Sunday 13 February 2022

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Preliminary Review


 0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Chishiro, the Shattered Blade 1

Reasonable power level but pretty narrow and clunky. Am I playing this in a counters deck? An auras deck? Or an equipment deck? Likely none of the above. You kind of want both token making and pumping effects to be triggering to make this good and that will be pretty hard to do. Arguably too narrow even as a build around card. 

Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful 3

I can see this making the cut in Mox Amber and historic lists. It might even creep into tribal doggos should they have enough legends and few enough one drops.  

Go-Shintai of Life's Origin 2

Cool commander for those shrine decks. Probably just about playable in a 40 card shrine deck too although such things will be pretty low power, low tier and limited to constructed settings. 

Myojin of Description Thing 1

The classic format of paying 8 or more mana for an indestructible dork which you can make mortal for a one time big effect. Since the original cycle near two decades have passed and the value of an indestructible creature has diminished while the power of what you can do with 8 or more mana has rather increased. These new offerings do not do a great job of making up for these changes. Certainly none possess what it takes to perform in all but the most depowered drafting cubes. All have rather more going for them in EDH where they are intended to be used. The black one likely has the highest ceiling but really needs you to support it in order to get anywhere near it. The red is likely the cleanest and most useful while the blue has the greatest combo potential. Not that it really matters as you can't cheat these out and abuse them rendering them rather neutered. It is a bit of a shame as of all the things I wish to proliferate - the indestructible counters on Myojin has to rank the most powerful. 

Silkguard 2

Lovely synergic way to protect stuff but high cost and frills are not really want in reactive protection things, you just want it to be as playable as often as possible. As such this is just not competing with Herioc Intervention, likely even in a counters theme deck. Perhaps EDH wants lots of these effects but in cube you can rarely afford even one and so being anything other than the best is a pretty bad place to be. 

Rampant Rejuvenator 1

I like a lot about this card, the value, the scaling, the synergy etc. Sadly without dedicated support it isn't powerful enough which in turn makes it too narrow. 

Kosei, Penitent Warlord 2

Too needing of support for drafting cubes but a potential build around in some cases. The scaling here is appealing even if it is a little silly of a card. It goes from do nothing to obscene pretty quickly. A humble Bonesplitter or Rancor make this quite the beast. Beyond that it gets pretty stupid. 

One with the Kami 1

Just a bit pricy and conditional. The power is there and the card is relatively safe as far as four mana aura buffs go. Mostly I want my four drops to reliably do things and this does not. 

Akki Battle Squad 1

Only a consideration due to being a goblin where cost reductions and haste buffs are easy to come by. Sadly goblins isn't a tribe that modifies much at all and so until there are some good gobbos that work with this I can't see it getting any cube love. 

Swift Reconfiguration 6.5

Lovely design on this one. Effectively a one mana Pacifism with flash. Halving the cost of a spell and making it instant do a whole lot of work in terms of making it good. My main concern here is that a lot of creatures have ongoing abilities that you want to answer rather more than the body itself. The 2/4 of Torbran is not the issue etc. Crew five is pretty unattainable in most cases and a very steep cost even if you can get there. You will not find many cases where you can crew for five and not suffer diminished attack or defensive efficacy. On Thin Ice feels better than this and may well keep it out of contention but Swift Reconfiguration is a fine and playable card. White just has quite the good selection of removal at present keeping the bar for entry rather high. 

Drumbellower 1

Interesting effect in the wrong colour and on an overly flimsy body. If my stuff isn't tapping to do much this isn't of much interest and white is not a colour with all that many things you want to tap for value. It is some pseudo vigilance as well but so what? I wouldn't play a two drop 2/1 flier than gave my stuff vigilance... I might consider this in a green deck with a bunch of mana dorks but it seems like overkill. 

Aerial Surveyor 1

I think this just misses the mark. I need either the crew of the casting cost to be 1 less and then I would be all over this. At it is I am wary that it is a bit slow and fair and demanding. 

Accesss Denied 5

With answers you tend to just want them to be cheap and direct. This is powerful, likely more so than Spell Swindle, which could be utterly devastating, however, this is also clunky and unreliable. You are going to fire it off on things you wouldn't normally counter simply to get the dorks. Sometimes you will have to fire it off on cheap things and not get much value. This can easily win games and has plenty of power but I am generally going to play actual threats or lower cost counterspells. This is quite easily played around by the savvy player ensuring a fairly low thopter count gained on average while opportunities are lost. The best thing about this is that it is kind of a flash threat that lets you have a big swing in the game which are the counterspell wielders favourite sort of thing.


Cyberdrive Awakener 2

As a dork I am unimpressed however as an Overrun effect this has some legs. This can be relatively easily cheated in or simply hard cast to then turn a pile of clues, treasure, rocks, and baubles into flying beaters to easily end the game. Narrow but punchy. 

Kappa Cannoneer 3.5

Improvise is a long way from affinity for artifacts however this is a long way from a Myr Enforcer or Somber Hovergaurd. Broadly this is a very very large Invisible Stalker (or just a pretty large Etched Champion) that is going to end the game fairly quickly. Worth playing in most aggressive artifact decks able to power it out consistently by around turn three. 

Organic Extinction 2

Lots of power here but a very narrow card. You do not find that many heavy artifact decks that are slow enough to be after Wrath effects. This is also very mana intense even with the improvise. Certainly a card with some game but I am not sure how or where this is getting played outside of commander currently. 

Research Thief 2

The flash is lovely here and gives this a bit of a chance, Sadly the cost is quite high and the body somewhat limp. This is exactly the sort of card removal finds easy to answer. With the cost of this being so high I can see this dragging you behind in the game even if it manages to get in one hit and become a two for one. Being a card up is nice but being down 3 or 4 mana is typically worse these days. 

Release to Memory 0

Too expensive for a yard removal tool and too unreliable as a token generator. 

Shorikai, Genesis Engine 3

Well this is all very cool but I can't see it working out in 1v1 play. A single mana to make a 1(3)/1 token and Sift Through Sands/Chart a Course is all vey impressive however playing a 4 mana do nothing in the first place is a bit of a tall order. This will churn through a 40 deck fairly fast making it somewhat unsuitable to play in the slowest of control decks. The threat level here is also quite low, 1/1 tokens hold the fort but they rarely close a game. An 8/8 fat boy also gets less work done than you might expect what with having no evasion or protection. This is a long long way from a Hall of the Storm Giants! I think you need at least 3 activations from this for it to be worth the investment which makes it a bit too slow for my liking. The colours make it narrow too. Certainly not a bad card but fairly well trumped in most metrics by the likes of Mazemind Tome Search for Azcanta, and utility lands. 

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