Kamigawa Neon Dynasty Set Review: Blue

All ratings follow the Limited Resources ratings scale as listed below:

5.0 – The best of the best.

4.5 – Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable.

4.0 – Good rare or top tier uncommon. 

3.5 – Top tier common or solid uncommon. 

3.0 – Good playable that basically always makes the cut. 

2.5 – Solid playable that rarely gets cut. 

2.0 – Good filler that sometimes gets cut. 

1.5 – Filler, gets cut about half the time. 

1.0 – Bad filler, gets cut most of the time. 

0.5 – Very low end playables and sideboard cards. 

0.0 – Completely unplayable.


Moonsnare Prototype 1.5

This strange Springleaf Drum, but only for artifacts, is not often going to be cast for its non-channel ability. Five mana for Totally Lost is a serviceable rate in limited, but I would not be excited to play this in my deck.

Network Disruptor 2.5

The premier common ninjutsu enabler, this card comes down and provides an evasive threat to put a ninjutsu creature into play with, and on the following turn removes a potential blocker to enable even more ninjutsu attacks.

Spell Pierce (sideboard) 1.5

Spell Pierce, while often a key card in constructed formats as soft countermagic, the nature of limited does not allow you to hold up a blue mana every turn to counter an unknown noncreature spell from your opponent. If your opponent does play multiple expensive sorcery speed spells or sagas, I may consider boarding in a Spell Pierce, but I would highly recommend against playing this in your deck.

Armguard Familiar 1.5
A blue Goblin Piker with Ward 2 is an interesting card, and I am usually playing this as a curve filler. However, in the late game, this equipment creature does provide a bit of protection and a power boost to an evasive threat, albeit at the high reconfigure cost of four mana.

Disruption Protocol 2.0
Cancel is a fine filler card in blue decks in limited, and while you can get a discount on this counterspell, it’s not something you should go out of your way to be an actual factual counterspell all the time.

Mnemonic Sphere 2.5
A functional reprint of Courier’s Capsule from Alara block, the ability to pay a single blue mana to channel this card to draw a card can allow you to cycle on the cheap if you don’t have the time to invest 4 mana over two turns for your divination. This card is solid, and I would never cut the first one from any blue deck in this format.

Moon-Circuit Hacker 2.5
A new take on Ninja of the Deep Hours, this single blue mana ninja is a powerful looter that doesn’t loot on its first hit. This card is solid and gets better with ways to get it through for damage on later turns.

Planar Incision 1.5
A Momentary blink for artifacts and creatures this can be used to ambush with a tapped creature or save a creature from a removal spell, but unless the card is paying you back with a strong enters the battlefield ability, this card is not worth including in most blue decks.

Short Circuit 2.0
Similar to Aether Meltdown, this flash aura that shrinks a creature or artifact’s power now also makes it lose flying. It’s a serviceable removal spell/combat trick, but don’t rely on only this for interaction. Your opponents can still ninjutsu with the creature and have the aura fall off.

The Modern Age 2.0

Double loot plus a 2/3 flyer on the backside is fine early and fine late, but nothing more than that.

Guardians of Oboro 2.0

A 3/4 defender for three is a fine blocker, and if you can modify it, it becomes a real potent threat to attack for a solid chunk of damage.

Moonfolk Puzzlemaker 2.5

A serviceable ninjutsu enabler, this also blocks well and fits a nice spot on the curve.

Suit Up 1.5

Similar to Startling Development, this temporary pump spell can animate a creature or vehicle while cantripping. This type of effect is not great usually, but artificially crewing a vehicle is a nice addition to this effect.

Futurist Sentinel 1.0

Irontread Crusher by another name is still underwhelming, but color gating this filler vehicle to blue makes it even more restricted in the decks that can play it.

Moonsnare Specialist 3.0

Ninjutsu Manowar is a premium blue card in this format, and even if you have to cast it for full price, its effect on the game is still a big tempo swing.

Skyswimmer Koi 2.5

A four mana 3/3 flyer that lets you filter through your deck when artifacts come into play is a solid creature with some high synergy in certain decks.

Tamiyo’s Completion 2.0

Similar to Capture Sphere, this instant speed piece of interaction taps the chosen permanent and removes all its abilities. These enchantment-based removal spells are clunky, though, and should be played sparingly.

Saiba Trespassers 1.5

Artifact Thraben Purebloods is very unexciting, and its channel ability to tap two things and they don’t untap for four mana is just ok.

Mirrorshell Crab 2.0

A seven mana 5/7 with ward three is a big late game body, but the channel ability to pay three to counter or stifle unless your opponent pays 3 is where this card is more likely to be used. Not exciting, but not underwhelming either.

Awakened Awareness 1.5

This card has a lot of text, but this essential is a Frogify but does not remove the card’s text. You can put this on your own permanent and sink a bunch of extra mana into X and create a large creature with base power and toughness 1. If you can figure out a way to pick the aura up, leaving the counters on the creature, that’s what we in the business like to call a wombo combo

Essence Capture 2.0

Double blue for a creature-only counterspell is not always castable with ease in most limited decks, but the +1/+1 counter on your creature makes this a bit more powerful.

Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom 2.0

Mill in limited is not a great strategy, but this two mana 0/4 flyer enables ninjutsu well. If you have assembled multiple shrines, this can become a real strategy, but this on its own is too slow to be effective at decking your opponent.

Mobilizer Mech 2.0

This two mana vehicle auto-crews other vehicles, but the steep crew cost of three means it only goes in very specific decks with lots of other vehicles.

