Our favorite colored cardboard game is to be congratulated with its innovations. In addition to bringing a super satisfying futuristic Japan in the last Kamigawa, we now have a New York surrounded by mafia and a 20/30s feel, with great art execution and ambiance.
In the midst of all the conspiracy present in the set's history, we find interesting cards that will leverage your Modern decks, guaranteeing a new range of comfort for your list – that will be as potent as New Capenna's escape limousines.
In today's article, we're going to get into the fight, discussing the new cards and talking about how they can boost the decks we already have, or help with new ones.
First, I'd like to point out that thanks to the recent banning of Lurrus of the Dream-Den from the format, I'll finally be able to talk about cards costing more than three mana.
Another novelty that we will have in the preparation of the article is the absence of an order in this list. The first card quoted isn't the weakest for Modern, and the last isn't the most critical for the format's advancement. Instead, I've sorted them by color, for study purposes.
With that in mind, it's time to move on to the discussion of the best Streets of New Capenna cards for Modern.
While I'm a fan of alternate winconditions, we should point out that Halo Fountain isn't here for its ultimate ability. In a format like Modern, having fifteen creatures on play, and they're tapped, means you're more than halfway there, and activating the card's last ability becomes a mere formality.
What really stands out about the card is the ability to recursively draw every turn on a white card and at an affordable cost, which, on top of that, untaps your tapped creatures, allowing them to reactivate abilities or serve as blockers, creating a kind of pseudo-Vigilance. In addition to creating tokens when needed.
Halo Fountain is a very complete package that does a lot of cool stuff. Obviously, it's unnecessary when white is mixed with blue, or other colors that generate more card advantage, but still, the artifact is a satisfying choice for the format.
Patch Up is nothing more than a more versatile version of Proclamation of Rebirth, allowing you a much wider range of plays. Proclamation is not the card that sees the most play in Modern, but it has its use in some deck builds that run plenty of small creatures, such as Soul Sisters, allowing you to bring a good combination of Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant from the graveyard.
Now, with Patch Up it is possible to return with a greater combination of cards to the battlefield, which can bring a greater breath to strategies aimed at White Weenie.
Slip out the Back
This is probably my favorite card in the set, for Infect reasons. At the beginning of my career here, I talked a lot about Infect, and would keep talking, if the topic wasn't going to get repetitive.
Slip out the Back is a wonderful alternative to Snakeskin Veil, a card that gave the deck an afterlife as it deposited a counter and protected your card. The blue instant brings more utility to the strategy, since with it, you can protect your creatures for a longer time, depending on the turn it is used, or even remove the opponent's defenders from the front – which will allow you to connect Infect's damage much more efficiently, granting you the victory.
Shakedown Heavy is a beatstick with a quality we haven't seen in the game for a long time. There is usually the claim that “If you give your opponent the ability to choose an outcome, then the card is bad because they will always choose what will benefit them.” However, in this case both choices are bad for the opponent, either they take high damage, or the creature's controller draws a card. Something that benefits any deck.
Also, it can defend very well against Lightning Bolt, the main metric for a creature's success in the format. In addition to having a great evasion in the form of Menace, which will guarantee draws for you or damage to the opponent, making this card a great candidate to see play in Modern.
Shadow of Mortality
This card is just one more piece to deal massive damage in your Calibrated Blast deck. Only that.
Amazingly, the last thing this card will do is play in Death's Shadow, decks centered on a card with a similar name, capable of dealing high damage as your life drops.
Death's Shadow always costs one mana and at 7 life it will be a 6/6, while Shadow of Mortality will be a two mana 7/7, which will freeze with these stats as the game progresses, while the Zendikar's avatar will continue to grow as your life drops.
I unfortunately couldn't find any interesting cards for Modern. Now, I could spend afternoons talking about Arcane Bombardment, what a nice card to my Commander. Although…
Urabrask, Heretic Praetor
A Praetor is a Praetor. They all have great effects that flirt with asymmetry, giving you a bonus and hurting your opponent on the opposite side of your buff.
