Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Set Review - White
Let's Get White to Business
Hello, everyone! It’s your friendly neighborhood Jesguy here, and welcome to the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set review for white cards! Allow me to be your guide on your first tour back to this stunning and sprawling plane.
Today I'll be going over all of the fantastic white cards that this set has to offer, and believe me, there are a lot. Let's get started!
Ao, the Dawn Sky
At first glance,doesn't seem all that flashy. It can nab some nonland cards off the top of your deck and put them into play, or it can give your whole team (and Vehicles) two +1/+1 counters. Luckily, these two effects are exactly the kind of thing that white decks love.
+1/+1 counters are deeply supported in white, and pumping your whole team when dies sounds good to , , and . Heck, decks will especially love , since that commander has a subtheme of Counters and Sacrifice, both of which synergize with .
I think's first ability is the most interesting, though. Digging seven cards deep is a lot of card selection, even if you're only limited to cheating out nonland permanents with a total MV of 4 or less. Even with this restriction, I can visualize a deck with at the helm that revolves around three different style of cards:
- Cheap baubles, like , , and , that can get you value.
- Inexpensive, powerful creatures, like and , to go wide and build out a board.
- Protection spells, like , , or , to protect your board while also gaining value if you choose to sac your trinkets, or itself, on your own terms.
Along with these,and are up to no good here, allowing you to consistently abuse 's triggers, especially if you're putting in multiple creatures per trigger. is also able to cheat in creatures like , , and , allowing you to tutor up even more cheap creatures to keep expanding your board and keep your hand full. Throw a into the mix with all of this and you'll have a massive board presence in no time.
While I don't think +1/+1 counter builds, and it has the potential to succeed at leading its own style of white deck to boot! Even if it isn't as powerful as other legends in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, I think is a great new addition to white's roster of legends and of abilities it has access to.is white's new best commander, I do think it's interesting, which isn't something I've been able to say about a lot of white legends previously. It's great in aggressive decks, since it can easily repopulate the board with cheap nonland permanents, it has additional synergy in
The Wandering Emperor
is back, and not only does she have double the abilities, but she's also double the rarity! (If you double an uncommon, it becomes a mythic, right? I think that's how math works.)
is a sweet new 'walker for white decks, and she has synergy with three incredibly popular archetypes.
Thanks to her +1, Counter decks, like , while giving them a bit more interaction on opponents' turns.can put a +1/+1 counter on a creature (while also giving it first strike), which, if used on an opponent's turn the turn she's played, can really mess up combat. This also provides an extra way to accrue counters in
Her -1 gives her play in Tokens decks, as she can create 2/2 Samurai with vigilance. This, once again, can muck up combat by providing a surprise blocker, or it can be used to trigger effects that care about creatures entering the battlefield, like or .
On top of these utilities, she's also right at home in Planeswalker decks, like or . Not only can she impede attackers in the ways I mentioned above, she also has the ability to exile a tapped creature while netting you a bit of life.
None of these things are impressive on their own, but all of these little utilities together really makestand out as a flexible 'walker that can fit into a multitude of different archetypes. She isn't a game-ender, like , or super aggressive, like , but she falls into a flexible middle ground that many decks can take advantage of, which is refreshing to see in a white card.
Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful
Another Partner legend is not what I was expecting out of this set, but as a fan of mono-colored Partners, I certainly won't complain, even if I am more of a cat guy.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty, mono-white Partners that care about legendary permanents, and only two that care about +1/+1 counters, leaving as a solid option for any Partner deck looking to splash white.is good, full stop. All Partners are good as a baseline, and one that's a single mana, accrues counters, and gives you two different themes to build around is great. There are no
, , and are great potential Partner pairs, since they all care about +1/+1 counters. Conversely, just about any Partner can pair with should you choose to do a more legends-matters approach, so go wild!
All I know is, you'd better keepaway from my boy. I don't care how enticing drawing three cards is. Don't be a monster.
A one-sided? We've been waiting for this ability in white for a while!
