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November 29, 2011

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Champions of Kamigawa: Kami Reborn Review (Part 1 of 2)

by Dredd77

It’s an integral component of Magic’s long-term success and longevity that while we nominally all play the same game- Magic: the Gathering- we are all actually playing a number of different, albeit similar ones.

Standard Constructed play is quite a bit different from Legacy or Vintage. All of these in turn are leagues apart from Limited and Preconstructed. Then there’s Cube (which resembles Limited in the way that Standard resembles Legacy), Commander, Planechase, Horde Magic, Five-Colour Stairwell, and variations upon variations without number. And of course we cannot forget the “formatless format” of sitting around the kitchen table with some mates and some decks. All of these have their part to play in making Magic the game we recognise. Some players play many of these types of Magic, others just a few, but in a sense they are a all part of a greater whole, a symbiotic community.

Like any organic body, however, it is susceptible to times of illness as well as health, when things aren’t working as they should be and consequences arise. Depending on their popularity, the well-being of the formats above have a direct impact on the health of the game as a whole, and by the end of 2004 the Standard environment was very sick. There was an exodus of players quitting the game in a rate never seen before or since, and the population hemorrhage would take years to recover from. This was no general disorder or unknown ailment; rather, it was one that had a name.

Ravager Affinity.

Widely held as one of the most broken Standard formats in the history of the game, Ravager Affinity was everywhere and it was almost unbeatable. Standard devolved into that deck and decks highly tuned to beat it, and even those had a tendency of coming up short. Competitive Magic was in as sorry a state as it had ever been. And then, following that leap over the precipice came a new type of Magic set, one that echoed all the way back to the game’s first-ever expansion set and in an ironic twist represented its own symbiosis-in-disorder theme.

Champions of Kamigawa burst onto the scene amidst the ruins of Standard, and rightly or wrongly has been criticised for bringing with it a weakening of the environment’s power level. But then, Champions was a very different Magic set. For one thing, it broke the routine that Magic had at the time. “Beginning with the Invasion block,” wrote Mark Rosewater in introducing the set, “the Magic design teams started using themes as a tool to build sets around. While the themes varied from year to year, they pretty much had a similar approach. Pick some mechanical aspect of the game and then make the chosen aspect matter.” This had started to feel a little formulaic for the game’s designers, so instead they looked to shatter the mould entirely and do something completely different.

Arabian Nights was released in December of 1993, and was Magic’s first expansion. It took a real-world mythology which gave it its namesake, and made a series of cards that drew on the tropes, themes, and images of the source work, One Thousand and One Nights. Some were even based on actual figures of legend, such as Sindbad, Ali Baba, and Shahrazad. Aside from the odd anomaly (Frankenstein’s Monster). While this would be repeated for 1999’s Portal: Three Kingdoms, it would be another five years before a similar approach was taken with a mainstream Magic set, and this time it would be to feudal Japan.

The Land of Kamigawa

Champions of Kamigawa envisions a world in harmony, where the inhabitants venerate the kami- lesser deities or spirits- and find peace and happiness in following their ways. Then, abruptly, the mortal world finds that it has provoked the wrath of the spirit world, which materialises and soon begins to make war upon their onetime supplicants- the Humans and Moonfolk as well as the animalistic peoples such as the foxlike Kitsune, snakelike Orochi, and ratlike Nezumi. Fitting, then, that we have selected as our opening deck the Black/Green Kami Reborn. The set’s only multicolour deck, it relies upon two principal mechanics to convey the flavour of the kami.

The first of these is soulshift. Even when a kami is ‘killed,’ being a spirit it is not necessarily dead forever. Rather, they can be returned from the graveyard with the death of another, for what is life but a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth? Spirits with soulshift can pull another Spirit back to your hand once it’s placed in the graveyard, though it must have a converted mana cost equal to or lesser than the Spirit’s soulshift value. The second mechanic is Arcane magic, representing the different form of power wielded by the Spirit world. Some cards will have the splice onto arcane ability, which lets you cast them without losing the card from your hand whenever you cast an arcane spell, giving you the potential for some recurring card advantage.

