Murders at Karlov Manor is next on the Magic: The Gathering docket. The murder/mystery-themed set takes place on Ravnica and has a complete product line-up, including four commander decks. Today, I’ll review everything we know about the Deadly Disguise precon and make predictions for what we don’t know. Let’s start with some basic info.
Murders at Karlov Manor is set to come out on February 9, 2024, and has four preconstructed commander decks. Deadly Disguise is a Red, Green, and White (Naya) deck themed around disguising cards & big surprises.
That’s about all the info we have for sure. Today, I’ll cover what “disguising cards & big surprises” could look like and how the theme could be built. Plus, give you cards to consider picking up before the Murders at Karlov Manor precons drop, possible reprints, and even a complete Deadly Disguise deck list prediction. So, let’s dive in.
If you check out the outer box for the deck, you can see the “disguising cards & big surprises” that I mentioned. This points to a morph-like theme where you can play your cards facedown and turn them up later at a cost. However, most morph decks play blue, and there aren’t many reasons for them to be in red.
The lack of blue (and the addition of red) is interesting and could point to a few things. It could mean some sub-themes with things like manifest and foretell, which also play cards facedown. But again, they usually play blue. Naya is a pretty creature-heavy color combination, and the “big surprises” indicate some large creatures.
With the face commander for deadly disguise revealed, we have more info on the theme. Let’s take a look.
Kaust, Eyes of the Glade draws you a card whenever you deal combat damage to a player with a create that was turned face up that turn. Card advantage in the commander zone is always powerful and Kaust fuels itself by tapping to allow you to turn an attacking face-down creature face-up. You can certainly see where the surprises come from now.
Considering the deck is Naya (hybrid mana, no less!) I think a +1/+1 counter sub-theme is a good possibility as well. So, let’s break this down in a bit more detail. I’ll go over how the deck will likely disguise its cards, some creatures that would be helpful, and how a +1/+1 counter theme could come into play.
Disguise Your Cards
If your cards are facedown, opponents don’t know what they’re attacking into. This bit of hidden info makes other players’ lives hard. Plenty of cards also have an upside when they’re turned face up. Plus, things like Mastery of the Unseen and Path of Mystery further reward you for flipping your cards up.
Play Beefy Creatures
The majority of morph creatures are on the smaller side. However, this deck sounds like it will play some bigger stuff. This likely means the deck will have a healthy ramp package to get to its more significant spells quickly. I would also expect to see some other support cards, such as Rhythm of the Wild.
+1/+1 Counters Theme
Anytime you have green and white in your color identity, you’ve got +1/+1 counter synergies if you want them. There is also some overlap with the megamorph mechanic, which puts +1/+1 counters on the creature when it flips. This would also allow the deck to play lovely utility cards like Inspiring Vantage, Dromoka’s Command, and Unbreakable Formation.
The average precon these days has about $95 worth of reprint value. Usually, a handful of cards make up a nice chunk of that. So, assuming I’m generally close on the theme, here are some ideas as to what those pricer, more exciting reprints may be.
- Uncivil Unrest – $7
- Eladamri’s Call – $7
- Ozolith, the Shattered Spire – $7
- Farewell – $7
- Three Visits – $5
- Rhythm of the Wild – $5
Cards You Should Pick Up Before Deadly Disguise Releases
Let’s assume you want to pick up Deadly Disguise when it drops and do some upgrades. Here is a small list of cards that I recommend you buy now so there’s no chance the release makes them more expensive. For example, [c]Tribute to the World Tree would be great in a deck like this but likely wouldn’t make it into the precon.
Here are some other examples that I recommend you get now, assuming I’m accurate on the theme:
Now, I want to take a crack at predicting what a complete Deadly Disguise deck list may look like. So, this won’t be an official WOTC deck list yet. These are my thoughts on what we might see come February. Remember that 10 cards in the deck (including the commander) will be new so I’m including a 90-card list here.
WOTC usually does a pretty good job with the preconstructed commander decks, and I’m sure these will be up to par. The Deadly Disguise precon is the one I’m most interested to see what they do with. Mainly because morphs typically play blue and black with commanders such as Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer. So, I’m curious to see what a Nayabuild for a similar mechanic may look like.
As always, watch for the official deck list to drop. And when it does, you’ll find it here. Until then, take care and get out there and play some commander.