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Champions of Kamigawa booster pack each containing 15 cards per pack. Distribution is 1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 11 common. Released on October 1st, 2004, Champions is the first set in the Kamigawa block. The set contains 306 black-bordered cards (88 rare, 88 uncommon, 110 common, and 20 lands).
Champions of Kamigawa (Champions or CHK) is the name of the Magic the Gathering expansion set that set the stage for the block's story, which was inspired by Japanese myths and revolves around the battle between spirits (kami) and living beings.
The set's expansion symbol is a torii , the entrance to the Shinto temple. This is especially important, as Kamigawa's original idea was summed up as "Shinto gone horribly wrong": Kami warring against their human worshippers.Champions of Kamigawa introduced several new mechanics to the game:
- Arcane spells - some instant or sorcery spells have the Arcane subtype, which represent spells or abilities used by the kami. It does nothing by itself, but other cards may interact with it (see below).
- Splice onto Arcane - spells having this keyword can be "attached" to another Arcane spell for additional mana investment. The "spliced" spell remains in the player's hand able to be reused another time.
- Spirits - Due to the nature of Kamigawa, this block contains a large proportion of creatures with the subtype Spirit. These spirits represent the kami themselves, and numerous cards in the block interact with them in special ways to provide synergy.
- Soulshift - a keyword that appears on Spirit creatures and allows them to return another Spirit creature from the graveyard to its owner's hand when they perish.
- "Spiritcraft" - Many Spirits have abilities which trigger when another Spirit or an Arcane spell is played.
- Bushido, or "way of the warrior", increases a creature's power and toughness by the Bushido number when it combats another creature. (This is usually compared to flanking, which weakens (-1/-1) the blockers of the creature.)
- Legendary - While not a mechanic in itself, the Kamigawa block contains a disproportionately high number of Legendary cards, Champions alone boasting over 80 Legendary cards.
- Flip cards - Certain creatures, nicknamed "heroes", are "flipped" (the card is turned 180 degrees) when particular conditions are met, becoming an entirely different, more powerful, and Legendary creature.
Champions of Kamigawa introduced changes to two common creature types. The Legend creature type was replaced with the Legendary supertype. The Wall creature type was freed from the associated rules that prevented Walls from attacking; Each Wall creature was changed to have the new Defender keyword which prevents them from attacking, allowing for a simpler use of the "wall" type creature across different creature types. For example, this allowed for the Lorwyn changelings, which have all creature types. Under the old rules, changelings would not be able to attack, through sheer result of being walls. Legend and Wall were the last creature types in Magic to have inherent rules associated with them.