And then of course, there are the Spirits themselves.

Curses Spat Upon Humankind

True to its flavour-filled form, the Champions of Kamigawa decks are filled with tribal goodness, and Kami Reborn is no exception. Indeed, it might well be one of the most comprehensively tribal decks around given that every last one of its twenty-three creatures is a Spirit. The deck is set up to take full advantage of the new soulshift mechanic, a Spirit-centric ability which allows dying Spirits to return ones already in the graveyard to your hand. Kamigawa’s mechanics have been widely held up as examples of excessive parasitism, a term which in R&D-speak means that it requires you to play with other cards like it for it to be effective. That charge is certainly not without merit, though in the realm of the preconstructed it certainly is little problem.

As shown above, the deck has a fairly balanced mana curve up until the five-and-up-drops, which has been packed to excess. At the start of the curve is the humble Hana Kami, a 1/1 Spirit that you can sacrifice to return an Arcane card from your graveyard to hand. Remember, this deck has a lot of ways to get Spirits back to hand from the graveyard, so self-sacrificing effects aren’t the drawback they usually are here.

Next we have two pairs of Zubera, the Dripping-Tongue and the Ashen-Skin. Zubera have a death-trigger ability that compounds with each Zubera which has already gone to the graveyard in a given turn. The Dripping-Tongue Zubera’s ability is a bit weak- a simple 1/1 Spirit creature token- but the Ashen-Skin’s can wipe out an opponent’s hand if you time it right. Also checking in here is the Soilshaper, which gives your extra land a sense of mission and purpose with every Arcane or Spirit card you play.

In the three-drops we find a Kami of the Hunt, a 2/2 which gets a temporary power/toughness boost whenever you cast an Arcane or Spirit card- like the Soilshaper, there’s a ton of synergy here. The Thief of Hope, on the other hand, has the same trigger, but syphons a life off your opponent instead. Cards like this give you some reach across the board without ever having to enter the red zone, just the ticket for finishing off a wounded opponent when the red zone is congested or you have no profitable attack. In addition, the Thief has soulshift 2 so even its loss will result in some gain.

Next up the ladder we find another pair of pairs in the Burr Grafter and Gibbering Kami. The Grafter is a combat-trick-on-a-stick, which does lose some element of surprise (your opponent obviously will see it coming), but trades this off for the ability to be an attacking body. With its soulshift 3, you’re often not even losing a card for the privilege. The Gibbering Kami is a simple 2/2 flyer, but also has soulshift 3. If you’ve noticed that the soulshift value tends to be one less than the  creature’s casting cost, you’re quite right.

Bloating the top of the deck’s mana curve are an assortment of expensive cards that don’t necessarily fill the closer’s role. For example, the Venerable Kumo costs five mana for a 2/3 body with reach. Much of what you’re paying for there is the soulshift 4. The Scuttling Death can be popped to give a creature -1/-1 until end of turn, another very useful death trigger attached to a soulshifting body. The Kami of Lunacy is a glass cannon of a card, a 4/1 flyer that will trade down to anything that can block it. Still, the soulshift 5 will help compensate you for any loss.

Hana Kami

Finally, one of the deck’s rare cards appears herei n the form of the legendary Iname, Death Aspect. Iname has a very unusual enters-the-battlefield ability which lets you dump any number of spirit cards directly from your library to the graveyard. This gives you the option of turning your deck into a toolbox of sorts, stocking it so that most anything that you lose which has soulshift brings the right card back to your hand at the right time. It’s not without risk- throw too many away, and it might be some time before you draw another beater. Still, the deck’s recycling theme should keep you reasonably well-stocked.

