Is WotC Testing the Players' Desire to Return to Kamigawa?

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Posted on Oct. 31, 2016, 6:52 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

The Kamigawa block was one of the less popular blocks in this game's history, which I find to be very unfortunate, since I liked how it was modeled after feudal Japan. Consequently, it was rarely ever referenced, until Tamiyo appeared in the first Innistrad block. She was the first direct reference to Kamigawa in quite some time, and, since then, she has now become a major character in the story, and Kamigawa has been referenced several other times, such as in a Commander product and in Ajani's storyline.

That makes me wonder if WotC is gradually testing the desire of the players for a return to Kamigawa, gathering information over time to see if there is enough interest among the players to eventually have another block on that plane. What does everyone else say about this? Is WotC testing the players' desire to return to Kamigawa?

Steelspike says... #2

I was hoping a return to Lorwyn would be after Amonkhet...

October 31, 2016 7:38 p.m.

MaRo has said that a return is highly unlikely, and I can see why. Despite having a tribute deck to arcane and spirits (Kamigawa was okay for EDH if you're interested) I don't think I want a full fledged return, maybe call backs in supplementary products such as Commander, but not a major set/expansion.

October 31, 2016 7:39 p.m.

Honestly I'm not sure why this is even up in the air. As far as I'm aware, the hate toward Kamigawa was for the block, not the plane. The mechanics and design decisions in the actual Kamigawa block felt horribly skewed and poorly balanced, but the lore and flavor of Kamigawa was fantastic.

Just my two cents.

October 31, 2016 7:41 p.m.

Icbrgr says... #5

I would want kamigawa to come back primarily just to see MORE Ninjas...

October 31, 2016 8:03 p.m.

Shane.Allen says... #6

I say that the problem was with the block and standard at the time, it was a very bad time for standard, Like Tyrant-Thanatos said. Its WOTC they will do whatever they want and not listen much to what people ask for, the shareholders want packs selling and us spending money that's what they want. They will do whatever sells that. I for one liked the Asian theme and would love to see it though new fresh eyes, but there's many other places I want to visit too.

October 31, 2016 8:04 p.m.

Dredge4life says... #7

I want more Nezumi.

October 31, 2016 8:15 p.m.

Zaueski says... #8

Arcane and Splice were the only mechanics from Kamigawa I liked. Although most of the complaints about the plane stemmed from how the set felt in comparison to the Affinity-Heavy block immediately prior to it. It was decent, but nowhere near on the same power level and so it led to a lot of unneeded hate. In a healthier standard format like today with a few better mechanics, I definitely believe that Kamigawa could do really well.

October 31, 2016 8:27 p.m.

square711 says... #9

IMO, the flavor was just as bad as the mechanics in Kamigawa. I mean, I can't think of ONE card in the entire goddamn block that had good flavor text. The story was bland, the characters weren't interesting in the slightest (seriously, even reading their NAMES was enough to bore me to sleep), and everything had an annoying "made by westerners who don't know shit about Japan but think they do" feeling about it.

October 31, 2016 11:04 p.m.

legendofa says... #10

One major problem with Kamigawa was the total lack of balance between the best cards and the worst cards. On one hand, you have Takeno's Cavalry and Numai Outcast. On the other, Sensei's Divining Top. If I remember right, the Nezumi precon had Umezawa's Jitte. There was just too wide a gulf between trash and required, even at the same rarity. If they revisit it, and I suspect they will at some point, fixing this one problem might go a long way toward soothing some frustration.

November 1, 2016 1:15 a.m.

sylvannos says... #11

I wouldn't mind going back to Kamigawa. I'd like to see them do an all-Legendary set (including new mechanics for instants/sorceries to make them "legendary"). However, AFAIK square711 is in the majority when it comes to customer feedback about the story. A lot, if not most, players hated the story and flavor of the set. Bad mechanics on top of that was just nails in the coffin.

They've gone back to settings that were previously unpopular, but had a lot of success with the update. Coldsnap and Time Spiral both were well-received, flavor wise.

November 1, 2016 3:23 a.m.

I could go on a longwinded rant about how great Kamigawa's storywriting was, but it seems apparent people won't look beyond the physical cards for lore. It's a filthy shame though. Sakashima the Impostor is one of, if not the most fascinating mtg character I've had the pleasure of reading about.

You wanna talk bland lore? When can we stop recycling Jace ffs?

November 1, 2016 5:20 a.m.

I REALLY like the lore of Kamigawa, and my favourite equipment in the game is Tenza, Godo's Maul, Christ that equipment does work in voltron.

November 1, 2016 6:08 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #14

Shane.Allen, giving the players what they want will be profitable for WotC, and they should be aware of that. If enough players wish to return to Kamigawa, I am certain that WotC will do something to appease them.

I agree with Tyrant-Thanatos that the problem was with the mechanical aspects of the block, not the flavor and story of the block. Given that WotC has now had over a decade to develop and refine their card-designing abilities, they should be capable of learning from the mistakes of the Kamigawa block if they should ever decide to return there.

November 1, 2016 2:32 p.m.

