We are only a few weeks away from the much anticipated look at the future of Kamigawa. And, although most of what we’ve got has been in story and leaks, there have been some confirmed planeswalkers and mechanics both old and new that have us a bit excited.
If you’re a fan of the stories, you might want to jump out and go to Wotc’s fiction before reading further. These precursors to the Neon Dynasty story seem to be rather good and worth reading.
Kaito Shizuki’s origin story as a Planeswalker
Before we get too deep, I’d like to clarify something important about the setting. We were told that Neon Dynasty occurs 1200 years after the Kami War. If you weren’t around for the first visit to Kamigawa or didn’t sit in on the teaser stream, you may not realize that our newest tour of the plane may be in the future, but not THE future. The last visit to the Kamigawa was 1200 years in our past. So Neon Dynasty occurs in our present which means that any of our current Planeswalkers can be a part of this new story.
First of all, we have the introduction of a new planeswalker, Kaito Shizuki. He is a young rogue who finds himself caught up in an adventure spanning from the Imperial Palace to the dark underbelly of this advanced civilization. This definitely gives us a varied look at life in Kamagawa as well as the cyberpunk tech being used there. To be sure, this new planeswalker’s story is different than any other.
Last chance to avoid spoilers…
Kaito Shizuki encountered a Kami, Himoto, that he referred to as the KAMI OF THE SPARK. It was born at the same time that the Emperor was attacked by ‘a man with a metal arm’ (more on him later) and disappeared. It became the first Kami to link up to new tech. Himoto CHOSE to link up to help Kaito find the Emperor.
Another Planeswalker teased is front-and-center on the box art. Hiding in plain site is the mysterious traveler, The Wanderer.
Last seen in War of the Spark, The Wanderer is a mysterious planeswalker from a yet unknown plane with very little info to go on. Now, Mark Rosewater made a statement on his Blogatog that seemed to diffuse any speculation.
But it just doesn’t make sense. Why give any sibilance of backstory with ANY particular planeswalker? It should simply left to a generic character. She’s made her appearance in the Kanigawa story and I was right about her identity. Check out my article on the identity of the Wanderer including said backstories to see my take.
Now,another confirmed planeswalker for this set is Tezzeret. It has to do with the fact that the Emperor was attacked by a ‘man with the metal arm’ the night she disappeared. But considering things I mentioned in the Wanderer article, he makes more and more sense. And, if it isn’t Tezzeret, who is the above mentioned metal armed assailant. And, seeing that the Emperor disappeared, a planeswalker makes most sense. On top of that, the latest Magic Story on Kamigawa confirmed all of this thanks to the whisper of a dying man.
Considering Tezzret worked for the Phyrexians before and one of the Praetors has been revealed on Kamigawa, it seems that it all but confirmed that he’s back in the fold.
Ninjutsu is back as expected allowing an attacking Ninja that isn’t blocked to trade places with one in your hand; sending it attacking in the unblocked ninja’s place. We already have several cards that showcase this fan favorite. The new planeswalker is perfect for this keyword. Kaito Shizuki‘s -2 ability creates 1/1 blue ninja creature token with an added caveat: It can’t be blocked! This feeds Ninjutsu. Trading your 1/1 ninja tokens for a more powerful Ninja in your hand with cool abilities is a win-win.
CYCLES ARE A THING!
We have already gotten leaks on two cards in the Kamigawa Land Cycle so far. Both have Channel cost. We last saw this keyword in Saviors of Kamigawa and it allows you, for a cost, to discard the land for an effect. It also costs one less to activate the Channel ability for each legendary creature you control! It’s value if you get mana flooded and it also feeds Legendary decks!
There’s also the hint of a Dragon Cycle. Atsushi and the leaked Junji both give two choices when they die. Three tokens with Atsushi or card options and Junji inflicts discard and life loss or the insane ability to replace its dead carcass with ANY nondragon in your graveyard! Insane!
There’s obviously more to come, but, needless to say, my interest is peaked and the hype meter is off the chart! Can’t wait for the real spoiler season to start! What are you most looking forward to in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty?