Alchemy: New Capenna Card Reviews and Decklists
Hello everyone! 30 new Alchemy: New Capenna cards are being introduced to the Alchemy format – so it’s time to dive in to see what’s good, what’s bad, and where the cards can go!
As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications. For our limited review to help you in the special Alchemy: New Capenna Premier Draft event, click here.
- 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
- 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
- 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
- 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
- 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
- 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.
Table of Contents
- Celestial Vault
- Herald of Vengeance
- Skyline Savior
- Agent of Raffine
- Choice of Fortunes
- Nightclub Bouncer
- Graven Archfiend
- Shattering Finale
- Xander’s Wake
- Big Spender
- Pass the Torch
- Traumatic Prank
- Giant Regrowth
- Loose in the Park
- Menagerie Curator
- Brokers’ Safeguard
- Obscura Polymorphist
- Bind to Secrecy
- Syndicate Recruiter
- Cabaretti Revels
- Racketeer Boss
- Bank Job
- Riveteers Provocateur
- Arming Gala
- Rope Line Attendant
- Diviner of Fates
- Spelldrain Assassin
- Effluence Devourer
- Back-Alley Gardener
- Spara’s Bodyguard
- Decklists in this Article
- Azorius Control – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Dimir Pact – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Mono Red Aggro – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Gruul Aggro – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Jund Treasures – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Rakdos Sacrifice – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Selesnya Aggro – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Esper Connive – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Jund Midrange – Alchemy: New Capenna
- Naya Midrange – Alchemy: New Capenna
Celestial Vault’s Spellbook
- Angel of Destiny
- Resplendent Angel
- Angel of Vitality
- Righteous Valkyrie
- Angel of Invention
- Angel of Sanctions
- Valkyrie Harbinger
- Emancipation Angel
- Youthful Valkyrie
- Resplendent Marshal
- Enduring Angel
- Sigardian Savior
- Serra Angel
- Stalwart Valkyrie
- Segovian Angel
Now this is a really tough card to evaluate. On one hand, this is very slow to get going and provides you with only clunky creatures. On the other hand, this can be a pretty small mana investment to draw a huge amount of cards later in the game.
Although this seems like a weak card on the surface, I may go out on a limb to say it may play better than it looks. In a deck that can stall out the game, this is like a weird Mazemind Tome that won’t draw you exactly what you want, but can draw you more cards over the course of the game. Like a lot of these cards, this could also easily be a sideboard card in attrition matchups as getting a bunch of random creatures could be good enough against slow strategies.
Herald of Vengeance
To kick us off, par for the course of Alchemy, we have some wackiness already! A 5 mana 4/5 Flier is a decent stat line, but not amazing. On entry though, it destroys every creature that damaged you last turn (and all cards they control of the same name) which is an extremely brutal ability. In a sense, this is Settle the Wreckage that you have to take damage for, but is a 4/5 rather than an instant that gives them value.
I wouldn’t just jam this as a 4 of in Control, but this definitely seems like an excellent sideboard card at a minimum. Now Azorius can play Divine Purge, Depopulate, Doomskar, and this, to pretty much never lose to an aggressive deck again which is definitely interesting!
As usual with creatures, we always have to first evaluate the stat line. A 3 mana 3/4 flier, although double white to cast, on stats alone is one of the biggest 3 drops around. However, we mostly play 3 drops for their effects, not the stats!
On ETB, Skyline Savior forces you to return a permanent you control, but if it’s a creature, it gains +1/+1, Flying, and a shiny new subtype which is a decent buff.
This card doesn’t read particularly badly, but having to return one of your permanents will likely only be good in a deck that’s built around this type of effect. Even in a deck that is built around it, this may not even be good on curve depending on what your two drop is, or worse yet, this is uncastable on turn 3 with nothing else out as bouncing one of your lands is super brutal. There may be some utility for this, but it seems unlikely to be part of a tier strategy.
