Streets of New Capenna and my first impressions about it by Ruda Reis
Today we’re going to talk about Streets of New Capenna and my first impressions about it. I played during the Early Access Event and tried some brews, especially because some cards really tricks me (hello big demon) and nothing is better than testing new cards to identify what’s the best call.
First, of course, I want to talk about Ob Nixilis, the Adversary. There is a lot of hype around this card and I am talking about BIG hype, like “it’s the new Oko” or “top5 best planeswalker) and I will be honest, I don’t think that is a fact here.
The first thing about Ob Nixilis, the Adversary is that it’s just a real threat when we are casting it using the Casualty ability, two planeswalkers are the real deal, by itself, it is just a pathetic weak version of Liliana of the Veil. So moving forward, please consider we are talking about two planeswalkers creating advantage.
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary second and third abilities are more conditional, a lot about how this card works is about how to make the first ability to work. Your opponent will not discard a card unless they must, so you can have them discard a lot of cards and after start punishing with Ob Nixilis, or you can have this life loss amount to something, and I like the second ideia. A planeswalker in early game can be scary, and when we can have two there is a window to pressure our opponent, the more a deck can use this pressure to create an advantage the better. I like Ob Nixilis, the Adversary when my early plays are about creatures and board presence, not just because I am flashing my planeswalker, but because my turn three play helps me to corner my opponent, If I they are in a situation where they need to respond to two threads in the following turns, I will have an amazing opportunity to play more creatures and develop my board. There’s no need to be aggro, BRx sacrifice shells can really use this to develop the game.
I like this card when I am in an aggressive position, because If I am just grinding my opponent’s resources, there are a lot of ways for them to use life as a resource and in this is where Ob Nixilis is at its worse. I’m ok with my opponents losing resources, so we need to create a situation where the loss of life is still good for my game.
This not an aggro deck, but a deck that easily amounts a board presence.
Sacrifice decks don’t close games fast enough, so Ob Nixilis is perfect here to drain some life.
One other thing, I don’t like Ob Nixilis against aggro decks, making a devil does seem like something but it doesn’t. Weak 1/1 creatures don’t block well, and I prefer to protect my board using The Meathook Massacre, so playing this planeswalker in a Rakdos Sacrifice strategy is more around my plan.
I like Ob Nixilis, the Adversary in a Mardu midrange deck too, using a Orzhov Midrange base and splashing to Ob Nixilis, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Bloodtithe Harvester. Same ideia, fodder creatures and board wipe to control the game. Add Wedding Announcement I can aggro my opponent too.
Another card that I like when thinking about sacrifice decks is Body Dropper. Every sacrifice decklist has a sacrifice core, which makes the engine work, and it needs a big payoff card that can be a threat. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King and Ravenous Squirrel are cards that fill that role and Body Dropper has a similar approach to it. Body Dropper has less payoff synergy but it can really finish some games and grow quickly, forcing your opponent to block eventually. Maybe it is better in Pioneer (and Explorer!), because sacrificing a cat every turn is amazing, but I’d like to try this in any sacrifice deck.
Naya Aggro is a real deck in Standard, usually using a White Winnie base and splashing to Haland and Alena, Partners. Jetmir, Nexus of Revels has a close approach, but with tokens. When we manage to turn the second ability on, it feels like an Overrun, and a lot of cards with 3 power, vigilance and trample is close to lethal. Jetmir, Nexus of Revels as a Overrun on a stick can help us to find what the best place to use him and that lead us to a tokens deck:
I love how Jetmir, Nexus of Revels and Esika’s Chariot work together and can’t name a better duo.
Other cards that worked well on this shell were Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second and Gala Greeters.
Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second is amazing in a tokens deck for obvious reason, but it’s amazing with treasures too, and with Gala Greeters even better. Gala Greeters impressed me a lot, from a “worse Prosperous Innkeeper” to “sometimes better than Prosperous Innkeeper” very fast. My point being, Gala is worse as an acceleration card when we want to go from 2 to 4 but is better when we want to speed up other turns. So, if I want to make my chariot faster, it’s a worse card, but if I want to take advantage of making two tokens, that’s the card. In Pioneer a lot of players have cut Prosperous Innkeeper from Jund Sac because it doesn’t help the strategy, but Gala Greeters like to see cats entering on the battlefield every turn.
Another Naya card that I liked was Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer. I love Chord of Calling effects and with a 3/1 body it seems cool. The first deck that I liked to see this card was Naya Runes, a deck that has a card that I want to tutor for, Runeforge Champion. I think Game 1 I want to go full aggro, but after sideboard resilience is key.
That’s the kind of card who does everything or nothing. The effect is amazing and when I think about chaining every turn with some sacrifice outlet, wow, that’s what I want to do. But we need that sac outlet, and we don’t have a Woe Strider, maybe Sanguine Spy is what I want, card is a blessing, and with Tenacious Underdog I am happier with it. But the problem with synergy is when I face some BestCards.Deck, like Esper or Orzhov, it’s funny doing cycle cards until your opponent drops a bomb. I will try something like this:
Just a heads up, Rogues Gallery is a card that I have tried a lot of, three mana and take back three cards, great in any grind game. I don’t think this sacrifice deck is the best house for it, but a midrange one, with a lot of ETBs could be nice. Give this card a shot.
I haven’t seen a lot of buzz about this card but it’s a strong tempo play. Every time that I get a timewalk effect, If I can explore this effect, it will be a big window of card advantage. Example, if I cast Obscura Interceptor, bounce my opponent spell and on my turn, I activate a lot of planeswalkers, I got a 4/2 lifelinker and lots of card advantage, just paying four mana. It’s huge and that is what I want in Standard. Playing with Obscura Interceptor in a Esper deck is simple, like playing with Void Rend or even Obscura Charm. Tempo is about using mana better than your opponent and making more resources with this mana.
Other notable cards in Esper shell are Nimble Larcenist, which is worse than Sin Collector, but it’s what we have for now, and All-Seeing Arbiter, a card I think is slow for Standard, but can be strong at the right place like Titans where in old times. I have tried this at some midrange lists but haven’t found a home yet.
This is the card which impressed me the most. I was expecting a slow planeswalker who could draw cards and I got a powerhouse to build around. Vivien is strong when I want to grind my opponent on a long game doing her second ability, it’s good when I build a toolbox deck and search for strong ETBs, like Skyclave Apparition and Yasharn, Implacable Earth and can still do a good job when facing an empty board. This card is amazing in Selesnya Midrange so much that it surprised me.
Finally, my last card is another one which surprised me and plays well in a deck that is doing a decent job, Temur Treasures, and that is: Professional Face-Breaker.
I like this card because it works like a payoff and an enabler. So, I can cast it and attack to trigger its first ability, but I can just make it late in the game and activate the last ability many times and generate tons of card advantage. Every time that I think about Professional Face-Breaker, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Magda, Brazen Outlaw and Goldspan Dragon I lose my mind. Temur Treasures is a real deck and can easily use Professional Face-Breaker to scale up in grind match ups.
That was my first impressions about Streets of New Capenna, I love the theme and the cards really lit me up so I can’t wait for the 28th to play with it and try more new cards.
my name is Rudá dos Reis and I will be writing about competitive magic.I am a brazilian grinder and have been twice at the Pro Tour and have one Grand Prix top8 under my belt.
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