Kamigawa has changed quite a lot in the few centuries since we last dropped in. Spirits and mechs mingle and skyscrapers climb beyond nearly all of the trees of Jukai… But what hasn’t changed is that the world is full of hidden dangers. We’ve laid out the cards to look out for below, and what makes their remedies more complicated when relevant. Read carefully, and by the end you should be ready to dive into the set.
Five cards have a trigger that upgrades when missed:
“[create a token] … Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.”
This ability creates a token, then unmakes it later. That trigger is going to count for the “undoes a zone change” remedy and we apply it no matter how long it’s been since the trigger should have happened.
“At the beginning of your end step, return Reinforced Ronin to its owner’s hand … [Channel – 1R, discard: draw a card]”
A 2/2 with haste for 1 mana is a stat line in red that usually comes with a drawback of some sort. Protecting itself from sorcery-speed removal and enabling its own Channel ability in games where the body is no longer relevant help to mitigate that… But being forced to re-cast the creature each turn and losing auras, equipment, and counters put on it are frustrating downsides on an aggressive creature.
“[reanimate an artifact] … Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.”
A slightly different twist, but the same result! This effect moves a card, then “undoes” that move later, so the remedy doesn’t expire.
“[reanimate a vehicle] … Return it to its owner’s hand at the beginning of your next end step.”
… Okay is there an echo in here? Generally detrimental, undoes a zone change, treat this the same as the first two.
“Whenever combat damage is dealt to you, remove an indestructible counter from Risona.”
It will always be better for creatures to be indestructible than not, so this one is cut and dry.
Otherwise notable cards:
“Whenever an opponent casts an artifact, instant, or sorcery spell, counter that spell. This ability triggers only once each turn.”
Since this triggers only once per turn, it can be highly advantageous for a player to “forget” this trigger if the opponent tries to bait it with a cheap spell, and then remember it for the actual threat cast later that same turn. Cheating aside, this isn’t possible; if a player doesn’t demonstrate awareness of a trigger when its condition is met, they’ve missed it, but it was still met and in the case of a “once each turn” trigger it will not trigger again in the same turn.
“Enchanted permanent has ‘At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life.'”
This trigger is generally detrimental, but will usually not be controlled by the owner of the card responsible, since the incentive is to attach it to your opponent’s cards. Judges should intervene only if they suspect that the trigger’s controller is deliberately missing this trigger.
“I, II — Each opponent creates a 1/1 black Rat Rogue creature token … [back face: gain control of all Rat tokens]”
Because the back face of this card generates positive value in combination with this trigger, it’s considered not generally detrimental. Remember, we account for the back face only with transforming DFCs; since modal DFCs cannot change faces without becoming new objects, we consider each of their faces independently.
“I — Mill three cards. Create a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token … [Back face: Whenever Kirin-Touched Orochi attacks, exile a card from a graveyard, get a bonus)]”
Self-mill is usually considered generally detrimental… But this card lets the player gain value by exiling cards from their graveyard. Since we evaluate the entire card, this trigger is outweighed by the value you gain later.
Thank you all for joining us for this review! Kamigawa met us with a few interesting designs, but thankfully, nothing too complicated. However we have some twists and turns to look forward to with our next set: Streets of New Capenna. We hope to see you back again for that guide!