This week in Magic: Some thoughts on Khans sealed



This past weekend was the first time I played in a prerelease in a long time. I’ve been pretty hesitant about them lately since I figured I can always just buy the singles I needed. However, this time was different. Of course, the fetchlands were very enticing, but the idea of playing another 3-colored themed set was a good reason as well.


So how was it you ask? I had a blast. Sealed Khans of Tarkir is a lot of fun, and a lot of people seemed to agree with me at the prerelease. Fun fact, did you know our midnight prerelease attracted 116 players that night? It went above and beyond the expectations of some that night. A quick thanks to those who came out.


As for me, I played a both events on Saturday. I picked up Mardu in the afternoon and played Abzan later that night. I have to say, both are very different, and very fun to play. I feel in the limited format, being aggressive is key, so I purposefully avoided anything with Blue.


I should mention that I’m not one of those players that puts a lot of time into their preparation going into the prerelease. I, like a lot of people, get their information via the previews done that week, and that’s it. Heading into the afternoon event, I didn’t know much. I just read the little card that’s given inside of the prerelease kit.



From what I read, the Mardu are the really quick and super aggro clan. They try to get in there and beat their opponents down as fast as they can before things get out of hand for themselves. I don’t know if anything you take the time to read those little cards, but sometimes they can be helpful. Keep in mind, the designers of the game created the clans to work well within their colors for a reason. I did my best to stick with those three colors and apply the clan’s “way of life.” My curve was low with numerous “bears.” My game plan was to flood the board as much as I can and just overwhelm my opponent. Furthermore, the raid mechanic proved to be quite a beating.


I have to say, I was really impressed with the clan. My promo for the first sealed was Mardu Ascendancy. I have a small feeling that this card will see Standard play. With just four creatures, each one would trigger the Mardu Ascendancy and I would get four more 1/1 Goblins that came into play, tapped, and attacking. With spells like Trumpet Blast and Rush of Battle, things didn’t last long.


The downside to Mardu was that if you didn’t end things quickly, the potential to become overrun by your opponent was real. Your creatures would eventually die out to their fatter board. Keep this in mind if you ever decide to play Mardu. My Mardu MVPs were War-Name Aspirant, Mardu Heart-Piercer, and Mardu Warchief. My Mardu Super MVP was Ponyback Brigade.



Later that night I decided to try my hands at Abzan. I had heard a lot of good things going into the prerelease, but nothing more than compliments. This is an interesting group of colors. My initial reaction to the clan synergy was that they’re a lot like slivers with an obvious catch – you need +1/+1 counters on creatures to gain the bonuses.


I struggled a bit building my initial Abzan deck. i stared a it for a long time before settling on the best build I could for my pool. The key mechanic for Abzan is Outlast. It’s quite fitting once you realize that you’ve committed to the long game the minute you select Abzan as your clan. When choosing this clan, you need to prepare yourself for early game beats. While trying to survive early onslaughts, you’ve got to figure out a way to start setting up your long game.


My Abzan promo was the Herald of Anafenza. I have to admit, when I first saw the previews of this card, I thought it was one of the worst cards I’ve ever seen. Now that I’ve gotten a chance to play with it, I’ve changed my mind. I may not think it’s terrible anymore, but I do think it’s a hard card to play with. During one of my matches, I had seven counters on him. I had put him to put him to work. Each time I made a creature through his Outlast activation, I had used it to block something big of my opponents. Thank goodness that creature didn’t have trample.


Outlast can take a little while to get going. So I had to find ways to put counters on my creatures without using the ability. This was especially the case if I were facing someone who was playing Mardu. That’s where cards like Feat of Resistance and and Dragonscale Boon come into play. Let’s not forget that Abzan Charm was one of the best spells because of its cheap ability to put a counter on one or two creatures.


Speaking of creatures, my list of MVPs include Abzan Guide and Ainok Bond-Kin. There were two creatures in particular which take Super MVP titles and they were Abzan Falconer and Armament Corps.



Well, that’s it for now. I know I didn’t talk about Jeskai, Temur, and Sultai, but my hope is that I’ll get the chance to try them out when I go tok GP New Jersey. It’s a Legacy event, but Friday has a full lineup of Khans sealed events.


Don’t forget that this Friday is the Fat-Pack Challenge! What is the Fat-Pack Challenge? Well it’s simple. You buy a Fat-Pack and build a sealed deck – that’s nine packs instead of the usual six! Hope to see you there!


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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