Streets of New Capenna Set Review - Cabaretti and Green

(Vivien on the Hunt | Art by Jake Murray)

It's Raining Cats and Dogs

Hello, everyone! I hope you're ready to look at some of the crazy new green cards that Streets of New Capenna has brought us!

When this set was announced, I didn't know what to expect, but for the second set in a row I find myself enthralled by a world that feels so different than Magic's usual fare and yet is somehow so resonant with the overarching themes of the game. This set is filled to the brim with Commander goodies, so let's get to the good stuff!

Cabaretti Mythics

Jetmir, Nexus of Revels

The Cabaretti family leader will undoubtedly be a popular commander. Jetmir makes even the most innocuous creatures deadly. Jetmir plays like a mini-Craterhoof Behemoth in the command zone. Avenger of Zendikar maximizes Jetmir’s boost almost single-handedly, and this is the deck Scute Swarm was born for. If you aren't playing Nacatl War-Pride yet, consider this your wake-up call.

The best strategy here is to find the cards that can make you the greatest number of creature tokens for the least amount of mana. Deep Forest Hermit and Adeline, Resplendent Cathar will be all-stars. Felidar Retreat both enables Jetmir’s boosts by pumping out creatures and amplifies the team once we've reached Jetmir's threshold. If you love stompy decks that want to beatdown with creatures, then you'll love this deck.

In the 99, Jetmir is an auto-include in Rin and Seri, Inseparable decks. Not only is he a Cat that can trigger Rin and Seri, he also pumps up the entire army of Cats and Dogs! Naya tokens decks in general are a solid home for Jetmir. Ghired, Conclave Exile and the new Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second can easily build a board big enough to take advantage of Jetmir’s abilities. The Cabaretti leader is an all-star in the command zone and in the 99.

Cabaretti Rares

Cabaretti Ascendancy

This effect is reminiscent of a Phyrexian Arena, but it's not guaranteed to draw you a card. The pseudo-scry effect if you fail to find a creature is nice, but I'd personally have to be playing a deck with a lot of creatures and planeswalkers to consider running this card. The color restriction also makes this a harder fit. If this can stay on the battlefield, it can make things run more smoothly, but if your deck contains green and red, you almost certainly have better ways to accrue card advantage.

Incandescent Aria

Deafening Clarion is the first card that came to mind when I saw Incandescent Aria. The lifelink on that card is nice, but I prefer this version, which only hits nontoken creatures. This damage won't kill everything, but it will hit more than you think, and it kills many of the format's most popular utility creatures and even some commanders. Naya token commanders, such as Rin and Seri, Inseparable and Ghired, Conclave Exile, can survive the blast and keep their armies intact. A niche card that fits nicely in specific strategies.

Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second

This is, hands down, my favorite commander of the entire set. This effect is kinda bonkers! I totally expected to see a 'once per turn' clause on this thing, but nope! She works so well with some already-format-defining cards, like Smothering Tithe and Dockside Extortionist. Any token-generating spells get even better. Call the Coppercoats is now Call the Copper-Cats! Adeline, Resplendent Cathar and Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin are suddenly pet owners. Tireless Provisioner and Tireless Tracker can either help with resources or find lost strays! Artifact Mutation and Aura Mutation are already awesome cards, but they're even better when you upgrade from 1/1s to 2/2s! Brass's Bounty turns out to be a bazillion Cats! You can even break parity on cards such as Tempt with Vengeance.

Yeah, I cannot wait to build around this card.

Cabaretti Uncommons & Commons

Cabaretti Charm: This is one of the least impressive Charms to me, unfortunately. It's subpar removal and subpar token creation. The only mode I like is the pump, which is nice for token decks, especially the trample, but that's still a tough sell. I'd rather play the original Naya Charm, which can tap down blockers completely. I think this Charm likely finds its best home in Ramos, Dragon Engine “lucky charms” decks that play as many Charms as it can get.

Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer: I never thought I would see a uncommon tutor in the command zone. This card is reminiscent of a Wargate or Chord of Calling. If you have a nonlegendary creature in your deck that you wish could be your commander, this could be a way to make a deck that revolves around that creature in the 99. Otherwise, I expect this will end up as a streamlined deck that searches out something like a Devoted Druid combo to take over the game.

Stimulus Package: Streets of New Capenna is full of Treasure tokens, and I sense that that trend will continue in Magic’s upcoming sets. In other words, this card only gets stronger over time. Turning Treasures into creatures with no timing restrictions? That's very, very good. Pair with a sac outlet and Pitiless Plunderer and you get infinite enter-the-battlefield and death triggers, for example. Keep your eye on this one.

