Magic’s latest tentpole offering has officially been revealed in its full capacity. Between a Draftable Standard-legal set introducing the Play Booster, four Commander precons with absolutely absurd reprint value and even a Clue Edition set releasing alongside it, the past week and a half of spoilers have been absolutely crazy. With so many cards spoiled, it can be difficult to keep up with what looks the most exciting.
As a result, this article will showcase some of the most interesting cards offered in The Murders at Karlov Manor, the Commander expansion alongside it, and the Clue set exclusives. From infinite combo generators to some powerful value engines, there’s a lot to look forward to in regard to Murders at Karlov Manor! Here is our vote for the MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor cards in constructed formats!
Honorable Mention: Hot Pursuit
If this article ranked the MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor designed cards, this one would have my nomination. Hot Pursuit solves the biggest issue that the Goad archetype has in the Commander format: finishing the game.
Goad is a mechanic that forces opponent’s creatures to attack one another. Turning a massive army that could be coming at your face into an extension of your own weapon certainly feels good, and makes Goad a rather popular mechanic in multiplayer formats.
An issue arises, however, when your all but one of your opponents are dead. If one player truly amasses a gigantic board of creatures, and your Goad strategy works to a tee, killing off two of your three opponents, you’ll be left facing the goliath all on your own. Goad still forces their creatures to attack, but since you’re the only target, Goad will run you over.
Instead of being killed by your own mechanic, Hot Pursuit puts the finishing touches on Goad, taking away the mechanic’s biggest flaw. Once two of your opponents are dead, opposing creatures that are Goaded, instead of attacking you, will attack their owner. This allows Goad to finish its job properly, winning you the game without consequence.
Why is this an honorable mention? It will only see play in Commander and, as an extension of that, will only see play in Goad decks. It is not a generically good card, which is what this list values most.
Honorable Mention: Leyline of the Guildpact
I would be remiss not to mention this card because of its absurd potential when combined with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, but Leyline of the Guildpact’s abilities rarely have relevant text outside of focused Commander strategies. People will experiment with this, and it will see play in Commander decks that care about Leyline of the Guildpact’s abilities, but I get the vibe that the volatility on this card is going to be too high. Leyline of the Guildpact, at least in focused Devotion strategies, is feast or famine, which may make it too inconsistent. Hence, this card is an honorable mention, but I’m happy to be proved wrong.
Steamcore Scholar offers card selection, even card advantage if you’re willing to part with an Instant or Sorcery, and is a Flying body for three mana. Steamcore Scholar’s abilities may not be the most exciting, but this does offer a solid effect that a multitude of decks could want.
Generally, unless you want to get cards into your grave, Steamcore Scholar will likely see most of its play in Standard tempo and control strategies that have an excess of Instants and Sorceries to discard. That said, Steamcore Scholar could be a decent inclusion in Commander decks that either want to blink their creatures or are generic Spellslinging decks. All in all, Steamcore Scholar always offers a solid option.
Conspiracy Unraveler, in the right context, can be a very impressive reanimation target. Granting all of your spells an alternate casting cost, Conspiracy Unraveler foregoes using mana to cast your spells completely, offering an alternative cost of Collect Evidence 10.
If you are unfamiliar with the Collect Evidence mechanic, we explain it here.
If your deck’s strategy is cheating this gigantic creature onto the battlefield as well as other powerful spells with massive mana values, Collect Evidence 10 may become a lot easier to fulfill than it seems if you have other massive spells in your graveyard. For that reason, taking advantage of Conspiracy Unraveler may be easier than it seems.
Besides being yet another way to break Basalt Monolith, Forensic Gadgeteer is a strong inclusion in any artifact-focused MTG deck, at least as far as Standard or Commander goes.
If your deck cares about Investigation, even if you’re not casting a ton of artifact spells, Forensic Gadgeteer is still worth considering. Effectively halving the cost of cracking a Clue Token, Forensic Gadgeteer can speed up your card advantage significantly.
Case of the Ransacked Lab
I’ve talked about this card a few times already. Case of the Ransacked Lab has an absolutely ridiculous ability when your Case is solved. This should be enough for the card to warrant play in a majority of non-cEDH Spellslinger decks in Commander. Solving the Case is not too difficult in a focused strategy, either.
