Khans of Tarkir

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Khans of Tarkir
Logo Khans of Tarkir.png
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Swords crossed on a shield
Design Mark Rosewater (lead)
Mark L. Gottlieb
Zac Hill
Adam Lee
Shawn Main
Billy Moreno
and Ken Nagle
Development Erik Lauer (lead)
Doug Beyer
David Humpherys
Tom LaPille
Shawn Main
and Adam Prosak
with contributions from Matt Tabak
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date September 26, 2014
Plane Tarkir
Themes and
wedge colors
Keywords and/
or ability words
Delve, Ferocious, Morph, Outlast, Prowess, Raid
Set size 269 cards
101 Commons, 80 Uncommons, 53 Rares, 15 Mythic Rares, 20 Basic Land
Expansion code KTK[1][2]
Development codename Huey
Khans of Tarkir block
Khans of Tarkir Fate Reforged Dragons of Tarkir
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning Khans of Tarkir Commander 2014

Khans of Tarkir is the 65th Magic expansion, and the first in the Khans of Tarkir block. It was released on September 26, 2014. Khans of Tarkir is a large expansion.[3]

Set details[edit | edit source]

“  Raise your Banner  ”

Khans of Tarkir is part of the Khans of Tarkir block, which is Large-Small-Large with a unique draft structure (the small set is drafted with both large sets, but the large sets are never drafted together) [4] and a time traveling element. The draft structure is the first thing from which Khans of Tarkir set was built.[5]

Khans of Tarkir contains 269 cards (20 basic lands,[6] 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares), and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. It is also the first set since Dragon's Maze to not have any Dragon creature cards. The expansion symbol depicts crossed swords on a shield, similar to the symbol of Legions.

Because of post-release changes in the block structure in 2015, Khans of Tarkir was only played in Standard for 18 months.[7]

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Tarkir is a world embattled with ambitious warlords and powerful clans that wage eternal war for supremacy of their plane, a conflict that spans over a thousand years. Tarkir is also the home plane of Sarkhan Vol. It was previously inhabited by dragons, all of whom were killed before Sarkhan's period of servitude.[8] The clans each worship one aspect of the extinct dragons.[9]

Magic Story[edit | edit source]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
The Madness of Sarkhan Jennifer Clarke Wilkes 2014-08-27 Tarkir, Jund Sarkhan, Zurgo, Ugin
Awakening the Bear Jennifer Clarke Wilkes 2014-09-17 Tarkir Surrak
Sorin's Revelation Adam Lee 2014-09-24 Tarkir Sorin Markov, Temur warriors
Taigam's Scheming Matt Knicl 2014-10-01 Tarkir Taigam, Ebirri
Way of the Mantis Matt Knicl 2014-10-08 Tarkir Kuhnde
The Chensal Twins Kimberly J. Kreines 2014-10-15 Tarkir Kela & Dar, Ngabo
Enlightened Matt Knicl 2014-10-22 Tarkir Narset
The Salt Road Jeremiah Isgur 2014-11-12 Tarkir The Mardu and Abzan
Mercy Sam Stoddard 2014-11-19 Tarkir Sidisi
Victory Tom LaPille 2014-11-26 Tarkir Zurgo, Batar Throatslasher
Bond and Blood Ari Levitch 2014-12-03 Tarkir Anafenza Kwaro, Gvar
Journey to the Nexus Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes 2014-12-10 Tarkir Sarkhan, Narset, Zurgo

The clans[edit | edit source]

The clans are represented through enemy wedge colors and aspects as follows:[10][11]

Name Colors Dragon Aspect Mechanic Symbol Khan
The Abzan Houses {W}{B}{G} Endurance Outlast Scale of the dragon Anafenza, the Foremost
The Jeskai Way {U}{R}{W} Cunning Prowess Eye of the dragon Narset, Enlightened Master
The Sultai Brood {B}{G}{U} Ruthlessness Delve Fang of the dragon Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
The Mardu Horde {R}{W}{B} Speed Raid Wing of the dragon Zurgo Helmsmasher
The Temur Frontier {G}{U}{R} Savagery Ferocious Claw of the dragon Surrak Dragonclaw

