How Much Could Kamigawa Be Changed and Still Be Considered the Same Plane?

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Posted on Nov. 14, 2018, 8:41 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Kamigawa is not a particularly popular plane, which I find to be very unfortunate, as I am very fond of it, due to it premiering not long after I began playing the game in 2003.

However, Mark Rosewater has stated multiple times that the game is unlikely to return to that plane in a standard-legal set due to its unpopularity, although perhaps the plane could be changed to improve its flaws, but that raises an interesting question: how greatly could the plane be changed and still be considered the same plane? Is it possible to improve the plane and still have it feel the same as it did, before?

What does everyone else say about this? How much could Kamigawa be changed and still feel like the same plane?

Icbrgr says... #2

Are you saying... basically return to kamigawa keeping all the spirit and Japanese flavor.... but come up with new mechanics?

Because I think that was the downfall of kamigawa... the tough mechanics with returning lands to hands.... hand size shenanigans and the confusion that was Ninjustu....although I do prefer kamigawas flip card method more than other transformations like werewolves.

November 14, 2018 9:32 p.m.

legendofa says... #3

If I were part of the Kamigawa 2 planning committee, this is what I would suggest:

Scrap all unique mechanics other than Bushido, Ninjitsu, and Arcane. Expand the utility of Arcane, and give it more interaction.

Keep all the creature types, but reduce the prevalence of Spirits. Maybe add Human Ninjas and expand Nezumi into a second color, with some story explanation.

New story: Tamiyo returns, Myojin of Night's Reach returns as a minor antagonist or supporting character, not sure what the story itself would be.

And above all, make the spells worth their mana cost!

November 14, 2018 10:03 p.m.

legendofa says... #4

Night's Reach is a moderately well-developed character in who has been antagonistic in the past, but has goals beyond conquering, converting, or consuming reality.

New 3-way split card? Conquer (Boros) / Convert (Selesnya) / Consume (Gruul)?

November 14, 2018 10:23 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #5

I also like Kamigawa! I think that hand size matters will have to be dropped, along with spirit tribal due to bant spirits, or it will at least have to be wimp spirit tribal. :(. Otherwise, Wizards could make a better splice, possibly one that still worked with the old arcane ones. Splice onto Instants maybe? Ninjas are popular, wizards could probably bring back those. Legendary sub-theme? Cut it. Dominaria already had historic. Arcane/Spirit cast trigger relating to CMC? CUT. Bushido was good, probably should minimize bushido, but could keep. Hope this helps!

November 15, 2018 12:45 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #6

I agree the Spirit theme was excessive. I'm okay with tribal sets and cards that benefit a specific tribe, but Kamigawa went over the top. As an example, the block contained 47 cards that read "whenever you cast a spirit". While these also triggered off Arcane spells, making them a tad more versatile, it still is a little bit excessive. There were more "whenever you cast a spirit" cards in Kamigawa block than there were Vampires in Innistrad.

There also are a number of cards specifically designed to remove or hamper spirits, without use on other tribes. Those kinds of unfriendly cards are, at best, sideboard material in Limited and worthless in constructed formats.

Finally, Spirits got an exclusive ability in Soulshift.

I'd like to see Spirits as a tribe, but that doesn't mean the entire rest of the set should be focused on them.

November 15, 2018 1:19 a.m.

legendofa says... #7

I can't stop remaking Kamigawa now.

Humans: Keep them basically as they are, five colors, no inherent tribal interactions, just general (or General) people.

Akki: They're goblins. They have fireworks. Stuff blows up. What makes the akki distinct from other goblins? Give them more of an identity. I just don't know what, yet.

Spirits: The war ended a thousand years ago, so there doesn't need to be too many. Maybe a cycle at rare, and a scattering at common and uncommon that interact with Arcane.

Nezumi: Branch them out into , as they become more distrustful and violent toward everything else. All Nezumi cards will be either or , not mono-. Alternatively, they become more civilized and close-knit and add . I like the concept of the Nezumi, but they don't really have an identity other than thuggish rat people.

Oni: Part of the spirit cycles. They don't need the Ogre interactions.

