A Look Back at Streets of New Capenna

A look back at streets of new capenna

Hello everyone!  Welcome to Standard Weekly!

Last tiime I looked back at Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and its impact on standard.  This week I will look at Streets of New Capenna.

Standard was probably at its healthiest during Streets of New Capenna season.  The number of players attending Friday Night Magic and other events was at its highest for the year.  The overall quality of the cards from Streets of New Capenna coupled with the last set before rotation made the standard format diverse and enjoyable.

Each color added useful cards to standard and helped to create a few news decks.  The most powerful deck was the Giada Angels decks.  Angels had a decent deck before Streets of New Capenna with the Angels from Kaldheim and Innistrad.  Giada and Inspiring Overseer increased the consistence and overall power of the deck.

The other powerful deck that developed during Streets of New Capenna was Esper Raffine.  This deck took advantage of the power of Raffine, Scheming Seer to draw cards with his connive ability to filter through the deck to get to the best cards for any match-up.  When Raffine was in play and an opponent could not remove Raffine, the game typically became lopsided quickly.  The deck was so good that it survived rotation and continues to be one of the top decks in standard.

Here are my Top 5 most impactful cards on standard from Streets of New Capenna.

  1. Giada, Font of Hope – Giada was the two drop that Angels needed to become a force in standard.  Giada is a 2/2 Angel with vigilance.  While on the surface Giada does not look powerful, her ability to give +1/+1 counters to other Angels when they enter play and to be an extra mana source pushed the power level of Angels.  When an opponent could not kill Giada the turn she entered play, she provided good value that put the Angel deck ahead.

Giada, Font of Hope (Showcase)

  1. Titan of Industry – Titan of Industry is probably the most powerful card from Streets of New Capenna.  It is not higher on the list because of its high casting cost.  For seven mana, you get a 7/7 elemental with reach and trample.  And when it enters the battlefield, you get to choose two of its four abilities to activate.  You can destroy an artifact or enchantment.  You can gain 5 life.  You can create a 4/4 green Rhino Warrior creature token.  Or put a shield counter on a creature you control.  Typically, we see Titan in reanimator decks because of the high casting cost.  The ability to bring Titan back from the graveyard after you either discarded it to Fable of the Mirror-Breaker or milled it provides great value and usually swung a game into its controller’s favor.  As long as good reanimation spells are in standard, players will use them to get Titan of Industry into play from the graveyard.

Titan of Industry

  1. Corpse Appraiser – Corpse Appraiser has become a key card in the Gixis Midrange deck.  For a red, a black, and a blue mana, you get a 3/3 vampire rogue that gets to exile up to one target creature card from a graveyard when it enters play.  If you were able to exile a creature card, then you get to look at the top three cards of your library and put one of them into your hand and the rest in the graveyard.  This draw ability has helped to make Gixis Midrange the top deck in standard based on tournament results and the decks play on Arena.

Corpse Appraiser

  1. Tenacious Underdog – Tenacious Underdog is one of the most played cards in standard.  For two mana, you get a 3/2 human warrior with blitz.  The blitz ability has helped make Tenacious Underdog a key part of any black deck.  When you play Underdog early in the game, you have a solid attacker that will quickly reduce an opponent’s life total and late in games after Underdog is in the graveyard you get to bring it back into play for two colorless mana, two black mana, and two life.  Then when either Tenacious Underdog leaves play during combat or at the end of your turn, you get to draw a card.

Tenacious Underdog

  1. Raffine, Scheming Seer – The most impactful card from Streets of New Capenna continues to be Raffine, Scheming Seer.  For a white, blue, and black mana, you get a 1/4 legendary sphinx demon with flying, ward 1, and whenever you attack, target attacking creature connives X, where X is the number of attacking creatures.  When Raffine was previewed, I instantly knew the card would be good.  What I did not know was how format altering the card would become.  Within a few weeks of the Streets of New Capenna standard season beginning, you had to have a plan for dealing with Raffine.  Otherwise, Raffine would connive his way to victory.  While the deck has dropped in popularity during the current standard season, it remains a Tier 1 deck.

Raffine, Scheming Seer

In the next post we will have a brief discussion each of the other cards from Street of New Capenna that have impacted either standard or another format.  With over sixty cards seeing play Streets of New Capenna has helped shape the standard format.

That’s it for this one.  I’ll see you next time.

By: Scott Trepanier

Scott began playing Magic the Gathering in 1994.  His preferred format is standard.  Typically, you will see him playing aggro decks focused on quickly defeating his opponent but will pivot to midrange or control when standard is unfavorable for aggro decks.  He began creating Magic content in 2019.