We’re now deep into the spoiler season of the Murders at Karlov Manor! One prevailing theme we’ve seen so far is that old designs got a fresh coat of paint. This makes it really easy to identify some absolutely absurd cards in Commander!
Aside from the crazy behemoth that can draw 15 cards if it deals combat damage, some other effects also look to have a huge potential Commander splash! Here are some notable cards that could make an impact in Commander!
That Name is….
I think this is the most disturbed I have been towards the name of an MTG card. Regardless, Vein Ripper does look like a powerful tool for Commander decks that have an Aristocrat nature to them. Essentially acting as Blood Artist‘s older brother, Vein Ripper can drain one opponent for two life whenever a creature dies. It does not matter whose creature it is that perishes.
Vein Ripper’s mana value and stat line are neither strong nor weak, but six mana does somewhat doom it for the Commander format. Vein Ripper’s biggest redeeming factor, however, is its Ward ability. Sacrificing a creature will have many players second-guessing whether they want to spend removal on Vein Ripper, and will ensure that the Ripper manages to trigger at least twice, triggering on the sacrificed creature and its own death – as long as it’s not exiled. Overall, this seems like a great win condition for Commander that is trickier to remove than some may expect.
A Ton of Tokens
Doppelgang is exactly the kind of explosive effect that ends up in Commander. The floor on this card is not too impressive – creating one token copy of a permanent for five mana. The ceiling, however, is absolutely game-breaking. To give you an idea of how much value Doppelgang can create, here’s how the effect scales as X increases:
- X = 1: One token of one permanent for five mana
- X = 2: Two tokens of two permanents for eight mana (four tokens)
- X = 3: Three tokens of three permanents for eleven mana (nine tokens)
- X = 4: Four tokens of four permanents for fourteen mana (sixteen tokens)
Once you get to the realm of X = 4 or more, you can probably end a game with a resolved Doppelgang. If someone has a Craterhoof Behemoth, for example, all you need to do is copy a bunch of creatures that players control and swing for lethal damage. Well, you can do so long as you have a Haste enabler, at least, as otherwise, you’re going to have a bunch of durdle-y 16/16s.
Being able to copy both permanents you and your opponent’s control makes this card incredibly versatile. As long as there are some juicy targets on board, and you have the mana to make X a little more than one, Doppelgang is a hell of a bomb. If you throw in a Doubling Season, this effect obviously gets that much more explosive.
Ramp and Card Advantage
Case of the Locked Hothouse slots perfectly into a ton of different green strategies. Commander games tend to go long, so having an enchantment that both ramps you and eventually turns into consistent card advantage is fantastic. So long as you have a lot of lands and targets for this Case’s solved effect, you’ll probably want this card in your deck. After all, what’s not to love about extra information and card advantage?!
If you are unfamiliar with how Case enchantments work, you can find that here, but basically, it can be boiled down to the following:
- The first effect of a Case is always active as long as your case resolves
- The second effect of a Case is a clause that must be fulfilled to unlock your final ability
- The third effect of a Case comes online once you fulfill the requirements of the second ability.
If you want Case of the Locked Hothouse in your deck, fulfilling the requirement to solve the case is trivial. Controlling seven or more lands in Commander is commonplace for the most part – you just need time. This makes Case of the Locked Hothouse a great option for any decks that want to play lots of lands and cast the card types that this Case cares about.
We Looked at this Already… But It’s Absurd
Case of the Ransacked Lab is going to be incredibly powerful in Commander. Any spellslinging strategy that wants to cast a ton of instants and sorceries will have this on their most wanted list. Case of the Ransacked Lab’s base ability is already good enough for many of these decks to consider trying it. Creatures like Baral, Chief of Compliance offer the same ability for less mana, but an enchantment is traditionally a bit more difficult to get rid of than a creature.
The real appeal of Case of the Ransacked Lab, however, is the ability it gains once you Solve the Case. This turns every single instant and sorcery you cast into card advantage. If you’re true to your spellslinging word, Case of the Ransacked Lab can easily draw you dozens of cards. The power level here is incredibly high for decks that can abuse the final ability of this Case.
A Toy for the Toymaker
Anyone looking to try playing The Celestial Toymaker from the recent Doctor Who Secret Lair in Commander will want to pick up this card. There aren’t a ton of cards that cause players to guess or group cards in any way, so any Fact or Fiction impersonators are an immediate include in this strategy.
Intrude on the Mind is somewhat expensive, but does offer an interesting combination of payoffs that could make this card valuable to certain strategies. Intrude on the Mind is card advantage, creates an artifact creature, and can fuel graveyard synergies. Chances are if you’re a deck that wants two of these things, and you’re not playing cEDH deck, you probably want this card.
Intrude the Mind could even see some constructed play in similar decks that want two of the three effects offered here.
Evolving Wilds is Dead
In an absolutely shocking turn of events, Wizards of the Coast printed a direct upgrade to Evolving Wilds… that is also a common.
Escape Tunnel functions as an Evolving Wilds that can also function as a restrictive one-time Rogue’s Passage. Honestly, this card is likely only going to be of interest to players who would otherwise want Evolving Wilds in their decks. It is a great new tool for budget Commander players but is otherwise not too exciting.
Want to See More?
This small collection of cards is far from all the powerful things you can find in Murders at Karlov Manor. Multiple cards are already beginning to see price spikes thanks to some newly discovered infinite combos.
If Merfolks are your creature type of choice, one of those infinite combos involves creating infinite Merfolk tokens!
If you’re looking for a larger offering of spoilers from Karlov Manor, here’s 25 new cards that were revealed during the spoiler season’s kickoff.
All in all, Murders at Karlov Manor looks like a fantastic set so far.