After releasing a ninja-themed expansion earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast has gone in an entirely new direction with the latest set for Magic: The Gathering set. Streets of New Capenna is inspired by the gangster movies and noir stylings of the early 20th century.
The new set includes 281 cards and is based on shard-colored factions, so expect to see plenty of tri-color options. Some of the most important mechanics of this set include Cycling, Blitz, Connive, and Casualty.
This list of the best MtG cards from Streets of New Capenna is focused entirely on the standard format, so you will know for sure which cards to look out for in the upcoming meta.
Certain lords in Magic: The Gathering history have become truly iconic, and it looks like Giada, Font of Hope will get a similar level of attention in the angel tribal decks this season.
While you could expect it to have flying and vigilance — a common element for angel cards — the permanent and growing +1/+1 buff is certainly groundbreaking. On top of that, you can also tap into other angel cards using Giada's mana ability, putting this high on the list of best MtG New Capanna cards for the standard meta.
Although the Casualty mechanic primarily serves to thwart counterspells (where you sacrifice a creature and have Ob Nixilis on board regardless of your opponent's negate spells), it looks like many will use this card as a combo trigger. Its last ability allows you to draw seven cards.
However, you can also use it for almost infinite copying when creating 1/1 tokens, sacrificing them and creating copies of Ob Nixilis to increase its loyalty counter using Brokers Ascendancy or similar spells. In either case, Ob Nixilis will be quite obnoxious to deal with for your opponents.
Every standard MtG player remembers how impactful Aether Gust was in previous seasons. While Endless Detour has a slightly more restrictive mana base, it's still a great card to have in any current Bant list.
But we also get some more flexibility here, as this time graveyard is included alongside all colored and colorless spells. So, it wouldn't be surprising if some Bant players decide to play a full playset of Endless Detour in their main decks.
In short, Tenacious Underdog is an endlessly recastable card if you can manage to spend 2 points of life and 4 mana for its Blitz ability. With it, you get a hasty attacker and a card draw each turn, which is a perfect plan for almost any aggro or midrange deck.
Since Jund looks to be the real winner of the Streets of New Capenna meta, that's where you'll see Tenacious Underdog the most. But don't exclude pure Mono Black aggro decks from the equation just yet.
Every new standard MtG set has at least one mandatory AoE spell, and Streets of New Capenna has Corpse Explosion. Three mana is decent enough to play it midgame, sweep everything off the board, and have leftover mana to cast something afterward.
If you have something like Daemogoth Titan in your graveyard, which has 11 power, Corpse Explosion will be able to sweep every creature and planeswalker in play.
Although the mana cost on Lord Xander is quite steep, you can cast him from your graveyard using various reanimate spells. Alternatively, this card could be put on the battlefield using the Ninjutusu mechanic, which was re-introduced in the last MtG set, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. You could also use the Dollhouse of Horros artifact from Innistrad: Crimson Vow.
In either case, Lord Xander would be an excellent addition to any Grixis Control list with one or a few reanimator capabilities.
Nobody wants to get hit for six points of damage early in the game, but this card forces your opponent to make a decision: take the damage or let you draw a card instead.
Even if you never get to hit with Shakedown Heavy, you will always get a card from it, and you can just as well hit with other attackers on board. So there is really no downside to this card.
There have been a couple of Phyrexian Prateor cards in recent MtG sets, and all of them had a significant impact on the standard meta. While Urabrask, Heretic Praetor looks to be the weakest of them all, there is still a lot of potential in this card. It's not just in terms of gaining extra cards every time it attacks, but also in terms of being able to disrupt your opponent's plays as well.
Although it would be hard to beat Goldspan Dragon for the same spot in your deck, it looks like some players will employ a copy or two of Urabrask for exactly those reasons above.
When hate cards are not enough to stop your opponent from putting creatures on board from their graveyard, a simple aura card like Sleep with the Fishes can easily save you.
Too bad there is no Flash on this card; it would be auto-included in all control decks if so. The cost also seems a bit too high at 4 mana, but this card compensates for that drawback by creating an unblockable.
Obviously, a card that has three mana colors will only see play in a Jund deck, but Riveteers Charm has three amazing abilities, and it's an instant spell, too.
The first ability is very much like Soul Shatter, which has been doing a lot of hard work in standard lately. The other two abilities, including graveyard hate, are always extremely useful.
Also, many decks that utilize treasure tokens will be able to cast this, even though they may not be Jund in the first place.
This isn't a blue Fatal Push, but it is pretty close. Witness Protection will definitely see play in blue lists that value cheap removal. And if there are enchantment synergies, it could easily trigger a discount on Geistlight Snare counterspell.
Most likely, Witness Protection will be a very decent sideboard card against graveyard decks, where it will have a similar status in the standard format as the Sleep with the Fishes aura.
Currently, there are a couple of really good targets for revival in standard that could benefit from Obscura Charm's first ability, one of them being the new Ob Nixilis planeswalker.
Obscura Charm's other two abilities are just as important and will serve as protective devices for the reanimated permanents. Unfortunately, this spell has a similar problem to Riveteers Charm: it only fits the Esper archetype.
Goldhound is simply an all-around good card with plenty of upsides. It's a common card, it costs only 1 mana, it has first strike and menace, and best of all, it lets you fix your mana.
Goldhound is meant as a blocker, but instead of letting it die, you sacrifice it and cast a spell using its mana ability. Alongside that, it can also be a good early attacker in Grixis or Jund lists.
Unblockable creatures can be highly effective in decks with many different buffs and counters. That's where Exotic Pets will see the most play.
Once you create the tokens, you can put any of the counters you already have on board onto those tokens, and keep attacking with them.
They can also be buffed even further with the help of Wedding Announcement enchantment, or even used as sacrificial fodder for other combos and synergies.
The last card on our list of best MtG New Capenna cards for standard is another charm, but this time it's Bant. Brokers Charm is not amazing, but it's good enough to see play in standard, especially because of its third ability, which lets you draw two cards instantly for only 3 mana.
Its other two abilities are also very useful, and will be used according to the situation on board.
Those are the best 15 cards in MtG's Streets of New Capenna set. In addition to this list of the best Streets of New Capenna cards for standard, be sure to check out our other MtG guides and card lists here.