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Rough Drafts: Year of Modern Flashbacks - Triple Kamigawa

Hello everyone! It's time for another edition of Rough Drafts! After taking a few weeks off for the release of Oath of the Gatewatch, The Year of Modern Flashbacks returns. This week we get to play Triple Champions of Kamigawa, which is interesting for two reasons. First, I'm not a huge fan of Kamigawa block in general, and I've never played the limited format, so our videos are of my first ever Triple Champions of Kamigawa draft. Second, Kamigawa has some of the strangest card names in all of Magic's history. Apart from drafting a functional deck, the biggest challenge will be pronouncing the cards correctly.

Let's get to the videos, then we'll talk a bit about my impression of Triple Champions of Kamigawa limited. A quick reminder. If you enjoy the Rough Drafts series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Triple Champions of Kamigawa: Drafting

Triple Champions of Kamigawa: Round 1

Triple Champions of Kamigawa: Round 2

Triple Champions of Kamigawa: Round 3 (Finals)

Triple Champions of Kamigawa

  • Honestly, I have no idea what's going on in the format. The mechanics and design of the set make a lot of cards look way worse than they really are. Two big examples are Soulshift, which is really powerful, even though most creatures with the keyword look overcosted at first glance, and Arcane, which makes a lot of pseudo-playable spells really strong if you can get a critical mass. It makes evaluating cards tricky. 
  • As such, we used the tried and true method of picking cards that would still be playable if they were printed today (i.e. solid, on-curve creatures and removal spells). In the end, our deck looked surprisingly ordinary, but ended up being effective. We pretty much cruised through the first two rounds, and then had a chance in the finals before coming up short. 
  • There are a lot of Spirits and Arcane spells in the set, which changes the value of some cards. Being able to destroy a non-Spirit creature sounds great, but actually plays out more like Go for the Throat in Mirrodin limited than Doom Blade in Magic 2010. On the other hand, "counter target Spirit" is actually a playable card because such a high percentage of creatures are Spirits. 
  • The Rares in the set are super inconsistent and the power of your deck is very dependent on how good or bad you open. A ton of the Rares (including all of the ones we opened) felt mostly unplayable, while others, like the Spirit Dragons (Yosei, the Morning Star, et. al.) are massive bombs. In some sense you want to cross your fingers and hope you open well. 
  • Oni Possession = Overpowered. While this statement probably isn't true, more than half of the games we won were because of Oni Possession. It is definitely better than it looks, especially considering it looks pretty bad. 
  • All in all, I felt like the format was relatively fun. I know there are some cool archetypes out there. Just in our draft, we could have built an Arcane deck that could tutor up The Unspeakable or a deck built around Hondens (e.g. Honden of Night's Reach), which makes me want to try out some more Triple Champions of Kamigawa limited, just to build crazy, fringe decks. 

Money Cards


  • CHK Draft Archetypes. David Crewe gives a great review of all the major draft archetypes in Triple Champions of Kamigawa draft.
  • Drafting Kamigawa. PVDDR breaks down the format, along with individual colors, in this Brainburst article from 2004.
  • Triple Kamigawa Primer. As always, the Limited Resources subreddit has their flashback primer posted. A good discussion of the format, and a great place to ask questions.


Anyway, that's all for today. Leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 

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