(Note: I also want to make this into a Youtube series, but I wanted to test it out here first. Be on the lookout for that.)
What is Khans of Tarkir?
Khans of Tarkir (further referred to only as “Khans”) is the latest expansion set for the trading card game Magic: the Gathering. It was released to much fanfare on the weekend of September 26, 2014.
What is the big deal about Khans?
I will discuss three aspects of Khans, in the following order; Morph, fetch lands, and wedges.
“Morph” is a mechanic that allows you to cast a creature as a “morph” 2/2 creature for 3 colorless mana. Some morph creatures have an effect when they are turned face up. The colorless mana cost allows you to cast the creature even if you haven’t been able to draw the required mana combination. It also adds intrigue and strategy to the game as your opponent tries to determine the nature of the card while it is morphed. However, the creature, while morphed, is only a 2/2 and therefore very easy to remove.
The other two, fetch lands and wedges, are features that have been asked for by the Magic playing community. Players asked for fetches back because they are integral to certain strategies in the game. Wizards of the Coast reprinted them from the Alara block. This made the players understandably happy because another reason for the request of fetch lands was that the originals are very expensive for two reasons. First, they are rare. Second, the word is that foreign speculators and manipulators bought up many of the original fetch lands to inflate the price.
Wedges are a three color strategy to building decks. The Alara block also centered around three color decks. The difference between the themes of the two sets is that during Alara, the three colors were one main color and its two allied colors and during Khans, the three colors are two allied colors and their naturally opposed color. You can see my soon to be posted “Noob’s Guide to Magic: The Gathering Mana Wheel” and the gif below to get an idea of what I mean.
The stories are one of my favorite developments of gaming. Instead of simply running from one end of the screen only to find that “your princess is another castle”, you are often now treated to a movie quality story. Magic has a one of those constantly evolving stories that continues into Khans. Tarkir is a plane that has seen all of the dragons hunted to extinction and 5 clans now war over territory and resources. These five clans are the story behind the wedges.
The Clans – These are summarized from the lore book in the Khans of Tarkir Fat Pack.
Abzan (Colors: White/Black/Green): They use the endurance of the dragon through their ability Outlast, which allows you to use mana and tapp the creature to add a +1/+1 counter on to that creature.
Jeskai (Colors: Blue/Red/White): The cunning of the dragon is evident in their ability Prowess, which allows a creature to gain +1/+1 until the end of the turn when a noncreature spell is cast.
Sultai (Colors: Black/Green/Blue): The Sultai are as ruthless as the dragon with their ability Delve, which trades cards in your graveyard as colorless mana to reduce the casting cost of powerful spells.
Mardu (Colors: Red/White/Black): The Mardu bring the speed of the dragon to the battlefield and use that speed to trigger their Raid ability. This ability allows different effects on the battlefield after having attacked.
Temur (Green/Blue/Red): The strength of the dragon is the the cornerstone of their ability Ferocious. Similar to the Mardu, Temur can trigger different abilities if they have a large creature on the field.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Noob’s Guide to Khans of Tarkir. I will try to record and upload it to Youtube. Also, be ready for more Noob’s Guides coming soon!