Neon Dynasty has had one of the most interesting impacts to Modern I’ve ever seen. There’s a lot of cards that are powerful, complicated and fun to play with, but none of them are easy to deck build with. I’ve spent most of my time over the last couple of weeks exploring the possibilities that NEO has to offer. I’ve tested a lot of brews at this point and some of the most promising decks I’ve played have featured two NEO cards as a central part of their engine: Oni-Cult Anvil and Experimental Synthesizer.
These two cards can each individually generate plenty of value of their own over the course of a game. Anvil creates a token every turn and drains your opponent along the way, and Synthesizer cantrips when it comes down and promises to give you another card later in the game.
I’ve also found that not only do these two artifacts play well together since Anvil can sacrifice Synthesizer for value, but both cards reward you for playing the same type of deck. Both cards reward you for playing decks that have a lot of cheap artifacts that want to be sacrificed, and cards that can sacrifice artifacts.
With this thought in mind, I thought the obvious home for these two cards was in an Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar Food deck, and my first drafts featured Arcbound Ravager and Disciple of the Vault in order to combo-kill your opponent by sacrificing your reserves of Food tokens to deal massive amounts of damage with Disciple of the Vault. The brew showed some promise and while I liked the Anvil/Synthesizer package, and I was surprisingly impressed by Disciple of the Vault, both the Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar/Ovalchase Daredevil package and Arcbound Ravager were a bit clunky and it was awkward to have Ovalchase Daredevil as a four-mana spell in your Experimental Synthesizer deck.
I was feeling a bit stuck with the deck Idea, but then I stumbled upon Arya Karamchandani’s innovative brew: Rakdos Squirrels. Her list is super creative and heavily features Cauldron Familiar/Witch’s Oven alongside Ravenous Squirrel in a Goblin Bombardment sacrifice deck. Her list is great and I recommend reading her deck guide here on CFB Pro:
Ravenous Squirrel is a nutty threat when paired with Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven as it allows you to grow your Squirrels by two counters every turn by sacrificing both your Familiar to Oven and your Food to get your Familiar back. Seeing Arya’s list, I realized that this package of cards is a much better compliment to the Anvil/Synthesizer/Disciple of the Vault packages than the Food package was, since the Squirrel gives the archetype access to a powerful cheap threat, Cauldron Familiar/Witch’s Oven triggers Anvil and Disciple every turn for zero mana, and playing this package lets you play Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion, which is a huge upgrade to any deck.
With these thoughts in mind, here’s the list that I’ve settled on. I’ve found the deck to be great in grindy matchups, and it does a good job racing linear opponents with burn spells. Like other artifact and graveyard decks in Modern, it is soft to hate pieces, but can sometimes fight through them with powerful cards like Ragavan and Urza’s Saga.