Commons and Uncommons of Khans

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By: Jared Yost

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Travis’ full set review for mythic rares and rares of Kahns of Tarkir, go check that out right now. Travis did an excellent job covering the potential financial future of mythics and rares from Khans. There is a ton of information in his article to digest that will be useful for the Standard rotation and beyond.

Since covering just the mythics and rares was such a massive undertaking, Travis tasked me with covering the remaining uncommons and commons in the set that seem powerful enough to see Standard, Modern, Legacy, and even Cube or Vintage play. I’ll stick to Travis’ original article format for this and list out the uncommons and commons I like in the following order:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Red
  • Green
  • Multicolored
  • Artifact
  • Land

I will not list the uncommons/commons that are bulk, since most uncommons/commons will be bulk and only a select few will wind up seeing tournament play. Also keep in mind that it is really hard for an uncommon to break a $2. Banishing Light is around $2.50 retail due to its ubiquitous utility as a fixed Oblivion Ring that can answer any nonland threat for three mana. In other words, unless the uncommon is as insane as Banishing Light then it will be hard for it to break $2 so don’t pick up tons of uncommons expecting them to spike in price. If an uncommon is really good also expect it to be in an event deck or other supplementary product, furthering the chance none of us will profit from it financially.

I think the best mind set to be in while reviewing uncommons and commons from a financial perspective is to think about the best way to pick them up cheaper than retail, which usually is to set them aside when you crack them or draft them so that you don’t later have to buy these cards at retail prices when you need them for a deck. Foils are nice pick ups for eternal playable uncommons and commons if they are powerful to be included in Modern, Legacy, or even Vintage decks. Many times I will prefer to pick up foil copies as they will retain more value in the long term.

Alright, let’s dive into the uncommons and commons of Khans of Tarkir.

White

 

Seeker of the Way

Seeker of the Way is one of the strongest white bears (two mana 2/2’s) at uncommon or common that we’ve seen in a while. I think this card is better than Ajani’s Sunstriker and Ajani’s Pridemate in the right decks since it doesn’t cost WW to cast or require life gain in order to get bigger. It is definitely better than cards like Boros Mastiff or Sunspear Shikari because you also don’t have to fulfill harder requirements to get a bonus – all you have to do is cast noncreature spells for him to become a 3/3 (or potentially bigger) lifelinker. I think Seeker could see a decent amount of Standard play in a B/W lifelink shell alongside Sorin, Solemn Visitor.

 

Suspension Field

Suspension Field would have been amazing if not for Banishing Light. I’ll give you that the difference between two and three mana is pretty significant, especially in aggro decks, but I don’t see this card being played much in the main deck. This feels like something you bring out of the board against midrange decks without a good way of getting rid of enchantments. After all, it is a worse Journey to Nowhere.

Suspension Field is decent yet don’t go deep on this one since it has to compete with Banishing Light for slots.

 

Watcher of the Roost

I like Watcher of the Roost because you can play it without having white mana available and it can also confuse your opponents game one by making them think you have another more powerful morph card in play. I’m not sure how much play this will see though I think it provides good value for three mana. Pick up some copies if you plan on playing white.

Blue

 

Disdainful Stroke

I like Disdainful Stroke because it is powerful against midrange and control decks. I think tempo decks and aggro decks will play at a few copies, at the least in their sideboards. Focus on foils here, as it could potentially see eternal play in Modern since the casting cost is efficient for a hard counterspell (that is, a counterspell that doesn’t also say “unless it’s controller pays {x mana}”).

 

Jeskai Elder

I like Jeskai Elder for cubes but I’m not sure if she is powerful enough to see play in Standard or other formats. If you like her for cube pick up a foil copy for less than $1.

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Quiet Contemplation

I like that this enchantment provides value to control decks, as it turns all their noncreature spells into pseudo-removal for a turn while they wait to set up their end game. It works well with instants, tapping down creatures at instant speed at the beginning of an opponent’s attack phase.

This reminds me of Lightning Rift, which had its own deck based around it back in Onslaught Standard. Though QC is no Lightning Rift, since you can’t deal damage to players nor activate QC when your opponent plays a noncreature spell. Pick up some copies for decks yet don’t go out of your way to get these as we don’t quite know how powerful (or weak) the Jeskai Prowess / noncreature theme are.

