Limited is best. 'Nuff said!
Even though Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty prerelease has come and gone, I still try to find as many opportunities to play limited as I can. This set has resparked my love for Magic: The Gathering and I cannot get enough of my favorite format, limited.
For those who may not know, Limited formats are so-called because they require players to build their decks from a more limited pool of cards than Constructed formats. The two formats most common for official limited play are Booster Draft and Sealed Deck.
There are a total of 10 archetypes, one for each color pair, contained within the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set, providing players with a good starting point to draft and craft Limited decks.
Unlike recent MTG Limited sets like Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow, the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (NEO) set doesn’t feature strict archetypes. All 10 Limited archetypes are flexible and can support multiple synergies. The color Black stands out due to having good removal and cards that support multiple themes. Red is more of a synergy color with Black, specifically in Artifact builds. Green stands out as the best color so far, while crossing over into multiple NEO archetypes. And all three colors have good removal spells.
From ninjas to Artifacts and Enchantments, here are the 10 archetypes to keep in mind when playing in the NEO Limited format. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty features the following limited archetypes:
White/Blue - Vehicles and Pilots
Vehicles are artifacts that you can ‘crew’ with your creatures. Tap enough creature for their collective power to equal the vehicle’s crew cost, and the vehicle becomes an artifact creature ready to attack or block.
There are also Pilot creatures, who have abilities that make crewing your vehicles easier.
Blue/Black - Rogues/Ninjas
It wouldn’t be a Kamigawa set without Ninjas. These make use of the Ninjutsu mechanic, which allows an unblocked attacking creature to suddenly swap out with a Ninja in your hand.
Evasion such as Flying, Menace, and Unlockable is essential to slip past your opponent’s defending creatures to activate Ninjutsu.
Red/Black - Artifact Sacrifice
Aristocrats (sacrifice-heavy decks) are a common theme for Rakdos, but Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty gives it an artifact-themed focus. These colors focus on getting lots of artifacts out, before sacrificing them for extra value.
Red/Green - Modified
Modified is a batching term that collectively refers to creatures that are equipped, enchanted, or have counters on them. The red/green archetype focuses on this, and gives you lots of ways to modify your creatures and then profit massively off them.
Green/White - Enchantments matter
Auras aren’t the only thing that make this archetype so powerful; there are many enchantment creatures to help prop up your strategy.
Saga enchantments in Neon Dynasty, are double-faced cards for the first time, and the Sagas will transform into enchantment creatures when they’ve completed their chapters.
White/Black - Artifacts And Enchantments
Most of the time, this archetype wants you to control both an artifact and an enchantment at the same time. Other times, there may be a more forgiving sliding scale of effects depending on which of the two permanent types you control.
Blue/Red: Artifacts matter
Artifacts are a big part of Neon Dynasty, but no colors use them quite and want to keep them in play as much as blue and red.
Both colors have cards that reward you when an artifact enters the battlefield so finding ways to cast more artifacts or make lots of tokens is a good idea.
Considering how refreshing the other draft archetypes are to other sets’ colors, it’s unfortunate that green/black get the same usual Golgari Graveyard Matters style of play.
You can shake things up slightly with the returning Channel mechanic, which gives you ways to dump powerful creatures into your graveyard ready to bring them straight back. Sometimes it’s to your hand, often it’s straight to the battlefield.
Red/white go back to its routes of being a combat-focused colour identity. Unlike the Battalion ability we associate with Boros, instead this time it’s all about attacking with a single Samurai and getting bonus, much like Exalted.
Blue/Green: Channel Ramp
This is “Simic Good Stuff”, but it does come with an artifact- and enchantment-matters twist to make it a bit more interesting.
Build up your mana resources quickly , through enchantments and channel abilities, so that you can outpace your opponent and whack them with giant creatures.
What you waiting for? Let's draft!
I hope that this brief breakdown of the archetypes helps guide you through your next limited event of Kamigawa Neon Dynasty. It’s difficult to choose a favorite archetype as there is a lot of overlapping that makes for great deck building, and no two sealed events are the same.
Let me know what cards you are most excited to open, and until next time!