Magic: The Gathering's Next Block is Khans of Tarkir

Magic: The Gathering's Next Block is Khans of Tarkir

While details are still scarce, the set's lead designer promises the return of a "long absent" fan-favorite mechanic.

The next block of perennial CCG Magic: The Gathering kicks off in late September, with Khans of Tarkir. With an aesthetic that evokes the Mongol huns, Khans of Tarkir takes place on the war-torn homeworld of Sarkhan Vol, one of the numerous planeswalkers that are often at the center of the game's story.

Khans, the first of the three set block, will launch on on September 26, with prerelease events occurring on Sept. 20 and 21. There will be a total of 269 cards in the Khans set.

Developer Wizards of the Coast hasn't let a whole lot of other details slip at this point. On a YouTube video posted by Wizards of the Coast, Khans and Magic lead designer Mark Rosewater said players could expect a "large, small, large," pattern for the three sets in the block.

The only other detail Rosewater would share is that, after many fan requests, the team is "finally bringing something back after a long absence in Magic," as well as a new feature fans have requested that has never been seen in the game before.

Also on the team is lead developer Eric Lauer, who most recently worked on the 2011 Innistrad block and this past September's Theros block.

Source: Wizards of the Coast

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They're bringing back poison?

Seems like I'll be sticking with Red for a whole another year! And I'm not going to miss Pack Rat.

Is it Cycling?

It'd better not be flanking or banding.

Yay! Bushido is back! and possibly a Sarkhan that I can actually use, assuming he's no longer dead.

...oh crap, are we to get yet another R/G 'walker? What is that now, four?

There are speculations that it's going to be similar to the Alara block, with five 3-colored "clans", except they are going to be wedge colors now (a color and it's two enemies).

I'm hoping it's true, BUG will finaly have a true name now.

Horsemanship?

Better not be, because in some situations it seems rather silly. My Supply-Line Cranes or my Balefire Dragon can't harass a horseman?

if_then_else:
I'm hoping it's true, BUG will finaly have a true name now.

Except everyone will still call it BUG, because Magic.

Slycne:

if_then_else:
I'm hoping it's true, BUG will finaly have a true name now.

Except everyone will still call it BUG, because Magic.

This. I returned to this game after a decade out and everyone was calling everything the same stuff.

Banding is finally getting a second chance?

There is a spoiler card with Convoke for M15 out there, so there is one down for speculation. Or not, because of being a Spoiler card. :)

Have people been asking for Horsemanship? Because it would fit with the theme but I'm really hoping it's not horsemanship or banding...

Looking at the idea of the block I'm thinking Banding, Horsemanship, Bushido...they might even take a second pass at Tribute from Theros Block since they kinda missed the ball on that, paying Tribute to certain Clan members might fit in. All in all I'm thinking some kind of Tribal thing going on.

Still....if this is even near as good as Conspiracy is looking, I'm sold.

The name sounds like a Klingon themed set :P

The Gentleman:
They're bringing back poison?

I hope not. Those Infect decks are already annoying enough. Also i don't think the mechanic would fit with the initial theme of the set. The word 'Khans' and that picture gives us what looks like a Mongolian/ warlords theme. Maybe a slightly China based set too? Infect will come back when the Phyrexians come back... again. Hell the last set we saw with infect was only 3 years ago.

With that in mind the set looks like it will either be similar to "Portal Three Kingdoms" or "Kamagawa Block". Let's have a look at some of the mechanics in those sets and why they probably wouldn't be coming back.

First of all Horsemanship seems like a flavor win for "Khans". This isn't coming back. They would either have to integrate it into the whole of magic or it would be parasitic and overpowered as it serves the same function as flying but without the decades of interaction. It's far too narrow and powerful.

Bushido: This is a Japanese word. Unless this is also a Japanese set i don't see it coming back with the same name. But it could come back with a different, more universal name like some other abilities have.

Flanking: This actually seems like a good fit if they can get the power level right. It's a lot like Bushito but gives -1/-1 to opponents creatures instead of +1/+1 to yours. Also flanking fits with how battles work on the field. Flanking can be pretty punishing though and can feel unfair to play against.

Banding. No. Stop it. No.

What they will bring back won't be like the narrow, in block only abilities that didn't interact with the rest of magic we saw in Kamagawa. They've learned their less on that front when most of the set bar a hand full of power cards was a failure.

2xDouble:
Yay! Bushido is back! and possibly a Sarkhan that I can actually use, assuming he's no longer dead.

...oh crap, are we to get yet another R/G 'walker? What is that now, four?

Maybe they're having another crack at a R/B walker like Sarkhan the Mad. His color scheme would seem to suggest it. Hell maybe they'll make three colour planswalkers again.

If it's Banding I love you WOTC.

Modular? Sunburst?
Probably not, but I can dream. Even if they were to bring those back, it would be in a Mirrodin/Phyrexia related set.
They could always make some effects that don't have keywords have keywords. Armed, (Bonuses when equipped) Frenzy. (Attacks each turn if able) I'm just spitballing here.
Oooh! Maybe they could bring back levelers, those were fun.

Considering that it mentions bringing back an older mechanic, or old thing. and everyone seems keen on rules that can break hopes and dreams (Banding particularly), I feel it might be worth mentioning other elements.

The gating effect that isn't technically an ability listed name from Invasion block, eg. Fleetfoot Panther.
An actual ability, 'buyback' (To represent the strength / value of the khans groups)
Another likely choice for flavour would be 'clash', or alternatively 'entwine'

Less likely but will be hoping to see.
'Madness'
'Provoke' - most likely for combat tricks etc. (Flavour-esque works)
'Threshold'

Souplex:
Modular? Sunburst?
Probably not, but I can dream. Even if they were to bring those back, it would be in a Mirrodin/Phyrexia related set.
They could always make some effects that don't have keywords have keywords. Armed, (Bonuses when equipped) Frenzy. (Attacks each turn if able) I'm just spitballing here.
Oooh! Maybe they could bring back levelers, those were fun.

Although there isn't a keyword for equipped bonuses, many creatures from the original mirrodin and scars of mirrordin block get bonuses when equipped. Leading to such stupid combos as, Leonin Shikari + Lightning Greaves.

Frenzy is a mechanic from Time Spiral block, only ever printed on a black sliver called Frenzy Sliver.
Frenzy give the attacking creature +X / + 0 if its unblocked, where X is the Frenzy number. In the case of the frenzy sliver, it's 1. But the mechanic stacks apparently, although I've never seen it done.

 

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