 

Stubborn Denial

Foils of this card are already $20 retail which is huge for an uncommon. You know what other spell is around $20 foil retail? Empty the Pits. I think it is pretty crazy that a foil uncommon is worth just as much as a foil mythic rare.

The foil price is derived from the expected eternal play that players are predicting Stubborn Denial will see in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage. However, I feel that Spell Pierce seems so much better than this card for a large majority of eternal decks. Many times, I feel like SD is just a bad Force Spike in eternal formats because at least with Spell Pierce you don’t need a creature to improve your counterspell.

However, I have not had a chance to see Stubborn Denial in action so it could be really good in combination with Tarmogoyf or other cheap creatures that can reach four power or greater quickly in Vintage, Legacy, or Modern. In Vintage, I’m thinking this could be a great protection spell once you get out your win condition.

In the end, only time will tell. Avoid foil copies for now and wait for the results to come. I think the foil price right now is mainly driven by hype. Only pick up foils if Stubborn Denial starts seeing heavy play in one or more of the eternal formats and the foil price doesn’t budge.

 

Treasure Cruise

I believe that this common is the most exciting card from Khans for eternal formats. The foil price certainly reflects this since it is commanding anywhere from $15 to $50 per copy! In eternal formats, the Delve mechanic has been around since it was introduced in Future Sight and Tombstalker started seeing Legacy play.

However, Treasure Cruise is not Tombstalker. Tombstalker was never played in playsets, maybe as a two-of or three-of, and was eventually outclassed by other strategies. In many ways Treasure Cruise is better than Tombstalker. Treasure Cruise is most likely to be seen in playsets in the decks it is featured in and I have a hard time seeing how draw three cards in blue, with only one blue mana as the color commitment, being outclassed.

If you are familiar with Standstill strategies in Legacy then you know that being able to draw three cards for two mana is pretty awesome. People have made Standstill work for years, because even though it is really clunky getting that card advantage is so awesome in a format like Legacy. Treasure Cruise does not require the awkward situation that Standstill introduces, and could definitely be cast for U and become Ancestral Recall at sorcery speed. So don’t think of this card as Tombstalker, instead think of it as a better Standstill. Even playing it for three mana and exiling five cards is quite a deal.

Also, we can’t forget that it passes the Force of Will test (it is blue, and therefore can be pitched to FoW, and therefore can be played in the blue decks that utilize Force) and only requires a single blue mana color commitment. I think we’re going to be seeing many Treasure Cruises being cast in Legacy, and maybe even Modern or possibly Vintage, in the future.

For more fun things you can do with Treasure Cruise see this Star City Games article by Carsten Kotter.

What is the correct foil price for Treasure Cruise? Honestly, I’m not sure yet. I think we’re going to need to revisit this back in two to three months in order to let the dust settle. For now, I wouldn’t pay more than $5 in cash for this or $10 in trade based on Delver of Secrets foil history.

Black

 

Dead Drop

This is a really expensive card but again Delve makes me look at it again since being able to cast this for four or less is pretty awesome. I would pick up a few copies for decks if you plan on playing control (the best deck type to include this card since you would have to delve a ton of cards to get the mana cost down to an efficient range) or for a cube if you like it. $1.50 is pretty cheap for foils.

 

Murderous Cut

This is probably the best non-blue Delve card in the set. It is really easy to get four cards into your graveyard, even in Standard since we have the fetchlands now, and it can take out any creature without a drawback at instant speed. I think this is solid removal that will be played alongside of Hero’s Downfall in black Standard decks. Like other Delve cards it also has playability in eternal formats since it is even easier to get four cards into your graveyard in Modern and Legacy.

Pick up extra copies in trades since I think this will be played across several formats. Foils are also nice targets even at $10.

 

Sultai Scavenger

Many people are equating this guy with Delver of Secrets for eternal formats though I don’t he quite gets there. Since this guy is black he doesn’t pass the Force of Will test and needs to be given extra consideration before being included in Legacy lists because I think flipping Delver is much easier than getting five cards in the ‘yard for Sultai Scavenger. Foils are less than $1 right now so it could be a good pickup if you plan on playing them in Legacy or think it will see play in Modern.

