Recently, we got an initial glimpse at what the Murders at Karlov Manor, the first premier set of 2024, would have in store for us. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of information to unpack. Right off the bat, there were a ton of spoilers revealed in the WeeklyMTG stream that showcase the mystique of this murder-mystery set. From there, there was discussion about the introduction of play boosters replacing both set boosters and draft boosters, adding some interesting potential to the Limited environment.
Along with the spoilers themselves, we also got to see a bunch of interesting card treatments. From rare, serialized guild leaders to new invisible ink Dossier cards, there’s a lot to look forward to. It’s cool to see all this information on spoilers and card treatments this far in advance. After all, Murders at Karlov Manor doesn’t release until February 9, 2024, which is over two months away.
While we did get a decent amount of information along with some spoilers from the main set, there’s a lot less information available regarding the Commander decks for Murders at Karlov Manor. We did not get any spoilers from the Commander decks, but what we did get are pictures of the product boxes themselves.
There are going to be four Commander decks in total, just like with The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. In a similar fashion, each product box has information that gives hints about the themes and focus of each Commander deck. Let’s take a closer look at each Commander deck individually and see if we can derive some clues about what each one has to offer.
First up, we have a Boros Commander deck with a very flavorful theme. Murders at Karlov Manor is all about searching for clues to find out who’s responsible for the murders themselves. As expected, the characters don’t always have each other’s best interests at heart. Well, what better way to force confessions and leak information than by Goading your opponent’s Creatures!
In Commander, not only does Goading Creatures your opponents control force them to attack each other and not you, but this also makes it easier for you to attack as it removes blocking threats out of the way. There are plenty of ways to Goad Creature in Boros that are quite on-theme. Both Disrupt Decorum and Taunt from the Rampart, for instance, can force a whole slew of Creatures to attack and potentially lead you with some wide open attacking lanes.
While it’s unclear exactly how the main Commander will enhance this gameplan, we have already seen a legend spoiled that is perfect for this style of deck. Aurelia benefits you whenever any player attacks with a bunch of Creatures at once. By Goading lots of Creatures at once, you can all but guarantee that Aurelia’s abilities will trigger. Not to mention, Aurelia’s final ability deals damage to “each of your opponents,” perfect for multiplayer Commander games.
Next up, we have a Dimir Commander deck focused on Surveilling. This is likely the most basic theme between the four Commander decks, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be powerful. Seeing Surveil as a main point of emphasis in a set occurring on Ravnica makes a lot of sense, too. Surveil was introduced back in Guilds of Ravnica specifically for House Dimir, so it seemed poised for a comeback.
The other portion of the deck has to do with resurrecting Creatures. Much like how the Pirate deck for The Lost Caverns of Ixalan featured a lot of looting and a Commander that could bring back Pirates from the graveyard, I expect the Commander for this deck to function somewhat similarly. Connive//Concoct seems like a perfect addition to this deck, considering that it can put cards into your graveyard, bring Creatures back to play, or even steal opposing Creatures and gain information in a flavorful way.
The artwork also depicts a similar character style to Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker. Mirko Vosk was born in Ravnica and had the ability to both obtain memories and also implant specific information into others’ minds. This makes him a perfect inclusion in this set.
Deep Clue Sea
Third, we have a Bant deck centered around Clue tokens. Clue tokens are naturally made by Investigating, which is once again quite on-theme in this murder-mystery environment. The brief description on the product box mentions Clue tokens and card advantage. Obviously, these abilities go hand in hand. However, there will likely be cards featured that can convert Clues into additional resources beyond the traditional method of paying two mana to crack the Clue yourself.
For example, a new spoiler, Alquist Proft, does a solid Sphinx’s Revelation impression, converting each Clue into potentially a ton of cards and life, assuming you have lots of mana to invest. Cards like Lonis, Cryptozoologist that can add board presence without investing tons of mana are great too. Throw in Ethereal Investigator to add Creatures to the battlefield when you draw extra cards from your Clues, and you’ve got a gameplan.
Unfortunately, for players hoping to finally play with a solid Bant Merfolk Commander, now is not the time. It’ll be interesting to see what Creature type the Deep Clue Sea Commander ends up being.
Last but not least, we have a unique Naya deck centered around “disguise cards.” It is quite unclear exactly what this means, as it’s possible that Disguise refers to a mechanic that hasn’t been previewed yet. However, in the WeeklyMTG stream, Blake briefly mentions that this Commander deck may feature lots of face-down cards. This could very well point to new Morph or Manifest cards, which can definitely lead to “big surprises” for the opponent. Cards like Den Protector would seem like natural fits in that case.
Naya is an interesting color combination choice for a deck focused on face-down Creatures, though. This completely leaves out all-stars like Ixidron. We look forward to monitoring these Commander decks as more information gets revealed.