Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is an innovative take on worldbuilding from the MTG team, and early looks reveal a flashy, interesting set design.

The next Magic: The Gathering set release aims to revitalize a beloved plane in Kamigawa by hurtling it forward into its future. The original Kamigawa block was well-liked by fans of flavor and lore but was less successful in establishing long-lasting mechanics that made it memorable during play, but an early glance at Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty indicates that problem won’t be a recurring one for the location.

During a preview presentation, Screen Rant was shown several new cards from the set, alongside narration from some of the minds that worked on Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty‘s lore, story, and card designs. The most immediately noticeable thing about the set is how heavily it leans into its cyberpunk inspirations, not necessarily in terms of narrative tones, but in aesthetic. Cards are bright and colorful even in more dire situations, and some of the character designs on common and uncommon cards look like they could be protagonists in another set.


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Protagonists are also key to the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty experience, as the preview showcased several new planeswalker cards, many of whom will answer long-standing questions about the game’s greater universe – or provide heartbreaking updates on some fan favorites. Tamiyo has met with a grim fate, and portends a heavy Phyrexian involvement in future sets, while The Wanderer from War of the Spark has finally had her identity revealed. While it’s not an amnesiac Emrakul as some fans speculated, it’s equally interesting – Kamigawa’s current ruling power, and a powerful new addition to White decks.

While the mechanics present on the planeswalkers above isn’t necessarily indicative of broader ones in the set – especially in regards to Phyrexian mana, which will only appear on two cards total, according to a Q&A at the end of the presentation – there was plenty on offer to help forecast what’s coming to the game when Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty releases. Channel is making a comeback as a powerful mechanic that will offer players the kind of flexibility that’s become common in recent sets, helping avoid mana issues or providing two niche effects in one card.

Reconfigure was the new mechanic that stood out the most during the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty preview. Reconfigure is a mechanic present on artifact creatures that allows them to become equipment at sorcery speed and provide a bonus effect. It’s a masterful integration of one of the key staples of cyberpunk, futuristic storytelling, blending the body modification that’s central to a future of freedom into mechanical gameplay that should offer interesting new decisions.

With promises of returning characters in the form of Tamiyo, Tezzeret, and more, and old and new mechanics being married together to create a dynamic play environment, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has all the makings of an all-timer set for Magic: The Gathering. If all the original Kamigawa block was lacking was the flashiness that would make it memorable long-term, then Neon Dynasty has enough for itself and the past iterations of the plane. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty releases physically on February 18, 2022.

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Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty releases on February 10, 2022 for Magic Online and Magic Arena, with a tabletop release following on February 18, 2022. Screen Rant was invited to a private media presentation for the purpose of this preview.

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