Top 5: Cards to Buy, Neon Dynasty Edition
- Rodrigo Martin
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is out and about! Between Ninjas, Samurai, Vehicles, Spirits, and tons of callbacks it's hard to know where to put your money. Lucky for you, Cardmarket's Top Cards to Buy is here to help! Let's look at the set's best bargains within the first week of release.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is available now, and oh boy! It has a massive pool of stuff worth buying. For many of the more interesting cards, prices tend to hit their lowest during release week when all the new material floods the market. So right now may be the best window of opportunity to get cards at a discount.
5. Channel Cards
This old keyword first showed up in Saviors of Kamigawa, and honestly I forgot it existed. Neon Dynasty has drastically improved the ability, and we are about to experience it in every format as it allows permanents to become uncounterable spells. Here are my top picks to buy:
Colossal Skyturtle caught me off guard during my last FNM, playing against Blue Living End, when I needed to remove it but ward made that impossible. The Turtle is the perfect substitute for Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft since it goes directly to the graveyard once channeled, cannot be countered, and what's more—it can rebuy cascade effects. It will definitely improve Living End and might see some play in other shells (aside from its own).
|Four-Color Living End by SoulStrong, Modern League 5-0|
Moonsnare Prototype has already landed in Modern, revitalizing Affinity and Urza, Lord High Artificer in just one week's time. In heavy blue mana bases, this tiny mana rock is a much better Springleaf Drum, as it can tap other cheap artifacts like Portable Hole or Blood Fountain among many others. Plus, it has a secondary use of getting rid of nonland permanents via channel, which makes it a reasonable topdeck rather than a dead draw in the late game.
Mnemonic Sphere somehow feels like Think Twice for artifact decks. White-Blue Control players are already trying it out in small numbers, both in Pioneer and Modern. I am dubious if it will stick, but it's so cheap I am buying anyway!
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance. Sure, the cycle of legendary lands are by far the best channel cards printed, everyone knows that. While all of them are playable across all formats, I want to point out the red one in particular, since it doesn't need anything on the battlefield or graveyard to do its thing. Alongside Den of the Bugbear it improves Standard Monored now that Faceless Haven is banned, and I can absolutely see it being recurred over and over via Wrenn and Six in Modern. Note that the tokens are colorless, a huge upside against red protection. Last but not least, unlike some of the others, Sokenzan's price is around €3 apiece, so a great bargain, especially at the moment when sellers are trying to get dividends from cracking boxes.
4. Hinata, Dawn-Crowned
Same cost as my beloved Lightning Angel but way more abilities; shows how creatures have improved over the years in Magic. Hinata, Dawn-Crowned seems the perfect finisher for a Jeskai midrange shell in Standard. The Kirin Spirit's main appeal is casting Magma Opus for as ridiculous low of a price as two mana. Sure, you might target yourself to achieve it, but overall that is a huge discount for what Opus offers.
Besides, it also improves every spot removal you run, while taxing opponents spells, including countermagic. So while it's protected from opposing removal—maybe we'd also like to cast March of Swirling Mist for just one mana no matter the X—it will often dominate the game.
As a Jeskai lover myself, I am rooting for Hinata to become a Standard staple moving forward. Regarding prices, being rare means there are a ton of copies, but honestly I would aim for the alternate version with that gorgeous Japanese art, which runs you about € 3 per copy.
|Jeskai Control by billsive, 3rd at Standard Challenge, February 13|
3. Marching to Victory
During preview season, the March cycle looked very promising, some sort of callback to the Shoals from Betrayers of Kamigawa, with a fixed discount so they don't end up banned like Blazing Shoal in Modern. Sadly, many don't match the expectations; specifically the green one could have been a new take on Green Sun's Zenith, such a bummer!
However, the red and white Marches have already become a thing, one more, one less. March of Otherworldly Light is a decent removal at instant speed that not only deals with creatures but exiles artifacts and enchantments as well, which comes handy in a Neon format likely crowded by Sagas and Vehicles. White-Blue Control shells are glad to add it to their ranks. In Standard it pairs up well with Fateful Absence, and it makes a decent addition for protecting Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in Pioneer, thanks to its additional cost reduction.
