Khan - by Steve Crow
When you exhaust your Endurance, you only lose 3 Ability.
You may have up to 4 Master cards.
Who can forget the stirring performance and sheer
magnetism of Raoul Trujillo as Khubal Khan, an enigmatic
character so shrouded in mystery that his very name is
never mentioned on-screen? Who astounds the audience
with his mystical ability to track an Immortal from Japan
to New York City, and then to a hospital within that
Oh, well almost everyone probably did forget. But thanks
to Thunder Castle, we have Mr. Trujillo's memorable
performance captured on a series of cards. The question
is, how good exactly are those cards, and the Persona
As far as game-mechanic questions, there's no Persona
ability simpler than Khan's. Any time you draw the last
card of your Endurance, instead of losing five Ability,
you lose three. Any questions concerning the mechanics
of that have been addressed elsewhere. Khan merely
reduces the Ability loss by two.
Initially, Khan started off with the mostly the standard
complement of pre-WC cards. That includes: Back Away,
Dodge, Power Blow, Combination, Extra Shot, and Trip.
Pre-Gathering, he also had five other rares. Two of
those were the then-standard Battle Rage and
All of these were the same as most other Personas. The
three Rares he had that were his and his alone were his
Armor/Object cards: Breastplate, Helmet, and Greaves.
Any one of these could provide complete protection from
some Slashes. All three in conjunction can protect from
a column Slash, or a Duncan/Connor diagonal Slash. Only
against the newer, 2 pt. Saber Slashes and Cleaves do
they provide less than 100% protection.
With the release of The Gathering, Khan gains additional
Object-support and enhancement cards. His three new
cards are Plunder, Forged Armor, and Armorer.
Forged Armor gives Khan a fairly unique Persona-specific
tool from preventing Event damage without having to play
a card to do it. Several game notes: Forged Armor and
Armorer (if the latter is in play waiting to be swept)
_are_ considered to be "Armor" cards. And Forged Armor
only works once per turn, although it can work against
multiple sources of Event damage. In other words, if FA
and two additional pieces of Armor are out, it will
prevent three damage _total_ each turn from Event damage,
not prevent three damage against _each_ damaging Event.
Plunder allows Khan to add the number of Objects (divided
by two, round down) he has in play as a bonus to the
damage he does with a successful attack. Unlike most
attack enhancement, this works on any attack, not just
basic attacks. If Khan has six Objects in play, his
basic Slashes do four damage, not one.
Armorer, an Edge, is the last of his new Gathering cards.
This fairly straightforward card lets Khan get his
multiple Objects out quicker.
Objects! Play them faster due to Armorer, and gain
damage to your attacks from Plunder.
What's on the list? Ancestral Blade, of course. Quality
Blade, either one of the "generic" versions, or the one
matching whichever Weapon of Choice Khan takes. Ancient
Blade, particularly since with Armorer you can play a
Quality Blade and then an Ancient Blade on the same turn.
Extra Weapons galore, so much that Khan should almost
never bother with Watcher/Fair Fight as a method of
rearming. Since Khan can have multiple Improvised
Weapon/Objects in play, this is good in itself or in
conjunction with Extra Weapon. Regardless, Khan should
almost never be disarmed for long.
Don't forget using Darius to add in other Objects.
Besides their inherent benefits, Hogg, Flying
Machine/Wings, and Equalizer give Khan both more
protection (from Forged Armor) and more damage (from
Along with Objects go Object-retrieval and protection.
Alex Johnson is probably the best choice here, for
reasons that we'll see below. Archaic Collection means
Khan needs to slog through all those Objects in his
Endurance again, putting them back into play once per
turn. Since Armorer is restricted to 2, this can take a
Conjure can get out those Objects faster, while Security
Guard/Object will protect a critical one if you're
worried about it being removed from play and your
opponent than using Amnesia on it.
With all these Objects, and Object-related Specials,
Khan's decks tend to be somewhat on the large side. Use
Big & Bad as necessary.
