Modern Times: The Legendary Lands of Kamigawa
This week in Modern Times, we take a stroll down memory lane and return to Kamigawa… The original Kamigawa block that is! While
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds feels like the aesthetic precursor to Otawara, Soaring City, but it is functionally very distinct. Around the release of
Now you may ask, So what’s the big fuss? Is this card worth it even at its current price point? I would argue that it is. Oboro and cards like it provide an interesting amount of value. Most recently, Mill has made its way back into the Modern meta, pushed, in part, by the new inclusion of
In particular, Oboro can be used to ensure that you always have a land drop on every turn. Given that playsets of both
It’s safe to say that so long as Mill and Merfolk continue to break into the Modern meta at the rate they have been, then we can expect Oboro to have some more exciting price movements in the future. Beyond Modern, Oboro is also widely played in Commander and cEDH. Thankfully, it’s usually only played as a one-of in Modern, so if you want a copy for either format, now is as good of a time as any to pick one up!
|Oboro, Palace in the Clouds|
|Jace, the Perfected Mind|
Minamo is another interesting blue legendary land. Its utility is very different from Oboro and aside from Commander, you seldom see the two together in the same deck – with one exception (see below). Unlike Oboro, which seems to be slightly trending downward, Minamo seems to be holding steady at around $35.
Minamo sees play in Merfolk (this is the one exception), which, as mentioned, is seeing a light resurgence in Modern play. More interestingly, it’s not uncommon to see Minamo pop up occasionally on Living End decklists, which are also growing increasingly popular in Modern (again).
Outside of Modern, however, Minamo sees play in Legacy, and synergizes incredibly well with
|Minamo, School at Water's Edge|
|Emry, Lurker of the Loch|
The classic Eiganjo Castle is one of the more underappreciated legendary lands from the cycle introduced in
Possibly. The upside potential between Eiganjo Castle and new cards like
However, if we wind the clock back nine years to 2014, an old counters-oriented combo deck known as Project Melira had enjoyed some time in the Modern spotlight. Today, Project Melira has gotten a boost from cards like
Right now Eiganjo Castle sits at around $12 and looks to be climbing. Again, much like Oboro, Eiganjo Castle also sees considerable Commander play beyond its utility in Modern, so it’s definitely worth picking up a single copy to have on-hand to service your Modern and Commander needs.
|Melira, Sylvok Outcast|
|Thalia, Guardian of Thraben|
|Skrelv, Defector Mite|
The original Kamigawa block was one of the poorest-received at the time of its original release. However, it has aged immaculately – so much so that we made a return to the plane of Kamigawa with Neon Dynasty. The growing appreciation for Kamigawa’s roots can be attributed to eternal formats like Modern and Commander, in particular.
A lot of quirky, but innovative cycles and mechanics came out of Kamigawa with most never being seen again. The legendary land cycles are no different. While the prices of these cards are being driven somewhat by demand, none of them have seen considerable reprintings. Minamo only ever saw one reprint as a
What’s more is that they only see play as one-ofs in all decks that play them, thus, there’s no pressure to buy a playset. A single copy of any of these pieces will service all your potential needs in-and-outside of Modern.
Corey Williams is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. He considers himself a macroeconometrician with his research body reflecting work in applied macroeconomics and econometrics. Corey is an L1 Judge who started playing Magic around Eighth Edition. He enjoys Modern, Commander, cEDH, and cube drafting. Outside of Magic, he loves running, teaching, and the occasional cult movie.