Chishiro, the Shattered Blade - Illustration by Lius Lasahido

Chishiro, the Shattered Blade | Illustration by Lius Lasahido

Another new set is here, and two new EDH decks are landing with it to spoil us Commander players. Kamigawa is back and I am really digging the neon cyberpunk visuals in the world.

Today I’m going to cover each of the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty EDH precons and their notable cards and strategies. I’ll also be talking about the overall value for your wallet and your collection.

Without further ado, let’s hop in!

Top Pick
Best Value, Most Fun, Best for cEDH
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
$33.27
$41.99
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
$33.27
Top Pick
Best Value, Most Fun, Best for cEDH
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
$41.99

What Are the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Decks?

Mirage Mirror - Illustration by Craig J Spearing

Mirage Mirror | Illustration by Craig J Spearing

Like all of these newer precons, the Neon Dynasty decks come with a full Commander deck plus an alternate commander each and 15 new cards. And all of the basic lands feature the beautiful Ukiyo-e art variant art with a gorgeous Japanese art style.

Aside from that these are your typical precons, minus a pretty minor printing issue that I’ll cover in a bit.

Buckle Up

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Buckle Up precon

Commander, Theme, and Strategy

Buckle Up is all about bulldozing your opponents with vehicles and artifact synergies. I was actually really excited to see this theme as I built an Alibou, Ancient Witness deck not too long ago.

This Azorius () deck packs a few powerful vehicles like Parhelion II and Shorikai, Genesis Engine plus some fantastic artifact creatures to pair with them. The general style is to drop vehicles and artifacts while slamming into your opponent’s forces over and over.

It’s a little sad we didn’t get Mechtitan Core since it just fits perfectly in this deck, but I’m sure it was to promote buying more packs. The list also offers a lot of token options to get plenty of crew fodder on board.

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

While Buckle Up doesn’t come with many costly reprints, it offers some good cards to add to your collection and some mighty Commander-only cards.

Mirage Mirror

Mirage Mirror comes back with a sorely needed reprint. This went under the radar for a while in Commander, at least in my groups. It’s also the priciest reprint in the set.

Swift Reconfiguration

The priciest card in this deck is Swift Reconfiguration. It can set up an infinite combo with Devoted Druid. All you need to do is enchant Druid and then tap it for then put a -1/-1 counter on it. The negative counter doesn’t do anything since it’s not a creature anymore, but it gets to untap and you can repeat this cycle indefinitely.

Drumbellower

Another notable card is Drumbellower, which is excellent for any deck. I think it fits more into a green-based deck like Seedborn Muse, but it works well here because you can crew all your vehicles and then still have blockers.

Imposter Mech

Imposter Mech is an excellent card, though not nearly as good as the others. It’s basically a vehicle version of Phantasmal Image without the downside of being an illusion.

The Verdict

I really like Buckle Up and I’ll probably pick it up to add to my existing vehicles deck because red is better than blue. I won’t be taking any questions.

This deck also has some fantastic card choices and some exciting new prints plus a theme we haven’t seen in a precon before.

Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
  • Minimal packaging for less waste
  • 100-card ready-to-play Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander deck
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker + 1 deck box
  • Introduces 15 MTG cards not found in the main set

Upgrades Unleashed

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Upgrades Unleashed precon

Commander, Theme, and Strategy

Note: Wizards of the Coast accidentally printed a second copy of Mossfire Valley in this precon, making it technically illegal for Commander. Make sure to replace it before playing.

I feel like most Gruul () commanders are creature-focused and Chishiro, the Shattered Blade is no different. But the modifications mechanic is much better to keep up since the new reconfigure equipment means you won’t be lacking creatures forever. Adding in auras and +1/+1 counters makes it even easier to qualify.

That said, Upgrades Unleashed only comes with two reconfigure creatures and mostly opts for a +1/+1 counter theme. Heck, it comes with six aura cards and only two of them are new. I would’ve rather seen a more diverse spread than just another counters deck.

