Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty EDH Set Review – Green

Travis Stanley • February 10, 2022

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Green EDH Set Review

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Being Green to Kamigawa


Unfortunately I started playing Magic around 2015, so I missed the first time we went to Kamigawa. The way I hear it, it was quite the time, and I’m sad I missed it! I am glad that I get to experience the return to Kamigawa and its characters and stories. This time around it’s 1,000 years in the future, and Kamigawa looks a lot different. Let’s see what the future brought us…


Mythic Rares


Kodama of the West Tree

With this, the cycle of the Kodama is now complete.

This can slip into any deck that looks to “modify” its creatures. Perhaps you’re playing Galea, Kindler of Hope and you don’t have an Equipment or enchantment that gives trample; “No worries”, says Kodama of the West Tree, “I got you”.

For the plethora of commanders that care about +1/+1 counters, like Cazur, Ruthless Stalker, Torens, Fist of the Angels, or Anafenza, the Foremost, this pretty much becomes a staple. Not only can it give your army (or your Voltronned creature) trample, it makes sure to reward you by being a Sword of the Animist on each direct hit. Kodama of the West Tree is green through and through and a great card in the 99.

As a commander, you can go really any way with Kodama of the West Tree. Either you can go wide and focus on making your army large with cards like Renata, Called to the Hunt (which would also double as a good commander for this card), or you can go tall and play all sorts of Equipment and Auras, like Blanchwood Armor or Blackblade Reforged. Not to mention this card and Avenger of Zendikar are the bestest of friends. Make sure you put in a Retreat to Kazandu in the deck; it’s the perfect enabler for a go-wide strategy for this. At the end of the day, this Kodama is a great tool for any deck that is looking to “Modify” their creatures, giving you damage and ramp all at an affordable low mana value.

Kura, the Boundless Sky

At its floor, Kura, the Boundless Sky is a 4/4 flying Dragon with deathtouch for five mana, which already lands itself in every Fynn, the Fangbearer deck. Doesn’t quite have the power/toughness as its spiritual (and literal former form?) predecessor, Jugan, the Rising Star, but the modular nature of Kura’s death trigger and its lower casting cost gives this Dragon a slight edge over its ancestor. Jugan can only place a set amount of counters on your creatures, whereas Kura can make you a fairly large Spirit, or if lands is what you need, then you can go and find the 3 best and put them into your hand. It’s a one-shot way to get Thespian’s Stage, Dark Depths, and any other land. In recursion-based strategies, such as Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, or Nethroi, Apex of Death, this can be a nice fit. A deck that I have that I know this card is going into is my Korvold, Fae-Cursed King Jund Dragons deck; the death trigger makes it a perfect fit.

As a commander, you’ll be looking for ways to sacrifice it and loop it to create as many tokens as you can, as well as making those tokens bigger by playing the lands you get. Good thing green is really, really good at both of those things. There’s a large swath of options to choose from, like Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Wrenn and Seven, or Greater Good. Kura, the Boundless Sky’s ceiling is only as low as you make it.

Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin

Players have been clamouring for a true Shrine commander, and, well, here it is! Wizards heard we liked Shrines, so they just said, “I heard you like Shrines so I built you a Shrine that makes more Shrines.

Xzibit meme aside, that is a very potent ability. Since all of the Shrines care about how many Shrines you have, this will Shrine-ball out of control before anyone knows it. Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin even brings back other enchantments (which will probably be Shrines) to the battlefield.

In all seriousness, even if you don’t go Shrine tribal with this commander, it still is a pretty effective enchantment commander, giving you recursion (a five-mana Omniscience? Sign me up!), and, if you happen to play other Shrines, more enchantment creatures to benefit from.

Myojin of Towering Might

In the Commander-set-but-not-in-the-Commander-Decks cards, we have the Myojin cycle back! It’s a callback to the original cycle back when we first visited Kamigawa. The green Myojin, Myojn of Towering Might, is one less mana to cast than its predcessor, Myojin of Life’s Web, but it has the same power and toughness. The big difference comes in their activated abilities. Whereas the old Myojin just allowed you to put down all of the creature cards from your hand, the new Myojin requires that you already have creatures on the battlefield for the ability to be its most useful. Splitting up eight +1/+1 counters between creatures is already pretty good, but the most important word in its ability is “trample”. Whichever creature you give the counters to (including itself) gains trample, which can win games. Big stompy decks would love to see this 8/8 Myojin that can potentially give the right creature eight counters and trample at instant speed, like Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig. As with the fromer Myojin, it’s recommended that this card is in the 99 rather than the commander, as its ability on works if you play if from your hand.


