This week in Magic: Khans of Tarkir previews begin

The Khans spoiler season is finally upon us and it’s been very good thus far. At Pax Prime we were able to get a quick sampling from each clan. We even got to meet the new Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker. This guy is pretty mean. He’s essentially a 4/4 Red, indestructible, flying dragon with haste when it comes into play. It’s second ability looks a little lame compared to it’s first ability, but I’m sure somewhere down the line, dealing four damage to a creature is going to come quite handy.




His ultimate ability is interesting. First of all, it comes at a low cost of six loyalty. Second, it’s an ability that favors very aggressive decks. When I first saw Sarkhan, I immediately figured he would be best in a Jund Walkers or Jund Monsters deck. After some thinking, this guy may even be worth it in a Mono Red Burn or Aggro decklist.


At the Pax Prime party we also got to see the new design for cards with modular options. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at the Sultai Charm. These cards now come in a “summarized” form using bullet points to display the player’s options. Of course, the last thing players were treated with was the announcement that the Onslaught block cycle of Fetchlands were making their return to Khans. Quickly after, the internet exploded.


Polluted Delta


I wrote in a recent article the possible implications of the fetchlands making a return to Standard. First, I’d like to address those who thought they wouldn’t make a return. I was right there with you. I didn’t think it was impossible, but I did think they’re return was slim to none. Why? The biggest reason was that Mark Rosewater had once stated that he disliked the idea of the fetchlands coming back to standard. It’s hard to argue with the guy who is in charge. His argument was that the fetchlands slowed things down too much in Standard. It makes sense if you think about it. You have to decide which land you want. Then you have to search for it. Once you’ve found the land you need to shuffle your deck. Finally, after shuffling your deck, you need to present your deck to your opponent who then has to shuffle your deck again. With all the different ways there are to shuffle a deck, you have to admit this is a valid point.


Another reason I didn’t think they would come back is that there isn’t really a big reason for them to come back; at least not in Standard. Everyone talked about a possible comeback during the mythical “Modern Masters 2.” The biggest outcry was for fetches in Modern. Almost every deck wanted or needed them. However, Zendikar was the only place to find them, legally, and due to the popularity of that set, obtaining them would cost you an arm and a leg. Scalding Tarns peaked around $70. At that price, four of them would cost you $280 – and that’s just for four lands in your 60-card deck.


Well, now they’re here, and we’ve got to deal with it. Fortunately, this will open the door for many players to experience Modern. This also means cards that used to carry a “cheap” price tag in Modern will no longer carry that tag. Why? An increase in demand will finally “balance” out prices.


As far as Standard goes, the fetchlands have already begun to make an impact. People have been scooping up Ob Nixillis, Unshackled. Also, Courser of Kruphix has gone back up to its original price of nearly $20. Aside from it’s price, the Courser is poised to be one of the most powerful cards in Standard. I had made the point that fetchlands will allow you to gain more than one life a turn. A reader of mine had commented saying that the fetchlands will allow you to shuffle away a card you don’t want off the top of your deck. Both options are viable and very good.


Did you know?

Did you know there are other cards in Khans of Tarkir besides the fetchlands? Sorin will making a return. Although, some would say that his previous form was a lot better than his current. Sorin, Solemn Visitor will be the only other planeswalker in the set. Right now, he seems unimpressive. He still makes Vampires, but at the cost of loyalty. The best part of the Lord of Innistrad was his ability to make an emblem that had a constant effect on all your creatures. The Solemn Visitor only has a one time effect. However, it does affect all of your creatures. It’s something, I guess.


Overall, this set it shaping up to be really good. However, people are saying that the fetchlands are going to overshadow a lot of the other cards in the set. I’m afraid I have to agree. This is good and bad. How so? It’s bad in the sense that the new Standard may get off to a slow start. Deck building will be slightly hindered because many of the other cards will be ignored while people are trying to complete their playsets. On the other hand, this works out well for those who know how to balance their time. For a short time, demand will be low for everything else. This will be your chance to get your hands on hard while they’re in supply and at a lower price.


On a final note, seats are going to fill fast for the upcoming pre-release events. My advice to you, if you plan on attending, is to pre-register yourself for the events you plan on attending. If you plan on coming to either one of the stores, here’s a link to the forum page with all of the information you’ll need to set yourself up.


Pre-release weekend is scheduled for September 20th and 21st.


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!


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