Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Red EDH Set Review
More Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Reviews
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Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is finally here, and it looks stunning! There were a lot of concerns going into spoiler season for this set, thanks to Kamigawa's troubled introductory sets, but spirits are high now that the set is fully spoiled. Let's dive into the red portion of the set to see exactly what we have to look forward to.
Atsushi, the Blazing Sky
Right from the start,is aggressively costed as a 4/4 with flying and trample for just four mana, which makes it well-suited for aggressive decks that want to attack often, but its other effects suggest a very different kind of strategy. Whenever Atsushi dies, you get to choose between two effects: one generates three Treasure, and the other exiles two cards from the top of your library that you can cast until the end of your next turn. , , and make copies of your commander so you can sacrifice the original, get the extra value, and be ready to replay it as soon as the token dies, generating even more advantage as it does.
With this approach, you can generate a lot of mana through Treasure, and dig through your library with Atsushi's exile effect, potentially winning withand other big X spells. The extra Treasure also mean you can generate infinite mana (and then cast your whole deck) with , , and .
This also makes Atsushi a slam dunk in reanimator and aristocrats strategies., , and could all find places to slot this new legendary Dragon. In addition, Treasure decks led by or will take advantage both of the Treasure Atsushi creates and of the extra card selection Atsushi provides. Meanwhile, is excited to have a sacrifice target that exiles cards.
Ten damage is nothing to sneeze at, whether you use it to destroy an opposing, or take out a quarter of a player's life points. You can even tap your creatures to help cast this spell, potentially only paying two mana. In spellslinging decks that create tokens, is a slam-dunk win condition. will cast this easily, and takes unique advantage of easy-to-cast spells with a mana value of ten. Both can also play and to easily deal 120 damage in a single turn.
Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei
won't draw you cards like , but he does offer card advantage in the form of 5/5 Dragon tokens. All you have to do is be attacking with a Modified creature. A creature is considered Modified if it is Equipped, enchanted, or has any kind of counter placed on it. This is easy to accomplish, with Equipment like and making Goro-Goro hard to block. Then you can pour your mana into making an army of tokens to dominate the skies.
Alternately, you could focus on Goro-Goro's first ability, which grants all of your creatures haste for the turn. There are, oddly enough, no other mono-red commanders that give your other creatures haste, which makesa unique aggro commander. For just one more mana, any creature you play can have haste. This lets your big haymakers, like and , immediately more powerful and much more likely to have the impact you need them to. Goro-Goro is also easy to cast itself, so you don't have to lower your defenses, or let up your offense, to cast your commander for maximum impact.
As part of your deck,is a neat consideration for Voltron decks. A cheap source of haste is invaluable for decks that rely on creatures attacking, and the potential to create token creatures helps insulate you against spot removal and sacrifice effects alike. This will work best in decks that can avoid or reduce Equip costs, like and .
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
is one of the most infamous mono-red commanders, and how we have a second card approximating its exact effect. In order to get that powerful duplication effect, you'll have to wait a little while, however. First, lets you ramp with a 2/2 Goblin token that makes Treasure when it attacks. Then you can discard up to two cards and draw that many before it flips into . Just like Kiki-Jiki, the Reflection can create a temporary token copy of another nonlegendary creature. Unlike Kiki-Jiki, the Reflection costs one mana to activate, which makes it harder to go infinite with creatures like . And because it flips, it cannot go infinite with . is a much fairer token-maker than the of old, and it won't find its way into the same combo decks as the real deal, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a home in Commander. It has natural synergy in reanimator decks thanks to the discard effect on the front face, and if you can only copy one creature a turn, then and are pretty good targets.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty gives us a cycle of heavily costed single-color spells. These are obviously designed to reward building mono-color decks, andwill be a strong addition to mono-red spellslinger and Storm decks. Right now, mono-red has four powerful enablers for Storm: , , , and all enable huge turns with rituals, cantrips, and big finisher spells. slots in among them as another spell that lets you recast instants and sorceries from the graveyard, increasing consistency. It can also fit into Izzet Storm decks that rely on , but the additional blue tutors mean that can rely on the more powerful and .
