Sunday 6 February 2022

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Preliminary Reviews Part V

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 

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki 7

The value here is probably too hard to ignore. For 3 mana you are getting a pair of 2/2s, both with a decent amount of upside. You are also getting the option on a double rummage. This card is pretty slow and it turns out sticking a mana on the activation of Kiki-Jiki really hurts the potency of the card. You cannot really combo with it and so it is more like a flicker than anything else. Still good but not something you would be likely to pay 3 mana for by itself in your average deck (Fury might well disagree with that assessment). In terms of power and value this is easily there but it might be a little aimless and slow to really stand the test of time in cube. It is hardly dominating a board or doing game ending things with tempo or value and those are the sorts of cards that really stand out. It reminds me of Seasoned Pyromancer which is a good thing to be compared to. 


Tribute to Horobi // Echo of Death's Wail 5

The ceiling here is obscene but the risks are likely too great. Cards that give downside before they give upside back are just asking for trouble. I will test this and I suspect for the most part it will perform well but it will cost some games and that is going to put people off. Best case scenario is that you take 3 damage from rats then you get 5/5 of stats over 3 bodies and get to beating in the sky for 3 with the option to draw cards for dorks. At two mana, even with a delay of two turns, that is supremely good. The variety of bad outcomes however is pretty damning. People play things like Goblin Bombardment and Skullclamp. People apply pressure quickly too so you might not even be able to play this without it killing you before you ever get to Echo. A delayed 2 mana 3/3 flier is not worth giving your opponent a Forked Bolt or 4 cards, not by a long shot. 

Brilliant Restoration 2

A little bit pricey for what it offers compared to the various things you can use in white to similar effect. Combo and EDH only card and a slow backup for combo at best.

Reality Heist 3

Dig Through Time made into an artifact matters spell, only finding them and reduced in cost by affinity rather than Delve. Very powerful in decks likely to consistently have this cost two mana while having the capacity to produce double blue. One thing I will say about this is that despite the power of the card a lot of the payoff things you want to find with it in an artifact deck are infact the non-artifacts like Urza which this helpfully puts to the bottom of your deck... 

The Restoration of Eiganjo // Architect of Restoration 6.5

Wow. This is a lot of card. It is a two for one with card quality, ramp options or recursion that ultimately turns into a threat with ongoing value generation. Much like the Fable of Kiki-Jiki this is probably too much to ignore power and value wise. It is also more generally useful. Basically we have a Brimaz here which would be foolish with all that extra stuff added if not for the delay which keeps this pretty safe. Brimaz is the kind of beefy snowballing threat you want to curve with, the later the game goes the less scary and relevant he is and with this saga your Architect will not be attacking until turn six. That makes me think you can't really play this in aggressive decks very effectively. Equally the lack of doing all that much on the tempo side of things makes it a little tougher to use in control builds. This may get consigned to just the midrange decks which could well hurt its future prospects. Lots of power but not exactly how and where you want it. 

Light the Way 4

Flexible and cheap. This is a combat trick, value with an EtB trigger, protection, all sorts of things. It is however a bit low powered, aimless, and all too situational. I have been finding more and more than I want all my cards to be things that stand up on their own which this does not. Looks very playable but I just don't see it getting any of that play. 

The Fall of Lord Konda // Fragment of Konda 2

I really like this card but I fear that too many times this just won't have targets. If you do not get to kill something with this then it is terrible. Elspeth's Nightmare had the same issue, if you killed something with it the card was very impressive but if you couldn't the card felt pretty unplayable and so it was culled from cube pretty quickly. 

You Are Already Dead 4

Quite the upgrade to Fatal Blow. Also a one drop cantrip that does something useful. Much as this has a lot of potential it is likely too situational with the floor being a dead card. I think that rules it out for most places.

Inventive Iteration // Living Breakthrough 6.5

The total package here is nuts. This is a two for one with disruption and tempo and reasonable threat. It can probably even lock out a game against decks with very low curves. The main issue I see with this card is that it does relatively little for the investment for the first few turns. A bounce is nice but at sorcery speed it is hard to get excited about and at four mana it is often going to be very unimpressive. The following turn all you do is get a card which is nice but it is still quite a way behind Repulse or Reduce to Zero. Any two of a 3/3 flier, a card, and a bounce combined together are reasonable uses of 4 mana plus a card and so you would expect getting all three to be a lock in but I still do worry if these cards are all just a bit slow to compete.

Soul Transfer 3

Sorcery speed makes this have no chance. Exile is more of an upside here than the chance of getting both modes. The option to Raise Dead is OK but narrow and low powered. You don't really want to be using your catch all removal in that kind of way. This is certainly playable but there are just too many better alternatives for me to even bother testing this.

Prosperouse Thief 2

I love this card but it is a long way from having enough power or impact to get cube action. Tribal filler at best is what we have here. 

Anchor to Reality 3

A kind of Natural Order / Tinker affair with limited targets. This will see play as all tutors and mana cheat cards seem to in one way or another. Kaldra Compleat is likely the most powerful thing you can do with this. Too narrow for draft cubes but some potential elsewhere. 

Selfless Samurai 4

A two drop Dauntless Bodyguard. This is fine but not good. It is the sort of thing that is helping white aggro decks perform well at present but I don't see this particular version getting all that much action. This being able to protect creatures that are in play after it is nice making it a bit more proactive than Bodygaurd but it is still a lot less exciting than Selfless Spirit. Or even Adanto Vanguard for that matter. Fine and playable that does the right sort of thing but boring card and at a less than impressive power level. 

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