Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Set Review: Colorless and Lands

Welcome to the Colorless and Lands section of the NEO Set Review! Here you’ll see many examples of the new Futurist Technology as well as iconic locations throughout Kamigawa. Let’s get started with the review!

Boseiju, Who Endures

Boseiju has endured over 1000 years since the last time we visited Kamigawa, and in Gladiator it will endure for the rest of the format’s history as an auto include in every deck playing green. This land, like all in the cycle, enters untapped and taps for one color of mana, and the downside of being legendary is irrelevant in a singleton format. The Channel ability of all these lands dodges counter magic, is always activatable at instant speed, and occasionally is discounted by you controlling legendary creatures. For Boseiju specifically, the ability to remove an artifact, enchantment, or nonbasic land is a highly sought after effect, as it answers the infamous creature lands as well as many hard to remove permanents. Cards that only have this ability are not usually included, as they are dead in too many situations, but since Boseiju is also a land it is rarely a dead card. To conclude, Boseiju may be the most ubiquitous card printed in NEO.

Containment Construct

While this card may not look like much, it could help bring an underplayed archetype into competitiveness. I am talking about Rakdos Discard, a deck that takes advantage of discarding its own cards and filling up its graveyard. Containment Construct effectively gives every card in your hand Madness, meaning that the downside of cards like Rotting Regisaur is completely nullified. And unlike many cards with such powerful effects, Containment Construct still has on-rate stats as a creature and an extra card type to help fuel Delirium. I’m excited to rebrew this fringe deck and maybe write an article for The Armory!

Eater of Virtue

For those who have read works by Brandon Sanderson, this may remind you of the character Nightblood. For those who haven’t, you’ll still enjoy sucking the souls from your minions while your creatures wield this mighty blade! Eater of Virtue is a better Bonesplitter outside of graveyard decks thanks to this being a singleton format, and that card already sees play in nearly every Aggro deck. What this card allows you to do is pass on keywords from each of your creatures to the next wielder, stacking up powerful effects like first strike and flying to make every threat more evasive and powerful. One thing to be careful of is that keywords are only granted if the card itself has them, not if the creature had them on death. For example, if your creature gained flying from the adventure of Faerie Guidemother and then died in combat, Eater of Virtue would not give your future creatures flying. Eater of Virtue is another contestant for best card in the set, and I will be casting it in every Aggro and Tempo deck as well as many Midrange decks.

Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire

The second of the Channel lands, this one opts to remove creatures instead of artifacts, enchantments, and nonbasic lands. Additionally, this one limits itself to only attacking and blocking creatures with four or less toughness. However, I think discounting the Channel ability is much easier in white than in green, so I expect to see this frequently activated for two or even one mana. Every white deck wants this, whether it be Control that wants more cheap removal or Aggro that has many legendary creatures and wants to flood less. This once again goes in every deck that needs white mana, so make sure to add it to your mana base.

Iron Apprentice

While nowhere near as powerful as the other cards on this list, I still feel this card is worth talking about as it is the best version of its effect for another fringe deck, Abzan counters, and yet another one drop for all Battlebots variants. While Counters can be built as Selesnya, Golgari, or Orzhov, the deck is much more synergistic and powerful while in three colors. The downside of this is the mana is worse, and that is where Iron Apprentice comes in. Because of its generic casting cost, it can be played no matter what mana sources you have. It also increases the density of low mana value threats, letting this deck curve out and apply pressure earlier. In summary, Iron Apprentice is better than Servant of the Scale and Star Pupil, and having more copies of this effect makes the deck stronger and faster.

Otawara, Soaring City

The third Channel land, Otawara, acts as removal like the last two. This time it returns any permanent other than a land to its owner’s hand, but notably is not restricted to targeting only the opponent’s permanents. While like the others this is an auto include in every blue deck, I expect it to be extra powerful in blue based Blink decks as a way to protect and recur your valuable enter-the-battlefield effect creatures. Control decks will also love it as an uncounterable way to answer an opposing planeswalker in the mirror.

Patchwork Automaton

And here we have another card that is enabling a fringe deck that may no longer be fringe at all with the release of NEO. Patchwork Automaton is a growing threat that has built in protection for any variant of Battle Bots, an Aggro deck that runs many artifact creatures and synergies. While it may be less powerful as a late game draw, casting this on turn two can result in it gaining one or more counters each turn. This will cause it to outsize most of your opponent’s blockers, and even if they remove it the Ward 2 will grant you a mana advantage. Last, its colorless casting cost makes it easy to play in every color combination of the deck.

Reckoner Bankbuster

Many Control mages were excited to see a second copy of Mazemind Tome, but I would like to caution you all and explain that that is not the correct home for this card. First off, this card does not gain you four life, a critical way to offset the tempo loss of activating the Tome. The 1/1 Pilot will usually not have as great of an effect since your opponent will likely have removal that has been dead against the rest of your cards. Second, you cannot activate the Bankbuster for free to scry like the Tome. This meant for the Tome that in four turns you would always get that four life, but for the Bankbuster it may sit on board and do nothing. However, just because the Bankbuster is not good in Control does not mean it can’t find a home elsewhere. I believe that in non blue Control it can still be a decent source of card advantage, but in artifact decks or Midrange lists it will do much better. Decks like Battle Bots with a low curve will often be able to activate this Vehicle and play a spell, so removing all three charge counters will not prove difficult. Additionally, they can make great use of the Pilot crewing not just the Bankbuster, but also their other Vehicles.

Sokenzan, Crucible of Fire

The fourth Channel land, this one is unfortunately the weakest. The Spirits having haste is nice for applying pressure on an empty board, but in most cases they will be too weak to attack past even the smallest of blockers. While it is an auto include in every red deck, decks that run anthems like Bolt Hound or sacrifice outlets like Woe Strider are best equipped to use this. Another interesting use of this card may be to make two chump blockers at instant speed.

Takenuma, Abandoned Mire

The final Channel land, Takenuma, is a powerful recursion effect that also fills your graveyard. Most black decks have many ways to take advantage of a full graveyard, whether it be Mono-Black Aggro, Abzan Lands, or even Dimir Control. The fact that this recurs planeswalkers as well as creatures means that this is an auto include even in Control decks with fewer creatures. I am most excited to play this card alongside The Gitrog Monster to get the most value out of it!

Conclusion

That’s all the new Colorless and Land cards from NEO. While the Channel lands are obvious auto includes that everyone will want, what card(s) are you most excited about from the set? Feel free to ping me, WreckDeck#4901, with your thoughts in #new card discussion or new brews in #brewers-corner!


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