Green Mythics

Bootleggers' Stash

Perhaps the biggest boogeyman of spoiler season, Bootleggers' Stash has garnered much attention and much criticism. In particular, players registered their surprise that this card was in green rather than red. Green is the color of mana production, so many folks argue that this is perfectly in green's color pie. Others feel that creating artifacts should not be green's specialty.

Let's evaluate the card itself, though. It's powerful, but there are more powerful six-mana cards out there (see Bolas’s Citadel). I don't think the card is broken, but it can pull off some bonkers stuff. For example, this card supercharges already-dominant sacrifice strategies, like Korvold, Fae-Cursed King. The old Insect, Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest, will make your board absolutely huge with this card, and Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer leverages the artifact synergy exceptionally well.

Token decks also love the Stash. Chatterfang, Squirrel General and Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second will pump out an army. Adrix and Nev, Twincasters suddenly double up you mana production. Easily copy your best creature with Esix, Fractal Bloom. Kodama of the East Tree lets you drop lands into play whenever you tap a land with Bootleggers' Stash.

Many players are excited to pair this card up with a Seedborn Muse, too. Revel in Riches is super easy to win with when the Stash makes so many Treasures. Academy Manufactor has a field day. Time Sieve becomes 'pay five mana, take an extra turn'. Xorn doubles your mana!

I have no doubt that Bootleggers' Stash will be one of the chase cards of the set. I honestly did a double-take when I first read it. It's not broken, but it's a lot. Just don’t forget to pack removal, and remember that this card doesn't impact the board when it first comes down, so you should have an opportunity to punish the player who cast it, either by obliterating the Stash or by aggro-ing that player!

Titan of Industry

No other card in this set does so much and yet leaves me wanting so much more. An enter-the-battlefield trigger that allows you to pick two effects is awesome. All these effects are desirable, too. The token is big, and the Naturalize effect is nice to have. I really like that the shield counter can go on any creature, not only the Titan. You're definitely getting value for all the mana you spend... and yet, it's still not enough for me, for some reason. I just think that there are scarier things you can be doing in green with seven mana.

Blink decks, like Roon of the Hidden Realm and Emiel the Blessed, can only do their thing if they stick on the battlefield, so repeatedly giving them shield counters sounds like a great way to protect your strategy and a good way to exploit the Titan's effect. It could also see play in Elemental tribal decks, like Omnath, Locus of the Roil and Horde of Notions, though it's competing in a tough spot against Omnath, Locus of Rage and Avenger of Zendikar at the seven-mana spot.

As a quick note, it's a little odd that a walking metal building isn't an artifact creature.

Vivien on the Hunt

Vivien’s latest iteration is my favorite yet. She fits into decks at a variety of power levels, even building your deck so that you can win on the spot when Vivien comes down and combo off with Felidar Guardian, Karmic Guide, and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. This combo works with Vivien and any three-mana creature, making it a great fit for commanders at that mana value. Minsc, Beloved Ranger and the new Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer seem like good fits within the right color identity.

The Birthing Pod will likely garner most of the attention and therefore land Vivien in more competitive decks, but all of her abilities are strong for casual decks. The +2 ability can be used for value to grab a Reclamation Sage to destroy a problematic Smothering Tithe. The +1 can power up graveyard decks and fits well with our froggy friends The Gitrog Monster and Grolnok, the Omnivore. Even the -1 can be scary in a Populate deck, like Ghired, Conclave Exile, or a deck that can duplicate the trigger, such as Adrix and Nev, Twincasters.

The place where most six-mana planeswalkers thrive is in Superfriends decks, where they can come down the turn after you play Doubling Season and practically win the game. That's not Vivien because she lacks the powerful ultimate to thrive in Superfriends decks. I think this will strand her in an awkward spot between lower-power battlecruiser metas and the aforementioned high-power combo metas. Even so, I still think this is an awesome card with tons of potential that I know I'm going to build around.

Green Rares

Evolving Door

Oh, how I wish this card was as strong as the pun. This set it full of fantastic references, and this is one of the best.

This is the second card on our list that draws comparisons to Birthing Pod but this one has multiple knobs turned down. “Exactly that many colors plus one” is our first hoop to jump through, but that's not a dealbreaker in my eyes. There are plenty of great two-mana utility creatures we can search up by sacrificing a token - grab a Knight of Autumn to blow up a problematic artifact or grab a finisher late in the game, such as Koma, Cosmos Serpent.

What really makes this pale in comparison to Birthing Pod is that you need to spend mana to cast the creature you find, and if you don't use it right away, you lose it. I could see this finding its way into toolbox-style decks that regularly like to search up a specific answer at any given time. These decks will want to prioritize mana-efficient creatures, and I think a Hatebears deck could utilize it well. Trade in a mana dork for Gaddock Teeg or sacrifice your Dockside Extortionist for a Lavinia, Azorius Renegade to slow down the player who got off to a quick start. Aside from that, this card's not splendid. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out, Evolving Door!

