Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Set Review - Multicolor

MD Alvis • February 10, 2022

Go-Shintai of Life's Origin | Art by Alexander Mokhov

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Multicolor EDH Set Review

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Kamigawa: Now in Technicolor!

Welcome one and all! Do not adjust the setting on your screen, because we are full of color today! We're reviewing the most relevant and impactful multicolor cards from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.

Let's get right into it!

The Mythic Rares

Go-Shintai of Life's Origin

This review is starting out with what the kids call a "banger." Ever since I got into Commander, back in Khans of Tarkir, and saw some of the cool themes that my friends had put together, I've wanted to see a Shrine tribal commander that called back to when I originally started playing in Mirrodin/Kamigawa Standard, but there just wasn't enough cardboard available to make it work. However, with the introduction of the Shrine cycle in M21 (including but not limited to Sanctum of All, the first real enabler/payoff for the archetype) and now the Go-Shintai cycle in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, there is finally enough to make this work. You love to see it.

But this is low-hanging fruit. Heck, Go-Shintai of Life's Origin is a Shrine and makes Shrines. The next level with this commander is going to be maxing out the reanimation ability. We have so many expensive enchantments and enchantment creatures out there. Some that are game-breaking, like Omniscience, or just fun as all get out, like [elSunbird's Invocation[/el] or Nyxbloom Ancient, turn Go-Shintai into a powerful endgame and value engine. I'm looking at cards like Vile Entomber, Entomb, and even Buried Alive as go-to cards for this build. Overall, Go-Shintai of Life's Origin presents a ton of options across the power level spectrum and enables many different kinds of synergies. I'm here for it.

Hidetsugu Consumes All // Vessel of the All-Consuming

This is a card that deserves a look in several formats and in EDH all across the power spectrum. The first chapter reminds me of Culling Ritual minus the mana, and the graveyard hate in the second chapter is incredibly powerful given how many cards are staple or staple-adjacent in our format because they rely on the graveyard or nuke the graveyard themselves.

The creature back side of this enchantment is pretty pushed too: growing from damage dealt and presenting a way to turn Brute Force effects into game-ending cards is really powerful along with being super cool. On top of all that, the art is metal. I'm going to try this in decks that don't care about the graveyard themselves as a way to work the graveyard, punish Treasure and fast mana, and double as a win condition.

Kaito Shizuki

Mythic planeswalker that plays well with Ninjas? Sign me up!

While planeswalkers tend to be a little more fragile in our format than in some others, the fact that this protects itself for the first turn cycle means that you have a real opportunity to set up your board to maximize build-your-own Phyrexian Arena while generating value from some tokens, allowing your Ninjas to get into the red zone unopposed. If you somehow manage to get this from three loyalty all the way to seven, congrats!

Spirit-Sister's Call

Spirit-Sister's Call is slow but it is incredibly powerful. Acting as a bit of a fixed Recurring Nightmare means the bar is pretty low for shenanigans, and even seeing just some mild ETB effects on creatures means this starts to pop off. On top of that, this reanimates any permanent type as long as you have the ability to sacrifice something that shares a type with it. That means this can buy back enchantments, artifacts, lands, and planeswalkers, which is crazy cool.

I kind of love this as an endgame with Mindslaver because it doesn't feel nearly as free as using Academy Ruins, but it also generates the same feeling of dread. You can also double it with Mirrormade because it isn't legendary, for some reason. All that said, this seems like a "destroy on sight" kind of card and will lead to some crazy snowballing.

Tamiyo, Compleated Sage

PHYREXIA IS BACK, BABY!! Tamiyo, Compleated Sage does a lot for four or even five mana (depending on if you pay the life). Much like her previous incarnation, Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, she can tap something down, and like her WAR appearance, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, she can rebuy things from the graveyard, both of which are really powerful abilities. Particularly, that -X ability to make a token of a nonland permanent feels like it will lead to some really nutty turns even if it is less flexible. The ultimate creating her notebook is a super flavorful and powerful ability too.

