Murders at Karlov Manor Commander decks were the first precons set on the popular plane of Ravnica. If you want to learn more about them, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we’ll share:
- Full decklists
- New cards
- Reviews of the main commanders
- And more!
There’s a ton of exciting stuff to talk about, so let’s get right to it, by checking the decks’ contents.
Murders at Karlov Manor Commander Decks – Contents
There are four different Murders at Karlov Manor Commander decks. Each one contains:
- 2 foil cards (main and secondary commander)
- 98 non-foil cards (with the previous two cards, that makes a 100-card ready-to-play deck)
- 1 Collector Sample Pack with two cards (in foil or with alternate art)
- 1 foil-etched Display commander (a thicker card, not legal for tournament play)
- 10 double-sided tokens
- 1 cardboard deck box (for more info check Commander precon’s deck box review)
- 1 life tracker
- Helper, reference card, and a strategy insert
There are 12 new cards in each Commander precon. One new card (Ransom Note) shared among all four decks, albeit with a different art. Thus, each deck comes with 11 unique new cards. In total, 45 cards appear for the first time in these four decks.
Interestingly enough, there are two 3-color decks, and two 2-color decks. Before we explore each one into more detail, here’s a quick overview of them:
|Deep Clue Sea
- Colors: White, red, green
- Themes: Face-down cards (disguise, morph, etc.)
- Main commander: Kaust, Eyes of the Glade
- Deadly Disguise Upgrade Guide
Many Magic players were quite surprised when they learnt that a deck named Deadly Disguise, is not blue-black. In fact, it consist of every other color. But white, red, and green aren’t really known for disguising stuff. So, what can we expect from this deck?
It’s the return of face-down cards. There are multiple mechanics associated with this: morph, megamorph, and manifest. All of these are included in the deck. Naturally, the deck also features one of the new Karlov Manor mechanics, called disguise. It works similarly to morph, but the face-down creature also gets some protection with ward 2.
These whole theme is quite amazing, as these mechanics aren’t very supported in Commander. Before, if you played a face-down card, your opponent could make a reasonable guess of what that would be. However, with more good options added both in the main set, and in this deck, guessing game becomes much harder.
Currently, the only similar theme is possible with Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer. Now this option will open for another color combination, which is pretty cool. But what about this deck’s commander? What do we know about it? And how good is it? Let find out!
Kaust, Eyes of the Glade Review
For both main ad secondary commander, we did a quick review, and we’re starting with a very special one. Two mana is insanely cheap, especially for a 3-color commander. It looks like Kaust is the cheapest Naya (white-red-green) general. It’s a 2/2 which is fine, but as always, we’re mostly interested in its text box.
The first ability draws you a card whenever one of your creatures deal combat damage to an opponent. Oh, but only if it was turned face-up that turn. A restriction that shouldn’t be that hard to do in a deck full of face-down creatures.
On top of that, its second ability can help you with that. You get to turn one of your face-down creatures face up, just by tapping Kaust. That’s very useful, as it can save you a bunch of mana. Currently, the best cards to turn up with Kaust are probably Akroma, Angel of Fury or Thelonite Hermit.
Overall, there’s nothing wrong with this card. It’s cheap, it provides some card draw, and it can allow you to cheat on mana. Nevertheless, it’s probably not the strongest commander out there. The reason for that is that there just aren’t enough good support cards for it.
Down the line, if we get more powerful cards with high flip costs, Kaust could become stronger. But for now, it’s just a fine, cheap commander for an unexplored theme. That’s a perfectly good place to be in, and it looks like it’ll be fun to play with.
Duskana, the Rage Mother Review
If you aren’t the most enfranchised player, you can easily miss the “joke” with Duskana. A two mana 2/2 was typically referred to as a bear. The term comes from the card Grizzly Bears, which was printed in many early sets, including Alpha. So, as Duskana is a bear mother, she cares about 2/2s.
If you’ve got plenty of those in play, when you play Duskana, you’re going to bunch of cards. Furthermore, you also get the immediate benefit from the second ability. All of those small creature can attack as a 5/5.
All in all Duskana can do some work, and encourages you to build your deck in a special way. It certainly looks like a fun commander.
Deadly Disguise New Cards
Before we take a look at the full decklist, here are the other 10 new cards that you can find in the Deadly Disguise precon.
