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By: xger, Xger
Feb 23 2017 12:00pm
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So, Wizards attempted the Throwback Standard Gauntlet. And by attempted, I mean several of the decks had key cards with game breaking bugs - some long known. As a result, the Gauntlet got taken down and replaced with Khans of Tarkir flashbacks. As this was rather short notice, this is a rather short flashback article.

If you want to jump past the introduction, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here. 

Introduction to Article Series

To jump to the set background, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here.

Over the course of this year, Wizards will run flashback drafts that are from the Modern sets. One week for each format. The flashbacks will stop when there is a prerelease or release going on. More info here.

Here is the upcoming schedule:

Format Dates
Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse 3/1-3/8

First, I will do a fiscal analysis. While a lot of players will play just for the fun of it, knowing what cards are worth something is a good plan. Since none of these formats are competitively valued anymore, there really is no reason to pass on a $30 card. Even if it is terrible and useless in limited. Further, knowing what common and uncommons are worth the effort to sell could be useful.

However, just a rote listing of pricing is only so helpful. A lot of the cards, particularly core sets and the older sets, just don't have the supply to adequately meet demand. That means some of the cards might tank quickly when there is a sudden surge of supply. Some of these sets have probably never had flashbacks, or it has been many years. That means the market reaction might be extreme or subtle. It is also unknown how many cards will enter the system—if the drafts are popular, the effect is greater.

To give the most useful information, I am going to track the value of the sets already given a flashback as well as the time just prior to the flashback. Hopefully this will give some idea of the fiscal value of the flashback draft. Of course, it is still going to be a lottery most of the time.

Second, I will give some very brief drafting advice and provide links to other articles from those better experienced. 

With that, let's get started:

Khans of Tarkir History and Background

The big piece about Khans block was the reprinting of the Onslaught block fetches. So now we have both Polluted Delta and Polluted Delta. It also meant that the full set of 10 fetches came into Modern, which was a nice boon to players getting into the format. Prior to this, there had been considerable speculation regarding whether Wizards would reprint the fetches in a standard-legal set (and thereby bringing them into Modern). About 5 months before Khans released, and back when we called it "Huey" I predicted the return of fetchlands for Huey (here is that article - though I got the time correct, my personal guess was all 10 fetches). So, after large amount of speculation, Onslaught fetchlands joined Modern.

windswept heathwindswept heathbloodstained mirebloodstained mire

Khans block also included a long desired theme - Wedges. Wedges are 3-color combinations where it is one color and its two enemies. The set itself followed Sarkhan Vol to his home plane. The block is a "time travel" block, as Khans is set in the present, Fate Reforged is set in the past, and Dragons of Tarkir is set in an alternate present that Sarkhan Unbroken brings about. The wedges in Khans each have their own leader: Anafenza, the Foremost for Azban (WBG), Narset, Enlightened Master for Jeskai (UWR), Sidisi, Brood Tyrant for Sultai (UBG), Zurgo Helmsmasher for Mardu (WBR), and Surrak Dragonclaw for Temur (RUG).

Fiscal Value

Prices are from MTGOtraders and MTGgoldfish as the evening on the 22nd. 

Khans of Tarkir

Top 5 Mythics
Name Price
Sorin, Solemn Visitor $7.27
Anafenza, the Foremost $5.76
Clever Impersonator $3.42
Hooded Hydra $2.89
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker $2.19


Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Polluted Delta $7.47
Windswept Heath $6.10
Flooded Strand $5.66
Wooded Foothills $5.54
Bloodstained Mire $5.25
Hardened Scales $2.12
Dig Through Time $0.54
Deflecting Palm $0.38
Siege Rhino $0.35
Jeskai Ascendancy $0.10


Top Uncommons
Name Price


Worthwhile Commons
Name Price

Here we see that the rares plummet rather quickly. Khans was opened a fair bit because of the fetch lands, and those remain in demand, so the other rares all have fallen in value. The mythics aren't terrible, but they aren't particularly good either. It's important to note that only 2 of the cards in the set can pay for half the draft cost. Any of the fetches command a decent value, but the new entry is $12, so keep that in mind. Also, going 2-1 does not recoup the cost to re-enter, while going 3-0 gives two entries. So, this is probably a middle of the road flashback.


These charts show the inflection points of the mythics and rares--here, between the 5th and 6th mythic and between the 6th and 7th rare. That means that 5 mythics and 6 rares in the set are priced higher than the averages ($1.91 and $0.64, respectively). These numbers are not terrible, and the rare average is better than a lot of the last flashbacks.

A lottery rate of 0% will mean the set is balanced, and 100% will mean a single card accounting for ~70% of the rares total value (70% is an approximation of the percentage of drafts that will not have the top value rare). The same is applied for mythics. The blended rate below is 7/8 rare rate and 1/8 Mythic.

Khans of Tarkir's Rare Lottery Rate: 88.7%

Khans of Tarkir's Mythic Lottery Rate: 46.7%

Khans of Tarkir's Blended Lottery Rate: 83.4%

The rates are okay, and the mythic is pretty good. A third of the mythics are above average value, so opening a mythic shouldn't be the worst.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
Interestingly, the set is not fair from its historical value, and is even above its Standard low point. $0.96 Normal Pack


$0.83 Without Commons $2.51
$0.72 Without Mythics $2.16

Well, don't expect much out of these drafts. With the increased price, it's going to be more about winning than hitting the lottery if you want to do decent financially.

Wrap Up

Should you want other articles, here's a search link! There's a few articles back to look at, it's back to being a rather lengthy list.

  • Here's an article from Nathan Holiday at Channel Fireball going over draft archetypes.
  • Here's a pick order article from Frank Karsten at Channel Fireball.

Have fun with the three color format!

As always, I appreciate any comments! 


xger21 on MTGO.


Thanks for doing this--I by Cheater Hater at Thu, 02/23/2017 - 15:22
Cheater Hater's picture

Thanks for doing this--I thought about rushing out an article of my own, but since I have a lot of articles coming already (two-part Invasion block article, then likely a lot of MM17 coverage), combined with the fact that KTK is still relatively new, it wasn't worth it to rush out an article in 24 hours.

If you want a quick primer, Morph is the main mechanic, but even if you can't memorize all the morphs, remember that a morph will always trade or bounce with another morph unless you unmorph for five+ mana. There are 10 archetypes: 5 wedges and 5 enemy color pairs.

Edit: We even have reprint set news: Monarch cards will be in the MM17 Treasure Chest update!
We know of three cards currently (Palace Jailer, Queen Marchesa, and Thorn of the Black Rose), and while they aren't saying every Monarch card will show up, "many" will. Furthermore, Alex Ullman got Alli Medwin's ear as a follow-up Twitter conversation, and pointed out other Conspiracy cards Pauper wants--nothing's a guarantee, and they wouldn't show up until Hour of Devastation at the earliest, but it's a start :)