I always felt a bit sorry for the original Kamigawa block. Sandwiched between the very powerful (and some would say game breaking) Mirrodin block and the fan favourite original Ravnica block, Kamigawa was a low point for the game in terms of both power level and player engagement. I remember my local store been devoid of any enthusiasm for the game after the multiple bans and format warping cards of Mirrodin, and felt that the new mechanics of Kamigawa were less than impressive compared to affinity and modular. Still, many players found great enjoyment in the setting and the lore and were keen to see Wizards of the Coast return and give the setting the attention it deserved. Now, nearly two decades later, we finally get to go back.
Things might look a little different from the last time we stepped foot onto the Japanese mythology themed Magic set of Kami’s and Ninjas, but the Kamigawa is still dripping with fantastic lore, art, and homages to the culture that inspired it. However, the world is now filled with advanced technology, fantastic new artifacts, and of course mechs.
If you are a child born during a certain era of media, then you will love the idea of giant robots duking it out for supremacy. It doesn’t matter if they are piloted by a group for ragtag kids with attitude. or discreetly hidden automatons of alien origins. Robots were cool. And it seems that Magic’s R&D department thought so too, as they have introduced a whole bunch of these mechs to the game. Taking the form of artifact vehicles, twelve of these cards have been printed in the base set (which I think you can agree is more than enough to build a deck around).
So, let’s do just that.
In total, we are going to be using only five of the new vehicles for this list, starting off with the High-Speed Hoverbike. With a mana value of two, this first entry breaks all the rules by not actually been a mech. Still, it’s hard to deny its place in the deck since it has just so much value as for an uncommon. Been a 2/2 flyer with a crew cost of one is already great value, but then you throw in flash and the ability to tap a target creature upon entering the battlefield, and it’s difficult to argue against its inclusion.
Next up we have the Reckoner Bankbuster, a big hitter that also has the added benefit of been able to draw some more cards before dropping a treasure and a pilot token onto the board. Sure, it might have a slightly steeper crew cost of three. But as you will see, that is hardly an issue for this deck. Surgehacker Mech is another great include for the deck, bringing more power as a 5/5 with menace and the added benefit of removal. And finally, we would be remised if we didn’t include at least a few copies of Mechtitan Core to live out our best Super Sentai fantasies.
So we have the mechs, but who is going to pilot them? Well first up we have Hotshot Mechanic, the best one drops this deck could ask for since it is able to pilot every vehicle we run. Following close behind we have Kitsune Ace. It might not have the raw piloting skills of our other creatures, but it more than makes up for it with the ability to give our vehicles first strike on the attack and making blocking a real issue for our opponent. Speaking of value, Greasefang, Okiba Boss is probably one of the best creatures we can field in this deck. Like Hotshot Mechanic they can crew all our vehicles. But they also have some built in recursion in case we lose any of our mech to our opponents’ removal.
The last two creatures in the deck are a playset of both Lion Sash and Patchwork Automaton. Both are artifact creatures (very important for Mechtitan Core) that have the ability to grow far larger than they started. The Lion Sash does this by exiling our opponents’ graveyards of permanents, while the Patchwork Automaton just rewards us for playing most of our cards. Lastly, we round out the non-land package with a full four copies of Born to Drive. Not for the aura effect (although that is still rather good) but rather for that Channel ability to give us even more pilots for our army of mechanised war machines.
Finishing off the deck we have the mana base, which is thankfully rather simple since we are almost completely mono white with a splash of black for Greasefang. Playsets of Brightclimb Pathway, Shineshadow Snarl and Mech Hanger should cover us for fixing, with the rest of the deck filled out with eight Plains and a couple of Swamps.
4 Hotshot Mechanic
4 Kitsune Ace
4 Lion Sash
4 Patchwork Automaton
3 Greasefang, Okiba Boss
4 Born to Drive
4 High-Speed Hoverbike
4 Reckoner Bankbuster
3 Mechtitan Core
4 Surgehacker Mech
4 Brightclimb Pathway
4 Shineshadow Snarl
4 Mech Hanger
And that’s B/W RoboMech for Standard. What do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out for Kamigawa Neon Dynasty Standard? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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