The first Magic: The Gathering set of 2022 is upon us! To mark the release of the latest MTG set on February 18th, we've chosen the ten best cards from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. (If you're thinking that this is technically the second set because of Innistrad: Double Feature, we’re of the opinion that Double Feature - a remix of last year’s Crimson Vow and Midnight Hunt - doesn’t technically count.)
Kamigawa is a MTG plane that many have been hoping to return to thanks to its world of samurai, dragons and ninjas. It's also a set that didn't get a great reception back when it first released in 2004’s Kamigawa block. That means that Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has a surprising amount weighing on it but, at least when it comes to pure card selection, there's no shortage of options here.
Best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty cards MTG
- The Wandering Emperor
- Blade of the Oni
- Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant
- Lion Sash
- Boseiju, Who Endures
- Soul Transfer
- Reality Heist
- Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice
- Kumano Faces Kakkazan
- Explosive Singularity
There are plenty of cool design decisions to be found in the set, and lots of MTG cards that could become the next cornerstone of your new favourite deck too.
Aside from the inclusion of mech suits, one of the most exciting things about Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty seems to be the powering up of White. White has struggled in recent years to get stronger at the same rate as other mana colours in Magic: The Gathering, so it's nice to see a few incredible cards there.
With that in mind, don't be shocked to see a few more cards from that colour this time around than we'd normally find. Let's dive into the best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty cards, and see which ones you should be hoping to pull from the new set.
1. The Wandering Emperor
The Wandering Emperor isn't the most inventive name character reveal, given that we saw The Wanderer back in War of the Spark, but that doesn't change the fact that this could be a powerhouse of a planeswalker. This four-mana mono-White walker comes in with three loyalty, but has Flash - meaning you can activate their abilities at instant speed as long as they entered the battlefield on that turn.
The abilities in question are putting a +1/+1 counter on a creature and giving them First Strike until the end of the turn, creating a 2/2 token with Vigilance, and the ability to exile a tapped creature and gain two life. While these abilities on their own are good, the fact that you can effectively cast The Wandering Emperor as a combat trick makes them incredibly powerful.
2. Blade of the Oni
A double threat
One of the most interesting new mechanics in the new set is Reconfigure, which allows equipment cards to be creatures, and then allows you to equip them onto a creature or turn them back into their own creature for a cost. Of those cards, one of our favourites is Blade of the Oni, a two-mana 3/1 with menace.
Those stats are enough to make them worth considering, but not necessarily one of the best cards from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty by itself. However, on top of being a very aggressive two-drop, you can also pay four mana to equip them to a creature, turning that creature into a 5/5 demon and granting them menace. In the right deck, this means you'll be swinging in with something that was previously a 1/1, and could flatten your opponents.
3. Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant
Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant is a seven-mana mono-Blue 5/5 with a chunk of text: "Whenever you cast an artifact, instant, or sorcery spell, copy that spell. You may choose new targets for the copy. This ability triggers only once each turn. Whenever an opponent casts an artifact, instant, or sorcery spell, counter that spell. This ability triggers only once each turn."
It means that you can double up your best spells, while also countering those your opponents try to cast. While it doesn't affect every card type, hitting artifacts is going to be big in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and instant and sorcery spells will always be popular.
4. Lion Sash
Our next reconfigure card is Lion Sash. This is a two-mana White 1/1 equipment creature that costs two mana to reconfigure. You can pay one White mana to exile a card from a graveyard; if that card was a permanent, you then get to put a +1/+1 counter on Lion Sash. On top of that, whatever creature you equip with Lion Sash gets +1/+1 for each of those counters.
This is big for a few reasons. For starters, having access to another bit of graveyard hate is huge in older MTG formats such as Modern and Legacy. The ability to exile specific cards is always useful, and this engine becomes more dangerous the more you use it. You've then also got the fact that it's both a creature and an equipment, which means there are more ways to fetch it up in those formats too.
5. Boseiju, Who Endures
A dangerous tree
Boseiju, Who Endures is an ancient tree that protects the world of Kamigawa and, being the embodiment of Green on this plane, comes with a fairly powerful ability. This legendary land can be played and tapped for one green mana, but the ability it has is huge.
If you pay two mana and discard the card, you can: "Destroy target artifact, enchantment, or nonbasic land an opponent controls. That player may search their library for a land card with a basic land type, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle." Better yet, this ability also costs one fewer mana to cast for each legendary creature you control.
Being able to use this at instant speed is a big deal, but it's also fairly easy to bring land cards back from the graveyard too, so Boseiju, Who Endures is likely to see a lot of play.
6. Soul Transfer
A good exchange
Single target removal is always a useful thing to have in hand, but it's also something that's hard to balance. You only have to take a look at the downshift of rarity in Hero's Downfall to see that clearly, because MTG is changing at a rapid pace.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty card Soul Transfer is one of the more interesting choices we've seen recently. It's a three-mana sorcery that lets you either exile a target creature or planeswalker, or allows you to return a creature or planeswalker from your graveyard to your hand. However, if you control both an artifact and an enchantment as you cast the spell, you get to do both.
It's quite a big ask, because to get the full value out of this you'll need a varied deck. However, the payoff is massive, especially as it exiles cards, which stops other players from bringing them back again.
7. Reality Heist
Is that Dig Through Time?
It's been a while since we've seen a card draw spell as potent as this, even if it is hyper-specific. Reality Heist is a seven-mana spell that allows you to "look at the top seven cards of your library. You may reveal up to two artifact cards from among them and put them into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order."
On top of that, it also costs one less mana to cast for each artifact you control, which means it could be as low as two mana if you've got enough artifacts in play. With the likes of clues and treasure tokens around, it's not hard to populate your side of the field with artifacts. In the right deck, picking two of your best cards from the top section of your deck is a game-winning thing.
8. Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice
A good aura
Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice is a two-mana White 2/2 that reads: "Whenever an Aura enters the battlefield under your control, if you cast it, you may search your library for an Aura card with mana value less than or equal to that Aura and with a different name than each Aura you control, put that card onto the battlefield attached to Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice, then shuffle."
This is undoubtedly going to be an almighty card in Commander but, given how potent the ability is, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this at the forefront of an aggressive aura deck in other popular MTG formats too. You could easily cast an aura to lock down a troubling creature and then buff Light-Paws at the same time.
9. Kumano Faces Kakkazan
Hit the ground running
This might be the biggest risk on our list of the best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty cards, but we really do think it has potential. Kumano Faces Kakkazan is a one-mana Red saga that deals one damage to each opponent and their planeswalkers the turn you play it, allows a creature you cast to enter the battlefield with an extra +1/+1 counter on the turn after, and then transforms on turn three.
It transforms into Etching of Kumano, a 2/2 with haste that exiles any creatures killed by a source you control this turn instead of just dying. The risk here is that turn three is too late to have a 2/2, but the ability to potentially exile enemy threats could tip things into making this card a bit of a monster.
10. Explosive Singularity
Explosive Singularity is a ten-mana Red sorcery that deals ten damage to any target. That means you can cast this straight at your opponent and obliterate them. Ten mana is a lot, which is why you can also reduce the cost of it by one mana for each untapped creature you tap as you cast it.
That means that you can get to turn five, tap five creatures and then cast this for five mana. In an aggressive deck, this is likely to be more than enough to kill them off - and that's not accounting for any extra creatures you may have, any ramping you've done or spare mana you've created.