The emperor’s new planeswalker.
There are two expansions that got me back in to playing Magic: The Gathering. One is the Japanese-inspired block set called Kamigawa (2004) which focuses on the great Kami War and the other being War of the Spark (2019) that ends the 10-year story arc of the elder dragon Nicol Bolas.
Now, with the upcoming set Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, game publisher Wizards of the Coast is reeling me back again with interesting storylines that connect these two sets together. Before we start, though we mentioned briefly on War of the Spark, this speculation article will be almost entirely based on Kamigawa and its much-awaited expansion – Neon Dynasty. With that said, expect some spoilers here, but unlike movies or TV shows I think that when it comes to Magic: The Gathering, this is one of the rare forms of entertainment that I’m sure fans wouldn’t mind being spoiled.
So for those who are uninitiated Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming set – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty sees the popular card game return to familiar territory that was introduced back in 2004. The original set, heavily inspired by historical Japanese aesthetics featured dieties, kami (spirits) ninjas and samurais. This time around, Neon Dynasty looks to have a more futuristic and cyberpunk feel while still retaining the recognizable art form.
If you want to make a deep dive into the fluff, I would highly recommend reading the first three books based on the Kamigawa block – namely Outlaw (Champions of Kamigawa), Heretic (Betrayers of Kamigawa) and Guardian (Saviors of Kamigawa). These stories focus on Michiko Konda and Toshiro Umezawa and while the new expansion will be set 1,200 years after Saviors or Kamigawa, there will definitely be mentions of its lore and characters.
And one of the characters that we highly speculate here at UnGeek who will make her return is none other than Michiko Konda, not as a princess or a damsel in distress for Toshiro Umezawa but rather Neon: Dynasty’s new planeswalker emperor… Hiding under the guise of The Wanderer – a planeswalker who was first introduced in War of the Spark (see image below). Adding fuel to this fire is the key point in one of Wizards’ reveal saying that the new emperor is a planeswalker, and this tease:
“With returning individuals from the past, this hints that the emperor of the current world is someone familiar.”
Going back to the Wanderer, when the WAR expansion was released in 2019, Magic: The Gathering promoted the set as somewhat their version of Avengers: Endgame – where we see all of the planeswalker (mages who have the ability travel the multiverse of MTG). The set was widely considered a great success and made some returning players back into card-collecting, including me.
Like mentioned, one of the planeswalkers who was introduced for the first time in WAR is The Wanderer who’s identity to this day still remains a mystery (and no, its not Elspeth).
Basing it on one of Neon Dynasty’s revealed image above and with her planeswalker card back in War of the Spark, you can definitely notice some obvious similarities on both her appearance and weapon. But what’s hitting it in the ballpark for me is that both The Wanderer and Michiko Konda both have the same casting costs of 1 white mana and 3 colorless.
While this theory may sound amazing, one might think that how can Michiko Konda be the emperor, where in an article post by wizards.com, they did say that:
“Though she refused the title of emperor in her lifetime, the title was applied posthumously, styling her as the first emperor of a new Kamigawa.”
Additionally, Neon: Dynasty’s timeline happens 1,200 years after the story OG Kamigawa. So how can our dear princess have endured and survive that long?
Simple, she pulled off a Daimyo Takeshi Konda.
Back in the original storyline, Michiko’s father Konda, Lord of Elganjo made a Money Heist in the realm of the Kami (spirits) where he broke the barrier between the mortal and spirit realm, and captured a part of the O-Kagachi in a card called That Which Was Taken which gave him the ability to become immortal, and effectively starting The Kami War.
While Michiko’s immortality is linked or connected to Lord Konda and the O-Kagachi, his longevity was made more evident during the end of the story where she fused with the Kami Kyodai to become the Sisters of Flesh and Spirit, the embodiment of the barrier between the mortal and the spirit world that serves as a “guardian” of Kamigawa thus making it more likely for her to survive all these years.
Another question is raised though… It wasn’t even mentioned in the books or any of the lore that Michiko Konda is a planeswalker. While this might be true, it is emphasized that the kami have the ability to travel from one plane to another. While this might sound like a stretch, this comparison of skill is really similar to that of a plansewalker.
Again, there are speculations so take these with a grain of salt. What do you think? Who is the new emperor of Kamigawa?
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty will release February 18, 2022. Pre-release events start at February 10. To find a friendly local game area near you, check out Magic: The Gathering’s store locator here.