The city of New Capenna was built by angels, but is now ruled by five demonic families. Until the release of the first spoilers, I was hoping for angels and demons for tribal decks, and I have to say, the new edition does not disappoint with these expectations.
A new lord has risen
First, I want to mention two vampires who, in my eyes, have the potential to replace Edgar Markov in many vampire-tribe deck if you don’t want to play aggressively-focused or token-based.
The first of the two is Lord Xander, whose three abilities for 4BUR are not to be underestimated in their value – one opponent discards half of his or her hand (rounded down), mills half of his or her library (rounded down) or sacrifices half of his or her permanents, this hits in almost every game.
In combination with duplicate cards like Clone, which create a second image of our Commander, the legend rule triggers, then you sacrifice the clone and let your opponents reduce the cards in their hand in addition to discarding them. The mill mechanic can be strengthened with Bruvac, among other things, to be even more destructive. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a mechanic to bring Lord Xander, the Collector back into play immediately after his death or to strengthen the copy combo, Marchesa, the Black Rose is of the greatest use.
By opening up the mana color blue for us, but denying us the white contained in Edgar Markov, Xander drops some vampires, which can however be replaced by various new spells or other creatures. The aforementioned Bruvac or other mill-capable blue cards boost the second ability of the Commander, black cards trigger the discard of hand cards, red-black can sweep the opponent’s remaining creatures from the deck or destroy their mana base.
Let’s control the future
Besides Lord Xander, the Collector, Evelyn, the Covetous is the vampire creature that we will see more often in vampire-tribe decks in the future – at least that’s my guess. Her colors, based on Dimir and Rakdos, lack white (similar to Lord Xander), but with blue they offer us a wealth of further, as yet unexploited possibilities.
Each Vampire played lets us exile the top card of each opponent’s library with a Collection Counter, of these you may cast one per turn. I immediately think of combining this with Prosper, Tome-Bound to generate additional Treasure tokens when we play cards from exile, in addition to the potential to “steal” cards from the opponent.
In multiplayer games, I see the Commander stronger than in a 1v1 game, as you have a larger selection of cards available to play from exile, so you can better work around any weaknesses of your own board, e.g., lack of mana.
Don’t forget that vampire tokens are also vampires, so when we create tokens, we can also remove the next card of any opponent’s deck.
Send me an Angel
For a long period of time, I have wanted a Commander for an angel tribal deck, which has now appeared with the new edition.
Giada, Font of Hope offers a 2/2 flying angel with vigilance for 1W. In addition, each angel comes into play with an additional 1/1 token for each additional angel in play under your control. Tapping allows us to add a white mana to the mana pool, but we may only use it to cast angels. Therefore, this cheap Commander provides a buff to our winged celestials and provides mana at the same time, always starting on turn two.
So, some creatures can be quickly put into play in combination with Sol Ring or other mana boosting cards.
Only her color, single white, is a small flaw for me, as many angels, especially from newer editions, come up with multicolor and cannot be played in a deck that uses Giada as Commander.
A dragon’s hate and his treasure
The demonic 6/6 dragon for 3URG offers an extended perspective of the Sacrifice mechanic(s). The ability to sacrifice a creature at the beginning of one’s end step, thus generating damage and at the same time still receiving a good mana buff, lets the player start with a good base into the opponent’s rounds.
The mana colors red and green offer a wide spectrum of creatures with great strength, which can be reinforced without any problems. A three-colored dragon tribal deck is just as suitable as a token deck to generate massive damage. A good boost to his ability can be achieved with an Infect-based strategy to bring in a win even faster.
What are secrets worth?
The three-colored flying Sphinx Rogue, 3WBU, which is equipped with Ward 3, aims at token generation like some other cards of the new set.
Its basic ability of a vote at the table adds a nice interactive component to the game, where you can vote on Evidence or Bribery. Every vote for Evidence triggers an Investigation, every vote for Bribery triggers a Treasure token.
Additionally, if you are the controlling player, you may use your vote twice. Since I personally usually play in games with four or five players, this creates five to six tokens per vote.
The colors white, black and blue also have a variety of possible actions to increase the effect, for example if you are allowed to cast your vote a second time with Ballot Broker, influence the vote with Illusion of Choice or give Tivit, Seller of Secrets Double Strike or Fear or use flicker / blinking.
Let’s bring all your friends to the table
A Commander that is practically a tutor for every creature card in my deck?
Low mana cost that stays within bounds?
Neither rare nor mythic, but still good?
The three colors that Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer offers us give us wide room for maneuver. Green ramps up enough mana to be able to play powerful green and red creatures, white keeps the opponent in check long enough until you can fully develop your own potential.
At a certain point, when there is enough mana available on your board, you can get a (fairly) safe win with the 3/1 XRGW Elf Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer or go infinite with the right combination, for example Kiki-Jiki & Conspicuous Snoop, Temur Sabertooth and Zacama, Primal Calamity, or Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid.
Streets of New Capenna Got Something For Everyone
In the new edition, there is a wide range of creatures that you can play as a commander, depending on your own play style and preferences.
For me personally, I would like to mention Henzie “Toolbox” Torre, Denry Klin, Rigo, Streetwise Mentor or Anhelo, the Painter. Streetwise Mentor and Henzie are the most likely to be played aggressively, whereby Henzie, similar to Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer, should often be brought back into the command zone in order to unfold his full potential; with Rigo, Streetwise Mentor, a massive card pull is ensured in every combat phase – this already triggers when attacking, not only when the creatures have inflicted damage.
With Denry Klin, Editor in Chief, on the other hand, you can develop various strategies on how you want to build your own game – after all, tokens offer a diverse spectrum of possibilities for action.