May has been a mega month for Magic: The Gathering. Between new set releases, secret lair drops, and the pro circuit coming back into action, it has been a lot to keep up with. So here is a brief overview of what has been going on in the world of Magic.
Streets of New Capenna – Which crime family will you join?
It’s hard to have missed the newest set released, Streets of New Capenna. The set is based around 5 different crime families fighting for control of the city. Each family comes with its own unique strategies and feature tri-coloured cards which see play again after a huge hiatus. Released alongside the main set is a commander deck for each crime family! This vintage crime boss themed set has been incredibly fun to play in limited formats and offers exciting new mechanics that have added to the standard format. Cards feature all the glitz and glamour deserving of the time period and include a glorious full art land set. The only question you have to ask is, what family will you join?
“A city built by angels and ruled by demons, New Capenna conceals a crooked underbelly beneath its extravagant parties and classy citizens. Five conniving syndicates feud for control over the supply of “Halo”, a rare resource highly sought after for its material beauty and magic-boosting power. But as the invasion of a bigger threat enters New Capenna, it’s up to Planewalkers Vivien and Elspeth to prevent the conflict between families from boiling into an all-out war.”
Information is power
The Obscura are the white-blue-black family. The Obscura are gifted magicians who channel their magic for means of deception, using illusions and orchestrating scenarios to manipulate and blackmail their adversaries. Their signature mechanic is Connive – Draw a card and discard a card. If a non-land card is discarded this way, put a +1/+1 counter on the creature that connived.
Kill for the finer things in life
The Maestros are the blue-black-red family. They’re old-money vampires who are connoisseurs of art, the Maestros are shady assassins disguised among the elite and hell-bent on preserving the culture of Old Capenna. Their signature mechanic is Casualty – Sacrifice a creature with power N or greater to copy any spell tied to this ability.
Always finish the job
The Riveteers are the black-red-green family. Reliant on brute force to get the work done, the unmatched craftsmanship skills of the Riveteers make them masters of intimidation and destruction. Their signature mechanic is Blitz – creatures with blitz can be cast for an alternate cost to gain ‘haste’ and ‘when this creature dies, draw a card’. Sacrifice the creature at the beginning of the next end step.
Fun isn’t free
The Cabaretti are the red-green-white family. The Cabaretti are a cult of druids known for throwing the most lavish parties in New Capenna, but their power over the masses reaches far beyond their illustrious dance halls. Their signature mechanic is Alliance – whenever another creature enters the battlefield, a unique effect is triggered.
Read the fine print
The Brokers are the green-white-blue family. While The Brokers seem to handle mundane legal matters and property disputes by day, these dubious solicitors secretly follow a grim doomsday prophecy. Their signature mechanic is Shield – if a creature with a shield counter would be destroyed or dealt damage, remove a shield counter instead.
LoadingReadyRun released an awesome overview of the new sets rules which aims to give a better insight to the new mechanics. As qualified judges, they always provide great explanations in easy to understand terms.
Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic Arena has had many updates alongside the new set release, so here are a few important ones. A new mastery pass includes new avatars of each of the crime families to collect as well as new cosmetics available to purchase in store. Personal favourites include the new emotes and the Elsbeth Avatar and Sleeve bundle. A whole season of events has been added for New Capenna which brings interesting twists on gameplay. These events usually give out cosmetics as prizes. Full schedule here. One of the best updates in my opinion has been the ability to open multiple booster packs at once, instead of having to wait to have 10! As an added bonus, there are 6 new codes to redeem!
- PLAYSNC: Three Streets of New Capenna booster packs
- READTHEFINEPRINT: Brokers sleeve
- FUNISNTFREE: Cabaretti sleeve
- ALWAYSFINISHTHEJOB: Riveteer sleeve
- CRIMEISANARTFORM: Maestro sleeve
- INFORMATIONISPOWER: Obscura sleeve
Pride Across the Multiverse
Usually I wouldn’t share Secret Lair drops because as Australians, these things are ridiculously expensive. However, it is worth having a look at the new Pride Across the Multiverse Secret Lair drop. 8 cards are available for pre-order with new alternative art celebrating the LGBTQIA2+ community. It’s worth noting that 50% of each purchase will be donated directly to the Trevor Project. Not only are the cards depicting queer Magic characters, they were also illustrated by a member of the community. Way to go Wizards! If you want to purchase yourself a set or just want to have a better look at the cards, head over to Secret Lair.
The Pro Tour is back!
After dropping the tour back when Arena opened in Beta, Wizards of the Coast has finally reinstated the most popular competitive form of Magic since its inception. The reason it is so popular is that it is an easy way for Magic players all over the world to have a chance to compete in a professional capacity. All players need to do is head to their local game store to earn enough qualification points to head to regional events. These 2-day regional events then give players the opportunity to qualify for the Pro Tour. This is where the best battle it out to become the World Champion. There are 3 Pro Tours a season each with $500,000USD prize money, whilst the World Championship has a $1,000,000USD prize! These are all paper magic tournaments, however, Magic Arena players will still have a path to the pro tour. It is incredibly exciting to see paper Magic tournaments return to the world of Magic: The Gathering!
As you can see it has been a huge month for Magic: The Gathering. As always, if you are interested in giving Magic a go, Magic Arena is the perfect place to start out. It is free to play, offers easy to follow tutorials as well as daily incentives to help you grow your library. It’s available on PC, Mac, Android and iOS. Someone is always available to have a match with and because there is no chat, there is no fear of being bullied when you are learning a new game. They offer several playable starter decks as well as limited formats like draft or sealed. There are options to purchase more cards with in-game and real world currency, however, it’s not necessary to sink your dollars to enjoy the game and have a competitive deck.