Since one hope for Khan winning is getting off a few
critical hits using Plunder, make sure your opponent
can't escape. Carl and The Gathering can prove useful
Cards that burn you through your Endurance, as long as
you share the pain with your opponent, can also be to
Khan's advantage. Challenge/ME and Avery Hoskins can
actually enhance Khan's Object-based strategy (see
The new Cull the Weak is another great card for Khan.
Even the first one can prove annoying. The third one is
difficult to get out (particularly if the first two make
you go past it in your Endurance), but if successful,
contributes to Khan winning in an Endurance-burn "race."
Along those lines, Improvised Weapon/Attack can help an
opponent along towards Endurance burn, and give Khan
something to do on those turns when he Backs Away, if he
doesn't want to use Pistols.
And while you're making your opponent go through his
Endurance, losing cards rather than playing them, don't
forget Amnesia. Once he goes past that useful card,
remove it from the game.
Dr. Sonny Jackson, always a useful card, becomes even
more useful when used atop the damage prevention of
Khan's Armor, and Forged Armor. What may reduce damage
to a point or two with Dr. Sonny becomes no damage
whatsoever when Armor reduces it by another point.
Forged Armor means that if Khan plays Angry Mob/SE, he
can avoid the damage without relying on Careful Planning.
Other then those, Khan remains "generic" enough that most
cards can help him under the right circumstances.
For obvious reasons, Second Wind is totally useless to
Desert. Desert. Desert. No Location is more useful to
Khan than this one. In a race of Endurance burning, Khan
is inevitably going to come out on top because of his
Persona ability. And again, as we'll see, Khan having
his Objects in his discard pile is often-times more
useful than having them in his Endurance.
As for the rest: it's easier to determine which
Locations do _not_ particularly benefit Khan. Since
Forged Armor can handle most Event damage, he probably
doesn't need Spiritual Center. Mental Ward, with it's
anti-Object playing capability, is probably a no-no
unless Khan wishes to attempt an over-elaborate Mental
A heavy anti-damage strategy, with Armor and Dr. Sonny,
means that Khan can handle Lighthouse and Laundry Room a
little better if they backfire.
If you grow tired of your opponent running to Holy
Ground, Disappearing, or Living Forever when you're ready
to Plunder, Ring of Fire might prove useful to you.
Slashes can also prove lethal in conjunction with Khan's
Plunder. Guards are the best way to avoid them, so use
Ruins, Add anti-dodge cards like Master's Advance to
further restrict them.
If you plan on using Claymore (see below), Sulphur Plant
(due to Shifting Sands) and Rail Yard can also prove
useful. Rail Yard is probably a better choice, since
Hammer Blow is a Power Blow, and thus means Khan could
end up taking a fall in the Sulphur Plant. Alternately,
build you Khan deck with Up and At Them as well to
quickly recover your feet.
Other than that, take your pick as far as what to use.
If you want to build a Watcher deck, take Watcher
Regional HQ. Want to disarm and keep your opponent from
playing Specials? Use Slaughter House. Want to use
Spear? Add Catwalk and drop out Khan's Dodges.
Weapons of Choice
Again, Khan can potentially profit from any Weapon of
Choice. He's generic enough that any particular one can
work for him in the right strategy.
A favorite of this author's, however, is Claymore.
Again, this card can put Objects into Khan's discard,
letting him access them later. It also leads to another
Endurance-burn "race." All but the most elusive Personas
are going to lose some cards due to blocking. And if
Khan and his opponent both "burn" at about the same time,
Khan comes out on top. Also, use Sulphur Plant/Shifting
Sands or Rail Yard to take advantage of Claymore's Hammer
Spear is a fairly reliable Weapon of Choice for anyone.
Simply add Catwalk, and force your opponent into Exerting
if he plays those Back Aways.
How to Win
Object reliance is the first step. Put in Khan's
Persona-specific Armor and Forged Armor. Use Armorer to
get them out faster. Add other Objects: Parrying Blade,
a Quality Blade, Extra Weapon, and Ancestral Blade for
starters, as these can all prove useful.
If you plan on running past cards in your deck, add Alex
Johnson and possibly Archaic Collection. Even if you
don't, you can use these cards to get back Objects your
Now, add Plunder. Now you've got the damage bonus. How
do you hit them?
