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Mindlink Mech Art by Robbie Trevino

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited Set Review: Blue

Acquisition Octopus

Rating: 2.5/5

It’s going to be difficult to profitably attack with this early unless your opponent is on the saga train or kept a questionable hand. One underrated part of creatures that draw a card when they deal damage is that they actually play great defense because your opponent never wants to give up a free card. The real value is being able to put this on an evasive creature later to get the value train rolling.

Anchor to Reality

Rating: 1/5

Constructed plant. Even if you have a great equipment or vehicle to get with this, you’re still going down a card to do it.

Armguard Familiar

Rating: 2.0/5

I’m not looking to be too familiar with this creature. If it was just the equipment option, it would be an unplayable piece of garbage. The versatility of having a dork early or an expensive equipment later leaves this as mediocre filler.

Awakened Awareness

Rating: 2.0/5

I’m not really a fan of either way you can use this card, but the flexibility of either minimizing your opponent’s creature or supersizing one of your own makes this right on the border of playability.

Behold the Unspeakable

Rating: 3.5/5

I’m perfectly willing to behold this no matter how unspeakable it claims to be. The first ability negates one of the biggest problems with tapping out for a card draw spell by keeping the heat off you the turn you drop it. Then you pull ahead on cards and get a decent sized critter with flying and trample. I’m in.

Covert Technician

Rating: 1.5/5

If you play turn one Network Disruptor into turn two this and drop a two drop on the play, you’re far enough ahead that you’re probably winning that game. Any turn past four and this is just an average body with an irrelevant ability. 

Discover the Impossible

Rating: 1.5/5

Paying the extra mana for an impulse effect and getting to dig a little deeper is the definition of replaceable card. The free instant speed two mana instant is going to be heavily deck dependent, but doesn’t look like it will hit that often. While it’s not impossible that I’ll play this card, I’d rather not.

Disruption Protocol

Rating: 2.0/5

We’re so used to getting something thrown in with our counterspells that this teeters on the edge of playability. I’m grading it as if it was just a slightly better Cancel because most of the times you have an extra artifact to tap will be later in the game when you could have just paid the one.

Essence Capture

Rating: 3/5

Speaking of getting something thrown in on a counterspell, we get this two mana counterspell with a free +1+1 counter. The only drawback being that it has to counter a creature, but in Neon Dynasty even the equipment are creatures so this is sure to have a target. 

Futurist Operative

Rating: 2.5/5

This is a great ninjitsu enabler that has the option to hit in for three unblockable damage with pseudo vigilance. It can be pretty mana intensive, but you can also leave the untap up as a threat of activation while also holding up counterspells or card draw.

Futurist Sentinel

Rating: 2/5

It may not have any abilities, but a 6/6 for only four mana ain’t no joke. The key to playing this very large man is to have plenty of cheap pilots in your deck. There is still a limit on how many vehicles you can play and this isn’t quite up there with some of the others.

Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom

Rating: 1.0/5

Unless you have another shrine that this powers up this is going to be pretty bad. Milling for one is rarely going to get you anywhere and an 0/4 wall would never make the cut. At least it has flying, but even with that I’m out.

Guardians of Oboro

Rating: 1.5/5

Solid defensive creature that is a slightly overstatted attacker if you modify it. It’s this sets version of Steelclad Spirit so it’s playability will really depend on what your game plan is.

Inventive Iteration

Rating: 3.0/5

The first step letting you pull even on tempo is pretty key for not falling behind when you drop a saga. Getting a little card advantage and eventually a phantom monster with an annoying ability is worth the wait here. Unless you see your opponents hand, it’s going to be a guessing game of playing the right mana cost spell to shut them down, but by the time you get to the creature it’s free real estate.

Invoke The Winds

Rating: 4/5

Another of the powerful, but worth it cycle with four pips in the casting cost. Control Magic effects are always powerful in limited and this one adds in the bonus of getting to untap it so you suddenly have their best blocker if you were on the backfoot. It also gets a bonus for not being an enchantment in a set where people will be playing removal for that. Unfortunately I am going to have to grade this as if it cost at least seven mana.

Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant

Rating: 4.5/5

This is going to lead to a lot of fun games… The best ways to get out of this are to either be far enough ahead that a seven mana 5/5 doesn’t really matter or to play a cheap artifact followed up by a removal spell. If you can’t do either of those, welcome to Phyrexia it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Kairi, the Swirling Sky

Rating 4.5/5

This has the least spectacular of the death triggers out of this cycle, but makes up for it by being an absolute brick house. Ward three is really hard to deal with when you have a 6/6 flyer coming at your face.

March of Swirling Mist

Rating 1.5/5

I guess you can use this to phase out a bunch of blockers and attack for lethal. Also useable as an expensive fog effect. Outside of that it’s basically a really bad Cradle of Safety.

Rating: 4.0/5

Great flavor on a great card. 4/3 flyer for only three mana with the upside of copying abilities from its crew. This hits hard and it hits fast. Did I forget to mention that this only costs one to crew.

Mirrorshell Crab

Rating: 2.0/5

I know you are all looking at this thinking I lost my mind by saying this is playable. Here’s the thing, I really don’t mind playing one of these because it’s a restricted counter early that can just be a massive monster later in the game. I don’t ever want to play more than one, but that one should handle some business.

Mnemonic Sphere

Rating: 2.5/5

A modernized version of Hieroglyphic Illumination that can be spread out over two turns while still offering the option to cycle it away for a single blue mana. It also helps enable artifact synergies and lets you hold up counter mana while waiting to be popped. Combos very well with Disruption Protocol by letting you hold up only two mana to either counter a spell or draw two cards.

Mobilizer Mech

Rating: 2.5/5

Really goes up in value if you have other vehicles that can benefit from the free crew.  Crew three isn’t nearly as hard to do as it was in other sets because of all the pilots that crew for two higher floating around.

