Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty EDH Set Review - Blue

Michael Celani • February 8, 2022

Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant by Chase Stone

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Blue EDH Set Review

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Deep Blue

My name's Michael Celani, and because some absolute jerk signed the white set review before I could, here I am with the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty blue set review! Not that I mind; the color blue is very important when it comes to technology because it cools down electrical components. I used to have a problem where my stove would ignite when I turned it on, but once I stuffed a bunch of blue LEDs inside the pipes, it became the least of my concerns. Anyway, there's a lot of cards here worth chatting about, so let's get started!

The Mythic Rares

Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant

If you want a seven-mana general and you aren't insane enough to play Gabriel Angelfire, Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant may be the mechanical hellspawn for you. Qui-Gon Jin here is the first commander to unconditionally copy spells without any additional mana investment or tight restriction, meaning double Phyrexian Triniforms, Clone Legions, and Nexuses of Fate are in the cards. He also protects himself by countering the first instant, sorcery, or artifact your opponents cast each turn, but unlike an Erayo, Soratami Ascendant, it's not per player, so beware cooperation amongst your foes.

A far cry from the laser-focus of Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, Jin and Tonic is much more suitable for a variety of decks and doesn't have the heavy air of oppression that Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur had. Extra Turns seems like the most punishing archetype to run with Jin-ger Ale, because you get twice the time to dig for your next spell. If you do that, we can't be friends, though.

Kairi, the Swirling Sky

I'm fairly convinced that Kairi, the Swirling Sky is an okay commander. A 6/6 with flying and ward 3 is decent, but you are not getting any consistent value out of that death trigger in mono-blue. The first mode knocks out, at most, two relevant permanents with the kicker of every Treasure token that Smothering Tithe siphoned away from the proletariat. The second returns a few instants and sorceries to your hand, which is admittedly great value, but paying eight to do this a second time and even more afterwards is not where you want to be.

If you really want to take Kairi, the Swirling Sky's heart, the Dragon is much, much more suited for the 99 of a Dimir reanimator deck. With a way to sacrifice Kairi plus a few cheap rituals and reanimation effects, you can easily mill your entire library, make infinite black mana, and put every instant and sorcery in your deck into your hand, all of which is correlated with winning a game of Magic: the Gathering. Kairi's also just cheap enough to combo with the secretly busted Blood on the Snow, because you can reanimate Kairi and take advantage of its death trigger to return Blood back to your hand. The ceiling is high on the Swirling Sky, so consider running it alongside your Kokusho as a win condition.

Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh

I have at least five raunchy jokes involving with the title "Betrayer of Flesh," but my editor refuses to print them. However, we can print my critique of Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh, which is "He's an okay value planeswalker for Vehicle decks."

Seriously, what you see is what you get. All of his abilities are fine, he's reasonably priced for what he does, he can defend himself (albeit poorly), and his ultimate keeps your hand flush. The only thing I find notable about Tezzeret, How My Partners Describe My Performance In Bed Betrayer of Flesh is that his second ability doesn't wear off at the end of the turn, which is neat if you wanted to do something like attach Assault Suit to Monkey Cage.

The Rares

Inventive Iteration

I suspect many of the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Sagas are going to share the same problem, which is that their third chapters which turns them into creatures kind of sucks for Commander. Endless easily removed French vanilla stat sticks! I haven't seen endings this weak since Dexter, and it even feels like the front sides were neutered to account for the permanents sticking around in Limited.

Inventive Iteration reads like a terrible Into the Roil that might have a Reconstruction rider instead of a cantrip. Snore! The back side is at least a little interesting, but not something I'd spend four mana and three turns on. Next!

Invoke the Winds

Invoke the Winds seems like the cheapest nonpermanent theft effect you can get in mono-blue not named Kefnet's Last Word. You don't even have to pay more mana based on the value of what you're stealing either, which is great if a Darksteel Forge sits across the table from you. Of course, five mana is a lot, but it's not really too far off from something like Utter End, and unlike a Mind Flayer or Control Magic, your theft can't be undone by wanton destruction.

March of Swirling Mist

'Ey, ya mist, pal!

March of Swirling Mist is Teferi's Protection at home. Protect your most important creatures from board wipes or from targeted removal while denying an enemy access to their combo pieces for a turn. It's not spectacular, but it can be (more or less) free, and I can't wait for some absolute jerk to realize how well this goes together with Stasis.

Mindlink Mech

Honestly, I don't think that the best way to use Mindlink Mech is to swing with it.