Ogres: Not sure what to do with these. Maybe have a couple at low rarities, but they don't need much, especially if Nezumi move to .

Moonfolk: Give them something to do other than unlandfall. A new keyword or something. Anything. These are my second choice for thematic Arcane interactions.

Legendary: No more than a typical set. It was an interesting idea, but overloading on Legends didn't pan out well.

Ninja, Samurai, Monk: Keep, keep, keep. I like the Monks in , but add a tribal thing here, with maybe some non-Humans.

Anything else: As needed.

Basically, develop the identities of the akki, nezumi, and soratami, cut some of the spirits and the ogre-oni interactions, and keep the class types more or less as they are.

Instants, sorceries, and enchantments can all have Arcane without changing the effect. I don't think Splice is necessary, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. Add more ways for Arcane to interact with other stuff. Long-Forgotten Gohei is a good starting point.

November 15, 2018 1:26 a.m.

dusterGGG says... #8

They could proably change just about everything. Kamigawa block took place 1000 years before The Brother's War. A lot can change in over 2000 years.

November 15, 2018 10:50 a.m.

Storywise, I've had an idea before: kamigawa is having a conflict between staying true to their traditions or opening to change. The soratami, who were always closest to the kami, are the keepers of tradition, while especially the orochi are up for change as they benefit a lot from being able to visit minamo (as Kaseto, Orochi Archmage suggests). With such a story, you could easily argue for all tribes reaching into new colours.

November 15, 2018 12:54 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #10

November 16, 2018 11:56 a.m.

legendofa says... #11

Flooremoji Goblins and land destruction. This. Changes. Everything.

That's a very good point to start developing the akki. I don't think it's going to bring back Stone Rain and Molten Rain, but Akki land destruction/land sac sounds pretty solid.

So, because I'm still thinking...



Orochi-- with splash

Nezumi-- with splash

Soratami-- splashing both and


Ogres--mid- to high-cost

seems underdeveloped--maybe edge Humans toward and , with a light sprinkle in other colors. Seems okay, as far as creature color balance goes.

November 16, 2018 1:10 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #12

Maybe White Monks to go with the tribal?

November 16, 2018 1:23 p.m.

Doing monks in GW seems reasonable. The old monks were G, and newer, non-kamigawa monks are in jeskai colours. Flavourwise, selesnya seems the most fitting.

November 16, 2018 2:25 p.m.

legendofa says... #14

Major "class" types:

Monk: , good thinking, Flooremoji and seshiro_of_the_orochi

Samurai: , with some and , as it was before

Ninja: . I'd like to see another color, probably or , but that's not critical

Wizard, Warrior, Shaman, that kind of thing: as needed

And I forgot the Kitsune. They would help flesh out . Would they branch into ?

November 16, 2018 4 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #15

I wouldn't think so. Maybe some could be corrupt and branch into ?

November 16, 2018 11:09 p.m.

Regarding the kitsune, I'm with Flooremoji. Black seems reasonable.

Regarding third colour for ninjas: I'd love to see green, as a snake ninja really speaks to me ;) but it might actually be the wrong decision to make them sultai.

I think we shouldn't overload on tribes. Dropping ogres and have the akki appear at higher cmc as well would support this. Also, if these guys would really have a land-destruction theme going, they can't be at cmc 3 and below.

November 17, 2018 12:06 a.m.

legendofa says... #17

Kitsune sounds okay.

For the creatures, I have no problem dropping Ogres. To work around the land destruction CMC requirements, I think low-cost akki would be general permanent destruction/forced sac (Akki Underminer) and land sac for benefit (Akki Avalanchers), and higher-up ones would be the targeted land destruction. As a rough eyeball, maybe for a etb Stone Rain on a 2/2 creature? Comparing to Avalanche Riders.

Ogres out, Kitsune in, Humans pretty balanced through the colors. I like it.

seshiro_of_the_orochi Snake Ninja. Yes. Do you have any special reason for why Sultai ninjas might be wrong, or is it just a gut feeling?

Am I completely taking over this thread?