Agreed. The design process is far from perfect imo, but its come a very very long way since the days of Kamigawa. Some of the cards they put out today seem a bit sketchy imo, but it's on a totally different level. They will never repeat the mistakes of blocks like Kamigawa and Urza's.

November 1, 2016 2:39 p.m.

DriftWood96 says... #16

I started playing MTG when Return to Ravnica was released, so i didn't get to play Kamigawa but i know a decent amount about it. I was immediately in love with the idea of guilds and the intrigue of the whole maze saga on Ravnica. (Dragon's Maze sucked ass as a block) But I agree that the story with the Gatewatch is getting monotonous at the moment, but I don't think there is a point to going back to Kamigawa if there isn't an enormous public outcry for it. The blocks like RTR, Theros, and the Khans block were brilliant and action packed. They didn't rely on a team of 6 planeswalkers to tell the story. That's just my thing, I love the game, just come up with new stuff.

November 2, 2016 10:36 a.m.

goblinoid says... #17

i would love a return to kamigawa! the flavor was delicious, just needs a little work on the mechanics..

November 2, 2016 2:19 p.m.

xtopazinferno says... #18

I think it would be cool to return to Kamigawa, as long as the sets are better this time. I didn't start playing until long after Kamigawa block, but from what I've seen of the cards it's not a very good block.

November 2, 2016 6:43 p.m.

Omeros says... #19

Doubt it. MaRo has to respond to someone about once a week on his Tumblr who asks about a return to Kamigawa. And every time he points out that it is their least-loved plane of all time in every aspect except drafting.

November 2, 2016 10:27 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #20

Omeros, but, if that many people are interested, surely, WotC must realize that there is a demand for it, and, this time, they know what to do differently, to avoid the aspects that made the first block so disliked.

November 3, 2016 9:40 a.m.

Omeros says... #21

When your analysis depends on a method that can only detect the positives you will find you undercount the size of the negatives.

November 3, 2016 10:15 a.m.

Omeros The opposite is true as well. I daresay it's precisely the reason Maro feels the way he does for Kamigawa.

And honestly? From my admittedly limited perspective, I never encountered any negativity towards Kamigawa's story until at least a decade after it was released. That's relatively recent. When it was new, the only complaints I ever heard were in regards to the actual mechanical nature of the block. Most specifically the dramatic disparity between "good" cards and "bad" cards. The good cards were borderline Urza's Saga level of overpowered, while the bad cards were so pathetically useless they almost make Razor Boomerang look good.

Kamigawa was around the time I really got into the swing of the game, having started with 8th Ed, and I distinctly recall learning the hard way that I had to be buying singles and trading up if I wanted cards that could actually be used. Hell, I still have at least a playset of Numai Outcasts. Fact is, even back then, the only way to get rid of cards like that was to throw them away. Even if you could trade them or sell them, you'd probably feel like a con artist, scamming someone like that.

I think most people either think back to that block and remember only the anger they felt towards it, forgetting the good things, or they just imitate the echo chamber to fit in.

November 3, 2016 2:12 p.m.

strictlyWorse says... #23

"You wanna talk bland lore? When can we stop recycling Jace ffs?"

i second this.

there are too many planes to visit for players to want to always return to a prior one. as we all know now from RtR, SOI, and Zendikar, some places are best left to our memories.

"you can never go home"...

November 8, 2016 9:23 p.m.

NoTrueGamer I actually feel like RTR & SOI expanded on the planes well lore wise, and mechanically RTR was a great successor. Although I admit many, most planes should be left alone in large, featured, standard legal sets, one of my favourite planes is Lorwynn/Shadowmoor but I'd never want it to be returned to, there's not enough to expand on, "Emrakul warps the Great Arora" "Lorwyn turns phyrexians, becomes Glistenmoor" "Garruk returns to fuck shit up, knowing that Planeswalkers tromped there" "in-between the transition of the plane, weird blind eternities stasis shit happens" just... eh. More guild disruption worked for RTR (although I wish they expanded more on the guildless, those who reject the guilds) and Lovecraft invading traditional horror is fucking amazing, many planes have been fully explored.

November 8, 2016 11:16 p.m.

strictlyWorse says... #25

Simon_Williamson it isn't the plane that is the problem, really. The issue is with the intent behind the repeat plane. is there a real reason to revisit a plane beyond nostalgia?

November 9, 2016 10:11 p.m.

NoTrueGamer Lore. Every plane we've ever visited is a part of the multiverse. Every character came from a plane, and every plane has provided us with a myriad of characters that originate from it, or call it home. As it stands we have some recent focus on Tamiyo, who clearly originates from Kamigawa.

Admittedly, we still have a lot of planes to explore that are tied to other characters we know. I'm quite excited for Amonkhet, and enjoyed Kaladesh, for the same reason. But I can definitely see the appeal of returning to an old plane to learn more about its characters, especially now that our blocks are only two sets long.

November 9, 2016 10:36 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #27

Tyrant-Thanatos, yes, that is what I believe, as well; with blocks now having only two sets, the story would not remain focused on Kamigawa for as long as it did, last time, if the story return there and players still did not like it, and the same could be said for Ulgrotha, if WotC ever decides to return there, as well.

November 10, 2016 3:32 p.m.

This discussion has been closed