The Sorrow of All

The noncreature complement of Kami Reborn offers more than the usual variety of support spells. Sure, you have the obligatory pump spells (Kodama’s Might) and requisite mana ramping (Kodama’s Reach) as you might expect in a Green creatutre-heavy deck. And of course you have a solid contingent of Black removal with a pair each of Pull Under (which compares poorly to the modern Dismember) and Swallowing Plague. But with the basics out of the way, here’s where things get interesting.

One of the cycles of cards in Champions is the Honden, legendary enchantments with the Shrine subtype made to represent a particular recurring ability for each Shrine you have in play. The Honden of Life’s Web, for instance, gives you a 1/1 Spirit token for each Shrine you have in play, while the Honden of Night’s Reach forces your opponent to discard a card. As you have one of each, getting both will double your benefit, packing your army with Spirit tokens and making sure your opponent quickly is unable to keep a card longer than the turn in which they drew it.

Then there’s Devouring Greed, a finishing spell if ever there was one. While it requires the sacrifice of Spirits to fuel it (making a great use for those 1/1 tokens you’ve been accumulating with the Honden or Dripping-Tongue Zubera), it can pack a wallop and win a game out of nowhere. The sacrifice is an additional cost, so watch out for countermagic lest your sacrifices all be in vain. Another finishing move of a different sort appears with the Dance of Shadows, which gives all your creatures a slight pwoer bump along with fear. If you’re not playing against an opponent who is sharing your colour(s) or leaning on artifact creatures, this can set up a brutal alpha strike to close out a game with an unblockable attack.

Finally, the deck’s other rare appears as a Long-Forgotten Gohei. The perfect trinket for this sort of deck, it makes all of your Arcane spells cheaper to play- and every instant or sorcery in Kami Reborn carries that distinction. it also gives a very welcome +1/+1 boost to all your creatures.

In short, Kami Reborn is a tightly-synergistic Spirit tribal deck with a solid Arcane subtheme, which work hand-in-glove in this Green’Black construction. It looks great on paper, but to get a full appreciation of how it actually works we’ll need to test it in the field- especially that troubling mana curve. Join us next time when we return with our playtesting results and see if it lived up to its promise.

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62 Comments Post a comment
  1. Varo
    Nov 29 2011

    It seems a nicely built deck ( At least for Kamigawa’s power level ), looking forward to read its second review !

    Reply
  2. tenthtechpriest
    Nov 29 2011

    It seems like a solid deck and is just oozing with flavor, and I can see it being a powerhouse once you build up your mana base and get some soulshift recursion going. But 11 +5 cost cards and the only ramp is a pair of kodama’s reach? You’re guaranteed a virtual mulligan in every hand. Some Sakura-tribe elders would be nice, but he’s too far off flavor, unfortunately.

    Oh well… I think I’ll go dig up some soulshift cards and see what happens when I mix them with innistrad spirits.

    Reply
    • Nov 30 2011

      You stole the words right out of my… fingers. Being in Innistrad mode lately, I see Kamigawa Spirits and I want to mash ’em up, casting flavor/consistency to the wind!

      Reply
      • Fantusta
        Nov 30 2011

        Innistrad spirits was where my mind first went as well!

        Reply
        • Lia
          Nov 30 2011

          Don’t forget that Ravnica block had a fair number of Spirits as well.

          Reply
  3. Jay Chong
    Nov 29 2011

    I played during both Mirrodin and Kami blocks and I don’t understand why people thought the block was weak. Granted, arcane is about as parasectic as mechanics come, but the block had plenty of constructed and kitchen table powerhouses: Gifts Ungiven, Jite, Kokusho and friends, sakura-tribe elder. If anything, the block slowed the standard environment down, which was essential after the blitz that was Ravager Affinity. The flavor is very different from the rest of magic; aside from Innistrad, I think this is the only block which is devoid of elves. Still, there’s nothing wrong with Kamiagawa’s power level :/

    Reply
    • Lia
      Nov 30 2011

      My understanding is that people thought the block was weak because the power level of the commons and uncommons was much lower than that of Mirrodin block’s, as well as the resurgence of color being important (outside of Sunburst).

