In the Murders at Karlov Manor Debut Stream today, a boatload of new information pertaining to Murders at Karlov Manor was revealed. This included new mechanics that will appear as well as a plethora of new intriguing spoilers from the set. In addition to the spoilers from the main set, though, we also now know each Face Commander for the four Murders at Karlov Manor Precons.
Over a month ago, the deck boxes for each Commander deck were revealed, giving us a bit of an idea of what each deck’s main themes would be. Now, we know each Commander deck’s main general. This can help us gather clues about what cards may be included in the Precons and what additions would work well with each new Commander. Kicking things off, we have our Naya Commander for the Deadly Disguise deck.
Kaust, Eyes of the Glade
Kaust is a new Commander that pairs really nicely with Creatures with Morph, Megamorph, and the new Disguise mechanic. With Kaust and a face-down Creature in play, you can turn the Creature face-up, and if you connect in combat, you draw a card. Obviously, you can pay Morph and Disguise costs like normal, but you can also use Kaust’s activated ability to turn one of your face-down attackers face-up without any mana input. Throw in cards like Dream Chisel that reduce the cost of playing face-down Creatures, and you’ve got a gameplan.
Unfortunately, though, while this is strong, it’s likely that Kaust will remain outclassed by Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer for players looking to build around face-down Creatures. Kadena’s ability to let you play your first Morph or Disguise card each turn for free is a game-changer, and you don’t have to jump through as many hoops to gain card advantage.
Where Kaust does get an edge, though, is by letting you bypass the mana requirement to turn your face-down Creatures face-up. This means that if you manage to Manifest an enormous Creature into play, say with Whisperwood Elemental, you can turn it face-up for free if you attack. Furthermore, while it isn’t entirely clear, it looks like if you end up with a powerful Artifact or Enchantment face-down via Manifest, you can attack, then use Kaust to turn it face-up and essentially “cheat” it into play.
In this sense, cards like Scroll of Fate pair nicely with Kaust, letting you put game-breaking bombs such as Akroma’s Memorial into play for cheap. This is certainly a bit difficult to set up given the randomness of Manifest, but perhaps cards like Enlightened Tutor and Worldly Tutor can put some busted bombs on top of your library to enable strong Manifests.
Mirko, Obsessive Theorist
Mirko is a powerful Commander that works well with Surveil, but definitely takes a bit of work to get going. It grows every time you Surveil, and even lets you reanimate Creatures that you mill over every turn cycle. The only issue is that Mirko starts with only one power and can only return Creatures from your graveyard to play with lesser mana value.
This means that if you want to return amazing bombs like Archon of Cruelty, you will have to work for it. Sure, cheap Surveil cards like Consider work, but if you want to accelerate the process, you need cards that can repeatedly Surveil, even multiple times a turn. In this sense, Doom Whisperer is the ultimate combo card with Mirko. If you have life to spare, you can continuously grow Mirko’s power and set up some juicy Creatures to bring back to play.
Additionally, even though Mirko grows by Surveiling, its reanimation ability only cares about Mirko’s power, not number of +1/+1 counters. This means that Equipment that pump Mirko, such as Blackblade Reforged can help guarantee that you can maximize Mirko’s Creature recursion ability. Even if Mirko dies and you lose your +1/+1 counter progress, all it takes is Equipping Blackblade Reforged once more and Mirko becomes a massive threat.
Morska, Undersea Sleuth
Morska, Undersea Sleuth is an extremely straightforward Commander. The goal is to keep drawing multiple cards a turn and grow Morska over time. This Commander fuels its ability to grow by providing you with a Clue every turn cycle, which you can crack on your turn to make sure you’ve drawn a second card.
From there, Instant-speed card draw spells can keep the counters flowing on your opponent’s turns. This makes Morska a rather threatening Commander in combat. If you can grant evasion with the likes of Whispersilk Cloak, for instance, Morska can kill via Commander damage pretty quickly.
To help speed things up, Doubling Season makes for an elite inclusion. Not only does it make sure you generate extra Clue tokens, but also extra +1/+1 counters on Morska when you crack those Clues. Overall, Morska isn’t super busted or anything, but it still provides card advantage in an efficient manner, which is nothing to scoff at.
Nelly Borca, Impulsive Accuser
Nelly Borca is a rather flavorful Commander. It essentially commands opposing Creatures to attack other opponents in a multiplayer game, then rewards you with card advantage when those Creatures connect in combat. Given that Nelly Borca needs to attack in order to Suspect Creatures and then Goad all Creatures that have been Suspected, it’s important to use some form of evasion or protection. We already mentioned Whispersilk Cloak, but cards like Mithril Coat work just fine as well.
Unsurprisingly, other cards that Goad lots of Creatures at once work exceptionally well with Nelly Borca. Taunt from the Rampart and Spectacular Showdown, for example, feed into the Goad theme and can help make sure you can continue to draw cards with Nelly Borca. Getting to point fingers and place the blame elsewhere is fun, isn’t it?
There will be a total of 45 new cards among these four Commander decks, so there’s plenty more to look forward to beyond just these Face Commanders. Additionally, these Commander decks can help you gather further evidence towards the Karlov Manor puzzles, which adds a nice touch. If you’re a fan of Commander and enjoy the murder-mystery aesthetics of Murders at Karlov Manor, consider picking up one or more of these Precons.