It takes a lot to shake up Modern. With a huge card pool, most Standard sets just don't have what it takes to make an impact. Streets of New Capenna doesn't look like a powerhouse set. However, it does have a handful of cards that could find their way into the Modern format.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five cards poised to make a splash.
5.) Titan of Industry
This one is a bit of a niche play as it really only slots into one deck---Amulet Titan. Although it isn't a major upgrade, it should play a nice role in a deck that's already near the top of the meta.
To be clear, Titan of Industry isn't strictly better than Cultivator Colossus. In fact, the latter is still the better card in a general sense as it can win you the game on the spot if you've got a few lands in hand.
One of the bigger problems for many Amulet players, though, is the Murktide matchup. Cavern of Souls helps get around Counterspell. However, an Unholy Heat on your resolved Primeval Titan or a Dress Down before it hits the field can often spell disaster.
Titan of Industry solves these problems nicely with a 7/7 body that dodges most removal in the format. It's also a solid blocker against just about everything---including a big (but not maxed-out) Murktide thanks to Reach. Having Trample will let it close out a lot of games as well, especially if it lands alongside Primeval Titan.
Meanwhile, its ETB effects are powerful and do a lot to swing the game in your favor. Whether that means gaining life against Burn, putting an extra body out as a blocker, taking out an Ensnaring Bridge, or just protecting your Primeval Titan or Valakut, you'll be in good shape if Titan of Industry resolves.
Again, this card isn't replacing Cultivator Colossus. However, I can see it being an easy one-of in a deck that's already running Summoner's Pact as it solves some major headaches.
4.) Riveteers Charm
Another card that slots into a particular archetype is Riveteers Charm. Jund has been around as a staple of the Modern format since its inception. Though it's struggling to hang in the current meta, Jund decks are getting an important piece.
Riveteers Charm can work as removal, graveyard hate, or card advantage. That's big for a deck that values flexibility and adaptation. It also lines up well against a lot of the meta.
The forced sacrifice will be difficult for Murktide and Titan players to deal with if they don't have a counter in hand. Meanwhile, the graveyard hate preys further on Murktide as well as Reanimator and Living End.
Perhaps most interesting is the middle mode. It allows you to exile the top three cards of your library and play them until YOUR next end step. That means you can hold up mana on your opponent's turn and fire this off on their end step for major card advantage if you don't need the removal. It also means Riveteers Charm will never be a dead card if you draw it late in the game and don't need its other modes.
Seeing three extra cards is huge in Modern and can swing the game in your favor.
I don't expect Riveteers Charm to revive Jund to its former power, but this is a big tool to help it compete in the current meta. Not to mention the new Jund tri-land.
3.) Ob Nixilis, the Adversary
Admittedly, it's quite difficult to evaluate how the new Ob Nixilis will play out in real life. It could be a flop that looks strong on paper. It could also shake things up in a big way.
Ob Nix's Casualty ability putting an extra planeswalker into play feels absurd. That's even more true in a format like Modern where mass removal is sparse.
Imagine this scenario. You drop a Ragavan on turn one. On turn two, you swing and make a treasure. You then play Ob Nixilis, saccing Ragavan to get an extra copy with a starting loyalty of 2. Tick them both up and your opponent will either pay four life or discard two cards. Oh, and you're left with two walkers on the board after turn two. That's going to be very hard to beat.
While most decks will choose to lose life, Modern already has a faster clock thanks to fetches and shocks. Meanwhile, the original Ob Nix is already out of Bolt range while the copy is one turn away. You're getting extra pressure for free each turn while you follow up with a turn-three play.
Even if your opponent has Unholy Heat in hand, they are probably only removing one copy. If they use spot removal on both, you're likely going to smack them with creatures for the next several turns without them being removed.
Plus, Ob Nixilis fits into decks that can already run things like Fury, Unholy Heat, Bolt, DRC, Ragavan, and much more. It will be very interesting to see how this wildcard fits into the format.
2.) Luxior, Giada's Gift
Can you say new Devoted Druid combo? Of course you can. There are a million of them.
We now have one more in the form of Luxior, Giada's Gift. What makes this one notable compared to some we've seen in the past is the fact that it can be tutored up by Urza's Saga.
Since Luxior gives an equipped creature +1/+1 for each counter on it, you can make infinite mana by tapping and untapping Devoted Druid and putting -1/-1 counters on it. Luxior's ability essentially cancels these out so Druid doesn't die.
Many players are hype for the potential of this card as it fits somewhat cleanly into a generically good deck while also turning on the infinite combo.
It's unclear exactly what Luxior's role in Modern will be, but its power and potential to shake things up by enabling a new combo deck should be respected.
1.) New Tri-Lands
Lands aren't the sexiest cards you can play. However, they are some of the most important for competitive decks.
The new "Triome" lands aren't the most powerful, but they are huge for enabling multi-color decks. Finishing the cycle originally printed in Ikoria, we're now getting tri-lands for Jund, Bant, Esper, Grixis, and Naya.
These are certain to see play in Modern, though some will be more impactful than others. As fetch targets with the upside of cycling them away in the late game, these tri-lands are very flexible. They'll give players yet another way to refine or power up their manabases.
This set certainly isn't the most busted we've seen. However, there are a few cards worth mentioning that could see limited play in certain archetypes. These didn't make the top five cut, but should be on your radar nonetheless.
Vivien on the Hunt
Birthing Pod. That's it. Vivien has some interesting combo potential with Felidar Guardian, Karmic Guide, and Kiki-Jiki. The combo is powerful if you can get there. Unfortunately, getting there is the problem.
Vivien is a six-mana planeswalker that also requires you to have a three-drop on the board when she comes out. We'll see if someone can find a way to break the ability by cheating her out or building a strong deck around her.
Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer
Any card that tutors another card onto the battlefield can be abused. That's especially true in a format where Dryad Arbor is legal. You can put it into play for free simply by resolving Rocco with an X of "0."
Of course, there's no shortage of other cheap creatures you could put into play (cough, cough Ragavan). Rocco is also an elf, which could open up some sweet synergies. It just depends if elf players think the splash into Naya colors is worth it.
Humans hasn't been a highly competitive deck in a while. It probably won't be as long as Fury is in the format. However, Extraction Specialist is a step in the right direction and adds some much-needed resiliency to the deck.
Getting a two-drop back means seeing your Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Sanctifier en Vec, Thalia's Lieutenant, or Unsettled Mariner again. At worst, bringing a creature back for free is never a bad thing.
What cards from New Capenna are you most excited to try in Modern? Got a sweet deck or combo to share? Let us know in the comments or tag us on social media!
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