Magic: The Gathering’s Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty pays homage to the world of Japanese manga and anime while staying true to airplane lore.

Magic: The Gatheringthe last expansion set is Kamigawa: The Neon Dynastywhich serves as a high-tech reboot to the disappointing Kamigawa Champions to block. This time around, Kamigawa is looking to the future, not the rustic past, and the set has undergone major aesthetic changes as well as gameplay changes. It’s Kamigawa like never before.

Wizards of the Coast also has a good sense of humor, as shown in its popular Un-sets, and has even slipped pop culture references and in-jokes into expansions. neon dynasty is no exception. Given the Japanese inspiration of this aircraft, more than a few of these in-game references refer to classic manga, anime, and video games, among other sources. anime-savvy Magic fans are sure to spot them all.


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Megazord, Akira and more in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty


At least eight different Kamigawa: The Neon Dynasty cards involve pop culture references in their titles, artwork, and/or gameplay, from Mythic Rares to Commons. Among the black cards in the set, You Are Already Dead clearly pays homage to the classic 1980s animated series. Fist of the North Star, whose martial artist hero, Kenshiro, says this line just before an enemy explodes into bloody pieces. Kenshiro can strike acupuncture points with his bare hands to destroy his enemies from within before they even know what is happening, and that neon dynasty map reflects this. These are also cantrips to compensate for such a niche effect.


Explosive Singularity pays visual homage to the dragonball franchise, where Saiyan heroes such as Son Goku can muster massive amounts of energy to create a Spirit Bomb attack to take down the series’ most powerful villains. Explosive Singularity is an expensive red sorcery that borrows the summoning ability from Ravnica’s Selesnya Guild, and it deals 10 damage to any target, a burn effect worthy of Goku himself.

Greasegang, Okiba Boss plays in neon dynastyThe theme of vehicles and artifacts from , and this Rat Pilot creature is undoubtedly a reference to the beloved cyberpunk animated film. Akira, famous for its hero’s red motorcycle. Many anime and manga series have paid homage to this motorcycle’s stunts, and both Greasefang and a visual of the first neon dynasty trailer recreate this fashionable red motorcycle.


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Mechtitan Core is one of the most obvious and powerful pop culture references in the set, and it allows players to create their own Megazord, or perhaps the Voltron robot from the eponymous series. This rare vehicle can exile itself and other artifact creatures for a cost to assemble the mighty Mechtitan, a titanic 10/10 artifact creature token of any color with five different abilities. This thing can dominate any Limited draft booster game.

Other Neon Dynasty references: TMNT, Star Fox & Energizer batteries


neon dynasty cards 2

Kamigawa: The Neon Dynasty didn’t stop at four cards to reference pop culture. Two special cards recall the TMNT franchise, these being Silver-Fur Master and Kappa Tech-Wrecker, referring to the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their mentor, Master Splinter. It’s a simple and elegant way to pay homage to pop culture without disrupting the game’s own lore, as Silver-Fur Master fits right into the blue-black Ninja archetype and Kappa Tech-Wrecker matches the green theme of the destruction of artifacts and enchantments. It also shows how diverse the Ninja creature type has become.


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Hotshot Mechanic is a Fox driver who can equip vehicles as if his power was two times higher, and while that’s great news for white-based decks running vehicles, Hotshot Mechanic has an added flavor. This card undoubtedly pays homage to the star fox video game series in which Fox McCloud flies to victory mission after mission in his ship Arwing. Fox is also notorious in the world of Super Smash Bros.., Above all Melee where he sees a lot of competitive play.

Ultimately, neon dynasty takes a break from anime and game references and presents Rabbit Battery in red, a cheap artifact creature gear that shows how the new reconfiguration ability works. It’s more than just a cheap, aggressive creature – it’s also a fun throwback to the Energizer Bunny, which is known for playing the marching bass drum while wearing sunglasses. This rabbit has endless energy from these batteries, and Rabbit Battery feels the same way.


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