These days, new Standard-legal expansions tend to feature a fair few legendary creatures for us to play around with in Commander, and Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is no exception. There are 32 new legendary creatures in Neon Dynasty, and many of them look pretty sweet for EDH (but not all – five of them are Shrines, and you’d have to be very brave to make one of them your general). Let’s have a look at the 10 best Neon Dynasty commanders for when we get our hands on the new set!
10. Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice
This card is an invitation to get very silly with Auras. Light-Paws offers a repeatable tutor effect that will net you a bucketload of mana every turn you’re able to activate it, and you can even play around the worst drawbacks of a Bogles-style deck with the Auras you fetch up! Cast Indestructibility, and you can search up Pariah so Light-Paws can soak up the damage for you. Cast Timely Ward for a different source of indestructibility and you can fetch All That Glitters and start going to town. Cast Spectra Ward, and not only are you left with an untouchable monster, you can also search up… well, just about anything! It might be a silly-looking gimmick, but Light-Paws will be a lot of fun for Aura aficionados, and very frustrating to play against.
9. Satsuki, the Living Lore
Now here is my kind of Commander – one that gives you a very, very clear set of instructions as to how to build around it. At the moment, there are 23 Sagas you can include in a Satsuki deck, and some of them are terrific – Elspeth Conquers Death, Jugan Defends the Temple (although I would think twice about playing Fall of the Thran in friendly EDH, and Triumph of Gerrard… well, it isn’t great). Satsuki will let you recycle these Sagas over and over again, whether they’re on the battlefield or not, and there are even other enchantments like Gift of Immortality to help you get the most from Satsuki’s death trigger. It probably won’t be powerful, but a Satsuki deck will definitely be sweet.
8. Hinata, Dawn-Crowned
These days, Jeskai commanders get to do all sorts of weird and cool stuff, and Hinata is a commander I’d be very interested to see in action. It’s a very narrow card – you more or less have to play “strive”-style cards – but mana reduction is no joke. Cards like Twinflame, and Harness by Force will lead to very silly turns, while Launch the Fleet’s strive cost is just free with Hinata out. Offensive cards, however, become very interesting with Hinata – you will get significant discounts on things like Aurelia’s Fury and Magma Opus, while Descent of the Dragons will end up costing you two mana for a board full of 4/4s. And none of that is even touching upon the tax on opposing spells!
7. Greasefang, Okiba Boss
Frank Karsten recently pointed out a pretty wild combo with Greasefang – if you can get Parhelion II in the bin before turn three, Greasefang brings it back and crews it, so you can attack and attack for 13, then leave eight power of flyers behind. It doesn’t stop there, either – Greasefang can reanimate and crew everything from Skysovereign to Weatherlight, and can even flip a Conqueror’s Galleon straight away. Even bringing back cheap Vehicles will still put you ahead – there are respectable options lower on the curve – Aethersphere Harvester can gain a fair bit of life, and Smuggler’s Copter is so good it’s been banned multiple times!
6. Tatsunari, Toad Rider
Frog tribal has been pushed pretty hard in recent sets, with Grolnok joining The Gitrog Monster and Yargle as legendary Frogs you can use as a commander. Now, however, there’s no need to compromise on color identity, as Tatsunari will allow you access to the full range of Sultai cards and reward you for filling your deck with your favorite amphibians. Also enchantments? For some reason? Welcome to the 2022 EDH meta, everyone – Sultai frogchantments.
5. Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant
On the one hand, I’m really not looking forward to playing against this card and fighting through both its first and second abilities. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to forging coalitions and alliances against anyone who resolves this card in order to overcome the second ability – anything that stops me from being a target is fine in my books. I don’t know exactly what kind of deck you’ll want to build with Jin-Gitaxias as a commander, but I’d have to imagine that copying Time Walk effects would have to be one of the top priorities. Good luck – this commander will be a kill-on-sight target for most players.
4. Kodama of the West Tree
Most +1/+1 counter commander decks would probably want to play white as a matter of course, but Kodama of the West Tree is a powerful motivator to stay monocolored and restrict yourself to green. The payoff you get for connecting with multiple creatures with +1/+1 counters is bananas, and if you can assemble a token army and juice them up then the trample ability is only going to help you deal that damage and get those triggers. I suppose you could also try a deck with Equipment or Auras, but I think the most successful Kodama of the West Tree decks will be built around counters.
3. Atsushi, the Blazing Sky
There are going to be so many ways to exploit the Treasure-generating death trigger of Atsushi that EDH decks with it as the general will be awash with infinite combos, intricate and otherwise. Ashnod’s Altar plus Nim Deathmantle, for instance, gives you infinite mana and infinite death triggers (or an instant-win with Impact Tremors or Reckless Fireweaver), and that’s just the beginning. Support cards like Ruby Medallion, Xorn, Birgi, God of Storytelling or even Magda, Brazen Outlaw will only make going off with Atsushi even more ridiculous, and I’m interested to see just how silly people get with the new dragon spirit.
2. Isshin, Two Heavens as One
Everyone loves a good Panharmonicon effect, and Isshin is a brand-new take on doubling triggers. Kroxa now makes ’em all discard two, Grave Titan makes four tokens and even Sword of the Animist gets two lands rather than one. The interaction I’m the most scared of, however, is with cards like Aurelia, the Warleader or Combat Celebrant – they get three combats a turn instead of just two. Fervent Charge gives creatures +4/+4, if you find tribal synergies you can run Shared Animosity, and – weirdest of all – your Marchesa’s Decree will also trigger twice on defense. Bizarre.
1. Satoru Umezawa
The queen of EDH ninja decks – Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow – is going to be hard to topple, but Satoru Umezawa might just giver her a run for her money. Satoru’s absolutely bonkers ninjutsu ability turns your entire hand into a gamut of deadly Ninjas, and already you can imagine what it’s going to be like facing down all the Changeling Outcasts and Slither Blades – will it be something normal, like Fallen Shinobi, or will it be… I don’t know, Inkwell Leviathan? Archfiend of Despair? How about… Blightsteel Colossus? Anything is possible with Satoru Umezawa, and he might just be the scariest commander in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty!