Champions of Kamigawa is the 33rd Magic expansion, released in October 2004. The set contains 306 cards and is the first in the Kamigawa block, followed by Betrayers of Kamigawa and Saviors of Kamigawa, with Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty coming in 2022. The set takes place on the plane of Kamigawa, which is heavily influenced by Asian mythology and literature.
A major theme of Kamigawa is legendary creatures, featuring some of the first legendary creatures at uncommon with the modern rarity system. Many of the set’s most notable legends, such as Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Kokusho, the Evening Star, have gone on to be widely popular in a variety of formats.
Various other mechanics were introduced in Champions of Kamigawa, such as bushido, Arcane (and its accompanying splice onto Arcane ability) and flip cards. Bushido works similar to flanking, except the bushido creature receives a stat bonus when it blocks or becomes blocked. Arcane is a new subtype for spells, with splice onto Arcane spells able to have their effects added to Arcane spells by paying the associated cost and revealing them from your hand. Finally, flip cards turn “upside down” when certain conditions are met, often turning into powerful legendary creatures.
Additionally, several cards have lived on in eternal formats, with some even receiving bans. Sensei’s Divining Top has been banned in Modern and Legacy for its powerful combination with Counterbalance while Glimpse of Nature has been banned in Modern due to its snowballing power with cheap Elves. Through the Breach became particularly popular with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Griselbrand and other large, game-winning threats while Gifts Ungiven has seen its share of bans as an easy way to tutor cards to the hand and graveyard.
On the note of Commander, numerous Champions of Kamigawa cards have become staples of the format. Sakura-Tribe Elder and Kodama’s Reach are some of the most popular sources of ramp and mana fixing in the format, while the previously aforementioned Kokusho even enjoyed a stint on the Commander ban list (and the “banned as Commander” ban list).