Red

 

Goblinslide

Similar to Quiet Contemplation, this card rewards control players for having a large amount of non-creature spells and gives them more reach in the late game when they have extra mana and can create goblin tokens off every spell.

This could also see play in midrange or aggro decks too, since hasty goblins improve Goblin Rabblemaster attacks. Foils are pretty good for less than $1.

 

Horde Ambusher

Similar to Watcher of the Roost, I like that this card morphs for free and provides a nice bonus upon morphing. Similar to Seeker of the Way, this red bear is quite strong and pushing the curve for what you can get for two mana in a red creature. Make sure to hold on to these because they will be played in Standard when Theros rotates if not before.

 

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Hordeling Outburst

I get the feeling that casuals are going to love this card. It is a nice addition to cubes on top of being Standard playable in the right deck. Stay away from foils for now since they are quite high at $3.50. Being uncommon will mean that nonfoils of this card will always be around at least $0.25 retail.

 

Monastery Swiftspear

She provides a ton of value to Burn decks, especially eternal ones. Swiftspear will be a nice upgrade to red one drops in many players’ cubes. Foils are a bit high right now at $7.50, so if you want foil copies wait.

 

Tormenting Voice

A strict upgrade to Wild Guess, I like this card for eternal formats in combo decks. It is much easier to cast than Wild Guess and so getting it to work in combo decks is easier than a RR casting cost. Foils will be nice targets once the release hype dies down.

 

War-Name Aspirant

I like this card for Standard. I think she will appear in red aggro decks since the Raid is really easy to get and her ability is nice. Don’t focus on foils, instead set aside copies you get in sealed pools and drafts in for future decks or trades.

Green

 

Become Immense

I like this card in Infect decks, especially Modern Infect builds. I don’t think it will be played as more than a one-of or two-of in the Infect decks but it can’t hurt to stash these way. It will make more of an impact in Modern than Legacy since pump options are more limited in Modern, though Legacy play is a real possibility for the card since +6/+6 is quite a bonus.

 

Savage Punch

I only mention this card for the art and flavor. If Gift of Orzhova can maintain a $5 foil price on art alone I’m thinking this card just might do that too. Foils are currently $1 – quick, buy them all out!

Multicolored

    

Overall Charm Cycle Thoughts

The charms probably won’t be played in playsets however picking up foil copies of them will be great for long term gains. Cubes and Commander decks alike will be utilizing these charms. Don’t focus on nonfoils here as they could easily be reprinted in supplementary products and lose value, plus this is going to be a heavily opened set due to fetchlands.

Each charm has its pros and cons but generally there are “better” charms than others. It is hard to determine yet which charm is going to come out on top, so I think the strategy for now is to focus on foils and wait for results to come in if you decide you want to pick up popular charms for trade value.

 

Icefeather Aven

I really like foils of this guy for cubes since he is a strict upgrade to Gaea’s Skyfolk. He could also see Standard play because I hear Man-o’-War effects are good.

 

Warden of the Eye

Not exactly a strict upgrade to Izzet Chronarch since this guy introduces white mana into the casting cost but he will definitely be played in Jeskai Commander decks. Foils will be good targets once the release hype dies down. $1 for foils of this card seems good to me.

Being a 3/3 helps too, which could help the card see Standard play though the jury is out for now on Standard. Don’t buy these guys at retail price yet keep any copies you find lying around.

Artifacts

Uncommon and common artifacts in this set are pretty underwhelming from a financial perspective. I’m not interested in them, though let me know if you think any are worthy of consideration in the comments.

Lands

Wedge Tri Lands

    

Out of all the uncommons and commons of this set I believe the wedge tri lands are going to be the best pickups from a financial perspective. Wedge lands were already hard to come by before we got these, and now that we have them players are going to want playsets for their clan themed decks. Even though there are going to be a ton of them out there, in the future they will go up in value due to casual and Commander demand. I’m basing this on the Shards tri lands history. Shards tri lands are all currently about $1-$1.50 retail even after being reprinted in Commander decks.

Foils will also be nice of these lands however $5 seems a bit high for now. Wait two to three months and if the price hasn’t budged on foils then get them at $5, otherwise get them once they dip if that’s what the market decides.

 

    

Khans Refuges (Nickname based on the Zendikar Refuge cycle of five lands)

Hold onto any copies of these you get, both foil and nonfoil. I think nonfoils will always be more than bulk on buylists. Foils will be wanted for cubes and Commander decks, and if you can snag foils for $0.50 or less go for it.

