MTG’s Most Overlooked Setting Could Be the Next Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

a flamekin from magic the gathering

Magic: The Gathering‘s Phyrexian invasion saga was an all-out war showcasing the true scale of New Phyrexia, as well as introducing MTG‘s newest card type, Battles. Even though MTG‘s heroes thwarted the invasion, March of the Machine made every plane in existence relevant again, including obscure MTG planes like Xerex and Karsus. With the multiverse connected via Elesh Norn’s omenpaths, MTG is well-positioned to revisit off-beat planes like Lorwyn.

2007’s Lorwyn was one of MTG‘s most underrated and misunderstood settings, and its complex board states and colorful visuals mostly failed to impress fans at the time. Lorwyn released over 15 years ago, and the designers have since proven that they’re more than capable of bringing back old settings with a fresh coat of paint. Champions of Kamigawa was problematic and poorly recieved when it launched, but its futuristic reimagining in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty was one of the best expansions ever printed. Now, in an era of infinite possibilities and endless exploration, MTG fans are speculating that the plane of Lorwyn might be making a comeback, and it makes perfect sense.


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MTG’s Lorwyn Failed in the 2000s, But It Might Return Soon

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Understandably, Wizards of the Coast is hesitant to revisit unpopular settings or make new sets based on failed sets or blocks like Champions of Kamigawa. Fortunately, these obstacles can be overcome, as the popular Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set recently showed. This futuristic expansion was true to Kamigawa’s original setting and gameplay, while rebooting the plane with an iconic sci-fi setting, new mechanics and card types. It also introduced powerful vehicle cards like Reckoner Bankbuster, proving Kamigawa deserved a second chance all along.

Now, WotC has the perfect opportunity to do the same for MTG‘s most underrated planes and blocks, with Lorwyn being a prominent example that has ample design space. The original Lorwyn and Morningtide sets had some merit, with strong tribal support and fun ideas like championing creatures. However, it suffered from cluttered board states, dud mechanics like clash, and a cartoonish aesthetic unlike MTG‘s usual themes that many players weren’t fond of. The set also had few stand-out legendary creatures or resonant themes, with the plane’s vaguely Celtic setting failing to pique players’ interests at the time.

Fortunately, in this post-invasion era, MTG can bring back what players did like about the Lorwyn block and discard what didn’t work, which worked well for Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. It may take some serious effort, but WotC seems up to the task, and with increasing player support for a return to this light-hearted setting, all the pieces are in-place for a Lorwyn 2.0. It also helps that MTG is now based on single sets rather than entire blocks, so if certain settings or sets flop, WotC can promptly move on and minimize the damage. This gives the designers much more space to experiment, so a set based on Lorwyn is a sure bet.

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Wizards of the Coast Can Reboot Lorwyn For the Modern Age

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WotC has plenty of tools to revisit Lorwyn in an exciting, resonant and memorable way. If original characters like Colfenor and Gaddock Teeg didn’t interest players much, then a new Lorwyn expansion set might introduce new ones, including extra-planar characters who arrived via the omenpaths. Tying Lorwyn to other planes with characters from other worlds is a solid strategy that WotC should consider in new sets, as long as it’s not overdone. Fan-favorite characters like MTG‘s de-sparked Planeswalkers could visit Lorwyn to continue their character arcs, get involved in local conflicts, and generate some new and interesting lore.

In gameplay terms, a return to Lorwyn can do what Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty did best by keeping a few of the best mechanics and ditching the rest in favor of popular modern ones, from powerful Vehicles to Battle cards and even Planechase cards, all with thematic and flavorful ties to Lorwyn. A new Lorwyn set should keep the good mechanics, like its ample tribal support, Reinforce mechanic and championing creatures, and fill in the gaps with more of what players will enjoy.

This would make Lorwyn 2.0 stronger and more relevant, while staying true to its setting — a winning formula that Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty started and Lorwyn 2.0 can perfect. Pulling this off will pave the way for even more reboots of settings like Alara, or more obscure planes like Karsus, Xerex, Vryn and Ergamon.


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