Throughout 2023, there’s been practically no end of fantastic and massive MTG sets. Between March of the Machine’s multiversal shenanigans and The Lord of the Rings’ immense success, 2023 has been undeniably fantastic. As if the year wasn’t impressive enough already, however, Wizards of the Coast has even more in store! Before the year is over, Khans of Tarkir is being released again on MTG Arena.
Finally confirmed with an official release date earlier this month, Khans of Tarkir is only a few weeks away on MTG Arena. Launching in its entirety, this set isn’t a hand-picked remaster, but instead a pure rerelease. Thanks to this, MTG Arena is soon going to be getting some seriously powerful cards. Once December 12th rolls around, you can expect multiple formats on Arena to be significantly warped!
With this release on the ever-encroaching horizon, you may well be curious about the impending metagame shift. If you are, then luckily you’re in the right place, as we’ve got the lowdown on all the set’s best cards! So, whether you’re looking to get hyped, or eye up what to craft, we’ve got you covered! Now, without any further ado, here are all the best cards Khans of Tarkir is bringing to MTG Arena in December!
To start with the big ticket item, we would be remiss not to mention the Fetch Lands first and foremost. Unfortunately, however, there is a major catch with these iconic cards coming to Arena. Right now, we don’t know whether or not Fetch Lands will be even playable, or if we’ll get them all…
For better or worse, Fetch Lands are already banned in Pioneer, so they won’t be legal in Explorer. This only leaves Historic, and Historic Brawl, as their potential home. Unfortunately, however, despite the set’s release date looming ever closer, Wizards has been rather quiet about this important detail.
Having previously declared it to be a difficult decision, it’s no wonder that Wizards is taking their time. That being said, however, the suspense is still killing us, as there are only two possible options. Either Fetch Lands are legal in Historic, or they’re practically unplayable for a good while longer.
Should Fetch Lands be legal in Historic, there’s little doubt that most decks will want them. After all, these lands provide incredible fixing that doesn’t automatically enter the battlefield taped. Thanks to this potent and rather unique ability, Fetch Lands are a staple within Modern, appearing in an immense number of decks.
While Fetch Lands being powerful is nothing new, as we mentioned before, there’s no guarantee they’ll be legal. To retain the current pace of the format, Wizards may elect to pre-ban Fetch Lands. If this happens, they’ll be unplayable outside of custom games, and perhaps Historic Brawl. That is, at least, unless Wizards officially makes the new Eternal format on MTG Arena that they’ve been testing.
Provided they’re legal, the Fetch Lands will undoubtedly be the most important Khans of Tarkir cards on MTG Arena.
Unfortunately, when Khans of Tarkir comes to MTG Arena Fetch Lands aren’t the only cards at risk of being banned. Due to their immense strength, there’s a very real possibility that one, if not more, Delve cards get pre-banned. As if they need any introduction, these two potentially problematic cards are Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise.
Both allowing you to dig through your deck and draw, these cards are incredibly powerful, no matter when they’re played. When played late on, Delve Cards boast immense value, since the cost-reducing resource is already available. Early game, they can be a bit trickier, however, the reward is even greater.
While flooding your graveyard to cast Delve spells on the cheap is certainly an option, they’re not really build around cards. Instead, the above two cards simply push already powerful archetypes to an even more dominant position. This is almost surely going to happen to the Izzet Wizards deck in Historic.
By focusing on casting a lot of cheap and effective spells, this already powerful deck has no trouble filling the graveyard. Thanks to this, Treasure Cruise could easily be a mid-game Ancestral Recall, which is obviously supremely powerful. While this upgrade is great news for Izzet Wizards players, everyone else may suffer somewhat unless action is taken.
Since the Izzet Wizards deck is already one of the strongest on Arena, there’s a real chance Wizards will deny players this upgrade. As much as we do like new, or rather old cards, we certainly hope this is the case if Fetch Lands are legal too. By providing free Delve targets, these cards synergize worryingly well together, to say the least. For better or worse, however, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens.
Thankfully, while Khans of Takir does have some definitely bannable cards, not every card is on the chopping block. As the above subheading implies, many of these are excellent and primarily used in Commander, however, there are a few other interesting picks. Clever Impersonator, for one, should see a fair amount of play in Explorer.
Within Pioneer, Clever Impersonator can occasionally be found as part of Enigmatic Incarnation lists. While far from the most powerful deck in Pioneer or Explorer, it’s nonetheless a solid choice that’s now getting upgraded. By providing a little more consistency as a useful four-drop, Clever Impersonator might be worth keeping on your radar.
Beyond this somewhat niche Pioneer playable card, Khans of Tarkir does have some great, albeit, uncompetitive additions. Likely finding their home within Historic Brawl, there are five legendary creatures worth getting excited about. While this isn’t the greatest pool of cards admittedly, it’s always nice to have more options.
Beyond these new Commander options, Khans of Tarkir does have some gems like Temur Ascendancy, Utter End, and the Charm cycle. Each seeing decent play in Commander, Historic Brawl players should have a good time with these new cards. The same is true for Limited players, who get a whole new Limited environment to enjoy in just a few short weeks!