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Sanctuary Warden Art by Julie Dillon

Streets of New Capenna Limited Set Review: White

Our complete review of all the Streets of New Capenna cards, for limited (sealed and draft).

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.


Angelic Observer

Rating: 1.5/5

I’d rather observe this angel sitting in my sideboard unless I have A LOT of token makers. This really needed to be a 4/4 or have an ability tacked on because a vanilla Phantom Monster that requires two citizens already in play isn’t where I want to be.

Backup Agent

Rating: 2.0/5

This is a solid backup plan if it’s late and you need a curve filler. We’ve seen many variations of this card before and it inevitably ends up as a “whatever” card. If you have cards that get a bonus off of having a counter, then maybe bump this up a little.

Ballroom Brawlers

Rating: 3.0/5

I want to know what band they got to play in New Capenna because this brawler grabs their partner and turns the whole ball room into a mosh pit.  Having the option for either first strike or lifelink is pretty great as it lets you choose whether you want to make blocking difficult or racing impossible.

Boon of Safety

Rating: 1.5/5

This is much worse than the normal indestructible trick since it doesn’t give you the option to still have an indestructible blocker after stopping removal. The scry makes up for it, but still puts it in the realm of “I guess I’ll play it”. There are also multiple -x-x cards in the set that this has no ability to stop.

Brokers Initiate

Rating: 1.5/5

The only part of this I remotely care about is the cat person in a snazzy suit. An 0/4 isn’t worth playing and paying five mana every time you want to make it a 5/5 is too expensive to be worth it. Filler card at best, but I’d prefer it’s filling a spot in my opponents deck instead.

Buy Your Silence

Rating: 2.5/5

Exile seems like it will be strong in a world with shield running around and being a catch all removal spell is also pretty slick. The main problem isn’t even giving the treasure token, but having to pay five mana for that silence. There also seems to be a ton of value floating around which really lowers the value of one for one removal.

Celebrity Fencer

Rating: 2.0/5

This reminds me of Prowling Felidar from Zendikar Rising which was a pretty mediocre card. Are you more likely to play out more lands or more creatures after you play a four drop. Either way, it’s a sometimes good, sometimes bad card that will make the cut when I’m low on four drops.

Citizen’s Crowbar

Rating: 3.0/5

Another addition to the bear with upside category. Even though it’s a citizen token, I’m just going to picture a bear walking around with a crowbar hanging out of its mouth. The best comparison card is Ancestral Blade which was an excellent card and I feel that even though the equip cost is one higher, the ability to pop off an artifact or enchantment is well worth it.

Dapper Shieldmate

Rating: 2.5/0

The shield counter is the only thing that makes this salvageable as playing with a Giant Cockroach isn’t quite what I’m looking for. Only being a 2/2 on your opponents turn takes away a lot of value on defense where that shield counter could do some serious work.

Depopulate

Rating: 4.0/5

A four-mana Wrath of God is always going to be a powerful effect as long as it doesn’t have a huge drawback tacked on. One of the cool things about this is that you can play out a multicolored blocker to make it look like you don’t have a sweeper and get to replace it when you blast everything.

Elspeth Resplendent

Rating: 4.5/5

Oh, she fancy! Not nearly as game breaking as you would expect out of a five mana planeswalker though. While the shield counter makes sure that what you get is well protected, the limitation of being a 3 drop means it’s not going to be nearly as good as a normal minus ability such as removing an opposing creature. Most of the time Elspeth is going to be trying to use the plus ability to protect itself before dropping a horde of angels in to clean the place up.

Extraction Specialist

Rating: 2.5/5

If you have multiple premium two drops you can get back then this obviously goes up. The usual case you’re looking for is getting your opponent to trade off two drops and then dropping this for a future free card as long as it doesn’t get pacified. While the 3/2 for three fall back seems horrible, the lifelink can help it pull its own weight.

Gathering Throng

Rating: 2.0/5

It’s going to be interesting to find the right number of these. Too many and you end up drawing suboptimal cards. I think four is the right number, but even then, I’m not sure this is what I want to be doing. On the bright side, we get to recycle all of our throng song jokes from Crimson Vow.

Giada, Font of Hope

Rating: 3.5/5

There aren’t a ton of angels to pump up with this, but it’s a pretty powerful ability to tack onto an above rate evasive creature. Just a ton of free upside, especially if you’re following it up with Inspiring Overseer.

Halo Fountain

Rating: 4.5/5

So, every time you attack with two creatures, you get to draw an extra card and still have them on defense? Even if you only have single creature, the free 1/1s are a pretty solid fallback. This is an insane value engine as long as you have other creatures. The untap fifteen seems like a meme dream, but hey I want to do it at least once.

Hold for Ransom

Rating: 3/5

Pacifism that we have at home… Seriously was Pacifism considered too good? The lack of removing abilities and letting them blow it up later in the game make this pretty meh. At least you get a card back, but odds are you would have preferred this just stayed on the creature.

Illuminator Virtuoso

Rating: 3.5/5

Now this one spits hot fire. Almost impossible to block profitably and with the potential to kill your opponent out of nowhere. Pump spells are going to be disgusting with this and leads to you being the math meme person every time it attacks.

