22, Jan, 24

New Karlov Manor Board Wipe Has Unique Necromentia Effect!

Article at a Glance

As more and more Karlov Manor spoilers have become revealed, there’s no denying that many of the cards and mechanics seem to make direct callbacks to previous designs. For instance, Analyze the Pollen has a very similar effect to Traverse the Ulvenwald, but this time, you will need to Collect Evidence 8 to search for any Creature or Land instead of needing Delirium. Similarly, Disguise works quite closely to Morph, except a Disguised Creature has Ward 2 as a nice bonus.

It’s interesting to see just how much older card design still plays a role in how newer cards are created, even in a world where power creep has run rampant. Today, we are going to highlight a few newer spoilers that play similar roles or have close effects to cards in the past. Let’s start with one in particular takes a really intriguing spin on a Necromentia effect that opens the door for a ton of possibilities.

Board Wipe+Hate Card?

Deadly Cover-Up

Deadly Cover-Up is a very interesting design for a board wipe. For five mana, you get to destroy all Creatures. Alone, that isn’t very exciting, as there are more efficient board wipes to go around. However, where Devious Cover-Up separates itself is with the additional effect gained if you Collect Evidence 6. If you pay this additional cost, you get an effect that has been commonly used on a multitude of cards over the last decade: you get to exile a card from the opponent’s graveyard, then remove all other copies from their graveyard, hand, or library from the game.

Often times, this is used as a form of hate against combo decks that rely heavily on one specific card. Getting to remove all copies of Lotus Field from the Lotus Field combo deck in Pioneer with cards like The Stone Brain, for instance, could be a big deal. Seeing this on a board wipe, though, is rather unique.

Now, when you destroy all your opponent’s Creatures, you can choose one of those Creatures to remove from their deck entirely for the game. In a Pioneer setting, this could be quite impactful against decks like Abzan Amalia Benavides Aguirre combo, as you can both wipe the board and remove the opponent’s ability to combo in the future.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this card, though, is that, based on the wording, you can actually exile a basic Land from the opponent’s graveyard and then remove all of that same Land from their deck. This could be backbreaking for mono-colored EDH decks, so long as you can make sure the opponent has a basic Land in their graveyard.

Thanks to cards like Strip Mine and various mill effects, this is rather trivial. Notably, it’s possible this is a mistranslation, as it wasn’t previewed in English. It’s also possible this was a general oversight. What is for certain, though, is that almost every card with an effect like this in the past has been restricted to only hit non-basic Lands, making this a rather big deal.

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Protection Spell+Tempo Element

Lost in the Maze

Next up, we have another card whose versatility allows it to play multiple roles in a game. Lost in the Maze, much like March of Swirling Mist, can be used as a way to either protect your own Creatures from removal or prevent opposing Creatures from attacking or blocking. It is a little less efficient than March and doesn’t have the added benefit of saving your Creatures from board wipes, but it has some added benefits that make it a rather interesting card.

First, the opposing Creatures you target get stun counters on them, meaning you may be able to get multiple attacks in before the effect wears off. Also, because Lost in the Maze is an Enchantment that sticks around, all of your tapped Creatures on future turns will also be immune to removal spells. As such, this card pairs exceptionally well with cards like Opposition that let you tap your untapped Creatures at will.

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Casualties of War 2.0

Urgent Necropsy

Urgent Necropsy is a cool card with a potentially powerful effect. The key is that, in order to maximize this card, you likely need to be filling your graveyard over the course of the game. Otherwise, you may not have enough of a total mana value among cards in your graveyard to destroy all the opposing permanents you want to.

However, assuming you can meet the requirements, this is a very versatile card. From Leyline Binding to Trumpeting Carnosaur, Urgent Necropsy can remove all sorts of problematic permanents from the battlefield. Much like Casualties of War, though, this card threatens to destroy multiple permanents at once in the right matchup.

For instance, getting to destroy Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker at the same time against Rakdos midrange in Pioneer can be a big blowout. Obviously, not every deck can reliably cast Urgent Necropsy, and it’s a bit inefficient if it isn’t killing multiple things. This is especially true considering the fact that Casualties of War could destroy Lands, too. Still, it’s possible a deck like Abzan Greasefang, Okiba Boss combo could make use of something like this.

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Another Solid Azorius Win Condition

Ezrim, Agency Chief

Finally, we have Ezrim, Agency Chief. Ezrim, much like Dream Trawler, is tough to kill, has WWUU in its mana cost, and threatens to run away with the game on its own against Creature decks. The fact that Dream Trawler naturally has Lifelink likely makes it a better finisher for Azorius control decks in Pioneer.

That being said, Ezrim provides a lot of value for five mana in a Standard environment. Often times, it will be best to play Ezrim with six mana available so that when you pass the turn, you have a mana up to protect it from removal spells. You do have to sacrifice an Artifact to protect Ezrim, but it generates two Clue tokens for you when it enters the battlefield. If you have enough expendable Artifacts lying around, Ezrim becomes very difficult to remove and can gain Lifelink to make it hard to race. Given this set’s focus on powerful Investigate cards, it’s possible Ezrim cements itself as a solid finisher.

Ultimately, it’s unclear just how much Constructed impact these cards will have. Still, it’s interesting to see all of these throwbacks to previous successful designs while simultaneously maintaining a unique and fresh feel within the set. Murders at Karlov Manor looks like a blast, and we’ve still got more to look forward to.

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