Tuesday 1 February 2022

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Preliminary Reviews Part III


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 

Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant 2

Pretty potent effect on a somewhat medium body. This doesn't win by itself but it does do bonkers things while disrupting quite well. I can see this used in some recursion decks but mostly it is going to be big boy EDH card. Fun but not stand alone enough for a cube seven drop or thing to cheat into play. 

Tamiyo, Compleated Sage 4

Cost options are cool but the lowered loyalty stops it being all that powerful. Once deployed this is mostly just a tapper. Annoying for the opponent and fairly versatile but slow and low value. You either need premium things to use the minus X on or stall long enough to get the ultimate off. If this were mono coloured it would offer enough to be cube worthy but in gold I am no where near as interested. I do like to see the phyrexian mana symbols used again and with a bit more respect for how powerful it is than the first time we saw them!

Scrap Welder 3

Another fixed version of Goblin Welder being both slower to come online and unable to easily cheat on mana costs. Plenty of value and shenanigans you can do with this but it will need to be in a deck quite specialized and those that would support this tend to be incredibly tight on space. 

Invoke Despair 2

This is a three for one assured with both disruption and tempo being very much on the cards as well. While I like this the problem is simply that there are a few too many low value things that are getting sacked to this rather ruining the potency. If you would ever rather 2 life and the card to the thing that got binned then Invoke is poo and that is happening too often for my liking, especially for a quad black card. 

Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance 7

Great card although relatively low impact. A couple of 1/1 dorks are not getting a lot done unless you happen to be a sac or go wide synergy deck. Low power and fairly low utility but none the less an essentially free piece of value for any deck wanting mountains. Given that I eventually cut Castle Embereth for not doing enough despite being a comparably free addition there is a chance this winds up suffering the same fate. Perfectly powerful and playable enough for cube but perhaps not high enough impact to have it taking up space. 

Kodoma of the West Tree 4

Great if built around but too low average performance otherwise. Ideally you need to be attacking with a modified dork the turn you make this and then be able to modify it or provide more modified attackers there after. Giving your dorks trample and One with Nature on the back of a 3/3 for three is all quite tasty. While many dorks are modified in cube there are not enough to make this a good draft card. 

March of Otherworldly Light 8

This is a cool and interesting card. Very Prismatic Ending but with some twists. As a starting point being compared to Prismatic Ending is a great place to be what with it arguably being the best removal spell out there presently. Not a very hard case to make for modern at least. So, this is instant speed and exile quality removal but it does not hit planeswalkers. That is less of an issue than it used to be with walkers being less problematic and white being plenty adept at handling them. At base line this is tempo negative being X+1 mana to kill something of cost X. While not a great thing for a removal spell to be it is not unreasonable to expect on an instant speed card with no other drawback and such a wide and effective removal range. We are comparing this to things like Cast Out and Council's Judgement and it is looking quite acceptable before we even consider the cost reduction aspect. You never really want to be pitching cards to make this cheaper but you will have to sometimes and it will be a huge help than you can. One mana and a card to exile the Jitte they just made and tried to equip? Sounds like a bargain. This is a perfectly playable card at baseline with a mode allowing you to gain tempo at the cost of cards making this one of the most flexible removal spells to see print. Being just a single white mana to play as well makes this pretty splashable as well greatly upping the playability of the card. This is far from broken but it is ever so on point, it does everything you really want from removal and it does it reliably and well. Comfortably top tier removal in cube where it should outclass Prismatic Ending even if it will not be doing so in formats like modern. Cube has more in the way of things costing 4 to 6 that want answering and so Ending is more restricted by colour requirements on that front. 

Moonsnare Prototype 5

What an odd old card, and dangerously so at that. Did not feel like blue was the colour that needed its own personal Springleaf Drum? This could do some very scary things in modern with Urza and all that jazz. Needing blue to produce then only making colourless does limit this as ramp but then only needing an artifact to tap makes it wildly more convenient to turn on and use. As does having a removal mode bolted on as well making it an ideal little support card to run in loads of places. It is too narrow for most generic drafting cubes where a simple Talisman is going to be safer, tap for more mana, and get more play. As for build arounds and constructed type things this is going to be a cool new toy to help with brewing and potentially push a few things too far in power level. 


Hotshot Mechanic 5

Gone are the days when just being a Savannah Lions would earn you a cube slot. Much as this is interesting and powerful it would seem that being an artifact or crewing well offers far too little utility in my white aggro areas to make the cut. Absolutely a card that will wind up doing some cool supporting things in the build arounds. 

Junji, the Midnight Sky 6.5

Pretty threatening and powerful. I like this the most out of the cycle although for all the same reasons as the rest, I don't see it cutting it.

Lizard Blades 4

I don't like these that much but they are better than the others so far and so perhaps I am underrating the reconfigure cards generally. Conceptually reconfigure is cool but it seems over costed and somewhat on the vulnerable side of things. This offers some scary potential but it is super fragile and needs supporting to get much done. 

Twinshot Archer 2

Not powerful exactly but the right sort of thing to get play in tribal and even synergy decks. This is OK in some kinds of Goblin Welder decks and desirable on-tribe interaction for a gobbos deck. 

Invoke Calamity 3

Powerful but too narrow for cube needing both quad red and worthy setup. I can see this being used in combo decks to some reasonable effect. 

Lion Sash 7

White gets a Scavenging Ooze. Likely this is making the cut in cube even though I think I prefer Ooze and Ooze is now somewhat on the cusp for sufficient power level. This is good not for power reasons but because it does quite a lot in a well suited package. This is disruption, it is a cheap body, and it offers both scaling and synergy. I can play this to support my Stoneforge Mystic without having to overplay equipment. It can help you evade mass removal. It is a body I can curve out with early that doesn't turn into a dead late game card. This is a card that doesn't need the reconfigure to be interesting and yet it has one of the more reasonable costing on the ability of the spoiled cards so far. 

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