Is Khans of Tarkir Supposed to Be a Nostalgia Set or What?

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Freshly spoiled today, this card looks pretty sweet:


Of course, we've seen something quite similar before:


A lot of cards in this set seem to be directly based on older cards. Even though Tarkir is a brand new plane, it seems like part of the design is meant to allude to cards of the past. Given that we've already been told that this block will have a time travel element, this makes a certain amount of sense. Check out some how similar several new cards are to these iconic older cards:

utterend vindicate

cleverimpersonator clone

suspensionfield oblivionring

temurascendency firesofyavimaya

abzanascendancy fieldofsouls

Of course, there's continuations of cycles, like the tri lands and three-color charms. And reprints like fetches also add a certain amount of nostalgia, considering they were first printed 12 years ago.

But there's also a number of cards that aren't as closely analogous but still nonetheless very similar. Sometimes these similar cards are in different colors than their older counterparts, with some slight changes to be within the color pie. You want examples? Oh, I've got examples:

duneblast cataclysm

bitterrevelation factorfiction

wingmateroc broodmatedragon

rattleclawmystic noblehierarch

Some of these are a little more analogous than others, but there's no denying at least some similarities. This doesn't even include the typical effects we see almost every year: Wrath of God variants, Fang Dragon // Forktail Sweep variants, etc.

endhostilities howlofthehorde (2)

A cynical person might call this set derivative and unoriginal, but I'm giving Wizards of the Coast more credit than that. R&D has spent the last few years learning how to use nostalgia effectively, and the last time we had a set with a time travel element, nostalgia was a key ingredient. And even if they are similar to existing cards, there's no denying that many of these new cards are sweet.

Given the recent focus on sentimentality, allusions to classic cards, and the knowledge that time travel will be a factor, I would not be surprised to see nostalgia be a huge element in the next two sets of this block. Could this mean more high-profile reprints? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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Posted in Free, Khans of TarkirTagged ,

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6 thoughts on “Is Khans of Tarkir Supposed to Be a Nostalgia Set or What?

  1. While derivative might seem harsh, there’s no denying the last few years have felt like a lot of recycling. I keep waiting for a card that really stands out, but the mechanics all feel recycled. It says something that the only card that has me dreaming of game situations is a 5 drop 2/2.

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