Urabrask, Heretic Praetor is good when cast in the early game, when the opponent has many cards in their hand and little mana to play them. In late-game, he will STILL give you virtually two draws per turn, which is a strong ability, but will serve a little less against the opponent, who will have more mana and fewer options.
Still, it's a pretty cool card, even if the other praetors, both old and new, are more powerful than him.
Vivien on the Hunt
This planeswalker's primary ability is the same as the banned card Birthing Pod, an artifact that is not only strong, but also problematic for the game's research and development personnel. Pod was banned precisely because "they didn't want to have to measure every creature that was released, for fear that it would create an even more overwhelming interaction with the Pod."
And so, they limited the use of the ability to a planeswalker, who can only activate its loyalty once per turn, so why not overdo it and combo in the same turn, right?
It would be a shame if it did.
Thanks to a well-known interaction with Felidar Guardian, just like Saheeli Rai, it is possible to blink Vivien on the Hunt several times and stagger the Pod, until you reach Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, who will be able to copy the kitten countless times, and create an invincible fleet of bloodthirsty felines, capable of winning in the same turn.
This planeswalker has the potential to create a deck as complicated to handle as Birthing Pod itself, it's just a matter of times for the community to create something like that.
This card is a very interesting side to Control decks. Not only does it become a sort of Pithing Needle with legs, but it also allows you to use activated abilities as if they were your own, and for mana of any color.
Unfortunately, this power to use other card's abilities is only as strong as activated abilities floating around in the format, which isn't that often the case these days, with a format that relies a lot more on triggered abilities.
Thus, this creature becomes a sleeper, a card with great future potential, but which, presently, doesn't do as much as it could.
The idea of having a versatile card capable of turning around in multiple situations is often an unattainable dream, as development folks seem to balance such effects pretty low, unless there's some weird mana cost involved.
Riveteers Charm is the best of the five new charms, precisely because it has an appetizing cost and interesting effects attached to it.
The first effect is a Soul Shatter, helping you eliminate threats on the opponent's board. The second ability allows you to play the top 3 cards of your deck until your next end phase, essentially being a kind of draw 3. And finally, the ability to exile the opponent's graveyard, being that basic graveyard hate, making this card pure Midrange juice, providing multiple plays and preventing it from ever being dead in your hand.
Luxior, Giada's Gift
This is, undoubtedly, the most surprising card in the set, as it allows Planeswalkers to be equipped and become creatures, which can be scary in specific cases, like Karn Liberated, which grows easily, for example.
This equipment interacts with all types of counters, so we can use cards from Ikoria that put on ability counters, cards that use charge counters, Planeswalkers' own loyalty counters, and even +1/+1 counters that will make the creature grow twice as big.
But the most interesting interaction with the new sword is on a combo with Devoted Druid because absolutely everything combo with Devoted Druid. When equipped on the creature, Luxior, Giada's Gift creates a system where the druid will never die, as its bonus negates the -1/-1 counters' toughness decrease, and will allow you to get infinite mana for whatever you need.
Versatile, new and unforgettable, this is Giada's little gift for Modern.
The new Triomes are the best cards in the set for Modern. As our parents have always warned us, the best investment in life is in land, and Magic is no different.
Having access to a higher number of good lands in your pool can greatly speed up the game, and that's what these lands, all with three types, aim to do, strengthening strategies that use the colors of old Alara shards or even four or five color decks.
The new Trilands are perfect for being your first fetchland search and getting all of your deck colors right on the board. Also, who knows, maybe they'll even revitalize Jund, a certain boomer deck that I love?
My favorite cards from the new set are both Arcane Bombardment and Errant, Street Artist, both of which will fit like a glove in my Kalamax, the Stormsire deck.
Until our next article, where I'll be copying spells madly.
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