Tameshi, Reality Architect – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 3.83
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
One thing I’m personally puzzled by is the use of functional reprints or redundancy in cubes. I always figured the point of singleton formats was to have diversity, and that you’d more expect to see cards that have broadly similar effects that play differently, rather than all five of the functional reprints of Llanowar Elves, or Man-o’-War plus Aether Adept plus Exclusion Mage plus Barrin . . . and probably some others I’m forgetting. But if you do have a deck like that, or even just something based on repeatable bounce effects, Tameshi will be a powerhouse. And even if you don’t, but do have white mana instead, he’s still a powerhouse because you’ll get back your best lost card and a new one on top – perhaps multiple times. I’ve seen one-card combos before, but this is one of the strongest, particularly in decks with low mana curves and thus easy-to-reach values of X.
Limited: 4/5 (years ago, I used to underestimate graveyard-to-play effects in limited. Not any more)
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
While the moonfolk of Neon Dynasty have largely moved away from their focus on their land-bouncing magic, Tameshi, Reality Architect exists as a reference to that old set mechanic, and he’s interesting in his own right besides. Bouncing permanents to draw cards is an interesting way to eke out advantage (and it also works with bouncing opponents’ things), even if it’s just once per turn, and Tameshi provides a way to do that himself. Admittedly, that ability might set off alarm bells…recurring artifacts and enchantments repeatedly, even at sorcery speed, has people all atwitter with how it interacts with Urza’s Saga in deeper formats, and recursion in general like this runs a fine line between “powerful” and “I have no idea what they were thinking”.
Tameshi’s in an interesting place as a card, as he’s going to live or die off of applications of that second effect. Bouncing lands in a format with the legendary channel lands has subtle upsides, and returning cards to play can be quite dangerous indeed. He is fairly fragile on his own, but I’d say the upsides he offers can be enough to push a game out of reach. It’s also interesting that Tameshi lacks flying, one of the few moonfolk to be bereft of it, but he does enough that there are things worth doing without that particular talent.
Constructed: 4 (maybe optimistic, but repeatable recursion sets off alarm bells)
Limited: 4.75 (protect him, and his recursion might be able to win games)
Multiplayer: 4 (his bounce trigger applies to all turns, so you might be able to pair him with the likes of Meloku for lots of card draw)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5 (same deal)
Love this for three mana value, especially in limited and multiplayer because it doesn’t just impact cards going back to your hand but opponents too (yay for Unsummon!). The second ability is interesting because of…landfall! Landfall is still in the standard rotation for another year and the need to bounce lands back to your hand is essential for combos and triggers to go off, could this help see a return of 5 color landfall? Will Omnath be smiling from behind the banned wall with Tameshi as it’s successor? Time will tell but in my heart of hearts I don’t think so. I think this is a great limited bomb and not much more, solely because the colors do not work with landfall and 5 color anything is hard to pull off.
Being a legendary creature this Tameshi could be your commander, and it is in the right colors to create some crazy combos so…
Commander [EDH]: 3/5 (in the right deck this could wreck havoc)
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