Welcome back to my Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Constructed Set Review here on ChannelFireball.com. You may have read previous Set Reviews from LSV, but I’ll be subbing in for the Kamigawa installment (don’t worry, Luis is still be writing his Limited Set Review). LSV has pretty big shoes to fill, and while I’ll do my absolute best to stay true to his style, I’ll inevitably wind up putting my own spin on things. For instance, compared to Luis, you can count on me for roughly one-tenth the number of puns at roughly 10 times the average quality.
I’ll be discussing every card in the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty main set, with an eye for competitive Constructed. I’ll include both a number grade and a bit of commentary on each card. Remember that context is everything when it comes to Constructed deckbuilding, so these grades won’t necessarily be the final word on how useful a card winds up being.
You can find the previous installments here:
- 5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. Expressive Iteration. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.)
- 4.0: Format staple. (Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Urza, Lord High Artificer. Goldspan Dragon. Alrund’s Epiphany.)
- 3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren. Banishing Light. Brazen Borrower. Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger.)
- 3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Cauldron Familiar. Deadly Dispute. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar)
- 2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept. Ayara, First of Locthwain. Rimrock Knight. Test of Talents.)
- 2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. Fracture. Tangletrap. Destiny Spinner.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
- 1.5: Meant for Limited play. Many common and uncommon creatures fall into this category. These cards aren’t necessarily “bad,” but they’re not what you’re looking for when it comes to competitive Constructed. They’re often dominated by stronger options. (Unholy Officiant. Drownyard Amalgam. Grizzly Bears. Enthusiastic Study.)
- 1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing). (I believe it was tech vs. Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)
I’ve added an additional tier between 1.0 and 2.0. Cards that earn a 1.5 are at the level of the bulk commons and uncommons which you wouldn’t normally consider for your Constructed deck.
It’s not impossible that someone would play Grizzly Bears in Constructed and be successful. They might be working with budget restrictions, have tribal synergies or a corner-case reason for choosing it. However, you should virtually always choose Tarmogoyf instead of Grizzly Bears if you can.
As such, Grizzly Bears would get a rating of 1.5. Cards with this rating won’t require a lot of commentary, but I may add a few thoughts as necessary.
Artifacts is a theme of the Izzet colors in Kamigawa. It overlaps with both Equipment and Vehicles and creates a ton of possibilities. Any strong card with artifact card type will get a small ratings bonus.
The channel ability allows you to discard a specific card from your hand for an effect. Channel abilities appear on permanents, giving you the option to use them more like a spell for a one-time, immediate impact.
Options are good, and I like that channel abilities are both instant-speed and uncounterable.
Enchantments is a theme of the Abzan colors, including enchantment creatures and an overlap with Sagas. This feels a little more niche than the artifact theme of blue and red. However, I do think that some dedicated enchantment decks could be successful.