Rares


Boseiju, Who Endures

When this card was previewed, it seemed like the internet lost its collective mind, and for good reason. Most Magic players see this as a very broken card, and I completely agree. The ability to pay two mana (at instant speed, mind you) and get rid of any problematic land (e.g., Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Cabal Coffers, Gaea’s Cradle), artifact, or enchantment is quite the ability. In our format, this will almost always cost one green mana to use, and a silver bullet for only one mana is a deal too good to pass up. The biggest benefit is that, since it’s an activated ability, it can’t be countered by your run-of-the-mill Counterspell. Especially in decks like Lord Windgrace or Muldrotha, the Gravetide with Storm Cauldron, this is a repeatable effect that can disrupt your opponents’ boards again and again. If your deck is playing green, there is no reason to not run this card; it’s an answer when it needs to be and a land any other time. The downside of giving your opponent a potential dual land or Triome is pretty negligible when you consider what this card can and will get off the board. A Tundra in exchange for a Smothering Tithe or a Rhystic Study is a trade I will happily make every time.

Invoke the Ancients

Giving you eight power worth of creatures for only five mana is very good, even with the heavy color casting requirement. Invoke the Ancients even lets you choose what abilities these moderately big Spirit creatures have. Being able to choose those abilities gives Invoke the Ancients real flexibility and a reason to cast it at any point in the game. One of my favourite commanders, Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice, has a home for this, as do most other token-based decks, like Ghired, Conclave Exile and Adrix and Nev, Twincasters. Big ol’ green stompy decks could always use more ways to trigger cards like Elemental Bond and Garruk’s Uprising, and Ghalta, Primal Hunger sees this as five mana to make Ghalta cost four mana, making this a desirable piece for those decks, not to mention Tayam, Luminous Enigma could use this as another way to gain more counters.

Kami of Transience

Wow. Just wow. Kami of Transience is an enchantress house! Getting bigger for every enchantment you cast (so even if it gets countered, you still get to grow your Kami) allows this 2/2 for two mana to get out of hand very quickly. Of course, this doesn’t grow as fast as a Managorger Hydra, but it’s harder to truly get rid of. Dies to Doom Blade? Oh, well, just have an enchantment go to the graveyard (say, Seal of Primordium), and poof, the Kami is back in your hand ready to deploy and start growing again. Once you’ve cast enough enchantments, all you need to do is turn it sideways and watch as your opponents exclaim, “Wait, that has trample?!Kami of Transience goes anywhere enchantments go: Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, Tuvasa the Sunlit, Kestia, the Cultivator, etc. It becomes even more of a threat in Eutropia the Twice-Favored: twice as big and flying? That’s what I like to see!

March of Burgeoning Life

It’s a neat tutor for any nonlegendary creature in your deck, if you just so happen to have a secret Spy Kit stashed in a green deck somewhere, or if you are playing against an opponent who has the same cards as you do in your deck. Otherwise, this card is a big do-nothing, maybe adding to your Storm count for Thrasta, Tempest’s Roar or Aeve, Progenitor Ooze? If you were to make a clone of a card like Etrata, the Silencer in a Volrath, the Shapestealer deck, with something like a Spark Double, you could go and fetch the Etrata that you just shuffled away, so that’s neat.

Shigeki, Jukai Visionary

You gotta love when a commander fuels themselves and what they aim to do. First, Shigeki, Jukai Visionary wants to fill up your graveyard with great targets for their second ability, while at the same time ramping you. Doing that allows them to come back to your hand to retrieve the cards you want from your graveyard. A little clunky, but it gets its job done: filter, ramp and card selection.

However, this card is a better player in the 99. The Gitrog Monster and its distant cousin, Grolnok, the Omnivore, really enjoy seeing permanents (especially lands) go into the graveyard. Shigeki helps with taking the other cards out that you don’t necessarily want in there, like instant and sorceries, which those decks typically have a harder time recurring. A repeatable Wildest Dreams on an easy-to-play body, it will make for a solid addition in any graveyard-based strategy.

