Alchemy: Kamigawa Set Review: Red, Green, and Multicolored

Are you looking to increase the Starting Intensity of your decks? Then check out these red, green, and multicolored cards for Alchemy: Kamigawa!


Artillery Enthusiast

This guy would probably love being thrown in a Goblin Bombardment. Gladiator has many one mana 1/1s with upside in red, so how does this creature stack against the others? Menace is a powerful keyword for forcing damage through, and being able to grant it to any number of your creatures, even conditionally, is certainly powerful. Rummaging away a card you don’t want for another card of the same mana value means that for the most part, you’re exchanging a land for a land or a nonland for a nonland. However, there are exceptions, such as Stonecoil Serpent. This means that while Artillery Enthusiast can’t help you when you are mana screwed, it can exchange removal for creatures or vice versa or even a basic land for a non-basic one. The creature type is also relevant, as there are many Goblin support cards in the format, even outside of Tribal decks. Additionally, NEO released many cards that care about Modified, and many of these see play outside of Modified decks. For example, the following cards see play in most Mono-Red Aggro decks already:

(image of the following here: Stonecoil Serpent, Kumano Faces Kakkazan, Runaway Steam-Kin, Crawling Barrens, Rabbit Battery, Foundry Beetle, Ogre-Head Helm, Shadowspear, Eater of Virtue, Bonesplitter, Embercleave, Cartouche of Zeal)

All in all, I think this card will be a strong addition to nearly every aggressive red deck in the format.

Foundry Beetle

This equipment makes any creature ready to beetle.  As demonstrated by Dragonkin Berserker, Cemetery Gatekeeper, and Dire-Fleet Daredevil, and Rahilda, Wanted Cutthroat, first strike is a powerful keyword, especially on a creature with high power and a low mana value. While two power with first strike is only impressive in the early game, Reconfigure allows larger creatures to benefit later. This ability is especially useful for creatures with low toughness like Combat Celebrant. What I really want to do is play this in a Rakdos or Gruul deck and attach this to creatures with deathtouch to make a nearly invincible creature in combat. The low Reconfigure cost of one red is very appealing, however I am not as excited about the artifact synergies. Most Aggro decks run few artifacts other than Equipment and Stonecoil Serpent, but maybe with all the new Reconfigure artifact creatures the density is there. In a RX Battlebots deck or any other artifact deck this creature will be a slam dunk both as an early blocker against Aggro and a source of Perpetual mana ramp.

Junkyard Scrapper

Goblins sure do love their junk, but you’ll often find great treasure with this one. Junkyard Scrapper is a powerful source of card advantage on an on-rate body with a relevant creature type. It impulse draws you a card that you can play until the end of your next turn each time you play a nontoken artifact with mana value one or greater, and that card will always be another artifact that you can chain. This card enables Battlebots decks to never run out of threats, and enables Eggs decks to chain a ridiculous number of eggs. I love that this can find zero mana spells like Mox Amber and Stonecoil Serpent so even your one drop artifacts are generating value. One thing to note is that it finds any artifact with lesser mana value, not an artifact with a mana value of one less, so even when playing a high mana value artifact the chain can end immediately. Building your deck with specific tool box one mana and zero mana artifacts can make this card quite powerful, and when playing make sure to have your deck list available so you can see what options you have left in your library.

Bellowsbreath Ogre

With an on rate body, an extra card type, a potentially relevant creature type in Shaman, and a powerful attack trigger, this card is just all goodness. Battlebots decks will love this as a removal/burn spell on a great body, though for aggressive red decks it is probably too slow compared to existing options. However, this card does just run away with the game if left unanswered for even just a few turns. The attack trigger kills blockers or can go face, but what is really powerful is the new mechanic Starting Intensity. This Perpetually increases even as the card changes zones, so whether it attacks multiple times on the battlefield or you bring it back from the graveyard, this card punches harder and harder each time. What I really want to do is combine this Ogre with Isshin, Two Heavens as One.

Molten Impact

We’ve had two mana deal four sorceries before in Lava Coil and Thundering Rebuke, but this one will have the greatest Impact on the format. Molten Impact is quite often a two-for-one against decks with X/1s since it can save excess damage for your opponent’s next threat. And despite your opponent knowing it is coming, this forces them to either hold their next threat or only play high toughness creatures which limits their options. Even when doing so, this could let Lightning Bolt take down an Elder Gargaroth. Despite not having the exile clause of Lava Coil, the upside of killing two creatures is far more powerful. This card goes best in decks with both removal and cantrips at instant speed, but will likely make it into nearly every red deck in the format.

