Otawara, Soaring City – Kamigawa: Neon Destiny
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.83
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’m up with the kites, and I dream so blue;
I live in the sky, you come live here too . . .
Returning almost anything to its owner’s hand is obviously good – there’s a reason why people play cards like Disperse which don’t even have any other, exciting text. The cost reduction can sometimes be relevant, especially in a legend-heavy draft like Kamigawa Neon Dynasty or a playgroup that loves Dominaria, but I think people may find that its being an activated ability can be relevant in blue mirror matches. The only thing that can counter it is a card like Stifle or a state-based effect (the target gaining hexproof or otherwise becoming illegal), and when both players are holding counterspells, things like that can make the difference between stalemate and breakthrough.
Commander [EDH]: 3/5
Otawara, Soaring City bouncing permanents on channel seems about in-character, given how the original Moonfolk mechanic involved bouncing lands as part of their spellcasting. While four mana isn’t the cheapest price to pay for a bounce spell, the cost reduction does help out a fair bit here, as does the fact that it, unlike spells like Disperse, can actually hit creature lands or lands that have multiple types. Of course, it also can function just fine as a blue land source, and having the ability to play this without a target to bounce is quite nice. Making this near-uncounterable is also quite powerful, along with that this doesn’t lock you out of bouncing your own things with it. I think that, while Boseiju is probably the “star” of the cycle, Otawara is fairly close behind it, as it offers a lot of surprising flexibility in a single card slot.
Limited: 4 (timely bounce can win games, and I don’t believe there’s a way to counter Otawara in this set)
Commander [EDH]: 5 (that this is uncounterable is massive, and it hilariously plays well with the original tranche of Moonfolk)
I like this card, but I don’t like that the channel ability costs 3 and a blue. In order to reduce this card down to just U you’ll need three legendary creatures, that’s not as easy to do even in a legendary heavy environment. That being said this is Unsummon on a stick, being able to bounce almost any bothersome card is pretty great, but is 4 mana too much to do it? What is the sweet spot is something that one has to ask themselves. I can see this being a one or two of in a control deck, at worst you get an untapped blue mana and have one as a back up just in case. I think this could have been REALLY good if the Channel cost was just 1U or maybe even 2U.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5/5
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