Streets of New Capenna EDH Set Review - Cabaretti + Green
Jetmir, Nexus of Revels | Illustrated by Ryan Pancoast
From the neon-lit streets of Kamigawa, we planeswalk to the grime- and industry-filled Streets of New Capenna. A city ruled by five 'families' and their five Demon leaders, this world is full of intrigue, mystery, and most of all, shindigs. The latter is what the Cabaretti are known for. Once druids of this plane, they have slowly changed their customs to fit a more modern world. Led by their leader, Jetmir, Nexus of Revels, they seek to hold the be company with all of the other groups, though if you have something they need, don't expect to leave that party early. Let's jump into the artdeco and live it up Capenna-style with the Cabaretti!
Jetmir, Nexus of Revels
Let's start with the big boss Cat himself, Jetmir, Nexus of Revels. Leader of the Cabaretti, Jetmir is all about going wide and inviting as many folks to the party as possible. As long as you have a crowded dance floor, your creatures get bigger and better, knowing that, that takes this commander in a token direction.
Shanna, Sisay's Legacy, Geist-Honored Monk, and other go-wide synergies go extremely well with Jetmir. How about a Mycoloth and a Tendershoot Dryad to keep the party going at the beginning of your (and in some cases your opponents') turns? Another piece to go well inside Jetmir's arsenal is Akroma, Vision of Ixidor; she can boost your team as well when Jetmir gives them more and more keywords. Jetmir is in the perfect colors to play whatever kind of token strategy you want. Goblins? Elves? Soldiers? The world is your party and this Demon Cat lets you choose who to invite.
As a player in the 99, Jetmir would find himself at home in Ghired, Conclave Exile to give some nice boosts to the plethora of tokens that the deck creates. Rin and Seri, Inseparable get another cool Cat to add to their roster of pets to pick from. A blast from the past, Rith, the Awakener has a friend in Jetmir, and vice versa. The ability to get in damage, then make a bunch of tokens, which also makes those tokens bigger? Amazing. This fantastic, ferocious feline fits in a very specific but open strategy; the more guests that come to his party, the better he becomes.
When I first read this card, I did the equivalent of a reading double take. Of course it was a translation, so I took it with a grain of salt. I waited for something to change, but nope, that is what it says. Green now gains the ability to produce Treasure tokens at instant speed with such staples as Seedborn Muse, Wilderness Reclamation; even Bear Umbra falls in this category.
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, Beledros Witherbloom, Old Gnawbone, are the first commanders that come to my mind, you know, because Dragons and their Treasures. Also the fact that it synergizes really well with all of them.
Bootleggers' Stash plays really nicely with Academy Manufactor. Another all-star from Modern Horizons 2, Tireless Provisioner, gives you "two" Treasures (one on entry, and one when you tap it). Most five-color commanders will enjoy this as it completely fixes their mana.
Going more towards a token-based strategy, Adrix and Nev, Twincasters would double that Treasure production, Chatterfang, Squirrel General gets to make that many more Squirrels.
Thankfully this is easier to remove than, say, Smothering Tithe, and doesn't get out of hand like that can. Is this a powerful artifact? Incredibly. Is it backbreaking in a game when it hits the table? Potentially, but as mentioned before, three out of the five colors have a tremendous amount of artifact removal.
Titan of Industry
Titan of Industry reminds me a lot of Elder Gargaroth all the way back from Core Set 2021. Even without its multitude of abilities, a 7/7 for seven mana with reach and trample is very playable. Giving you the option of creating another 4/4 body serves the Cabaretti very well, and having artifact and enchantment destruction really helps for dealing with problematic permanents, like Bootlegger's Stash and Smothering Tithe, among other mass Treasure producers. Of course stapled on this industrious lad is the obligatory life gain; in formats where you have less than 40 life, it's great and potentially game-swinging, whereas Commander, not so much. The ability I quite like is how it can give a shield counter to any creature, even itself. Shield counters will probably be a lot stronger than we think they will be.
Yarok, the Desecrated- and Roon of the Hidden Realm-blink style decks can take complete advantage of this card with cards like Panharmonicon, Conjurer's Closet, and Deadeye Navigator. Graveyard decks, like Meren of Clan Nel Toth, would love to recur this big beefy beater over and over again.