If you are unsure of how the new Case enchantment works, we explain it here.
That said, Case of the Ransacked Lab may not see play outside of Commander. The card could see niche sideboard play, but Solving the Case may take too long to Solve in a competitive format. After which, Case of the Ransacked Lab immediately turns into a removal magnet. Still, the upside on this card is absurd enough to warrant a place on this list.
Case of the Shifting Visage
Many of the new Case enchantments offer incredibly powerful abilities once solved, and Case of the Shifting Visage may have the most powerful Solved ability of them all. Creating a copy of all your casted nonlegendary creatures is no joke, and getting 15 cards in the grave in a format like Commander is not as difficult as it seems. The pre-solution ability of Case of the Shifting Visage even helps Solve your case while offering card selection.
This card is likely only to see play in Commander, but it does look particularly powerful in that format. Even if you’re not trying to dump cards into your grave, Case of the Shifting Visage looks like a powerful inclusion in any non-cEDH blue creature deck.
Anzrag, the Quake-Mole
Even a few years ago, the idea of a four mana 8/4 with upside would have been a ridiculous notion. Today, we have Anrag, the Quake-Mole, and while it’s obviously pushed, it doesn’t seem broken.
Not only does Anzrag offer some crazy stats for its mana value, but the upside on this card can be deadly. Able to create multiple combats when blocked, it’s not too difficult to set up infinite combos with Anzrag. Combine a Fog and a Questing Beast, and you’re in business! Anzrag’s activated ability ensures that opponents have no choice but to block the Mole God.
Why isn’t this card higher up on the list? It dies to just about anything. Even a Mole God cannot survive a simple Go for the Throat, and it has no way to return once it dies. Even a little Deathtoucher is something Anzrag has to seriously consider provoking. Either way, this card has a ton of potential.
Case of the Locked Hothouse
Green Commander players found another staple. Case of the Locked Hothouse ramps you, solves its own Case in doing so, and turns into a value engine once the Case is solved.
Outside of its obvious Commander applications, Case of the Locked Hothouse could even see some Standard play. Getting to seven lands isn’t difficult for the Domain archetype, currently considered the best deck in Standard, and being able to cast a majority of the deck’s spells off the top of the deck is a great way to ensure that you don’t run out of resources. All in all, Case of the Locked Hothouse looks like a decent addition to any ramping Commander deck, and could even see some competitive play.
Lonis, Genetics Expert
Great, a new Simic Commander that goes infinite with a light sneeze. Lonis has a lot of abilities that offer crazy synergies with a variety of different cards, and is likely the most interesting mechanically unique card from the MTG Clue expansion. Instead of going over the multitude of different infinite loops in this article, you can find them here, where we went into them with much more detail.
Reenact the Crime
Reenact the Crime probably won’t see play in formats Modern or older, but could be an interesting combo option for Standard and Pioneer. Reenact the Crime also happens to be a fantastic Commander card.
The obvious use of Reenact the Crime is to create similar situations to reanimating cards like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn that don’t stick around in the grave with spells like Goryo’s Vengeance, but when using Reenact the Crime, your casted copy of Emrakul with both take an extra turn and stick around. In exchange, Reenact the Crime is a lot harder to cast.
Another bonus to Reenact the Crime is that the effect isn’t just limited to creatures. Reenact the Crime can copy just about anything that hit the graveyard in the same turn it was cast. This presents opportunities for some combo-oriented decks to use this card as a second copy of, well, anything!
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Reenact the Crime is that it doesn’t specify that the card needs to hit your graveyard. Reenact the Crime can copy a spell that hits anyone’s grave. This means opponents will need to be careful with what they discard to cards like Fable of the Mirror-breaker. Regardless of the format, if the opponent mills over a bomb, you can Reenact it for a bargain.
Reenact the Crime’s ability to peek at any player’s grave has pushed it over the top for me. Expect this card to see a lot of experimentation. Personally, I think this will be quite strong in Commander as well. This may not be the overall MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor card, but it could be a real sleeper.
