Streets of New Capenna Takes Center Stage
By now, the spoilers are out, and we're preparing for a weekend of prereleasing with Streets of New Capenna. Before we take our minds off Kamigawa Neon Dynasty, I want to revisit some cards from the set that we should have in our collections. As Neon Dynasty stops being the focus of Limited play, I expect to see prices on staple cards from the set start to rise. This is typical for when a set stops being the focus of Limited, as it tends to get opened less. If you haven't already picked up these cards, now is a good time to be thinking about it. We'll start with the obvious selections, and work our way into some deeper cuts.
Neon Dynasty Channel Lands
The impact of the channel lands on multiple formats cannot be understated. Boseiju, Who Endures is the obvious one, but Otawara, Soaring City is showing up in Modern, and the others all see play in Standard and pop up in Pioneer and Commander to varying degrees. I don't expect a reprint of these in the next few years, because their names and lore are tied so strongly to Kamigawa. With that in mind I'm acquiring my sets now, and holding any extras I pick up as well.
March of Otherworldly Light has been the big winner of this cycle, seeing play in Modern alongside Prismatic Ending in Azorius Control, and even in other formats. While the rest of the Marches don't see quite the same demand, three of them have enough play that they could see some action in the future. I'm holding all but one of them them for at least some Commander play. The one I'm not concerned with holding is March of Burgeoning Life. The card is narrow, and green has much better options that do something similar, especially in Commander. It's possible the card could see play in Pioneer, but I'm not going out of my way to hold copies of it I don't already have.
Planeswalkers are usually a safe bet to add to your collection. I picked up The Wandering Emperor and Kaito Shizuki early as they play well in the style of decks I enjoy. While I had Modern in mind for these, I'll likely also find homes for them in Pioneer and Commander as well. Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh, like all his previous iterations is at home in an artifact-based deck. I don't currently have a home for either him or Tamiyo, Compleated Sage, but I'm holding them for when the opportunity arises.
A Scavenging Ooze that you can fetch with Stoneforge Mystic is my kind of card. Lion Sash is already seeing play in Modern Death & Taxes lists for this reason. The Future Sight-evoking ability of The Reality Chip makes it an intriguing card. While I don't have a deck for either of these cards right now, they both feel loaded with possibility to me. This makes me inclined to hold them, and I'm not against acquiring more if the price is right.
Notable Commons and Uncommons
Even with the mass opening of boosters for the last three months, Secluded Courtyard has been hovering around the $2 mark, and with good reason. Not only does it replace Ancient Ziggurat in tribal-based Modern decks, but it also serves as a solid stand-in for Cavern of Souls for those on a budget.
Containment Construct was a huge hit in Neon Dynasty Limited for those who could take advantage of its unique ability. I'm surprised no one has found a way to truly break the card yet, but I imagine it's only a matter of time before we're seeing it in Tier 1 Modern and Pioneer decks.
I'll admit A-Moon-Circuit Hacker and Virus Beetle are both pet cards of mine for Pauper. I've written about trying to make the Hacker work in Pauper Faeries. Beetle is a card I'd like to try in Pauper Affinity, and the card also has potential in Rakdos Sacrifice decks in Pioneer. I saved a couple playsets of each of these cards from my draft discards pile for these decks.
There are a number of other powerful commons and uncommons in the set, particularly in the sagas. Drafting as much as I do, I end up with a considerable pile of draft leftovers. I generally try to set aside from these at least a playset of every common or uncommon I think has constructed play potential, and fold it into my main collection. Sometimes I'm wrong, and a few years later I'll cull the cards that don't pan out. Sometimes, though, I find myself scrambling back to my boxes of draft chaff and digging for the remaining copies to add to my trade binder or sell to the shop.
In their 2022 Q1 earnings report, Hasbro reported that Kamigawa Neon Dynasty was "the best-selling Winter set of all time, increasing 28% over last year's set (Kaldheim)." They went on to say that "Neon Dynasty is the fifth Magic set of all time to generate in excess of $100 million and is already one of the top three Magic sets ever."
These numbers mean that there are a lot of Neon Dynasty cards on the market right now. This abundance will likely keep prices down for a bit on all but the most constructed playables like Boseiju and The Wandering Emperor. Even with that being the case, if I know I might want to play a card at some point in the future, I generally err on the side of picking it up as soon as possible at a low price.
Which Neon Dynasty cards are you looking to add to your collection long-term? Are there any sleepers you think I should have on my radar? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.