Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir Coverage (Day 1)

by James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

ROUND 8 Notes:

  • End of Day 1 Coverage: See you Sat evening around 7pm!
  • Sigrist just called out Siege Rhino as the “best card in his deck, not close”
  • Based on the strong performance of DIg Through Time, you could do a LOT worse than to order a few of these Japanese Foil Promo copies from the Prerelease (
  • Hornet Queen just called out as the “best card” in the G/B Constellation deck that also did well today
  • Just bought 20 copies of Rakshasa Deathdealer for 1.75 as it should have room to run to $4-5 if this deck keeps pace tomorrow
  • Also worth noting this deck is “too aggro” to run Courser of Kruphix.
  • Notable that the deck is running 4 Thoughtseize despite the life loss, to nab removal spells and protect their creatures: 4 Fleecemane Lion, Rakshasa Deathdealer (on track to bump to $4-5?), 3 Anafenza, 3 Herald of Torment, 4 Siege Rhino. Also running 3 Sorin. All of these will gain if this deck wins through on Day 2.
  • Shout to FacetoFace Games team member and honorary Canadian Mike Sigrist being featured as the 8-0 Abzan Aggro player.
  • Abzan Aggro is at 8-0. Don’t count this one out at all. Siege Rhino may be safe around $5-6.
  • Brad Nelson beats Jamie to got to 6-2 with R/W tokens.
  • At least a few Ascendancy decks are 4-0 going into this round
  • Goblin Rabblemaster being featured as a format staple. <crickets>
  • Chandra + Elspeth doing some work for Brad Nelson right now
  • Next big Standard tourney is Grand Prix LA next weekend
  • Brad Nelson (W/R Tokens) vs. Jamie Parke (Jeskai Aggro) 1st on camera this round, both at 5-2. Nothing unusual here so far. Jeskai Charm may hit $2+ based on heavy play.
  • Look to whether Finkel makes Day 2 with See the Unwritten to see if the spec is real

ROUND 7 Notes:

  • Just bought up a pile of Astral Cornucopia at .40. A half-chance it hits $1-3 if Jeskai Ascendancy continues to do well as it’s a winter rare. I’ve been sitting on a pile of these in regular and foil for a while, and here’s the combo it needed to do something. Note: there are alternates to the card, so the spec is weaker than it would be if that were not true.
  • U/B Control Dech Tech with Cifka on camera: he argues that against 12 mana creature decks going 1-for-1 should be good. Runs 3 Clever Impersonator in the SB.
  • Lol, apparently ¬†0 pros agree with me that Villainous Wealth, not Hornet Queen, is the strongest thing to do with Nykthos mana. Hornet Queen just looked great in Green/B Devotion facing Abzan.
  • Cards I’ve bought in the last hour: 40 copies See the Unwritten under $4, 12 copies Doomwake Giant under $2
  • Cards I’ve sold in the last hour: Dig Through Time, Sarkhan, Jeskai Ascendancy, Fetches
  • Abzan and G/B Devotion decks now on camera at 3-0 each
  • Jeskai Ascendancy combo wins 2nd game easily against RWG Planeswalkers to put Dave Williams to 5-2. This is looking like THE card of the tourney thus far.
  • U/B Control being condemned on camera as “not as good as before”
  • Jeskai Ascendancy combo now on camera…expect a run on the card based on that Turn 4 combo kill.
  • Finkle is now 2-1 with the See the Unwritten ramp deck.

ROUND 6 Notes:

  • Less than 10 copies of Jeskai Ascendancy on Ebay under $8. A few prices posted around $12-13 already. Just sold my Korean copy for $9.
  • Jeskai Ascendancy Combo being called out in the 3rd Deck Tech…my top pick to gain so far this weekend. Should be over $10-12 by end of weekend. Other deck components include Astral Cornucopia, Dig Through Time and a singleton Altar of the Brood.
  • Ari called out Siege Rhino and Thoughtseize as key cards in his deck.
  • Ari takes down U/B Control with Abzan. Notable interaction when Perilous Vault failed to wipe the board because Nissa’s lands aren’t impacted.
  • Wingmate Roc and Nissa, Worldwaker now on camera in a 2-0 Abzan build piloted by Ari Lax
  • Finkle loses the match to Mardu Aggro, leaving the spec potentially stranded.
  • Jon Finkel is on camera playing the See the Unwritten deck. He just lost Game 1 but the buyout has already started. I encountered multiple cart thefts while lapping up 4-5 sets at $4/card. A full 60 copies just got snatched. I expect this card to hit $12+ if Finkle wins or someone gets to top 8 with it.