Acquisition Octopus 2.5

A grey ogre reconfigure creature, this scroll thief variant is a cool way to get up on cards late game when you cannot get in with the creature by reconfiguring onto an evasive threat.

Covert Technician 2.5

An artifact matters ninjutsu card. This can put back into play an artifact creature that was used to enable the attack in the first place, essentially costing nothing to ninjitsu.

Discover the Impossible 1.5

Three mana to look at five cards and put one in your hand is not really a card that passes muster in limited these days, and the casting for free, if the spell is two mana or less, doesn’t make it any more enticing.

Prosperous Thief 2.5

This ninja can get you a bit of color fixing and acceleration on the cheap, and its static effect will trigger off other ninjas on future turns.

Thirst for Knowledge 2.5

A welcome reprint, this artifact matters draw spell is always a fine card to play with, especially with artifact recursion synergies in the set.

Anchor to Reality 1.5

An expensive and wordy Tinker, this will usually grab the 7/7 trample haste vehicle, which can end the game very quickly. The card is powerful, but the inherent card disadvantage just is not typically worth putting into your deck very often, as well as playing a 7 mana vehicle.

Futurist Operative 2.5

This cute ninjutsu enabler can ensure you get in an unblocked attack, and if you have the mana to spend, can untap after no blockers are declared for some additional damage, as well as to block as a 3/4 for four.

Behold the Unspeakable 3.0

A powerful saga, fogging both you and your opponent’s turns, significantly affects turning combat in your favor. If you can get down to one card in hand on your next turn before the second chapter’s trigger resolves (yes, you can cast an instant to meet the conditional clause), drawing four cards should put you far ahead in the game. Even if you can, Glimmer of Genius is quite fine to restock on cards. How you play the game once the saga becomes a creature is a bit challenging. It can lead to it dying unexpectedly, so be careful with the Visions of the Unspeakable, especially when playing your lands out.

Replication Specialist 3.5

Five mana 3/4 flyers in limited are always solid, and this one’s ability is quite powerful. Granting the ability to play 1U to make a copy of any artifact that enters under your control can get out of hand even at the common level, copying any artifact creatures to go wide, making additional vehicles, and more.

Reality Heist (synergy 3.0) 1.0

Dig Through Time, with affinity for artifacts, which can only grab artifacts, is a massive payoff for any deck with at least 12 artifacts but is extremely unplayable at lower numbers. Make sure to check your card type counts before putting this in your deck.

March of Swirling Mist 2.0

This blue X spell can play multiple roles in a game, either protecting your creatures from removal or removing all of your opponent’s blockers to push through a lethal attack, similar to Icy Blast from Khans. It’s a challenging card to play with and knowing when to use it is extremely important.

Thousand-Faced Shadow 3.5

This blue one drop does it all. It enables early ninjutsu attacks and returns to hand to be ninjutsu’d later for an extremely powerful effect, creating a token of another attacking creature. The token even stays in play, no exiling at the end of turn like usual.

The Reality Chip 3.5
This powerful reconfigure creature has serious Future Sight feelings and can even enable ninjutsu attacks.

Mindlink Mech 3.5

This vehicle takes the form of whatever jumps into it but stays a 4/3 flier and gains the abilities of the card. Oh, and it has Crew 1! This is super efficient and hits very hard, a big draw into blue.

Inventive Iteration 3.5

This is a unique saga, as spending 4 mana to bounce a creature is on a blue common creature in this format, but the additional modes of picking up an artifact from your graveyard, and if you can’t drawing a card is a pretty solid rate for 4 mana. The text on the creature side is very strange, and locking an opponent out from casting spells of a certain mana value may strand a removal spell in their hand, but I mostly view this as a 3/3 flier.

Invoke the Winds 4.0

Control Magic just got a big glow up. While this card is incredibly challenging to cast, and ideally, you have 10 islands in your deck to support casting this on time, this is a huge draw to playing blue. It even untapped the creature or artifact you steal. So this card can hugely swing a game, and it’s going to feel really good or horrible depending on which side you’re on.

Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh 3.5

Tezzeret is a strong planeswalker but is a bit restrictive in how he can be used and what he asks in deck construction. A high density of artifacts is needed to make his +1, not just faithless looting, an effect that is only ok in limited. The -2 ability to make an artifact into a 4/4 creature does mean you have to have something in play, which ideally you do, but not always. The emblem is powerful, but there is definitely a world in which it can cause you to draw your entire deck.

Kairi, the Swirling Sky 4.0

6 mana for 6/6 flying and ward 3 does ask a lot of both players, surviving to cast this spell, and for the opponent to spend 3 additional mana to interact with it, but a big blue flyer is always a solid finisher for any limited deck. Returning some number of nonland permanents later in-game to hand has diminishing returns, so the other mode of mill 6, then return 2 instant or sorcery spells, is where the power ceiling lies in Kairi.

Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant 4.0

While the flashiness of the story’s main villain looks to have a very powerful effect on a game of magic, spending seven mana for 5 power and 5 toughness just does not cut it these days in limited. Suppose you can prolong the game to safely resolve Jin-Gitaxias. In that case, you are likely to have a significant advantage as his ability to counter the first removal spell cast by your opponents is a form of pseudo-hexproof that makes games of limited miserable. Once you untap with Jin-Gitaxias, copying one removal spell should swing the game in your favor a significant amount of the time.

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Zach Dubin