November 17, 2018 9:21 a.m.

legendofa: it's kamigawa, so who wouldn't be enthusiastic? ;D

Recent Sultai always deals with rot and death. These aren't ninja things. So no, not just a gut feeling. It could work if we would strictly avoid any golgari or sultai ninjas, but instead only made mnocoloured ones or simic/dimir.

November 17, 2018 9:42 a.m.

legendofa says... #19

seshiro_of_the_orochi You're right, but I don't think "recent Sultai" is the same as "all Sultai". Sultai, at least in my interpretation, can also represent ruthlessness, dedication to self-improvement, use of all available resources, and undying (ha) determination, all of which are totally ninja-y. Think about New Phyrexia and infect--generally Sultai colors, Phyrexia represents the extreme of self-modification and improvement, the spread of corruption... I'm not suggesting bringing infect back, just using it as an example of non-rot and death and decay Sultai philosophy. Sure, recent Sultai has been all zombie-wrangling, but there's gotta be more to it than finding the next pile of dead stuff and playing with it.

November 17, 2018 10:13 a.m.

Looking at it that way, it might actually fit. But still, while phyrexia is a great example for your given values, it's a pretty good manifestation of corruption and pseudo-undead, thus still kind-of being about rot. What do you think about my above given restriction about avoiding sultai or golgari for the ninjas? There should still be a sultai legend for the commander players out there. Golgari is, though there are great examples of golgari not being about rot, still best known for undead stuff.

On another topic: with that many tribes, I think the set shouldn't focus on one mechanic per tribe, but rather fewer that can go onto multiple. I've had an idea for this yesterday:

Orochi of the forward eye 1UG

Creature - snake wizard

Progress - whenever a non-land permanent enters the battlefield under your control, scry 1.


Soratami Retainer WUB

Creature - moonfolk wizard


Progress - whenever a non-land permanent enters the battlefield under your control, each player loses 1 life.


You could basically put that trigger onto every single tribe and give it an ability fitting lore-wise. In the given examples, the orochi is pro-progress, thus has a benefitting trigger. The soratami is contra-progress, thus doing damage in a way. Thoughts?

November 18, 2018 12:26 a.m.

legendofa says... #21

seshiro_of_the_orochi Your suggestions for color restrictions in the Ninjas work. And since there's not a tribe at this point, nothing's getting left out. I'm on board with Simic, Dimir, and mono ninjas. The Sultai Legend would have to be pretty dramatic, but I really want to see how it would turn out. Sultai's my favorite 3-color set, and Ninjas are in my top five types. The only way it could be better would be as a Skeleton Ninja, but again, that's not really Kamigawa.

I was going to suggest the same thing about the non-tribal mechanics, but you beat me to the punch. Great minds something something something. Samurai get Bushido, Ninjas get Ninjutsu, and that's it as far as tribal mechanics go. Progress is an interesting mechanic, and it really gets the idea across as pro- or anti-progress. I'm a little worried it be a touch too easily triggered too many times--maybe it triggers on the first nonland permanent entering your field each turn? Orochi of the Forward Eye could almost stack your deck with a couple of tokens each turn. Any thoughts on that?

Soratami: Anti-progress

Orochi: Pro-progress

Nezumi: Pro-progress?

Humans: Anti-progress?

Kitsune: ?

Akki: Pro-progress?

Spirits: ?

November 18, 2018 11:30 a.m.

Triggering on the first permanent sounds fine. This makes it a little closer to being as balanced as landfall. Your aligning of pro and contra seems fine and fitting flavourwise.

November 18, 2018 2:08 p.m.

legendofa says... #23

I just thought of something with the Akki as I described them a couple of posts back. Low cost would include land sac for benefit. Higher cost would include targeted land destruction. There's a lot of tension between "land sac for benefit" and "high cost"-- if you're saccing lands, you can't reach the high cost easily. Is this feasible to work with?

November 18, 2018 2:21 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #24

I very much like the ideas that everyone here is sharing, as they show great creativity and imagination; if only WotC could have similar ideas.

Speaking of WotC, they finally printed a legendary black/blue ninja in the most recent Commander set, so how likely is it that they may print a legendary red/white samurai in a future supplemental product?

