bright feather in red's cap.
Seize the Spotlight
Traditional Magic theory would tell you that cards that give your opponent's choices are often terrible. They're always going to choose the option most beneficial to them, so it's borderline impossible to determine what will actually happen when you cast such a spell. There's no consistency. But what if your opponents don't really have a choice?
Enter any commander that functions as a sac outlet. Commanders likeand change the equation, and make StS read more like "your opponent loses their best creature or gives you a treasure and a card". In most pods and at most stages of the game, this makes three mana to create three treasures and draw three cards.
It's niche, but where it works, it can shine.
The second "build your own" of the set. While is a much worse turn one play - unless you happen to have a memnite - it's a much better turn three or later play. It lacks the topdeck interaction that the pirate monkey has, but it's also mana neutral if you can immediately swing with the creature you enchanted. Better yet, menace often feels like true unblockable, and if it happens anyway, you get a card in return.
Just like, I see this card finding a home in most red decks concerned with the combat step. Magda and Tymna decks will love this, and I see a lot of potential in , where making her evasive and mana positive on each swing simplifies the requirements for the turn she goes infinite.
Vivien on the Hunt
Not the firsteffect we've seen, but possibly the winner of the silver medal. Despite costing six mana, can do exactly what pod does, and is crucially not an artifact. This means she can be run safely alongside and , a massive upside given that decks looking for pod effects are often stax heavy and trying to fight the artifact meta.
Vivien also provides here.yet another way to win off a single card, this time with . Simply activate Minsc for zero, have Rector die and fetch out Vivien, and proceed to win by chaining Vivien activations. It's also important that while Vivien costs more to play, the total amount of mana needed for the combo line is the same whether you use Vivien or Birthing Pod. I don't have the space to go through these lines here, but you can read a great primer right
Luxior, Giada's Gift
Someone at Wizards is obsessed with. This is the second set in a row with a that will make infinite mana with everyone's favorite Llorwyn mana dork. Simply equip and start loading up as many -1/-1 counters as you see fit. is kept safe from harm because while you're constantly adding -1/-1 counters, the passive effect of is increasing the Druid's P/T by +1/+1 in direct proportion.
Now, the question must be asked, did we really need another way to make infinite green? No, not really. If you're in the market,is cheaper, faster, and gets around summoning sickness. The exception is Ardenn and Thrasios, where tutoring for and equipping artifacts couldn't be easier and the infinite mana outlet is already taken care of.
Targeted gravehate is a lovely addition to the growing pool of colorless cards that can answer cEDH problems. While crewing and attacking with thewill only come up frequently in decks (seriously, how many news cards does that girl need), it might come in handy in a particularly grindy game.
The only issue I see with this card is that it needs to tap. A lot of decks I'd play a card like this in (decks where I'm desperate for more ways to answer graveyards) would also want to be runningor .
Evelyn, the Covetous
The bar for Grixis commanders is simultaneously high and low. It's low in the sense that the average Grixis 99 is so obnoxiously powerful that pretty much any Commander will do, but high in the sense that the good Grixis commanders are so ridiculously strong that it's hard for a new one to make itself worthwhile. And then there's.
First, to her cost. Five mana is more than any other played Grixis commander, but it comes with two big advantages: you can pay all black mana and Evelyn has flash. This gives great flexibility for when you choose to cast her, and also makes her accessible offand . Even if you never blink her or have another Vampire enter, you've just got four cards worth of pure advantage.
But card advantage isn't her main selling point. It's this: Evelyn is a create a loop that results in infinite mana, infinite etbs and infinite ltbs. Evelyn turns this into a win by exiling every single players entire library. Never mind winning with your own deck - which you can do - you can just pass the turn and let each opponent deck themselves. This is also the first time we've seen this combo backed up by blue countermagic. Evelyn can even do the whole thing at instant speed with .deck. If you're not familiar, reanimating with will
Falco Spara, Pactweaver
How good is playing cards off the top of your library? If you likedand jumping through some easy hoops to get access to a from the command zone, you're going to love the jellyfish USB in bird lawyer form. While Falco has to remove a counter from a creature to cast a spell from the top, there's no shortage of counter producers like and - you guessed it - . Speaking of that pesky Druid, it's a key piece in one of the best combos this deck has access to.