Deadly Disguise Decklist
Best Reprints in Deadly Disguise
When deciding which deck to buy, you also want to know which powerful and potentially expensive reprints you’re getting. We’ll highlight the most exciting ones for each deck.
There aren’t many expensive face-down creatures matter cards, so there was a chance that this deck will lack good reprints. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. The deck contains two absolute bangers with Jeska’s Will and Seedborn Muse. Both of these can be quite hard to find and expensive too.
Oh, and there’s Toski, Bearer of Secrets. It has been creeping up in price lately.
Who Should Pick the Deadly Disguise Precon?
For each precon we’ll also talk about which players will most likely enjoy it.
For example, Deadly Disguise will be a fine pickup for anyone who likes unique strategies. If you enjoy when your opponent is unsure about your plans, this deck seems like a perfect one for you.
Deep Clue Sea
- Colors: White, blue, green
- Themes: Clue tokens, card advantage
- Main commander: Morska, Undersea Sleuth
- Deep Clue Sea Upgrade Guide
This deck is a traditional Bant value-pile, drawing cards, but with a small twist. It cares about Clue tokens, so you can expect some investigate cards in the deck.
Of course, there will probably be other uses for the Clue tokens, besides cracking them for two mana. They can be used for various artifact synergies. There can be cards that can sacrifice Clues for other benefits.
One such example would be Lonis, Cryptozoologist, which was previously the most dedicated Clue commander. However, now it has some competition with Morska. Thankfully, both can work great together, and as result Lonis is also already included in the original decklist.
Morska, Undersea Sleuth Review
It’s a bit weird that Morska isn’t a Merfolk, as it certainly looks like one. For some reason it’s a Vedalken Fish instead, so no Merfolk synergies here. Anyway, three mana is still pretty cheap for a 3-color commander. Sure, not as cheap as Kaust, but its mana cost a very rare occurrence.
With its first ability, you already see what Morska cares about – card draw. You get the Reliquary Tower ability, which can certainly be useful when you’re drawing a ton of cards. The second ability can help with that by creating a Clue at your upkeep.
It being a 2/3 is okay, especially since its last ability puts two +1/+1 on Morska, whenever you draw your second card in a turn.
All things considered, Morska is a perfectly fine commander. Not too powerful, not too weak, but probably somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t do anything especially revolutionary, but can be fun, if you like drawing cards.
Oh, and one last tidbit about this card. “Morska” means “marine” or “of the sea” in many Slavic languages. That’s quite on par with many cards from Ravnica, which is Slavic-inspired, at least by architecture and naming.
Sophia, Dogged Detective Review
Ruh-ruh, this is the closest we’re going to get to a Scooby Doo commander. (Of course, until the inevitable Scooby Doo in Universes Beyond.) Flavor truly is top-notch here.
On top of that, the card is actually unique and promotes a brand new archetypes. Dogs and artifact tokens! Building the deck around Sophia and Tiny will surely be exciting.
Besides the uniqueness, how good of a card this actually is? For four mana, you get 5/6 worth of stats across two bodies. That’s quite versatile, and a good rate. Especially, since one body is a 2/2 Dog, which plays well with the other abilities.
The first ability lets you sacrifice artifact tokens, in order to put +1/+1 counter on each of your dogs. You probably want to include multiple Dogs in your deck to get the full advantage of this and the last ability.
Speaking of which, that one makes you both a Food and a Clue token whenever one of your Dogs deals combat damage to a player. Those Scooby Snacks can then be sacrificed to the previous ability. And don’t forget – this ability triggers for each Dog. So, if three Dogs deal damage, you’re getting a total of six artifact tokens.
All in all the card is probably not broken, but is really powerful at what it does. It’s a whole engine all on its own. Plus, there’s great flavor and its takes the whole deck in a very specific direction. A spectacular card design!
Deep Clue Sea New Cards
Deep Clue Sea Decklist
Best Reprints in Deep Clue Sea
This deck certainly packs a punch in the reprint department. There are a ton of quite valuable cards from previous Commander releases. Three such cards are Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, Bennie Bracks, Zoologist[c], and [c]Chulane, Teller of Tales. Amazing!
But wait that’s not all. One of the most powerful board clears, Farewell is also included. So is Koma, Cosmos Serpent and Academy Manufactor, which also makes a lot of sense for this deck. Plus, there’s a bunch of solid rares and mythic, such as Hydroid Krasis.