Overall, she is a good role-player that can fit in most any deck which is what I have come to expect from her. What is most significant about her, though, is the Compleated mechanic that rehashes Phyrexian Mana in a unique (and maybe less broken) way. Trading life for mana is a trade I will make all day long, but factoring in the loss of loyalty counters on top of that makes the decision more nuanced and situationally dependent. My hope is that by introducing this to us in Neon Dynasty, WotC is letting us know that we will see more of this in the future.

The Kami War // O-Kagachi Made Manifest

The front side is honestly quite slow, but having a double removal spell is no joke. Even though your opponents will be able to play around it to some degree, there are a number of spots where, with proper threat assessment, that will not matter. The back side serving as a huge inevitability engine that closes the game and generates value is super strong. Is it slow? Absolutely. Will I let someone Rule 0 this as their Saga-tribal commander? Also absolutely.

The Rares

Greasefang, Okiba Boss

Raise your hand if you thought Orzhov would be a Vehicle tribal color? Yeah, me neither. That said, Greasefang, Okiba Boss might be the card that actually pushes me to try my hand at a black-white Commander deck (Daxos the Returned burned me and I haven't looked back). Why? Well, value my dear boy. THINK OF THE VALUE!

Business As Usual Success GIF by Sendcloud

Greasefang provides the inexpensive card advantage you need to power into the mid-to-late game, and being combat-oriented allows you to craft a gameplan that actually moves the game along while gaining value along the way. Cheating mana? You bet: go ahead and return that Parhelion II or Skysovereign, Consul Flagship to maximize this aspect of the play. However, returning any Vehicle from your graveyard, whether a Heart of Kiran or a Mukotai Soulripper, will generate value to help you catch up when you are behind or pull ahead. Also, Greasefang, Okiba Boss is definitely an option for playing secret commander with Magic's own Voltron, Mechtitan Core!

Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos

In the vein of the last few years of design, Rakdos gets a powerful, high-synergy, and unique commander option yet again in Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos. It looks like our boy is all grown up from the last time we saw him in Betrayers of Kamigawa, and it also looks like he's looking a bit more...hungry. Even a mana-keyed sacrifice outlet in the command zone is incredibly powerful, and it doesn't take long for his first ability to move from filtering to virtual card advantage by churning through your deck.

And, just like his last design, Hidetsugu is here to party and throw damage around the table. Being able to hit players is big, but I would argue being a removal effect for planeswalkers or creatures is actually much more valuable in most games. The fact that this damage ability also effectively draws you a card is no joke, even at three mana. This was one of the first cards previewed, but this might be one of the strongest commanders in the set and, in my estimation, one that is being slept on. P.S., Scroll Rack is the cheapest it has been in many moons (as of the writing of this article) and is SO GOOD with Hidetsugu so...I'll just leave that here.

Hinata, Dawn-Crowned

This is the Jeskai commander that, judging from community responses, we have all been waiting for and didn't know that we wanted. It reminds me a bit of Grand Arbiter Augustin IV with the discount/taxing duality of abilities, but what I like about Hinata is that it doesn't feel nearly as debilitating because it's limited in a really interesting way: it only taxes targeted spells, which disrupts removal and interactive spells (even that Negate your opponent has in hand) while improving your interaction.

From my estimation, Magma Opus will cost you almost nothing to cast, and Heliod's Intervention can destroy every artifact or enchantment on the table for just two white mana. I also love, deep in my heart, that this commander really makes Comet Storm very, very playable. Really, there is a really high floor and an even higher ceiling, so I'm calling this as one of the most-built commanders from Neon Dynasty.

Isshin, Two Heavens as One

So, we have a slightly tweaked variant of Wulfgar of Icewind Dale that might be significantly better. The fact that Isshin, Two Heavens as One doubles triggers of your permanents for any attacking creature, not just your creatures, makes a lot of punishing effects playable with a commander that doesn't just spin wheels. I kind of like this as a Curses commander with cards like Curse of Disturbance, Curse of Chaos, and Curse of Opulence to act as political motivators.

