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Surgehacker Mech Art by Wisnu Tan

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited Set Review: Artifacts and Lands



Automated Artificer

Rating: 1.5/5

The usual 1/3 for two that situationally produces mana and typically only makes the cut when your deck didn’t quite get there. Fair warning, these abilities get dunked on by the Arena autotapper so make sure you tap this manually if you are about to double spell because otherwise you are going to get wrecked.

Bronze Cudgels

Rating: 1.5/5

Do you really, really need a cheap way to modify a creature? If not then I would avoid these like the plague. If the game goes really late this can be a decent mana sink, but in most cases you brought a couple of sticks to a mech fight.

Brute Suit

Rating: 2.0/5

Unless you have a ton of synergies and are desperate for vehicles, you can probably do better than this. Vigilance isn’t really that great on a vehicle because you have to have a pilot for the turn you attack and then another pilot to cover for his lunch break while you’re on defense. Three toughness also leaves this vulnerable to being easily blocked or removed. I’m proud of myself for not making a brutal pun here.

Circuit Mender

Rating: 3.5/5

I’m calling it right now, this will be my most drafted uncommon in Neon Dynasty. Outside of being colorless, this group of abilities fits well in pretty much every deck in the format. The card draw being a leaves the battlefield effect instead of on death trigger is a huge beating in a set with ninjitsu. An all around great card that does a little bit of everything for a reasonable cost.

Containment Construct

Rating: 2.5/5

If Containment Construct would have been in Crimson Vow, it would have done way dirtier things than I can even begin to imagine. In Neon Dynasty it really depends on how many channel cards you have that can be reasonably played in the same turn as you channel them. The cards you’re discarding also have to be worth the effort of waiting. Still a cheap creature with a low opportunity cost of adding it to your deck.

Dramatist’s Puppet

Rating: 1.5/5

I shouldn’t be so dramatic when talking about how bad this card is, but it’s pretty awful. A 2/4 for four that only performs its minor ability if there is already a counter on something else isn’t where you want to be.

Eater of Virtue

Rating: 4.5/5

Be still my heart! As a lover of Bonesplitter this brings back fond memories of pummeling my opponents before they really had a chance to set up. If you equip this to a flyer on turn two, they either have a very quick clock on them or they deal with the creature which makes this give flying too. The cheap equip cost is so amazing because it lets you move it around for offense and defense without hindering your board development. This is a bomb that people might not realize is absurd.

Ecologist’s Terrarium

Rating: 2.5/5

Being colorless is a huge benefit to this because you aren’t relying on drawing a specific color to be able to play your mana fixing. While the secondary ability is pretty unremarkable, it already replaced itself while thinning out your deck as a bonus. I’m going to be playing this in every deck except low curve aggressive ones.

High-Speed Hoverbike

Rating: 2.5/5

If this wasn’t a vehicle, it would be one of the standout cards of the set. As it is, it’s just fine and will make the cut in most decks. Even if you don’t have a crew, you can still drop this early to tap down their attacker preventing them from starting their early ninjitsu value train. Later on, it’s a cheap flyer so it should still be relevant on most board states.

Iron Apprentice

Rating: 1.5/5

A slight improvement on Arcbound Worker by allowing the counter to move to any creature. It’s another card where being a leaves the battlefield trigger instead of a dies would have made it at least a full grade higher. There just aren’t enough synergies to really do anything with it.

Mechtitan Core

Rating: 2.5/5

This was extremely overrated when it was first spoiled, but I think people have cooled down on it after realizing how hard it is to form Voltron. The majority of the time it is just a 2/4 for two that requires a crew 2 and that’s nothing special.

Mirror Box

Rating: 1.0/5

Remember that super sweet deck you drafted with eight legends and six of the same amazing common? Neither do I. There are times when this does something, but that something isn’t worth it. Keep Inglorious Anthem in the sideboard.

Network Terminal

Rating: 2.0/5

This reminds me of a knockoff version of The Celestus that I got off wish.com. I think this is a totally fine card that will overperform in a long game by keeping the gas flowing, but it’s hard to win in modern limited when you play a do nothing on turn three. It also combos with Containment Construct which both provides the necessary artifact and lets you keep the card you loot away.

Ninja’s Kunai

Rating: 2.5/5

Three mana for three damage isn’t a bad deal especially when you can pay it over three turns. It does require tapping the equipped creature so it cannot have summoning sickness, but you’re still not at a real threat of a blowout because you still have this if they kill the creature in response to the equip.

Papercraft Decoy

Rating: 2.0/5

I really don’t like having to hold up two mana all the time for the chance of drawing a card with this. It should attack pretty freely in the early stages as your opponent won’t want to let you get the free value off of a trade, but even in that scenario they may decide they’d rather tie up your mana so you can’t develop your board. If you’re short on playables, then sure go ahead and run this.