While the mana base doesn’t contain expensive cards, it’s perfectly playable for a 3-color budget setups.
Who Should Pick the Deep Clue Sea Precon?
Deep Clue Sea deck is probably best for players who like to draw many cards and have many options available. Of course, if you like investigate mechanic and Clue tokens, that’s another very big draw to this deck.
Perhaps Tireless Tracker is one of your most beloved cards? (If so, you truly are a player of culture.) In that case, you will enjoy delving into the deep sea of clues.
Last but certainly not least, this deck offers a ton of valuable reprints. If you want to make sure your deck included sought-after cards, this is the one to get, and probably quickly too. With so much reprint value, this one is most likely to sell out.
- Colors: White, red
- Themes: Goad your foes, identify suspects
- Main commander: Nelly Borca, Impulsive Accuser
- Blame Game Upgrade Guide
Now, we’re moving to the 2-color decks. The first hint about this deck is that you’ll “goad your foes”. Of course, that means there is a huge focus on the goad mechanic.
If you goad a creature, that means it’ll need to attack next turn if possible. Of and if there’s another player it can attack, it can’t attack you. It’s a pretty neat mechanic, as it speeds up the game, and promotes combat, which is often somewhat ignored in Commander games.
There are already some commanders for that theme, such as Firkraag, Cunning Instigator, Thantis, the Warweaver, and Kardur, Doomscourge. However, this is the first time we’re getting on in the red-white specific combination. The closest so far was Marisi, Breaker of the Coil.
Nevertheless, this precon offers some new takes on this mechanic, as you can see from its main commander.
Nelly Borca, Impulsive Accuser Review
Nelly is the most expensive commander from Karlov Manor precons. That’s quite surprising as it costs only four mana. Let’s see if the card delivers.
A 2/4 vigilance isn’t spectacular. The first ability triggers when Nelly attacks. You get to suspect a creature (it gets menace and can’t block), which makes attacking pretty safe. Then, you get to goad all suspected creatures.
But that’s not all. Whenever an opponent’s creatures damage another opponent, both you and the attacker draw a card. Say what you will about Nelly, but the card certainly promotes attacking.
While the card is not broken or anything, it seems amazing for its strategy. Making players attack and reminding them that combat step is an essential part of Magic.
Feather, Radiant Arbiter Review
Feather is back, and with some excellent stats too! Most commanders in precons have medium stats, but that’s not the case here. Three mana for a 4/3 flyer with lifelink is no joke. But of course, there’s more to it.
Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, which targets only Feather, you can copy it for any other creature that spell could target. However, you’ll need to invest two additional mana for each other target.
This effect can certainly be powerful, if you build your deck around it. Feather certainly seems like a nice deckbuilding challenge to unlock. What’s also great is that the card stays true to the flavor of the original Feather, the Redeemed.
Blame Game New Cards
Besides the two commanders, here are the other ten cards that you can expect in the Blame Game precon.
Blame Game Decklist
Best Reprints in Blame Game
There are certainly some nice reprints in the white-red precon. For example, Fiendish Duo was printed only once before, in a Game Night 2019 deck. Its effect is popular and its price has been steadily climbing.
Who Should Pick the Blame Game Precon?
Most likely candidates for Blame Game deck are players who like aggressive decks, with lots of combat happening. If you don’t enjoy long, draw-out games, where nobody attacks, this deck will probably be able to take care of that.
- Colors: Blue, black
- Themes: Surveil, resurrect creatures
- Main commander: Mirko, Obsessive Theorist
- Revenant Recon Upgrade Guide
The final fourth deck focuses on Dimir guild, the one who works from the shadows. During our last visit on Ravnica, these guild featured the mechanic called surveil, and it’s returning with this precon.
If you don’t know, what this mechanic does, here’s a quick explanation. To surveil X, you look at the top X cards of your deck. Then, you can select any number of them and put them into your graveyard. You put the rest back on the top of your deck in any order you want.
This sets up your future draws, and fills up your graveyard. This can be useful, for all kinds of synergies, and plays well with the deck’s secondary theme – resurrecting creatures. That’s right, we’re getting a reanimator deck.
Such decks want to put expensive creatures into the graveyard, then bring them back directly to the battlefield with relatively cheap effects. This way, you’re “cheating” a big creature into play ahead of schedule.
Mirko, Obsessive Theorist Review
The last commander is a returning character! Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker first appeared in Dragon’s Maze which was… Oh, my! Eleven years ago. Time does indeed fly, when you’re having fun playing Magic.