Reconfigure is an interesting effect reminiscent of Living Weapon without the effort of tracking Germ tokens. Double strike is a powerful ability, andhas a cheap "Equip" cost. Also, Reconfigure lets you attach Equipment to other Equipment, and who doesn't want to throw a bunch of armor and weapons into a pile and chuck it at your opponents?
has a new friend, although will fit better into decks running instead, thanks to the limitation on the mana value of artifacts it can return. It also works well with , since the tokens Feldon creates are also artifacts and will share the mana value of the creature they are copying. can turn those tokens into slightly smaller artifacts, which stay in play.
Some Modified creatures will fit best into Equipment- or enchantment-focused decks, butwill be best in +1/+1 counter decks with lots of tokens. seems very similar to , but tailormade for decks that want to go wide. , , and even ensure all your tokens enter play with +1/+1 counters, which turns into direct damage to your opponents.
March of Reckless Joy
This is Neon Dynasty's take on, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Being able to pitch cards you can't cast or don't need in order to dig for answers or threats is a powerful ability, but those pitched cards have to be red. This means you can't discard lands, because lands are colorless. You could discard a handfull of spells and then exile only lands. While discarding cards will let you see more cards more easily with than , you will also only be able to cast two of them, where Commune lets you play all of the exiled cards. is very flexible, as you don't have to select the cards you'll play before playing them (as you do with ), but losing the other cards you exile increases the risk of losing important cards in exile that doesn't share. The more cards you exile, the more likely you are to find the cards you need, but you're also going to lose access to a higher number of other spells, potentially putting you into positions where you are forced to lose access to cards you know you'll need later to survive now. And with only seeing play in 8,000 decks, I wouldn't expect to be very popular either.
Go-Shintai of Ancient Wars
Shrines are creatures now, which comes with some interesting implications. For one, you can have aas your commander, although I don't see why you'd want to do that. It also increases the ways you can tutor for Shrines. Just keep in mind that Shrine isn't suddenly a creature type. Changelings won't contribute to your Shrine count.
This Shrine specifically adds another powerful win condition to dedicated Shrine decks. This andcan each deal up to fifteen damage a turn, putting a lot of pressure on your opponents to end the game. Slot this into the new and you can deal even more damage, quickly turning the corner from control/pillow-fort to burn.
Heiko Yamazaki, the General
is a new take on mono-red artifacts in Commander. Rather than the explosive plays of and , Heiko is more suited to building gradual advantage. both draws you a card and ensures that your attacking Samurai or Warrior goes unblocked. and can approximate that effect, while is a better option for digging through your deck. And looping won't make you any friends, but it is an effective way to win the game. I don't know if is flashy enough to carve her niche as a mono-red commander, but there is potential.
Tempered in Solitude
Exalted is a running theme in Neon Dynasty, andrewards you with impulse draw. This is great for voltron decks, like . Other commanders, like and , can trigger this while also putting additional attacking creatures into play. Especially for cheap, aggressive commanders, will start drawing you cards early.
may not seem like much, but I think it will have some niche applications. Two damage is often more relevant than you might expect for removing creatures. , , , , and many more powerful creatures all have two toughness or less. Throw this in a Jeskai blink deck, and you'll have an answer to or a consistent source of damage for your opponents. All these new cards with Channel could breathe new life into decks as well.
In the right deck,can accumulate counters quickly and become a real threat. Especially in conjunction with , , , and , it isn't difficult to get to deal significant damage. The real trick is dealing that much damage to multiple opponents at once. can make multiple copies of this artifact, and decks featuring and can potentially recycle it multiple times. There may be more efficient artifact-based win conditions ( , ), but none are as stylish as blasting your opponents away with a massive dragon's head.
may not seem like much, but there are a surprising number of legendary Warriors in red. and are two Warriors that will commonly attack alone. could also make use of the mana discount provided by to surprise your opponents with or .
Kami of Industry
this is not, but it does a pretty good impression. Especially with and , can get your engine rolling again. The Kami can also return or for some additional value.
And that does it for the red cards in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty! There's a lot to be excited about. I'm looking forward to playing with the new Dragon Spirits, andis exactly what I needed for my Naya tokens deck. Let me know which cards you're most excited for, and thanks for reading!