Rewind$4.94 (-79.19%)
Rowan, Scion of War$3.99 (+66.25%)
Food Chain$30.75 (-37.17%)
Sheoldred's Edict$4.69 (-34.86%)
Angel's Grace$2.00 (-33.33%)
The Girl in the Fireplace$10.00 (-33.33%)
The First Sliver$39.99 (-32.79%)
Jeska, Thrice Reborn$13.97 (-30.15%)
Rampant Growth$16.63 (-29.95%)
The One Ring (Borderless)$49.00 (-26.54%)
Mass Hysteria$14.97 (-25.15%)
Questing Druid$3.74 (+24.67%)
Solphim, Mayhem Dominus$8.00 (-23.52%)
Preordain$2.59 (+22.17%)
Alluring Scent$2.72 (-22.06%)
Serum Visions$2.76 (-21.81%)
Rakdos Signet$2.02 (+20.96%)
The Locust God$4.19 (+20.06%)
Inquisition of Kozilek$9.59 (+19.88%)
Mountain (1363)$6.43 (-17.35%)
Mountain (1365)$6.43 (-17.35%)
Mountain (1367)$6.43 (-17.35%)
Treebeard, Gracious Host$5.31 (-17.03%)
Kellan, the Fae-Blooded$3.50 (+16.67%)
Slip Through Space$6.25 (-16.67%)
Gaea's Blessing$5.01 (-16.50%)
Seething Song$2.56 (+16.36%)
Forest - Innistrad Cycle$3.49 (+16.33%)
Hallowed Haunting$19.49 (+15.60%)
Fleshbag Marauder$8.47 (-15.30%)
Mirror March$2.05 (-15.29%)
Ondu Spiritdancer$14.04 (+15.27%)
Swamp (1384)$12.41 (-15.12%)
Forest (1386)$12.41 (-15.12%)
Mountain (1385)$12.49 (-14.57%)
Island (1383)$12.49 (-14.57%)
Blood Artist$2.29 (+14.50%)
Abu Ja'far$43.54 (+13.95%)
Flamekin Harbinger$7.80 (-13.24%)
Grim Hireling$3.60 (+13.21%)
Selfless Savior$2.92 (-12.57%)
Plains (1382)$12.94 (-11.49%)
Spirit Mantle$2.53 (+11.45%)

Modern Times: The Legendary Lands of Kamigawa

08 Mar
by Corey Williams

This week in Modern Times, we take a stroll down memory lane and return to Kamigawa… The original Kamigawa block that is! While Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has brought some immense game pieces to Modern such as Boseiju, Who Endures and Otawara, Soaring City, there have been very compelling price movements among choice lands in the early Kamigawa sets. Let’s dive in!

Oboro, Palace in the Clouds

Oboro, Palace in the Clouds feels like the aesthetic precursor to Otawara, Soaring City, but it is functionally very distinct. Around the release of Kaldheim, Oboro spiked considerably and has been hanging around a market price of $53, but looks to be trending downward.

Oboro, Palace in the Clouds

  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 Jace, the Perfected Mind from Phyrexia: All Will Be One  ("ONE").

In particular, Oboro can be used to ensure that you always have a land drop on every turn. Given that playsets of both Hedron Crab and Ruin Crab are run in the mainboard of Modern Mill decks, Oboro can ensure, at the very minimum, that you’ll always be able to mill your opponent as long as one of the crabs are in play. Beyond Mill, Merfolk decks have been making waves (another well-placed pun) across LGS tables and MTGO leagues alike. Merfolk have benefited considerably from Vodalian Hexcatcher, a new Merfolk lord from Dominaria United. As Merfolk decks start to see some more play, so do its staple lands, including… Oboro, Palace in the Clouds.  

Jace, the Perfected Mind
Hedron Crab
Vodalian Hexcatcher

  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!

Hedron Crab
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
Ruin Crab
Vodalian Hexcatcher
Jace, the Perfected Mind



Minamo, School at Water's Edge

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, School at Water's Edge

  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 Emry, Lurker of the Loch. The uptick in artifact-based synergies thanks to The Brothers' War  ("BRO") and ONE have given some new light to Minamo and the consistency it can provide alongside key legendary creatures. Whether or not these specific synergies will spillover into Modern remains to be seen. Nevertheless, keep a watchful eye on this card and don’t be afraid to pick one up for your Modern brews!  

Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Emry, Lurker of the Loch


Eiganjo Castle

The classic Eiganjo Castle is one of the more underappreciated legendary lands from the cycle introduced in Champions of Kamigawa. However, you might notice it’s seeing a slight uptick in price since the release of BRO. The question then becomes, can we expect it to keep climbing?  

Eiganjo Castle

  Possibly. The upside potential between Eiganjo Castle and new cards like Skrelv, Defector Mite is fairly obvious much in the same way Eiganjo Castle serves to protect other low-cost legendaries like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. In terms of specific Modern decks that Eiganjo is seeing recent play in, Death and Taxes almost always plays a copy and has gotten some support between BRO and ONE. Recently, variations on Hammer Time have occasionally splashed an Eiganjo, but this is few and far between compared to mainstream Hammer Time builds.

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 Serra Paragon, Solitude, and Emeria's Call. Of course, the deck is usually Abzan in nature, but the core of its manabase is white, thus, cards like Eiganjo Castle do well to protect legendaries, again, like Thalia or Melira, Sylvok Outcast.  

Skrelv, Defector Mite
Serra Paragon

  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
Eiganjo Castle
Emeria's Call
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Serra Paragon
Skrelv, Defector Mite



Concluding Thoughts

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 Mystery Booster Cards card (which ironically is more expensive than the original copy). In a similar fashion, Eiganjo Castle has seen a single reprint via The List while Oboro has never been reprinted. The supply-side scarcity and rising influence of these lands in Modern makes them very interesting and promising speculative pickups!

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
Corey Williams

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.

More from Corey Williams:

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