Doubling up some other powerful aggressive enchantments, like Anthem of Rakdos, or defensive options, like Circle of Flame or Cunning Rhetoric, give you a lot of flexibility as you develop a board state. I think of this as the spiritual successor of Mathas, Fiend Seeker but with an aggressive bent, and I like that a lot. We might not be here for a long time, but we're here for a good time.

Kotose, the Silent Spider

Kotose is a weird one with, in my estimation, really limited impactful play patterns for Commander. You do get to play whatever one card you exile, and you get to look through peoples' libraries and hands, which isn't nothing. Unless I'm missing something, you play this with some ways to bounce it and re-cast it (Ninjas, anyone?), but for my money I would much rather play Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths in the same kind of shell in order to gain more raw card advantage. I'm sure that Kotose, the Silent Spider will find a home in the 99 of Ninja decks, but outside of that I'm not expecting to see this card across the table.

Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa

When I first saw Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa my mind wrote it off, which is just categorically incorrect. The tendency for rhetoric to move towards extremes as a format fleshes itself out is something that we can observe in every format and across many different games, but it's unwarranted. Does this read "win the game" on it? Nope. But it doesn't need to, either; it can just be powerful and interesting! Having an instant-speed, long-lasting piece of interaction in the command zone that doubles as a win-con is enough on its own to warrant conversation.

Even if I'm not a fan of the five-color activation cost making this a five-color commander, what I can get behind is that it enables a Voltron-style strategy where you use Kyodai to protect something like a Mother of Runes that can, in turn, protect it as it swings, feels really powerful. You likely cannot one-shot someone without already being in a position to generate a game-winning amount of mana, but this strikes me as a true mid-range card: it's super flexible, presents a clock, and can effectively help you turn the corner to take out the biggest threat at the table.

Raiyuu, Storm's Edge

I love the design space WotC explored for Samurai this time around: playing around with a pseudo-Exalted ability! Rewarding you with an extra combat step for attacking alone without risking boiling over to an infinite combat situation we experience playing against Najeela, the Blade-Blossom feels like enough of a limitation to create some really interesting brewing options.

My gut says you want to accrue value from combat, so Laelia, the Blade Reforged jumps to the front of my mind as a way to transmute combat steps into cards. In the same way, Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion feels like an interesting way to accrue both mana and cards to play with that mana. Asari Captain also gets a nod here as a way to bolster this pseudo-Exalted!

Risona, Asari Commander

The Boros train keeps on chugging along in Neon Dynasty with Risona, Asari Commander. This feels like a role-player and not a commander, but the fact that they give themselves indestructible counters for attacking makes me think this would be a great Aura or Equipment Voltron commander. It's also extremely efficient at three mana value. I've been looking for a place to play Worldslayer, and this seems like as good of a place as any to destroy lands and lose friends - LET'S GO!!!!

Fire Burn GIF by South Park

Satoru Umezawa

This card is friggin' nuts. Full stop. Not only does Satoru give every creature in your hand Ninjutsu - no, that wouldn't be busted enough. He also rewards you for activating Ninjutsu abilities by giving you card advantage on the first activation each turn. Absolutely wild! Level 0 with this is "play big stuff with Ninjas", which frankly sounds incredibly fun!

I want to be looking at some combination of Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and Wrexial, the Risen Deep for inspiration. I love the idea of attacking with a Changeling Outcast and flipping a Spawning Kraken into play against a table that immediately has to be on a "board wipe or bust" gameplan. Satoru Umezawa is a flavorful callback to Betrayers of Kamigawa and provides a unique and powerful spin on the "sea monster-tribal" archetype, and I will be shocked if I don't get my face smashed by his crew very, very soon.

Satsuki, the Living Lore

I don't really know how to begin...but wow. Brava WotC - you did it! I am minutes away from pulling the trigger on my first Selesnya deck.