Summary

Here are the top five uncommons and commons (by cycle, if applicable) in list format so that you know which uncommons and commons I think will hold the most financial value in Khans moving forward.

HONORABLE MENTION: Become Immense

  1. Wedge Tri Lands
  2. FOIL Treasure Cruise (pick up nonfoils at bulk)
  3. FOIL Charms
  4. Murderous Cut
  5. Monastery Swiftspear

I think there are many playable uncommons and commons in Khans across Standard, Modern, Legacy, Commander, and Cube. Foils of uncommons and commons will hold more value long term than nonfoils, since any popular ones are bound to be reprinted in supplementary products.

Again, let me reiterate that I am not recommending that players buy thousands of these uncommons or commons en masse trying to make a profit by expecting them to spike. Uncommons and commons are notoriously slow to increase in price, if at all. It takes something like Delver of Secrets level of play to make that happen – and non-foils of that card are barely $0.25 retail with only one printing and all the play that card sees. What I hope this article does show is that the hype around new sets also affects uncommons and commons, sometimes to a huge degree. Once the hype dies down prices will be much more reasonable.

I also hope this article will enable players to identify the more powerful uncommons and commons in the set so that they can pick them up for decks if they want to play them and that it helps players building cubes to identify which foil uncommons and commons are best to pick up and when.

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14 thoughts on “Commons and Uncommons of Khans”

    1. Despise could be a solid pickup, but it has two things going against it. Firstly, it is a reprint so there are going to be tons of copies of it out there. Secondly, the effect seems strong but just doesn’t quite get there. Despise was legal in a Standard format where a large percentage of decks were playing Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic, and still saw almost zero play. Not to say that won’t be the case this time but I don’t see.

      However, from a casual perspective I think it will always be above bulk on a buylist. You can’t go wrong saving any copies you have for trades.

  1. This is great – as someone on the more casual side, it’s awesome to see a focus on the commons and uncommons!

    Thanks

  2. If you had to prioritize which foils to be picking up on this list, how would you do so? The tri and refuge lands, followed by Treasure Cruise, then Charms, then the rest?

    1. Top 5 Foils List for Commons and Uncommons:
      1. Treasure Cruise
      2. Monastery Swiftspear
      3. Stubborn Denial
      4. Become Immense
      5. Wedge Tri Lands

      Top 5 Foil Speculations:
      1. Charms (just because we don’t know which ones are the best for eternal formats yet, though Sultai Charm looks the most promising at the moment)
      2. Murderous Cut
      3. Sultai Scavenger
      4. Warden of the Eye
      5. Savage Punch (100% serious, I’m basing this on the art alone)

      *EDIT: These lists are slightly different than the listing in the article because these are the foils I feel will hold the most value separated by power versus speculated power.

    1. With Ghostfire Blade, you are sacrificing a fast win for more stability in Affinity. Cranial Plating sometimes makes the deck almost combo-like in how fast you can kill someone. However, Ghostfire Blade takes cards like Ornithopter out of burn range which is pretty nice.

      Looks good but needs to be tested. Right now it is more of a spec than anything else. I would only pick up regulars at bulk prices and foils at $3.

  3. Monastery Swiftspear just took down 1st at a SCG Legacy Open this week. At $8 for foils, it seems like a great buy-in. What was your thought process on waiting for the price to drop? or was it a gut check?

    1. So, I just checked the price now and the average is $20+ on TCGPlayer… so $8 was a good buy in point lol! I was erring on the side of caution and also wrote the article before the results on Sunday.

      Now that it has spiked to $20+ I definitely feel like there is room to drop. Lack of supply has driven up the price for foils right now.

  4. Stubborn denial foils were and are only at $4 at the time of you having written this article. Is this the price your LGS is charging?

    1. I wrote this article over several days during the previous week. I used MTGPrice and thinking about it in retrospect I should have realized that it was very misleading. Only one or two vendors even had them listed at the time, so the one guy who was charging $20+ for the foil was skewing the average. I guess it had to start somewhere though.

      $4 seems much better than $20, but still wait for results to come in. This card’s foil will not be driven by Standard so there is time for it to drop more if it will.

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