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Betrayers of Kamigawa

Betrayers of Kamigawa
BOK logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description A shuriken
Design Mike Elliott (lead)
Randy Buehler
Development Henry Stern,
Devin Low,
Randy Buehler,
Paul Sottosanti,
Matt Place
Art direction Jeremy Cranford
Release date February 4, 2005
Plane Kamigawa
Themes and mechanics Ninja, Ki counters
Keywords/​ability words Ninjutsu, Offering
Set size 165 cards
(55 commons, 55 uncommons, 55 rares)
Expansion code BOK[1]
Development codename Wind
Kamigawa block
Champions of Kamigawa Betrayers of Kamigawa Saviors of Kamigawa
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Unhinged Betrayers of Kamigawa Saviors of Kamigawa
For the novel, see Heretic: Betrayers of Kamigawa.

Betrayers of Kamigawa is the thirty-fourth Magic expansion, released in February 2005 as the second set and first small expansion in the Kamigawa block. The prerelease was on January 22, 2005.[2]

Set details[ | ]

Betrayers of Kamigawa contains 165 black-bordered cards (55 commons, 55 uncommons, 55 rares). Its expansion symbol is a "shuriken" or "shaken" to evoke the set's ninja theme.[3] A shuriken is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was generally used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. Shuriken is the name given to any small-bladed object, while shaken is traditionally used to indicate the "throwing star". The set introduced the Ninjutsu and Offering keywords.

Marketing[ | ]

Betrayers of Kamigawa was sold in 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack.[4] The booster packs featured artwork from Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo, Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni and Isao, Enlightened Bushi. The prerelease card was a foil alternate art Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni. The release card was Budoka Pupil. The set was accompanied by a novel by Scott McGough.

Storyline[ | ]

Now in the employ of Princess Michiko and beholden to the Myojin of Night's Reach, Toshi Umezawa tries to honor his commitments while pursuing his own ends. But as the Kami War threatens to engulf Kamigawa, an unimaginably powerful spirit beast threatens the world. And at the heart of the battle moves the figure of the Daimyo, whose impassive features conceal a sinister crime that gnaws at the world's heart.[5][6]

Token[ | ]

A special 3/3 Spirit token with flying for Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens appeared in Magic Online.[7]

Mechanics[ | ]

  • Ninjutsu allows a player to put a Ninja creature card from their hand into play tapped and attacking by paying a cost and returning an attacking, unblocked creature they control to its owner's hand.[8][9][10]
  • Offering allows the player to partially pay for a spell by sacrificing a creature of a certain creature type, and lets the spell be played as an instant. This ability is used on five Spirit creatures, the patron spirits of five non-human species in Kamigawa.

Cycles[ | ]

Betrayers of Kamigawa has eight cycles and a vertical cycle.

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Patrons Patron of the Kitsune Patron of the Moon Patron of the Nezumi Patron of the Akki Patron of the Orochi
Patrons are rare legendary spirit creatures that have creature offerings. For example, Patron of the Orochi has snake offering, which allows the controller to sacrifice a snake in order to play the card as an instant and pay the difference in mana cost of the card and the sacrificed snake. Patron of the Kitsune has fox offering and so forth. Each patron has an ability.[11]
Alternate cost splice cards Hundred-Talon Strike Veil of Secrecy Horobi's Whisper Torrent of Stone Roar of Jukai
Common instants that can be spliced onto arcane by paying a non-mana splice cost.
Baku Waxmane Baku Quillmane Baku Skullmane Baku Blademane Baku Petalmane Baku
Common spirits that gain Ki counters whenever their controller plays a spirit or arcane spell. These counters can then be removed for an ability. The artifact Baku Altar has a similar mechanic and complements the cycle.
Flip cards Faithful Squire Callow Jushi Hired Muscle Cunning Bandit Budoka Pupil
Uncommon {1}MM 2/2 human creatures that acquire ki counters whenever a spirit or arcane spell is played and may be flipped at end of turn once they have at least 2 ki counters on them. Their flipped forms are all legendary spirits with activated abilities that require removing their ki counters.[12]
Genju Genju of the Fields Genju of the Falls Genju of the Fens Genju of the Spires Genju of the Cedars
Auras that can temporarily turn the land they enchant into a creature for {2}.[13] If the enchanted land goes to the graveyard, the enchantment is returned from the graveyard to the owner's hand. The five-colored Genju of the Realm also exists as a compliment to the cycle.
One-mana spirits Kami of False Hope Teardrop Kami Bile Urchin Frostling Child of Thorns
Common 1/1 spirits costing one coloured mana that could sacrificed for an ability.
Lobotomy spells Scour Quash Eradicate Sowing Salt Splinter
An uncommon cycle of spells that removed a target card from the game, then also removed all other copies of the card in its controller's graveyard, hand and library from the game. They were all reprints from Urza's Destiny.[14]
Shoals Shining Shoal Disrupting Shoal Sickening Shoal Blazing Shoal Nourishing Shoal
Arcane instants which costs {X} and 2 of the appropriate mana. A cycle of Pitch Spells meaning that the player may exile from their hand a card of the appropriate color with a converted mana cost of X rather than pay the card's cost. Also, each art has fish in it.[15]

Vertical cycle[ | ]

Cycle name
Glasskites Shimmering Glasskite Jetting Glasskite Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Blue flying creatures that has "Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability for the first time in a turn, counter that spell or ability". The rare, while technically not having this line of text, has an ability that grants it to all creatures under your control.

Notable cards[ | ]

Umezawa's Jitte is arguably the most powerful card that has ever been included in a preconstructed deck (Rats' Nest theme deck). Other cards that saw some degree of constructed play include Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni, Tendo Ice Bridge,[16] Shining Shoal, Blazing Shoal (banned in Modern since September 2011, just one month after Modern became a sanctioned format), Threads of Disloyalty, Goryo's Vengeance (the namesake of a Modern combo deck that uses the card to cheat Griselbrand into play), Ninja of the Deep Hours, and Flames of the Blood Hand.

Theme decks[ | ]

The preconstructed theme decks are:

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Ninjutsu U
Rat's Nest B
Dark Devotion B R
Spiritcraft W G

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets.

Functional reprints[ | ]

Betrayers of Kamigawa has 2 functional reprints:

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brian David-Marshall (January 07, 2002). "Betraying the Secrets of the Prerelease". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana (December 09, 2004). "Betrayers of Kamigawa Graphical Goodies". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Rei Nakazawa (January 10, 2005). "The Sting of Betrayal". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (January 14, 2002). "A Flavorful View of Betrayers". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana (July 30, 2002). "Unseen tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (January 10, 2005). "When Ninjas Attack". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (January 32, 2005). "Ninjas & Pirates & Myrs… Oh My!". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Aaron Forsythe (February 04, 2005). "You Should Have Blocked". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (January 17, 2005). "Faces in the Patron". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (January 17, 2005). "Flip Service". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Paul Sottosanti (January 14, 2005). "When Trees Attack". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana (March 28, 2005). "Betrayers' Lobotomies". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Aaron Forsythe (January 21, 2005). "Beware the Shining". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Magic Arcana (March 31, 2005). "Tendo Ice Bridge". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]