Forgeborn Phoenix

The Goblin in the art gives us a great idea of what Reconfigure looks like on Kamigawa, and it is totally awesome! The base case of this card is a harder to cast Wind Drake that can occasionally recur itself with the help of an equipped creature, which is already powerful. What I love is that it can Perpetually grant this clause to equipped creatures, meaning you can amass a large boardstate every time you connect. Even in decks only running Bonesplitter, Eater of Virtue, and a few Reconfigure creatures, I think this effect is powerful enough to consider an inclusion. With the low Reconfigure cost of one red and granting the powerful evasive keyword flying, I expect this to see a lot of play in decks that can afford the double red casting cost. 

Kami of Bamboo Groves

Kami of Bamboo Groves is looking to be a solid one drop in any green deck that’s looking to ramp. Compared to Arboreal Grazer, it blocks less well due to less toughness and no reach. On the other hand, after the first few turns, you would much rather draw into the Kami thanks to the utility of Channel. Additionally, the enchantment subtype opens up many applications for decks such as Enchantress, or graveyard decks that want Delirium, which is enabled easily with Channel. One final note is this cards works especially well with the new Forceful Cultivator discussed earlier.

Chronicler of Worship

If you have a Shrines deck, great! This card will accelerate your gameplan and provide much needed mana fixing.  Otherwise, this is a worse Ilysian Caryatid. The only other deck that may consider this is a Humans deck, however, those decks are usually too aggressive to want a mana dork with such a small body.

Boseiju Pathlighter

The good news is, you’ll pretty much always get yourself an untapped source of colorless mana off this. The bad news is that you’re paying three for a 3/2 and a utility land that may not fill well with your deck’s gameplan. The downside to Spellbooks is that the variable nature of what you get means that the density of relevant picks makes or breaks the impact that a card can make. Boseiju Pathfinder’s Spellbook isn’t dense enough, and there is little reason to play it even in lands decks since they have better three drops available.

Jukai Liberator

Green has many creatures with powerful ETBs, and thanks to their larger power and toughness they are difficult to block, enabling Ninjutsu. When that Ninjutsu card also just is a three mana 3/3 with upside, and when that upside lets you choose whether the card you’re about to draw is gas or the land you need to cast your gas- you’re riding the gravy train. Expect to see a lot of this in every green creature deck outside of Combo, as it’s the best green card in this set by a country mile.

Runaway Growth

This card was likely designed with a different format in mind, as cost reducers like Jukai Naturalist make this a pretty attractive option for enchantress decks with a high density of effects that cheat mana costs. In Gladiator, however, there is nowhere near enough density to reliably get the amount of synergy you’d want for a card like this to be worth your time. The best use of this card is probably when you’re playing with effects that untap lands like Blossom Dryad, which is far from competitive at the moment.

Forceful Cultivator

Whether you are Mono-Green or just base green, this card is the ramp and fixing you have been looking for. In Mono-Green decks this will make more hands keepable while being an overstated two drop creature. In base green decks this will be easy to cast off a green source and a mana dork, and then find you whatever color you are missing. Overall this will smooth out your draws and mana. While casting this for four mana is not ideal, that will only happen when you are either flooding extremely badly or just really need the ramp, and neither of these situations is as common as the high upside of casting it for two.

Imperial Blademaster

This card is a must answer threat, as it both hits above its weight class and generates card advantage over time. Curving a Samurai or Warrior into this is devastating as it replaces itself immediately and remains to draw a card and apply pressure each turn. Thanks to double strike, this card is powerful with buff spells and Equipment alike, which both the Samurai and Warrior tribes support. But what cards are you getting in the spellbook?

10 creatures, all of which are strong, two Equipment, one card advantage engine, one combat trick/protection spell, and one game ending sorcery. All of these are cards you want to draw, and many are already in your main deck. Additionally, there are cards that are good when ahead, behind, and at parity, so no matter what three cards you see, there will be something that helps in your current situation. Something to keep in mind however is that just because you can draft a spell does not mean it is worth sacrificing the damage you can get by swinging with more than one creature. I expect this to power up Warriors to a competitive tribe, even if it is a combination of Samurai and Warriors, and for it also to slot into Humans.

10 creatures, all of which are strong, two Equipment, one card advantage engine, one combat trick/protection spell, and one game ending sorcery. All of these are cards you want to draw, and many are already in your main deck. Additionally, there are cards that are good when ahead, behind, and at parity, so no matter what three cards you see, there will be something that helps in your current situation. Something to keep in mind however is that just because you can draft a spell does not mean it is worth sacrificing the damage you can get by swinging with more than one creature. I expect this to power up Warriors to a competitive tribe, even if it is a combination of Samurai and Warriors, and for it also to slot into Humans.


Wow! I bet your decks are feeling pretty strong after drafting from those spellbooks. Thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to comment or share your own thoughts or ideas about these cards. Happy playing!


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