3, Mar, 24

Underrated MTG Karlov Manor Uncommon Makes Big Splash in Eternal Format!

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Article at a Glance

Over the past month, we’ve highlighted a lot of different archetypes that have adopted Murders at Karlov Manor cards. In Standard, Novice Inspector and Case of the Gateway Express have helped make Boros Convoke a top tier archetype. In Pioneer, No More Lies, Archdruid’s Charm, and Vein Ripper have collectively made an enormous impact on the format. Once you get to Modern, you can see Leyline of the Guildpact in all its glory, revolutionizing multiple strategies.

One format we haven’t talked a lot about, though, is Legacy. Legacy is an incredibly powerful format spanning the entirety of MTG’s history. As such, the bar a card needs to meet to see Legacy play is quite high. Up to this point, Murders at Karlov Manor cards haven’t made a huge impact on the format. Well, this weekend, one player took it upon themselves to showcase the power of one card in particular.

Funnily enough, this card has seen very little play in any Constructed format over the last month.
The card in question is none other than Break Out, and a full four copies can be found in a deck that made the top eight of a Magic Online Legacy Challenge. As expected, this interesting Jund shell plays a lot of cheap Creatures and really went all out to maximize Break Out. Let’s take a closer look.

Break Out Synergies

Break Out

Unsurprisingly, the deck that is making use of a full playset of Break Out is playing a plethora of two-mana Creatures. Assuming you find a two-drop in the top six cards of your deck to put into play, you aren’t actually down any mana after the exchange, since you would have had to spend two mana to cast the Creature anyway. What you gain, though, is card selection and the ability to give your Creature Haste.

One of the best Creatures to give Haste is Deeproot Wayfinder. Deeproot Wayfinder is a bit of a weak card overall because you need to be able to connect in combat with it to get a Land back. However, the card naturally doesn’t have evasion, so it can be tough to get connect once your opponent knows about it.

Thanks to Break Out, though, you can often set up a window where you get at least one attack in. Not only will Deeproot Wayfinder gain Haste, but your opponent may not have left a blocker back or removal spell at the ready as they likely weren’t expecting the attack. Additionally, between Fetchlands, Wasteland, and Mox Diamond, it’s easy to guarantee Wayfinder’s ability to return a Land to play.

Another excellent card to hit off of Break Out is Inti, Seneschal of the Sun. Inti is a strong card that can start buffing your attacking Creatures while generating value. Inti even synergizes nicely with Mox Diamond’s discard effect. Once again, Break Out’s ability to give Inti Haste is big game. Even with no other Creatures in play, you are able to attack with Inti right away, discard a card, and put the +1/+1 counter on itself. Whether you are putting Wayfinder, Inti, or Dauthi Voidwalker into play, Break Out is sure to have a powerful effect on the game.

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Intriguing Inclusions

Grist, the Hunger Tide

In addition to Break Out, this deck also makes good use of Green Sun’s Zenith to add a bit of a toolbox package. Obviously, Zenith can’t find cards like Inti or Orcish Bowmasters, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t decent targets. If you need extra mana, finding Dryad Arbor or Ignoble Hierarch can be rather effective. If you have access to more mana, there are some strong cards you can find.

Grist, the Hunger Tide is a nice one-of value engine that you can tutor for at will. It can even act as a searchable removal spell when necessary. Indoraptor, the Perfect Hybrid is a pretty funny inclusion, but under the right circumstance, can be a huge threat. Between Menace and its Enrage ability, if you can have it enter with some +1/+1 counters on it, Indoraptor can help break open a board stall.

One additional card that works nicely with Break Out and Zenith is Mawloc, an MTG card from the Warhammer 40k set that has finally been implemented on Magic Online. While you won’t be able to boost further boost Mawloc’s stats if it’s entering via Break Out or Zenith, a 2/2 that fights a Creature when it enters play is surprisingly strong in Legacy.

This alone can take down opposing copies of Bowmasters, an un-flipped Delver of Secrets, mana dorks and more. Of course, if you cast Mawloc from hand, you have the opportunity to invest additional mana to help take down bigger Creatures.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Dauthi Voidwalker

This archetype is certainly innovative, and while some of the decisions may seem a bit strange, Break Out provides a lot of flexibility. Against decks with lots of small Creatures, such as Death and Taxes, Mawloc and Orcish Bowmasters play big roles in staving off early pressure. On the flip side, against combo decks like Reanimator, Dauthi Voidwalker can singlehandedly swing the game in your favor. Landing Voidwalker turn one off of Mox Diamond isn’t out of the question and can help you steal games you otherwise wouldn’t win.

The combination of Deeproot Wayfinder and Wasteland can even keep Dark Depths decks under control. If all else fails, curving Thoughtseize into a slew of Creatures can put your opponent on the backfoot rather quickly. In this sense, the deck has tools to fight most strategies. Still, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its weaknesses.

The first weakness this deck has is that, outside of Thoughtseize, you don’t have a ton of recourse against unfair strategies. Decks like Doomsday combo, for instance, are fully capable of winning before you can present a relevant clock.

While Mox Diamond does help, mono-red prison decks can land a quick Blood Moon to completely take over the game if you don’t draw it. Not to mention, Fury is excellent against this strategy.

All things considered, if you can dodge unfair archetypes, this deck gives you a decent shot to win. Break Out adds a lot of flexibility, and there are almost certainly areas to explore to improve this shell. It’ll be interesting to see what extra adaptations players may come up with in the coming weeks, but it’s cool to see this underutilized Karlov Manor uncommon make a splash in such a powerful format.

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