Spring-Leaf Avenger

Green Ninjas?! Seems like Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty isn’t joking around, and especially not Spring-Leaf Avenger. This beefy 6/5 Insect for five mana is a respectable body on its own, but to also have Ninjutsu and cost four mana to Nature’s Spiral on contact is a great ability. With the numbe of ways that green has to give evasion, whether it’s swarming the board with tokens or using a Song of the Dryads and giving your creatures forestwalk, there’s more than ample opportunity for Spring-Leaf Avenger to spring out of your hand. Of course, once the traps have sprung, the hardest part is doing it again. As this will trade with most creatures (did I mention it was a 6/5?), you can attack with no real fear; either they’ll throw a chump blocker in the way, or you’ll deal 6 damage and get a permanent back in your hand, either way you’re still gaining. Plus, its alt art looks like a Digimon, and I am here for it.

Weaver of Harmony

Yet another staple for enchantress decks. The benefactors of the anthem is enchantment creatures, so Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, and various Therosian Gods (Karametra, God of the Harvest, Klothys, God of Destiny, Xenegos, God of Revels, etc.) get a new friend. Its second ability is a one-shot enchanti-monicon, so all of your Constellation triggers will be able to be copied; also, for all Shrine decks out there, this card can double those as well. A card like Evolutionary Leap and Defense of the Heart will now grant you more creatures, as well as Sunbird’s Invocation will let you cast 2 free spells! All of your Oblivion Ring effects become double as potent! Estrid, the Masked, Tuvasa the Sunlit, and Kestia, the Cultivator decks will gladly accept Weaver of Harmony with open arms.


Sagas


Sagas are interesting. A physical representation of the stories being told in-universe, they are on the board for a limited period of time, and at the end of their “stay” they have some sort of payoff. In Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Wizards put a neat spin on Sagas, where at the end they transform into a representation of the story that was being told. There were quite a few Sagas in green, so I grouped them altogether so we can look at all of the stories being told in Kamigawa this time around.

Jugan Defends the Temple//Remnant of the Rising Star

Let’s first look at the mythic Saga of the set, Jugan Defends the Temple; it represents when Jugan, the Rising Star defended the Jukai monks during the Kami War. For three mana, the first chapter gives a 1/1 Human Monk mana dork. Next chapter you get to either make that Monk a little bigger or distribute the counters on other creatures you may have played before. Chapter three, it transforms into Remnant of the Rising Star, a 2/2 with flying and an enter-the-battlefield ability to grant creatures entering +1/+1 counters. Jugan Defends the Temple will shine in decks that love throwing counters around, like Hamza, Guardian of Arashin, Ezuri, Claw of Progress, and Katilda, Dawnhart Prime. Being a reliable source of getting those counters on creatures, turns it into a 7/7 with flying and trample that much faster, and who doesn’t like swinging in with a giant Dragon?

Teachings of the Kirin//Kirin-Touched Orochi

Moving on to Teachings of the Kirin, in this Saga, we learn about the sacrifices the Kirin made for the kami and how it impacted their relationship with them. The first ability mills you for three and creates a 1/1 Spirit creature token, which is not a bad start, especially for decks who care about the graveyard, like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant or Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, plus some sac fodder for commanders like Meren of Clan Nel Toth. Next, we have the classic “put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control”; pretty generic, but has utility nonetheless. Finally, we get to the last chapter: we exile Teachings of the Kirin and bring it back as Kirin-Touched Orochi. This Snake Monk serves as graveyard hate, allowing you to pick and choose what it eats out of graveyards. The unfortunate part of it is that it’s only a 1/1 and has no evasion whatsoever, meaning that you will probably get 2 or 3 attacks with this little Snake before it gets blocked or dealt with in a numerous amount of ways. A commander that would want this type of card could be Klothys, God of Destiny as another way to exile things from your opponents’ graveyards, and it’s an enchantment to boot, so any enchantment synergies will appreciate this.

