Khans of Tarkir Spoilers – 9/5-9/9

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Someone cast Desert Twister on the state of Michigan and I was without power for a while. While I wanted to grab my laptop and head to a Panera bread so I could pretend to be working on a novel instead of writing daily posts, the 90 second storm generated enough wind to bring down an entire maple tree and it fell, blocking my cul-de-sac. I wanted to talk about a lot of these cards all weekend, but I also wanted the wet clothes in my washing machine not to smell like musty old farts after being wet for 3 days, and people in hell want ice water. Oh well. I'm here now and I've got a lot to gloss over.

Icy Blast

icy blast

Feroucious is starting to look like an odd ability. Blue is getting some decent control spells that get better if you decide to build aggro-control and use them to protect a decent-sized threat. This likely won't impact anything other than Limited. In Limited, Gridlock with upside wins games.

Savage Knuckleblade


This is an excellent way to trigger ferocious. This may be the most exciting of the cycle of rares for one of each wedge color. Sorry, Mantis Rider. While I initially discounted how relevant the red activation would be, when you consider you may have to bounce it to save it, giving it haste when you replay it seems pretty good. This is easy to protect, and worth it, too. I was happy to play Woolly Thoctar and I am happier to play this. This could end up over $5 if Temur gets there.

Mantis Rider

In the same cycle as Savage Kunckleblade, this is pure beats. Lightning Angel saw some play, and Jeskai needs cards like this. I think this has a similar fate to Knuckleblade and if both wedges do well, I could see a similar price trajectory. I like Mantis Rider a lot.

Sage of the Inward Eye

This is quite a bit better than the typical prowess trigger. Its financial future is very murky, though, and its effect, while powerful, is predicated on playing an odd kind of deck with lots of creatures and lots of spells. It's likely that your finisher will have lifelink already and hit a little harder and more consistently than this. Also an intro pack rare, this has a lot limiting its upside.


This may look half as good as Sphinx's Revelation but don't be fooled. It's less than a third as good.

Hardened Scales

EDH wants these, so trade for foils. This will be very cheap. Parallel Lives it's not.

Empty the Pits

This is one of the big, sexy Delve spells. I hope this isn't the best one, though. This is likely going to see less play than Army of the Damned so the chance this has to shine is Limited, where it's OK, and Standard, where it's slow and maybe not great. If there's one thing Sultai loves it's quadruple black. Should be easy to cast in three colors.

Sultai Ascendency


This is pretty solid, but narrow. I imagine The Mimeoplasm decks will jam this (if there is room) and that's about it. I am not convinced this isn't too slow for Standard Sultai dredge.

Meandering Towershell

I thought cards that only had flavor going for them were relegated to M15. It's cool how slow this guy walks. It's not cool that he's so durdly. Combine with Temur Ascendency, I guess. I didn't like Phasing in Mirage and I don't like it now. Bulk rare.

Mardu Charm


Boros Charm proved charms can be worth more than most of the rares in a set. This may no be that good, but this is very good.

Rakshasa Deathdealer

This card is pretty good. Jundy decks may be waiting for a card like this. This is mana-intensive, but since you can keep him around, he will reward you by being a real clock that starts early. Remember Putrid Leech? This guy is leech on steroids. You go all-in on him to an extent, but he can close games out. I could see this going over $5. $10 would surprise me to an extent, but I could see it. It really depends on the metagame, though, obviously.

Deflecting Palm

Effects like this have historically gone for less money than I would have imagined. This also can't prevent damage to your creatures, making it even less flexible than similar effects. It does have a fixed mana cost, though, and if someone tries to house you with a lot of damage from one source, this is the game. This is likely bulk, but it has real potential.

Ashcloud Phoenix

I think Magic players have demonstrated an almost pathological indifference to Phoenixes. This seems worse than Phoenixes that have ended up bulk mythics. I don't like paying 6 mana and 2 life to have a 1 toughness dude.

Adament Negation

This card is a real puzzler. If there is a deck that resembles the Sea Stompy deck from Ravnica Block past, this is a great way to protect a creature like Savage Knuckleblade. This likely doesn't get play outside of Standard, but this seems like a hard counter when you need it; when they're trying to kill your 4 power dude.

Pearl Lake Ancient

"All it needed was Islandwalk" - this card's toe tag as they toss its lifeless corpse into the bulk mythic box.

This does have a lot of potential, though. Still, this is competing for deckspace with fliers. You'll want a creature more like Aetherling and less like Tromokratis in that spot.

Trail of Mystery

The real mystery is "what does it mean by if it's a creature?" Could we be getting non-creature permanents with morph?

Siege Rhino

It's probably a good thing there is not a good way to flicker this guy right now. This is a really solid card. I'm reminded of Loxodon Hierarch only this has trample but lacks the sacrifice ability that everyone always forgot Loxodon Hierarch had. This seems like a solid couple of bucks. It's hard to cast, but so, so worth it.

Hooded Hydra

I'd bitch that after Corbin and I said on an old episode of Brainstorm Brewery that hydras were usually a good investment, they started printing 30 per block, but this card is so good I'm mostly just excited. Vorel, meet your new hydra. I like this new concept of +1/+1 counters turning into beasties when the creature dies, especially since I plan to double the counters repeatedly with Vorel. Hooded Hydra is one of the best hydras we have seen.

Jeskai Charm

"In response to you cracking that fetch, I'll Charm your dude"


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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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14 thoughts on “Khans of Tarkir Spoilers – 9/5-9/9

  1. I don’t know about Adamant Negation not seeing any play outside Standard. I think it has the potential to make sideboards of some decks. As an Affinity player, this is a spell pierce with a massive upside considering plating, ensoul, ravager, overseer often make sure that there is a 4 toughness creature around. Hard countering a Shatterstorm/Corrossion for 1 mana is pretty decent !

    1. Good call, I didn’t consider affinity. I thought of Delver players frowning and people with 3/4 goyfs being sad. Robots could use a 1 mana hard counter.

  2. Jason, given that most of your comments on the spoilers are viewed from the financial lens of EDH rather than Standard or Eternal formats, are you focusing on these as trade pick-ups?

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