1/3 vigilant flyer for three mana are fine stats. Especially, since you can grow it by surveiling. Note, that something like surveil 3 doesn’t put 3 counters on Mirko. It only gets one for each surveil, no matter how many cards you look at.
But wait there’s more. At the beginning your end step, you may return one of your creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield. Sure, there’s a limitation – the creature needs to have lesser power than Mirko. But even so, this type of effect is insanely powerful.
If you build your deck the right way, Mirko can certainly feel bordeline broken. While you need to do some work, it just pays you so nicely. When you take a look at the whole card, it’s quite surprising that its mana value is just 3. That’s certainly a great deal for what you’re receiving.
All things considered, Mirko looks like the best of the four main commanders. It also offers a nice deckbuilding challenge, which is always welcome. Commanders that you can just slot into any deck aren’t that interesting.
Marvo, Deep Operative Review
Marvo has some really unusual stats as a 1/8 for five. That’s not all that’s unusual about it. Furthermore, it brings back a very old mechanic, clash, which was mostly used in Lorwyn block.
You’ll clash with a defending player whenever Marvo attacks. it doesn’t even need to connect. When two players clash, they each reveal the top card of their libraries and puts it back on top or bottom. A player who revealed a card of a higher mana value wins the clash.
What happens when you win? You get to draw a card. That’s not really exciting, is it? But wait, there’s more! You can then cast a spell that costs 8 or less from your hand for free. Now that’s quite some powerful stuff. Mana reducing can often be broken. While this is not completely reliable, it’s still a strong effect.
You’ll want to include some cards that can setup the top of your deck in order to extract the most value from Marvo. However, you do get a nice reward for doing so.
Revenant Recon New Cards
Here are the other ten new cards that can be found in this blue-black deck.
Revenant Recon Decklist
Revenant Recon Best Reprints
The last deck also comes with some amazing reprints. First up, there’s Rise of the Dark Realms, which is probably the most fun reanimator spell out there. It’s been printed just three times, and its price reflects that.
Finally, Toxic Deluge is a staple in all black decks, and is a very welcome reprint. All things considered, the reprint value is extremely high here.
Who Should Pick the Revenant Recon Precon?
Recon precon, that’s quite a fun combination of words, isn’t it? Well, this deck is also going to be fun if you like graveyard-based strategies, and bringing back big creatures. With surveil cards, you’re also going to be of a control of your future draws. As such, Revenant Recon deck might be best suited for players who don’t like too much randomness.
Thanks to the amazing reprints, this deck can be a great starting point for any black reanimator deck. Even if you want to exclude blue, and go with another color, there are plenty of mono black cards you can use.
Karlov Manor Commander Decks – FAQ
Here you’ll find answers to some frequently asked question about these precons. If there’s something you’re interested in, don’t hesitate, and leave a comment below.
There will be 4 different precons.
Yes, they do. There’s a 2-card Sample Collector booster pack included with each deck.
There are two cards. One alternate-border rare or mythic, either in foil or non-foil. The second card is a foil borderless uncommon or common.
Most likely, there will be 11 new cards in each deck. One new card is shared among all four decks. So, 45 new cards total.
It’s a bit early to say for sure, but the answer is almost certainly yes. Wizards tend to balance the decks released together. Even when they don’t completely succeed, this can be fixed by the multiplayer setting and the variety of 100-card decks.
Thus, it can be a great idea to get a set of all 4 decks, and use them as a self-contained board game. No more worrying about Rule 0 and bringing to powerful decks.
These decks were released on the same date, as the main set, that’s February 9th, 2024.
Well, that depends on the exact decklist, so we shall wait a bit longer for a more definitive answer. However, typically Commander precons are among the better products to buy. Compared to the boosters, there’s no randomness here. (If you don’t count the included Sample Collector booster.) You’ll know which cards are getting, and most often each deck gets some valuable cards, both in the reprint and in the new card slots.
That all about Karlov Manor Commander decks. If these decks aren’t to your liking, you can find all Commander precons here. There will surely be one that you enjoy. Furthermore, if you want to learn more about the main set that these decks are being released with, you can find more information and Murders at Karlov Manor spoilers here.
Until next time, have fun, and may your starting hand contain a Sol Ring! Unless, it’s illegal in the format you’re playing. That would be a shame.