Magic: The Gathering is finally returning to Kamigawa on 18 February (for tabletop), following a long spell away.
Just in case anyone's curious, the last set to take place on the Japan-inspired plane, Saviors of Kamigawa, was released all the way back in June 2005, the same month as Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins movie.
Set 1,200 years after the events in the original Kamigawa block, the mortal and the kami (spirit) realms are now coexisting together peacefully, and merging in the new set Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.
Kamigawa is now distinctly different, as occupants in the plane have discovered electricity, and adapted it to create a futuristic neon science-fiction-like world.
Magic: The Gathering players will follow the journey of cyber ninja Kaito Shizuki, aided by Planeswalkers Tamiyo and The Wanderer, as he searches for the Emperor of Kamigawa, who vanished after the Planeswalker Tezzeret attacked her in the temple of Kyodai a few years ago.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty will feature two new mechanics: Reconfigure and Modified.
Reconfigure is a new ability found on artifact creature Equipment cards (i.e. The Reality Chip is both an artifact creature and Equipment).
As a creature, cards with Reconfigure like The Reality Chip are affected by summoning sickness, and can attack as well as block.
Players can pay the Reconfigure cost and attach The Reality Chip to a target creature they control at sorcery speed (and The Reality Chip is now no longer a creature).
Players can also unattach the Equipment by paying the same Reconfigure cost at sorcery speed to turn The Reality Chip back into an artifact creature.
Reconfiguring a card usually brings along additional benefits. The Reality Chip, for example, now allows players to play lands and cast spells from the top of their libraries when The Reality Chip is reconfigured and attached to another creature, along with the ability to look at the top card of the library at any time (which applies both when The Reality Chip is attached to another creature or unattached).
The second mechanic Modified applies to creatures you control that are equipped, enchanted by Auras which you control, and/or have a counter on them (this means any kind of counter—including -1/-1 counter).
Besides the new mechanics Reconfigure and Modified, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is also bringing back two mechanics from the old Kamigawa block.
The first mechanic Magic: The Gathering is bringing back is the activated ability Ninjutsu.
Ninjutsu is only found on creatures with the creature type Ninja, and allows a Ninja to enter the battlefield tapped and attacking from your hand.
This can only happen when you have an attacking creature which is unblocked after the declaring blockers phase.
You can then reveal a Ninja with Ninjutsu from your hand, pay its Ninjutsu mana cost, return the unblocked attacking creature to your hand, and replace it with the Ninja entering the battlefield tapped and attacking (those 0/1 attackers might be a bit too obvious, now).
The second returning mechanic is the ability Channel.
Channel appears on several permanent cards, and allows players to discard a permanent from their hand after paying its Channel cost for an effect.
Do note that Channel is an activated ability, and hence typical counterspells which only counter spells will not work against Channel.
Besides returning mechanics, Sagas, an enchantment subtype, are also making a return, except they are now double-faced cards.
Sagas enter the battlefield with a lore counter which causes the first chapter ability to trigger. Sagas get an additional lore counter at the beginning of your next pre-combat main phase, causing them to trigger subsequent chapter abilities.
Sagas are usually sacrificed after the final chapter ability is triggered, but for the new Sagas in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, they instead flip and turn into enchantment creatures which are based on legendary figures from Kamigawa’s past.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty will also feature 10 new “Ukiyo-e” basic lands that are inspired by traditional Japanese iconography.
Each basic land type will feature 2 different pieces of Japanese woodblock art, and come in both foil and non-foil.
Ninjas and samurais that are featured in the new set will also get separate distinct showcase frames.
Prominent Japanese artists Hara Tetsuo (Fist of the North Star), Yoji Shinkawa (Metal Gear Solid), and many more have also been roped in by Wizards to design full-art cards, which feature certain Legendary creatures as well as Planeswalkers.
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty will be available in regular Draft Boosters, Theme Boosters, Collector Boosters, Set Boosters, as well as the Neon Dynasty Bundle and two Commander decks.
Look out for more content from Yahoo Gaming SEA on this new expansion soon!
Jay Chan plays a lot of Dota 2 and MTG. He's terrible in Dota 2 and a scrub in MTG, and maybe spends too much money on both games.