And no, it’s not just Ninjas.
2021 is coming to a close, and the long-awaited return to Kamigawa — Magic: The Gathering’s plane set in the Senkogu period of Japan — is fast approaching. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is the very first 2022 Standard set, with a planned release date of February 18th, 2022. Wizards of the Coast has shared that Neon Dynasty takes place 2000 years after the original storyline of Kamigawa.
Released artwork for Neo Dynasty depicts Kaito, a new Planeswalker, and a cityscape. The images give us a glimpse of what to expect in Neon Dynasty, and we can now hypothesize that popular Kamigawa tribes and cyberpunk influences will be in the set.
While Ninjutsu may not return as a mechanic, Ninjas probably make a return to Kamigawa. This means that ninjas from MTG’s past sets, including Modern Horizons, could see a spike in price. Some of the most playable and sought-after Ninjas in Commander are already experiencing upward price movement.
1. Sakashima’s Student
Planechase Anthology, Rare
Sakashima’s Student, printed in Planechase 2012 and Planechase Anthology, is a Human Ninja that may copy any creature upon entering the battlefield. Sakashima’s Student is one of the more unique Ninjas, considering its ability and low cost to Ninjutsu into play.
The above chart for Sakashima’s Student shows a combination of Near Mint and Lightly Played units sold per day across the green bottom bars, and the average market price along the blue line. Scarcity and demand for Sakashima’s Student already drove its average market price over $40. Since the announcement of Neon Dynasty, the average market price of Sakashima’s Student rose even higher, to about $55. Assuming Sakashima’s Student avoids a reprint, it could easily climb in price to around $75.
2. Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Planechase Anthology, Rare
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni is a legendary Rat Ninja originally printed in Betrayers of Kamigawa. Whenever Ink-Eyes deals combat damage to a player, you may choose to put a creature card from that player’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. Putting Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni into play through its Ninjutsu ability is ideal for dealing damage and stealing a creature from an opponent’s graveyard.
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni is a top-end creature in Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow and Marrow-Gnawer Commander decks. Due to the popularity of tribal Ninjas and Rats, along with Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni’s limited printings, the average market price for Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni is about $20. Considering how Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow increased demand for synergistic tribal cards, Ink-Eyes may become a $25 to $30 card in a few months.
3. Silent-Blade Oni
Commander: Streets of New Capenna, Rare
Silent-Blade Oni is another high mana-cost Ninja with a powerful ability. Whenever Silent-Blade Oni deals combat damage to a player, you may cast a nonland card in their hand without paying its mana cost. As long as you have ways to prevent opponents from blocking Silent-Blade Oni, they will want to remove it from the battlefield quickly.
In Commander, Silent-Blade Oni sees play in Ninja decks piloted by Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow. Interestingly, Silent-Blade Oni’s average market price has doubled since the beginning of 2021. If WOTC introduces a new Dimir Ninja commander in Neon Dynasty, expect Silent-Blade Oni’s average market price to continue rising.
Ninjas are not the only cards that could see price increases due to Neon Dynasty. Mark Rosewater, Head Designer for Magic: The Gathering, spurred speculation of other potential Neon Dynasty inclusions. In a Blogatog post, Rosewater hinted that we might see a return of Hondens. Initially printed in Champions of Kamigawa, Hondens are legendary enchantment Shrines with abilities that scale as you place more Shrines on the battlefield.
Excitingly, Sanctum of All and the five-color cycle of Sanctums in Core 2021 synergize with Kamigawa’s Hondens. Core 2021’s Sanctums offer new abilities, two of which require activation costs.
A new cycle of Hondens included in Neon Dynasty could dramatically increase demand for other Shrines. Don’t be shocked if the original Honden cycle doubles to $2 to $4 per card! A few Core 2021 Sanctums may rise to over $1, particularly Sanctum of All. Anyone who owns a Sisay, Weatherlight Captain enchantment-themed Commander deck may need to make some room for additional Shrines.
The Kamigawa block contains over 150 Spirit creature cards across three sets. By way of comparison, there are only 65 Vampires in the current Standard environment, with 45 printed between Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow. Millicent, Restless Revenant and Ranar the Ever-Watchful decks may require edits to their 99 as Spirit creature cards are almost certain to appear in Neon Dynasty.
6. Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner is a Spirit that may spike due to Neon Dynasty. As a mono-colored Spirit with a powerful protection ability, Kira, Great Glass-Spinner is a fine addition to Spirit decks. The average market price for Kira saw a recent surge — likely because of Crimson Vow’s Spirit Squadron Commander precon deck. Price trends may continue upward for Kira, Great Glass-Spinner as more players build Spirit tribal Commander decks between the Spirit Squadron precon and cards from Neon Dynasty.
7. Legendary Dragon Spirits
Champions of Kamigawa is full of iconic cards, including a cycle of legendary Dragon Spirits. Yosei, the Morning Star and Keiga, the Tide Star are two legendary Dragon Spirits that see play across various themes in Commander. Yosei and Keiga are particularly appealing because they represent the most common colors for Spirits, and align with Millicent, Restless Revenant and Ranar the Ever-Watchful.
Yosei, the Morning Star
Iconic Masters, Rare
Keiga, the Tide Star
Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate, Rare
If WotC decides to print a new cycle of legendary Dragon Spirits in Neon Dynasty, copies of the original Kamigawa cycle could climb in price. Kokusho, the Evening Star — already a $20 card — can jump higher in price with a sudden uptick in demand. Commander players may want to grab complete sets of the legendary Dragon Spirits for their collection. There’s also the exciting option of playing 10 Dragon Spirits in an O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami, Morophon, the Boundless, or Tiamat deck.