The true power in the card lies in its flexibility: it's whatever you need when you play it. Having four abilities and being able to pick two of them is so good. Almost every deck playing green has little reason not to run this.
Vivien on the Hunt
What's a city full of crime and intrigue without a sleuth on the hunt for answers? Vivien on the Hunt shows us that Wizards is not afraid of putting very powerful cards (Birthing Pod in this case) onto high-mana-value planeswalkers. Let's break down her abilities one by one, shall we?
Birthing Pod on a planeswalker is a very interesting space to play in. Thankfully the only creature that can flicker planeswalkers is Felidar Guardian. Other than a The Chain Veil or Oath of Teferi, Vivien's ability isn't that abusable, though turning an Avenger of Zendikar into a Craterhoof Behemoth does sound like some good clean living.
Essentially getting all of the creatures five cards deep from the top of your deck seems really good for any creature-based strategies. The hidden bonus here is that they do indeed hit the graveyard, so cards like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant and Syr Konrad, the Grim will still see those cards hit, and in Syr Konrad's case, leave the graveyard. This ability also allows you to select what you bring back, so you can leave cards like Genesis and other graveyard shenanigan cards, like Golgari Grave-Troll, in there.
Her last ability (if the other two don't suit your fancy for whatever reason) creates a 4/4 Rhino to protect her. Not a terrible ability considering her other abilities increase her loyalty and this only costs one. The advantage of her remaining at three loyalty afterwards gives you options down the road (of course that is if she stays alive), or either putting more 4/4s out, or turning them in one drops, or filtering through your deck to find bigger and better creatures.
All in all, Vivien on the Hunt is a solid, if not powerful, six-mana planeswalker. Her ability to protect herself and then help you find creatures really makes her a strong addition to any creature-based strategy. Trostani, Selesnya's Voice, Kresh, the Bloodbraided, and Muldrotha, the Gravetide would really use Vivien to her fullest potential.
Ascendencies this time around seem all really useful for the colors that they're in. Cabaretti Ascendency just gives you an "extra card", which for those three colors is tremendously useful. Decks that run the flip side (Esika, God of the Tree, The Prismatic Bridge) have another avenue of setting up a free permanent from it. Even if you aren't doing busted stuff, getting to essentially scry 1 every turn with upside is great. For all the Naya (I guess we can call it Cabaretti now?) creature decks, this just fuels your hand and works to get you more creatures. Maybe Cabaretti superfriends can become a thing? If not, five-color superfriends decks can always use another way of making sure they have a planeswalker to play.
When reading this card, it feels like it's a puzzle waiting to be solved. At first glance, its obvious comparison is Birthing Pod, or the more recent but very specific Pyre of Heroes. The most optimal place for this card would be any five-color deck, as it would allow the greatest range of tutor potential. This feels like a very specific toolkit for a very specific style of deck.
A good place for it would be something like an Omnath, Locus of Creation Elemental tribal deck, being able to have access to all the different colors of Elementals and be able to move up the chain. Start with a Mulldrifter, trade it up for a Risen Reef. Have some Omnath, Locus of Rage tokens? You can "pod" those for an Animar, Soul of Elements, or the three-color Omnath, Locus of the Roil, or even Maelstrom Wanderer and still be able to get its Cascade triggers.
Evolving Door is very powerful in the right deck. It's all up to you how best to open this door to get the most out of its abilities.
Nothing is better than green at making big beefy creatures, so Fight Rigging is a perfect fit in most if not all green decks. Going five deep with the Hideaway ability is pretty good, not to mention the fact that you don't have to pay for it when you do hit that 7 power mark. Commanders like Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, Kogla, the Titan Ape, and Old Gnawbone, among so many others, could potentially cast that card the turn Fight Rigging comes in. The other wonderful thing about Fight Rigging is that it still sticks around and puts +1/+1 counters on your creatures even after the card is cast. Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, Pir, Imaginative Rascal (along with his Partner, Toothy Imaginary Friend), and Hamza, Guardian of Arashin are all solid places for this card.