Agent of Raffine
So this is a worse, more fragile Mazemind Tome? You may think that’s a condemnation, but Mazemind Tomb was really good so anything reminiscent of it should be evaluated. That said, drawing cards from your opponent’s library is generally much worse than your own, and personally, I’m not seeing why this would be better than something like Reckoner Bankbuster.
Choice of Fortunes
Unfortunately in this day and age, Divination is not really what Constructed is about. However, what about a Divination that gives you no maximum hand size and lets you shuffle back the cards you draw if you don’t like them? Definitely better! I’m unsure if this is better or worse than Unexpected Conversion, but it is definitely good enough to potentially see play, but not strong enough to be a big player.
This is like Venser, Shaper Savant that makes the thing it bounces a little more expensive, but not having the ability to bounce spells makes this substantially worse. I’m not seeing the power here as you could just play Fading Hope instead for an extremely similar effect for 3 less mana without the measly 2/3 body.
Well this is a fun one! A 5 mana 4/5 Flier is an alright stat line, but far from constructed playability. However, being able to pitch a creature to turn it into a Demonic Pact is a super interesting and potentially powerful play pattern.
Unlike older formats, we don’t have good ways to donate Pact but destroying it or bouncing it prior to it killing you is a tried and true strategy. It is a bit slow for Alchemy and you do really need to sacrifice something otherwise you’re getting a pretty raw deal for a 5 drop, but I see some potential.
Alright, for flavor reasons alone, how do you shrink toughness and not shrink power? Have you ever felt super sick and ready to bang out some push ups? Flavor aside, this is definitely an interesting card.
The closest comparison to this card would be Mire's Grasp, and just by that standard, it wouldn’t be too strong, but one that can be copied is definitely more interesting. If you’re playing a sacrifice deck, you could definitely use this as a way to massacre creature decks which gives it some nice sideboard applications.
Xander’s Wake’s Spellbook
- Thieves' Guild Enforcer
- Slaughter Specialist
- Acquisitions Expert
- Malakir Blood-Priest
- Boneclad Necromancer
- Tavern Swindler
- Blade Juggler
- Hoard Robber
- Morbid Opportunist
- Bloodthirsty Aerialist
- Asylum Visitor
- Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade
- Tithebearer Giant
- Malakir Cullblade
- Vengeful Warchief
2 mana to potentially draw a bunch of cards? Definitely tempting! Admittedly most of the cards in the spellbook are somewhat weak, but that can be offset by drawing a bunch of them as you’ll always have something to do in decks that can utilize it the best.
Even in decks that can trigger this every turn, the power of this card is gated by the strength of the spellbook, but I think this may be better than it looks.
Big Spender’s Spellbook
- Stuffed Bear
- Daredevil Dragster
- Honored Heirloom
- Treasure Vault
- Gilded Lotus
- Heraldic Banner
- Key to the City
- Prophetic Prism
- Filigree Familiar
- Golden Egg
- Fountain of Renewal
- Guild Globe
- Zephyr Boots
- Arcane Encyclopedia
- Diamond Mare
Oh my goodness, Nest Robber, is that you? 2 mana 2/1 Haste generally isn’t a playable stat line, but if it’s similar to my precious Dino Dash, it has to be decent right?
Well, Spender actually is! The body is whatever, but getting a Treasure token when any of your creatures are blocked is a solid start. However, we’re here for the spellbook! While the spellbook card pool can be pretty hit or miss, I would say there’s like 4 or so cards you would be really happy to get which adds some strength to this card. In conjunction with other Treasure producers and Professional Face-Breaker, you can have a deck that gets a lot of value from their Treasures which is a cool archetype to add to.
Pass the Torch
A 2 mana instant deal 2? Meh. One that you could potentially recast for free? More enticing! This is harder to trigger than Molten Impact which is a bit scary, but it’s probably just good enough for it to see play in Red aggro decks.
Alright, Shattering Finale is one thing, but what’s the flavor behind this one? I don’t know, and I don’t want to know.
I digress, this is a weird Act of Treason as it doesn’t do anything special in sacrirfice decks which is where you typically want these types of effects. You still would play this if you have a lot of sacrifice outlets, but this is far from Claim the Firstborn.
