Pair of MTG Streets of New Capenna Connive spells show mechanic’s strength

Always be conniving.

Image via WotC

Obscura decks in Streets of New Capenna are centered around the new Magic: The Gathering mechanic, Connive.

When a creature Connives, you draw a card and then discard a card. If a nonland card was discarded, that creature gets a +1/+1 counter. This ability is a great way to dig and find answers for control and tempo lists. The +1/+1 counters turn creatures generally into efficient threats for the mana cost.

The second week of New Capenna spoiler season revealed two creatures that use the Connive mechanic in ways beyond simply drawing and discarding cards.

Toluz, Clever Conductor

Image via WotC
  • Mana value: [W/U]U[U/B]
  • Type: Legendary Creature Human Rogue
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Stats: 3/1
  • First ability: When Toluz, Clever Conductor enters the battlefield, it connives.
  • Second ability: Whenever you discard one or more cards, exile them from your graveyard.
  • Third ability: When Toluz dies, put the cards exiled with it into their owner’s hand.

Toluz is a versatile three-drop that can help Connive decks dominate the late game with card advantage. This ability is similar to Bag of Holding. It allows you to stockpile cards in exile, and when Toluz dies, it puts all of those cards into your hand. It’s a slow ability that rewards control decks for reaching the late game. It also turns your opponent’s removal spells from a one-for-one to card advantage in your favor.

There are plenty of tools in Standard that will stop Toluz from generating full value. Exile-based removal and bounce effects are played heavily in Standard. Cards like March of Otherworldly Light and Fading Hope can disrupt the death trigger.

Building around Tolux will require more proactive ways to ensure she actually dies. Sacrificing her with Deadly Dispute in response to an opponent’s removal spell is a potential line that mitigates some of the negatives.

Obscura Interceptor

Image via WotC
  • Mana value: 1WUB
  • Type: Creature Cephalid Wizard
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Keywords: Flash, lifelink
  • Stats: 3/1
  • First ability: When Obscura Interceptor enters the battlefield, it connives. When it connives this way, return up to one target spell to its owner’s hand.

Obscura Interceptor is similar to Venser, Shaper Savant as a four-mana flash creature that returns a spell to its owner’s hand. It’s a great way to stop an opponent’s big-mana play on turn four or five.

The ability triggers when it enters the battlefield and Connives. This will most likely always enter the battlefield as a 4/2 lifelink creature that bounces a spell. That’s a strong effect and a dangerous body for the mana investment.

Blink strategies can make Obscura Interceptor an obnoxious presence on the battlefield by using cards like Ephemerate to get multiple uses out of the enter the battlefield trigger. It then becomes a kind of reusable counterspell in the right shell.

New Capenna will be released digitally on April 28, followed by a global tabletop launch on April 29.