Anyone who has had the opportunity to play with their entire deck at instant speed know just how powerful an effect of a card like Final-Word Phantasm can be. This perhaps isn’t a great tool for decks that are after casting their interaction at instant speed that they would otherwise be unable to be cast, but if you’re trying to sneak in some big threats, or even hold up your interaction while deploying your threats if nothing scary happens, Final-Word Phantasm looks promising.
Notably, Final-Word Phantasm gives everything Flash on your opponent’s end step. This also means that you can fire off your win attempts at opponent’s end steps if they all happen to be tapped out, or if you want to try and get interaction out of the way for a fresh next turn. Final-Word Phantasm having Flash itself makes it even harder to react to. I think this card is powerful enough to warrant being even higher on this list, as the Flash restriction on Final-Word Phantasm doesn’t do a lot to limit its incredible power. If this were a Standard-legal card, it could take over entire formats, and is definitely is in the running for the MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor card overall.
On the Trail
Any green deck that can consistently fulfill the ‘draw 2’ clause that On the Trail asks of multiple times in a turn cycle will go absolutely nuts with this card. On the Trail gets your lands into play as quickly as you’re drawing cards. This ultimately allows you to draw even more cards, play even more lands, and get ahead of your opponents at breakneck speed.
Players interested in On the Trail can find it in the Deep Clue Sea Commander precon releasing alongside Murders at Karlov Manor. The reprint value that this deck offers is incredibly absurd and should be your top priority to pick up when this set hits shelves. You can read more about Deep Clue Sea here.
No More Lies
Standard-legal Mana Leak is going to see a lot of play. No More Lies exchanges a more demanding mana value for an additional ability that exiles spells it counters. This won’t always be relevant, but can lead to major ‘gotcha’ moments that blow players out of the game.
The biggest vote for this card’s high position, in all honesty, is its legality. No More Lies should force significant change to the Pioneer and Standard format, replacing the ever-popular Make Disappear in a multitude of different strategies. As far as Commander goes, No More Lies is ok, but conditional counterspells like this are better in formats that end quicker. for Standard and Pioneer, No More Lies is likely the MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor card.
Many MTG players believe that Kylox’s Voltstrider will see play in literally every single MTG format where it is legal – maybe except for Vintage. The Vehicle certainly offers a historically powerful ability, casting any instant or sorcery spell exiled with it for free. You can exile cards using the Collect Evidence ability on the Voltstrider, turning it into a creature while doing so.
Personally, while this card definitely has potential, I believe it’s a bit difficult to know where the Voltstrider will land. Besides the obvious application of cheating in game-ending spells with it’s attack trigger, it may be difficult for the Voltstrider to fit into some existing archetypes. This needs some time to start generating value, but can essentially re-cast every spell in your grave if given enough time.
Will this be good enough to add as a value engine to existing Izzet Delver-esque strategies? Maybe! Regardless, the potential for this card to see play in competitive formats is enough to give this card a strong mention. If Kylox’s Voltstrider lives up to the hype, it should be the MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor card, by far.
Whether its Commander, Standard or Pioneer, Archdruid’s Charm looks excellent in multiple formats. Held back only by its prohibitive mana cost, Archdruid’s Charm comes loaded with different modes to ensure that it can impact the game in a big way, no matter what state the game is in.
The most powerful of these modes, in non-Limited formats, at least, is definitely the tutor ones. Being able to find a creature is a godsend in a singleton format, but at minimum allows Archdruid’s Charm to replace itself with a powerful threat if the other modes aren’t satisfactory for the current game state.
Even better than that, though, is the ability to tutor any land in your deck and put it right into play! This is an incredibly powerful ability for Lotus Field Combo in Pioneer, allowing you to find your pivotal card without issue. Archdruid’s Charm is the perfect card for Lotus Field Combo. You can read more about that here.
All in all, thanks to its insane versatility, and offering effects that are in demand and not found commonly on other cards, Archdruid’s Charm should be a rather popular, and may be the MTG best Murders at Karlov Manor card. Do note though, that because I play an excessive amount of Lotus Field Combo decks, I am very high on this card.