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Going From Bronze To Mythic By Drafting Green In Neon Dynasty Draft


Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty draft is quite the puzzle.

Boseiju Reaches Skyward
Experimental Synthesizer
The Modern Age

Quite frankly, there is a lot going on in this set, so don't be discouraged if you've been struggling! This is the wordiest Magic set of all time, absolutely jam packed with a bunch of different themes as well as new and returning mechanics. There's a lot to process, so it's natural that it's going to take a little bit of extra work to piece it all together.

However, the juice is worth the squeeze! The format is deep and exciting, with many things possible in any given draft.

Most draft formats are often described as "prince" formats or "pauper" formats - a "prince" format is one where the games are more decided by good rares and individual power level of cards, while a "pauper" format is much more synergy-based which allows the role player cards to shine -- and amazingly Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty manages to be a bit of both!

Network Disruptor
Towashi Songshaper
Kami of Terrible Secrets

There are many cards in the set that are very high picks in some decks but barely playable in others, which is the hallmark of a pauper format. Without synergies Network Disruptor is a Suntail Hawk and Towashi Songshaper is Grizzly Bears, but with synergies like Ninjas or artifact density they're both lynchpin commons.

However, there are also a bunch of very powerful cards in the set as well.

Behold the Unspeakable
Blossom Prancer
Life of Toshiro Umezawa

Almost every saga is good, but there are some uncommon sagas like Behold the Unspeakable and Boseiju Reaches Skyward which provide you mythic/rare levels of value and power. There are also a number of other powerful uncommons like Kappa Tech-Wrecker and Blossom Prancer that provide huge value, as well as the usual selection of great rares.

As such, while there's tons of synergy to draft around, there are also a ton of individually powerful cards that you just can't ignore, and many of them are at uncommon meaning they will be available often in your drafts!

So, what's one to do? If only there was a color that could tap into both elements...

It Is, In Fact, Easy Being Green

Green is the best color in Kamigawa draft.

Kappa Tech-Wrecker
Generous Visitor
Fade into Antiquity

Green is by far the deepest color, with incredible depth among its commons and uncommons, but also is the color best suited to splash which gives it access to the many great cards you can open. Green is deep, very flexible, and exactly where you want to be.

Today I'm going to go over what you need to do to draft green successfully in your Kamigawa Neon Dynasty drafts!

Stay Alive

Perhaps what makes green so appealing in Neon Dynasty is its strength in longer games. We will get to that in a moment, but it would all be for naught if green wasn't so damn good at getting to the later stages of a game.

Fang of Shigeki
Bamboo Grove Archer
Fade into Antiquity

This trio of defensive cards would all be close to filler in your average set.

The 1/1 deathtouch for one mana has always been just fine, while Bamboo Grove Archer and Fade Into Antiquity both look like sideboard cards. However, this is not your normal set. Being an enchantment is already a nice upside, which makes both creatures better and of course Fade Into Antiquity actually a very real removal spell. But what really makes both creatures so good is how well they defend in the early game to build you into a late game that is mostly composed of sagas and loops.

Play Sagas

This may sound like simple advice, but when the card previews for the new sagas started coming out they were exceedingly difficult to evaluate. We've seen sagas before, but once they start turning into creatures all bets are off. Is waiting two turns for your creature, which then can't even attack that turn, worth it? Are the effects good enough?

Well, the answer is a resounding yes.

Almost every saga in the entire set, aside from The Shattered States Era and a few oddball rares, are all awesome. They provide you with a ton of great card advantage and grind, while also being enchantments for all the enchantment themes and recurable in many ways. While the extremely powerful sagas like Jugan Defends The Temple are somewhat obvious, even the more basic ones like Azusa's Many Journeys or Okiba Reckoner Raid provide you with a well-sized creature for the cost with lots of upside.

The Long Reach of Night
The Fall of Lord Konda

And of course, the more powerful sagas than kill things or provide card advantage are paramount.

Get Your Loop On

So, you've got your path to the long game, you've got a few good sagas, but now we get to the real endgame power of Green:

Season of Renewal
Geothermal Kami

Quite frankly, you just never run out of cards.

