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My Top 40 Khans of Tarkir Cards (Part 2/2)

Part 1

I made this list 5-8 months ago. I haven't written since then. This set was way too large and not my favorite. I am really excited to go over some Zendikar cards but I really needed to finish this list first. So I'm really going through these to move on with my life. It's probably the last time I review 40 cards (although it ended up being like 100 cards I commented on). And even though I say it's not my favorite, there are so many cards worth mentioning. Like these -

 photo Dragon-Style Twins.jpg_zps7nva8k6o.png photo Flying Crane Technique.jpg_zpsefizdqgh.png photo Rakshasa Vizier.jpg_zps6q7ewu1e.png photo Become Immense.jpg_zps3whrliz2.png
Twins die easier to spells than a 6/6 for five typically does, but it synergies really well with pump spells. I've never witnessed anyone casting Flying Crane but it's both an offensive and defensive finisher. The demon cat is generally underwhelming at first, but if followed up by a Delve 6 - suddenly your 10/10 kitten is dangerous. Become Immense is quite the beater. If you can cast this with a mana or two it's quite the game changer.

More Awards:

Award for Best Fork:
 photo Howl of the Horde.jpg_zpsjekpowft.png
Fork was awesome. At least it looked cool and was expensive so I liked it even it if was an Interrupt. This is practically the same card unless you trigger raid, then it's a 3-pronged fork?

Best Uncommon Award
Icefeather Aven
 photo Icefeather Aven.jpg_zpsutlloldo.png
So a boomerang attached to a 2/2 flier. Both a perfectly reasonable combat trick and a good value 2/2 for two evasive bird.

Best Common not named Treasure Cruise Award
Crippling Chill
 photo Crippling Chill.jpg_zps1gdmjv7f.png
How would this not make your deck in sealed or even draft? Sure it might not be constructed playable in most blue decks like Treasure Cruise, but value it is.

Best Evolver Award and worst Rare
Meandering Towershell
 photo Meandering Towershell.jpg_zpssqwusv8c.png
The P/T is absurd and adding Islandwalk is hilarious. If you could only Silence the rest of this card - (yeah Hearthstone!) we would have something. At least it probably won't die with that 9 toughness attacking into the future. Still, it's an awful rare.

Best Artifact Award
Ugin's Nexus
 photo Ugins Nexus.jpg_zpssdbinyus.png
Sure there are only 14 artifacts - 9 that aren't banners in this set, but this is probably the neatest. Not from any competitive view, but strictly the casual side. Ghostfire Blade is something, but meh.

Best Burn Spell Award
Crater's Claws
 photo Craters Claws.jpg_zpsdmfsgzjd.png
It's a Lava Burst...with upside! Seriously not much more to say other than the art is cool and red is cool.

Best Surprise Award
Jeering Instigator - Silver
 photo Jeering Instigator.jpg_zpssbcu2tcu.png
It's an instant Act of Treason! If that isn't worth the price of 6 mana, oh..well it's not. But it has a 2/1 body on an instant act. And it's not like you have to keep the 6 open.

Deflecting Palm - Gold
 photo Deflecting Palm.jpg_zps8bgloyob.png
Sideboard constructed playable. Maybe edh playable. Can you think of a better way to end the game than Talk to the Hand or even better if you did this - STOP, in the name of love.

Best Grizzly Bear Award
Seeker of the Way
 photo Seeker of the Way.jpg_zpsevdlt2qa.png
Maybe it's a 2/2 for two. Or maybe it's a 3/3 Lifelinker for two. Or maybe it's ......

Best Counterspell Award
Disdainful Stroke
 photo Disdainful Stroke.jpg_zpsxibtw9pv.png
We have a counter here that sure it can't stop early game things, but it can stop everything worth stopping. Might not be legacy playable, but

More Honorable Mentions:

War-Name Aspirant
 photo War-Name Aspirant.jpg_zpsygqfo9ze.png
Making a bold claim for numero 40. I'm greatly torn on these first 10, which is why they are ranked where they are. I've done these ranks 3-4 times. Sometimes cards make it, sometimes not. This one has been as high as like 36 if making the cut at all. It could easily be worse than Monastery Swiftspear. It isn't as much value as Hordeling Outburst. Triggering Raid nets you a 3/2 with semi evasion. For an aggressive Red deck it's probably going to run into a morph. Maybe it's unplayable in constructed, maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot.

