Is a Return to Kamigawa More Likely to Occur Now than it Was Before?

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on April 12, 2018, 9:27 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Employees of WotC have said that it is unlikely (but not impossible) that M:tG shall return to Kamigawa at any time in the near future, because of how the Kamigawa block was poorly received by the players. Despite this, there are a number of players who are very fond of that plane and would very much like to see the game return there at some point in the future.

I personally believe that the chances of returning to Kamigawa are currently much higher than they have been in the past, due to the fact that WotC is no longer automatically printing blocks and each set is a standalone set, which will allow WotC to spend less effort making a new set on a plane that not was not very popular. I will not spend time discussing the details of what was wrong with the Kamigawa block and how to fix it for future sets, but I will say that the new approach to sets should make returning to that plane easier.

What does everyone else say about this? Is a return to Kamigawa more likely to happen now than it was before? Why or why not?

cdkime says... #2

I foresee a return to Kamigawa, though not for a couple years. There are far more interesting, popular planes to revisit--namely Ravnica, New Phyrexia, and Dominaria (call me old fashioned, but I think you can always return to Dominaria).

On the note of Dominaria, I read an interesting article a while ago about how one of the downsides of Kamigawa's set design was its incredible focus on legendary objects. This overabundance created problems with set design. Interestingly, Dominaria has taken a similar focus on "legendary" but seems to have done a better job than its predecessor. But this reduces the chance of a Kamigawa set--there will probably be a bit between legendary-focused sets.

April 12, 2018 11:18 p.m.

buckeyetron says... #3

cdkime we've already had return to ravnica, new phyrexia, and are returning to dominaria soon. lets revisit planes we've only seen once before going back to others for a 3rd time.

April 12, 2018 11:34 p.m.

SpammyV says... #4

Man I like Kamigawa and I can't see Return to Kamigawa happening. I feel like the initial taste was so bad and the demand is so low it's not going to happen. The nods we get with supplementary products (the Night of the Ninja deck, O-Kagachi) and the callback-to-a-callback that is Tetsuko Umezawa are probably all we're getting.

I would rate the chances of us getting a Coldsnap-style "Hey we found these files" release of Mirrodin Pure happening before Return to Kamigawa.

April 12, 2018 11:34 p.m.

buckeyetron says... #5

a return to kamigawa is very much needed. we could use some samurai and ninja that are actually playable, whether it be buffed up bushido and ninjutsu or new mechanics altogether.

April 12, 2018 11:36 p.m.

cdkime says... #6


Return to Ravnica was half a decade ago. New Phyrexia was half a dozen years. While these planes have been visited twice, they have not been seen for quite a while.

Ravnica is, perhaps, the best designed plane mechanically--the plethora of guild mechanics, the great attention to the color pie, and the lore, makes Ravnica (deservedly) one of the more popular planes.

Phyrexians are Magic's oldest enemies--ones that have been far too quite for far too long. They are as much a part of Magic's history as Dominaria--that alone justifies their return. The mechanics of the set (while a bit too Spike-y for my taste) are also quite popular.

Kamigawa is interesting, in that it does not have the European influence of other planes. But it was a poorly designed mess. Far too many of the set's abilities (arcane, soulshift) only really work within the confines of the block.

I'd personally love to see the place return, but there are good reasons why the set is unpopular.

April 12, 2018 11:59 p.m.

maxon says... #7

More rats! Rats! Rats! Rats!

April 13, 2018 12:05 a.m.

legendofa says... #8

I wouldn't mind revisiting Kamigawa, if only to correct mistakes, develop mechanics, and generally letting everybody feel better about it. I really want to revisit Alara--literally the most important event in the plane's history occurs, and we only get a glimpse, a snapshot of the aftereffects. What does a plane look like after it's physically and philosophically rebuilt virtually from scratch? For Kamigawa, I don't know the story as well, but it seems like most of the loose ends are tied up. Is that right? What would the story of Kamigawa 2 be?

April 13, 2018 12:54 a.m.

With kaladesh not out of standard yet, another artifact set (which new phyrexia would definitely be) will probably not happen for another four years, except maybe the esper part of alara 2. Ravnika is a very popular plane, and wizards knows we love multicolour sets. Theros 2 might also be a thing soon, as the cycle of tripple-mono-coloured (steel leaf cgampion and the like) creatures in dominaria heavily hint at this.

Personally, i'd love a return to kamigawa. As the story of the original block happened like thousand years before original mirrodin, kamagawa will definitely not be the same. Storywise, there actually are some possibilities: what has happened with Myojin of Night's Reach after gaining a pseudo spark and bringing Toshiro Umezawa to dominaria? Also, there is tamiyo's orphanage. And i actually see the tribes get shuffled up colour and class wise, as seen on Kaseto, Orochi Archmage: they weren't blue originally, and not mages either. I also imagine something like the kami belief being nearly forgotten in a world that's struggeling between innovation and retaining conservative society values, probably hekd up by the soratami, who always felt closest to the kami. Just my two cents.

April 13, 2018 2:32 a.m.

Icbrgr says... #10

I have no idea about the odds of another visit to kamigawa are for better or for worse. I don't really know the Lore/story very well... But as a deck builder I find myself gravitating to a lot of cards from the block. I really enjoyed mechanics like Bushido/nijustu and splice onto arcane shenanigans... I also for some reason prefer the flip cards from the set vs flip cards like werewolves because I don't like clear sleeves and sometimes its inconvenient to have the flip proxy and such... Turning the cards upside-down is just easier imo.