Since Plunder modifies any attack, Slash is one way to
pull this off. Use Ruins and non-Location anti-dodge to
keep them on their toes, and that Slash now does 3+
damage rather than 1. Claymore's Cleaves and Saber's
Slashes can also prove useful here.
Another, although somewhat predictable way, is to use the
ever-popular Darius/Seduce-Amanda. If you want to make a
Power Blow, use Master Swordsman or the Slan Quickening
rather than Exert.
A third way is to use Extra Shot. Extra Shot plus
Flashing Blade still remains a reliable combo. If your
opponent doesn't have Bait & Switch (or if Duncan, is
using Inner Strength), they're going to have to go to
some effort to avoid that second attack. For extra
damage, use the "free" Power Blow tactics suggested above.
And let's not forget Battle Rage. Often overlooked, it
can still prove formidable if the opponent can't escape
through other means (see Ring of Fire). And thanks to
Plunder, only one attack has to hit for serious damage to
ensue. Take advantage of the fact you can play Slashes
from your Exertion.
Angry Mob/SE, used in conjunction with Forged Armor, can
whittle down an opponent. Unlike Careful Planning,
Forged Armor not only protects Khan from his own Event
damage, but his opponent's as well. Obviously, don't
play Angry Mob/SE the same turn your opponent is doing
direct damage to you.
Use these strategies on their own, or in conjunction with
Endurance-draining. Use Desert, Improvised Weapon/
Attack, Cull the Weak, Claymore, and possibly Avery
Hoskins or Challenge/ME to keep them going through their
Endurance and burning. You'll be doing the same, but if
you use two Watcher/Treatments, you'll actually come out
ahead by one Ability.
How to Defeat
Thief has fallen on hard times since its Gathering re-
release. Playing this against an Object-heavy Khan can
be the equivalent of suicide.
Mental Ward can slow Khan down. Encumbrance can prove a
bit more useful in penalizing Khan for heavy Object-
usage. Still, Khan's probably ready to burn past cards,
so Encumbrance may not hit him as hard as you might hope.
Misfortune remains a reliable tool for dealing with
Objects, if a bit slow. You may not be able to deal with
every Object Khan puts out, but at least you can remove
that Forged Armor if you hope to use direct damage Events
against him. Ditto for Police against his Plunder.
Don't be tempted to Police his other Situations: there's
probably a Plunder lurking in Khan's deck somewhere, and
you'll want to Police it just before Khan scores a
successful attack for damage.
Also, don't forget that a Helmet is no protection against
a Head Shot.
As for Khan's Nemesis, Fatigue...eh. It's probably one
of the weakest Nemesis cards of the game. It only
targets Khan's Persona ability. However, unlike many
Persona abilities, Khan's does not work every turn. He
only needs to deal with Fatigue once each pass through
his Endurance. Focus and Police/Remove Sit can handle it
Oh, and finally...if you're Amanda, either whip out that
Kurgan Q or forget it. Good luck ever getting through
Khan's Armor, and it even reduces the damage done by a
Overall, Steve gives Khan a _6_. From a minor-league
wuss in his original release, Khan has become a fairly
versatile Persona. He combines attack-prevention,
direct-damage prevention, and attack/damage bonuses in a
way that very few other Personas do. Fasil may be a
great swordsman, and Ceirdwyn can do umpteeen-dozen
multi-attacks, but what can they do to avoid Event and
attack damage? Khan's in a unique position to take
advantage of cards like Cull the Weak and Desert, and
recent errata such as Thief means his primary strength is
hard to negate.
What Our Other Raters Say:
Hank - Khan has a good Persona ability for prolonged
play, so I've always tended to build Khan decks that
force play to last awhile. His cards were _completely_
generic except for the Armors, which kind of sucked, but
with ME2 he's got some fun cards finally. With the
neutering of Thief, a Khan deck with Plunder and lots of
Objects is a fun thing. Still, he's not a powerhouse by
Alan - Abstain
Jeff - Before The Gathering, Khan had the unfortunate
distinction of competing with Luther for worst Persona in
the game. One of the stated goals for TCG was to make
Khan viable. Did the changes succeed? Well, partially.
