I Love Magic: The Gathering's New Gangster Dimension
When Magic: The Gathering players talk about the synthesis of gameplay and card design, they call it ‘flavor’. And if we’re talking pure, yummy flavortown; the newest set from MTG publishers Wizards of the Coast is delicious. It's a 1920's/30's gangster inspired set with a bunch of Art Deco vibes thrown in. New Capenna is bursting with SO. MUCH. FLAVOR. It’s like a jolly rancher coated in tajin. Or a glass of Halo, the substance they sip in New Capenna which seems to be…angel juice? Weird beverages aside, the flavor of this set is off the charts.
The game designers flawlessly blended 1920’s inspired technology with the mechanical design of the cards to make for some truly immersive, bullet riddled fun. I’ve rounded up the most flavor blasted cards for your gaming pleasure. All these images are taken from the Wizards of the Coast website where you can view the full set of cards by the way!
Mysterious limousine. It picks up a creature, disappears them so even their friends and family can’t find them. When it attacks, it screeches up, dumps the former passenger out, and hustles a new, unwilling passenger into it’s shadowy depths.
The keyword mechanics of this set are so tasty. Connive means draw a card then discard a card, if you discard a nonland card, put a +1/+1 counter on the relevant creature. This card connives to bypass security, gaining knowledge and power for the big boss aka you the player.
Make a creature go into hiding. Your opponent casts a big, scary monster. This enchantment puts them in the witness protection program! They’ll lose their powers and identity and have to live out the rest of their life (aka the game) in anonymity.
This looks like something not in the least bit fantastical. A 20’s spy lady doing some wiretapping. But the hideaway mechanic is used well here, she’s setting up the wiretap to gain knowledge (aka draw cards and get an upper hand on the opponent) on future turns.
Brutal! This card uses the Casualty mechanic and illustrates the very worst parts of the New Capenna crime riddled lifestyle. You take one of your own loyal gang lackeys (creatures) and chop them up for your personal gain (aka drawing cards.)
You can fake your own death and take out a life insurance policy!
You gotta prove your loyalty to the family…by taking out one of your own. This card honors the age old crime syndicate tradition of initiation through murder! Join the Maestros makes you kill one creature to get an even bigger one.
Crime always pays on the mean streets of New Capenna. This big ogre chap is threatening you, cracking his big ogre knuckles. But if you pay a little moola (let your opponent draw a card) the problem goes away and nobody gets hurt see?
It’s not all brutality in New Capenna, some of it’s denizens are rather genteel. Attended Socialite for example, they thrive on society and perfectly showcase the ‘Alliance’ mechanic. Similar to Jetmir this jolly cat demon; like extroverts around the world: when they’re joined by someone else, they get stronger.
The 5 crime syndicates of New Capenna each have 3 corresponding colors. 2 color cards like our Rhino for hire friend here are able to fit into multiple syndicate color pairings and really bring the mercenary flavor.
Finally, we’ve got some classic gangster artifacts that you can equip to creatures to help them battle, or keep them quiet forever.