I don't know why Kamigawa was precieved so poorly outside of Ninjustu being pretty complicated especially for beginners.

April 13, 2018 10:18 a.m.

dbpunk says... #11

I can see them returning to the plane as a way for flavor reasons. But I hope its not a return mechanically.

April 13, 2018 10:55 a.m.

Boza says... #12

ASking anyone that knows - what plot loose ends are left on Kamigawa? What do we gain from going there? IS it just the Japanese setting?

April 13, 2018 11:34 a.m.

legendofa says... #13

Icbrgr The biggest problem with Kamigawa was that it came after the tournament takeover that was Affinity--either you used Affinity, you built specifically against Affinity, or you lost.

After a round of bannings that didn't affect a whole lot (the Ancient Den cycle is still banned in Modern), they decided to reduce the power level of the next set. The resulting mechanics are interesting--Soulshift, Bushido, Ninjutsu, among others--but the cards tended to be overcosted, to the point of uselessness. Takeno's Cavalry is a 4 mana part-time 2/2 with a largely irrelevant ability. Death of a Thousand Stings is 5 mana for a possibly repeatable 2 life swing.

Another problem is that one of the themes was having lots of cards in hand, without providing a lot of draw power. This effectively meant that you were encouraged to to not play spells or lands to keep them in hand.

A final problem was the huge gulf between the best cards and the worst cards. Numai Outcast and Sensei's Divining Top are both uncommon. Shimatsu the Bloodcloaked and Umezawa's Jitte are both rare.

April 13, 2018 11:38 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #14

Boza,I will admit that that was the main reason for which I was so fond of Kamigawa originally and why I wish to return there; it was released at a time when Japanese animation, and Japanese culture in general, was experiencing a huge surge in popularity in the western world, so WotC clearly wished to capitalize on that trend. As a fan of Japanese animation, and a former student of karate (but certainly not a weeaboo), I would very much like to again see a Japanese-influenced set in this game, also for WotC to prove that they can do so, properly this time around.

April 14, 2018 8:46 a.m.

buckeyetron says... #15

cdkime: half a decade? half a dozen? can't you just say 5 and 6? thats not "quite a while". its also a poor argument that contradicts itself when you realize that the last kamigawa set was released in 2005. or as you might put it, "a decade and 3 years" ago or something weird like that. i'm not saying we shouldnt have returned to those other planes, but its just silly to visit a plane a 3rd time when other planes that people want to see more of have only been done once. there are lots of mechanics that only really work with other cards from the same block. that alone doesnt make it a bad mechanic. theres also the possibility mechanics...

April 16, 2018 8:38 p.m.

cdkime says... #16


The statements are not contradictory--both Ravnica and New Phyrexia are ripe for revisiting in a way Kamigawa is not. Let's break down what I mean by this:

Both these planes have stories that can be continued in the current timeline of Magic's lore, and they are the inevitable next steps of the current storyline.

It is clear the lore is building a return to Ravnica (i.e. Azor, the Lawbringer), so we can safely assume Ravnica will be one of the next sets.

New Phyrexia's revival requires a few inferences, but none so large as to be out of the realm of possibility. Bolas recently won a major battle, and will likely face a major defeat. Wizards' development team has noted how overplayed the Gatewatch was becoming, and has adjusted the lore accordingly--it stands to reason they would not want to draw out Bolas, lest he suffer similar fate. The Eldrazi's return only stuck around for a few blocks. All that indicates the Bolas arch might be coming to a close. A new archenemy will need to rise, and there is no one better for the mantle than Magic's oldest, most frightening terror--the Phyrexians. Add the nostalgic base of Dominaria and the return of Karn, and their return seems even more likely.

Contrarily, Kamigawa is an ancient set, from a different time in Magic's lore. It does not fit well with the current story,

Moving away from the lore into real world timeframes, Kamigawa's age works against it, in a way that Ravnica and New Phyrexia's does not. Ravnica and New Phyrexia are at the sweet temporal point where they are still within players' memory, but still distant enough that returning to those planes will be exciting. Ravnica has the further advantage of having literally defined the game--after all, everyone, even those who never experienced the plane, use the guild names for colour identification.

Kamigawa has missed this wagon. Now, entering its teenage years, it is not in the memory of many players (due to an influx of younger players, and the retirement of older players).

Ultimately, revisiting some planes a third time will fit better into the lore and resonate with more players, thus being more profitable. Those are far from "silly" justifications.

Again, that's not to say I do not wish to return to the plane. Just as Amonkhet and Ixalan filled important and lacking flavour niches, Kamigawa provides a nice foil to otherwise Western-dominated sets.

But, for the above reasons, I think we will probably have to cycle through a couple other planes first.

April 17, 2018 9:32 a.m.

buckeyetron says... #17

cdkime i stopped reading at "the statements are not contradictory" because yes they absolutely are. your argument in favor of ravnica and phyrexia was "we havent returned there in 5 or 6 years" therefore by your own logic, we should return to kamigawa first because its been 13 years.

April 18, 2018 9:15 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #18

If a full set on Kamigawa is unlikely, what about Kamigawa appearing in the next core set or the next Commander set?

May 19, 2018 12:58 a.m.

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