Inspiring Overseer

Rating: 3.5/5

Actual conversation from WotC development: So you want to make a new Cloudkin Seer or Priest of Ancient Lore? Screw it, just combine them and keep the mana cost the same.

Inspiring Overseer and Jewel Thief are the two clear standout commons in the set. As hard as it is to believe, I’m sure you will still get to take advantage of people not realizing this during week one.

Kill Shot

Rating: 2.0/5

I am not throwing away my shot and requiring an attacking creature is a big enough downside to make me hold off on shooting this one. While it can hit bigger creatures, I’d prefer the versatility of being able to hit attackers or blockers. Classic card 22 or 23.

Knockout Blow

Rating: 2.5/5

This effect is slightly better at uncommon as it won’t be one of the first things that pop into someone’s head when you leave a couple mana up early. This is just a well-made hate spell, playable against everything and enough of a bonus against a color to be relevant without overpowering.

Mage’s Attendant

Rating: 2.5/5

4/3 across two bodies for three is an acceptable card. The Force Spike on a stick running around will be one of those cards that does more than you ever know by changing your opponents game plan. Of course, it might be like secret reach where they just walk right into it.

Mysterious Limousine

Rating: 3.5/5

Kidnapping your opponent’s best creature on a decent sized vehicle is nice. It also has the added twist of being able to choose a new victim to toss in the trunk when they play a better creature. Since this isn’t NEO it is highly unlikely your opponent is playing mainboard artifact hate so it can just keep something locked down until the coast is clear.

Patch Up

Rating: 2.0/5

This is going to have a huge delta of effectiveness based on what you can get back, but in most cases it’s going to be a reanimation spell that can only hit things for three or less. I would rather just play another solid card in my deck than go to this alley way doctor.

Rabble Rousing

Rating: 3.5/5

This is one of the few hideaway cards that seems like it has a decent chance of triggering. The most important thing to note is that it triggers off of tokens so every citizen you run at your opponent replaces itself. As long as I can get at least four or five tokens off of this than I can be happy with the cost and I think this will end up making many more.

Raffine’s Guidance

Rating: 1.5/5

This is the type of guidance you get from a drunk friend at three A.M. on why you should quit your career to open a bar together. +1+1 just doesn’t do enough in modern limited to be worth a card even if it does come back. Would you pay three mana to reequip Short Sword? No, then don’t open that bar either.

Raffine’s Informant

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m informing you that this is a going to be a solid glue card that’s rarely going to be cut. It’s similar to Blood Petal Celebrant, but you get the blood up front without requiring the extra mana. Trying to hit a land drop, well I guess this gets to be a 3/2 instead. Late game flooding, getting to filter a land looks pretty good too. Solid all around two drop that you can’t go wrong with.

Refuse to Yield

Rating: 2.0/5

Man, that’s a lot of stats for only two mana. Being an untap trick is always iffy because while you want to catch them unawares, it leaves you open for a blowout. Unless your creature is involved in a huge gang bang block, that seven extra toughness is mostly just a huge number for the sake of a huge number. 

Revelation of Power

Rating: 1.5/5

Without a counter on the target, this is a pretty awful trick so I’m never playing this unless I have at least six ways to put counters on creatures. There are going to be a lot of cases where your opponent can play around this with the off chance that it gives you a chance to fly over for lethal. In a heavy shield deck, I’d bump this up a bit.

Rumor Gatherer

Rating: 3.5/5

There’s a rumor going around that double spelling is a way to win games. Well, what if I told you that it also made you draw a card. Yeah, I thought you’d be into that. The scry even sets up your draws to make sure the gas keeps coming. This is going to be one of those cards the subtly wins game early and then has a huge target on it later in the format.

Sanctuary Warden

Rating: 5.0/5

What kind of bomb are you looking for? A huge flyer that protects itself and draws cards while pooping out dorks. *Slaps roof of car* Lucky for you this bad boy can fit all of that on one card! You are never passing this pack one pick one and there’s enough fixing in the set that you should probably just take it even if you aren’t white.

Sky Crier

Rating: 1.5/5

I’m not going to cry if I have to play this, but I’m not going to be too happy about it either. Four mana for a symmetrical card draw is an ability that will typically only be used in desperate times or when you’re heavily flooded. Without that it’s just an expensive Healer’s Hawk.

Speakeasy Server

Rating: 2.5/5

Apparently, there’s a bit of a tax to get into this speakeasy as it really feels like it should be one mana cheaper. I’m still fine playing this though because it is a great way to stabilize and get an evasive threat. An extra toughness would also go a long way here.

Swooping Protector

Rating: 2.5/5

This card is a flavor failure because the name and picture make it look like it should be able to flash in to protect another creature, but all it really cares about is protecting itself.  The best use is to pick off an opposing two toughness attacking creature with the shield counter leaving you with a 2/2 flyer. Not the greatest, but totally serviceable.


Wrap Up

Outside of Inspiring Overseer, which is obviously great, White’s commons are really lacking. Filled with narrow effects like Kill Shot, subpar tricks, and unimpressive creatures. It does have some really powerful uncommons and rares which will lead to white being more of a color being played in a multicolor soup style deck.

While white usually has a lot of options to be aggressive, I just don’t see the cards here to consistently support that approach in this color.

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.

Articles: 139