Aftermath: The Prospective Cards of Streets of New Capenna

 Welcome into the Aftermath series where I reexamine sets that have been out for at least a year. During preview seasons, many cube content creators, me included, will do a preliminary look at cards and try our best to gauge how they will perform in cube. This is a tough endeavor as cubes vary wildly between different restrictions and players preference. Combine this with the fact that we haven't really seen the cards in action and what we all provide is an incomplete picture of the ceiling and baseline. As time progresses, the cards are better understood and the community does an amazing job of putting out this information. These post are intended to highlight the winners, duds, and interesting cards in cube from the set.

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Continuing on from our last section, we'll be taking a look at the interesting cards that aren't quite clear winners but can definitely find homes in various cubes. What's keeping them from being clear cut winners is that I generally have a positive experience with the cards and they have generally played well, but they are conditional enough that I'm not confident on their power in cube. What separates them from the interesting cards during preview season is that they have proven themselves to be strong in the right situation.

The Prospects

Raffine, Scheming Seer
has potential to be a great Esper card. This slot has historically not been filled as tricolor cards are hard to support or been seated by Sphinx of the Steel Wing, which has been performing poorly from my own playtesting. It helps grow your creatures, filter your hand, and fill your graveyard while being a strong defender that is hard to deal with. 
I like the position this card fills as it supports a ton of general strategies found in most cubes. It thrives in tokens, tempo, and recursive aggro since each of those decks can take full advantage of the connive. Even without the synergies the card is still a respectable threat becoming as a growing Looter il-Kor. This makes it a solid choice as a creature in control decks since much like Ledger Shredder, it makes a decent wall against aggro and can eventually grow into a control finisher. 

I think this cards plays a lot better than initially thought of and hopefully becomes a mainstay in my cube.

Brokers Ascendancy has a lot going for it and enough going against that keeps it out of most cubes. The card functions as an anthem that will continually grow creatures or planeswalkers. This will turn any creature or planeswalker you play afterwards into a huge threat. This easily gets out of hand after a couple turns especially if you have a large board state. At the cost of 3 mana, this is not only cost effective, but comes down early and needs to be answered. As powerful as it is, being 3 colors is the main concern keeping it from seeing more widespread play. There are cards that exist that fill a similar function, however they are mono or two colored. The less color intensive options do cost more mana,but will have less strict color requirements. Being 3 colors is a huge cost as decks will now have to commit resources to getting that third color. Depending on how good color fixing is in your environment, this can be a dead card for a long time if you can't hit/ draft the colors and with the availability of similar cards with looser casting requirements, it's hard to justify a slot for this card. For those who have played against it or with it in limited, this is a clear banger, but doesn't do enough to justify playing it in 3 colors.

Titan of Industry is a powerful card, but doesn't differentiate itself enough to hard recommend it. As a huge creature, it makes for a great target to cheat in and can always just be hard casted/ ramped into. The card is powerful and it brings a ton of value to the board with its multiple modes, the flexibility to make the card always generate value is insane. This is definitely one of the best, if not the best option for a big green creature when I start making the comparisons, but for now, I see it as a suped up Terastodon. Last week's article got comments telling me I was wrong and this card is much better than I credit it for. The only way to know is to actually play with it in my paper cube.

As cube has gotten more powerful Sanctuary Warden has been the alternative to Sun Titan. On its own, it's an interesting card that serves to be a strong resilient control finisher. The shield counters on the card are multifunctional on the card. You are able to keep them to protect the angel from removal or you can expend them to grow your card advantage. It has strong synergies with counters focused decks as you can use the counters from other creatures/planeswalkers to continue using its ability. You can also proliferate the counters to do the same things as well as add more shield counters and make the card insufferable to deal with. The card is not a definitive inclusion but it plays well and most of the time I hear about it, it's nothing but good things. 

Gala Greeters has been a card that plays more impressively than I originally anticipated. It's not something that will blow minds, but the value this generates is good. It plays the role well as a mana dork with the treasure token function and is able to grow into a concerning threat. The lifegain though the worst part, should not be discounted as it can lead to you comfortably stabilizing. Like other cards mentioned, the flexibility of the card is what sells it as each mode ensures you can meet the demands of the surrent situation. Definitely a cool card to play in lower environments as it plays multiple roles and provides good value when minimally supported. The card is a little slow and the ability can't be abused for combos easily, which relegates this to lower power environments.

Devilish Valet needs a bit of support to be a real problem in cube however, the potential to just randomly kill someone out of nowhere is such an exciting prospect that it's worth mentioning. The card does play will with more than just tokens. The alliance trigger is based off of its power, so any adjustments to that and the card becomes exponentially more powerful. If you're interesting in the inclusion of this, the ceiling for this card is meme tier and will create memories, otherwise there are a ton of better 3 drop options.

