MTG Suspect Rules: What is a Suspected Creature?

Suspect is a new MTG keyword action introduced with Murders at Karlov Manor. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know to understand it. including:

  • How do you suspect a creature?
  • What is a suspected creature?
  • When does a creature stop being suspected?
  • And more!

It’s time to start and discover how suspect rules work.

How Does Suspect Work?

A card can instruct you to suspect a creature. When you do so, it becomes suspected. A suspected creature has menace and can’t block. (A creature with menace can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.)

So, a suspected creature gets both an upside and a downside. Besides, there some cards that work differently if a creature is suspected.

Let’s take a look at some example, to make this clearer.


Here’s a common black card that uses the suspect mechanic.

It Doesn't Add Up MTG Suspect Rules

So, for five mana you get to return a creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. You also need to suspect it. So, it has menace and can’t block.

So, while you can play this card in your opponent’s turn, you can’t use the creature to surprise an attacker. However, it’s going to be a strong attacker, thanks to the menace. Your opponent will need at least two creatures to block it.

Another Example

Here’s a cheaper way to suspect a creature:

Convenient Target MTG Suspect Rules

For one red mana, the enchanted creature becomes suspected, and gains +1/+1. You’re also able to return the aura to your hand from your graveyard. All in all, this effect can be quite strong in an aggressive deck.

There are two interesting interaction with a card like this. First, you can put it on one of your opponent’s creatures in order to remove a blocker.

Second, even if this aura somehow gets removed, the creature still remains suspected. Why? Because that ability triggers when this aura comes into play. It’s not tied to the aura with text like: “The enchanted creature is suspected.”

So, even if the mechanic is quite straightforward, there are some niche interactions with it. Speaking of which, let’s check some more.

Additional Interactions With MTG Suspect

In this section, you’ll learn about some other stuff that can come up with the suspect mechanic, be it format specific, or just general connections.

Caring About Suspected Creatures

As mentioned before, some cards might also care whether a creature was suspected or not. One such example is Agrus Kos.

Agrus Kos, Spirit of Justice

It’s ability triggers both when it comes into play, and when it attacks. It can make a creature suspected, and when that ability triggers again, it can exile it. However, if a creature is already suspected (from another effect) when it comes into play, you can just immediately exile it. That can certainly be an useful ability.

Suspect in Draft

It will be interesting to see how the suspect mechanic will play out in draft, as there’s both upside and downside to it. Most likely, it’ll perform best in aggressive decks.

If you suspect your own creature, it won’t be able to block, but it does become a better attacker. That’s only useful, if you’re the aggressor. Another thing you can do, is to suspect one of your opponent’s creatures, so it won’t be able to block. Once again, this effect is useful in an aggressive deck.

So, you typically want to include suspect cards in your aggressive draft archetypes.

Suspect in Commander

If you like this mechanic and Commander format, you’ll probably enjoy this next card.

Nelly Borca, Impulsive Accuser Karlov Manor Commander Precons

Nelly Borca is the main Commander of the Blame Game Commander deck. The whole deck is designated around making players attack. As such, it’s a cool option for anyone who thinks that combat is ignored way too much in Commander games.

While the deck isn’t really centered around the suspect mechanic, Nelly Borca does use it quite nicely by goading all suspected creatures. Opponents won’t be able to just sit behind and slowly gain advantage. They’ll need to roll up their sleeves and attack.

You can find more information about four Karlov Manor Commander decks here.

MTG Suspect – FAQ

Before we wrap up, here’s a quick recap with some most commonly asked questions about suspect. As usual, if you’re pondering a question that we didn’t answer, leave a comment below. We’ll get back to you quickly.

What does it mean to suspect a creature?

When you suspect a creature, it becomes suspected. It has menace and can’t block.

What is a suspected creature?

“Suspected” is an designation that a creature can have. A suspected creature has menace and can’t block. A creature either is or isn’t suspected. In a game of Magic, a creature is suspected if at one point at the game an effect instructed it to become suspected.

What is menace?

A creature with menace can only be blocked by two or more creatures.

When does a creature stop being suspected?

A creature stops being suspected when it leaves the battlefield, or when a card instructs you to do so. For example, take a look at Airtight Alibi, which you can see below.

Airtight Alibi MTG Suspected Rules Interactions


That’s all about the MTG suspect mechanic. Now you know how this mechanic works, and hopefully that’ll give you an edge in your games. Do you like these types of cards and would like to open some of them? In that case, you can order Murders at Karlov Manor Play boosters on Amazon.

Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box

If you want to learn more about other new mechanics, you can find Murders at Karlov Manor mechanics here.

Until next time, have fun, and may your creatures be suspected only when you don’t need them to block.

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