Best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited Black Common and Uncommon cards

The color Black is packed with value.

The Magic: The Gathering color Black will play an integral role within the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited format via sacrifice engines, solid Ninjutsu creatures, and Dual-Faced sagas.

Previous Limited MTG sets have seen the color Black thrive within sacrifice builds and as a color known for its removal. Within the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set, Black steps up its game via the returning mechanic Ninjutsu, along with Artifact and Enchantment creatures. There are a total of four NEO Limited archetypes with the color Black. 

  • Blue and Black (UB): Ninjas/rogues Ninjutsu
  • Black and Red (BR): Sacrifice and Artifacts matters
  • White and Black (WB): Artifacts and Enchantments matters
  • Black and Green (BG): Graveyard matters

The color Black contains bread-and-butter ninja cards that slot into the Blue and Black NEO archetype, like Mukotai Ambusher, Dokuchi Silencer, and Dokuchi Shadow-Walker. It also has a solid Ninjutsu enabler via the two-drop Flying creature, Inkrise Infiltrator. BR sacrifice builds will want to include Dockside Chef for card draw and a body that can chump block, along with Gravelighter

Assassin’s Ink is a good Instant removal spell within the White and Black NEO archetype. And the WB and BR decks can use Chainflai Centipede to get in a good amount of damage, along with Kami of Terrible Secrets for card advantage and life gain. The color Black is the strongest color within the NEO Limited format, slotting into the best archetypes BG Enchantments/reanimation and RB Artifacts

From Dual-Faced sagas and creatures with Reconfigure to ninjas and an Artifact insect, here are the nine best MTG Common and Uncommon NEO Limited cards in the color Black. 

Okiba Reckoner Raid//Nezumi Road Captain saga

As a one-drop, Okiba Reckoner Raid//Nezumi Road Captain is a versatile Black saga that can fit into just about any NEO Limited build. Chapters one and two feature drain and gain for one life, and the third chapter transforms the saga into a 2/2 Enchantment creature with Menace. As a bonus, vehicles you control have Menace. 

The Okiba Reckoner Raid//Nezumi Road Captain saga slots nicely into WB and can get splashed in the White and Blue NEO vehicle archetype. It also synergizes well with UB in that it can get returned to hand when Nezumi Road Captain gets swapped for a creature with Ninjutsu—returning it to hand and allowing you to cast the saga side a second time for more drain and gain. 

Twisted Embrace

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In a Limited format where Enchantment Auras matter, Twisted Embrace is a solid early Draft pick. It combines removal and pumping a creature with a +1/+1 counter into one card, synergizing with the WB archetype and Red cards where Modification matters. Spending four mana is normal in the MTG Limited format when destroying a creature or planeswalker and Twisted Embrace has added value in that the Enchantment increases the stats on the creature it gets attached to. 

Kami of Terrible Secrets

Kami of Terrible Secrets

Slotting into BG Enchantment/reanimation builds, Kami of Terrible Secrets is a four-drop 3/4. The spirit has an enters-the-battlefield effect that draws you a card while providing one life point if you control an Artifact and an Enchantment. Kami of Terrible Secrets also has solid stats for attacking and blocking. If you are able to return the spirit to hand via Ninjutsu, you gain additional card draw and life.

Nezumi Prowler

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Nezumi Prowler is a two-drop 3/1 that can Ninjutsu into play for only 1B. As an added bonus, when the rat ninja enters the battlefield, it grants a target creature Deathtouch and Lifelink until the end of the turn. The ETB effect on Nezumi Prowler can get applied to itself or any other attacking creature when it enters play via Ninjutsu. 

Players can also cast Nezumi Prowler as a two-drop, providing a creature that can attack that turn with Deathtouch—potentially creating an opportunity to Ninjutsu in a creature like Moonsnare Specialist, Dokuchi Shadow-Walker, or Prosperous Thief.

Leech Gauntlet

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Lifelink matters in the MTG Limited format, and Leech Gauntlet provides that life gain as a two-drop 2/2 or as Equipment via the new NEO mechanic Reconfigure. The leech is a solid early game two-drop that can block and gain life. And Leech Gauntlet has value later in a game via Reconfigure, potentially giving a much larger or evasive creature Lifelink. 

Life of Toshiro Umezawa//Memory of Toshiro saga

Versatile in any of the NEO archetypes with the color Black, all three chapters of Life of Toshiro Umezawa//Memory of Toshiro saga provide value for only two mana. Chapters one and two give the player a choice of three options: aggressively attack with a pumped +2/+2 creature, remove an opponent’s creature with one toughness, or gain two life. 

Related: 9 Best Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Limited Green Common and Uncommon cards

Upon transforming into Memory of Toshiro via the third chapter, you get a 2/3 Enchantment creature with the ability to add one Black mana for the purpose of casting an Instant or Sorcery speed spell by paying one life and tapping the human samurai. 

Lethal Exploit

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Lethal Exploit is a solid Instant speed NEO removal spell that can scale with the number of Modified creatures you control when the spell is cast. Upon getting played, the Black Instant gives a target creature -2/-2 until the end of turn. It can remove a number of creatures during the early game, and potentially a much larger one later on if creatures you control are Modified via either Equipment, an Aura, or a Counter. 

Undercity Scrounger

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Undercity Scrounger is a three-drop 1/4 that can create a Treasure token upon a creature dying at a cost of tapping the human rogue. The Artifact creature slots into the NEO Limited archetypes BR and WB. Undercity Scrounger can also tap to create a Treasure token on an opponent’s turn as the ability can take place at Instant speed. 

Reckoner’s Bargain

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Reckoner’s Bargain is the NEO version of Deadly Dispute. Played at Instant speed, it draws two cards upon sacrificing an Artifact or creature. Reckoner’s Bargain synergizes with what BR wants to do and has an upside of gaining you life based on the sacrificed Artifact, and or creatures, mana value. The Instant speed spell won’t slot into every build but is exceptionally valuable in the Black and Red archetype.  

Virus Beetle

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Virus Beetle is a cute and potentially value-packed two-drop 1/1 that forces an opponent to discard a card upon entering the battlefield. The insect works in Ninjutsu builds, pulling it back to hand and allowing it to get cast a second time. Virus Beetle also works well with the NEO Instant You Are Already Dead, potentially taking out a threat for a total cost of three mana. The insect is also an Artifact, synergizing with the BR and WB archetypes. 


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Update Feb. 14 at 4:30am CT: Article was updated following the digital release of NEO via MTG Arena.