Put on your thinking caps and get ready to unravel a mystery, with MTG Murders at Karlov Manor, the first premier Magic set of 2024. This Magic: The Gathering release returns to one of the game’s most popular planes, the cityscape world of Ravnica. But unlike our other visits, this time Wizards is going full genre, with a set based on intrigue, detectives, and murder mystery tropes.
In Murders at Karlov Manor, MTG Ravnica’s famous guilds will take a back seat for once, in favor of deerstalker hats and magnifying glasses. Here we’ll cover everything that’s been revealed about this MTG set, from the Murders at Karlov Manor release date and where it lies in the 2024 MTG release schedule, to all the artwork, card spoilers, and other news shared so far.
With Lost Caverns of Ixalan not yet out, there are few concrete details available, but there’s still plenty to glean and infer, and we’re the right sleuths for the job.
MTG Murders at Karlov Manor release date
The Murders at Karlov Manor release date is confirmed for Feburary 9, 2024. Long before that, we got to see plenty of previews, with a week or so of card spoilers that fully revealed the set to us. These kicked off with the set’s debut on January 16.
Based on the now-established pattern of MTG set releases, the first time you’ll be able to get your hands on Murders at Karlov Manor cards will be the prerelease events held at local game stores between February 2 – 8. Then the set will drop in digital form on MTG Arena, before its official global tabletop release.
MTG Murders at Karlov Manor card spoilers
All the spoilers for Murders at Karlov Manor cards are here, and we’ve seen a bunch of detectives, lots of investigate and clue tokens, and some exciting legendary creatures. We’ve seen some guildmasters, like Aurelia and Rakdos as well as lead super sleuth Alquist Proft.
Here are a few more of the most exciting MTG Karlov Manor cards now spoiled:
Leyline of the Guildpact is a five-color leyline. Like the other Leyline cards this enchantment can come into play for free if it’s in your opening hand. It sorts all your fixing for you, but more terrifyingly, the card provides four free green devotion for Pioneer decks.
Massacre Girl, Known Killer brings back wither, a mechanic Wizards of the Coast has been afraid to use, in case it makes +1/+1 counters confusing. Mark Rosewater says this is an example of a cameo mechanic, so we should probably keep an eye out for more cards like this in future sets.
Anzrag, the Quake-Mole offers an absurd statline for its four mana CMC. We search the card for the downside and… all upside! Thank goodness this thing doesn’t have trample; it’s terrifying nonetheless.
Prisoner’s Dilemma is a really interesting Commander card that literally forces your opponents to tackle the Prisoner’s Dilemma game. If you snitch on your opponent and they choose to keep silent, they receive an enormous 12 damage, and you get away scot free. Mind games!
Doppelgang is an interesting Simic mass-clone effect, that seems designed to make players sigh and break out the calculators when someone targets a Doubling Season with it.
Duskana, The Rage Mother is a bear that cares about bears. But not the MTG creature type bear, the in-game jargon term ‘bear’ used to describe 2/2 creatures that cost two mana. Luckily you can pile buffs on your creatures, since Duskana is only concerned about base power and toughness.
MTG Murders at Karlov Manor mechanics
All the Murders at Karlov Manor mechanics have been officially revealed. And we didn’t have to think hard to know that Investigate, and the Clue tokens that come with it, would be in the set. There are loads of Detectives in Murders at Karlov Manor, and Clues are a main mechanic of the set.
The other really big mechanic in Murders at Karlov Manor is Disguise and the related Cloak. Disguise works just like Morph. You pay three mana and play a card with Disguise as a 2/2 creature. Then, any time, you can turn that creature face up for its disguise cost. Notably, this doesn’t use the MTG stack, it happens immediately, as a special action.
Disguise is an upgrade on Morph, because diguised creatures get MTG Ward 2. Many Disguise creatures have some sort of trigger once they’re turned face up.
Similarly, Cloak is a new version of Manifest. It lets you play cards facedown even if they don’t have the Disguise ability. You can then turn these cards up for their mana value. This part only works if they’re creatures, however, you can’t turn up an instant or enchantment.
Suspect is another new mechanic for the set. When a creature is suspected, it gains the keyword menace, but loses the ability to block. Aggressive decks might want to use this ability to make their own creatures harder to block, or apply it to opponents’ cards, to make them helpless before a relentless assault.
Finally, we have Collect Evidence. This mechanic interacts with the graveyard. To Collect Evidence X, you need to exile cards from your graveyard equal to mana value X.
MTG Murders at Karlov Manor story
Ravnica, with such wholesome guilds as the killer clowns, vampire bankers, zombie farmers, and sneaky assassins is pretty murdery already. So for a Ravnica murder to be a big deal, we have to assume either that the plane’s become real peaceful since Nicol Bolas made a mess of things, or that the victims are so influential that everyone’s sitting up and taking notice.
We wouldn’t be surprised if multiple established, named characters show up dead. And in fact, we already know that Teysa Karlov, leader of the Orzhov guild, is likely to die.
A number of characters show up in artwork, and can probably be assumed to feature on cards. Artwork above shows Krenko, Judith, Massacre Girl, and an Izzet Lizard striking a pose.
We’ve also met the set’s protagonist, the blue trench coat-doffing detective with elaborate facial hair, Alquist Proft. The eye/city symbol on his badge links him to a new faction: the Ravnican Agency of Magicological Investigations.
Kaya seems to be helping Proft out, and it seems she is going to be this set’s one and only MTG planeswalker. This would make sense, since her fate is intrinsically linked to the Orzhov guild (of which the Karlovs are a key part), though given that she previously killed everyone important in the black-white guild, you’d expect her to be the primary suspect.
It also looks like the vampire assassin, Etrata, the Silencer is sneaking around. She’s such an obvious red herring that the culprit can’t be her, though we should point out that Dimir seems like the obvious guild to look to if surprise deaths are happening. If Dimir’s shapeshifter guildmaster Lazav doesn’t turn up in an unexpected guise to add a wrinkle to things, we’ll be very surprised.
It’s no mystery where you should turn for more Magic: The Gathering content. Check out our MTG Arena decks guide, our list of the best MTG commanders, or – if you think you might’ve missed one – our page of all the many MTG Arena codes.