MTG Arena Zone Premium
MTG Arena Zone Premium
Elegant Entourage Art by Jodie Muir

Streets of New Capenna Draft Guide

Hey Everyone! It’s been quite the journey and we are finally at the gates of New Capenna and ready to get wild. I’ve already given you my set review, archetype guide, mechanics guide, and tier list so now I’m going to hook you up with a general draft guide to help you get started. These should all be read together for maximum benefit.

Now that we are deep into the format, I can give you the concrete information you need. We were actually pretty much dead on with most of our predictions, but have added some more details to help get you where you’re going.

Key Ideas of Streets of New Capenna Limited

Mana fixing is important, but you shouldn’t be prioritizing it early in the draft. Fixing is abundant so if you find the proper lane to be in color wise, you’ll end up with both the cards and the fixing for it.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be taking fixing. I’m saying that with shard lands (the sacrifice lands that get three types) or duals they are going to get passed because they don’t have the universal applications that Evolving Wilds or Uncharted Haven brings. Think about it like this, if the person you’re passing to sees a late Corpse Appraiser and a Brokers Hideout in the pack, which one are they going to think is the bigger signal?

This obviously changes as the draft goes on. If it’s pack three and you have no fixing lands, you should be grabbing your first one over anything except a bomb.

Even though it’s a shard set, if you end up in straight three colors your draft probably went off the rails somewhere. The most common decks are going to be two colors splashing a third for power cards within that shard. Don’t play a third color just because you can, make sure those cards have a reason to be in your deck.

Signaling is very important during the draft. Take the signal you see later in the pack as a much stronger indication of what is actually open and don’t diamond hands your early picks. Dafore gave a great example of this where his first few picks were strong Grixis cards, but he was passed Elegant Entourage pick five. He did a hard pivot and ended up winning with a strong Selesnya deck.

It’s widely acknowledged that Brokers are the best colors to be in (as predicted by yours truly in the prerelease version of this very article), but it’s important to understand where you can still gain advantages in a world where this is common knowledge.

The number one thing to do is build a deck, not a pile of good cards. A great example of this is the different ways to build a Selesnya deck. Ceremonial Groundbreaker is almost bomb level in a citizen heavy version, while a version with more diverse creature types would prefer almost any of the on-color combat tricks to the shovel.

The next big thing is adjusting your deck to be more effective in the mirror. With so many people fighting over Bant colors, they tend to end up low on interaction so a card like Security Bypass can be the mirror breaker.

The other thing is to draft a deck that destroys the best deck. Grixis control is a very strong counter to all of the Bant decks running around and you won’t have to fight too hard over two of the colors. It’s very important to focus more on building a blue-black control style deck splashing red over something like a Rakdos sacrifice deck splashing blue otherwise you’re going to have a bad time.

One of the biggest advantages of going Grixis is that a power card like Corpse Appraiser has an ALSA of 4.32 which is outrageous for an uncommon that floats around the top ten highest win rates in the set. Identifying similar cards can give you a big leg up on the competition.

Extract the Truth might appear to be your typical bad sideboard card and in most cases it still is. In a Grixis control build, it helps fill in the two-drop slot while taking out a potentially problematic card before it has the opportunity to accrue value. In most decks, this is still bad but it can put in some real work in one that you really want to get to the late game with. As a bonus it gives you an excuse to yell “You can’t handle the truth!”.

Winning the tempo game has seemed like the best path to victory so far. You can get hard punished if you stumble early which is true both for aggressive or control decks. This leads to a very interesting tension between the number of fixing lands you can run. If you don’t have enough fixing, you’ll never cast your spells while if you have too many you’ll fall behind because everything comes into play tapped.

The speed of the format is obviously fast with tempo being king. In theory, the format looked like a play something on turn three format. In reality if you miss out on a two drop, things can snowball quickly because some of the two drops can hit hard. Body Dropper can start growing out of control or Civil Servant is a huge life swing that is hard to come back from.

As I was saying about control decks needing to worry about tempo, a card like Strangle can be huge as a one mana answer to Civil Servant while still allowing you to develop your board either with another blocker or a tap land.

Quick hit on Civil Servant: You can attack with it and Civic Gardener, untap the gardener and tap it to again to activate Civil Servant. You get to have your cake and eat it too.

Flying has played really well so far with Echo Inspector and Inspiring Overseer being real stand out commons. It’s a great way to finish off games after your tempo has stalled out. I’d talk about Inspiring Overseer more, but if you’ve played any SNC, you already know how busted it is for a common.

Tricks are also really overperforming. There is a lot of sorcery speed removal so you are far less likely to get blown out. With all of the damage pushing back and forth, your opponent rarely has the opportunity to leave mana open. In particular, Luxurious Libation has been a huge overperformer acting as either a fireball finisher or a surprise defense.

For the Family is another cheap trick that has been acting as a pseudo removal spell or the always enjoyable “remove target player from the game” for one mana. Remember to be sus if your opponent plays a fourth creature precombat.

Majestic Metamorphosis has wrecked so many dreams. Someone’s just trying to wander the streets and BAM! Angel out of no where crashes the party. Watch out for surprise lethal when your opponent slaps some wings and a halo on a treasure or a crowbar.


These are the Pack One Pick One (p1p1) no doubt, windmill slam, just take them rares of the set. These are not in rank order, just take these over any uncommon or common.

Mythic Uncommons

These might be uncommons, but they sure don’t play like they are. Normally I would say these should be taken over every common, but Inspiring Overseer is in this set.

Do Not Draft List

These are the ones that some people talk themselves into, but you should always pass.

Wrap up

Well, my friends, that brings us to the end of our little trip back into New Capenna. I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited to get back to stacking trophies and gems. After they finally drag me out of one of these casinos, I’ll report back to you with any other secrets I uncover. Until then, good luck laying the beats.

I’m always open to feedback, let me know what you loved, what you hated, or just send dog pics. You can contact at:

Enjoy our content? Wish to support our work? Join our Premium community, get access to exclusive content, remove all advertisements, and more!

MTG Arena Zone Premium

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

Articles: 145