I love, but right off the bat, I have to wonder, if it has quad white in its mana cost, did it need to cost seven mana? The mana cost and color weight are both huge restrictions. That said, having an effect like this is incredibly powerful, and should you want to run it, you should have to commit to playing white. No splashing, like with . I want those days to be over. I'm 100% behind the hefty color requirements. The MV though? Not so much.
Needless to say, any white-based Enchantment/Aura or Artifact/Equipment that wants more recursion may want to take a look at . There are plenty of equivalent cards for these four styles of decks: , , , , etc., but if you're in the market for an effect like this that won't help opponents and won't break the bank, give a chance if you have the mana base to cast it.
this is not... but that might actually be a good thing!
is solid. It's a well-statted flier that can also Reconfigure itself to make any creature into a build-your-own ! While that seems like extra hoops to jump through, had built-in protection thanks to Reconfigure, since, much like a Bestow creature, will fall off of the Equipped creature if that creature dies, instead of dying with it! Yes, this will make you lose the "you can't lose the game" effect until you can re-Reconfigure it, but if your opponents want to prevent you from just moving onto other creatures, they're going to have to deal with it directly... and if they can't, well, it looks like they won't be able to win!
Equipment or Flier deck, giving them another interesting creature to add to their ranks. in particular will love this, since he can circumvent its Reconfigure cost on each of your combats, giving you an evasive threat that will definitely put your opponents in a bind.is great for any
Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire
Do my eyes deceive me? Is this... an MDFC??
Anyone who has read any of my Archetune-Ups from last year knows that I hold the Zendikar Rising MDFCs in incredibly high regard, and I see the cycle of Channel lands as their spiritual successors. In's case, its an untapped white source when you need it, or a removal spell/combat trick when you want it. I cannot state how that kind of flexibility in one's land base helps with smoothing out how a deck ticks.
I don't think that white decks lose much, if anything, by addingas a substitute for a basic or a different utility land. I know I'll be picking up plenty of these, as well as the rest of the cycle, in the coming months. If you love the ZNR MDFCs, you'll love these as well. A+
I love flexible cards. I also love powerful cards. When you put the two together, that should be a match made in heaven... butmight do this a bit too well.
Bothand are staples in the format, with over 34,000 and 55,000 decks to their names, respectively. These are incredibly impressive numbers, and I can easily see surpassing both, as it doesn't have a restriction on how many modes you get to choose, as well as being a single color like . This is both a good and a bad thing. On one side, it's great to see white getting powerful cards that can help reign the table in. On the other hand, will oftentimes imitate 's one-sidedness when used well, or else act as a soft reset of the game when used improperly.
User error aside, I thinkis a fantastic addition to white's repertoire, providing a powerful and flexible new board wipe to help keep the table in check. I know my deck is itching to find a slot for it already!
I love seeing reanimation find its way back into white's slice of the color pie, especially when it can bring back any permanent... but five mana, and four of it being white, is a lot to ask. Superfriends decks, Reanimator decks, or mono-white/white-based +1/+1 counter decks will be the styles of deck most interested in , but even then, I'm not sure it'll be enough. There are plenty of and +1/+1 spells in white, and I'm unsure if there are decks that will want both effects on the same card at such a steep cost.
I'm super pleased to see white getting a cut of reanimation, but I'm skeptical that this version of the "Invoke" cycle will have widespread adoption.
Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice
A 2/2 legend for two mana that also provides card advantage? What a foxy little card!
Voltron build. While I'm often skeptical of these style of builds, I think we've gotten so many pieces for them over the past few sets that I'm confident can helm an interesting deck. With card advantage engines, like , , and herself, alongside powerful recursion spells, like and the aforementioned , I think mono-white has what it takes to have a powerful and interesting Auras deck on its hands.is a solid little creature that incentivizes its pilot to build around Auras and commit to a
Not only isfantastic as the lead singer of her own deck, but she's a fantastic inclusion to any preexisting Auras decks as well! , , , , and all love the consistency and card advantage that provides, so she's well worth a slot inside their decks as well.
