Rapidly approaching Magic: the Gathering expansion Streets of New Capenna is what’s known as a shard set, meaning it features five factions, each one making use of three of the five Magic: The Gathering mana colours. By now, the five Streets of New Capenna factions are well-known to us, from the flashy assassins of the Maestros to the gritty street toughs of the Riveteers. These form five of the set’s archetypes, built-in strategies designed for drafting. But each set typically has 10 of these. Now, MTG head designer Mark Rosewater has revealed the five remaining Streets of New Capenna archetypes, in an article shared on the official Magic website.
As Rosewater explains in his latest Making Magic article, published April 11, the five Streets of New Capenna archetypes that stand aside from the factions are colour-pairs: White-Blue, Blue-Black, Black-Red, Red-Green, and Green-White. The MTG design team came up with each of them by finding design space where two factions overlapped. Rosewater writes: “While we were working hard to make each faction play as well as it could in a vacuum, we also had to think about how each one interacted with the other factions in the set.”
Take, for example, White-Blue. These colours are shared by both the Obscura and the Brokers families. As the Brokers’ mechanic is shield counters and the Obscura’s mechanic creates +1/+1 counters, the White-Blue archetype is all about popping different kinds of counters on creatures.
Next, Blue-Black – these mana colours are both used by the Obscura and the Maestros families. The Maestros’ mechanic sacrifices creatures and the Obscura’s drops cards into the graveyard, so the Blue-Black archetype has a graveyard theme – it’s all about having a critical mass of differently costed cards in your yard.
The Black-Red archetype shares colours with both the Maestros and the Riveteers. Since both these factions have mechanics involving creature sacrifice, it’s only natural that the place where they meet forms a sacrifice archetype.
Skipping ahead to White-Green, this archetype mixes the Caberetti’s desire to generate many creatures with the Brokers’ aim of protecting its creatures with shield tokens. It’s a tribal archetype, centred around creating lots of citizen creatures, and protecting them.
Red-Green is focused on creating treasures, which seems to break the pattern entirely, having no obvious link to either the Cabaretti or the Riveteers (the Streets of New Capenna factions which feature these colours). Rosewater admits that “this archetype proved to be a bit more difficult”.
While this one may not be particularly tied to either of the relevant factions, treasure archetypes have proven popular (and powerful) in the past – most notably in the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set of last year. Commander players may be worried to see more treasure cards entering their format, however.
Streets of New Capenna is releasing on April 29. Take a look at our Streets of New Capenna guide for more details on the upcoming set. And if you want to gain a better understanding of Magic’s five mana colours, try out our guide on how to build an MTG deck.