Monday 14 February 2022

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Conclusions and Additions

I managed to get this review done in about 2/3rds the normal words. Partly this is down to the set having a little less power than some of the more recent offerings but mostly it is down to me making an effort to be more concise and spend less time on the more niche cards. 

I am also unsure how I feel about the aesthetic of the set. It certainly fits in and feels like a magic set despite the futuristic setting which is an impressive achievement. Even so it somehow doesn't sit quite right for me. As I have been a little disenfranchised with magic in general over the last few years this set would mark a good place to actually stop if I felt so inclined. I have often thought about having a cube that is pre Modern Horizons as that would solve a lot of the issues surrounding some of the most obnoxious cards. The issue with that is that I love a lot of the new cards and feel like they add to the cube experience. For every oppressive Plague Engineer and Fury such a move would cull we would lose delights such as Abundant Harvest, Jwari Disruption, You Find Some Prisoners, and my long awaited Ignoble Hierarch! I don't plan on stopping but I am certainly slowing down and if that continues alongside too many cards being released, too many samey things, too many obnoxious cards, too much price gouging things, then I might well retrospectively limit my cube to things 2021 and earlier. At least there appears to be nothing actually broken from this set which is a good start.

With there being relatively little needed as it were for cubes these days I am mostly looking for cards that will make magic better. This is good support cards, things that reduce RNG, and things that provide options. This set has some of these things, most notably in the channel lands which are like better versions of the MDFCs. I also rather like the design of the March cycle and look forward to seeing how they play. Lastly I am a fan of the flash and phasing planeswalkers that add a little twist to the means such things obtain survivability. 

Overall the power of this set seems to be about where it should be. A good amount of interesting stuff, some things that will be making an impact and nothing too obnoxious. The best cards from the set are good due to being incredibly playable rather than having high power and that is also no bad thing. There is also somewhat of a colour imbalance favouring white from this set which is probably no bad thing, if not the weakest cube colour it is certainly still the dullest and will take all the help it can get.  

I am less of a fan of the various alternate arts than I usually am (except for the full art lands which I am excited to play with) but this is no problem as I will just get normal versions of cards and avoid the garish and bitty nature of the alternate stuff. 

* commander set cards

Additions (best to worst)

Boseiju, Who Endures

Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire 

Otawara, the Soaring City

March of Otherworldly Light

Spirited Companion

The Wandering Emperor

Reckoner Bankbuster

Kaito Shizuki

Seismic Wave

To Test with High Expectations

The Kami War // O-Kagachi Made Manifest

Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa

The Modern Age

Biting-Palm Ninja

Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

Lion Sash

Moon-Circuit Hacker

March of Reckless Joy

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

Reflection of Kiki-Jiki


Reinforced Ronin

Jugan Defends the Temple // Remnent of the Rising Star

To Test with Low Expectations

Goro-Gor, Disciple of Ryusei

Kiari, the Swirling Sky

Junji, the Midnight Sky

Selfless Samurai

Inventive Iteration // Living Breakthrough 

The Restoration of Eiganjo // Architech of Restoration 

Tribure to Horobi // Echo of Death's Wail 

Nashi, Moon Sage's Scion

Okiba Reckoner Raid // Nezumi Road Captain

March of Wretched Sorrow

Takenuma, Abandoned Mire

Touch of the Spirit Realm 

Blade of the Oni


Dockside Chef

Ogre-Head Helm

Rabbit Battery 

Tamiyo's Safekeeping 

Eater of Virtue 

Invoke the Ancients 

Kumano Faces Kakkazan .. Etchings of Kumano

Swift Reconfiguration*

For the Constructed Reserves

Satoru Umezawa

Silver-Fur Master

Thousand-Faced Shadow

Michoko's Reign of Truth // Portrait of Michiko 

Simian Sling

Secluded Courtyard

Scrap Welder

Moonsnare Prototype

Hotshot Mechanic 

Lizard Blades 

Circuit Mender 

Reality Heist 

Discover the Impossible 

Hinata, Dawn-Crowned 

Sky-Blessed Samurai 

Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice

Weaver of Harmony 

Roadside Reliquary

Isshin, Two Heavens as One

Patchwork Automaton 

Containment Construct 

Mnemonic Sphere 

Virus Beetle 

Experimental Synthesizer 

Commune with Spirits 

Ecologist's Terrarium

Iron Apprentice 

Kappa Cannoneer*

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