KTK: Warriors

W/B Warriors is a popular archetype in Khans of Tarkir draft, but I’ve had a difficult time making it come together on the couple of occasions I’ve tried. Often I’ll take an early Chief of the Scale and hope to pick up an additional Chief (Edge or Scale) and a Raiders’ Spoils, but instead will only see a couple of copies of Rush of Battle. I’ve also had the opposite happen, where I’ve passed an early Raiders’ Spoils when in black, only to get passed another copy later and then a Chief.

First, let’s refer back to the expected frequencies of cards in KTK. An 8-person draft will have an average of 2.4 copies of a given common and 0.9 copies of a given uncommon, so it’s not surprising that I often don’t see the tribal uncommons, especially since they’re all quite playable even outside the archetype. The Chiefs can be played in either Mardu or Abzan and are among the few good 2 drops in the format, and Raiders’ Spoils is decent even if you don’t have many Warriors, especially if you’re playing a token-heavy Mardu deck.

Next, let’s try to determine whether it worth trying to go into the archetype early. Khans of Tarkir has 29 Warriors and another 4 cards that produce Warrior tokens:

  • White: Mardu Hateblade, Mardu Hordechief, Sage-Eye Harrier, Seeker of the Way (uncommon), Take Up Arms (uncommon), Timely Hordemate (uncommon), Herald of Anafenza (rare)
  • Black: Disowned Ancestor, Krumar Bond-Kin, Mardu Skullhunter, Sultai Scavenger, Unyielding Krumar, Bellowing Saddlebrute (uncommon), Bloodsoaked Champion (rare)
  • Red: Mardu Blazebringer (uncommon), War-Name Aspirant (uncommon)
  • Green: Kin-Tree Warden, Woolly Loxodon, Heir of the Wilds (uncommon), Tuskguard Captain (uncommon)
  • Multicolor:
    • W/B: Chief of the Edge (uncommon), Chief of the Scale (uncommon)
    • B/G: Kin-Tree Invocation (uncommon)
    • Abzan: Abzan Guide
    • Mardu: Ponkback Brigade, Mardu Charm (uncommon), Mardu Roughrider (uncommon), Zurgo Helmsmasher (mythic)
    • Temur: Snowhorn Rider, Bear’s Companion (uncommon), Avalanche Tusker (rare), Savage Knuckleblade (rare), Surrak Dragonclaw (mythic)

I usually try to avoid playing marginal cards that are good only if I draw another card in my deck, so I will leave out Sage-Eye Harrier, Take Up Arms, Unyielding Krumar, Mardu Blazebringer, and Kin-Tree Warden from subsequent analysis. Also, Woolly Loxodon is too expensive to benefit from the Warrior tribal cards, and we’re unlikely to be able to use the Chiefs effectively in a Temur deck, so let’s ignore those cards as well.

Applying the expected frequencies, we find that there are an average of 30 Warriors in an 8-person draft: 11 in black, 7 in white, 2 in green, 1 in red, 4 in Mardu, 2 in Abzan, 2 in W/B, and 1 in B/G. This means that W/B has access to 20 playable Warriors, Abzan and Mardu deck have access to 25, and even B/G has access to 14.

However, many of these cards are likely to be of interest to other players in the draft also. If we assume that all players draft a wedge, then monocolored cards are shared by 5 drafters, wedge cards are shared by 1.5 drafters, and enemy-colored cards are shared by 3 drafters (since each enemy color pair appears in 2 wedges). That means we’re likely to end up with only 4 Warriors if we’re in W/B, 3 if we’re in B/G, 6.5 if we’re in Abzan, and 7.5 if we’re in Mardu. These numbers are important because they tell us that if we want to have enough Warriors to justify playing Raiders’ Spoils or Rush of Battle, we usually have to play either Abzan or Mardu, and also need to be willing to play some of the more marginal Warriors.