That said, I think using this as a sideboard card for aggro decks could be a lot more interesting. Taking out a blocker and dealing a bunch of damage could definitely be worth the 3 mana investment, even if it’s a bit narrow in application. Overall I’d say not bad, but not great either.
Now this is flavor! Giant Growth has been around since Alpha and doing this twist on it is fun to see! That said, playing a 3 mana card that doesn’t immediately provide board presence or substantial value is definitely not a playable rate.
Loose in the Park
Loose in the Park’s Spellbook
- Exuberant Wolfbear
- Master Symmetrist
- Thrashing Brontodon
- Ornery Dilophosaur
- Prized Unicorn
- Sabertooth Mauler
- Spike-Tailed Ceratops
- Bristling Boar
- Enraged Ceratok
- Spore Crawler
- Predatory Wurm
- Gaea's Protector
- Wardscale Crocodile
- Overgrown Armasaur
- World Shaper
This is a pretty easy case. 2 mana to draw a card, 3 mana to turn a land into a medium creature later. Definitely cute, but I’m not seeing this as a huge upside. It’s not good early, it’s not good in the mid game, and it’s kind of acceptable late, but not even great.
So a more restrictive mana dork that requires you to jump through an insane hoop to make it good? Cool Commander card, but I’m not seeing how you can pack your deck full of creatures without them sharing a creature type. Maybe this synergizes with something I’m not thinking of, but this just doesn’t seem good.
We haven’t gotten a strong blink effect in Alchemy for quite awhile, and with
It’s interesting to me that every discussion I’ve seen about this card has been comparing it to Brutal Cathar, when in my mind, I’m seeing Man-o'-War. Considering Polymorphist gives the owner of the exiled creature something immediately, I feel like that’s a much more reasonable comparison. To that end, the last time that type of creature has been playable was Reflector Mage, but that card is messed up.
This could end up being a better bounce creature if they get a worse creature to hand, but inversely you can give them something better too which would be awkward. Two more awkward facets about this card too: this isn’t a may so if you play this on an empty board you’ll lose it to itself and exiling tokens is REAL bad. Not a fan.
Bind to Secrecy
Bind to Secrecy’s Spellbook
- Reassembling Skeleton
- Unmarked Grave
- Strategic Planning
- Corpse Churn
- Corpse Hauler
- Durable Coilbug
- Necrotic Wound
- Obsessive Stitcher
- Gorging Vulture
- Liliana's Elite
- Courier Bat
- Locked in the Cemetery
- Fear of Death
- Naga Oracle
So if you’re in Dimir, this is a better Negate that has additional utility and may draw you a card? This is no Drown in the Loch, but this is real good regardless. The spellbook leaves a lot to be desired, but that also means you don’t need to get the spellbook value every time to make this card good.
It’s weird to see a Dimir creature have such a large body, yet here we are. A 4 mana 4/5 Flier with Ward 1 is quite the large stat line as it can block and attack through (I believe) every other 4 drop in Alchemy.
That said, generally creatures need a good ability as well to be good, even with such a good body, but if you meet the condition, you just get a 3 mana slightly better Raise Dead. It is nifty that you can use it to keep recurring Syndicate Recruiter or to circumvent removal, but that’s a very slow engine for Alchemy.
Without a good body and ability, 4 drops generally aren’t going to make the cut, but for what it’s worth, the body is so good this may be an exception.
Sheeshhhhhh. I may have to break my own rule for this card, but this is sweet. Generally speaking, if your 3+ drops aren’t doing something rather impactful, they are generally bad in my mind. However, Revels can give you a lot of value very quickly in a deck that has mostly creatures in it.
This seems terrifying to face down on turn 3 against something like Werewolves where the creatures are both good on their own and get better in a group so this seems relatively promising, at a minimum in the sideboard of Gruul decks.
