Insider: Speculating on Khans of Tarkir

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I really wanted to make some kind of time travel pun, or minimally a Back to the Future reference as the title for this article, but instead I thought I'd get right to the point. It's time to start investing in cards from Khans of Tarkir.

Otherwise Michael J. Fox will never be born!
Otherwise Michael J. Fox will never be born!

Khans of Tarkir is a very powerful set, and while Battle for Zendikar is unlikely to offer much support for the enemy-color theme, Khans itself offers more than enough incentive to battle with three-color constructed decks. Tri-lands, fetchlands, and taplands will all be staying in Standard even if we do lose painlands, temples and Mana Confluence.

As of right now, there are a lot of cards from Khans that, despite having a high power level, are valued relatively lowly. Part of this is due to the set being extremely popular, but it's also true that until recently the set was still being drafted. Now that Dragons/Fate is the common draft format, fewer cards from Khans will be entering the market, and we should start to see values increase over time.

Here's a short list of cards from Khans that I see as solid investments right now.

Anafenza, the Foremost

Anafenza can currently be purchased in the $4 range, and looks to be hitting the bottom of a price valley. $4 is typically a price that you'd only see for fringe mythics, and Anafenza is a Pro Tour champion. Not every Abzan deck wants Anafenza currently, as being more controlling is an enticing option in Elspeth, Sun's Champion Standard, but Abzan aggro may very well be the only way to Siege Rhino post-rotation.

Anafenza is also a great Tiny Leader, but there are so many copies out there that this fact won't impact the price of non-foils. Even still, Anafenza is a great pickup right now.

Crater's Claws

An SCG Open winner, a PT Top 8 competitor, a card that only got better with the printing of Thunderbreak Regent... it's difficult to figure how Crater's Claws is still under a buck. More than anything, I imagine that we can attribute this to the heavy supply of Khans.

While it's true that supply is heavy, there's just no justifying a staple of Gruul and Temur decks being so cheap. The ceiling might be as low as $3-4, but even then buying at the card's floor is profitable.

Hooded Hydra

The long and short of my spiel on Hooded Hydra is that the card is basically at "bulk mythic" status.

There was some excitement about this card when we found out about the manifest mechanic, but that strategy, at least with this card, has not come to fruition. It's worth noting that Hooded Hydra plays very well with Whisperwood Elemental and Deathmist Raptor, which leads me to believe that this card has non-zero Standard potential.

It's not the most powerful card, but these synergies and the low price are worth paying attention to.

Jeskai Ascendancy

This card is pretty absurd. We get to keep Dragon Fodder, Hordeling Outburst, and Monastery Mentor--all of which are great with Jeskai Ascendancy. This card also has fringe Modern and Legacy applications, and I'm sure it has some casual appeal as well due to the uniqueness of the effect.

People avoided this card for fear of a Modern banning previously, which as of right now is a laughable proposition. Decks that play this play four, and decks will continue to play it for as long as it's in Standard. I'd say it's a great pickup for under a buck.

Mantis Rider

Speaking of great Jeskai cards, Mantis Rider plays a valuable role in another powerful type of Jeskai deck. Curving Mantis Rider into Thunderbreak Regent is good for approximately 1,000 damage, and it's hard to imagine such an efficient package not constituting a real deck.

It's also true that regardless of whether a Jeskai deck wants Jeskai Ascendancy, it probably wants Mantis Rider in its 75. Another solid pickup in the sub-$1-range, though it's worth noting that Mantis Rider's appeal is relegated to Standard only.

Rakshasa Deathdealer

This is a great late-game card for Abzan that comes down on turn two. Every aggressive Abzan deck wants them and most of the controlling ones do, too. It also sees some play in Sultai decks, though not nearly as much as in Abzan.

Yet another rare from Khans selling for <$1. This looks like another easy pickup.

Rattleclaw Mystic

This card is slightly higher than $1, which is odd considering that it was the buy-a-box promo, a prerelease promo, and sees less play than Rakshasa Deathdealer. I can definitely see where this card could have casual appeal, so there might be something to that.

As I'm sure you've read 100 times, when Sylvan Caryatid rotates, this card's stock increases substantially. It's worth waiting to see if Birds of Paradise is in Magic Origins, but I expect this card to tick up in value either way.

Sagu Mauler

I might be alone on this card, but I've been playing four copies in Standard for some time. Granted it's in a deck that won't survive rotation, but even as a singular card there are things to like about Sagu Mauler. It's bigger than Siege Rhino and it's a great follow-up after a five-mana wrath from a control deck.

If we see a four-mana wrath printed in Standard then Mauler's value will certainly be diminished, but this card has some real potential. I wouldn't speculate aggressively on it, but it's worth tossing a few bucks at and getting in early if the card does take off.

Savage Knuckleblade

I've written about this card before, and with Goblin Rabblemaster rotating this card will become more attractive. It's also notable that while there is a ton of competition in the four-slot, Savage Knuckleblade stands alone as the three to play in Temur decks.

It's also relevant that if we find ourselves with Rattleclaw Mystic as the go-to option for mana dorks, then there will be a high incentive to just play Temur.

Siege Rhino

We all know about Siege Rhino. Right now, it seems impossible that Abzan won't be a deck post-rotation. If it is, four Siege Rhino will undoubtedly remain a thing.

I'm not sure what the price ceiling on Siege Rhino would be, but we're definitely nearing the card's floor, as it's great in both Standard and Modern. Picking up less than a set seems wrong, and this card could potentially double or more during its time in Standard.


It will be interesting to see what happens to the price of Khans cards as we move further and further away from the Fate/Khans draft format. Will the set's popularity cripple the price of the chase cards? Will the fetchlands eat all the value of the set?

Like my list? Any cards that you're big on that I left out? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

-Ryan Overturf
@RyanOverdrive on Twitter

14 thoughts on “Insider: Speculating on Khans of Tarkir

    1. Not from Khans…the set was too widely cracked…despite having some solid uncommons (the charms/tri-lands) in the end the set’s popularity is it’s value’s undoing.

        1. Yeah, with the way people treat commons/uncommons and the power level of some and necessity of others, there are a few that I like picking up. Tri-lands, murderous cut, swiftspear, Abzan charm… Probably a few more.

  1. I would like to see the same thing on Fate Reforged cards. They weren’t opened nearly as much. I agree with the picks here. Worth noting is that some of these cards were in the event deck, though as we’ve seen in the past that doesn’t have a big influence on the card’s price if it becomes a major player in the environment.

    1. It was on my long list, but I don’t love it as a spec, especially if it doesn’t drop from its current pt bump. It’s worth tracking.

  2. Thanks for the opinions. I just thought once rotation hits, its the best time for a deck like that to kill people, especially with dragonlords and potential zendikar eldrazi s.

  3. Crater’s Claw and Savage Knuckleblade are in the event DtK event deck. I would advise caution. Granted Desecration Demon and Hero’s Downfall were in one together with Pack Rat. So if one spikes I couldn’t see the other spiking. All in all I give these less than 50% chance each.

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