What else is there to say? It's a 4/4 with trample, lifelink, and haste; keyword soup decks will love it. I foresee this getting much more play in other formats than Commander. It's an overall okay card for our format. It says it wants to be in a very aggressive deck to take advantage of its abilities, so Marisi, Breaker of the Coil seems a good home for it, as well as Gahiji, Honored One. Rienne, Angel of Rebirth has another addition as this card can be recurred over and over again and can swing a game to your advantage over a few turns. Fleetfoot Dancer might have some flashy moves, but it comes up a little short in the 100-card shuffle.
The idea to have different versions of this card for each of the different languages that the set is printed in is genius. I love the flavour that no matter where you are from (as long the set is printed in your language), you are greeted at the party. Nothing screams Cabaretti more than that. As for the card mechanically, you get a choice of three abilities whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control. Obviously, in line with what the Cabaretti wants to do, the more creatures you put out, the more value you get out of Gala Greeters. Roon of the Hidden Realm, Yarok the Desecrated, and any Elves commander (see: Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Marwyn, the Nurturer) would make good use of these greeters. Building Gala Greeters up, "ramping" you, and gaining you a little bit of life every turn doesn't sound too bad.
First off, the showcase art for this card is so much fun and so flavourful, and probably one of my favourite arts of the set. This three-mana "wrath" for nontokens is good for token decks, like Ghired, Conclave Exile and Rin and Seri, Inseparable, as the commanders as well as their armies will survive it. Any deck running Firesong and Sunspeaker will have a blast with this card, though that seems like a niche deck with a very niche strategy, which I am all for. Token decks should have it as a way of getting rid of nontoken value creatures; unfortunately though, there are better board wipes in red and white, so this Aria doesn't quite jive as well as it should.
Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second
Jinnie Fay turns all of your tokens into either Cats or Dogs, regardless of what you are making. Thankfully it says may, so that miracle'd Entreat the Angels you just played won't make it rain Cats and Dogs instead of Angels.
As a commander, Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second encourages you to play spells that would ordinarily create smaller tokens, like Dragon Fodder, Raise the Alarm, and Fungal Sprouting, as well as other cards, like Hero of Bladehold, Mycoloth and Assemble the Legion, to get a steady stream of tokens and dominate the board with Cats and Dogs alike. Jinnie Fay plays like most token decks do, except for the fact that with her you get consistent tokens, she doesn't make anymore, just the same amount but Cats and Dogs instead of Goblins and Soldiers. Rin and Seri, Inseparable is a good way to take advantage of the large number of those Cats and Dogs.
Jinne Fay, Jetmir's Second slots into most, if not all, token decks, as she's able to generate hasty tokens to allow your White Sun's Zenith or Beacon of Creation be that much deadlier.
Topiary Stomper fits right at home in all the Gishath, Sun's Avatar, Zacama, Primal Calamity, and Ghalta, Primal Hunger Dinosaur decks. Not only does it ramp when it comes in, it comes in relatively early. In green, getting to seven lands is not that hard, especially if you play this on curve. Rampant Growth, Topiary Stomper, Migration Path, with your normal land drops per turn, gets you to seven. Saying all that though, this is only a 4/4 with vigilance. Copying this creature just turns it into a bigger Solemn Simulacrum. As the internet has dubbed it, this "Colossal Hedgemaw" is a lesser version of Wayward Swordtooth. It has lesser power and toughness, it only gets you one land, and even though the Swordtooth needs 3 more permanents to turn on, by the time you get to 7 lands, you most likely have three or more other permanents. Saying all that, decks like Yarok the Desecrated, Roon of the Hidden Realm, and Emiel the Blessed are best poised to take full advantage of this Plant Dinosaur's enter-the-battlefield ability. Also Phylath, World Sculptor and Avenger of Zendikar make this bigger, so that's fun!
