Best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Pauper Cards, Part 3 – Heavy Hitters

Welcome back to part three of my Neon Dynasty Pauper Set Review. Previously, I went over some of the fringe cards in Pauper, that could see play under the right circumstances or if a new deck comes along that needs a specific effect, as well as the roleplayers and “side grades,” or cards that can fit into specific archetypes or some of the more off-the-wall decks of the format. Today, I’ll be wrapping it up with some of the big guns – the “heavy hitters” for the format. Let’s dive in!

You can find the other parts here:



Header - Heavy Hitters

All right here we go – my take for the top cards from Neon Dynasty. We’re going in reverse order so my best Pauper card in the set will come at the end.

Harmonious Emergence

Harmonious Emergence is another card that keys off of the indestructible artifact lands from Modern Horizons 2. Coming down on turn four and untapping with a 4/5 vigilance is a big game as it can attack with impunity while staying back to block Myr Enforcer all day. Other cards in this vein have been fringe playable before for Emergence is the first one that presents a solid threat. I’m not looking forward to the first time my opponent slams this on turn three and I’m staring down an angry Slagwoods Bridge on turn four.

Careful Cultivation

Careful Cultivation does so much. For three mana, it buffs a creature and gives it reach and the ability to ramp mana. In Bogles this would be an expensive option, but it comes with a channel ability that helps Bogles fight against Chainer’s Edict. On top of that, the Channel making a mana dork can help Bogles spew out more threats in the early game, increasing its clock. And as if that were not enough, this card can generate infinite mana of any color with Pili-Pala.

Kami of Industry

Kami of Industry is expensive, but the payoff is potentially massive. Imagine this returning an Ichor Wellspring – that’s five mana for two extra cards. That this can also get back utility artifacts like Pyrite Spellbomb, which gives it a toolbox feel. Deadly Dispute is seeing tons of play so it is not hard to imagine there being a few artifacts in the bin. It’s the right size to block Myr Enforcer, Gurmag Angler and Gearseeker Serpent. All in all, this card does more than enough (especially with another card coming later in this list) and the upside is absolutely there. That being said this is the card I am most likely to be completely wrong about as five mana is quite a bit in a format where Affinity is legal.

Mirrorshell Crab

Mirrorshell Crab is a lot of Magic card. It is a large threat with ward 3, so if it even hits play it is going to be hard to remove. But that’s not what’s exciting – it’s ability to channel into a Mana Leak or Pauper’s first Stifle effect is what makes my eyebrows raise. The Crab has the opportunity to stop a Storm trigger which will necessitate a change in play patterns from decks packing Galvanic Relay, Reaping the Graves or Weather the Storm. It also comes at the right point of the curve to counter a spell and then be brought back with Late to Dinner, giving Pauper one of its first real reanimator threats in several years. Out of every Neon Dynasty card, this is the one I am most excited about.

Experimental Synthesizer

Experimental Synthesizer does so much. It’s like Ichor Wellspring in that it generates value coming into play and leaving play, but it can its thing once picked up by Kor Skyfisher as well. The downside is that it does not draw a card, but rather “impulsive” draws it. That means any deck running this card will have to bias its curve lower and may have to eschew cards like Battle Screech or Palace Sentinels. The power in this card is high enough that it may not matter and the deck will just win on the back of Seeker of the Way and Spellgorger Weird.

Moon-Circuit Hacker

Moon-Circuit Hacker is likely to be the best card in the set for Pauper because of course it is. It’s most of a Ninja of the Deep Hours but on that first turn, it’s half the cost. That means the blue player can hold up a Force Spike or Dispel or Spell Pierce. Later on in the game, once those cards lose utility, they can then be looted away with the new Ninja. One toughness is a liability but, come on, it’s another Ninja that draws cards, of course it is going to see heavy play. It’s not going to replace Ninja of the Deep Hours but I could see decks running three copies of this and a pair of Deep Hours, or four Deep Hours with this as the fifth copy.

There you have it – a massive set review for Neon Dynasty. I cannot remember the last time I was this excited about a Standard set’s potential impact on Pauper. I, for one, am going to be eagerly watching to see what happens in the next few weeks. What commons are you excited to see in Pauper? Which one is your favorite? Do you think any new decks are going to crash the metagame?


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