Heir of the Wilds
 photo Heir of the Wilds.jpg_zpsyo404qd1.png
It doesn't matter too much if a Deathtouch is a 1/1, 2/2, or 3/3 unless you are the aggressor. So it's kind of a niche card, but improvement on the Sedge Scorpion.

Hordeling Outburst
 photo Hordeling Outburst.jpg_zpse7zxvvtz.png
There might only be one kind of constructed deck that wants this, but that is enough to make it a solid card. Value is value. White may have Lingering Souls, Spectral Procession and Triplicate Spirits, but Red's got this.


Back to the Top 20 countdown:


20. Crackling Doom
 photo CracklingDoom_zpsb9e66db6.jpg
Probably my favorite multi-player card of the set. While it doesn't wipe the board ala Duneblast, it improves the board very favorably for you for a mere three mana. It's also an instant and hurts each opponent. It seems like a better version of Syphon Soul.

19. See the Unwritten
 photo See the Unwritten.jpg_zps1nhk9fq2.png
A six mana sorcery better be doing something useful. Looking at the top eight of your library for a creature? Maybe if you're truly desperate to get that 4 drop on the field sooner. Maybe in our post Modern Pod days this can be sort of like Collected Company? It has enough casual appeal that I like it though.

18. Hooded Hydra
 photo HoodedHydra_zpsed75b9e0.jpg
Seems under-powered for a mythic hydra. The morph amount seems good, but not great. The real benefit is gaining ten power for eight mana. Clearly the more you can put in the better it is, but then you lose the morph surprise.

17. End Hostilities
 photo EndHostilities_zps28a1f8ea.jpg
The easiest thing it can be compared to is Day of Judgment. One more mana, can take out equipment and all those nasty Enchantment Creatures - Nighthowlers and nasty Eidolons. Great board wipe for Standard. Every other format will have to judge it in time.

16. Ascendencies
Jeskai Ascendancy
 photo JeskaiAscendancy_zpse6c41411.jpg
There is no doubt this card is crazy. The number of combo decks it has created can't be matched by any other card in the set. That said, it's a pretty specific use - it either requires you to have a creature presence - if the first ability is to do anything. Cycling is great if you are running four Manamorphose or Preordain, but it's really the combination of these effects that makes them work together so efficiently.

 photo Temur Ascendancy.jpg_zpsdrl8cchh.png
Probably my favorite. The card advantage this can create is pretty nuts. Haste isn't terrible either. It's just asking to be put in an Eldrazi deck.

 photo Sultai Ascendancy.jpg_zpsayxujdhq.png
I don't know if I like this or Monastery Siege better. It's probably this. Having the ability to control draws like this is pretty awesome. And the added benefit of adding delve fodder is super awesome. Awesome all around.

Abzan Ascendancy
 photo Abzan Ascendancy.jpg_zpsfllsbagi.png
I want to like this one more. Pumping your creatures once doesn't seem worth it when there are cards that do this permanently. It does give counters which is what Abzan wants, yet it's unlike the other four in that timing is more important. Free spirits aren't bad, especially in Limited.

Mardu Ascendancy
 photo MarduAscendancy_zps67cce431.jpg
My least favorite, creating a bunch of goblins can be solid but it just feels underwhelming compared to the others.

15. Mantis Rider
 photo Mantis Rider.jpg_zpshrcwoowb.png
There are only three other creatures in the game with these abilities. Akroma, Aurelia and the one probably closest to it - Lightning Angel. It's one mana cheaper than the Angel for one less toughness. Sounds like a good trade off. It can be stopped by anything looking like a Giant Spider, but no one plays those.

14. Ashcloud Phoenix
 photo AshcloudPhoenix_zpsa65a8c80.jpg
I'm leaving off some great red cards which work well both for and against various clans. For example - Crater's Claws work great with Temur and Hordeling Outburst is great against Jeskai. This evasive birdy is a built in, reusable punch in the face. Four mana for a four power flyer better be answered quickly. And even if it is, it might show up again two turns later.

