Scheming Fence – Streets of New Capenna
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.15
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There are numerous comparisons you can make with Scheming Fence – there are a few cards that stop activated abilities specifically, notably Phyrexian Revoker and Collector Ouphe – but stealing them for himself is pretty unique. The full package is most like Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K., of all things. Requiring the target to be in play already is kind of a downside, as you may already have been hurt by its abilities. Being unable to steal planeswalker abilities is less of a downside, as he’ll still prevent them from being used (I almost misread him when I first saw him!). We often consider the most “pushed” creatures nowadays to be the ones with comes-into-play abilities, but there are still plenty of juicy marks for him to fleece, and I think he’s worth trying as an answer to the likes of Deathrite Shaman. Not to mention that once in a while you’ll get lucky and come across an opponent with one of those artifacts that let you repeatedly draw cards or creatures that tap to deal a bunch of damage.
Commander [EDH]: 3/5
It may look like Meddling Mage, but the card Scheming Fence evokes more immediately is Phyrexian Revoker. It has its own twists on the Revoker, as it immediately borrows abilities of the permanent it locks out unless they’re a planeswalker, but you can’t preemptively lock a permanent down before they hit the board. This does ice down mana abilities, which is nice if a nonland permanent generates obscene amounts of mana. It’s also a 2/3 for 2, which isn’t so bad.
This is definitely more of a reactive stop to something than a proactive countermeasure against them, and turning off the abilities of a creature that’s still going to swoop upon you to gorge upon your innards won’t exactly help you out. But sometimes locking something down is all you need, and this is a good way to tie some hands until your opponent finds their out. This is very much not Meddling Mage 2.0: think of it as a Phyrexian Revoker with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
Constructed: 3 (this is a strict sideboard card, if anything)
Limited: 2 (not worth it unless an opponent has an unbeatable ace somewhere in their deck)
Multiplayer: 3 (this hits all permanents of the same name)
Commander [EDH]: 3.5 (this also hits resolved commanders)
Immediately it makes me think of Meddling Mage. Is it a better Meddling Mage? I think it might be! The ability to copy the abilities of the chosen permanent will make this card a sideboard staple for the next two years in U/W. Not much left to say other than this will fill the role that Meddling Mage filled, it’s not really great in limited because you don’t know what your opponents are going to play so I would pass on this in favor of something better.
Commander [EDH]: 3/5
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