Streets of New Capenna EDH Set Review - Maestros and Black

Mike Carrozza • April 20, 2022

Lord Xander, the Collector | Illustrated by Martina Fackova

Streets of New Capenna EDH Maestros and Black Set Review



The Mythics

Lord Xander, the Collector

Let's start with the big boss himself. Xander is scary if you're the target or defending player, I won't lie. If you see this in the command zone, you'll know it's coming and you'll have time because holy seven mana. An expensive commander just has to make an impression once, but if you've got Panharmonicon to double on that enters-the-battlefield trigger, something to give him haste, and maybe a cheeky Malakir Rebirth- or Nim Deathmantle-type of effect, I reckon Xander's going to be collecting salt or run a political game. Seeing a Xander at the table will lead to some really fun games.

Angel of Suffering

A couple of shuffle Eldrazi titans in a deck with this out means that you won't lose from damage or mill, putting a soft "you can't lose" on the game as long as this sticks around. I like it for self-mill strategies or as a Fractured Identity or Donate target against life gain decks. Not really too high on this one, but I can see some pillowfort players digging it. Also, hey, a black Angel!

Body Launderer

Reanimator decks are going to find a way to bust this guy wide open. Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, you get to draw then discard a valuable reanimation target that you can snipe right away as long as it's got four power. There are a surprising numbe of expensive creatures with power four or less: Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Agent of Treachery, Breathkeeper Seraph, Grey Merchant of Asphodel, Peregrine Drake, Goldspan Dragon, that's just a few names. That's if one other creature of yours dies. Even just sacrificing this for a Meteor Golem is solid. There are going to be loops with this bad boy, I can't wait to see it. Araumi of the Dead Tide, here comes some fun!

Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

Ob Nix makes the list because the demon daddy is showcasing the Maestros keyword of the set, Casualty, one of my favorite new abilities in a hot minute. Copying spells is strong. Copying planeswalkers? I'm listening. Head's up, Dargo, the Shipwrecker + black Partner decks, you've got a new toy. Playing a spellslinger deck and your Spellgorger Weird gotten pretty thick? Cash it in post-swing for a fresh grip. The -7 ability on Ob Nixilis is reminiscent of Griselbrand, a banned card in Commander. This won't be as easy to abuse, but that should make you happy because we can actually use this one!

The Rares

Aven Heartstabber

Aven Heartstabber will easily find a home in Araumi of the Dead Tide and Muldrotha, the Gravetide decks. A solid rattlesnake when conditions are met that pays off in mill while replacing itself.

Cemetery Tampering

Ghen, Arcanum Weaver decks, you've got a new bit of fun to play with. Graveyards get deep in Commander, and as long as this hits at the right time and sticks around a turn - which is likely for an enchantment so seemingly innocuous - this could be responsible for some really fun and surprising turns. Triggering at upkeep is a bummer here, but what can you do!

Corpse Explosion

Well, alright! While this is no Blasphemous Act, a damage-based wipe can be the right call in Brash Taunter-themed decks. Pestilent Spirit, Firesong and Sunspeaker, and Radiant Scrollwielder give your instants and sorceries keywords, while Toralf, God of Fury gives them pseudo-trample. Hell, play this with Toralf out against an opponent with an army of tokens, and that's game, baby! There's a Mardu deck in here somewhere!

Cut of the Profits

A non-targeting Damnable Pact that you can copy if you have a spare three-power creature is pretty powerful. Willowdusk, Essence Seer and Vilis, Broker of Blood decks will likely find a spot for this card. For a quick sacrifice and six life, turn five mana into six cards. That's a deal a lot of Commander players will find difficult to turn down.

Evelyn, the Covetous

Incredible design here. The fact that you can run this commander as a mono-black general is really cool. Evelyn turns every Vampire that enters under your control into an impulse draw from each player's library. Gonti, Lord of Luxury players looking for a new way to play their favorite strategy might pivot to Evelyn. Turning Call of the Bloodline, Glass-Cast Heart, and Bloodline Keeper into ways to not only build your board presence but also a draw from each deck is powerful. I look forward to seeing what people come up with.

Hostile Takeover

This is a weird card. It's like a roundabout kill spell that can board wipe with collateral damage to anything toughness three or less. I'm not sure what decks beyond theme decks will like this in particular.

Maestros Ascendancy

An enchantment version of Kess, Dissident Mage that costs a creature sacrifice to use is pretty cool. Kess decks might even like this to double up on the effect given her own "once for each of your turns" rider. Enchantments are harder to interact with and usually get left alone, so this might be safer.

Maestros Diabolist

I love aristocrats decks, but I've never ventured into Grixis aristocrats. With the set demonstrating just how cool the Casualty mechanic can be, the Diabolist could be useful in creating that fodder.

Sanguine Spy

I love me a sacrifice outlet, but hate when they're mana-gated. A free sack outlet is a thing of beauty. Getting to Surveil when sacrificing a creature to this ability is fine, but the end step is like a bad Phyrexian Arena that costs you two life and requires a particular graveyard threshold. Hopefully this lifelinker gets through and hits for that life back! Rogue decks may appreciate the versatility of this card.

Shadow of Mortality

Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and Vial-Smasher the Fierce decks are going to love this. A 15-mana spell that they'll actually be able to cast for less is the bread and butter of those decks.

Shakedown Heavy

A card reminiscent of Clackbridge Troll, Shakedown Heavy's whole deal will be your opponents bringing it on themselves. Either you're getting a card and a defender or they get a facefull of six damage.

Tenacious Underdog

Tormod, the Desecrator, Embalmer's Tools, Secrets of the Dead, and Flayer of the Hatebound are happy to have you. I'm excited to jam this in my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch. This card seems like a lot of fun and I would recommend people try it out in a bunch of different decks.

Notable Uncommons and Commons

Cormela, Glamour Thief

Hate to say this, but Cormela, Glamour Thief is already broken. With Demonic Gifts, a free sacrifice outlet that produces mana, and a finisher like Comet Storm, Cormela's got a combo reputation already. Combo aside, Cormela seems like a fun control commander. I hope people will build her without the infinite combo so Cormela doesn't join the ranks of kill-on-sight commanders right away.

Corpse Appraiser

This is an excellent ETB. I wish it was blue-black so I could run it in Araumi of the Dead Tide. It says "a graveyard" not "your"! Graveyard spot removal with an upside of Strategic Planning? Solid li'l guy.

Dusk Mangler

With the amount of reanimation out there, this does too much to ignore. It's a little expensive to cast outright, but this set should be everybody's wake-up call that Araumi of the Dead Tide is a bonkers good time. Just sayin'!

Fatal Grudge

Highlighting this because it's another innovation: the possibility of black and now red getting rid of opponents' enchantments. It's pretty versatile, but I really wanted to show people that sometimes you can trade your Phyrexian Reclamation to get an opponent to sack their Mind's Dilation

Maestros Charm

Instant-speed modal spells are very powerful. Draining your opponents for three isn't great, but can be relevant. The five damage to a creature or planeswalker can be relevant to get rid of an opponent's key piece. However, to me, the real star of this card is paying three mana to look at five cards, keeping one, and dumping the rest in the graveyard. Kess, Dissident Mage and Cormela, Glamour Thief decks are going to love this.

Maestros Initiate

This is a control card to me. Keep it up as a blocker, then when it dies, save it for a rainy day for a draw and a loot. Kept up five mana for a turn cycle and didn't have to use any spells? Time to exile this body and get some sweet, sweet cards.


I am really enjoying New Capenna, and I hope you are, too. What's your favorite legend? What's a card you're really jazzed about? I'm going to need time to decide, because between the legends in the set and the ones in the Commander product, I want to build 'em all!

Mike Carrozza is a stand-up comedian from Montreal who’s done a lot of cool things like put out an album called Cherubic and worked with Tig Notaro, Kyle Kinane, and more people to brag about. He’s also been an avid EDH player who loves making silly stuff happen. @mikecarrozza on platforms