It’s every magic players favorite time, spoiler season. It’s like Christmas, but we get it multiple times a year! I get so hyped up for new sets and this one is going to be crazy with the first shard based set we’ve had in a long time. So lets jump right into see what’s going down on the mean Streets of New Capenna.
- 5.0: Disgustingly powerful and basically unbeatable. Either answer it the turn it comes down or just pack up your cards. (Tovolar’s Huntmaster, The Meathook Massacre, Starnheim Unleashed)
- 4.5: Incredible bomb that still gives your opponent a slim chance. (Adeline, Resplendent Cathar, Alrund’s Epiphany, Grand Master of Flowers)
- 4.0: Great rare or the absolute best uncommons and removal. (Froghemoth, Morbid Opportunist, Skullport Merchant)
- 3.5: Great role filler or removal that you never cut. (Magic Missile, Cathartic Pyre, Battle Cry Goblin)
- 3.0: Good playable that I’m basically never cutting. (Usher of the Fallen, Search Party Captain, Dragon Turtle)
- 2.5: Decent playable and the bar I hope nearly every card in my deck to reach. (Mourning Patrol, Steadfast Paladin, Goblin Morningstar)
- 2.0: Mediocre filler that normally is your 20-23rd card(s). (Contact Other Plane, Mindleech Ghoul, Timberland Guide)
- 1.5: Replaceable, overall bath filler. Could also be decent sideboard cards. (Secrets of the Key, Spiked Pit Trap, Village Rites)
- 1.0: Bath filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Secret Door, Mystic Skull, Funeral Longboat)
- 0.5: Very unhappy to main deck this, but maybe it has fringe sideboard applications. (You See a Guard Approach, Bramble Armor, Compelled Duel)
- 0.0: Unplayable in every possible situation. (Mimic, Change of Fortune, Curse of Shaken Faith)
All Seeing Arbitrator
You would think that someone who is all-seeing would have thought of a way to protect themselves. Outside of that a giant flying beater with built in card advantage that takes a nerf bat to opponent’s creatures is the definition of a bomb. If they would have tossed shield on this, it would have been an all timer. Still an easy first pick.
Back Street Bruiser
It seems like every set has a cheap, slightly over statted blue defender and I just want to tell everybody backstreets back, alright. There are enough shield counters floating around that it shouldn’t be too difficult to get this one swinging at your opponent.
This would be infinitely better if it put the counter on when it came into play. I think the best use is to use it as a casualty sacrifice to slap a surprise shield on what you really want to protect. Outside of that, this is one of many disappointing blue cards.
Case the Joint
While it’s an improved Inspiration, that card hasn’t been good since the Lincoln administration. In a format with lots of value floating around, a four mana draw two is pretty atrocious. Better than a nineteenth country. Yeah, I said it – country eighteen is probably better than this.
Cut Your Losses
Do you know what’s worse than a five mana do nothing? A six mana do nothing. I’ve strangely enough heard people hyping this card up. No matter what you can never mill your opponent out with this card so you tap out to do nothing for the ability to sit there and wait it out. No thank you.
Luckily most of the cards you care about countering cost four mana and up. It does have the downside of being a dead card against some decks and it’s not too hard for opponents to sniff it out. I’d keep it to one in the main and happily have a few more to board in.
My main comparison for connive is Crimson Vow Blood as a cheap mechanic that can help mitigate flood or screw. The potential 3/4 flyer for four is a good deal and a 2/3 flyer for four that basically draws a card is also perfectly playable.
Errant, Street Artist
Can’t wait to flash in my 0/3 defender with haste! The main use for this is copying casualty triggers again. If you don’t have enough of those to be relevant, don’t play this card. Even if you do, you probably still want to let this artist starve out on the streets.
Even the Score
It’s a combination of dream and meme for your opponent to connive three times letting you just go off with this. Most of the time you’re just going to be paying above the going rate to draw some cards on their end step. The flexibility makes this playable because it’s actually pretty bad at almost every casting cost until you get to game winning amounts.
They really nailed it with the name on this one because that is exactly what he is. This guy’s job is to get into the graveyard either through casualty or discarding to connive before adding value by giving you an unblockable dork.
As long as you get a single trigger, this is above rate. With connive floating around, this should be pretty easy to pop off a few times making this a solid bargain if your deck is into that sort of thing. If you don’t have any ways to trigger this, it’s hot garbage.
Not having to tap and being able to activate at instant speed really pushes this up. You can grift your opponent into not attacking or blocking through threat of activation. Really solid one drop that your opponent is going to have to use removal on eventually.