      Reply
  4. Nov 29 2011

    [+] Late game seems like a breeze for this deck. It’ll never run out of advantage.

    [+] Great finisher options, which make their value all the more known when you’re facing an opponent who won’t allow you the late game.

    [-] My reviewing suggestion is to start with the early game cards that should help you solidify, and then move up the curve (not split between creatures and others, as this isn’t always the early to late game case); putting X spells at their best costing, putting 1BB (which is difficult to cast) back further into the costing scheme… Overall, just give an idea of what the overall gameplan is from the beginning to the end.

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      From time to time I do try to adopt that approach, especially when the deck deviates from the timeworn philosophy of “creature base + support spells.” Unfortunately, and especially with the Intro Pack decks, this tends to be the default setting. 😐

      Reply
  5. Vern
    Nov 30 2011

    I’m excited to see how the deck performs as the soulshift and tribal elements seem to providing a good engine.
    But even more importantly, great article!
    I love the beginning implicitly mentioning the changes to OP and then reminding us of the Dark(steel) days as a segway into the topic at hand.
    Well done!

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      Thanks! Despite myself, I have found myself interested in the controversy surrounding the recent changes. Indeed, for their faults PWP’s actually have pulled me to more FNM events than I’d been to in awhile.

      Reply
  6. Chris
    Nov 30 2011

    A deck like this makes me think of building a shrine deck with honden and the newer shrines. That actually sounds like a lot of fun now that I think about it more.

    I remember using kodama’s reach during kamigawa block very fondly. The interesting thing to me is that for a block that was so underpowered it sure did produce a lot of interesting EDH staples.

    Reply
  7. Willis Terry
    Nov 30 2011

    I like the deck and the whole theme of soulshift myself. It makes for some very grinding games, which is why I absolutely love Elder Pine of Jukia, which comes later in the block. I look forward to the matchup.

    Reply
  8. Kyle
    Nov 30 2011

    Love the Kamigawa block! I could definitely have some fun with a deck like this. It would annoy the crap out of my play group though.

    Reply
  9. John O
    Nov 30 2011

    Kodama’s reach is an incredible spell. I love exploiting that in my green spirtitcraft decks. Kamigawa is still my favorite set, i think I still have 3-4 decks built based on the themes in that set and my first playable deck was samurai. oh how I wish magic would go back there.

    Reply
  10. Sean
    Nov 30 2011

    Personally I really like the flavor of Kamigawa, and this precon highlights the antagonists of that world. As you stated, soulshift being inherently parasitic isn’t very appealing, but as is it seems to work. I would certainly like to try it out against some other precons (Kamigawa or otherwise. Flavor wise it would be fun to have a Kamigawa vs. Innistrad battle!)

    Reply
  11. Nov 30 2011

    I was playing a lot of Magic Online during Mirrodin, but it got stale, and a went on a lengthy hiatus. When I returned, Kamigawa was pretty much over. I really like what the set did for Commander, it’s arguably one of the most important sets for that format. So many juicy legends to choose from!

    Reply
  12. Ben (aka Panahinuva)
    Nov 30 2011

    Long-forgotten Gohei is a severely underrated card, due to how specific it is. But it’s the primary reason I bought the deck when it was out, because spirits are and always will be important. And that’s why I have a playset in my casual Innistrad spirit deck.

    This deck looks pretty decent. I’d say it’s a little linear, but the soulshift aspect allows it to give itself some reach, along with the average removal suite and finisher spells. I look forward to seeing how it’ll do tomorrow.

    Reply
  13. Nov 30 2011

    I’d prefer a W/B spirit deck. The removal in this deck is way to overcosted, I kind of hoped that WOTC would put Rend Flesh instead of Pull Under.

    As far a theme decks go, I’d have to say this is more on the weaker side

    Reply
  14. Roni Tabick
    Nov 30 2011

    I started just after Kami block and never really got my head around it. Too many difficult to remember card names, and too many parasitic mechanics that had no interaction with anything outside the block. When I started with Rav block, I didn’t see the point in buying cards from before it.

