Murders at Karlov Manor Prereleases begin this Friday, setting the course for what should be a fun set. Due to somewhat recent changes affecting the tournament legality of MTG cards, though, Murders at Karlov Manor cards will be available for Constructed tournament use as early as this Friday. As you’ve probably noticed during spoiler season, there are some powerful cards that are sure to mix things up in various formats.
Earlier, we covered the best Karlov Manor cards for Pioneer play. While there are certainly a handful of strong additions to Pioneer, it’s very likely that the most drastic metagame changes happen within the Standard format. As such, we felt it was important to go over the cards that we felt would have the biggest impact on Standard. Without further ado, here are the best MTG Murders at Karlov Manor cards for Standard.
#6 Gleaming Geardrake
Kicking off this list, we have Gleaming Geardrake. Gleaming Geardrake is certainly the most speculative card on this list, as it doesn’t easily slot into a tier one archetype at the moment. However, the card has a lot of potential, and could certainly push players towards playing an Izzet Artifacts shell. Currently, the most played Artifacts shell is Simic, Gleaming Geardrake may be strong enough to pull players towards Izzet.
Unlike Teething Wurmlet, Gleaming Geardrake has evasion, and provides us with an Artifact to sacrifice or attach Zoetic Glyph to when it enters the battlefield. It works perfectly with Map tokens from Spyglass Siren, and as an Artifact Creature, dodges one of Standard’s premium removal spells in Go for the Throat. Gleaming Glimmerdrake is simply too strong of a card on rate to ignore, so it deserves a spot on this list.
#5 Fugitive Codebreaker
Next up, we have Fugitive Codebreaker. Unlike Gleaming Geardrake, Fugitive Codebreaker fits right into a tier one deck. Mono-red aggro is an excellent deck in Standard, providing a good mix of efficient threats, removal, and burn spells. One small area of weakness in the deck, however, is that the two-drops aren’t the best. Bloodthirsty Adversary gives the deck a bit of longevity, but cards like Charming Scoundrel aren’t too exciting.
As a 2/1 with Haste and Prowess, Fugitive Codebreaker can be a solid upgrade as long as you have a high enough density of non-Creature spells. The deck already utilizes Play with Fire, Lightning Strike, and Witchstalker Frenzy to synergize with Monastery Swiftspear. With Fugitive Codebreaker in the mix, it’s possible players adopt Shock and even Monstrous Rage into their mono-red aggro decklists to maximize the powerful two-drop.
From there, top-decking Fugitive Codebreaker later in the game can be a complete gamechanger. Getting to draw three cards is strong in attrition matchups. Even if you can’t turn it face-up the same turn as you Disguise it, Ward 2 gives you a good chance of untapping with it. Either way, this ability really is all upside, as a two-mana 2/1 with Haste and Prowess is already strong. Even if it proves to be a minor upgrade for specific mono-red builds, the card has enough potential to earn a spot on this list.
#4 Lightning Helix
Lightning Helix undoubtedly comes in as one of the Karlov Manor cards with the most hype. It’s a powerful reprint that will now be legal in both Standard and Pioneer and is likely to do good work in both formats. The only question is: where?
Currently, the multi-color Domain decks don’t utilize red as a primary color, but this could change given how strong Lightning Helix is for the deck. With game-breaking bombs like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, these decks tend to have inevitability in most matchups. The key is getting to that point against aggressive decks. Well, Lightning Helix is the perfect card to help buy time, removing a problematic attacker and providing a life cushion all at once.
Beyond the Domain decks, we could even see control decks add red to their arsenal to have access to Lightning Helix. Similarly, a Boros aggro shell could make great use of this. The only reason Lightning Helix isn’t higher on the list is that players will need to adjust their manabases to maximize this card, but there’s no denying how strong the card truly is.
#3 Novice Inspector
For all intents and purposes, Novice Inspector is just a functional reprint of Thraben Inspector. Sure, it’s a Detective, but this is unlikely to matter much. Regardless, this card will almost certainly see a decent chunk of play. The easiest shells for this card to slot into are those that utilize Knight-Errant of Eos as top end, such as mono-white aggro or Azorius Soldiers, which already plays plenty of non-Soldier Creatures.
As a Human, it pairs nicely with Coppercoat Vanguard. As a one-drop that makes an Artifact, it synergizes perfectly with Warden of the Inner Sky. Novice Inspector is a great role-filler for multiple archetypes, even if it’s just a common.
#2 Long Goodbye
Long Goodbye is an excellent removal for Rakdos and Dimir midrange decks alike. While it’s unlikely to completely overtake Go for the Throat, as Go for the Throat answers cards like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse that this misses, Long Goodbye is an excellent upgrade over Anoint with Affliction.
Anoint with Affliction already saw some play for its ability to kill cards like Subterranean Schooner that Go for the Throat[/tooltips] can’t. While Anoint with Affliction does exile the Creature it targets, which is nice against cards like Dennick, Pious Apparition, the fact that Long Goodbye can’t be countered is too good to pass up.
Obviously, this works favorably versus Disguise Creatures, but most notably, this is the perfect Instant speed answer to Raffine, Scheming Seer. This alone deserves recognition, so we’ll see how black decks divvy up their removal suite going forward.
#1 No More Lies
That’s right, No More Lies is at the top of the list for both Pioneer and Standard. This card is absolutely incredible and is a definite staple for any Azorius-based deck that can reliably cast it. Azorius Soldiers and Esper midrange already each made use of a playset of Make Disappear, and this is a great replacement.
This new Mana Leak variant even exiles the spell it counters, which is great against recursive threats like Dennick. There isn’t much else to say about the card, it’s just a great new efficient, reactive spell that is sure to play a big role in multiple formats.