I’ve Found The Mythic Uncommon In Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited

The power of a mythic rare, printed at uncommon? Ryan Saxe thinks he’s cracked the code for Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited MTG, and he’s ready to share his findings.

I’m absolutely loving Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited. It has everything I’m looking for in a Limited format — there are extremely aggressive decks, extremely slow decks, and everything in between. Every color has the tools to play multiple games and put up a fight with even the best decks. I really couldn’t imagine a better format, and I actually expect this one to land in my top three all-time formats. It might even end up #1!

Let’s jump into a draft!

Pack 1, Pick 2

The Picks So Far:

Reckoner Bankbuster

The Pack:

Kappa Tech-Wrecker Nezumi Prowler Storyweave The Fall of Lord Konda Akki War Paint Careful Cultivation Iron Apprentice Kami of Restless Shadows Kindled Fury Lucky Offering Reckoner Shakedown Scrapyard Steelbreaker Short Circuit Dismal Backwater

The Pick:

When I first saw this pick, I thought it was pretty close. At the time, I liked black more than green, and Nezumi Prowler crewing Reckoner Bankbuster really made me almost take it. However, I’m glad I didn’t. I knew Kappa Tech-Wrecker would be good thanks to the density of artifacts and enchantments, but wow is it better than I expected. First, the density of artifact creatures and enchantment creatures is so high that the Ninja Turtle plays out like a two-mana Ravenous Chupacabra. And, when it doesn’t, a 1/3 with deathtouch is quite the reasonable rate. This doesn’t even count that you can recur value creatures with ninjutsu or that the deathtouch synergizes very well with one of the better green commons in Master’s Rebuke.

This pick isn’t close. I’m bringing it up as a wake-up call to those who haven’t come around on Kappa Tech-Wrecker yet. It may actually be the best uncommon in the set. It’s that good.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

Reckoner Bankbuster Kappa Tech-Wrecker

The Pack:

Bronze Cudgels Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose Automated Artificer Crackling Emergence Grafted Growth Kindled Fury Network Disruptor Nezumi Bladeblesser Okiba Reckoner Raid Sunblade Samurai Unstoppable Ogre Uncharted Haven Jungle Hollow

The Pick:

Network Disruptor and Okiba Reckoner Raid are both in my Top 5 commons. That’s right — two one-drops at the high end of commons is really something to pay attention to. And they both synergize quite nicely with Kappa Tech-Wrecker, but that’s really not saying much, as I don’t need to make an incredible card better.

Let’s talk about Okiba Reckoner Raid for a minute. I’m not sure how much longer this card will go late, but it really might be the best common, period. It’s certainly the best black common. I’m not one to focus on statistics early in a format when they’re still a bit volatile, but the numbers coming in for this card are unbelievable for a common.

With a relatively high sample size for games with Raid in the opening hand (over 5,000 games), this card is clocking in at a 65% win-rate. That’s right — casting this card on Turn 1 is correlated with winning the game 65% of the time. Even if that’s an overestimation because good players are playing Raid and bad players aren’t, it’s not like it’s going to drop more than a few percentage points. The drain-two black common has been underrated every time we see it, and this is no different. Stop passing the card.

The correct pick is Okiba Reckoner Raid, but it’s actually not what I took. I took Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose. The reason for this is that we’re early in the format, and I know how great Okiba Reckoner Raid is. At the time, I had no clue how good Shrines would be and felt like I was in a good position to try them out. Shrines almost certainly have to be a base-green deck for splashing, and with my current cards as a colorless late-game card and the best green uncommon, it felt like exploring Shrines rather than exploiting the best common was a better action to take to maximize my long-term rewards.

Pack 1, Pick 5

The Picks So Far:

Reckoner Bankbuster Kappa Tech-Wrecker Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose Intercessor's Arrest

The Pack:

Covert Technician Gloomshrieker Automated Artificer Befriending the Moths Harmonious Emergence Ironhoof Boar Mothrider Patrol Ninja's Kunai Saiba Trespassers Tamiyo's Compleation Mountain

The Pick:

This pick has a lot of options, but none are particularly exciting.

While I started pretty high on Mothrider Patrol, the white decks in this format, especially the one I am currently drafting, aren’t focused on being so aggressive. On the other hand, all the Sagas have been impressive. I like Befriending the Moths. It’s not a fantastic card, but it’s a solid playable in white decks. The thing is, I’m not looking to take “solid, on-color playable” at Pack 1, Pick 5. It’s best to take cards like that later and hedge towards other options if possible.

Similarly, Harmonious Emergence doesn’t fit the bill either. It’s on-color, but it’s never going to be better than a solid playable. I’m mostly putting it down as an option because it has been performing better than expected, since I thought I’d rarely want to include the card in my deck.

Both blue cards are interesting, but are they worth exploring another color for? I don’t think so. Covert Tactician can do some cool things, but it’s not a high-quality card in many decks. Having a high-impact two-drop artifact in my pool does bolster the value of the card a bit, but not by enough to speculate on. Tamiyo’s Compleation is a solid removal spell, but efficiency is key in this format, and hence I don’t like taking four-mana interactive spells as much as other players do.

This pick boils down to Ninja’s Kunai and Gloomshrieker. Ninja’s Kunai is a solid interactive spell that I’ve liked in, honestly, most of my decks. It has a high chance of making my deck, but it will never be one of my best cards. Gloomshrieker has a lower chance of making my deck but will be one of my best cards. I ended up taking Gloomshrieker for the following reasons:

  1. This start is most likely going to be a green deck with some splashing, so Gloomshrieker can be splashed if my base is not Golgari.
  2. If I end up with something like a three-color Shrine deck that’s base Selesnya, black is the color I would want to splash the most because the black Shrine is incredibly impactful in a dedicated deck.
  3. Passing Gloomshrieker decreases the probability I can safely draft a Golgari deck because somebody downstream will take it.

Any one of these observations doesn’t make me lean Gloomshrieker over Kunai, but all three together paint a clear picture where Gloomshrieker is a very strong pick. And #2 is exactly what happened. I navigated into a Selesnya deck that could splash black for Gloomshrieker and the black Shrine. The deck was awesome!