    Still, you make it look like a fun environment to play in! Thanks for your reviews.

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      Good feedback about the difficulty in grasping the card names. I wrote up the review of Snake’s Path last night and incorporated your feedback into it to see if that would make them more approachable. Thanks!

      Reply
  15. thewachman (Mr. Suitcase on MTGCast)
    Nov 30 2011

    Kamigawa block is one of the favorite draft formats at my local card shop untill they ran out of the cards last summer. I have a suspicion that blocks with a good limited format have fertile ground for good Theme decks as both need many good and balanced commons to play well.

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      The similarities between Limited and Preconstructed formats tend to fly beneath the radar, but I’ve felt for awhile that they’re significant. Good call-out, and I agree.

      Reply
  16. Evan
    Nov 30 2011

    I’m excited to start lookin through the cards for the upcoming Modern season and this is a great start. Thanks for all the help!

    Reply
  17. Wayne
    Nov 30 2011

    I never got a chance to play with cards from Kamigawa. I stopped after judgement and restarted just recently with Innistrad. To me, a lot of the cards and themes look very un-magic like. A lot of the affects are insular and the flip cards are on the ugly side. I really enjoy it when a card has satisfying artwork and flavor text. I wonder if Kamigawa block would have been better received as a stand alone game or as a side set like the portal ones. It had the ill fortune to be different and come at the wrong time, so we’ll never know if it could have been more popular and well received.

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      Definitely agree about the flip cards being visually unappealing, though I love the concept. How do you feel about Innistrad’s dual-faced cards?

      Reply
  18. King
    Nov 30 2011

    I felt the flavor in this set was absolutely amazing.
    I don’t think they’d do any more culturally based sets, but I would love to see some really interesting ones from say Chinese culture or even the western world.
    Kamigawa was probably looked down upon after the whole Mirrodin debacle, but I enjoyed it.

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      Because China got the spotlight in Portal: Three Kingdoms, it’s hard to think we’d go back there- not to say it wouldn’t be interesting! I’ve always wanted an Aztec-themed set, but of course that’s fairly unlikely (although we did get a wee dose of it in Alara on Naya).

      Reply
  19. Elbridge Luther
    Nov 30 2011

    My favorite Kamigawa memory was when I went to my local card store set on making a spirit deck, and so when I told the owner (a scary dude who looked like a legitimate 7/7 with trample) he laughed and said “Have 200 dollars?” and I responded with a bumbling “Umm well… I mean… no.” From that day forth I never asked again about the spirit deck but I think I still have a stain from where I shit myself. Now I play a Faerie Ninja deck that was cheap and that has won me a few tournaments back home. Love this contest idea! Such an underrated series.

    Reply
  20. chris jennings
    Nov 30 2011

    Didn’t play back in the days of Kamigawa but find it interesting, albeit weird to have such an asian themed fantasy plane in the M:tg

    Reply
  21. lvl10cpu
    Nov 30 2011

    I didn’t like the set as much (caught on with the artifacts from the mirrodin block), but my friends loved it. As people who cared for cool cards more than tournament value, kamigawa was the set to go for. Soulshift was “broken” in our eyes, as Iname basically tutored for whatever you wanted. and come on, who doesn’t want to play with freaking samurais and ninjas?

    The deck itself was the first deck one of my old friends bought when he was first getting into magic. It faired pretty well against my old affinity deck, and we had plenty of fun times playing emperor with it in huge multiplayer games (Emperor basically being a 3v3 game with some slightly modded rules). Man thats some good nostalgia right there.

    And don’t even get me started on the dragons 😉
    Easily one of the most flavorful parts of the set in my opinion.

