Streets of New Capenna holds a lot of promise, and Michael looks at 5 cards from the new set that are poised to make an impact in Modern!
Welcome back everyone, another new set, another top five cards for Modern! This time we’re sifting through the crime filled streets of New Capenna. As is the case with most standard sets I don’t expect Streets of New Capenna to break anything wide open, but there are some solid roleplayers, and others showing some promise. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Okay okay, I know that these lands all have plane specific names, and they aren’t called triomes…but let’s be real, they’re triomes. This finishes the cycle that was started in Ikoria. While all of these are unlikely to see high levels of play, slower decks with three or more colors will appreciate having access to them. Four-Color Yorion, could easily be interested in Spara’s Headquarters, as well as Jetmir’s Garden; both give access to green and white early to support Abundant Growth and Prismatic Ending. Azorius Control will often splash a Breeding Pool to power Prismatic Ending, Engineered Explosives, and occasionally Veil of Summer, so Spara’s Headquarters could be an upgrade there.
While I suspect that Jund Saga plays too many one-mana spells to effectively support more than one copy of Ziatora’s Proving Ground, I bet one makes the cut. Jund Saga’s mana is historically shaky, but having access to fetch this on an off turn goes a long way. The ability to cycle it and pick it up with Wrenn and Six also can matter later in games.
Raffine’s Tower and Xander’s Lounge don’t have clear homes just yet, but I’m fairly certain they’ll show up in something along the lines of Indomitable Creativity and Bring to Light Scapeshift.
Riveteers Charm may look unassuming, but it does a lot of things all in one card, which makes for a good sideboard card. I’m generally not a fan of edicts in Modern given the number of small creatures running around, but Riveteers Charm solves that nicely by always getting the opponent’s biggest thing. Edicts traditionally fail because if your opponent gets a choice, they’re always going to choose the option best for them. By always sacrificing the most expensive thing, the opponent’s choice is largely removed unless they have two of the same mana value permanents to choose from. Maybe you brought in Riveteers Charm as an edict, but the opponent doesn’t have anything worth killing at the moment. The second mode can provide some real card advantage! Riveteers Charm is even an instant, so you can play it on the opponent’s end step to have all your mana available the following turn to cast the cards you exile with it. Modern is has a reasonably high amount of graveyard use right now, so tacking on the ability to exile a graveyard on to a spell that has two other modes is quite powerful, as it allows you graveyard interaction when you need it, but you’re not stuck with it when you don’t. Additionally you get to save a couple sideboard slots by having incidental graveyard hate, something Jund decks always appreciate.
Luxior, Giada’s Gift
Luxior is an oddly designed card for sure, but it has a lot going for it. The meme is build your own Gideon by equipping any planeswalker. However, there are ways to abuse the counters clause, namely because of its interaction with -1/-1 counters. The natural fit is with Devoted Druid, which generates infinite green mana when equipped with Luxior. Yeah yeah, I know, Luxior is like the 40th card that makes infinite mana with Devoted Druid.
Vizier of Remedies has historically been the combo piece of choice with Devoted Druid, largely because you could find them both with Collected Company, and Eladamri’s Call. The upside of Luxior is that you can find it with Urza’s Saga. You can add Viridian Longbow to the mix for the kill, but once you have infinite mana, winning the game is the easy part. Longbow isn’t as useful on non-combo turns as something like Finale of Devastation, but it is also tutorable with Urza’s Saga, so we’ll see how Devoted Druid players choose to win going forward.
Shadow of Mortality
Shadow of Mortality is the card I’m personally most excited for from Streets of New Capenna. At first glance this looks a lot like a two-mana Death’s Shadow, which is because that seems to be the homage here. I’ve read some concerns that you have to be at seven life to cast it effectively, and while that is true, getting there isn’t particularly difficult for Shadow if they have a reason. I plan on going deeper into the deck building intricacies in a later piece, so keep an eye out for that coming up!
The other home for Shadow of Mortality is paired with Calibrated Blast. While Shadow of Mortality isn’t going to cost anywhere near 15 in practice, it does have that number in the corner, which is the important part. The real secret is that Shadow of Mortality is actually castable if your opponent is putting the pressure on, unlike all of the other hits for Calibrated Blast. A 7/7 is big enough to stonewall just about everything in Modern, and given its size and mana cost, Shadow of Mortality is reasonably difficult to kill.
Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer
Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer is without a doubt powerful. The question at large is, does it have a home? Elf is a creature type that can certainly help Rocco quite a bit. A 3/1 attached to a tutor to the battlefield is likely going to put a lot of power in play. The only real challenge I can see for Rocco is the Naya color requirement. Notably Rocco can find Dryad Arbor if you’re short on mana. Only time will tell if Elves care enough to add access to red mana to support Rocco. The other potential landing spot is a Naya toolbox deck, which would love Rocco!
That’s all I have for today! I’m excited to see what cards from Streets of New Capenna make an impact in Modern. Be sure to let me know what your pick for best Modern card in the set is! As always you can find me on Twitter at @RappaciousOne for questions, comments, and feedback. I’ll be back next week with more Modern content, so stay tuned!
Michael Rapp is a Modern specialist who favors Thoughtseize decks. Magic sates his desire for competition and constant improvement.