Standard is back for the New Capenna Championship. A mainstay of competitive play, it finally took a back seat for Alchemy to have a turn in the spotlight at the Neon Dynasty Championship. That one Championship hiatus means it's been nearly six months since the Innistrad Championship, and nearly six months since we've taken a deep dive into Standard.
As for myself, I am taking a break from coverage to compete in the New Capenna Championship. At the time this article was written, my team and I are hard at work trying to figure out what our decks of choice will be for the tournament.
So we're going to look at how Streets of New Capenna affects the existing Standard format, and some of the decks and cards you may see this weekend. For those of you who may need a refresher course on what Standard has been leading up to the New Capenna Championship, I highly recommend checking out Frank Karsten's excellent breakdown of format's the evolution up to this point.
Taking to the Streets
Streets of New Capenna has the unenviable position of being the last set to join Standard before rotation with Dominaria United. With seven sets already in the mix, a major shake-up of the format is asking a lot from just one set's worth of new cards. What we have typically seen in the past is minor improvements to a variety of archetypes while the metagame remains largely the same.
While all of this holds somewhat true for Streets of New Capenna, there is one important distinction: The allied color tri-lands.
The addition of these lands means a massive improvement in mana for existing three-color strategies, and they can singlehandedly make new archetypes possible as well.
Of course, there's no better way for me to show you the impact of the new lands and the rest of Streets of New Capenna than by looking at some decklists. Let's get to the good stuff!
The first deck to be making big waves in the new format is Esper Midrange. An evolution of the Orzhov Midrange decks that were already strong, this deck takes advantage of
Between the creatures and Planeswalkers nearly all providing some amount of value, this deck has a hard time running out of resources and feels competitive at all stages of the game. Connive is a great way to filter through your deck and make sure you can curve out while also finding the required answers to your opponent's threats. Esper Midrange has come out of the gates swinging, and I don't expect it to go away anytime soon.
Next up is Jund Midrange, made possible with the help of
This deck is the ultimate
This Izzet Control deck is extremely sweet in a meta of greedy midrange decks.
The rest of the deck is a supporting cast of removal spells and card advantage, buying you time to get your late game engines online.
This "Gruul" Aggro deck is a throwback to
I like the explosive element
If you had told me that an Angel tribal deck would be a competitive archetype, I would not have believed you before Streets of New Capenna. The introduction of
Angels already had a strong mid-late game with cards like
Naya Runes did not get much help from Streets of New Capenna, with only
At the Neon Dynasty Championship, the prevalence of Runes leading up to the event resulted in such a heavily skewed anti-Runes field that the deck ended up getting crushed. It'll be interesting to see if something similar happens again at the New Capenna Championship.
The New Capenna Championship Sets the Stage
Streets of New Capenna made its presence known in Standard, and there's still room for innovation in the format. It'll be interesting to see what players will come up with for both Standard and Historic, and how much impact the set will truly have on the two formats of the New Capenna Championship.
To see what everyone came up with, be sure to tune in to all the tournament coverage at twitch.tv/magic, starting Friday May 20 at 9 a.m. PT!