The best Murders at Karlov Manor cards will let you indulge in secrecy, subterfuge, investigation and the joys of undeath. There are a lot of really great cards in Magic: The Gathering’s latest set that feel like they link together well, but not all of them stand out on their own.
Best Murders at Karlov Manor cards MTG
- Surveil Lands
- Undergrowth Recon
- Delney, Streetwise Lookout
- Conspiracy Unraveler
- Fugitive Codebreaker
- Analyze the Pollen
- Leyline of the Guildpact
- Vannifar, Evolved Enigma
- Kaya, Spirits’ Justice
- Lost in the Maze
We’re always happy to return to Ravnica. While this time around things are a little more mysterious and a touch less political than usual, we’ve still got some heavy-hitting classic characters here.
Just look at Niv-Mizzed, Guildpact, a five-mana five-colour 6/6 with Flying and Hexproof from multicoloured that lets you deal damage, draw cards and gain life if you’ve got colour pairs among your permanents. It’s a good example of a card from Murders at Karlov Manor that’s going to be obscene in Commander, but one that’s not quite there for other formats.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the best Murders at Karlov Manor cards in the new set.
1. Surveil lands
Mana with an upside
Meticulous Archive, Undercity Sewers, Raucous Theater, Commercial District, Lush Portico, Shadowy Backstreet, Thundering Falls, Underground Mortuary, Elegant Parlor and Hedge Maze are a new cycle of lands that should do a lot of work in every format. For starters, each of these has two basic land types attached, which means you can fetch them up with fetch lands.
While they do enter the battlefield tapped, they also let you Surveil 1 as they enter the battlefield. This allows you to look at the top card of your library; if you don’t like it or have plans for it, you can put it into your graveyard or back on top of your deck. This effect on land cards is going to be very potent.
2. Undergrowth Recon
Whether you’re using fetch lands, an Evolving Wilds or just milling your own library, MTG is a game where lands often end up in the graveyard. It’s an upsetting affair, making any card that lets you replay these land cards, like Crucible of Worlds, very powerful.
While Undergrowth Recon, a three-mana green enchantment, doesn’t let you replay them, it does let you return them from the graveyard for free at the beginning of your upkeep. Getting to put one extra land into play every turn is incredible. Combined with land cards that can let you fill your graveyard, this is sure to be a powerhouse.
3. Delney, Streetwise Lookout
Small but mighty
Delney, Streetwise Lookout is a three-mana white 2/2 that does a lot, but only if you’re playing a lot of lower-power creatures. The first thing Delney does is make it so that your creatures with two power or less can’t be blocked by creatures that have three power or more.
The second ability Delney has reads: “If an ability of a creature you control with power 2 or less triggers, that ability triggers an additional time.” That means literally any triggered ability - including enter the battlefield triggers, damage triggers and more - now gives you double value. Delney could be the start of a new resurgence of the ‘white weenie’ archetype that sees a lot of cheap creatures flooding the board to win.
4. Conspiracy Unraveler
A big theme in Murders at Karlov Manor is detective work. Here we’ve got a sphinx detective for you who’s very good at their job. Conspiracy Unraveler is a seven-mana 6/6 with Flying that allows you to break the rules of MTG completely.
That’s because instead of paying the mana cost for spells you cast, you can instead Collect Evidence 10. What that means is you can exile cards with a total mana cost of 10 or greater instead of paying for a spell. If you build your deck right, that’s going to win you the game almost immediately.
5. Fugitive Codebreaker
A surprising hit
A cheap red creature can often end up completely changing the landscape of several formats - at least, if they’re strong enough. Fugitive Codebreaker is a two-mana 2/1 that you can cast as a three-mana 2/2 with Ward 2 if you put it facedown. You can then flip it face-up for six mana, and that gets one cheaper for each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard.
Flipping it allows you to discard your hand, then draw three cards. What’s really good is that, on top of that, it also has both Prowess and Haste. Haste means it can attack straight away, while Prowess allows it to get +1/+1 until the end of the turn every time you cast a noncreature spell. This card could be an absolute monster in a format like Modern.
6. Analyze the Pollen
What you need, when you need
Modern-day tutors always come with a hurdle or two to jump through, but they’re often not that challenging to manage. Analyze the Pollen is a one-mana green sorcery that allows you to search for a basic land card and put it into your hand. However, if you exile cards with a total mana value of eight or more from your graveyard, you can find a creature instead.
Even just paying one mana to turn this spell into a basic land card is going to be useful in some games, but being able to find any creature you need, especially in a format like Commander, can be the difference between winning and losing.
7. Leyline of the Guildpact
Everything all at once
Leyline of the Guildpact is a fascinating card. For starters, it’s one of few MTG cards that is five colours, but doesn’t cost at least five mana. In fact, it only costs four mana normally, but you can actually cast it for free if you start the game with it in your opening hand.
Along with that, it makes each nonland permanent you control every colour and allows all of your lands to be every basic land type - which is a huge boon for a lot of five-colour decks. This could definitely see play outside of Commander too, but in Commander, it’s going to be a big win for a huge number of decks.
8. Vannifar, Evolved Enigma
One of the most exciting new mechanics in Murders at Karlov Manor is the Cloak mechanic. This is, in essence, a sort of reflavour of Morph and Megamorph, and has cards coming in facedown as 2/2 with Ward 2. This allows you to surprise your opponents with creature effects.
Vannifar is a four-mana green and blue 3/4 that allows you to do this for free at the beginning of combat on your turn, or you can put a +1/+1 counter on each colourless creature you control. Every facedown creature is colourless, and those creatures get to keep any +1/+1 counters they have when you turn them face-up.
9. Kaya, Spirits’ Justice
Justice for all
Murders at Karlov Manor’s planeswalker is Kaya, Spirits’ Justice, a four-mana white and black planeswalker with three loyalty. You can add two loyalty counters to Surveil 2, then exile a card from a graveyard. You can add one loyalty counter to create a 1/1 white and black Spirit creature token with Flying, and remove two loyalty to exile a creature you control and then also exile up to one target creature from every other player.
On top of that, Kaya has a passive that reads: “Whenever one or more creatures you control and/or creature cards in your graveyard are put into exile, you may choose a creature card from among them. Until end of turn, target token you control becomes a copy of it, except it has flying.” Basically, you can turn any of the tokens you make into whatever creature you want, which could be incredible.
10. Lost in the Maze
Lost in the Maze is a very intriguing enchantment. It has Flash, which is always nice, and also gives all of your tapped creatures Hexproof, which is a bonus if you’re playing a deck that attacks a lot.
It costs X and two blue. When it enters, you can tap X creatures and put a stun counter on any of those creatures you don’t control, which means they don’t untap for a turn. It acts as a way to shut down a potential attack, but also allows you to protect your creatures in a bind.