Financial Five: Khans of Tarkir

When it comes to Standard finance, the prices can only spread so thin before you start scratching you head about powerful rares at $3 or $4 prices.  These head-scratching moments are caused by the reprint of the Onslaught fetches. Most of the time, the one or two planswalkers of the set and one hyped rare hold most of a given set’s financial weight. With Khans, the five fetches, two planswalkers, and the most powerful [card]Clone[/card] effect to date ([card]Clever Impersonator[/card]) are pulling a lot of the financial weight away from other powerful rares. It sounds bad, but it’s not. When fetches start settling around $10, [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card] drops to under $15, [card]Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker[/card] fluctuates to around $20, and [card]Clever Impersonator[/card] (non-foils) tank to around $6, the non-hyped rares sitting at $2-5 will have a chance to see an increase according to how Standard settles.  Just like Theros, the increase in these sub-$5 rares will increase parallel to the amount of Khans product that’s opened.

[card]Utter End[/card] <$4

utter endWhen I think about this card’s potential fluctuations, [card]Hero’s Downfall[/card] comes to mind—with a slightly lower spike. Instead of going from $6 to $20 in a breakout weekend, I predict a $4 to $10 spike in the near future. Both removal spells were in big sets that saw a massive amount of packs opened.  What holds this price from spiking any higher is the mana cost. Four mana including two colors just equals a lower number of copies in slightly fewer decks.  I only see Standard potential for this card, but a silver bullet (one copy in a deck list) wouldn’t surprise me in the Modern format if a midrange non-green deck emerges. [card]Maelstrom Pulse[/card] is currently filling this role for decks with green.

I think this card will see a price jump then settle out at close to $5.  Pick them up for a quick flip with fear of its price decreasing.

[card]End Hostilities[/card] $2

end hostIt’s a sweeper, people! I know we are spoiled with [card]Supreme Verdict[/card], but we now have a sweeper with a one-color mana cost instead of two.  It takes care of bestow creatures and equipment along with the creatures you already wanted to deal with. Its mana cost places extra pressure to arrive at five as soon as possible, but with [card]Last Breath[/card] in the same colors, [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card] is not as much of a problem as you might think. This fresh Standard format looks molding toward midrange decks leaning on high-toughness creatures ([card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card], [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card], [card]Nyx-Fleece Ram[/card]) to stabilize instead of clearing the board.

This may not have a strong place now, but it’s the sweeper every Standard format needs.  All the playable and powerful planeswalker makes any X/X/W Walkers decks a possibility going forward. Standard-only sweepers tend to never go over $10, if a quick spike occurs, but seems to always settle at $4 or $5.  This is another safe pickup you’ll be glad to have made as the format changes from week to week.


[card]Siege Rhino[/card] <$4

siege fhinoMy favorite card of the whole set! With three colors in the mana cost, this will restrict the financial upside of this horny beast, but picking up any extra copies under $4 will make trading at your LGS a lot easier. The demand for this guy remains high and could be a quick way to assist you in picking up you last few Khanslaught fetch lands.

I predict a price change history similar to [card]Loxodon Smiter[/card] from Return to Ravnica. Powerful but not able to grab financial traction. (Shoutout to Luke and Greg for this constructive card discussion.)

[card]Mantis Rider[/card] $2

mantis riderAnother narrow three-color rare!? What’s wrong with me?! Bear with me, friends. This card doesn’t currently have a deck [Ed. note—this was submitted just before the weekend’s tournaments], but I could see [card]Mantis Rider[/card] pairing with [card]Goblin Rabblemaster[/card], assisted by a couple cheaper evasive creatures, bounce, and efficient burn. Yes, this is a slightly greedy prediction, but spells like [card]Magma Jet[/card], [card]Searing Blood[/card], [card]Crippling Chill[/card], [card]Force Away[/card], [card]Disdainful Stroke[/card], [card]Ride Down[/card], [card]Winterflame[/card], [card]Jeskai Charm[/card], and [card]Arc Lightning[/card] all seem to work well with 16 to 20 efficient creatures.This type of deck could be a good way to combat the predicted Rabble-Aggro and Courser-Midrange meta.


[card]Empty the Pits[/card] $4

empty the pitsIt’s four black and probably only a two-of in the self-mill Standard decks it will synergize with, but what makes this better than all the others on the list is the rarity: it’s a mythic! The amount of packs opened will, of course, not affect a mythic as much as the other four rares in this article. It has casual appeal and EDH appeal which should at least keep it at the current price. I’ve actually already had to change the price from $3 to $4 in this article since the prerelease just concluded this past weekend.  Knowing we have high amounts of Khan of Tarkir booster box preorders, [card]Empty the Pits[/card] should be easy to find over the next couple weeks.  Although you may have to sit on this speculation longer than the previous four cards, I think it’s a worthy investment going forward. If a pair show up in a tier-one Standard deck, this card should a fetch a minimum of $8.  Lastly, foils are $12 and another worthy pickup if you can trade into them.


Bonus #1: Trade for foil [card]See the Unwritten[/card] ($9).  It’s an EDH staple for any deck playing green.

Bonus #2: Dump your $25 [card]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/card]s. It’s no Elspeth but the $10 jump over prerelease weekend benefits traders that are cracking packs on release weekend.

Overall, this is a great set with a combination of fun play and financial opportunities. I don’t usually recommend cracking packs, but since GP Nashville is coming up, my team decided to invest in sealed product for practicing.  Usually, I would opt out and just crack my teammates’ product, but the set has a lot of value in it and can easily make its money back.  So, if you only buy sealed product once or twice a year, I think this set is worth a purchase.


As always thanks for reading



About the Author
@TNSGingerAle     -     Email     -     Articles Houston is the host and creator of Tap N Sac Podcast. He enjoys any format with a healthy community. He usually taps Mountains to have fun and taps Islands to win.

2 comments on Financial Five: Khans of Tarkir

  1. English says:

    While a fine article, it is totally obsoleted by the weekend results

    Rhino is 6+ and mantis rider is infinity dollars.

    1. I know. Welcome to Standard. I wrote it after prerelease weekend. Edited it and submitted it before the weekend but the Editor doesn’t work on the weekends so….. apologies for the price changes.

      I think Rhino was a common speculation. I thought Mantis Rider had a week or two before it broke out to battle the Courser and Rabblemaster deck but it seems a few already toned a deck for the predicted meta.

      Still a lot of room for End Hostilities and Empty the Pits.

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