Illuminator Virtuoso is probably one of my favorite build around cards for cube from this set. The card is a Fencing Ace that has a Heroic connive trigger. This makes it near perfect for the kiln fiend decks wanting to be white as the support color vs the other colors. The connive allows you to grow the creature and sculpt your hand. With the natural double strike and growth, this loosens up requirements on what type of cards you want and how many you need to play. The filtering lets you achieve the correct cards faster and more consistently, something this deck desperately wants. The problem is the need for combat tricks and auras, which most cubes don't run for power reasons. But if you are in the market for a blitz target in white, this is the perfect candidate.

Impact Tremors the creature, the effect is still pretty rare, so anywhere you can find it especially on something reasonably costed is great if you want it.

A Little Chat has a powerful easy to achieve ceiling that is mired by its baseline. At the high point, the card let's you draw 2 for 2 mana at instant speed, which is insane value when you discount Ancestral Recall. Additionally, it functions as a sacrifice outlet in blue, which is a big deal due to how rare the effect is in the color. The main problem is that the situation does not always play out this way and when played without the extra stipulation, the card is abysmal when compared to options like Preordain and Ponder.

Raffine's Informat has been a card that plays more than expected and for good reason. The connive on entering allows the card to grow into a 3/2, big deal because 3/1s are much more common, and the power of looting. This is a phenomenal 2 drop but lacks the utility found on other white two drops. In rarity restricted environments, easy inclusion. In non restricted, one of the stronger two drop bodies.

Security Bypass let's you turn any of your cards into a growing Looter Il-Kor. It combines Curiosity with Aqueous Form. This is insane as the unblockable ability allows you to trigger the connive. As an aura, it has all of the downsides of being an aura. Thus if your enchanted threat gets removed this can set you back significantly, but your opponent should be attempting to as this card will get out of hand.

Luxior, Giada's Gift is a unique card since its one of the few ways to turn planeswalkers into creatures. This card enables infinite combos that were not intended and different play patterns and deckbuilding. Worth trying if you want something different to support planeswalkers, otherwise easy ignore. It's unique function is what I would keep an eye on since this card can be the lynchpin that makes an archetype involving planeswalkers viable.

Caldaia Guardian
is a card I need to play as I have very little exposure to it, but I hear only good things and the play patterns with it are insane value. My article on the winners got multiple comments mentioning that this card is missing, even though it belongs in 360 Vintage. According to these comments, the card always creates a ton of value and can do big damage as early as turn 2. The card should almost always be blitzed as it naturally turns into a 3 for 1 counting the card draw and two tokens and that's without swinging. Even should the card be blocked, 4 power is high and if it manages to trade with a creature, this exponentially becomes better. This plays well in existing powerful strategies like Recurring Nightmare or Fires and makes them better. I'm planning to test this card, but I'm probably going to end up classifying it as a huge winner of the set for cube, if what people are saying is accurate.

Currency Converter is peak value generation that can easily get out of hand when properly supported. The card turns any card discarded by you into either a treasure or a creature token, which is solid for all decks as discarding becomes more common among all 5 colors. The card comes with its own looting ability to fuel its other ability, which is solid.In fact, you can also just play the card based solely on the fact that it is a looting engine and nothing else. This will be great in slower decks. This is also what hampers the card as the looting ability does cost mana and is the sole reason this card isn't an auto include winner. There will be turns where you can not do anything with this card since there's no fuel and your mana is tied up. This card needs support to maximize its value, though I think that time might be coming soon, so if you have a ton of discard outlets, easy inclusion. If not, think about it if you want to optimize the card.

Almost forgot about Big Score, which has been a phenomenal card the more I play with it. Pirate's Pillage was a meh card when it first showed up, which led me to think nothing of it. Big Score being instant speed has been a much bigger deal than I thought it was. This easily allows the card to filter out the unplayable cards in your hand, while generating the mana to be able to play them the following turn, made better by the fact that you can hold up responses if you don't need to play this card right away. Red has typically been an aggro color in cube, thus they are less interested in this card. Even in builds where you want to be doing slower things, Fable of the Mirror-breaker does similar things and it has to compete with that. In cubes where you have the space, this is a solid include.


This set did very little to the overall landscape of cube, many of the cards did little to innovate or bridge the gap between existing archetypes. Though it disappoints in this aspect, the cards that did make it into cube did so exceedingly well. There are still some cards I have yet to test (Caldaia Gurdians and Currency Converter) and I have a strong feeling I will reclassify them as mainstays from what I'm hearing. There was a lot to be wanted from a multicolor set and it just did not deliver other than the Triomes. At the time of this writing March of the Machine had just come out and it had done a better job to pique interest in tri color cards over Streets of New Capenna.

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