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Best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Cards – Red

Welcome back to my look at the best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander cards. I’ll be continuing on my analysis color-by-color as usual, and this time I’ll be looking at the highlights in red.

Check out the other colors here:

White / Blue / Black / Red / Green / Gold, Artifacts and Lands

 

 

Header - Red

Atsushi, the Blazing Sky

Atsushi, the Blazing Sky

The low cost here makes this look like a solid Standard card to me, but I think any deck interested in sacrificing creatures and getting Treasures will be interested. I also see this being powerful in Prosper decks, as it allows you to play some more cards from exile – and Prosper decks often care about Treasure too! Frankly, this is just a broadly powerful card that provides a lot of value to red decks that want to attack.

Dragonspark Reactor

Dragonspark Reactor

If you’re throwing tons of artifacts onto the battlefield or have a way to reliably proliferate, this could be fun in a deck that also wants to play Shrine of Burning Rage. I like the idea of playing both of those cards in Kurkesh and having a reliably way to double up on the activation.

Experimental Synthesizer

Experimental Synthesizer

The energy field or whatever around the sword makes this look like an egg, and indeed that’s how I feel about this card – it’s kind of a one-mana Ichor Wellspring for decks like Prosper that don’t mind playing cards off the top of their library. Best of all, since it costs just one mana, it’s got synergy with Salvaging Station, a card I don’t get to play nearly enough.

Explosive Singularity

Explosive Singularity

On the one hand, I think this goes in Goblin-heavy decks like Krenko that might already want to play Burn at the Stake. On the other hand, is Burn at the Stake just better? Probably not, since we can get the cost on this down to RR and tap eight creatures, making it easier to cast this on turns that put more of a crunch on available mana. 

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

Most of the time it will just be better to play Kiki-Jiki, sure, but that’s not really the point. The point is the larger amount of overall value you get out of just 2R, and between the Treasure generation and some card filtering, I think we have a pretty fun option here. That said, the biggest weakness is that the Reflection lacks haste, and since the way these Sagas work is that they self-exile and then return transformed, haste would be necessary to get this going the turn it becomes the Reflection side. The infinite combo potential is also (happily, for me) muted by the addition of mana to the activation cost. Overall, a cool version of Kiki-Jiki for people who don’t want to include the more powerful version.

Go-Shintai of Ancient Wars

Go-Shintai of Ancient Wars

It’s unfortunate, but understandable, that this doesn’t hit creatures. This is really just here for the Shrines deck.

Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei

Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei

It’s nice to see someone putting respect on the names of the old Dragon Spirits. This looks like a fun potential commander for a modified theme deck, but I think it’s more likely to be a piece of a larger puzzle that focuses either on modified in general or on one of modified’s three subthemes. It’s a nice mana sink in the mid-to-late game as well as a great way to speed things up in a Voltron deck with the haste ability. 

Invoke Calamity

Invoke Calamity

Riku players and other fans of copying spells may be interested in this, but the 1RRRR cost is going to make it hard for those three-color decks to cast this spell. This probably only makes the cut in dedicated Izzet spell copy decks that also want to run cards like Twinning Staff, and I’m sure it’s going to be terrifying in the right Veyran list. Veryan is already pretty terrifying, though.

Lizard Blades

Lizard Blades

I like these reconfigure creatures as ways to up the creature count in Voltron decks without sacrificing too much Equipment count. I’ll be giving Lizard Blades a try in my budget Wyleth list during my next upgrade assuming the cost doesn’t get too high. The fact that it has double strike makes it a great base creature to which you can attach lots of equipment for tons of value. 

March of Reckless Joy

March of Reckless Joy

I like the idea of exiling red cards from your hand to see more options with this card, and exiling a single card and paying red to cast this gets you two new cards for the cost of this, the exiled card and that point of red mana. I don’t know if this is a powerful enough toy for most Prosper decks, but given the “until the end of your next turn” timing, I think it has a shot there and in other heavy red decks looking for more pseudo-draw.

Ogre-Head Helm

Ogre-Head Helm

I’m considering this for Wyleth as well due to the reconfigure synergy I mentioned before as well as the ability to cash out for three new cards. I often find myself with kind of a dud of a hand in Equipment-heavy decks in the midgame, especially when opponents have solid sources of removal, so being able to use this to refill could be absolutely huge.

Rabbit Battery

Rabbit Battery

Equipment-heavy decks, as I said before, are going to love these cheap reconfigure cards, and I think this beats Boots of Speed in most of my Equipment-focused lists (or at least goes in alongside it). Since the cost is just a single red mana whether you’re casting or reconfiguring, you don’t even need to be too heavy on red. 

Scrap Welder

Scrap Welder

I love a fair take on an old busted card, and I love it even more when the old busted card is Goblin Welder. This doesn’t let you convert up and cheat for high mana values, but it does give the artifact you’re returning haste until end of turn. Usually this kind of effect will be best for flipping between small utility artifacts, but there’s plenty of fun to be had with Spine of Ish Sah as well. I assume this will fit well in Daretti, Feldon, Osgir and more artifact-focused graveyard decks.

Tempered in Solitude

Tempered in Solitude

If you’re all about attacking with one huge creature, you might want to give this a look. In red, I think it’s most likely you’re bashing in with a very equipped creature, which may mean you’re spending a lot of mana precombat to suit up something with haste, so the tension here may be just a little bit too much sometimes. Getting the card only for the rest of the turn rather than for the full turn cycle is also a bit of a disappointment, but that would probably be too strong at this cost.

Thundering Raiju

Thundering Raiju

The go-wide modified deck that plays Unforgiving One probably also includes Thundering Raiju. In fact, I think Marchesa, the Black Rose might be the best deck available for both of these cards. Haste puts this card on the map, as without it, I’d be underwhelmed by this four mana 3/3. That said, you will really need to go wide quickly, as dealing damage to each opponent is a recipe for pulling some serious aggro.

 

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