Patchwork Automaton

Rating: 2.0/5

You really need a lot of cheap artifacts to even consider putting this into your deck. It takes two more artifacts to begin to feel “ahead” on this and it requires playing it early enough to be effective at all. That’s a lot of downsides for a card that doesn’t feel insane even on its best draws.

Reckoner Bankbuster

Rating 4.0/5

Card advantage built into your beater all for the low, low cost of two colorless mana. This should never be passed as it goes into every single deck and is better than every uncommon. I hope I really don’t need to explain this more.

Reito Sentinel

Rating 1.0/5

The only good thing I can say about this card is that at least it’s an uncommon so I don’t end up with 4 of them in my sideboard every draft.

Runaway Trash-Bot

Rating: 1.5/5

This isn’t total trash, but it’s pretty close to it. Its best use is to hold down the fort early and maybe attack for three later in the game. Not what I’m looking to do.

Searchlight Companion

Rating: 2.0/5

If you’re searching for a ninjitsu enabler, then shine your light on this companion. No where near the powerhouse that ”Brine was, but what can you really expect out of a colorless common. I have to put the reminder on this that spirit tokens don’t fly in Kamigawa.

Shrine Steward

Rating: 1.5/5

There are decks this is playable in, but it’s a common with a very niche ability. If you are the one who wants it, you will end up getting it so just let it wheel back to you.

Surgehacker Mech

Rating: 3.5/5

Even if you don’t have any other vehicles out, Surgehacker Mech still hits for two which kills almost half the creatures in the format. The crew cost is really high if you don’t have pilots sitting around so it’s not a slam dunk first pick.

Thundersteel Colossus

Rating: 2.0/5

Another meme card that can be legitimately good in the right deck. Don’t try to do something crazy with Anchor to Reality, but if you need a big finisher for your durdle deck this fits the bill.   

Towashi Guide-Bot

Rating: 3.0/5

If you have at least one other modified creature beyond what this one gives you, then two mana a turn for your own personal Howling Mine is a great way to pull ahead. Card draw might be underrated coming off of VOW since we don’t have blood flowing all over the place.

Walking Skyscraper

Rating: 2.5/5

This is a very, very large individual that is going to demand an answer. As long as you’re playing enough modifications in your deck, you should be able to play this for five or six mana. That’s a bargain for the ability to ask your opponent if they remembered to wear their brown pants.

Gain Lands

Rating: 3.0/5

I’m just going to address all of the dual lands at once because no one wants to read the same thing ten times. People don’t realize how bad their mana normally is in limited and these help prevent non-games from happening. Take them as a 3.0 if they are in your colors and a 3.5 if they help you with a splash.

Boseiju, Who Endures

Rating: 4.0/5

This cycle is amazing as they have no real cost for adding them to your deck while replacing a basic land slot. They don’t come into play tapped so they are basically a MDFC on steroids. I guess the one thing I still need to point out is that you do need to be playing the color that these are or you won’t be able to channel them. I wouldn’t recommend using this early because giving your opponent a free ramp is a very real cost, but later in the game trading your extra land for an actual factual card is pretty amazing.

Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire

Rating: 4.0/5

I could debate back and forth between this and Boseiju all day long, but I’m going to be thrilled to have either one in my deck. Four damage kills around 90% of the creatures in the format so this is pretty close to an unconditional removal off of your land.

Mech Hangar

Rating: 1.5/5

I don’t think I am ever going to build a deck with enough vehicles to want to play this. You need a much bigger potential payoff than tapping four lands to crew a vehicle to rationalize playing a colorless land in your deck.

Otawara, Soaring City

Rating: 3.5/5

The lack of a common instant speed bounce spell increases the value of this because it will make it much less likely that anyone plays around it. Bounce also plays well against all of the auras and equipment floating around in Neon Dynasty. Really solid card that I’ll always be happy to have in my deck.

Roadside Reliquary

Rating: 2.5/5

The potential to cash in your unwanted land for up to two extra cards is well worth the cost of playing an untapped colorless land in your deck. Though I wouldn’t play it if you are splashing a third color because it puts too much stress on your mana base.

Secluded Courtyard

Rating: 1.0/5

Nope, not playing this even if I have eight of a single creature type. Just play a basic land over it.

Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

Rating: 2.5/5

Two 1/1s with haste is much less impactful than the other cards in this cycle, but it can still catch your opponent off guard. I’m not going to be too defiant about taking this, but there are a lot of other cards I’d rather have.

Takenuma, Abandoned Mire

Rating: 3.0/5

This is better than Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance as long as you have something powerful enough to be worth bringing back. If not, I would drop this down to a 2.5.

Uncharted Haven

Rating: 2.5/5

I guess they got tired of putting Evolving Wilds into every set. This is going to play almost exactly the same except without the deck thinning or the ability to shuffle your deck.  With all of the dual lands around, it’s not nearly as important to take this unless you are splashing.

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j2sjosh
j2sjosh

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

Articles: 144

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