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KTK: PTQ Sealed Pool #3

I drove down to Portland for a Sealed PTQ this weekend. My pool was quite good and I think I came up with the right build, but I lost one match to bad luck (I drew twice as many lands as spells in game 3) and another to misplays when facing down a Pearl Lake Ancient. I dropped at 4-2 so I could get back at a reasonable hour. How would you have built this pool? (The pool is also posted on TappedOut, for those that find that easier to work with.) Post your build in the comments and I’ll do the same later this week.

Artifact
Abzan Banner
Cranial Archive
Mardu Banner
Sultai Banner
Temur Banner

White
Ainok Bond-Kin
Defiant Strike
Sage-Eye Harrier
2 Salt Road Patrol
3 Smite the Monstrous
2 Suspension Field
War Behemoth

Blue
Blinding Spray
Crippling Chill
Disdainful Stroke
Embodiment of Spring
Glacial Stalker
Scaldkin
Set Adrift
2 Singing Bell Strike
Treasure Cruise
Waterwhirl

Black
Debilitating Injury
Disowned Ancestor
Dutiful Return
Molting Snakeskin
Necropolis Fiend
Rakshasa’s Secret
Rotting Mastodon
Shambling Attendants
2 Unyielding Krumar

Red
Act of Treason
2 Barrage of Boulders
Bloodfire Expert
Bloodfire Mentor
2 Bring Low
Canyon Lurkers
Swift Kick
Trumpet Blast
2 Valley Dasher
War-Name Aspirant

Green
Alpine Grizzly
Highland Game
Kin-Tree Warden
Sagu Archer
Savage Punch
2 Scout the Borders
Tusked Colossodon
Tuskguard Captain
Windstorm
Woolly Loxodon

Multicolor
2 Abomination of Gudul
2 Abzan Charm
Chief of the Scale
Highspire Mantis
Mardu Charm
Mardu Roughrider
Mindswipe
Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
Sultai Ascendancy
Temur Ascendancy (foil)
Temur Charm
Warden of the Eye

Land
Bloodstained Mire
2 Dismal Backwater
Jungle Hollow
Opulent Palace
2 Scoured Barrens
Swiftwater Cliffs
Windswept Heath

KTK: PTQ Sealed Pool #2

We had another Sealed PTQ in Seattle this weekend and I did a lot better this time (6-3) despite misbuilding the pool. How would you have built this pool? (The pool is also posted on TappedOut, for those that find that easier to work with.) Post your build in the comments and I’ll do the same later this week.

Artifact
Abzan Banner
Cranial Archive
Jeskai Banner
Mardu Banner
2 Temur Banner

White
Defiant Strike
Erase
Firehoof Cavalry
Herald of Anafenza
Jeskai Student
Kill Shot
Mardu Hordechief
Siegecraft
2 Smite the Monstrous
Take Up Arms

Blue
Cancel
Crippling Chill
Embodiment of Spring
Force Away
2 Glacial Stalker
Kheru Spellsnatcher
Riverwheel Aerialists
Scion of Glaciers
2 Singing Bell Strike
Taigam’s Scheming
Treasure Cruise
Weave Fate

Black
Disowned Ancestor
Kheru Dreadmaw
Krumar Bond-Kin
2 Molting Snakeskin
Rakshasa’s Secret
Rotting Mastodon
Ruthless Ripper
Sultai Scavenger
Unyielding Krumar

Red
Arc Lightning
Arrow Storm
Barrage of Boulders
Bloodfire Expert
Bloodfire Mentor
2 Bring Low
Canyon Lurkers
Dragon-Style Twins
Horde Ambusher
Hordeling Outburst
Mardu Heart-Piercer
2 Mardu Warshrieker
Shatter

Green
Dragonscale Boon
Hardened Scales
Heir of the Wilds
Highland Game
Hooting Mandrills
Incremental Growth
Longshot Squad
Naturalize
Savage Punch
Seek the Horizon
Windstorm
3 Woolly Loxodon

Multicolor
Abzan Charm
Anafenza, the Foremost
Flying Crane Technique
Icefeather Aven
Mardu Roughrider
Ponyback Brigade
Snowhorn Rider
Temur Charm
Winterflame

Land
2 Blossoming Sands
Scoured Barrens
Swiftwater Cliffs
Wind-Scarred Crag

KTK: Sealed pool #2

Here’s another Sealed pool that I opened this week, as practice for the PTQ this weekend. (It’s also posted on TappedOut.) How would you have built this pool? Post your builds in the comments and I’ll post my build (also in the comments) tonight.

