Atsushi, the Blazing Sky – Kamigawa: Neon Destiny
Date Reviewed: March 21, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
“Tonight I write my name in fire . . .”
The dragon, they say, is much more than a dragon. It represents the force inside of all of us that desires to know the world, which is why dragons hoard gold in Europe and speak secrets in Japan. And somehow, all that dragons are, both inside and outside of Magic, seems to come together in Atsushi. He’s a devastatingly efficient attacker, and he must be removed but leaves a lasting impact on the game. He’s equally good in aggressive decks and synergy-based decks; even a humble Vermin Gorger becomes a juggernaut when he’s around. And he’s long enough to blot out the sky!
Casual: 4/5 (I can’t express how much I love red’s recent Treasure synergies)
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
Blessed with both length and an impressive swoop, Atsushi, the Blazing Sky turned heads almost immediately on reveal; he’s a 4/4 with evasion, on curve, that also recoups some of what could be lost on his death. And both of those are pretty solid as far as death triggers go: the pseudo-card draw is nice in red to fire up the engines after he dies, and the treasure sort of offsets his already affordable mana cost and pairs well with a lot of this set’s fun artifact synergies. His aggressive mana cost and solid combat capabilities are what helped him carve out a solid niche in aggressive decks, and even if he never dies, he can gratuitously swoop upon your nemeses to bring about the end. The smallest body of the five new Spirit Dragons is made up for by his sheer aggression, and Atsushi’s apt to see a lot of Standard play over the year ahead, showing once again that swooping is, always has been, and will continue to be bad.
Commander [EDH]: 4
A solid creature for four that gives you a flying/trample 4/4 right off the bat. It is definitely a force to be reckoned with early game and worth splashing red in limited just to be able to play it or even build around it if you can. The “when it dies” abilities are pretty sweet, you can pull some shenanigans with cards that let you look at the top cards of your library to see if it is worth it to mill the top two cards in order to play them. But the better ability in my opinion is getting three treasure tokens right off the bat. Three free mana for the loss of the creature is huge, you could even see some situations where you’d want to kill your own creature to just get mana to help you out in a pinch or to play a better more expensive card. Solid card all around with nothing but upside!
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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