Streets of New Capenna is the second Standard Magic: The Gathering set releasing in 2022. Set in a new location, in an as-yet-undisclosed plane, it will sweep us to the gritty alleyways and glamorous locales of the titular metropolis. In a far cry from the usual MTG fantasy themes, expect to see lots of art deco architecture, film noir aesthetics, and a fair few demonic beings, as well as a suspicious absence of angels. We’ve rounded up everything there is to know about Streets of New Capenna below if if you’re new to town, prepare yourself for a life of crime.
STREETS OF NEW CAPENNA CHARACTERS
The demonic Planeswalker Ob Nixilis has become involved with the crime families of New Capenna, and seems be a major villain in the release. In the first chapter of Streets of New Capenna’s story, the crime family leaders speak of an ‘Adversary’ gaining in power and influence. This turns out to be Nix himself, who seems to be on the warpath, promptly offing one of New Capenna’s faction leaders, Xander, in Chapter 4 of the set’s story.
The city of New Capenna is said to be of special significance to Elspeth Tirel, who also features in the Streets of New Capenna story. As does Vivien Reid, who’s dislike of civilisation makes her quite the unlikely fit for an entirely urban set.
Chapter 3 of the story puts Vivien in the company of the villainous Tezzeret and the Phyrexian Praetor Urabrask. Now that we know Wizards isn’t above compleating Planeswalkers, this obviously puts her in quite the precarious situation. Though, Urabrask is supposedly quite pleasant for a Phyrexian, and says he won’t turn her into a cyborg. We’ll see.
The Phyrexian Praetors, Magic’s latest villains, have been appearing one by one in recent sets, and Streets of New Capenna, unsuprisingly, gives Urabrask a new creature card. This is the first new card for this character since Urabrask the Hidden was printed in 2011, and the third Phyrexian creature to show up in Magic since early 2021. We’re definitely building up to a Phyrexian showdown of some kind.
STREETS OF NEW CAPENNA FACTIONS
Streets of New Capenna will focus on the (wrong)doings of five factions, five crime families: each of which is associated with three colours and will have its own keyword ability. Thanks to the March 3 Weekly MTG livestream (and a bit of detective work – how fitting) we now know a fair bit about them.
Like the city of New Capenna itself, whose gleaming buildings bely a seedy underbelly, each family has a respectable front disguising its criminal activities.
First up, we have Obscura in White, Blue and Black. This family is full of gifted mystics who are all about surveillance, and who use illusions to maintain a façade, while scheming in plain sight. As far as we can tell from the set’s marketing material, their leader, Rafinne, is a demonic sphinx. According to WPN, their Commander deck, ‘Obscura Operation’ is for “players who love strategising and saving their big reveals for later in the match”. As with the rest of the faction Commander decks, it’ll be released on April 29.
Then there’s the Maestros, in Blue, Black, and Red. These are assassins, “old money vampires” according to the stream, who maintain a front as art aficionados, sponsoring culture and the arts, but are happy to kill to maintain their luxurious lifestyles . There’s no hiding their leader, Xander’s demon side, since he’s got glowing eyes and giant horns. He’s also half vampire. Official artwork for Streets of New Capenna shows planeswalker Ob Nixilis standing over his slumped body, suggesting Xander may not be long for this world. The Maestros Commander deck ‘Maestros Massacre’ is all about winning “no matter the cost”.
Cabaretti, in Red, White, and Green, are druids who are the life and soul of the party. They’re all about feasts and fun, keeping the ‘Halo’ (a powerful magic substance) flowing, though they apparently use their magic to stay on everyone’s good side. All that fun comes at a cost, and it’s said if you can’t afford to pay “you might find it hard to leave.” Their leader, Jetmir, is a portly cat-person. Also a demon, of course. The Cabaretti Cacophony Commander deck is for players who like to “play loads of low-cost creatures”.
Next up, the Riveteers. They’re Construction workers and artisans, though they’re also pretty good at knocking things (and people) down. In Black, Red, and Green colours, this is the rowdy and rough, brute force family. Apparently, they’ve used their gifts to turn the lower city levels into a gigantic lair for their dragon-demon leader, Ziatora. The Riverteers Rampage Commander deck focuses on “high-speed, hard-hitting attacks”.
Which brings us to the Brokers in Green, White, and Blue. We already saw a glimpse of their antics in their Ascendancy card. A demonic law firm, with aggressive, tireless solicitors, they’re also followers of a doomsday prophecy, believing the city will fail “when the Halo dries up”. Until then, they’ll be looking after their own, as suggested by their defensive Commander deck ‘Bedecked Brokers’. Oh and they’re led by a bird demon, Spara.
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