Tarkir is a plane based off a variety of cultures across Asia. If some of this information seems inconsistent (e.g. 2 seemingly mutually exclusive events, or tenses seemed mixed up), that is probably because WotC R&D decided to go with a time travel approach. The time paradox directly and drastically effects this plane (and will later effect other planes after where the pre-Fate Reforged time line was). However not as drastic one would think given the difference of a world shaping event and 1,200 years thereafter (e.g. the clan leaders, such as Zurgo, still exist in Dragons of Tarkir, though not in quite the same form).
This is Sarkhan Vol's place of birth. Wasn't really tied to Tarkir after... his spark ignited and received dishonorable discharge. It is also home to Ugin. It was also the place of the Pre-Mending battle between Ugin and Nicol Bolas. In the Dragons of Tarkir timeline, Narset's spark ignites.
Clans (Mainly Khans of Tarkir stuff)
Each clan (in Khans of Tarkir) is a wedge. A wedge, in mtg, is a color combination of a color and its 2 enemies. The clans were centered in a single color, and also include one of that color's allies and one of its enemies. In the mana cost of the wedge cards, the color the clan is primarily based around is to the left. The middle color is the enemy of both remaining colors to emphasize in Triple Khans draft (which aren't really being done anymore), its much more flexible to go into 2 enemy colors first instead of 2 allied colors first. The last color is simply the remaining color. The first word of the clans is sometimes used to describe a decks color, regardless of if it actually matches it's clan's theme (e.g. an Abzan deck is any WBG deck).
|Clans of Tarkir|
| Abzan Houses
| Jeskai Way
| Sultai Brood
Tarkir was dominated by five clans: Abzan, Jeskai, Sultai, Mardu, and Temur. Each clan fought primarily against a dragon and its brood, and came to worship a prominent aspect of their respective former enemy. Although early on in the block it seemed like all dragons shared these attributes and each clan was worshiping a a virtue of "the dragon".
Abzan chose endurance, symbolized by a dragon's scale. They built their society on communal magic and family ties, and the ability to outlast and endure harm. Their architecture and desert dwellings suggest Middle Eastern influence.
Jeskai chose cunning, symbolized by a dragon's eye. Their society included a large number of monks, martial artists, and sages, and valued self-improvement. They are inspired by Chinese Shaolin monks.
Sultai chose ruthlessness, symbolized by a dragon's fang. This clan is dominated by necromancers, both human and otherwise, and developed many creative ways to make use of dead people and things. Their Nagas and Rakshasas are taken from Indian culture.
Mardu chose speed, symbolized by a dragon's wings. These people have a stereotypically Mongolian image, being made up of nomadic communities that make extensive use of horse archers and lightning raids on other territories.
Temur chose savagery, symbolized by a dragon's claws. This clan deliberately seeks out Siberia-like hostile arctic environments and lives in a survivalist manner (but with shamanic magic and such).
Here There Be Dragons (mainly Fate Reforged and Dragons of Tarkir stuff)
After Sarkhan Vol's wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey actions in Fate Reforged, the situation as depicted in Khans of Tarkir is no longer current. A number of things changed as a result of his intervention, but many of the fundamentals are the same in Dragons of Tarkir - there are still five clans, but the world is now dominated by dragons instead of by humanoids.
The Legendary Dragons that lead the broods are the same color combination as the clan they oppose except they are missing the enemy color. Also the order of the 2 remaining colors in the mana cost is the opposite, so the main color is on the right this time, not the left. By the time Dragons of Tarkir comes out, the "clans" are going to be led by dragons, instead of Khans. The dragons leading the clans are called Dragonlords, and have the elder creature subtype. The reason clans was in quotation marks is at least one of the dragons (Ojutai) decided to outlaw that word. Also at least 4 of them decided to outlaw the word "Khan" (possible exception Atarka). Atarka seems to be leaning towards a hands off approach towards the Temur, provided they continue to pay tribute (ie. get her food). Otherwise, the clans are fairly similar in many ways; there's still one based on martial arts and self-improvement, one that's an undead dystopia, etc.
|Settings of Magic: The Gathering|
|Pre-revisionist:|| First Magic Sets - First Urza Block - Arabian Nights |
Legends - Homelands - Ice Age - Mirage
|Weatherlight Saga:|| Portal Starter Sets - Second Urza Block |
Tempest Block - Masques Block - Invasion Block
|Post-Weatherlight:||Otaria Block - Mirrodin - Kamigawa - Ravnica - Time Spiral|
|After the Mending:|| Lorwyn - Alara - Zendikar - New Phyrexia |
Innistrad - Return to Ravnica - Theros - Tarkir
|Two-Block Paradigm:||Kaladesh - Amonkhet - Ixalan|
|Never in a standard set:||Fiora (Where the Conspiracy sets take place)|