The Modern Age

Rating: 2.0/5

The early looting can get you out of some sticky land situations and a 2/3 flyer is never really worthless. The biggest problem is that even if you play this on turn two, you don’t get to attack with this until turn five.

Moon-Circuit Hacker

Rating: 3.0/5

Great card early that replaces itself if you have a cheap ninjitsu enabler. Later in the game, it’s going to be hard for a 2/1 to do much of anything leaving this as a curve filler with upside.

Moonfolk Puzzlemaker

Rating: 2.5/5

You have to think back to Kaldheim and Mistwalker to remember how annoying a 1/4 flyer can be. It just brick walls so many cards early and while this one doesn’t pump, it does start getting you scry value after you stabilize.

Moonsnare Prototype 

Rating: 2.0/5

I don’t see this ever really being played as an artifact unless you are desperate for mana or need an artifact on board. The channel ability is pretty solid though and will dictate the actual value of this card.

Moonsnare Specialist

Rating 3.0/5

I love Man-o’-War creatures and they have historically been a beating in every limited environment. This one gives you the option of either paying an extra mana or playing it for the going rate as a ninja. It even gives you the opportunity to bounce a creature that was part of a bad block for you when you ninjitsu it in.

Network Disruptor 

Rating: 3/5

This is the ultimate early ninjitsu enabler. Every ninjitsu deck is going to want a few of these as it just does so much for you for so small of an investment. Whether it’s an evasive one drop going unblocked or tapping down a blocker to let your ninjas get another hit in, this is going to get a lot of groans out of your opponent. Don’t be the person sleeping on one drops in limited, play this card.

Planar Incision 

Rating: 1.5/5

Can protects your creatures and artifacts from targeted removal with a tiny bonus thrown in. Pretty ineffective if used offensively and since the target comes back right away, it can’t be used to protect from a sweeper. A sideboard card unless something has gone horribly wrong.

Prosperous Thief

Rating: 2.5/5

Dropping this thief on turn two lets might let you steal the game from your opponent.  The treasures actually come from any ninja so you can quickly pull ahead with the right cards backing this up. Later in the game, it’s a bit of a do nothing so hopefully you’re already won by then.

The Reality Chip

Rating: 3.5/5

The Reality Chip clogs up the ground early providing you are willing to block with this and lets you go off once it’s equipped to a creature. Good early, great late which is all you can really ask out of a two drop. Comically enough this doesn’t have defender so you can attack in and ninjitsu it.

Reality Heist

Rating: 1.5/5

Dig Through Time for only artifacts isn’t nearly as profitable as when you can grab any cards. Even if you drafted a heavy artifact deck, this is still going to be an expensive card draw spell that can possibly miss.

Replication Specialist

Rating: 3.0/5

It’s not completely embarrassing to play a 3/4 flyer for five as long as you get something thrown in. So what does this specialize in? Doubling up every artifact you play including some of those juicy equipment creatures. Now that’s a bonus effect that I’m into.

Saiba Trespassers

Rating: 1.5/5

Frost Breath was always a solid limited card whose value really depended on the format. I don’t know if I’m willing to pay four for the same effect and I definitely don’t want to play a vanilla 3/5 for five so they’d have to be trespassing to end up in my deck.

Short Circuit

Rating 1.5/5

This is much worse than the other pacifism effects in the format. The creature still being able to attack, block, or tap to use abilities more than negates the instant speed option to use this as a combat trick. Don’t short circuit your draft by playing this.

Skyswimmer Koi 

Rating: 2.5/5

Hey it’s our common Phantom Monster of the set. Similar to Cruel Witness this offers solid card selection on an on rate evasive threat. I’m always down to have a couple of these in my deck.

Spell Pierce 

Rating: 1.5/5

This isn’t cube or constructed, but I’m sure someone is still going to get got with this during the first week of play. Too narrow to ever play in the main, but a possible sideboard card against a saga heavy deck.

Suit Up

Rating 2.0/5

They may have finally found the sweet spot on making Serpentine Ambush type cards playable. The extra mana is more than a fair trade for drawing an extra card. However, I’m never going to be able to play this card without hearing “Suit Up” in Neil Patrick Harris’s voice.

Tameshi, Reality Architect 

Rating 3.5/5

This is a great late game engine as long as you have enough artifacts and enchantments to bring back with it. It does require there to be a target in the graveyard so you can’t just bounce a land to draw a card. I’d recommend trying to prioritize trading off saga creatures or equipment creatures earlier in the game before dropping this to go to value town. 

Tamiyo’s Compleation

Rating: 3.0/5

The usual blue tap down pacifism effect for four mana. While that effect has been pretty controversial for the last few sets, this one does throw in removing all abilities. On top of that it can hit artifacts, creatures, or even planeswalkers all at instant speed. These will probably be undervalued early in the format so get them while they’re hot. 

Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh 

Rating: 4.0/5

Another amazing four mana planeswalker that can protect itself and rack up the card advantage. The only drawback here is that you need to have artifacts to make this work which shouldn’t ever be a problem in this set.

Thirst for Knowledge 

Rating: 2.5/5

This is the only card in the set that used to be restricted in vintage so you might say it’s slightly above average. Bad jokes aside, I think this will be slightly worse than it was in Mirrodin because there aren’t artifact lands to pitch to it. Being card filtering instead of advantage unless you pitch an actual artifact to it is a very real drawback.

Thousand-Faced Shadow 

Rating: 3.5/5

I’m excited to draft this card and do ridiculous things while I get my ninja on. Wonderful enabler early and then comes right back to give you a free clone before being bounced again for another ninja. This looks underwhelming at first glance so it is a good candidate to be underrated early.

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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: 142

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