Set Prospective

New Capenna Commander

May 9th, 2022 — Parker LaMascus

This article is one of our set prospectives, a series in which we survey the Cube community about the cards they intend to play in their cubes from a particular set. Our survey is conducted between the set’s full-spoiler and official release and is meant to measure and document Cube designers’ first impressions of new cards.

The street-wise companion to Magic’s mobster expansion, New Capenna Commander brings a shift in Commander-focused design ethos, a heap of cards that have the Cube community excited, and an all-time record high number of respondents for our Commander set surveys.

Results

The 65 curators who submitted 69 responses to our survey beat the next-highest Commander deck survey engagement by a factor of 1.4, even rivaling the audience for some of our early main set surveys. Due in part to the small size of this release, Cube curators are testing a median of only 3 cards, but they rate a median of two of those 3 above 2.5; respondents are confidently endorsing these cards for their Cubes. One designer is even testing 20 cards from this set.

Filter by rarity:
Card TestersRank 
Lethal Scheme54.3%2.4
Currency Converter38.6%2.2
Caldaia Guardian24.3%2.0
Grand Crescendo22.9%2.2
In Too Deep20.0%1.8
Skyway Robber14.3%2.3
Cryptic Pursuit14.3%1.9
Dogged Detective11.4%1.8
Sinister Concierge11.4%1.8
Oskar, Rubbish Reclaimer11.4%2.2
Killer Service8.6%2.5
Protection Racket8.6%2.2
First Responder7.1%2.3
Weathered Sentinels7.1%1.6
Bennie Bracks, Zoologist7.1%2.0
Cards being tested by fewer than 5 respondents not shown.
Single Card Discussion
The Hardboiled Hits
Lethal Scheme
Currency Converter
Caldaia Guardian
In Too Deep
Grand Crescendo

Lethal Scheme is the most-anticipated card from this product. Its cost-reduction mechanic and its ability to break board stalls wide open suggest that it will have positive play patterns, and its flexibility competes with some of Black’s strongest removal options.

Currency Converter is Saga-fetchable, bolsters popular graveyard-adjacent synergies, and is a value engine that can come online early.

Caldaia Guardian is beef, plain and simple: grass-fed and organic. A lot of stats and synergistic opportunities for a low asking price is a tough recipe to beat.

In Too Deep is an uncounterable, Blue Declaration in Stone that is to battlefield interaction as Dovin's Veto is to stack interaction. It is also incredibly flavorful, from the chalk-outline split second “glimpse into to the future” art to the way that the Clue enacts the narrative of the card.

Finally, Grand Crescendo comes with a Heroic Intervention 2-mana buy-out clause and a ceiling similar to Secure the Wastes.

The sheer diversity of these cards is remarkable. Very few Commander products bring back high densities of beloved mechanics and synergies at rates competitive in 1-vs-1 Magic, but Mark Rosewater’s blog suggests that this may signal a broader shift in Commander design ethos.

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In Too Deep — José Parodi