Home Japanese warriors Kamigawa Neon Dynasty’s cyberpunk theme is its saving grace

Kamigawa Neon Dynasty’s cyberpunk theme is its saving grace

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At first, cyberpunk seems like an odd choice for Magic: The Gathering. But it was the only way to save the Kamigawa plane from obscurity.

Magic: The Gathering is about to return to the mythical plane of Kamigawa, inspired by real Japanese history and folklore, from colorful spirits to samurai warriors, roadside shrines and much more. However, although the original Kamigawa block is considered a failure, the next Kamigawa: The Neon Dynasty is about to fix all that.

the original Kamigawa The block is known for its low power levels, clunky mechanical identity, and lack of resonance with players. Plus, he only had a handful of strong cards to his name. For years, Wizards didn’t want to touch the Kamigawa plane, but neon dynasty found a way to reboot this plane and appeal to modern gamers using the cyberpunk aesthetic.


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How Cyberpunk Clears MTG Kamigawa’s Baggage


At first glance, the cyberpunk genre seems like an odd, even groundbreaking choice for the new Kamigawa to block. Magic: The Gathering players are used to seeing robots and computers, but only in sets like the next one infinity, which is themed around outer space. Until recently, M:XL sets and lore never featured more advanced technology than the crossbows and horse-drawn wagons of the 18th century, but as the Kaladesh two-set block shown, cutting-edge technology has its place in the game when circumstances permit. Yes Magic may have steampunk vehicles and gadgets in Kaladeshthen Kamigawa’s plane can embrace cyberpunk.


In neon dynasty1,200 years have passed since the events of the original Kamigawa the events of the block, which took place long before the main events of the game. Since then, Kamigawa’s advancement has caught up with aircraft like Dominaria and Kaladesh and even surpassed them, creating the most technologically superior aircraft ever. Lore-wise, this makes sense, and from a design perspective, it was an opportunity to radically experiment and reinvent the aircraft for a modern audience. The many problems of the original block may have persisted if the new Kamigawa set borrowed the design philosophy from the previous block, and increasing the power levels of the cards wouldn’t have been enough to solve this problem.


Wizards of the Coast has rebooted the plane, wiping the slate nearly clean and showcasing a modern world where technology clashes with tradition. This gives the whole thing a simple and easy to understand theme, while avoiding the obscure Kamigawa lore with which few players today would be familiar. It’s a new Kamigawa for new players, while veterans of the original block can still find something to enjoy. Dealing with an old and complex story would have been harder than it was worth, and creating a radically new setting was a simple and attractive way to distance the new set from the original. Kamigawa the tradition of the block.


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How Cyberpunk Reinvented Kamigawa Gameplay


kamigawa mtg

Just as Kamigawa’s story is safely removed from the original, the gameplay has also been rebooted to appeal to modern gamers. the original Kamigawa Block was one of the first top-down sets, in which cards were designed to fit lore and flavor rather than the other way around. However, the implementation was uncertain at best. This resulted in “parasitic” gameplay where KamigawaMaps only worked in the context of others Kamigawa cards, meaning the block was mixing poorly with other sets and blocks. Effects such as Arcane, Soulshift, Sweep, “Wisdom”, and Offering are all gone neon dynastyreplaced with more modern effects that work well with other sets.


Kamigawa: The Neon Dynasty Cleverly provides broad gameplay themes and mechanics common to most sets, including emphasis on artifacts, enchantment play, attacking with a single creature, use of +1/+ counters 1 and crew vehicles with creatures. All this gives neon dynasty unique gameplay and flavor, but most importantly, these effects can be found in any set. All sets have artifacts and creatures, for example, and many have +1/+1 counters and cards that implement enchantments.

It’s the opposite of parasite, and flavor-wise the cyberpunk setting justifies this aggressive change in Kamigawa’s mechanics. Equipping vehicles and making equipment cards live wouldn’t have made sense in the original Kamigawa block, but with neon dynastygameplay and lore intertwined, it all makes perfect sense. Now, cybernetic ninjas can jump into giant anime-inspired robots to battle enchanted snake warriors, and it all goes well with the overall “unnatural cyberpunk modernism” theme. the old Kamigawa had no chance of coming back, but this cyberpunk Kamigawa 2.0 is perfect for today’s gamers.


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