Overall, I think Aura decks on the site.is a wonderful new addition to white's roster of commanders, being both a solid legend to lead a deck in her own right as well as being a powerful inclusion into any of the nearly 13,000
I'm so happy to be able to unabashedly praise a white legend, you have no idea.
, is that you? You look a bit different....
+1/+1 counter decks, Hatebears decks, and Lifegain decks are the most common homes for , and should follow suit. While it won't find its way into Lifegain decks specifically, it trades that archetype for Artifact and Equipment decks. Not a bad swap if you ask me!is awesome. It's a cheap creature that can eat pesky cards from graveyards, get bigger, and can Equip to other creatures. What's not to love?? 's cousin, , sees play in about 27,000 decks, which is incredibly impressive for a with upside.
is cheap and packed with synergy and utility. I could easily see adoption rates similar to or even surpassing , which is high praise for such a little artifact creature. I don't have anything bad to say about this little kitten.
March of Otherworldly Light
I love me some instant-speed exile effects, especially when they're scalable!
is a flexible removal spell, boasting the ability to hit creatures, enchantments, or artifacts. Even its additional cost of exiling white cards to help cast it is also only pure upside, letting you bump up the cost of the spell for free to hit more expensive pesky permanents.
The only issue I find with this top 5 played white cards on EDHREC. That's some tight competition.is that and already exist. Alongside them is as well, which is currently one of the best removal spells at white's disposal, and each are all within the
is not bad by any means, but it may find itself hard-pressed to find room in white decks since each list only has so many slots available for removal. On top of that, you can only pitch white cards to help pay for the cost, which will limit its adoption in multicolored decks. Overall, I would certainly try out if you have a copy, and if it doesn't work out, take solace in knowing that there are plenty of replacements available!
Myojin of Blooming Dawn
It's nice to see that the Myojin are back, and it's also nice to see that they are as powerful (and uncastable) as the old ones!
Joking aside, all of the Myojin, especially Token decks or decks that have an abundance of Proliferate, where they can take advantage of the token production or the indestructible counter, respectively. is especially excited for this one., are very strong. This one in particular lets players make an army of 1/1 colorless Spirits for each permanent you control, which is quite a hefty number. This is especially potent in
All this said, just like with all the other Myojin, Blink or Reanimation shenanigans, nor can you get the counter on it if you cast it from your command zone, which is a bit of a bummer. This safety valve is definitely for the best, though, as it would be incredibly easy to take advantage of this powerful ability otherwise. As such, expect to see quite a bit in the 99 at more casual tables, and at the helm of decks almost never.will only get the indestructible counter if you cast it from your hand, meaning that you can't get away with any
The Restoration of Eiganjo
This Saga isn't flashy or splashy, but it is a solid role-player in white decks.
is a souped-up version of , trading the ability to gain life for the ability to reanimate small permanents. Also, instead of a 0/4 Wall, the end of this Saga rewards us with a 3/4 Fox Monk that can pump out Spirit tokens in a manner similar to , a powerful card who sees play in about 5,500 decks.
While all of these effects are nice, they do feel a bit disjointed. Token decks won't be getting their payoff for about three turns, and slower white decks might actually prefer using more, since it provides a more defensive body much earlier. Also, while Blink decks can wait until becomes a creature to flip it and then reset it, there are better ways to search out lands or reanimate small creatures in those style of decks too.
I honestly don't thinkis a bad card, but I do think it has a bit of an identity crisis that may hurt its popularity. All decks should have a little bit of smoothing, I just don't think there are any decks outside of that are hooting and hollering to add this card to their 99. But hey, don't be afraid to try it! This is a new style of card in white, and it may end up performing much better than it looks!
Uncommons and Commons
Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose
is worse than all other mono-white commanders. There are better legendary enchantment creatures to lead decks, like or , or better token-makers, like or .