The Dragon-Kami Reborn//Dragon-Kami’s Egg

The Dragon-Kami Reborn tells the story of the rebirth of all five Dragon-Kami on Kamigawa. The first two chapters of allow you to plan for the future and select the best spells to cast out of the top six* (technically seven because of the card you draw in between) of your library. Which, if it’s able to stay on the battlefield for the entire Saga, rewards you by being able to just not pay for those spells you chose. Though there is one caveat: you have to have it or another Dragon meet its untimely (or timely for my Korvold, Fae-Cursed King deck) demise to be able to cast those spells. As they say, a free spell is a free spell, and if you’re able to recur it (say, with one of commons in this set, like Season of Renewal) over and over again, you’ll be able to cast previous cards exiled with hatchling counters on them. Dragon decks could use this as a deterrent for folks getting rid of their beloved lizards, see: The Ur-Dragon, Scion of the Ur-Dragon, etc. Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire and Atla Palani, Nest Tender, both benefit from the creature being sacrificed/dying, so The Dragon-Kami Reborn could find a home in those as well.

Azusa’s Many Journeys//Likeness of the Seeker

Telling the tale of Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Azusa’s Many Journeys gives us a little taste of the power of the original Azusa. First chapter gives an extra land drop for the turn and the following chapter gains three life. For those chapters, not bad for two mana. The third chapter flips up over to Likeness of the Seeker, a 3/3 that, whenever it gets blocked, you get to untap three of your lands. The number of times that I have let a 3/3 Beast through during a game has been far too high to make me think someone will block this to let you untap. This is a great example of a card created for a Limited environment. Flavour over function.

Boseiju Reaches Skyward//Branch of Boseiju

Lands, lands, lands! Boseiju Reaches Skyward represents the tale of how, even though Kamigawa was advancing and growing at such a rapid pace, Boseiju would not be outshone, and it let the denizens know that it was the tallest and most prominent feature of the plane. As for the card itself, the first chapter lets you grab some basic Forests to put into your hand, essentially double Lay of the Landing you. Next chapter gives you the option to place a land on top of your library from your graveyard (here’s where Lord Windgrace and The Gitrog Monster come into the conversation). Finally, it flips over and gives us a Beanstalk Giant with reach. Another big beefy beater for lands decks, this Saga definitely delivers on flavour and function. Most Landfall commanders, like Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait and Omnath, Locus of Creation, will make use of Boseiju Reaches Skyward, and it also finds a nice little niche home in Baru, Fist of Krosa.

Tales of Master Seshiro//Seshiro’s Living Legacy

The last Saga we will look at is Tales of Master Seshiro. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a story from Wizards, but basically this is about Seshiro the Anointed and how he became the Broodmaster and his lasting legacy. The first two chapters of this five-mana Saga deal out +1/+1 counters to a creature or Vehicle, also giving it vigilance, allowing you to attack and still keep your defences up. When the Saga gets to its last chapter and flips, we’re left with a 5/5 with vigilance and haste. As with Azusa’s Many Journeys, this was made more for Limited. In Renata, Called to the Hunt decks, this is a good fit!


Notable Uncommons and Commons


Go-Shintai of Boundless Vigor

I wanted to mention this Shrine solely because it can be your commander, and I thought that was pretty funny. Unfortunately it doesn’t do a whole lot but make itself bigger over time. The only other green Shrines are Honden of Life’s Web and Sanctum of Fruitful Harvest, and in a deck of 99 cards, two is a tough sell. Obviously this goes into every Shrine deck out there, so Sisay, Weatherlight Captain and newcomer Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin gain another piece to their Shrine army.

Generous Visitor

This is an innocuous uncommon; being only one mana allows it to come down early to build value, or to kick things off for only one mana. Almost every enchantress style deck would want this, especially those with a more Voltron-leaning strategy. Galea, Kindler of Hope, Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, and Uril, the Miststalker would greatly benefit from this little Spirit.


Green’s Past, Present, and Neon Coloured Future


Enchantress decks got a lot of new toys, as did +1/+1 counter decks. As for new legendary creatures, there are a few I’m excited to include in the 99, but as commanders (aside from the Shrine one), they leave a little to be desired. Which is okay! We don’t always need the big new flashy commander, sometimes a new card is just what a deck needs to feel fresh. What are you most excited for in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty? Let us know! Don’t forget to check out the other reviews here on Commander’s Herald!