Notable Cards: Reprints and $$

Upgrades Unleashed doesn’t have any considerable money cards unlike Buckle Up with most of its cards currently going for around $2. The most expensive card in the deck is the Bear Umbra reprint followed by the deck’s alternate commander, Kaima, the Fractured Calm.

There aren’t a lot of cards from this deck that I see making much of an impact in Commander aside from that. Most of the new cards are cute but not auto-includes in any particular strategy. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see much here.

The Verdict

I’m not a massive fan of Upgrades Unleashed. It’s very Timmy-focused and the +1/+1 counters theme is not for me. I would’ve loved to see a more political aura-based deck to support Kaima, or at least more reconfigure creatures to keep the central theme.

Still, the cards in the deck aren’t bad and it’s not a terrible choice if you’re looking to bump up your collection of Gruul cards for other decks.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
  • Minimal packaging for less waste
  • 100-card ready-to-play Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander deck
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens + life tracker
  • Introduces 15 MTG cards not found in the main set

Which Deck is the Best?

For Value

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Buckle Up precon

If you’re looking at straight dollar value, Buckle Up is worth more money mostly thanks to Swift Reconfiguration. The decks have less than a $10 difference otherwise, which is negligible.

Upgrades Unleashed has more cards around the $1 to $2 mark and fits into many deck themes if you want a better average value per card.

Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
  • Minimal packaging for less waste
  • 100-card ready-to-play Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander deck
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker + 1 deck box
  • Introduces 15 MTG cards not found in the main set

For Competitive EDH Players

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Buckle Up precon

cEDH players will most likely want to pick up Buckle Up for Swift Reconfiguration combos and Shorikai, Genesis Engine’s value. Voltron and aggro strategies are cute but quick combos reign supreme, and neither deck really fits the bill. But Buckle Up has some better cards to support its theme.

Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
  • Minimal packaging for less waste
  • 100-card ready-to-play Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander deck
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker + 1 deck box
  • Introduces 15 MTG cards not found in the main set

The Most Fun

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Buckle Up precon

I sound very biased, but I think Buckle Up is the winner overall and definitely more fun. It has better support for its theme, better value overall, and better cards.

It’s a shame that Wizards opted to pick a theme that works well with their new modification mechanics but then abandon the new equipment in favor of a +1/+1 counter synergy. Upgrades Unleashed might be decent with some upgrades (heh) but it feels very underwhelming out of the box.

Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
  • Minimal packaging for less waste
  • 100-card ready-to-play Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander deck
  • Deck includes 2 traditional foils + 98 nonfoil cards
  • 1 foil-etched Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker + 1 deck box
  • Introduces 15 MTG cards not found in the main set

Wrap Up

Kaima, the Fractured Calm - Illustration by Filip Burburan

Kaima, the Fractured Calm | Illustration by Filip Burburan

The Neon Dynasty precons just didn’t hit the mark in my opinion. I think they’re at least more interesting than the Crimson Vow decks, but the Forgotten Realms precons were just too good. I definitely think Buckle Up is an excellent pick-up if you like artifact synergies and the minor improvements for white decks.

But you can probably skip both of these if you’re a well-established Commander player. I’d only recommend picking up one of these if you want to pad or grow your collection.

Top Pick
Best Value, Most Fun, Best for cEDH
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
$33.27
$41.99
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Upgrades Unleashed (Red-Green) | Minimal Packaging Version
$33.27
Top Pick
Best Value, Most Fun, Best for cEDH
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)| Minimal Packaging Version
$41.99

What do you think about these decks? Let me know in the comments down below or over on Twitter.

As for me, I’m getting back to testing Neon Dynasty Standard. Have a good one!

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1 Comment

  • Hiotoko February 18, 2022 10:05 am

    I bought both decks, and there is zero ukiyo lands ;(

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