's floor is abysmal when put at the head of a deck, but if included in the 99 with plenty of other Shrines, it will shine! Make sure you add this to your deck (or your Rule 0 decks) for cheap and easy token production!
Norika Yamazaki, the Poet
Nice to see another callback to, though this time, it's with the two cousins, and !
is nothing to write home about, but she pushes the boundaries for white's style of card advantage, which is always great to see. While the power level here is quite tame, this is an interesting effect in white that we haven't seen before. There are plenty of neat white enchantments that would love to be brought back from the 'yard: , , , , , .... The list goes on and is quite impressive.
All that said, Enchantment or Aura decks than at the head of a deck herself, although in my head, both her and her have 'Partner with each other', and I will not hear otherwise, so start brewing a Boros deck with the two of them if you want some Rule 0 fun!is still a middling commander. She'll be great for budget builds and is better suited for the 99 of
- is a nice, flexible removal spell for white decks. Being a sorcery hurts it a lot, but being able to hit three different card types for only two mana is worth something, and it can even make a token sometimes! It isn't white's best option, but I am a sucker for cheap modal spells.
- Vehicle decks. Having a spell that can shift between being a solid pump effect for a single creature/Vehicle, or creating two tokens that together can Crew basically any Vehicle seems like a fantastic flexible spell for those lists. seems like a great pickup for
- is awesome. It isn't as flexible as , but this great little one-drop can Crew all but the most expensive of Vehicles. Having 4 power for Crew is a hefty number on such a small guy. For one mana, I don't think you can go wrong!
- Vehicle decks and any kind of list with . is a neat little way to inject a bit of recursion into your average white deck. As a Vehicle, it's Wrath-proof, and a 3/4 body is nothing to sneeze at. It seems great in
- Artifact and Enchantment decks. is a spicy little Saga that does a great impression of two turns in a row before flipping over into a . Seeing as the former is in over 20,000 decks, and the latter is in over 8,000, I'd say this Saga has plenty of homes in EDH, mainly in
- is another variation of , albeit a bit bigger. While I think is better overall, redundancy in EDH is awesome, and I don't think anyone will complain about having another version of this ability. is in over 5,000 decks, and I expect this Samurai's numbers to reach at least half of that.
- Blink and Enchantress Decks will be more than happy to add this pup to their repertoire. has always been a great card, and I can't see why an enchantment version of that effect wouldn't follow suit. is a) The Goodest Pup, and b) a great pickup for white.
- Theft decks. What I like most about , though, is the fact that Blink decks can flicker it after it becomes a creature, which will reset it. It's definitely slow, but if there's one thing Blink decks are good at, it's accruing tons of value over a long game. is a relatively tame Saga, but exiling a large creature for three mana is a good rate, especially when this Saga also incidentally hoses
- Blink decks, or any other style of deck that wants a flicker stapled to a removal spell! is another variant that can also double as a slightly more restrictive . This is a neat pickup for
Be Flexible, Like the Leaf
There we have it! All the white cards that Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has to offer our esteemed format!
I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed. Two years ago I reviewed white for Theros Beyond Death, and while I tried to stay positive about it, a lot of the white cards were lackluster, as they played it too close to the chest; they were super tame and incredibly inflexible.
By contrast, one thing that kept impressing me with the white cards from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty was how incredibly flexible they were. Many of these cards have multiple modes, multiple different styles of decks they want to be in, or are just very powerful and coveted by multiple archetypes. The work to assist white and bring it up to speed with other colors is in full swing, and Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is hopefully the first in a long line of sets to continue this process. Kudos to everyone at WotC, these white cards are fantastic, thank you!
Next stop, New Capenna! Until then, stay flexible!
As always, you can reach me on Twitter (@thejesguy), where you can always hit me up for Magic- or Jeskai-related shenanigans 24/7. Do you have any comments, questions, or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to leave them below or get in touch! Stay safe, wear your mask, and keep fighting the good fight. I support you. No justice, no peace.