Monday 25 April 2022

New Capenna Preliminary Review Part IX


0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Fatal Grudge 2

Interesting removal spell. It feigns looking like it is broad in range and it feigns being two mana. Neither of these things are really true, the cost is always two mana plus the thing you sac which will tend to be over a total of two mana. The range is very much limited to what you have in front of you. Often on turn two this will be nothing and that is the real crux of why this is bad. No stuff? Dead card in hand. Edicts are not even the most reliable removal at the best of times, early was one of their best shots of consistency and the additional cost removes that. Draw a card is lovely. Indeed the best thing I can see to do with this is Fork it at which point it is becoming rather more impressive. When you want to sac a thing this can be OK but in those decks this is really only then a one card type removal spell taking away some of its appeal. Far too narrow for general cube use. Some thing I will want to try out in some aristocrats builds but I am not expecting it to perform even in the well suited places. 

Tainted Indulgence 7.5

Good clean card draw. Chart a Course has seen a lot of play being a means of drawing and filling up the bin. This is typically good card quality early and card advantage later on. That also means it is a good support card for a deck like Reanimator where you can setup with it early and stay in the game later on. This card will have lots of homes all over the place. It is not quite as powerful as Expressive Iteration but it is a little more convenient at instant and fine to play on curve. It sits somewhere between Faithful Mending and Iteration. It might be a bit low impact as a gold card in a non-combo cube but it should easily get enough play despite the colour restrictions. This is just the cleanest most efficient way to do a thing many decks want to do and all decks are happy doing and so lots of play in lots of formats is what the future has in store for this card. 

Park Heights Pegasus 5

Very efficient little body with a powerful ability if you can trigger it. The if is an issue as this needs to live and connect after you have had a pair of dorks enter play. Few decks can reliably make a couple of dorks each turn or even any turn and when they do it ties up mana and gives information to the opponent. I might well decide to use my removal spell on your 2/1 if it is going to draw you cards and I now know there is no Blossoming Defence that is going to stop it. The floor on this is decent and the ceiling is impressive but it is a little too narrow for the cube both on colours and on deck type requirements which amplify to make it comfortably too narrow.

Unlicensed Herse 4

Mostly this is graveyard disruption which isn't something you play by itself in cube, you need it to be a low cost part of something else really. This kind of is by being a growing vehicle. Yard disruption is usually good and sometimes great but it isn't a massive deal. This would be great if it was a growing threat that also disrupted but it is only a growing threat if you have things to eat in the bin, I fear too often this will have no means to grow and often when it does it will be eating your graveyard resources rather than denying your opponents. It is not like it is all that impressive of a threat even if you do just get to freely nosh your opponents yard. Sometimes great but a little too often not great. 

Incandescent Aria 3

A strong push for the tokens deck. Another doubly too narrow card for drafting cubes but something I would strongly look at for any token builds. Even to the point of splashing for it in a Selesnya tokens deck. 

Body Dropper 2

Not quite exciting enough for drafting cube being gold and needing support from other sac outlets. I can see this being scary in a sac outlet deck but only when it isn't the one doing the sacrificing. As such I am typically going to be playing things that afford better payoff, that are sac outlets, or that are better to be sacrificed themselves. Dropper sits in a sad middle ground of all three. Fine, but narrow, a filler sort of card, and as such hard to find the space for. There are plenty better cards I would look to run in my aristocrat build. Not to mention how tight the build typically is. A lot going on for a common that is for sure.

Fleetfoot Dancer 6.5

There is something very Siege Rhino about this card. They cost the same and hit comparably hard. This offers a bigger initial swing and can use it on planeswalkers but it is combat contingent. This is a very high tempo beater that is not going to be raced. The lower toughness than Rhino is significant but not devastating. Naya is a less commonly played colour pairing than Abzan and arguably a more restrictive one too. Overall I cannot easily pick between the two but that might not be so relevant. It is 7 years ago that Rhino was oppressively above the curve. Since then power creep, specifically on dorks, has gone wild. Not only that but it is vanilla beaters who always suffer first and hardest when it comes to the affects of power creep. While not totally vanilla, both Rhino and Dancer are linear dorks which is the same sort of thing. I have not had Rhino in my cube for most of those seven years. Sure, it was fine on power level but I just didn't think it added much given the high cost of the three colours. As soon as people stopped splashing for Rhino it ceased to be worth it in cube for me. If I can't chose between Dancer and Rhino and can't justify Rhino a space any more than Dancer isn't looking all that hopeful. Powerful certainly, but good for cube, likely not. 

Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer 4

This is a value card where you really want more of a threat. At four, five, and six mana this will represent reasonable value and reasonable tempo. Perhaps even some nice utility. What it will not do however is pose that much of a threat. There just are not that many targets you can find on the cheap and entirely behind the curve that threaten the game. Phoenix of Ash perhaps? For a combo card this is also a bit slow, we can find our cheap dorks for less mana and so why are we playing this? It is not for the value. So yeah, long story short, this is fine but not good enough anywhere. In combo settings I am plaything things like Chord of Calling, Worldly Tutor and a long list of that sort of thing before I am touching this.

Plasma Jockey 2

Unplayable without using the blitz. With it we get to attack for 3, draw a card, and negate a blocker, all with a dash of scaling and synergy potential. That is pretty reasonable and pretty aggressive. It doesn't have sufficient raw power for most cubes but more budget ones should certainly look at this. 

Raffine's Silencer 2

Sadly this just isn't there on power or effect which is a shame as it is exactly the kind of support card I want. This loots, it is a body, it has a nice disruptive on death trigger. In the right deck this is doing everything. Sadly that is the crux, in most decks it is just doing a couple of OK things for a steep price. 

Big Score 3

Yup, better than Pirate's Pillage and better than Unexpected Windfall. Looking forward to seeing what the next improvement they make to this line of cards is. All have been playable, all be it very niche cards. The Fork decks and some of the storm red decks can put these to very good use. Beyond that they have little impact as you just elect for the cheaper iterations that skip past the treasure part. 

Cleanup Crew 2

Love this but it isn't where you want to be on a six drop. Great utility, reasonable value, and a not insignificant impact on the board and general tempo of the game. With things like Acidic Slime actually getting love in cube the Cleanup Crew is technically not totally without hope. Green ramp does make running utility and value cards at the top of your curve a bit more reasonable. Even so and nice as this is, I cannot see Cleanup Crew packing sufficient punch to get much play in cube. Oh, and a certain mythic seven drop from the set also ruins the hopes this card had outside of booster draft! 

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