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Limited Interaction: Getting Tricky with KTK

I have been playing a lot of Khans limited lately (both Sealed and Draft) and I’ve gotta say Wizards has really hit a homerun with this set. The games are extremely diverse and more interactive than I am used to, and I love the flavor of it.

Some of the Khans interactions below are pretty straightforward, and for some of you advanced players you might have figured some of these out already. My hope is everyone can take away a few obscure interactions they hadn’t thought about, or alternatively get some people thinking away from the straightforward lines of play.

Whip the Flayer (or...wait, I mean Throttle the Flayer?)!

Throttle [KTK]  Sultai Flayer [KTK]

Tired of your opponent gaining life off of his Sultai Flayer when you go to kill it with removal. Try Throttle, it shrinks it down prior to it dying so the life gain ability doesn’t trigger. This can be relevant when you are Mardu and trying to close out the games as quickly as possible.

Throttle also works for their other 4 or greater toughness creatures while Sultai Flayer is in play. If you are attacking and they block with a 5-7 toughness blocker, Throttle will shrink it down and if your attacker kills it, they will gain no life. This can be relevant if Sultai Flayer is not the blocker you need to remove.

Smite the Monstrous [KTK]

Speaking of Throttle, if you have a really giant creature and you don’t want it to get killed via Smite the Monstrous you could shrink your creature with Throttle in response to make Smite the Monstrous fizzle (just make sure the creature has more than 4 toughness or your friends will likely laugh at you).

Who said Vigilance was only for Demonic Butchers and Mantis Riding Monks?

Singing Bell Strike [KTK]

Say it’s late in the game and you and your opponent have roughly 10 mana available and you are at 4, your opponent is at 10, and he has no cards in hand. You have a face up Pine Walker in play. Opponent has a lonely Bellowing Saddlebrute on his side. You draw Singing Bell Strike on your turn, and your opponents hand is empty. Rather than casting the Singing Bell Strike on his creature, you can cast it on yours. Just be sure to attack first. Post attack, play Singing Bell Strike and then untap your creature for 6. It’s like pseudo-vigilance for 8 mana on the first whack, and 6 mana thereafter. This allows you to attack through and untap your Pine Walker so it can represent a block. Who says you can’t have it all?

Finding uses for cards I otherwise wouldn’t play:

Brave the Sands [KTK]

This card always goes late in draft and rightfully so, as I’d put it in the top 10 worst cards in the set. I always try and think up scenarios where I might play a bad card. (Note: I still have not played this card and this is not a case to encourage you to do so, but more of a thought exercise). I believe if you drafted outlast.dek, this card might be viable.

Pros: Can allow you to attack with your outlast creatures and grow them at the same time.

Khans: Doesn’t affect the board by itself, requires other creatures. Can’t make use of the extra blocking if you are trying to grow your creature. Need a critical mass of outlast creatures to even begin to think about using this card.

Sorry I couldn’t resist the Khans pun, even though it has likely already been beaten to death.

Pearl Lake Ancient + Master the Way

Pearl Lake Ancient [KTK]  Master the Way [KTK]

This one is pretty simple, if you have your opponent at a low enough life total you can float the five mana necessary and then return 3, 6, or even more lands to your hand using Pearl Lake Ancient making the Master the Way deal lethal damage. You can respond to the trigger(s) multiple times so you can pick up as many lands in groups of 3 as you like.

Some of the 0 power guys don’t have defender!

Bloodfire Mentor [KTK] Embodiment of Spring [KTK] Dragon's Eye Savants [KTK] Disowned Ancestor [KTK]

If you had some sort of pump effect or aura this could be relevant. Make sure you don’t assume because it has zero power that it can’t attack. Swinging in for zero is a thing in KTK! Why? In a set with Raid, you can often attack your zero power guys into their board to trigger it. There are four particular cards in Khans. Bloodfire Mentor, Embodiment of Spring, Dragon’s Eye Savants and Disowned Ancestor. Feel free to attack away if you need to trigger raid. Speaking of Disowned Ancestor

Give ‘em the ol 1-2 punch (Curving out):

Disowned Ancestor [KTK] Kin-Tree Invocation [KTK]

Play Disowned Ancestor on T1 and Kin-Tree Invocation on T2. Having a 4/4 on T2 in this format is back-breaking, especially when you are on the play. If their T3 play is just a morph they are way behind.

Note you can also use this ability for any low casting cost creatures with high toughness like Archers' Parapet, etc. It allows for some pretty insane openings for the low cost of 2 mana.

Speaking of punches, one of my favorite commons in the set - Bear Punch!

Savage Punch [KTK] Abzan Guide [KTK]

Savage Punch is great on its own but there is nothing better than bear punching something with the Abzan Guide and then attacking with it. The life swings are incredible. If you Bear Punch your opponent's only blocker, you gain 6 life off the bat. Then you can attack and gain another 6 and hitting them. In addition to the dead bear, that's an 18 point life swing!

The Turtle Meanders so badly he ends up fighting for the wrong team.

Meandering Towershell [KTK] Act of Treason [KTK]

Now we come to my favorite interaction in the set. Meandering Towershell has some specific text which makes it interesting when you use a Threaten effect to steal the creature. If you cast Act of Treason targeting the turtle and attack it will exile and then come back on your next turn attacking because it says “under your control” not “under owners control.” This means the effect that was only supposed to last a turn is now permanent. Unfortunately you do have to give the turtle back at the end of the game.

Phew, we did it! I hope everyone can take something away from this article. If you have found any interesting interactions please post them in the comments section. This is my first MTG article ever, so I’d also appreciate any candid feedback as well. Thanks!

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