ROUND 5 Notes:

  • Jeskai Tokens and Tempo are showing up in numbers, and the Tokens deck has now been featured in the 2nd Deck Tech of the night….Ascendancy looking primed to bump up if this continues
  • A big Empty the Pits just went off for a ton out of the Mardu Planeswalker deck (Park) that is holding the top table and just beat Owen Turtenwald
  • Randy B just called Perilous Vault “a real card” on camera
  • Fellow Canadian Shawn McClaren goes to 5-0 using Jeskai Tempo
  • Pantheon U/B control deck is running 2/3 Aetherspouts and 4 Perilous Vaults
  • Butcher of the Horde is seeing play in numerous takes on Mardu builds
  • Mihara and the other half of the Pantheon Team are on Unwritten Devotion (See the Unwritten + Doomwake Giant + Hornet Queen) ramp


  • Todd Anderson is showing off Ghostfire Blade in his Ensoul Artifact deck
  • LSV is on Jeskai Ascendancy combo using Altar of the Brood + Ornithoptre or Astral Cornocopia to mill opponents out, which he did in Round 1. Updates as we see how many Altar are in the list…
  • Ben Stark and David Williams are on Jeskai Tempo
  • Raphael Levy is on Mardu Planeswalkers
  • William Jensen and Flock are on U/B Control with Dig Through Time, Downfall, Prognostic Sphinx. Pantheon version is running Pearl Lake Ancient as the only finisher.

So here we are.

6 weeks of hype, pre-release and release events, early results from SCG and State Championships all culminate this weekend at Pro Tour: Khans of Tarkir. The mixed format event started this afternoon with 3 rounds of Booster Draft and wraps up with the

With the Estimated Value of Khans of Tarkir Booster Boxes currently sitting around $140USD (most fall sets should end up between $100-$110), the results of the Standard portion of this Pro Tour are likely to result in the ascendancy and downfall of a larger than usual swath of cards. All eyes are on the 5 rounds of standard playing out between 8pm and 1:30am tonight to see what the key teams like Channel Fireball, SCG and the Japanese powerhouse squads bring to the top tables.

Early word from the tournament seems to indicate a wide open field, with no major clues that anyone has “solved” the format. In such a scenario consistency and great play should rule the day, so it will be fascinating to see what rises to the top and sets up a fresh round of buy and sell signals.

For Magic speculators, the weekend will be an especially important proving grounds for many of the most hyped cards of the format. Here are some early stories to be paying attention to:

First folks thought he would replace Stormbreath Dragon. Then we thought the Dragon might be better. Then we thought we’d play both. Either way, he’s managed a reasonable number of showings in early tournaments and is propped up as the Elspeth of Fall 2014. Currently available around $35 online and $50 retail, he stands to lose the most if he doesn’t make the top tables this weekend. Hype and casual interest could still easily keep above $25, but I’m selling into hype at $35 with confidence, looking to enter lower later this season.

So far Sorin, doesn’t have an obvious deck likely to make top tables and as such, could be headed to a $15 price point. A good showing could reverse that trend.

Originally pre-ordering close to $20, we have basically no indication that this is a major player in standard so far, and nothing short of a top table appearance in multiples will prop it back up.

She was vastly underestimated in her first 8 weeks of release, with plenty of us picking up unlimited copies under a dollar. ¬†Since Monday I’ve gone from selling $10 sets with a smile to selling $25 sets with a shit-eating grin and plenty of MTGFinance types think a good showing this weekend in Green Devotion and Reanimator decks this weekend could push her over $10/copy like her set cousin the Rabblemaster.

A lot of the focus has been on Treasure Cruise as the most broken draw spell since Ancestral Visions, but as a rare it’s actually Dig Through Time that may have the most financial relevance this fall. A broad showing this weekend in control or tempo decks could push the card over $10, at which point I’d be selling into that hype.

  • Fetchlands

They’re clearly some of the best lands of all time, but so far they haven’t made a huge splash in Standard, with relatively few decks running full sets. The early dominance of Courser of Kruphix and his excellent interactions with Fetchlands certainly balances the lack of Ravnica duals to fetch for, but the collapse of Khans EV should still begin with these lands moving down towards the $10-14 range from their current $15-20 range. Only a ton of decks running multiple playsets of 4 will have any chance of keeping prices to the higher side of the downhill range as we move deeper into the season.

He’s already proved his mettle in everything from Aggro Red to Jeskai Temp and R/G Monsters builds and he’s earned his crown as the top rare from M15. The question is whether the metagame will now warp around him to ensure his token aggro driven strategy is nullified. A top 8 will keep him high. Missing that stage, could see him slide back $3-5 so it’s worth watching.

First we hated it. A bad Broodmate Dragon they said. Then he started showing up as a great value play and potential finisher in a few different decks and he’s a clear candidate for breakout card of the weekend. As a mythic currently sitting around $13, and with an MTGO run-up this week of ~40%, there are plenty of eyes wondering if this powerful flyer can hit $20+.

It’s been trending down, and could easily move towards bulk unless an Abzan mid-range deck puts this powerful beater to work holding off red and black based aggro decks.

Stay tuned through the evening as we update this page with additional notes and findings from the early rounds and offer insight into how the rest of the weekend might shape up.


James Chillcott is the CEO of, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.



6 thoughts on “Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir Coverage (Day 1)”

  1. Really appreciate you doing this, this kind of summary is exactly what I am looking for.

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