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Through the Lens of Khans


Lens of Clarity [KTK]

The worst limited card in Khans?

I always write down my misplays as I make them, especially if I'm playing online. Over time we can observe trends and spend time focusing on the things that are hampering our game the most. One thing that has happened to me in Khans a few too many times is failure to sequence my lands properly because I didn't pay attention to what was in my deck. I already knew this was important, but sometimes we have to relearn the same lessons and go back to the fundamentals.

"It's like deja vu all over again." - Yogi Berra

Bottom Line: Know what cards are in your deck & sequence your lands properly

Study your deck, and if you are short on time, just make sure you pay particular attention to cards you will want to play on the early turns of the game. For Khans this is your 1- and 2-drop creatures and a handful of the low casting cost spells. In between the early rounds of a tournament take a second to thumb through your deck a few times and make sure you know what cards you have and their casting costs.

In Khans I've made a few blunders in the early turns and it often has to do with playing tap lands. This is extremely critical in Khans because we have so many lands that come into play tapped. The pitfall is when I have 2 tap lands and 1 basic land.

For example, I play Blossoming Sands on turn 1. Turn 2 I draw Disowned Ancestor and can't cast it as I drop my Scoured Barrens. Or say my basic land is a swamp: If I play my swamp turn 2 and play the Disowned Ancestor, I can't play a morph on turn 3 as I drop my tap land into play.

Why does this matter? "So what, I didn't get to cast a card, I'll cast it later."

The first few turns are more critical than most will give them credit for, especially in Khans. This is because it's easier to understand what went wrong in the late part of the game, right before you lost. Maybe you got blown out by a combat trick or a removal spell, but what if you wouldn't have been in that situation had you sequenced your first few turns correctly. Sometimes a small mistake can cost a few life points, but there are times when a small advantage like that can add up to a game loss. The worst is when it's a game you could have actually won.

Sequencing lands/plays is important in other draft formats when you have double casting cost cards such as Pharika's Cure in Theros. You may end up playing island first and then regret it later when you can't cast your Pharika's Cure on turn 2 as they cast some sweet 2 drop you'd love to get rid of. This happens a lot when you don't have the Pharika's Cure in your opening hand and you draw it off the top. You finally cast your Pharika's Cure on turn 3, but the damage is done. You are now behind a turn on tempo. That can lead you to make plays you wouldn't have had to because you are on the back foot. When you are far behind you will often have to open yourself up to two for ones hoping your opponent doesn't have the spell that will punish you.

Khans has many cards that are color intensive. 2 drops like Icefeather Aven can be played face up on turn 2 to help swing the tempo in your favor. Or maybe you have a warrior lord you'd like to drop on turn 2.

You will find yourself behind if you are on the draw more often than not in this format, which leads to a lot of racing. The turn where you get to stabilize and turn the game around often takes casting 2 spells in a turn. If you misplay your lands in the early turns, that can lead to a loss on the back end.

If you are playing online I'd recommend taking a screen shot and referring to your decklist when you are unsure how to sequence your lands.

Have you made any blunders while playing Khans that we can all learn from? Please comment below.

One last point, for those that might be asking, what if I have multiple plays I can make based off of what I might draw? In that case I'd like to play for the card that I'd most like to draw based on the context of the game state and the matchup. But in general I'd play my lands in a sequence which gives me the most flexibility in terms of spells I can cast. Hope this helps you get back these few percentage points of wins that you might be missing otherwise.

 


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