Notice that while the shards of Alara were centered around the color that had both allies, the wedges of Tarkir are now built around the color that has the two enemies. When the design team built the clans to match the flavor of the dragon attributes and the creative take on the clans, they found that they centered not on the enemy color but one of the ally colors. It was said that everything worked so naturally, that they felt it was best to leave it be and not force it another way.[12] By shifting the mana costs such that the enemy pairs were sitting next to each other in mana costs, it became a little easier to recognize that each wedge was made up of two enemy-color combinations.[13] When the third set of the block was released, it became clear that the parallel of the alternate timeline clans were ally-colored. This was achieved by dropping the enemy color and appeared to be the real reason that the wedges of Khans were centered on an ally color.[14][15]

The clans are recognized by the use of watermarks on the cards.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

A preview of the set's artwork was aired during Pro Tour Journey into Nyx, following the quarterfinal rounds.[16] In it Mark Rosewater (Magic head designer) announced the return of something "that people have been asking [ Wizards ] to do for quite a while [...] after a long absence from magic" as well as the introduction of something that has been requested for a long time but had never been done before. These elements turned out to be morph and wedges, respectively, when the set was previewed at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Mark Rosewater moderated a panel featuring Mark Purvis (Magic director of global brand marketing), Doug Beyer (Magic senior creative designer), and Gavin Verhey (Magic designer).[17][18][19]

Khans of Tarkir is sold in 16-card boosters (one card being a marketing card), five intro packs, one event deck and a fat pack. The boosters feature artwork from Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, Narset, Enlightened Master, Unyielding Krumar, War-Name Aspirant and Dragon Grip.[20] As of Khans of Tarkir, the face cards in Intro Packs will not just be premium rare cards, but alternate art premium rare cards that won't be found in booster packs.[21]

Prerelease[edit | edit source]

The Khans of Tarkir prerelease encourages the player to affiliate with their clan.[22] You choose your clan for the prerelease. Each clan prerelease pack comes with a clan button and a clan sticker. The prerelease pack further contains 5 regular booster packs, 1 seeded booster pack, 1 premium promo card, 1 clan information card, 1 activity insert and 1 Spindown life counter. Khans of Tarkir will feature 40 prerelease cards — one dated and stamped prerelease card random from a pool of eight for each Clan pack. One of which will be the Khan. "Raise your banner": when a game is won, players can put their sticker on the clan banner in the store, to show off how many battles each clan has won.[23]

Promotional cards[edit | edit source]

Abzan Jeskai Sultai Mardu Temur

Tokens, emblems and overlay cards[edit | edit source]

Morph overlay card.

The sixteenth card in the boosters can be a token, emblem or overlay card, with an advertisement on the back side. The overlay card can be used on face-down Morph cards to remind players of their power and toughness and that it can be turned face-up for its Morph cost.[25][26]

  1. {W} 3/4 Bird for Wingmate Roc
  2. {W} 1/1 Spirit with flying for Abzan Ascendancy
  3. {W} 1/1 Warrior for Herald of Anafenza, Mardu Charm, Mardu Hordechief and Take Up Arms
  4. {W} 1/1 Warrior (alternate art) for the same
  5. {B} 2/2 Vampire with flying for Sorin, Solemn Visitor
  6. {B} 2/2 Zombie for Sidisi, Brood Tyrant and Empty the Pits
  7. {R} 1/1 Goblin for Goblinslide, Hordeling Outburst, Mardu Ascendancy and Ponyback Brigade
  8. {G} 4/4 Bear for Bear's Companion
  9. {G} 1/1 Snake for Hooded Hydra and Rite of the Serpent
  10. {B/G} */* Spirit Warrior for Kin-Tree Invocation
  11. Morph overlay card
  12. Emblem for Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
  13. Emblem for Sorin, Solemn Visitor

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

The set centers around wedge colors. Each clan features their own mechanic. In addition all clans feature morph.[13][27]

  • The Abzan keyword is Outlast ((cost), {T}: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Outlast only as a sorcery.). Cards may have an additional ability whenever you activate the outlast ability.
  • The Jeskai keyword is Prowess: (whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn).
  • The Sultai keyword is the alternative payment method Delve, introduced in Future Sight (changed, like convoke, from previous rules as a cost reduction): (Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting this spell pays for {1}).[28]
  • The Mardu ability word Raid and related cards are all based around a very fast, aggressive strategy for winning. Raid gives an advantageous effect if you have attacked with a creature the same turn.
  • The Temur ability word is Ferocious, which gives the player an advantageous effect if they control a creature with power 4 or greater while attacking with a creature with Ferocious or casting a spell with it.

