|“||Outlast your opponents with the “Abzan Siege” deck! Like the scales of the dragon, individuals within the Abzan Clan come together to create a force more powerful than the sum of its parts.
Many of your creatures, such as Ainok Bond-Kin and Abzan Battle Priest, give useful abilities to all of your creatures with at least one +1/+1 counter. When you have spare mana, use your creatures’ outlast abilities so that you have as many creatures with +1/+1 counters as you can. The longer the game goes, the bigger your creatures will get. Eventually they will grow into an unstoppable force, letting you finish off the game in a few powerful attacks.
If you need to trade creatures in combat, make sure you’re giving up something like Child of Night and not a creature that’s giving a bonus to your whole team. Use your removal spells like Kill Shot to keep your opponent’s creatures at bay while you build your forces. When you’re ready to move in for the kill, Abzan Falconer will take your creatures to the skies to bypass your opponent’s blockers.
When you’re ready to customize your deck, keep an eye out for other Abzan cards. Abzan Ascendancy puts a +1/+1 counter on every creature you control, making it a great fit for this deck. Siege Rhino is a powerful white-black-green creature that can instantly fortify your defenses. Anafenza, the Foremost, khan of the Abzan, is a legendary creature that can lead your troops to crushing victory, powering up one of your creatures every time she attacks.
|“||The followers of the Jeskai Way hold up the eye of the dragon as their symbol, looking inward to find the path to enlightenment. These powerful martial artists are trained to master the physical world and overpower their opponent’s brute force with clever skill.
The prowess ability found on many Jeskai creatures gives them +1/+1 every time you cast a noncreature spell. When you control a number of creatures with this ability, casting sorceries and enchantments before you can attack can create a team of impressive attackers. Because your instants also pump your creatures with prowess, as long as you have cards in hand and untapped lands, your opponents won’t know just how big your prowess creatures can get.
The key to using a Jeskai deck is knowing when to use your noncreature spells. Often, you will be able to with a conservative approach, holding back spells and trading creatures while you use fliers like Highspire Mantis to close out the game. Other times you will win quickly by casting several instants in a single turn, finishing up with one of your big spells like Flying Crane Technique.
Several other Jeskai cards can give your deck an edge. Mantis Rider supports a Jeskai deck well with its hard-hitting flying body. Jeskai Ascendancy makes casting your noncreature spells even better, growing your creatures while it helps you find your best cards. The legendary creature Narset, Enlightened Master is a great in a deck to use prowess, as she can give you extra spells to cast each time you attack with her!
|“||The Sultai Brood—represented by the fang of the dragon—is ruthless and pitiless, seeking power and wealth in all forms. The Sultai think nothing of making a profitable pact with demons, nor using necromancy to crush their enemies with the power of the grave.
Using the delve ability, you can use your graveyard as a resource in order to cast big spells and even bigger creatures earlier in the game. Each card you exile from your graveyard when you cast a delve spell pays for of that spell’s cost. This makes cards like Scout the Borders that quickly fill your graveyard very powerful in this deck.
When you play a Sultai deck, you’ll often have the first big creature on the battlefield. If you follow up with cards like Throttle and Murderous Cut to kill other large creatures, your creatures can easily too large for your opponents to deal with. One other advantage to removal spells in a delve-based strategy is that when you cast one of them early, it provides more fuel to cast your other delve spells.
Look for other cards in the Khans of TarkirTM set when you’re ready to make the Sultai your own. Death Frenzy can destroy lots of creatures at once, and is especially good against an aggressive opponent with small creatures. Sultai Ascendancy continually fills your graveyard and gets you closer to your best cards. The legendary Sidisi, Brood Tyrant is particularly powerful, as she can create a horde of Zombies while putting more cards in your graveyard.
|“||The Mardu Horde spreads destruction across the face of Tarkir, conquering and pillaging territory before moving on. They charge into battle just as swiftly and relentlessly as their symbol, the wing of the dragon, would suggest.
When playing a Mardu deck, be sure to attack early and often to get the maximum benefit of the clan’s raid abilities. A great start involves casting several cheap creatures and attacking to pump early raid creatures like Mardu Skullhunter and War-Name Aspirant. Start whittling away your opponent’s life total before he or she can defend against your horde of creatures, then use cards like Trumpet Blast to pump your whole team and press your attack. Don’t let up!
While it’s good to stay aggressive, if you need to hold off for a few turns to build your forces, you still may want to attack with a single creature before you cast a powerful raid spell like Arrow Storm. Casting a removal spell like Crackling Doom before you attack can clear the way for your creatures to attack effectively.
To personalize your deck, keep an eye out for Butcher of the Horde, a devastating flying creature to add to your ranks. Utter End exiles any nonland permanent, making it an effective answer to opposing threats. And, of course, as the khan of the Mardu Horde, Zurgo Helmsmasher smashes face as an indestructible attacking creature capable of growing larger every turn.
1 Heat Ray
|“||The Temur are a clan of nomadic warriors living in the inhospitable northern territories of Tarkir. In those difficult conditions, under the banner of the dragon’s claw, they defend their territory against outsiders by harnessing the savagery of nature itself.
Many Temur cards have ferocious abilities, making them more powerful if you control a creature with power 4 or greater. Because controlling a large creature improves many spells in your deck, it’s important to get one onto the battlefield and keep it there. Then, cards like Heir of the Wilds and Savage Punch will give you extra fuel to overwhelm your opponents.
One of the best creatures in your deck is the unassuming Elvish Mystic, which lets you accelerate into your bigger threats. You can protect your creatures with cards like Stubborn Denial and Roar of Challenge. It’s okay to avoid blocking with your 4-power creatures, as having access to your ferocious abilities can be the difference between winning and losing.
Other Temur cards can be great inclusions in this deck when you look to personalize it. Savage Knuckleblade is an efficient creature with several useful abilities, and it even gives you access to ferocious for the low cost of three mana. Rattleclaw Mystic can help accelerate you mana better than most other cards, letting you cast a six-mana spell on turn four! The great khan of the Temur, Surrak Dragonclaw, is a legendary creature that allows your monsters to trample over your opponents.