Sagas have been a hit across the spectrum since they hit the scene in Dominaria, and they have seen consistent play in Standard and, in my experience, EDH. A cohesive way to accelerate the chapters was one of the most integral pieces missing from the strategy, so the best you got was really Hanna, Ship's Navigator as a way to buy them back. Satsuki helps you power up your Sagas while also having a relevant death trigger to rebuy your enchantments. I like this part of the text with some kind of sacrifice outlet as a way to save your enchantresses from board wipes, which tend to put the stopper on enchantment decks.

In the 99, this enables a lot of craziness with clocks on game-ending Sagas, like Kiora Bests the Sea God and The Mirari Conjecture, while helping keep pace with the table my maxing out the value of early and mid-game cards, like Phyrexian Scriptures or The Trickster-God's Heist. Satsuki, the Living Lore might be a bit of a canned commander by impacting only a specific type of enchantment, but her impact on the game even in the 99 means that I hope to see (and play) a lot of her.

Tameshi, Reality Architect

And here I thought I was just going to build a cute Hanna, Ship's Navigator enchantment value deck, and then Wizards prints this card. While not "strictly better" in almost any sense of what those words really mean, Tameshi, Reality Architect plays in a very similar space to Hanna while serving as a way to rebuy valuable lands in the process. Picking up MDFCs, like Sea Gate Restoration // Sea Gate, Reborn, in the late game can be back-breaking, and rebuying Urza's Saga from either the battlefield or the graveyard feels really powerful.

Tameshi, Reality Architect also presents a high power level ceiling for Azorius. In a conversation with fellow Commander's Herald writer, Jake FitzSimons, it became clear that Tameshi's interaction with Mystic Sanctuary and Time Warp to generate infinite turns is an incredibly potent end game. Ultimately, I think Tameshi, Reality Architect makes me believe in Azorius in the same way that Kwain, Itinerant Meddler did in Commander Legends by providing a unique way to capitalize on their slice of the color pie that isn't more taxing and/or control effects.

Tatsunari, Toad Rider

The whole concept of making a legendary Frog token as a payoff for playing your cards is so, so cool and pushes a level of resiliency that I have seen enchantment-based decks struggle with. Sure, once you get an engine and a pillow fort going, it can feel unstoppable, but the sheer amount of mana required to make that viable means that if you get blown out, you are basically done-for. Tatsunari, Toad Rider brings the idea of resiliency that I love about Sultai into this new sphere by allowing you to play a different type of enchantress-style game and recover a boardstate after someone resolves a Farewell (RIP, Austere Command).

I imagine this deck holds more of its enchantments in hand than a normal Selesnya or Bant enchantment tribal deck, and that it utilizes Keimi's text to grind the table out. Tatsunari, Toad Rider feels like a super sweet way to use this card type, and the upside of being a pretty sweet "Auras matter" type of commander to swing for lethal is really cool.

Uncommons/ Commons

Colossal Skyturtle and Invigorating Hot Spring

You easily could have renamed Colossal Skyturtle to "Staple Turtle" and I would have bought it hook, line, and sinker. This card is really pushed. Being a threat/Regrowth/Fading Hope split card is nuts even if the threat is really seven mana and the abilities aren't particularly efficient. I don't have a deck for this to slot into yet, but it's inevitable that I'll have that deck soon because the floor and ceiling on this card feel great.

Invigorating Hot Spring is another "mythic uncommon" for our format because of what it does in +1/+1 counter decks. Global haste-enablers have always been sought after, many of them becoming prohibitively expensive (Concordant Crossroads, for example) because they provide an asymmetrical effect. If you have ways to throw counters around in Gruul, I would give this a look.

Making the Most of Neon Dynasty

So, what do you think of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty? What is your favorite card in the set? I am personally super excited to play with Satsuki, the Living Lore and Greasefang, Okiba Boss, but there are so many cool designs in this set!

Do you have any sweet interactions or combos that you are brewing around that we overlooked? Let us know in the comments!

MD might Force of Will your Cultivate because he's been hurt before. Spike at heart. When he isn't trying to jank out the table with Garruk Relentless and Clever Impersonator, you can find him hanging with his family, playing games with friends, or working as a coach and spiritual director in SW Missouri.