fbpx

Best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Cards – White

I’ve been waiting for this moment for what feels like years – we’re back on Kamigawa! Sure, we don’t actually get to start playing with Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty for a few more days, but at least we can start talking about them all now. That’s right, it’s time for my look at the best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander cards!

As a reminder, my focus is on social Commander rather than competitive EDH. These days, I’ve been leaning more toward a desire to play three 40-minute games in lieu of one two-hour slog, but I’ll be talking about cards from the wider social perspective. My goal when playing Commander is for everyone to have fun but also for me to have a good shot at winning the game – or at least doing the thing my deck set out to do – so if that’s your mindset as well, these reviews will probably resonate with you. I won’t be reviewing reprints, so you can just assume I feel the same way about Kindled Fury as I did before we found out it was in this set. I also don’t review every card – if I feel they’re not worth mentioning, I don’t give them a write-up, but we all know there’s a deck out there for every card. When you inevitably disagree with a review (or think I skipped something good), please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!

Two final things: First, if I don’t mention a card that has one of the set’s core mechanics, then I probably don’t think much of it outside of a deck that’s laser-focused on that mechanic over all else. Second, this set has Kaldheim levels of wordiness on some of the cards, so apologies if I misread something. 

You can find the other colors here:

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

 

 

Ao, the Dawn Sky

Ao, the Dawn Sky

The original cycle of legendary Dragon Spirits from Champions of Kamigawa gets a neon glow-up in our newest set! In terms of direct comparison to Yosei, Ao is a better deal for stats and keywords but has no lockdown implications. Instead, we get some fun choices – the first one could theoretically throw an Animate Dead or other reanimation permanent onto the battlefield and bring Ao back, and the second is great if you’re trying to go wide. You can even get a little wild with Hall of Heliod’s Generosity, Animate Dead and the first ability, though I’m not sure there’s much of a positive outcome there. Realistically, the first ability is what makes this a decent value creature even when you’re not in control of the board. Decks that want Angel of Invention for go-wide purposes may also be interested in Ao.

Banishing Slash

Banishing Slash

In lower-powered games, there may be some room for a spell with this level of flexibility, but the sorcery speed and double white cost are a bit difficult to handle. Needing both an artifact and an enchantment to get a 2/2 is a pretty high bar to meet, but I suppose that’s fair for just two mana. I’d expect to see this in theme-focused decks and not much else.

Blade-Blizzard Kitsune

Blade-Blizzard Kitsune

This bears mentioning mostly because it’s the only white creature in the main set with ninjutsu. Leonin Shikari, Sigarda’s Aid and similar may be able to attach some Equipment to this at instant speed after it sneaks in, but that requires some unblocked creatures, a luxury Equipment-focused decks will often not have. 

Born to Drive

Born to Drive

I’m interested in this mostly because of the channel effect – two creatures that pilot at three power could be useful in Depala and other Vehicle-focused decks, and at instant speed, we can drop them in, crew and block for a fun surprise. The actual enchantment part of this card seems pretty lackluster, though.

Brilliant Restoration

Brilliant Restoration

For just one more mana, you get to turn Open the Vaults into an asymmetrical powerhouse! Of course, 3WWWW is a tough ask for Esper or Bant decks, but any two-color deck with sufficient white sources should be able to cast this. Casting this on exactly turn seven might be tough outside of mono-white – the hypergeometric calculator tells me that, to have a greater than 50 percent chance of having four white sources on curve, you need 26 white sources in your deck. That said, with sufficient fetches, duals and rocks, it’s certainly possible to hit that number. Any white/x color combination can find a way to use this, as each one has possible artifact or enchantment themes. Suggested commanders include Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero, Glacian and Rebbec, Sythis and Daxos the Returned, among many others.

Cloudsteel Kirin

Cloudsteel Kirin

I know what you’re thinking, but read it again – this is not a three mana Platinum Angel. It only provides that text when it’s equipped to something. 

For those not yet familiar with reconfigure, let’s do a quick rundown. Normally, creatures can’t be attached to other permanents; before this set, the big exception was cards with bestow. Reconfigure does some similar rule-bending, allowing these creatures which are also Equipment to shed their creature type and become attached to other creatures for a time. Reconfigure is not an “equip ability” and its cost is not an “equip cost”, so cards like Nahiri, Storm of Stone and Leonin Shikari won’t affect it, but Sigarda’s Aid and other cards that specifically interact with Equipment cards will work with these reconfigure cards, partially thanks to their type line and partially thanks to the reconfigure rules text, which drops the reconfigure card’s creature type off of it no matter how it becomes attached to something else. 

Going back to the card at hand, you can certainly use this with hexproof and/or indestructible creatures to create some game states similar to Platinum Angel + Swiftfoot Boots/Darksteel Plate/etc, but since it’s the Kirin granting the ability, you may also want to protect it with something like Leonin Abunas. No matter how many layers of Flagbearers you put on the table, though, there’s usually some way to destroy this, which is good – it’s just a question of how long you can delay things or how many resources you can force opponents to commit in service of getting rid of this effect.


The Fall of Lord Konda

Sagas are back! This one isn’t that exciting, but I mention it specifically because of the second chapter. I’m always happy to see more Homeward Path effects, and when combined with the first chapter being a decent, if not amazing, removal option, this could easily see play in metas with lots of theft effects. The transformed creature can eventually be cashed in for a card, but don’t count on it happening in a hurry.

Farewell

Farewell

While this doesn’t have the same “keep mine, kill yours” option as Austere Command or the planeswalker-exiling effect of Merciless Eviction, I expect this to become one of Commander’s most popular sweepers. The fact that you get to hit graveyards in the bargain is incredible, and achieving what is effectively a full board reset (minus walkers) and exiling the cards to boot is something that most white-based decks that intend to play the long game have wanted for a long time. I’m glad this card didn’t exist 10 years ago when white decks were often packing seven or more wrath effects, though I know a few people who still subscribe to that philosophy, including my wife, for whom I am likely buying a copy of this card. 

Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose

Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose

With Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and its Commander decks in the mix, there are now 17 Shrines in Magic! You can’t play Sanctum of All as your commander, but there is now a tailor-made Shrine commander that we’ll talk about when we get to the Commander exclusives. The Shrines in this set are creatures, and while they have the Shrine subtype, that does not make Shrine a creature type – it’s still just an enchantment type. Sorry, Morophon fans. I like that the Shrines in this set trigger in your end step; it’s a nice modern design nod that allows you to get value from these cards the turn you play them. While Conspiracy shenanigans aren’t possible here due to Shrines not being a creature type, effects like Mystic Reflection certainly work out nicely. That’s a shared purpose I can get behind!

Hotshot Mechanic

Hotshot Mechanic

Just putting this here to say that I like this mechanic (heh) of creatures punching above their weight class when it comes to crewing Vehicles. Outside of a focused Vehicles deck, you won’t want this.

Imperial Recovery Unit

Imperial Recovery Unit

Not including Imperial Recovery Unit, there are 14 Vehicles with mana value two or less. Very few are super inspiring for Commander play, though I’d be excited to get Dermotaxi back from the graveyard once in a while. I would be hard-pressed to include this in even the most Vehicular deck list.

Invoke Justice

Invoke Justice

White reanimator gets another tool as a part of this new Invoke cycle. Returning any permanent is pretty sweet and compensates for the prohibitive 1WWWW cost, and tacking on a little bit of Verdurous Gearhulk doesn’t hurt either. Since this won’t often be cast on curve, I see it less as a reanimation spell to cheat out enormous creatures and more as a value play that starts some sort of Karmic Guide chain, plays with Eternal Witness recursion, or similar.

Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa

Kyodai, Soul of Kamigawa

The five-color activation lets you live the Dragon Spirit Commander dream and play all of your favorite Ryuseis and Jugans, but thematically, that would be a bit strange since the legendary Dragon Spirits all trigger on death, and Kyodai’s all about saving things from dying at instant speed. I think this is more likely to see play in five-color Dragon decks as a fun interactive element that saves your creatures from various bad outcomes, but if you’re looking for a rad commander for a deck that chronicles Kamigawa through the ages, Kyodai is not your worst option (sorry, O-Kagachi).

Light-Paw, Emperor’s Voice

Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice

This card gives me big Tallowisp vibes, and hopefully I end up meaning that in a good way. Auras decks may want to try this out, of course, but the fact that the extra Auras come in attached to Light-Paws itself, a creature that has no inherent protective or evasive abilities, may end up being a weakness. That said, if you have recursion tools like Brilliant Restoration available, you might not mind having those cards end up in the graveyard when Light-Paws meets its inevitable end. The mana value here is also low enough that it should be easy to play this and get value out of it in the same turn.

Lion Sash

Lion Sash

Scavenging Ooze is back – in Equipment Cat form! We lose some base stats and the life gain but get some flexibility on when we get counters as well as the reconfigure upside. I think this is a fantastic anti-graveyard card that also just plays well in general as a mana sink and combat option. Any white deck that cares about Equipment or a single large attacker is likely to want Lion Sash. Just make sure you have enough white mana to activate the ability!

March of Otherworldly Light

March of Otherworldly Light

I love an instant-speed removal spell, and I’m even more exited to have one that exiles. That said, this will always be mana-inefficient unless you exile cards from your hand, and going down on resources like that has its downside compounded in multiplayer games. This is a fantastic card for tournament Constructed formats, but I think this’ll be more niche in Commander and mostly survive on its flexibility.

Michiko’s Reign of Truth

Whenever an artifact or enchantment tells you to specialize in artifacts and/or enchantments, the card is usually best in a deck focused on the type it actually has. That means this is likely best in an Auras deck like Uril that focuses on a single large attacker. Once it transforms, it provides another large attacker, and you shouldn’t be shy about swinging with it – if it dies, enchantment decks usually have ways to bring back small cards like this.

Norika Yamazaki, the Poet

Norika Yamazaki, the Poet

I understand why we didn’t get partner in a Standard-legal set, but gosh, I wish the Yamazakis had partner. Beyond that, you need to be in a very specifically Samurai/Warrior focused deck that cares about enchantments, which again seems like a more Limited-relevant mechanic.

The Restoration of Eiganjo

If you’re playing a lot of two-cost Sagas, cards with channel or other small permanents that send themselves to the graveyard, this could be a decent way to do some fun recursion tricks. You can even discard the card you want to bring back since chapter two has that good reflexive trigger wording. Once transformed, this card does a decent Brimaz impression, but this broad valuefest might be just a little too broad to be great.

Spirited Companion

Spirited Companion

I’m glad white gets an Elvish Visionary, and I’m even happier that it’s both an enchantment for various enchantress shenanigans and a Dog for Rin and Seri! This card won’t have some enormous impact on its own, but it will be a fantastic puzzle piece in many decks.

Touch the Spirit Realm

Touch the Spirit Realm

This is interesting – a Banishing Light effect that has flexibility as a harder-to-counter blink effect! This is especially good if you can recur it with something like Sun Titan later, and I think that despite its downside relative to Banishing Light in terms of what it can hit, this is likely to show up in some lower-powered blink lists.

The Wandering Emperor

The Wandering Emperor

While you only get one turn of instant-speed activation, the fact that this has flash makes it a decent defensive tool with that -2 or a funny combat trick thanks to the +1. That said, this is unlikely to make a big splash in Commander since none of the abilities are huge game-changers. 

 

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top