Fight Rigging

Hideaway is back, and the criteria on this card is not hard to meet. Digging five cards deep gives you a good chance of hitting something impactful, and 7 power on the board is quite possible to achieve on the very same turn it comes down. That being said, I probably wouldn't play this card outside of a dedicated +1/+1 counters deck, and even in one of those, I think there are better options. Mowu, Loyal Companion probably makes the best use of it, and I suppose Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider allows it to trigger on the very same turn.

Gala Greeters

Unfortunately, I misread this card initially and missed “choose one that hasn’t been chosen”. That line of text really holds this card back. The abilities are all reminiscent of solid cards (Essence Warden, Pelt Collector, and Tireless Provisioner). It does everything those cards do, but not as efficiently or effectively.

The coolest part of this card is the regional art treatments that it was given. Sadly, there are a few decks that want this card. Two mana is cheap, and the Elf creature type does a lot of work, potentially making it fit in decks such as Lathril, Blade of the Elves. Some Elf decks, such as Rhys the Exiled, even care about the ability to gain life, perhaps? Overall, it's only okay.

Topiary Stomper

Another Farhaven Elf and Wood Elves variant, but there are some interesting twists on this one! Late game, it's a much better blocker than either of the Elves, and the creature type 'Dinosaur' is relevant here as well. Topiary Stomper helps you ramp into other big Dinosaurs, such as Gishath, Sun’s Avatar, and it can be found off of that commander’s ability. The high power also makes this an interesting fit for Vehicles decks. Although green is not the ideal color for a Vehicle deck, there are some crazy Ghalta, Primal Hunger Vehicle decks out there that will no doubt want another Dino friend to fuel their commander. Roon of the Hidden Realm likes a new blink target, Nikya of the Old Ways loves more creature-based ramp, and Yarok, the Desecrated adores ETB effects. If you like Farhaven Elf, at least consider whether the Stomper is worth 1GG for your deck.

Workshop Warchief

Workshop Warchief has a lot going on, which makes it hard to evaluate. On the surface, it looks a lot like Thragtusk, but Thragtusk frequently finds itself in blink decks, which aren't such a good home for this fella. The best way to get more value of this card is actually to utilize its Blitz ability along with recursion effects. For instance, Blitz it in and then cast Malakir Rebirth or Othelm, Sigardian Outcast to bring the card right back.

If you're running a Najeela, the Blade-Blossom Warrior deck, then Workshop Warchief is expensive, but could be a consideration. It hits hard with trample, and the token it leaves behind is a Warrior as well. I think this card reads brilliantly, but has more hoops than its predecessors to get the very best out of it.

Green Uncommons & Commons

Social Climber: A niche card for a niche strategy, Witherbloom's lifegain should take note. Dina, Soul Steeper loves to have more friends!

Cleanup Crew: I want to like this one, and I think in Limited I do like it, but six mana is an awkward price for this effect unless you're repeatedly blinking or recurring it, and even then, there are better cards to recur for this much mana. If you're playing on a budget, though, definitely give this one a try.

Venom Connoisseur: I didn't think much of this one at first, and I think it's still slightly difficult to pull off, but giving your whole team deathtouch is very relevant in green, the color that loves to give everything trample. Perhaps the Bow of Nyleas of the world are still a better option, but if you're playing a trampley deck, like Stonebrow, Krosan Hero, then give this one a look, that's all I'm saying.

Warm Welcome: I overlooked this one at first, but five cards is a decent number to dig, and it comes with a 1/1! Your deck probably has to care about tokens to run this card (manipulating them with cards like Divine Visitation or something), but this is a neat variation on the usual Commune with the Gods-style cards we get in every set.

Jewel Thief: This isn't an EDH card, necessarily, just a power creep observation. Remember the days of War Mammoth?

Prizefight: Nothing special, but a huge flavor win, and decks such as Neyith of the Dire Hunt will take as many instant-speed fight spells as she can get.

The More the Merrier

The Cabaretti are full of creatures that fit into one of my favorite strategies: tokens!

In a set full of legendary creatures, the Cabaretti trio are my favorites. Each of them are uniquely powerful and add additional dimensions to the Naya color combination that typically plays out as a generic stompy deck. Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second is my personal favorite, but what are your favorite cards from this color combination in the set? Let us know in the comments below!

Ben is a Michigan native who fell in love with Magic just a few years ago in 2019. He loves making big splashy plays in Commander as well as crunching the number to optimize his decks. Outside of Magic, he works in marketing and loves a great cup of coffee to start each morning… maybe with a splash of hot chocolate for his sweet tooth.