Streets of New Capenna hits the streets officially this Friday. As always, a new set means new rules. This week, let's break down some of the new mechanics in Streets of New Capenna and talk about some of the more notable cards.
Connive is a triggered ability that lets a player draw a card, then discard a card. If they discard a nonland card this way, the conniving creature gets a +1/+1 counter. It's worth noting that conniving is not optional; if something instructs you to connive, you must draw and discard.
A creature can still connive even if it's removed from the battlefield, though of course, it won't get the +1/+1 counter in that case. Similarly, cards like Psychic Pickpocket that have a reflexive trigger "when it connives this way" can still trigger if it's removed before it connives.
Casualties of Society
Casualty is an additional cost that lets a player sacrifice a creature with at least a specified power. For instance, "Casualty 4" asks a player to sacrifice a creature with power 4 or greater. If they sacrifice a creature this way, when the spell becomes cast, a triggered ability creates a copy of that spell. They may choose new targets for the copy.
If a spell has multiple instances of casualty because of something like Anhelo, the Painter, the spell's controller may pay each cost individually. For instance, if I control Anhelo and cast A Little Chat, I can sacrifice my Cabal Evangel and my Fugitive Wizard and get two copies of A Little Chat in addition to the original.
Ob Nixilis, the Adversary uses casualty in a unique way. If I pay Ob Nixilis' casualty cost, the token copy will enter with loyalty X, where X is the power of the sacrificed creature. This changes the copy's copiable values (for a refresher on copiable values, check out my article about copy effects). Let's say I sacrifice a Bonebreaker Giant when I cast Ob Nixilis. If I Clever Impersonator that copy, the Impersonator-Ob will also be a nonlegendary Ob Nixilis with starting loyalty 4.
Blitz is an alternative cost vaguely reminiscent of dash. If I cast a spell for its blitz cost, the creature it becomes has haste. I have to sacrifice the creature at the beginning of the next end step. On the upside, when I sacrifice it, I draw a card.
A player may cast a creature for its blitz cost from anywhere they could normally cast the spell. Casting a commander from the command zone for its blitz cost will still increase its commander tax. Sorry, Jaxis, the Troublemaker players!
Hideaway first showed up in Lorwyn, and had quite a lot of rules baggage hidden behind it. Anything with hideaway entered tapped. Hideaway always looked at just the top four cards of the library to find a card to exile.
Now, hideaway has been repurposed a bit. Cards with hideaway don't necessarily enter tapped anymore (note that the old lands received errata to that effect). Further, hideaway is now "Hideaway X," where X is the number of cards to look at to choose a card to exile.
Lagrella, the Magpie
Streets of New Capenna's winner of the prestigious Most Questions Asked About It Award has to be Lagrella, the Magpie. The card has some unfortunately awkward templating, leading to confusion for players of most any skill level. Let's break it apart a bit.
Lagrell's triggered ability affects "any number of other target creatures controlled by different players." Most folks read "any number" and immediately think, "Wait, I can choose any number of creatures?" Well... no. I promise that a 3-mana creature doesn't have one-sided mass removal attached to it.
Let's focus on "target creatures controlled by different players." If I control Grizzly Bears and my opponent controls Eager Cadet, great! Those are two creatures controlled by different players, so they're legal targets. If instead, I controlled both creatures, I couldn't target both of them. They're controlled by the same player, so they don't meet the targeting requirements.
If it helps, think of Lagrella like Grasp of Fate. For each player, exile up to one other target creature that player controls. The "other target creature" bit means Lagrella can't target herself.
Errant, Street Artist
I've seen a lot of questions about Errant, specifically what a spell "that wasn't cast" means. Unlike the early '90s public service announcement, Errant wants players to copy that floppy. Simply put, a spell that wasn't cast is usually* a copy of a spell that's already on the stack. Remember casualty from earlier? Nobody cast the casualty-created copy, so it's a legal target for Errant's ability.
*Ertai's Meddling is made up.
That's all for this week! I know, I know: I left out the "alliance" ability word. Turns out ability words don't mean anything! They're dead to me. Call it "manfall" or somethin' cool like that.
Question of the week: Please tell me about your coolest pre-release moments. Mine involved blowing someone out with a Brokers Charm.