November 18, 2018 5:40 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #25

Maybe not each player, and give flying depending on rarity.

November 18, 2018 5:55 p.m.

legendofa says... #26

DemonDragonJ A red/white legendary Samurai in a future supplemental project I would guess is very likely, maybe within the next couple years. The last couple Commander sets had cards like Kaseto, Orochi Archmage, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami, and you point out Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow. WotC does listen to the Kamigawa crowd, even if they don't appear to be going back in the near future, and creating a Commander-able Samurai would please a lot of people, from Kamigawa people to flavor people to people just looking for another option in those colors.

Flooremoji Would it work better as target player, or all opponents? What's your suggestion? And adding flying works. I have to admit, I'm still thinking in broad strokes, not in individual cards just yet, aside from exploring possible abilities as mockups.

November 18, 2018 8:13 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #27

legendofa Yep I know. Individual cards are a moot point. Now all we need to do is get into WoTC and leave them a pack of new Kamigawa cards. :)

November 18, 2018 8:52 p.m.

legendofa says... #28

Nice. Does anyone know anybody with an official-looking ID around Renton, Washington?

November 18, 2018 9:38 p.m.

Sorry to drop in randomly on this forum, just finished reading each comment so far. Was wondering what people thought of a planeswalker for a Kamigawa set? Heres a wild idea and I have no idea how it would work story wise, but I was thinking a flip card that starts off as an Arfifact Equipment that feels like a very powered down Umezawa’s Jitte that transforms into a planeswalker. Heres an attempt at the formatting:

~ Card Name Here 3

Artifact Equipment

Equip - 2

Whenever equiped creature deals combat damage, put a counter on ~.

Remove 2 counters from ~: Equiped creature gets +1+1 and first strike until the end of the turn.

Remove X counters from ~: Transform ~ into ~ with that many Loyalty counters on it.

~ Backside Card Name Here


-2: Transform ~ back into an equipment and attatch it to target creature you control. Draw a card.


Im not sure what the theming or a other abilities could be. Let me mnow if this is a good or bad idea, and perhaps the equipment should be color costed to avoid another colorless planeswalker and keep power down. Feel free to retool and remake this, especially if your a flavor efficianoto.

Also what if the same concept was done with Senseis Top lol? Again dont know if this is a good idea or not.

On another note what about retooling a few already existing cards in this theoretical set, such as the recent M19 card Supreme Phantom. Sry random Brainstorming here love Kamigawa.

November 20, 2018 12:27 p.m.

ZombieswithJetpacks: this id a weird, but admittedly interesting idea. I could imagine doing such a thing with That Which Was Taken (I keep on forgetting her name...).

Btw, I still remember reading sth. about which set maro would love to remake. If I remember correctly, he mentioned kamigawa in this context. And after the legendary matters theme is put aside, the road to kamigawa 2.0 seems paved. I still hope.

November 20, 2018 12:52 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #31

I like the idea of a equipment PW. Maybe The legendary Jit(t?)e was actually a PW that was bound to a blade?

November 20, 2018 3:43 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #32

+1 create a 1/1 colorless spirit token? -6 You get a emblem When Spirit ETB, create (equipment token) and attach?

November 20, 2018 3:45 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #33

seshiro_of_the_orochi, she originally had no name, but she assumed a human form modeled after Michiko Konda, so Michiko named her Kyodai, the Japanese word for "sibling."

November 20, 2018 8:49 p.m.

legendofa says... #34

Thinking about story and characters now, trying to get my thoughts down without derailing the current conversation...

I already mentioned I'd like to see Night's Reach come back, and Tamiyo needs to be in here too. Some of the spirits might be 2,000 years old. All the other callbacks would most likely be disciples or descendants of original Kamigawa characters.

Jittewalker could work as a new character, with a little development and description. Please keep thinking about this one; it has a lot of potential in it, both as a card and as a character or story point.

The story so far is about increasing tension between the races that want cultural development and progress and the races that are holding to tradition. The soratami are fitting nicely into the contra-progressives, or traditionalists, or whatever. What would Tamiyo think of this?