Season of Renewal is a common you can expect to get in most of your drafts and being able to recur a defensive Fang of Shigeki (often playing it the turn you do) as well as a big saga is just a backbreaking play. Even more exciting is the infinite loops it creates with Colossal Skyturtle or Shigeki, Jukai Visionary. You can often find yourself in a late game situation where you are using Season of Renewal to return one of those as well as another card, and then returning the Season of Renewal to do it all over again.

But that's not all!

Geothermal Kami is a strong body that gains life to help keep you alive, but also has the ability to reset your sagas and play them again as well as pull off some other tricks. Most notable is bouncing a Gloomdrifter, which can either gain value or set up a loop where you block with the Geothermal Kami, cast Gloomdrifter to bring it back to your hand, and then return the Gloomdrifter when you cast the Geothermal Kami so you are set up to go again next turn. That's seven mana for an undying 4/3 that gains three life each time you do the loop.

And this is to say nothing of the fact that all of these cards are fine to just gain card advantage by themselves without actually executing a loop. The fact that the floor is card advantage and the ceiling is never running out of things to cast is just phenomenal, and all with commons and uncommons!

Putting It All Together

When it comes down to in, the archetype's most important card might be the most innocent looking.

Commune with Spirits

Just like why Ponder and Preordain are banned in Modern, Commune With Spirits does everything that you could want, bringing you a level of consistency not seen in most limited decks.

You're already looking to focus in on enchantments with your density of good defensive enchantment creatures and your array of sagas, so Commune With Spirits makes sure you find the right ones at the right times, and most importantly just find more sagas than your opponent because they are the backbone of the format. It's also a mana fixer that helps you play less lands, which in turn helps out your potential splashes while making sure you don't flood in the late game.

Greater Tanuki
Uncharted Haven
Scoured Barrens

The other piece to the puzzle is the great mana fixing, which can allow you to be fairly liberal with splashes. Black is often your second color, but can be reduced to a splash depending on what you end up with, while White is the most common splash thanks to some good sagas, removal like Intercessor's Arrest, and top end spells like Imperial Oath, but you can be pretty creative. The point here is to take possible splash lands, especially Uncharted Haven, over mediocre playables that probably won't make your deck to open up the potential to play great off-color cards you may open later.

Tamiyo, Compleated Sage
Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos
The Kami War

You can go pretty wild with splashes in the deck as long as you can make the mana work, and yes The Kami War is not only playable but extremely good!

Deck Examples

Here are a few examples of base-Green decks I drafted during my Bronze to Mythic series that got to seven wins:

Good removal? Check.

Few good rares? Check.

Lots of sagas? Check.

Good defensive creatures and mana? Check.

This is pretty much your baseline Green deck in Neon Dynasty.

Okay, look, you're not going to get two copies of Shigeki, Jukai Visionary every draft, but it's just about the best rare you can open for the deck.

Shigeki, Jukai Visionary

It's an enchantment, it's a defensive creature, it's an engine, and it's even recurable if it's killed; Shigeki is the ultimate endgame and one of the best rares in the set.

It's important to note that while Black is most often the second color in these Green decks, it is not necessary.

Jukai Preserver

Here we see a slightly more aggressive Green/White build that follows most of the same paradigms. Imperial Oath is a wonderful top end card while Jukai Preserver can speed the deck up a bit allowing you to go fast or long.

This was one of the weirder Green decks, but just goes to show how versatile the color can be.

Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh

Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh and a few other Blue cards have this deck also interested in artifacts as well as enchantments, but the overall idea is the same. It was a little odd, but the power level was there and this speaks to how flexible Green can be as a base.

Wrapping Up

It took me 21 drafts to go from Bronze to Mythic, and it's no mistake that I was green in over half of them and most of my 7 win decks were Green.

The color is extremely deep and flexible, while following many of the rules of the format. I wouldn't say to blindly force it, as part of its allure is that it is flexible based on how the draft rolls out, but it's where I'm starting almost all my drafts.

Be green until you get a good reason not to!

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