13. Clever Impersonator
 photo Clever Impersonator.jpg_zpss08dow4z.png
So lets take Clone, one of my favorite cards and have it copy anything non land? The only drawback being it costs an extra blue instead of colorless? Wowwy. The potential uses it has. Imagine four of these.

12. Narset, Enlightened Master
 photo Narset Enlightened Master.jpg_zpsxamjkjl2.png
Hexproof is probably the most underrated thing about her. You have to pack your deck with spells for the ability to be a force. Otherwise we have a six mana 3/2 first striker which might not be the greatest as an attacker on turn seven.

11. Butcher of the Horde
 photo Butcher of the Horde.jpg_zps26rmhnn1.png
I've already mentioned how a 3/3 flier is usually what four mana nets you. Sure it costs three different kinds, but for a +2/1 bonus and a nice little ability for Mardu on top of it and we have a solid little beater here.

10. High Sentinels of Arashin
 photo High Sentinels of Arashin.jpg_zps2srt6jbt.png
Can really be a beater in any of the clans even if Abzan does make more sense. It's ability to pump other creatures on top of itself really gives it the value. A 4/5 that can make combat even more difficult? Too bad it's not a warrior.

9. Sorin, Solemn Visitor
 photo Sorin Solemn Visitor.jpg_zpsgnohxfss.png
It's almost exactly the same as the other Sorin, Lord of Innistrad Planeswalker. I think I like the other one better as you can keep pumping out little vampires to gain loyalty. I also like the ultimate better on the other one. This is a perfectly acceptable substitute though.

8. Wingmate Roc
 photo Wingmate Roc.jpg_zpstqc6wobm.png
So a 3/4 flier is anywhere from 4-6 mana depending on the rarity. (High Sentinels above was a four.) Even if we said 3 mana, we would be getting a deal at 5 with two birds. Six evasive power for five mana is nothing to scoff at. And of course it has a third ability on it. This will definitely win you a race.

7. Anafenza, the Foremost
 photo Anafenza the Foremost.jpg_zpsiluesx8o.png
Not the best card in the set, nor the best Abzan card in the set. But we have a 4/4 for three with a built in one sided Rest in Peace. Oh it has another ability on top of it. Abzan creatures don't even need to attack to get pumped with Outlast. Anafenza needs to survive for this first ability to do anything, but even as a blocker with the second ability on it we would have a strong card.

6. Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
 photo Sarkhan the Dragonspeaker.jpg_zpsid6inmtd.png
Is it really better than Sorin? It does cost one more, but doesn't require as much set up. Five mana for a 4 damage to a creature and essentially soak up an attacker is at minimum an Arrow Storm. It can start punching safely on turn six as a flier. The ultimate is intriguing even if it requires losing a hand size.

5. Utter End
 photo Utter End.jpg_zpson4rpjv4.png
I love B/W as colors, I love instant removal, I love exiling any permanent. I love lamp.

4. Fetch Lands
 photo Bloodstained Mire.jpg_zpszjx6exzx.png
They really are the fourth best set of cards this collection of cards has going for it. While money wise they still are the highest - mostly being due to the demand of lands. I choose to show Bloodstained Mire which is the worst of the bunch, but it's still super nice that we got reprints to these.

3. Siege Rhino
 photo Siege Rhino.jpg_zpselzfyjyv.png
Six point life swing on top of an under-costed four mana trampler. Is there any deck playing these colors that doesn't play this card? There isn't too much five damage removal out there. Or at least decent removal. Even if your opponent has killed it after has hit the field, advantage has been gained.

2. Treasure Cruise
 photo Treasure Cruise.jpg_zpsw2ah9usl.png
Probably the most popular card this side of fetch lands. Banned in Modern for being too powerful. That 7 turned out to be too powerful for a common.

1. Dig Through Time
 photo Dig Through Time.jpg_zpsi4htgrcr.png
If Delve 7 wasn't an issue, than 6 certainly wouldn't be. A combo players dream come true. Which Blue card is better? Probably preference. This is my favorite though.

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