Ninjutsu legendary Satoru Umezawa enables archetype in MTG

The key concept artist for the Metal Gear Solid series provided alternate art.

The official spoiler season for Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is still a month away, but Wizards of the Coast released an early preview to celebrate the holiday season.

In Magic: The Gathering’s return to Kamigawa, a plane inspired by Japanese folklore, the plane has undergone a technological revolution. The cyberpunk aesthetic brings neon lights and body modifications directly against the tradition and spirits that ruled old Kamigawa.

This contrast between the old and new is seen in several of the cards already revealed for Neon Dynasty. Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos is a modern look at Heartless Hidetsugu from Betrayers of Kamigawa

Satoru Umezawa is another character in the Umezawa family line from Kamigawa. Tetsuko, Tetsuo, and Toshiro are already represented on cards. Satoru bears a much rougher, darker look than his family members.

This Ninjutsu commander will release with three alternate art styles. The standard art is accompanied by a variant frame by Raita Kazama and a buy-a-box promo with art from Yoji Shinkawa, the primary concept artist from the Metal Gear Solid series.

Satoru Umezawa

  • Mana value: 1UB
  • Type: Legendary Creature Human Ninja
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Stats: 2/4
  • First ability: Whenever you activate a Ninjutsu ability, look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. This ability triggers only once each turn.
  • Second ability: Each Creature card in your hand has Ninjutsu 2UB.

Satoru Umezawa is the definitive Ninjutsu card for Commander. This is an excellent card to lead the deck and doesn’t just limit the player to running creatures with the Ninjutsu keyword. 

The ability to give any creature in your hand Ninjutsu for only four mana opens the doors for game-winning attacks. Switching out a Slither Blade for a Blightsteel Colossus is an instant Infect victory. There’s no shortage of big-bodied Black and Blue creatures that can be cheated out using Umezawa’s ability.

Being able to draw a card for the first Ninjutsu ability a turn is the key to Umezawa’s power. Modern commanders come packed with tools that generate card advantage, stabilize the battlefield, or act as threatening attackers. Looking at the top three cards of your library and taking one of them is a powerful way to smooth out your draws and find your win condition.

Neon Dynasty spoilers will slow down going into the new year. Official preview season for Magic’s first set of 2022 begins on Jan. 27 in anticipation of Neon Dynasty’s full release on Feb. 18.