Connive is a really powerful ability and getting it as a repeatable effect on a two-drop flyer is a pretty big deal. You can play this and then follow it up with a cheap spell to trigger it right away. Ledger Shredder also triggers when your opponent double spells so they either limit themselves or give you free value.
A Little Chat
If this was just a bad Anticipate, it would be sideboard fodder. Instant speed makes it much more likely you can cash in something with casualty for a sweet little bonus. Also, totally fine for digging as getting two cards out of your top four for only two mana and a dork can get you right back into a game.
I don’t think people are going to misevaluate angelic Suit Up coming off of NEO. It’ll perform slightly worse as a trick because people won’t be as incentivized to block which is balanced out by giving you the chance to fly.
Quench wasn’t a good card and adding the option to double it doesn’t move the needle much for me. I’ll be making this disappear to the person next to me every time it’s in my pack. This is one of those really bad cards that you get got by because you forgot it exists.
Wind Drake might not cut the mustard these days, but giving it lifelink changes that up a bit. As long as you can produce either white or black mana this is an unexciting, but solid addition to your team.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Now this is an offer I can easily refuse. This fills the Negate slot giving you a one mana discount in exchange for the opposition getting two treasures. Ramp my opponent? No thank you. Strictly a sideboard card to be used against big late game spells that you have no other outs on.
Out of the Way
I’ve been a big fan of bounce spells that draw a card since the days of Repulse. Being able to dumpster green players for only two mana is pretty sick too. On top of that, it gives me an excuse to play Ludacris on my soundboard every time I play this card.
Is this what you are trying to do? Really?!? If so, I would highly recommend you reevaluate your game plan. Just a poor speed bump that you wasted three mana on. Next…
Now this is a Man-o’-War! Connive on a potential 4/3 plus a bounce is just great. At uncommon, it’s going to be a lot harder to chain these so you’re going to have to be a little pickier about who you’re pickpocketing.
Nope. Not happening. Just a bad card… Clearly designed for multiplayer games, unlike Magic Arena.
Huge and cheap with the drawback of your opponent tapping their own creatures to give you an unblockable army of fish. I guess they can just let you crack in (see what I did there) with your 6/6 trampler, but that will end the game in a hurry.
The nice thing about this is being able to turn one of your now worthless minions into a free card while locking another creature down. Similar to every card with casualty, it’s pretty unimpressive if you just play it on its own.
Run Out of Town
I hope I don’t get run out of town for saying that this feels like it is missing something. Revenge of the Drowned ruined me for other versions of this card. If you’re going to take away my zombie, you’re going to have to do better than hitting nonland permanents.
Not quite up there with Curious Obsession even though it does let you get in there unblocked. It really comes down to the value of a connive, which will probably be around half of a card so you need to get in two clean hits before breaking even on this.
I’d rate this crocodile about the same as the stuff he’s swimming in down in the sewers. I think it’s going to be pretty rare to have five different mana values in your graveyard without working pretty hard for it so I would recommend evaluating cards as if they didn’t have that ability.
Sleep with the Fishes
I was initially pretty low on this because of casualty, but the more I think about it the more I come up on this. It’s great against creatures with shield and some of the major bombs in this set like Workshop Warchief and Sanctuary Warden. It even comes with a free fish and who’s going to turn that down.
Slip Out the Back
The usual cheap blue protection against removal spell like Planar Incision. The problem is that phasing makes this effect so much worse because enchantments stay on it so you can’t use it to get out from under Pacifism or perma-tap effects. You also don’t get the creature back until your next turn so you can’t surprise block someone either. Maybe board it in against Depopulate.
Clone with the potential upside of a shield counter? Sign me up for that one. The only real drawbacks are the double blue pips in a shard set and you only get that shield if you are cloning something under your control. While “just” copying your opponent’s best creature is still really good, it’s usually functionally a removal spell where they end up trading off.
It’s like Pegasus Courser and Wind Drake had an overachieving baby. The 2/3 body, the flying other creatures effect, and a shield counter is a ton of value for only three mana. I’ll hire as many of this agent as I can get my hands on.
The flavor of collecting information leading to having more cards in hand is on point. I’d be wary of putting anything decent under hideaway as it’s almost never going to trigger so use it to thin a land out of your deck. The power of a five-mana enchantment that draws an extra card every turn is really going to depend on the speed of the format. I think it’s going to be slow enough to make this a really solid card.
Love the flavor of this one as I actually LOL’d at Legitimate Businessperson. As a card, I’d prefer they did a good enough job protecting this witness that I never see it.