Released in 2004, Champions of Kamigawa became an MTG fan favorite for the most peculiar of reasons. The Shinto-inspired block introduced beloved creature types such as Monk, Samurai, and Ninja. Also, the set provided some unique mechanics which haven't been seen again, such as arcane, soulshift, and Spirits. While these mechanics are regarded as bad, there were some encouraging options with bushido and the flip cards. Even with the controversy at the time, flip cards played into a design space that paved the way for the MTG double-faced cards we play today. So even with the negatives, there were a lot of positives to take away from the memorable set.

Champions of Kamigawa brought an array of legendary cards which helped bolster Commander in a huge way. With Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty dropping soon, it will be exciting to see what cards will come from the futuristic cyberpunk set. It's likely there will be reprints, and the return of well-loved legendary creatures and spells. With that, let's dive into some of the valuable cards from the original Kamigawa block.

#10: Minamo, School at Water's Edge

Starting the list of valuable Champions of Kamigawa cards is Minamo, School at Water's Edge, a versatile card that sees frequent play in Commander and Modern. For Commander, the ability to untap a legendary permanent is powerful given the number of legendary cards in the format. It can enable mana generation with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, or untap potent creatures such as Prime Speaker Vannifar to activate the ability again.

In Modern, you run Minamo, School at Water's Edge in anticipation of Choke or Boil, since this land does not come with the Island typing so it sticks around after either spell resolves. It does fall to a Blood Moon however, but you often see the card feature in Merfolk, Mill, or Mono-Blue Tron despite not making the most of the untap ability.

#9: Forbidden Orchard

Rainbow lands in Commander are a high priority, which is why Forbidden Orchard remains a desirable MTG card. A lot of the time, giving an opponent a Spirit token is not much of a downside since you have 40 life in Commander. Forbidden Orchard is ideal for Commander strategies that don't care about creatures, or need multiple colors of mana consistently.

Also, Forbidden Orchard comes in untapped and doesn't need to jump through hoops unlike Reflecting Pool or Exotic Orchard. Plus there are instances where giving your opponent a token could work in your favor, especially if you run cards like Defense of the Heart to gain the most value. These lands are always desirable in Commander given the push for four and five-color Commanders in Standard sets. As such, cards such as these will always drive a high price given the constant demand and popularity of the format.

#8: Kokusho, the Evening Star

A plague in Champions of Kamigawa Limited, Kokusho, the Evening Star is a powerhouse in Commander. Often you see the Dragon Spirit as a reanimation target since you want to trigger the ability numerous times in the same turn. Using cards such as Phyrexian Altar and Chainer, Dementia Master, you can chain off multiple Kokusho activations for just three black mana.

At one point, Kokusho, the Evening Star was banned in Commander as the card offered a warping effect since there was little graveyard hate at the time that could answer Kokusho's combo. MTG has moved in a big way since 2015 and Kokusho is now legal, which as a result encouraged the card price to rise over time.

#7: Hall of the Bandit Lord

Another unassuming yet powerful card, Hall of the Bandit Lord gives a creature haste if the mana was used to cast a creature spell. For Commander, it allows Kaalia of the Vast and Zur the Enchanter to attack and trigger their powerful abilities straight away. Otherwise, you don't see the card outside of Commander since 3 life is a tall order for Constructed formats.

What Hall of the Bandit Lord does offer is haste for creatures in colors that can't typically have it. In Commander, this means you can cast your commander and activate its ability straight away, or chip in for the last few points of damage. Hall of the Bandit Lord is far from fancy, but it's effective in the singleton format as you can afford to pay the life to generate mana regularly.

#6: Glimpse of Nature

Dubbed the green Ancestral Recall, Glimpse of Nature sees play in Legacy and Commander as it allows you to draw an incredible amount of cards in the right the strategy. Typically, you see the card in low-mana tribal decks such as Elves, since it's easy to draw so many cards thanks to Heritage Druid and Birchlore Rangers.

As such, Glimpse of Nature is banned in Modern due to the aftertaste of the significant impact made in Extended and Standard. It's very unlikely the card will come off the banned list, but it's still effective in Commander and Legacy if built around correctly. You won't get an effect as good as this for the same mana value in future sets, which is another reason the card will remain at a high price.

#5: Nature's Will

Some of the cards in Kamigawa didn't become valuable until years after the set went out of print. One of those cards is Nature's Will, an enchantment that untaps your lands when one or more creatures you control deals combat damage to a player.

What sparked the price hike was the printing of Najeela, the Blade-Blossom from Battlebond. With these two cards, a player can take infinite combat steps which can kill a whole Commander pod with ease. Even without the combination, Nature's Will is an independently good card for strategies that want to get aggressive, or alternatively, want to ramp into their win conditions faster before the opponent has the chance to do anything.

#4: Boseiju, Who Shelters All

Kamigawa introduced an impressive amount of staple Commander cards with abilities that can prevent interaction from your opponents. One of these cards is Boseiju, Who Shelters All, a land that can make any instant or sorcery you control uncounterable at the exchange of 2 life.

In the realms of Commander, this card is excellent at protecting big-mana win conditions such as Torment of Hailfire or Villainous Wealth. With Commander encouraging a high mana count to guarantee land drops, running cards like Boseiju, Who Shelters All offer excellent utility. It even saw play in Modern in Ad Nauseam lists to ensure the strategy could combo off with the namesake card, but has fallen out of favor since the Simian Spirit Guide ban. Either way, instants, and sorceries will always see print in MTG sets, which will only encourage the price of Boseiju, Who Shelters All further.

#3: Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

The red legendary land of Champions of Kamigawa, Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep can give target legendary creature first strike, which may seem unassuming at first. However, as the land comes in untapped, it's basically a Mountain with a cheap activation cost and upside.

Normally, you see this legendary land in Commander for dedicated red decks that care about being aggressive. It crops up in Modern from time to time, especially in Rakdos Midrange since there are so many copies of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Tourach, Dread Cantor you can target with the ability. Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep requires little work for it to function, which makes it common in the Commander format given there is an emphasis on legendary creatures.

#2: Shizo, Death's Storehouse

Carrying on with the cycle, next is Shizo, Death's Storehouse, the black legendary land from Champions of Kamigawa. Like Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep, Shizo offers an ability for a cheap activation cost. In this case, Shizo, Death's Storehouse provides fear to a legendary creature. Fear is an old ability seen commonly on black creatures, which means a creature can only be blocked by a black or an artifact creature.

Once again, the land features heavily in Commander with a smattering in Modern given the trend of powerful legendary creatures. It's common in Rakdos Midrange in Modern for similar reasons as Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep, but in this case making your Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer unblockable seems a good way to generate some excellent value.

#1: Sensei's Divining Top

Sensei's Divining Top is easily the most expensive card from Champions of Kamigawa. One of the most powerful cards ever printed from the original Kamigawa block, Sensei's Divining Top saw heavy play in Legacy alongside miracle cards such as Terminus. Through activating the artifact repeatedly, the card slowed down matched play heavily to the point of it leading to tournament delays. This is one of the key reasons it's banned in Legacy, alongside it being a powerhouse in Counterbalance archetypes in the format. Oh, and it's banned in Modern for similar reasons.

It does see play in Commander since it's great card filtering and it's colorless, despite being at the mercy of everyone else in the Commander pod. It's unlikely a card like Sensei's Divining Top will ever see print ever again due to creating a perfect storm of aggravating mechanics. But, that's one of the reasons it's so expensive, since the card is tremendously unique and crops up in Commander very often.