    Reply
  22. Icehawk
    Nov 30 2011

    Not really into the spirit theme, but I’m looking forward to see how this fares. Arcanes spells did interest me a fair bit when I was putting together my first two decks made from a Divine vs Demonic I got like a year or so ago for almost 50 bucks. >.> Can’t believe I paid that much, but I got to say it was worth it to me. As much as I like the angels deck, I play my demonic more. *shrugs* Just a tad off topic.

    Reply
  23. Nov 30 2011

    I myself have been partial to Kamigawa even though I have just started playing and my friends who play magic dislike it I feel like it is a set dripping with flavor and cool mechanics. This is probably because I am a huge fan of Japanese culture. Also, I have been partial to looking at the design of Magic theme decks because of their strategies and how they work.
    I look forward to your review of this deck.

    Reply
  24. Nov 30 2011

    I’ve played against this deck before and it made me want to build around Devouring Greed. Such a sweet finisher.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Nov 30 2011

      devouring greed and moorland haunt?

      Reply
  25. koga305
    Nov 30 2011

    I guess this deck is a good example of why they make linear mechanics that look bad outside the set they’re in. They look bad when you’re trying to build a deck and inserting just a few cards from the set, but when a deck is homogenous from a single set, mechanics like spiritcraft look a lot better.

    Reply
  26. Ira
    Nov 30 2011

    Oh, and you just had to put up a picture of Hana Kami… one thing I loved about Kamigawa block was just how weird and creepy the Kami managed to be. Thematically I want to compare Kamigawa to Rise of the Eldrazi, as both are on some level about an alien, magical world invading that of mortal men and women. I always thought Kamigawa pulled it off better, though; and the Kami, for me at least, managed to be transgressive and frightening in a way that few other forces in M:tG have managed. I’m looking forward to seeing how they play!

    Reply
  27. Brett Bennett
    Nov 30 2011

    I was never a huge fan of Kamigawa, kind of a goofy set but full of flavor which is always great.

    Reply
  28. Nov 30 2011

    I first started playing Magic at Fifth Dawn, so Champions was the first set I got to see from the very beginning, and I really liked it (of course not having much to compare it to…but still). I got a Ninja and Snake deck from the expansion sets, loved the flavor. I got so happy when I saw you were doing reviews for Kamigawa, brings back all those memories! My goal for this year is to combine Innistrad spirits with Kamigawa ones successfully.

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      The Ninja deck in particular is teasing us to return to Kamigawa for the next round of reviews before long! We’ve got a few to go before then- we like to space them out a bit- but it will be fun to get back.

      Reply
  29. Nov 30 2011

    I had no idea this many people read this website. This is awesome. By the way, I’m not a fan of Kamigawa. In fact, I think it was either Icehawk or Troaactid that came up with the phrase “Scars of Kamigawa” which would be my dream come true if Phyrexia compleated Kamigawa. However, that is only my humble opinion and Magic is played by the many. It’s awesome to see this many people commenting.

    Reply
    • Ira
      Dec 1 2011

      It’s always the case with these sites that a lot more people read than comment. Vive the silent majority. 😉

      Contests always bring out a lot more people, though.

      Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      http://www.5colorcontrol.com/noshyfts/?p=122

      Reply
  30. Eric
    Nov 30 2011

    I think I would have enjoyed the flavor…I had yet to return to the game when this came out. I’m not sure how I feel about the mechanics, but it seems to me that arcane is something that has room to thrive in Modern.

    Reply
  31. MiniLuv
    Dec 1 2011

    Kamigawa was probably too mechanically flavorful and became too isolated as a set that it was difficult building a deck from other sets that using its mechanics. From what I remember, I think some of the very few cards from the block that saw constructed standard play were the dragons, hinder, and meloku the crowded mirror, but then those cards had none of the Kamigawa mechanics.

    Reply
  32. outhouseinferno
    Dec 1 2011

    I always thought that the Honden of Life’s Web should have made Zubera Spirit tokens, they’re already mentioned to come out of it.