There's better ways to pump up aggressive creatures or to make them more evasive than simple flying. No, I'd rather duplicate dorks with relevant static abilities. Ever wanted two Xorns? Or maybe two Zulaport Cutthroats? How about two Tireless Provisioners? Make no mistake, this feels like a Mirage Mirror for creatures.

In fact, look at the initials of both of them: MM. MM is also how some people abbreviate the game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. That game came out on April 27, 2000. If you add the digits of 2000 together, you get 2 + 0 + 0 + 0, which is two. Two is the number of sides on a dollar, and you know what's on the back of a dollar? That's right, the Illuminati. Stay safe, readers.

Tameshi, Reality Architect

Tameshi, Reality Architect terrifies me, because it implies that the real world is just another Second Life, and I've seen enough on Second Life to know that I'd rather have No Life. Tameshi's also just a better Barrin, Tolarian Archmage, because not only does it trigger immediately on every turn, it also resurrects your dead artifacts and enchantments and has a more permissive color identity. Don't forget to load up on Aura-based removal in this deck; if you revive an Aura, you can attach it to things with hexproof.

The Reality Chip

This card exists for one reason, and that's to make my convoluted Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer Licid Shapeshifter Equipments-as-Auras token pile even more incomprehensible.

Outside of deep sin, The Reality Chip is a build-your-own Future Sight that also functions as a Wall of Runes. Amortizing the cost over two turns really alleviates the problems the original had, because that play pattern involved casting a spell for five that did nothing, seeing it removed, and then throwing it away. The inexorable march of technology will eventually make even humans obsolete, so enjoy this power creep while you can.

Thousand-Faced Shadow

Thousand-Faced Shadow is Edric, Spymaster of Trest's dream date. At his core, he's just a Flying Men, but his Ninjutsu-triggered ability clones another one of your attackers. By definition, that cloned creature can't be blocked, because blocks have already been declared at this point in combat, and the copy doesn't go away at the end of combat either. Your best targets are ones that pop off when they deal combat damage to a player, but toolbox creatures aren't terrible picks either. Thousand-Faced Shadow's natural evasiveness also means it's likely to get picked back up by other Ninjas in the Ninjutsu deck, so you'll always have something to copy.


Anchor to Reality

It's a pricier Tinker, but only for Equipments and Vehicles. I'd only run this if I had big beaters in the deck, like Kaldra Compleat or Parhelion II, that would benefit from the cheating effect, or if I didn't have access to white's Equipment tutor effects. Otherwise. it's usually cheaper to tutor a card to your hand and play it normally. Then again, there are times when you just need that Infiltration Lens or Sword of Feast and Famine. If you want an Equipment or Vehicle tutor, this is one of them.

Awakened Awareness

Awakened Awareness is only really good for Limited, but notably, it's reasonable to cast it for 0 if your target is an opponent's creature. Can we also talk about how awkward the name for this card is? This year, the theme for the Awareness Fair is... awareness.

Discover the Impossible

Discover the Impossible is a three-mana Impulse with the chance of being a one-mana Impulse if you hit the right cards. Unfortunately, all the cards you're thinking of -- Ancestral Vision, Profane Tutor, and the like -- are all sorceries. Better luck next time.

Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom

Wizards of the Coast actually printed a card with Wulfgar of Icewind Dale's text on it in this set, which is the specific card I used to call them out for being lazy with their designs. With that in mind, I think even they realized they couldn't do another blue Shrine that draws cards, so Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom mills instead. You're not going to deck anyone with Shrines, but you can stock your own graveyard and bring back other enchantments if your commander is Go-Shintai of Life's Origin.

Speaking of commanders, Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom is one. Who knew?

Reality Heist

"How close can we get to Dig Through Time without it getting banned?"

Replication Specialist

Wow, a blue Bramble Sovereign! Just make sure you can protect Replication Specialist, because otherwise it's going to become a specialist in being a corpse.

Disruption Protocol

Disruption Protocol is comparable to Metallic Rebuke, although the benefit of that card is it can get down to a single blue while this caps out at two. As a result, I don't think this will ever make the cut, unless you need another hard counter after Counterspell, Negate, Arcane Denial, Mana Drain, Disallow...

Mnemonic Sphere

I like Mnemonic Sphere in artifact egg decks, specifically Emry, Lurker of the Loch. Discard it to discount Emry, tap Emry to cast it, then use it to draw two cards.

Kami, Myself, and I

This set is full of incredible cards, and like any respectable content creator, I can't wait to ruin them for everyone else. If that appeals to you, check out my series, How They Brew It. If not, well, uh, go home.

Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at https://gamesfreaksa.info and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.