Fans of Magic: The Gathering have been waiting in anticipation for new details about their newest set, Streets of New Capenna. While details were teased by Lead Designer Mark Rosewater, those only invited more questions. But it seems that Wizards of the Coast have finally revealed new details of the latest set, including not just new mechanics but factions as well.
First, Streets of New Capenna will introduce five new organized crime families as factions. This is similar to the various Guilds from the Ravnica blocks. Each of these families are represented by three of Magic's five core colors. Obscura, a family of gifted spellcasters, are Black/Blue/White. The Maestros, a mob of aristocratic vampire assassins, are Blue/Black/Red. The tough-as-nails demolition specialists, the Riveteers, are Black/Red/Green. The Cabaretti, a group of partying druids, are Red/Green/White. Finally, the crew of demonic lawyers, the Brokers, are Green/White/Blue.
New Capenna Mechanics
Each of these Streets of New Capenna factions have new game mechanics associated with them as well. Obscura's signature mechanic is called Connive. When a card instructs you to connive, you draw a card from your library, then discard a card from your hand. This can help you strategize or get rid of useless cards. In addition, if you discarded a nonland card from a creature's connive ability, that creature gets +1/+1.
Next is the Maestro's mechanic, Casualty. This is an extra cost to certain Instants and Sorceries. If you sacrifice a creature with a power level equal to the number of the Casualty cost, you will copy the card's ability. You cannot stack these Casualties and you can't sacrifice multiple creatures to meet the cost. Furthermore, the copy is created directly on the stack so it is not "cast," in order to simplify the means of resolution.
Next is the Riveteers with their Blitz mechanic. This is an alternate mana cost for certain creatures. For example, Jaxis The Troublemaker costs 3 colorless and 1 Red, but its Blitz cost is just 1 colorless and 1 Red. Creatures summoned with Blitz gain two new abilities. The first is it is summoned with Haste. Second, when it dies, you draw a card. But at the beginning of your next end stop, you have to sacrifice the creature. So make sure those rapid attacks count.
Continuing from there is the Cabaretti and their Alliance ability. Simply put, this is a creature ability that highlights additional triggered abilities when another creature you control enters the battlefield. Devilish Valet for example has an Alliance ability that states, "whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, double this creature's power until the end of the turn." Alliance abilities can also overlap with one another so a single creature summon can trigger multiple abilities. Also creature tokens count.
Finally, the Brokers have Shield Counters. Shield counters are placed on your permanents and serve as defense. If a card effect destroys one of your permanents, the counter is removed instead. Additionally, a counter is removed if a creature suffers damage from a card effect or attack, preventing the damage. These counters can't stop unpreventable damage and only block the first instance of damage, so multiple attacks or workarounds are possible.
Finally, Streets of New Capenna does bring back an older mechanic found across all new cards: Hideaway. You search the top cards of your library, select one card and exile it. That exiled card can then be put on the battlefield once other requirements are met. The other cards are put in the bottom of your library. It has changed slightly since it's debut. While Hideaway originally had you look at the top four cards of your library, you now search a fixed number of cards as noted next to the card's text (Hideaway 1,2,3, etc.).
Streets of New Capenna's prerelease event will be April 22, with its simultaneous physical and digital release happening April 28.