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Ziatora's Envoy Art by Tuan Duong Chu

Streets of New Capenna Limited Mechanics Guide


Hey everyone! We’re about to be let loose on the Streets of New Capenna to get into all kinds of shenanigans. Hopefully you know what you’re getting yourself into, but just in case I’m going to walk you through the mechanics so you don’t get into too much trouble while you’re there.


Alliance

Alliance is just a way to keyword for “when another creature comes into play” trigger. Basically, play some other creatures and watch the value start to roll in. The ability does vary between ones that trigger for a first and second ability during a turn like Venom Connoisseur and ones that will trigger for as many creatures as you put into play like Devilish Valet. The only other variant of alliance in the set is Gala Greeters which can get pretty absurd if played early.

Some of the other solid payoffs to look out for are Elegant Entourage, Rumor Gatherer, Witty Roastmaster, and Sizzling Soloist.

I’m sure you’re thinking that it seems like a really straight forward concept, but there are multiple ways to twist this to your advantage.

The first way is by playing one of the creatures that produce two creatures from one card. Getting two triggers from one card is a sure fire way to start pulling ahead of your opponent. Some of these are Exhibition Magician, Rakish Revelers, and Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer.

The real fun begins when you start adding instant speed creatures to the mix. For example, your opponent attacks into your Venom Connoisseur when you happen to have Cabaretti Charm or Exotic Pets up. Two surprise creatures that give your entire side deathtouch including the two you just played. Double Murder for three mana?!? In old Vegas… I mean New Capenna, you don’t have to worry about getting arrested for that kind of thing. Trust me, I’ve got a guy for that.

The craziest enabler for alliance is Rabble Rousing which can give you an absolutely insane number of triggers. It might sound like a meme, but it’s not going to be so funny for your opponent when you get eight triggers with Celebrity Fencer or Witty Roastmaster out.


Blitz

Blitz is an alternative cost on a creature that allows you to give it haste in exchange for having to sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step. Importantly it also now draws a card when it dies and you get that card no matter how it dies.

Most of the creatures with blitz have either an enters the battlefield or dies effect attached so that you can recoup some additional value instead of it basically just cycling for a new card. The more busted ones are Jaxis, the Troublemaker, Workshop Warchief, and Ziatora's Envoy so go ahead and slam those if you open them, just know that you will rarely be using them for their blitz cost. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Tenacious Underdog which you will be blitzing over and over again.

Let’s be honest, what you’re really here for is to find out tricks to get even more value off of these. I’m going to start off with a card you might not have thought of, Fake Your Own Death. Not only do you get the life gain along with the card draw, but you also get the creature back with the sacrifice clause conveniently gone. Want to really destroy your opponent? Combine it with Night Clubber to also gift them their own personal Infest.

Other ways to take advantage of the blitz sacrifice is to stack counters on Body Dropper or deal an additional two damage with Forge Boss. It’s also the best way to pull off playing a Fatal Grudge.


Casualty

Casualty allows you to sacrifice a creature with power equal to or greater than the casualty cost to copy the spell. It does not work like crew where you can use multiple creatures to pay the cost, it all has to be from a single creature.

I think this ability is currently being overrated by people that are treating it like it is a free add on to the spell. Sacrificing a creature that you already have on board is a very real cost so you have to evaluate these spells somewhere in between the fail case and when you manage to pull it off.

When looking for sacrifice fodder, you really want to focus on creatures that you’ve already gotten your value out of like Backup Agent, Corrupt Court Official, or a random citizen token. You can also grab some that give you value when they die like Unlucky Witness and Expendable Lackey. A card like Halo Scarab seems like it would fit in here, but investing four mana in a treasure token is a pretty poor payoff compared to the rest of these.

You may have noticed that all of things you want to sacrifice have one power, which makes casualty one a lot easier to profitably pull off than casualty two. That may seem obvious, but there is a big enough difference here that I have to mention it. You’ll usually have enough disposable bodies running around to pull off Dig Up the Body, Grisly Sigil, A Little Chat, and Rooftop Nuisance. The higher casualty costs will require a real creature.

I can’t talk about casualty without mentioning Involuntary Employment. If you want to AFR your opponent in the middle of nowhere, then grab them early because there will be enough casualty cards floating around to enable them.


Connive

When a creature connives, you may draw a card and discard a card. If you discard a nonland, then you put a +1/+1 counter on that creature. You want to connive even if you have no cards in hand because you get to either loot away a land or get a counter on your creature. It’s a win/win situation unless you’re about to deck yourself.

This is a very powerful ability that I often compare to blood from Crimson Vow. It helps smooth your draws, prevents screw, eliminates flood, and even throws in some counters. It is even the best way to work towards hitting the threshold of five different mana values in your graveyard.

It’s still a really good ability even if you don’t have anything that you necessarily want to discard, but you know I love to maximize value. Cards that can do something after being in the graveyard are what we are looking for. That means Expendable Lackey and Maestros Initiate are prime discard fodder.

All of the connive is for a single card except for Raffine, Scheming Seer which connives for the number of attacking creatures. There are others that can trigger multiple times in a turn like Hypnotic Grifter, Illuminator Virtuoso, and Ledger Shredder.

There are also some that perform an ability when they connive such as Obscura Interceptor and Psychic Pickpocket.


Hideaway

Hideaway is a returning ability where you look at the top x cards of your library (in SNC, it is always 5), exile one of them face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library. Once you meet whatever random condition it requires, you get to play the card for the low, low cost of free. Vintage Cube aficionados are well of aware of the havoc that Shelldock Isle can wreak on a game.

This ability only appears on five cards in the set. All of which are rare and two of which are unplayable garbage so they won’t come up that often. Cemetery Tampering and Widespread Thieving should just be ignored if you open them or you can do a victory lap when your opponent plays them.

The two you really need to concern yourself with are Fight Rigging and Rabble Rousing as both provide powerful abilities and completely reasonable goals to pull off so you should usually be selecting the most powerful card you see when you hideaway. Wiretapping is a solid card, but the goal is just not going to happen so I’d recommend that you just thin a land out of your deck when you hideaway.


Shield Counters

Shield counters are a counter on a creature that if it would be dealt damage or destroyed, remove a shield counter instead. We’re in the same boat if that sounds like it is going to be one of the most annoying mechanics to play against.

The two ways to add a surprise counter at instant speed are Boon of Safety and sacrificing Brokers Veteran with casualty. Everything else you will know up front if you have to deal with it. The other ways to add a shield counter are the two mythic rare bombs Elspeth Resplendent and Titan of Industry which you are probably have far bigger problems with than the shield counter.

The easiest way to get around shield counters is to give them -X/-X with cards like Whack and Deal Gone Bad. If you want to really do them dirty, you can Call In a Professional which means for the rest of the turn you are free to deal damage directly to shielded creatures. It even still removes the shield counters while dealing the damage to them.

The bomb shield creatures are Falco Spara, Pactweaver, Rigo, Streetwise Mentor, and Sanctuary Warden. If you thought dealing with a busted card was bad, now you have to deal with them twice.


Wrap Up

Thanks for reading! Now that you understand the mechanics, you won’t be falling for what some of the people are trying to pull out there. Get out there and show them that you run these streets.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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j2sjosh
j2sjosh

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.

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