We don’t have the full picture of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty yet, but the couple cards we have seen are pretty sweet. Today, let’s take a look at Kaito Shizuki, the newest planeswalker on the block.
There’s a lot going on here, starting with the first line:
“At the beginning of your end step, if Kaito Shizuki entered the battlefield this turn, he phases out.”
What this means is that the turn you cast Kaito, he disappears during the opponent’s turn, and comes back at the start of your turn (with the same loyalty as when he left). That only happens once, unless you were to blink him with some other card, since phasing doesn’t count as entering or leaving the battlefield. The result is that Kaito always has a turn of grace, where he can’t be attacked. It’s a really powerful ability, and lets you play him, use either ability, then know you have a turn to set up defenses before the opponent has the option to attack him.
The play pattern of turn three Kaito into turn four sweeper or removal sounds really good, and is a big part of his strength.
The +1 ability isn’t bad either – looting is decent, but drawing a card if you’ve attacked is a great way to get value from two-drops. Turn two attacker into Kaito is a hard curve to beat, and blue/black tempo decks can utilize this quite well.
Speaking of tempo, the -2 ability is a good fit there too. It’s not the strongest by itself, as a 1/1 unblockable isn’t knocking anyone’s socks off, but it combines nicely with other aggressive cards. Plus, there’s a good chance that ninjitsu or something similar is coming back, since a 1/1 unblockable would be perfect there. In fact, I’ll officially predict that we are getting ninjitsu – it just makes too much sense.
Lastly, you’ve got an emblem that ends the game as long as you have any attackers, which is actually on the low end for emblems. Luckily, the ultimate doesn’t really determine how good most walkers are, and this is good enough to threaten the opponent, which is all they really do.
Overall, this card seems good. The best deck to play Kaito in will be UB tempo, and once we learn more about what’s in store for us in Kamigawa, I’m sure those builds will emerge. I’m on the lookout for Ninjas and other tempo cards, with Kaito being a strong reason to go that direction.