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Crime syndicates and skyscrapers dominate first peek at upcoming MTG set Streets of New Capenna

Family comes in three colours.

Magic: The Gathering lifted the curtain yesterday on its next planned set, Streets of New Capenna, giving players their first taste of a plane run by organised crime and dripping with 1920s Western aesthetic. A video presentation on MTG's YouTube channel featured images of the five ruling families accompanied by a breakdown of dates for card image spoilers, story reveals and more ahead of the set’s April 22nd release.

It’s only been two weeks since Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty hit shelves, but publisher Wizards of the Coast won’t let players relax during a stacked 2022 schedule. Streets of New Capenna continues a trend of visiting more futuristic worlds, and it juxtaposes the aesthetic glamour of America in the Roaring ‘20s against the squalor and seedy underbelly where five criminal families wrestle with each other for control of resources, money and prestige.

Mechanically, these five families each claim three Mana colours in their identity. You might hear folks refer to these combinations as shards - three complementary colours situated next to each other on the traditional mana wheel - but that distinction doesn’t matter as much as how it informs the kind of illicit operations the families run and who are counted among their members. Humans and demons can be found in all five families, while anthropomorphic animal races, vampires and other classic MTG fare tend to be more exclusive.

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We don’t know much about the ruling families beyond their names and a few characteristics. The Obscura (White, Blue and Black) seem like information brokers and spies, while the Mauestros (Blue, Black and Red) focus on luxury recreation and excess pleasures. The Riveteers (Black, Green and Red) are craftspeople likely drawing on the historic mafia corruption of the country’s largest manufacturing unions. Both the Cabaretti (Red, Green and White) and the Brokers (Blue, Green and White) mask their underhanded dealings as old money high society and legitimate banking ventures, respectively.

Wizards of the Coast helped characterise these organisations by revealing a cycle of rare basic lands portraying a key location within their networks, ranging from sprawling gardens and cloud-breaking towers to a boxing ring hidden deep in a warehouse. All five will be printed in two different treatments showing off their seals and skyscraper bases with Art Deco-inspired alternate art that will likely encompass many cards in the set, just as the anime style did in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. Full-art basic lands will frame scenes of the city in all its sprawling, glass-and-gleaming metal glory.

Another rare cycle will outline five enchantments representing all of the individual family’s rise to the top of New Capenna’s vicious food chain. Brokers Ascendency not only fleshes out the personality of the wickedly smiling banker elites but hints at a +1/+1 counter theme among their cards. These Ascendency enchantments will also come in a “golden age” version with gilded borders and luxurious illustrations befitting the corporate elite.

Commander players can look forward to five separate decks that will be available alongside the set - one for each family - comprising 2022’s big release, as compared to the conventional pair accompanying new batches of cards. Wizards is planning an in-store promotion called Commander Launch Party where players and a friend will be gifted copies of format staples Swiftfoot Boots and Mind Stone for attending.

The focus on local brick & mortar game stores seems to be a trend for New Capenna, as this release will hit physical shelves before launching on MTG Arena, the trading card game’s dedicated digital client. This oddity has been welcomed by fans who are beginning to venture back out to nearby locations for in-person events, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Streets of New Capenna will officially launch worldwide on April 29th, with a prerelease event taking place the weekend before. Arena and Magic Online players will gain access to the set beginning on April 28th, and the Commander Launch Party runs from April 29th to May 1st. Previews for the upcoming set will begin earlier in the month, on April 7th.

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