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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


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Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
- Khans of Tarkir

Reviewed Oct. 1, 2014

Constructed: 4.13
Casual: 4.50
Limited: 4.88
Multiplayer: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Deck Garage

Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

The most powerful and impactful planeswalkers have been the ones that come down early, since building up loyalty is usually a slow process. Sarkhan doesn't hit play until turn five, but his +1 has a lot more immediate board impact than most other 'walkers. If this were just a 4/4 dragon for five with flaying, haste, and indestructible, that'd be amazing. It isn't though-- there's still the fact that he can lose loyalty on your opponent's turn by being attacked. But he also gets more bonuses than that. If you don't need a 4/4 flyer, or just need something else dead more, you can use his -3 to burn out a creature. Sarkhan comes with enough starting loyalty to do this immediately, but will almost certainly bite it afterwards unless you kill your opponent's only creature. That makes him your choice of a 4/4 hasty flyer OR a kill spell for five mana-- definitely worth the price.

Sarkhan's Ultimate is an interesting ability-- you draw an extra two cards every turn, but you're not allowed to keep any of them. Cast them on your turn or not at all! It's a very Red approach to draw, and I like that Red has started to carve its own niche in the card-draw game, but I think that honestly Sarkhan's first two abilities are far more generally useful. Which is fine, since they're the ones he'll live long enough to use.

Constructed- 3.5
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 5
Multiplayer- 4

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
 
I've seen Sarkhan's other cards numerous times since their respective releases, but I never noticed that his clothes were world-appropriate for Tarkir until just now. Did they change his costume when the world was designed? Or did they design the world based on his costume? I'd like to believe it was the latter!
 
Considering that Magic is the spiritual descendant of Dungeons and Dragons, they haven't always done enough over the years to include references to dragons and really, truly let you harness their powers. (I also love that his ultimate is a reference to iconic cards like Dragon Mage and Wheel of Fortune. If there's an idea that red should be about more than "Yahhhh fire", look to the past as well as the future.) Sarkhan is a welcome step in that direction, and is the sort of card that adds another gear to both aggressive and controlling strategies. "Huge aerial attack with no warning" is a nightmare for any opponent, and Sarkhan's -3 is a decent hedge against one of the common answers to planeswalkers (as in, it kills things that Lightning Strike can't).
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker which is a five mana Red planeswalker with four loyalty.  The +1 makes him a Legendary
4/4 Red dragon with Flying, Indestructible and Haste until end of turn. 
This is a very useful effect to increase loyalty with as it is a solid threat offensively and will either deal some damage or likely destroy a blocker.  The -3 deals four damage to target creature which is useful as removal, but somewhat situational compared to repeatedly using the +1. 

The -6 gives you an emblem that has you draw two extra cards at the draw step then at the end step you discard your hand.  This is also quite situational, but in a lower mana curve aggressive or burn deck has few real drawbacks as the hand can easily be played each turn.  Overall this Sarkhan is a nice fit at the top of the mana curve in a very aggressive deck as it applies pressure both as a creature and later by filling the hand, so it will see at least some play across current formats.
 
In Limited this is a very easy first pick in Booster and top choice in Sealed as a difficult to remove 4/4 with evasion and Haste if for no other reason.  The other effects definitely have situational value and this is a top card in the format, particularly as one that isn't three colors which allows many different decks to include it.
 
 
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.5

Mattedesa

Deck Garage
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
 
Planeswalkers are always among the most anticipated and most powerful cards in the set. Sarkhan does not disappoint. At very least, you can pay 5 mana for a 4/4 flier with haste, which seems to remind me of another pretty popular creature named Stormbreath, but perhaps even better on offense because it is indestructible. If swinging with a 4/4 dragon isn't what the circumstance calls for, you can take out an opposing Stormbreath (or other 4 toughness creature).
 
The emblem might at fist seem less powerful than some, and perhaps it is, but it gives you an additional three cards each turn. Discarding your hand at the end of the turn is not as big a problem as it sounds. If you have worked Sarkhan up to his ultimate, you had to have at least 5 mana to play him in the first place, then 3 turns later, you might have 2-3 more. If you build your deck with enough inexpensive spells, you can probably play most if not all of those three cards you draw each turn. Your opponent is going to have a really hard time keeping up with that pace. And again, there are a lot of strategies where you actually want something in your graveyard, so it could be used for that advantage as well.
 
Some planeswalkers are very tailored towards certain decks, but Sarkhan is not. Unless you're playing a super fast burn deck, there aren't too many times when a deck that can support 2 red mana symbols isn't going to improve with the Dragonspeaker's presence.
 
Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 5
Limited: 5
Multiplayer: 4.5

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