    Reply
  33. Limbonic_art
    Dec 1 2011

    This deck seems very good for a precon. I love Kamigawa block because I have always been fond of oriental culture. I wasn’t playing when it came out, but my friend bought 2 precons- A samurai one(red) and a white/green spirit one. I had a lot of fun playing against those,especially the samurai one, which got modified into a Boros samurai.
    As for this deck, I love that it brings the Long-forgotten Gohei. Its basically a lord that can’t die to creature destruction, pretty good if you ask me. A lot of support for spirits, however, many of them are weak and grossly overcosted. I like the arcane spells, but no splice into arcane is sad. Overall, I like it more than the spiritbane preconstructed(which I own, only kami block deck they had at my local store).

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      I may be a minority here, but Splice onto Arcane is one of my favourite mechanics in the game. I’m already looking forward to seeing it expanded upon with Betrayers and Saviors.

      Reply
      • Dec 9 2011

        Funnily enough, I actually agree with you. I used to have an Ire of Kaminari combo deck. It wasn’t very strong, but it was a lot of fun to play.

        Reply
  34. Zack
    Dec 1 2011

    I’m relatively new to Magic, but already, I know I have an affinity for themed decks. I also find the Soulshift mechanic to be pretty awesome – so philosophical for a card effect! Has Soulshift ever been reprinted in a more recent set?

    Reply
    • Dec 1 2011

      It has never been reprinted outside of Kamigawa block, and given R&D concerns about ‘parasitism’ (which they hold Kamigawa up to be the poster child for), it’s probably unlikely we’ll see it again.

      Reply
  35. Ian
    Dec 1 2011

    I find that the flavor of a deck is more important than the power when it comes to pre-cons. Pre-cons can’t be overpowered because it breaks the game but if they suck too hard, nobody will buy them. It’s all a rich tapestry.

    Reply
  36. Montesque
    Dec 1 2011

    I didn’t play in Kamigawa (just started about when New Phyrexia came out), but I ordered one of the precons from that set (Wisdom of the Soratami), and it’s one of my favorites. I love the idea of Kamigawa, not least because I love it when Magic does sets based off of non-European mythologies which are so familiar to most of its players. And, hey, samurai and ninja!

    Reply
  37. @jc_zoracel
    Dec 1 2011

    I found the site from a RT on twitter. I loved the article. I’ve played since Beta/Revised but stopped for a while missing the Kamigawa block. The flavor (especially the Legends) always intrigued me. Great write up. I think even if I didn’t win it might be worth it to get some of these cards.

    Reply
  38. Bawb540
    Dec 4 2011

    Looking at this deck review, I thought it looked familiar. I have a friend who uses that deck pretty much unmodified even to this day. Mostly in multiplayer games, so he ends up getting quite the mileage from his creatures. Should have seen the look on my face the first time he played Devouring Greed, though…

    Reply
  39. Kingbokchoy
    Dec 7 2011

    This website is just how i buy my mtg goodies lol

    Reply
  40. lightside
    Dec 11 2011

    This is still one of my favorite precons ever. I still keep a modified version of it in my collection. Before I play with it, I ask my opponent: “Choose Life or Death” and I’ll play with that version of Iname for the game.

    Reply
  41. Rachel
    Dec 14 2011

    I kinda wish I started playing around then. I missed quite a lot of flavor by starting so late (started during ROE)

    Reply
  42. Dec 14 2011

    Nostalgia overload! This was when i really got into magic (i started playing & borrowing from friends around invasion), and remember reading “Building on a budget” based on other pre cons, and I’m pretty sure I still have something like one of JMS’s decks built somewhere. However, he never did this pre con, so it gives me an odd sense of completion seeing the other decks reviewed…

    /mk

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Contest: A Very Kamigawa Christmas | Ertai's Lament
  2. Champions of Kamigawa: Spiritbane Review (Part 2 of 2) | Ertai's Lament
  3. Betrayers of Kamigawa: Spiritcraft Review (Part 1 of 2) | Ertai's Lament

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