A 2 mana 3/2 that functionally replaces itself down the road? Nice! This isn’t Burning-Tree Emissary, but anything that’s reminiscent of it is definitely impressive. Furthermore, you don’t need a second spell to get value out of it, but you will need two creatures and/or planeswalkers in hand to get the value. Not incredible, but solid.
Now this is a cool design! So this is a Phyrexian Arena that only gets creatures, but even if you don’t want to cast it, you get a Treasure token for your trouble. You would think to put this in a heavy creature deck, but if you play fewer more powerful creatures, you can get access to them constantly.
Furthermore, since this curves really nicely into Citystalker Connoisseur, I feel like this has some solid utility.
A 2 mana 3/1 Menace is a solid stat line, and one that has Blitz and gives other creatures Blitz is solid value as well. That said, Blitz isn’t the strongest of keywords so this will mostly be a 3/1 Menace with minor upside, but between that and the marginal extra value it provides it seems like it could be decent.
I say this a lot, but 5 drops have to be phenomenal to see play nowadays so is this strong enough? Potentially! A 5 mana anthem is pretty mediocre, but an anthem that keeps growing the creatures on board and every other relevant zone is very scary and will easily pay dividends within a turn or two. It’s like Brokers Ascendancy, but for every creature!
I’m not sure if this will outpace your other options as this does take a few turns to get going, but I can definitely see it.
Rope Line Attendant
Now this is an interesting card so let’s break this down. A 2 mana 2/2 isn’t a great stat line, but it’s 2 mana so as long as it can tussle a little bit that’s good enough for me. Giving every creature card in your hand an additional 1/1 of value is definitely where the power of the card comes from though!
I would consider a vanilla 1/1 to be worth something like .5-.75 mana so once you cast even one creature after Attendant you’re already getting some solid value. If you cast multiple creatures, or better yet, multiple Attendants, I can see this getting out of control quickly.
There aren’t many cards that reward you for going wide right now, but this is strong enough that you don’t necessarily need cards that synergize with this to make it good.
Diviner of Fates
This card is so interesting to me as it’s so similar to Toluz, Clever Conductor that I’m surprised they were released so close together, but in fairness, they work pretty well together as well!
There are a glut of connive cards at 3, but this is functionally a 3 mana 3/4 that filters on entry and threatens to get even more value as the game drags on. Furthermore, this is actually pretty good against Citystalker Connoisseur which is still the strongest card in Alchemy so any card that’s good against that definitely gains stock in my book!
Copying spells is an obscenely powerful ability, but having to play a 3 mana 3/3 in 3 colors that still requires a card to get it is a lot to ask for. Casaulty is a Grixis ability, but is generally at it’s best in just Rakdos as the Blue third of Grixis doesn’t lend itself to having good creatures to sacrifice. Furthermore, generally speaking you want to play cheaper spells in Grixis, but this card wants you to play more expensive spells to make the best use out of this.
There is definitely potential here, but I feel this is a lot of hoops to jump through for what isn’t even the most powerful effect in the world. However, someone is going to live the dream with Magma Opus, and to them I say “More power to you!”
Wow talk about value! With every creature you sacrifice, you can get an Ooze the same size for 2 mana which is a pretty good rebate! Furthermore, Blitzing this in gets you damage, a card, and a huge Ooze for 2 mana so that’s also a very reasonable use of mana. Not only does this work with Blitz, it also works well with cards like Deadly Dispute and Fatal Grudge for even more ways to build around this!
While none of these abilities are super stand out, it does enough and has a strong enough body that this should see play in decks that can utilize it.
3 mana 3/4? Free land with a creature every turn? Now that’s some real value. This can see play in Ramp or just midrange that wants a decent amount of mana, and better yet, may fetch utility lands for you if you’re lucky! Not incredible, but a free card is a free card.
This is a lot of text for what is functionally a 3 mana 3/3 that comes in with a shield counter or gives a future creature one. This does also get slightly buffed if you have a lot of Shield counters on board, but I don’t thin there’s enough strong cards with shield counters to put a lot of stock into that ability.
This seems acceptable, but definitely not the most impressive thing you could be doing.
Decklists in this Article
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