Modern technology gives us many things.

Neon Dynasty blends traditional fantasy and futuristic sci-fi


Magic: The Gathering is packed full of fantasy elements, from spells and enchantments to angels and dragons. Now Wizards of the Coast is trying something completely different in the trading card game’s next set: futuristic, neon-soaked sci-fi.

Set in the Japanese-inspired Kamigawa plane, Magic‘s upcoming expansion Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty takes place over 1200 years after it was last seen in 2005’s Saviors of Kamigawa set. As the name suggests, technology has significantly advanced since that mythology-focused set, with traditional elements now blending with a high-tech cyberpunk aesthetic.

Though Magic has played with machinery in previous expansions such ​​as Kaladesh and Mirrodin, it has always stayed closer to fantasy than science fiction. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty’s 302-card set is the first time Magic has explored the sharp, technological look of sci-fi, blending it with traditional Japanese influences.

It’s hard not to be intrigued by this set purely due to its unexpected sci-fi concept and gorgeous art. As such, Mashable is excited to exclusively reveal a new Uncommon card arriving in this set: Norika Yamazaki, the Poet.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Norika Yamazaki, the Poet is a 3/2 White Legendary Human Samurai who costs three mana to play, with at least one of them needing to be White. Once you get her on the field, she has two abilities you can use to give yourself an extra edge.

The first is Vigilance, which allows Norika Yamazaki, the Poet to attack without being tapped. Usually players have to tap a creature in order to attack with them, with tapped creatures then unable to defend during their opponent’s turn. A creature with Vigilance can relentlessly attack while still being available to defend when needed, doubling their usefulness. This alone can make them difficult for your enemies to deal with.

However, Norika Yamazaki, the Poet’s activated ability gives her even more power: “Whenever a Samurai or Warrior you control attacks alone, you may cast target enchantment card from your graveyard this turn.”

This ability requires you to weigh up your options. Sending a soldier into battle alone is typically risky, as all defence efforts will be targeted at them. It’s likely they won’t even make a meaningful dent in a semi-decent defence before being promptly vaporised. However, if that risk allows you to bring back an annoying enchantment your opponent thought they’d already handled, it could very well be worth it.

Norika Yamazaki, the Poet cards

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Norika Yamazaki, the Poet does require you to build your deck thoughtfully to get the most out of her. You’ll probably want to put this card in the company of other Samurai or Warrior creatures, and include a few good enchantments to give you some options. But there’s also nothing stopping you from just sticking her in one of your pre-existing decks as a lone agent. Magic is at its best when there’s a little unexpected chaos, after all. 

Magic: The Gathering‘s Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set arrives Feb. 11 in video game MTG Arena, with the physical set following on Feb. 18.

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