The set also features a minor warrior tribal theme.[29]

Phooey and "Borph"[edit | edit source]

During design, an alternate version of Khans of Tarkir (nicknamed "Phooey" ) was considered. It featured a new mechanic that was very similar to morph but instead of three mana to cast the 2/2 face-down creature it cost two mana. R&D nicknamed that mechanic "borph" as in "bear morph" because Bears are slang for a vanilla 2/2 with a converted mana cost of 2.[30] With some modifications, "borph" eventually became the effect megamorph for Dragons of Tarkir.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Khans of Tarkir has twelve cycles.

Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Card comparisons[edit | edit source]

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Intro packs[edit | edit source]

Khans of Tarkir has five tricolored intro packs:[35]

Intro pack name Colors included Foil rare
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Abzan Siege W B G Ivorytusk Fortress
Jeskai Monks W U R Sage of the Inward Eye
Sultai Schemers U B G Rakshasa Vizier
Mardu Raiders W B R Ankle Shanker
Temur Avalanche U R G Avalanche Tusker

Event deck[edit | edit source]

Khans of Tarkir has one event deck.[36]

deck name
Colors included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Conquering Hordes W B

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Printed on the card frame.
  2. Product info
  3. Wizards of the Coast. ( May 19, 2014.) "Announcing Khans of Tarkir",, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (July 26, 2014.) "What do you mean by "small set is drafted with both large sets"?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (July 26, 2014.) "How early in Tarkir Block design was the unique Large-Small-Large draft format set in stone?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  6. Blake Rasmussen. (September 8, 2014.) "Tarkir, Basically",, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (August 25, 2014.) "Metamorphosis",, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast. (September 1, 2014 .) "Khans of Tarkir Trailer Video",, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Creative Team. (September 3, 2014.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Khans of Tarkir, Part 1",, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater. (July 26, 2014.) "Can you tell us about which color each clan is focused on?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  11. MTG Talk. (July 26, 2014.) "The five clans!", MTG Talk, Tumblr.
  12. Mark Rosewater. (September 1, 2014.) "Khan Do Attitude, Part 1",, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. a b Mark Rosewater. (September 8, 2014.) "Khan Do Attitude, Part 2",, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Mark Rosewater. (March 2, 2015.) "Imagine Dragons, Part 1",, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Mark Rosewater. (May 27, 2015.) "Can you finally tell us why the clans were centered in an ally color?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  16. Magic: The Gathering (May 18, 2014). Announcing Khans of Tarkir.
  17. Blake Rasmussen. (July 11, 2014.) "San Diego Comic-Con 2014",, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Wizards of the Coast (YouTube) (July 26, 2014). Magic Panel at SDCC.
  19. Mark Rosewater. (July 26, 2014.) "All The Goods From The Panel, Part 1", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  20. Blake Rasmussen. (September 2, 2014.) "Khans of Tarkir Packaging",, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Dan Barrett. (August 15, 2014.) "Revealed at Gamescom",, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Gavin Verhey. (September 15, 2014.) "Khans of Tarkir Prerelease Primer",, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Mark Rosewater. (July 26, 2014.) "All The Goods From The Panel, Part 2", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  24. Blake Rasmussen. (September 4, 2014.) "Khans of Tarkir Promos",, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Matt Tabak. (August 31, 2014.) "Mechanics of Khans of Tarkir",, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Blake Rasmussen. (September 10, 2014.) "Tokens of Tarkir",, Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Sam Stoddard. (September 12, 2014.) "Developing Khans of Tarkir",, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Sam Stoddard. (September 5, 2014.) "Delving the Pits",, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Mark Rosewater. (December 31, 2014.) "Any trivia on my favourite theme, tribal?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  30. Mark Rosewater. (May 11, 2015.) "Phooey",, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Marshall Sutcliffe. (September 3, 2014.) "Five Little Morphlings",, Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Blake Rasmussen. (September 5, 2014.) "The Khans of Tarkir Tri-Lands",, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Blake Rasmussen. (September 9, 2014.) "Raise Your Banner",, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Erik Lauer. (September 8, 2014.) "Developing Khans",, Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Blake Rasmussen. (September 18, 2014.) "Khans of Tarkir Intro Pack Decklists",, Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Blake Rasmussen. (September 23, 2014.) "Khans of Tarkir Event Deck Decklist",, Wizards of the Coast.