Pair Falco with right here, from Joking101.and and bam, you've drawn your whole deck. Pair Falco with and just like , you can exile your library until you find , cast it, then exile the rest of your library in response to the Oracle trigger. You can see these combos and an emerging cEDH list
Raffine, Scheming Seer
usual criteria for what I want in a cEDH commander, but I'm intrigued regardless. As I whinged about above, filtering isn't really card advantage, but I'll concede that it can be as good or even better when it's done en masse the way Raffine makes possible.doesn't fit any of the
Flooding the board with Esper value creatures and maintaining pressure by swinging with creatures that grow ever threatening is broadly speaking the same thing that Yuriko does, albeit without the massive damage flips or card advantage. What Raffine can do though, is work as an incredible reanimation farm.
In a deck built to attack with plenty of creatures per turn, you'll not only fill your graveyard rapidly, you'll put yourself into the perfect position to benefit from reanimatingor . Raffine also has a sweet interaction with , making him impossible to pay for. The same is true of , which will eventually become a hard counter. If you want to get really cute with it? Try or .
Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer
Start with the fact that this is not only the first good Naya food chain commander, it's literally a caterer. Add the fact that Rocco Cabaretti sounds like the name of a mobster Tony Soprano knows, and you've got yourself a Legendary creature after my own heart.
The sheer quantity of options that Rocco provides for a Naya deck can't be oversold. An unconditional creature tutor in the command zone that encompasses the three best creature colors is always going to stand as a go to commander. It also has a sort ofthing on: it'll just keep getting better with every new creature.
Capable of fetching out either assemble a food chain combo before using the infinite creature mana to cast and recast Rocco, Naya just got access to an extremely clean two card wincon. I say two card because while you need Rocco, you only need to find two cards in your deck, and Rocco will even tutor for the creature. It's all semantics, but you could even call it a one card combo because as long as you find , Rocco will take care of the rest. Speaking of which.or to
this list from Elder Drunken Highlander and Knixx.and isn't an uncommon infinite mana combo, and Rocco isn't the first Naya commander who can take advantage of it. However, it's the first that can tutor Dockside directly into play. Which means that it's the first Naya commander who only needs to find before assembling a win. There's buckets of potential here, and while it's early days yet, I'm loving the look of
The name of this card reminds me of Gazebo from Munchkin.
Obviously we're not talking about structures you might find in a garden and thankfullyis a lot better than Gazebo ever was. For just two mana, you not only shut off someone's best activated ability, you steal it for yourself. This is already strong on the face of it; "stealing" a is fine, particularly if you're shutting off their primary win.
The real exciting part is that he only steals activated abilities, which makes for some unique applications. Steal a? You don't have to worry about discarding into exile. Steal a ? You won't have the "doesn't untap" or "deals 1 damage" clause. It's especially funny to target a , as you'll never to have to flip a coin, but owner still will.
Even just hitting anor is decent. *unmanas your dork*
Tivit, Seller of Secrets
strikes me as a little too clunky to gain any appreciable value off. Additional votes, while powerful, force you to run voting cards, and the only one I know of that's seen even a modicum of play is . What makes Tivit interesting is its interaction with . Regardless of how everyone votes, you'll have enough artifacts to sacrifice and take an extra turn. Just deal combat damage with Tivit next turn and you can do it again. The only problem is that the loop breaks when an opponent dies, but it should be enough to let you cobble together a win. Whether a one card combo justifies a six mana commander, I haven't decided, but I see potential. We did it everyone, we broke !
And that's a wrap! Madone, what a long review. The sheer potential spread across these cards is incredible. Never mind the Treasures (no, do mind them, Treasures are broken), there's something for every archetype on New Capenna and I think we'll look back at this set as one of the more impactful in recent memory.
But enough time has passed that I'm sure many of you have been able to test these cards already. If you have, let me know what you think. Am I wildly off base? Am I a fool for thinkingis good? Am I missing something with ? Did I leave something out? Let me know below!