Technology and tradition mash together in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, showcasing three new and two returning Magic: The Gathering mechanics.
The Standard-legal Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (NEO) set focuses on both Artifacts and Enchantments, whereas previous MTG sets have focused on one or the other. The mashup of the two has created new mechanics like Modifications and Reconfigure, along with the first Dual-Faced sagas—an Enchantment on the front side and a creature on the backside. Ninjutsu returns, alongside Channel, highlighting previous Kamigawa mechanics. The NEO set also includes the return of samurai and dragon cycles.
New NEO mechanics
There are a total of three new MTG mechanics within the NEO set: Modifications, Reconfigure, and Compleated.
A modified MTG card is one that has an Equipment, Aura, or Counter that’s on a permanent you control. An opponent casting an Enchantment Aura on a permanent you control counts as a Modification. Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei, for example, has a mana ability for 3RR that creates a 5/5 Red dragon spirit creature token with Flying that can only get activated if it’s been modified via an Equipment, an Aura attached to it, or a Counter that’s been placed on it.
The Modification mechanic operates similar to cards that have tribal synergies in MTG in that a creature like Akki Ember-Keeper has an ability that creates a 1/1 token whenever a nontoken modified creature dies. This synergy supports having multiple creatures that are modified as opposed to dumping Modifications on just one main creature.
Reconfigure is the main mechanic within the NEO set, tapping into the technological advancements taking place on the Kamigawa plane. The mechanic is found on Artifact creatures, providing a new layer of versatility in Magic when it comes to Equipment. Players can pay the Reconfigure cost to equip these creatures to other creatures and to unequip. While attached to a creature, the Artifact creature with Reconfigure is no longer a creature. Activating an Artifact creature with Reconfigure is done at Sorcery speed.
The NEO card Simian Sling is a 1/1 Artifact creature with a Reconfigure cost of two mana of any color. When attached to a creature, it pumps its stats by +1/+1. And whenever that creature equipped with Simian Sling becomes blocked, it deals one damage to the defending player.
Another example of Reconfigure is found on the NEO card The Reality Chip. As an Artifact creature, it’s an 0/4 that lets a player look at the top card of their library at any time. Upon equipping it to another creature, its controller can play lands and cast spells from the top of their library. The Reality Chip has a Reconfigure cost of 2U.
Compleated is a new MTG hybrid Phrexian mana cost found on the NEO planeswalker Tamiyo, Compleated Sage.
Players will pay 2GU in addition to either one Blue, one Green, or two life points via the Compleated hybrid mana to cast her. Should the hybrid Phrexian mana get paid with two life, Tamiyo, Compleated Sage starts with three loyalty counters instead of five.
Returning MTG mechanics
The two main Magic mechanics returning within the NEO set are Ninjutsu and Channel. In conjunction with the returning mechanics, there are other familiar aspects such as Legendary creatures, cycles, samurai, Enchantments, Artifacts, and Equipment.
Introduced to Magic via Betrayers of Kamigawa, a card with the Ninjutsu mechanic allows a player to swap an attacking and unblocked creature on the battlefield with a creature that has Ninjutsu in your hand. The attacking creature returns to your hand and the creature with Ninjutsu is the one that deals the damage on the battlefield.
Activating the Ninjutsu mechanic costs mana. Creatures with the Ninjutsu mechanic have often contained abilities that reward a player upon dealing combat damage to a player. Silver-Fur Master is a rat ninja NEO creature that has its Ninjutsu activated for UB and two abilities. The first reduces the cost of Ninjutsu activated abilities by one and the second pumps all ninja and rogue creatures by 1/1.
There are also NEO cards that synergize with the Ninjutsu mechanic, like the legendary creature Satoru Umezawa. Upon activating a Ninjutsu ability, Satoru Umezawa has an ability that lets its controller look at the top three cards of their library, putting one into their hand the rest at the bottom of their library in any order. It also has an ability that gives each creature in your hand Ninjutsu with a cost of 2UB.
Channel is a mechanic that was first introduced to MTG via Saviors of Kamigawa. It’s an ability that’s activated with a mana cost, discarding the card with the mechanic in exchange for an effect. Within the NEO set, Channel is found on Enchantments and Artifacts.
Greater Tanuki is an Enchantment creature that has a Channel cost of 2G. Players discard the dog in exchange for searching their library for a basic land that goes directly onto the battlefield tapped.
There’s also the NEO card Moonsnare Prototype, an Artifact that lets players tap Artifacts or creatures you control for one colorless mana. Its Channel ability costs 4U, discarding Moonsnare Prototype to put a target nonland permanent on the top or bottom of its owner’s library.
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