He gains a strong anti-cheese card (Forged Armor), which
works so well he'll usually be playing cheese to take
advantage of it. He gains the ability to put out Objects
quickly via Armorer. And he gains the ability to do
additional damage with attacks with Plunder. He's
definitely stronger now, perhaps even above the level of
the average SE/ME/WC persona. Unfortunately, though, the
Methos and Duncan Collections have raised the bar for
Personas even higher, which means that poor Khan is still
left in the dust. Overall, though, he's still not to be
overlooked, even if he does tend to be slow and cycle
Prodipto - Khan has been limited in effectiveness in most
decks I've seen. While tremendously well suited to
Deserts, and able to become quickly immune to Pistols and
Slashes, he lacks a cohesive strategy that he can
leverage in a competitive environment. In "friendly"
play, Khan can make an effective turnover strategy. His
best friend is Darius in a competitive atmosphere, since
then he can maximize Plunder through judicious use of
Allen - Kahn has been long overlooked in the game of
Highlander. While he's still not first-string material,
he is getting closer. Kahn gets a big boost from the
increasing ability to get and keep Objects in play. With
Conjure, Alex Johnson, and Archaic Collection you should
be able to keep four or five Objects in play at a time.
All these Objects help protect you from sword damage
(Armor), disarm strategies (Extra Weapon), cheese (via
Forged Armor), _and_ they now help your offense. Once
you've got four or more Objects in play, a single Slash
through your opponent's defenses almost feels like a
Power Blow. Kahn's defects continue to be his relatively
weak Persona ability and his low number of Master Cards.
Still, he can now make a decent showing for himself.
Bruce - I believe that Khan has gained more from recent
cards/errata/rules than any other non-expansion/
collection Immortal. You can make very effective direct
damage and Object-oriented decks using Khan. It can
certainly be effectively argued that this has brought him
into line with other 'average' Immortals. Even so, the
recent release of decent numbers of 'above-average'
Personas leaves me giving Khan a below average rating.
Stealth Dave - At first glance, Khan seems little better
than a Generic Immortal, having only one more Master slot
(with a Generic Persona) and actually fewer non-Reserved
cards. Khan's power is not to be underestimated. Neither
are his Armor and newer ME2 cards, especially with cards
like Alex Johnson and Conjure. But with the new "Power
Personas" coming out of TCG, Khan can now be called
decidedly average, which is not a bad feat when competing
with the likes of Methos, Duncan, Kurgan, and Iman Fasil.
Jonathan - Previous to the release of the Gathering, few
would consider constructing any sort of viable tournament
deck with Khan. His primary strength lies in Objects,
which he has access to amongst his Persona-specific
cards, and the ability to play them quickly, through the
use of Armorer. Thus, Khan can quickly set up a stiff
defense against low damage attacks (Slash, Amanda etc.).
He also fears exhaustion less than other Immortals, and
can compete well with a small deck. With a means of
preventing direct damage as well, Khan is beginning to
sound pretty good. However, when one decides to use Khan,
they might find that he has little offense. His one
offensive card, Plunder, gives him the ability to do a
great deal of extra damage, but he has few options with
which to achieve a successful attack. He could Darius in
any number of offensive cards (Seduce, etc.) but this
requires more set-up than is usually desired. His best
bet is to use difficult to defend attacks, such as
Pistols and Slashes, and hope to wear his opponent's
defense down. Traditionally, this strategy has not won
Khan a great deal of tournaments. Khan can compete with a
variety of different gimmicks and stall tactics, but
these efforts seem less viable in today s attack
environment. I ve seen some decent Khan L&M decks, but he
just doesn't have the offensive tools to compete with any
of the top Immortals.
Charles - I like Khan a lot because the difference
between winning and losing is sometimes having to take
Endurance burn; three when compared with the normal five
makes Khan ideal in these situations. Outside of this
there is not much to Khan. He is capable of preventing up
to three points of Event damage per turn with the aid of
Armor and can then incorporate Angry Mob/SE in order to
turn a defensive mechanism offensive. The armored Khan
deck has been termed Voltron by Jim Eckhardt who I
believe first built the deck.
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The card text is copyright 1996 by Thunder Castle Games.
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