Artifact
Cranial Archive
Mardu Banner
Sultai Banner
2 Temur Banner

White
2 Ainok Bond-Kin
Brave the Sands
Erase
Feat of Resistance
Firehoof Cavalry
Mardu Hordechief
Smite the Monstrous
Suspension Field
Take Up Arms
2 War Behemoth

Blue
Cancel
Embodiment of Spring
Force Away
2 Monastery Flock
Quiet Contemplation
Riverwheel Aerialists
Scaldkin
Treasure Cruise
2 Weave Fate

Black
Dutiful Return
Gurmag Swiftwing
2 Kheru Dreadmaw
2 Krumar Bond-Kin
Murderous Cut
Raiders’ Spoils
Rakshasa’s Secret
Sidisi’s Pet
Unyielding Krumar

Red
3 Bloodfire Expert
Bloodfire Mentor
Canyon Lurkers
Dragon-Style Twins
Goblinslide
Hordeling Outburst
Leaping Master
Shatter
2 Tormenting Voice

Green
Alpine Grizzly
2 Archer’s Parapet
Awaken the Bear
Hardened Scales
2 Naturalize
Pine Walker
Sagu Archer
Savage Punch

Multicolor
2 Abomination of Gudul
2 Abzan Guide
Armament Corps
Deflecting Palm
Ivorytusk Fortress
Ponyback Brigade
Ride Down
Savage Knuckleblade
Snowhorn Rider
Sultai Charm
Sultai Soothsayer
Winterflame

Land
2 Jungle Hollow
Rugged Highlands
Swiftwater Cliffs
Sandsteppe Citadel
Tranquil Cove
Wind-Scarred Crag
Windswept Heath

KTK: PTQ Sealed Pool

I played in a Sealed PTQ in Seattle this weekend but didn’t do too well. Perhaps it’s how I built the pool, so I’m curious to see what others would have built. (The pool’s also posted on TappedOut, if you prefer.) Post your build in the comments and I’ll post my build in the comments later this week. This is also good practice for the PTQ this coming weekend.

Artifact
Cranial Archive
Lens of Clarity
Temur Banner
Ugin’s Nexus

White
Abzan Battle Priest
Ainok Bond-Kin
Brave the Sands
High Sentinels of Arashin
Kill Shot
Mardu Hateblade
Mardu Hordechief
Rush of Battle
2 Sage-Eye Harrier
2 Siegecraft
Suspension Field
Timely Hordemate
Venerable Lammasu
Watcher of the Roost

Blue
Cancel
Crippling Chill
Dig Through Time
Disdainful Stroke
Embodiment of Spring
Jeskai Windscout
Scaldkin
Weave Fate
Whirlwind Adept

Black
Debilitating Injury
Despise
Dutiful Return
Gurmag Swiftwing
Kheru Dreadmaw
Molting Snakeskin
Rite of the Serpent
Rotting Mastodon
Ruthless Ripper
Shambling Attendants
Sidisi’s Pet
2 Throttle

Red
2 Act of Treason
2 Ainok Tracker
Arrow Storm
2 Barrage of Boulders
Bloodfire Expert
Bring Low
Mardu Warshrieker
Monastery Swiftspear
Summit Prowler
Swift Kick

Green
Archer’s Parapet
Dragonscale Boon
Hooting Mandrills
2 Longshot Squad
Meandering Towershell
3 Savage Punch
2 Scout the Borders
Seek the Horizon
Sultai Flayer

Multicolor
Deflecting Palm
Duneblast
Efreet Weaponmaster
Mardu Charm
Ponyback Brigade
Secret Plans
2 Snowhorn Rider
Sultai Charm
Winterflame

Land
Blossoming Sands
Frontier Bivouac
Swiftwater Cliffs
Thornwood Falls
2 Wind-Scarred Crag