November 21, 2018 12:39 a.m.

legendofa: tamiyo has an orphanage, thus I'd put her into the "improvement through progress" section.

The akki would propably take a rakdos-road in that they just want to watch the world burn. The nezumi would benefit a lot from progress in that they could participate more in society. The samurai should propably be contra as bushido seems to be based on tradition a lot. The ninja are hard. They'd lose their tradition if the were pro, but otherwise, it would be a nice flavour fit if the black-aligned tribes were on the progressive side as a callback to the hero of original kamigawa Toshiro Umezawa.

November 21, 2018 11:55 a.m.

Could the Jitte Walker perhaps story wise be along the line of a cursed item. Like maybe the Jitte itself is the planeswalker and the creature equiped to it is the sword’s puppet, and the transformation in someway could represent this.

If this were the case perhaps once a creature is equiped it cant be unequiped unless it would die or be exiled and the sword wouldnt be able to equip to another creature at that point. Could take this a step further and have the transformation exile the equiped creature under the walker until the walker, aka the sword, would be destroyed.

I wish I could offer more ideas story wise, but mostly have mechanical ideas in mind.

Also That Which Was Taken is an amazing card flavor wise, like most of Kamigawa I wish it were a bit cheaper to cost.

November 22, 2018 12:30 p.m.

ZombieswithJetpacks: I don't intend to let you down, but in my opinion, making jitte a cursed item seems wrong. The card represents the signature weapon of toshi, and he never seemed possessed by it in any of the books. So I can't get behind that idea.

November 22, 2018 1:49 p.m.

Like I said dont know much about the story, just flinging mechanics at walls and seeing what sticks.

November 23, 2018 10:36 p.m.

I hope I didn't sound too harsh. I'm not a native speaker, so finding the proper words is hard sometimes.

November 24, 2018 4:06 a.m.

All good your criticisms were valid and you spoke very well.

Maybe cursed isnt the right word, perhaps the sword speaks through the wielded idk. Like I said just brainstorming for the love of Kamigawa.

November 24, 2018 2:13 p.m.

legendofa says... #41

Could the planeswalker be a different weapon? The idea of a powerful being (planeswalker) inhabiting a weapon would work very well in Kamigawa. I also don't know much of the story behind Umezawa's Jitte. A quick search comes up with Tenza, Godo's Maul, Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang (which kind of has this idea), Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho, and Konda's Banner for legendary equipment from Kamigawa. Or have it be some other weapon--some type of non-sword weapon, like a bow or spear, might be interesting. Just tossing out ideas.

November 24, 2018 11:46 p.m.

I still like the idea of a weapon with an inhabitant walker. But coming up with a new one seems best.

Afaik jitte doesn't have that much of a back story. It's the jitte (thus bladebreaker knife) of toshi.

November 25, 2018 3:37 a.m.

Ok so was trying to make a powerful being that protects itself through the sword and emerges as a wrathful powerful being. Again, not a story guy so someone needs to fill in the blanks here. Also throwing in some admittedly weird design concepts. Feel free to tweak/ change/ criticize.

~ 5

Artifact Equipment


Fast Equip 2 (You may equip this card at instant speed by paying it's Fast Equip cost).

Equipped creature gains first strike and protection from creatures that share an equal power with the equipped creature.

1: Equipped Creature gets +1+0 or -1+0 until the end of the turn. If you activated this ability 7 or more times this turn, transform it.


Legendary Planeswalker

+5: Discard your hand: If 3 or more cards are discarded this way, each opponent discards a card. If 7 or more cards are discarded, each opponent discards a card and exiles a permanent they control. Return up to three cards from your graveyard to your hand.

-7: You get an emblem with: "You don't lose the game for having 0 cards in your library and drawing a card. You gain 20 life."

-7: Each player gets an emblem with: "Whenever you play a land, each opponent sacrifices a land and draws a card."

Loyalty 2

To much? Thoughts?

November 25, 2018 9:40 p.m.

I feel there's way too much going on with this card. Maybe we should go back to the set in general before digging too deep into specific cards.

November 26, 2018 3:38 p.m.

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