Hello? Thragtusk, is that you? Not quite as abusable as ol' Thraggy boy, Workshop Warchief still packs a punch on its own. A five-mana 5/3 with trample, it's a decent body that leaves you a 4/4 if/when it dies (read: not "leaves the battlefield"). Upon entering, it only gains you 3 life, which isn't nothing, but as stated before, not as powerful in Commander. Where this Rhino Warrior really puts in the overtime is in its Blitz ability. For just one extra mana, you get a 5/3 with trample, haste, and 3 life! Not only that, when it dies, be it in combat or at the end of your turn, you get a 4/4 and get to draw a card! Now that's what I call value. Of course graveyard decks love the idea of sac fodder that replaces itself and gives a bonus upon entering back into the fray. Your Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, and Meren of Clan Nel Toth decks will absolutely have a blast requisitioning our resident replayable Riveteer Rhino.
Notable Uncommons and Commons
Out of all three modes on the card, the only ones I can see this card being played for are the token creation and the +1/+1 and trample until the end of turn. Unfortunately that first mode requires you to have a good chunk of creatures; sure, that's what the Cabaretti want to do, but being able to only target creature or planeswalker limits this even further. Using this as a combat trick seems really good: attack with a big creature, they go to chump block it, and you surprise them with a little boost and trample damage. You pay for the flexibility of this spell with its restrictive casting cost. Out of all of the Charms in this set, it looks like the Cabaretti were deglamorized.
Another piece for all of those budget Elf decks out there! Elves can create so many creatures in one turn that this can easily give a creature +5/+5 and trample! A large weakness in many Elf decks is a way to reliably get trample; this card can solve that issue. Of course, it's only one creature at a time, but sometimes that's all you need! Abomination of Llanowar would love this card: more Elves equals more power, and then you can horrifyingly trample all out your opponents.
Would you like some mana fixing? Oh yes, please! Although this cycle was created with a more Limited format mindset, they can still be useful in other formats as well. There might be a time in your Cabaretti deck that you just wish that your basic Forest could tap for white or red: no fear, the Rakish Revelers are here! They also brought a friend! Saying all that, green is the best color at ramp, and red creates so many Treasures (and I guess green now too?) that you may not need mana fixing, so these Revelers will have to party somewhere else.
Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer
Living true to his name, Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer delivers. Being a tutor for any creature in your deck for only an extra 3 mana is very powerful. Appetizer, dinner, dessert, and combo are what this service is serving up. Need a way to bounce it back to your hand to cast it again? Just pay an extra four mana and grab yourself a Temur Sabertooth, or an extra two and get a Whitemane Lion. From there you're able to go and get whatever combo piece or pieces you need right from your deck, without having to worry about that pesky commander tax.
In the 99, Rocco serves a similar role, by tutoring up whatever creature you need at the time of casting him. Making it not completely broken are the caveats of Rocco having had to have been cast, and the specific mana needed to cast him. Otherwise this Caterer is willing and waiting to cater you next combo event.
You: "Mom, I want an Essence Warden
Your Mom: "We have Essence Warden at home.
Essence Warden at home - Social Climber
Jokes aside, redundancy is great for any deck built around a core strategy, and if your strategy is life gain, there's no reason why you shouldn't play Social Climber. From Strixhaven, Beledros Witherbloom and Dina, Soul Steeper would gladly accept Social Climber into their ranks. Lathiel, the Bounteous Dawn would also make good use out of it. "Life gained is life not lost" - Abraham Lincoln, probably.
The reason I mention Venom Connoisseur is because this creature is secretly bonkers. Giving all of your creatures deathtouch by just getting two creatures on the battlefield is kinda insane. Fynn, the Fangbearer found a new addition to his arsenal of deathtouch givers. This card can also work defensively too: a sneaky Verdant Command gives all your board deathtouch and makes blocking with your newly created tokens not feel so bad. In conjunction with Elegant Entourage, Venom Connoisseur can give your beefed-up trampler a little poison to get more damage through.
When you party with the Cabaretti, it's almost like your family, and as they say, Family Means Business. What a party that was! The Cabaretti sure know how to entertain, and they are truly wonderful hosts. There were so many cool cards and interesting additions to the white-red-green shard, going in a token, or go wide, direction. Which Cabaretti card was your favourite? If you haven't already, check out the other reviews of Streets of New Capenna here on Commanders Herald!