Modern is a whole different story, since Prismatic Ending is a tough competitor. In fact, I see March of Otherworldly Light (Mool from now on) as Endings number five and six in different shells. Both White-Blue Control and Hammer Time could find room for it, and personally I am trying a couple of them in my next tournament with Four-Color Blink.
Let's move on to the other playable from the cycle. March of Reckless Joy has been adopted by Modern Belcher, as you can see here:
|Belcher by Bob49, 6th at Modern Challenge, February 13|
Since I haven't played this new build yet, I cannot offer any conclusions. But to say the least, it seems like card selection plus card advantage discounted by some leftover ritual in hand has to improve the deck by all means.
Pricewise Mool started in the €7 range but is going down as we speak, whereas Reckless Joy (Morj) is surprisingly still available under €1 per copy. As a Spirited Away fan, the alternate art of both cards remind me of the Oscar-winning movie from Studio Ghibli, so for a bit higher investment, I am definitely getting the Japanese versions for myself.
2. Artifacts Galore
Somehow Wizards managed to put Samurai, Ninjas, and Spirits in the same set and still had room left for artifacts shenanigans. Neon Dynasty is about to revitalize different artifact-based strategies while creating new ones. These are the cheap deals to gear up with:
Dragonspark Reactor is a crazy card that caught my eye while watching Neon Dynasty brews. Popular streamer D00mwake always does a great job trying out new cards. He designed a Monored Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar shell with a ton of token producers to transform Reactor into a one-shot win. The deck may be more meme than monster, but just in case I grabbed my copies already.
|Monored Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar by D00mwake, Modern|
Mech Hangar's innocuous looks are deceiving. Aside from adding mana, colored one for Pilots and Vehicles, it transforms Vehicles into artifact creatures, a weird ability that suddenly combines with a forgotten Aether Revolt card for a brand-new Affinity build, recently tested by Aspiringspike. Moreover, it's somehow related to our first pick further down the list, so keep reading.
Lion Sash is one of the new reconfiguring Equipment creatures, a cross between Scavenging Ooze and a Phyrexian living weapon. As graveyard hate that can be tutored up in any format where Stoneforge Mystic is legal, Modern Hammer Time and Legacy Death and Taxes are more than happy to welcome this little Cat that grows bigger for every permanent it exiles. Since most of the time you will need only one copy, why not treat yourself to the good-looking alternate-art version that you can currently find for about €10?
Vehicles are back and there are plenty of them to choose from. My favorite without any doubt is Reckoner Bankbuster because it's colorless, can fit into a wide range of strategies, and draws up to three cards while creating a body to crew it. In a way, it's similar to Mazemind Tome without the life gain, but it sticks around. Its price is currently below €2, and I am happy with the regular version this time around.
Patchwork Automaton might look like a harmless tiny body, but in the right shell it grows incredibly fast. Eternal formats are the natural home for this Construct: Vintage Stax and Legacy Bomberman are already trying it, artifact-based strategies in Pioneer too.
1. Greasefang, Okiba Boss
Don't expect the legendary land cycle in the pole position. Everyone knows those are the most playable cards in the set and thus hardly drives a bargain. My top pick instead is a card that has generated its own archetype in several formats (from Pioneer up to Modern) but pricewise remains a true steal, going for as little as €1 per copy. Greasefang, Okiba Boss plus Parhelion II is the new sensation everywhere. After all, who doesn't want 13 power in the air attacking as early as turn three?
Aspiringspike was even seen having some success with a Modern build. Thanks to the Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar package, Modern players get even better discard outlets to ditch the giant white Vehicle into the graveyard.
|Greasefang Combo by Aspiringspike, Modern|
Smuggler's Copter alongside a singleton Skysovereign, Consul Flagship are the other two Vehicles that also synergize with the Rat Pilot—the Copter even twofold. Meanwhile Goblin Engineer gets Parhelion II into the graveyard as early as turn two. I am also quite happy to see Voldaren Epicure in this mix, as it had been one of my bets for playable commons from the previous set.
There are of course a ton of other options I haven't mentioned. Let us know your personal picks in the comments below. Sayonara, baby!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket's.