The hotly-anticipated Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set has a confirmed release day, as WotC shared key dates in an official release this morning. The rest of us may still be digesting Crimson Vow spoilers, but for Wizards and their distributors, today’s announcement is the first step into an ambitious 2022 schedule.
The Neon Dynasty reveal headlined WotC’s Showcase stream back in August. Its eye-catching cyberpunk visuals represent a marked departure from Magic’s typical aesthetic, with technologically advanced cityscapes and its marquee character Kaito described as a “futuristic cyber ninja.”
We now know that Neon Dynasty will be the lead Standard set of 2022, with a digital release on February 10th, followed by a paper release on February 18th. Card previews are scheduled to begin January 27th, but you can expect a steady drip-feed of art and setting details between now and then.
Of course, Neon Dynasty is as much about the past as it is the future, representing a surprise return to the plane of Kamigawa. It comes almost 17 years after we last saw it in Saviors of Kamigawa, the longest such wait for any setting in Magic’s history — half as long again as the gap from Ice Age-Alliances to Coldsnap!
But that’s still nothing compared to how much time has passed in-universe; WotC’s Showcase preview teases that events in Neon Dynasty take place 2000 years after the Kami War, explaining the rise of modern technology on that previously-feudal plane. What this means for the inclusion of familiar faces like the Gatewatch isn’t known. It seems possible that WotC will choose to place the events of the previous Kamigawa block as a distant past with Neon Dynasty as its present, concurrent with events on Ravnica and Innistrad. I hope you’re ready for cyberpunk Jace and Vraska!
WotC’s bold worldbuilding choices with Neon Dynasty appear to set a trend for 2022, with all four Standard sets previewed on the Showcase stream featuring strong technological elements. Streets of New Capenna, which will follow Neon Dynasty in Q2, seems defined by a gorgeous art-deco style and accompanying film noir sensibility. And the last two sets of next year both focus on the magitek themes of Dominaria, with The Brothers War in particular promising to show the advanced artifice of Mishra and Urza at full apocalyptic scale. Even supplemental products like space-themed Un-set UNFINITY and the Universes Beyond crossover with Warhammer 40K look to expand the scope of what stories and genres Magic can explore.
Tom’s fate was sealed in 7th grade when his friend lent him a pile of commons to play Magic. He quickly picked up Boros and Orzhov decks in Ravnica block and has remained a staunch white magician ever since. A fan of all Constructed formats, he enjoys studying the history of the tournament meta. He specializes in midrange decks, especially Death & Taxes and Martyr Proc. One day, he swears he will win an MCQ with Evershrike. Ask him how at @AWanderingBard, or watch him stream Magic at twitch.tv/TheWanderingBard.