Hello all of you happy folks! Today we are looking at my first Top Ten for the latest Standard set called Murders at Karlov Manor back on Ravnica. This list is all about kitchen table formats like Commander, Type Four, Highlander, Five Color, multiplayer, Peasant/Pauper and more!
Ready? Let's get started!!!
Honorable Mention #1. (#13. Overall) - Vein Ripper
Welcome to the Vampire Assassin party! This six-drop harder to casting 6/5 with flying Black dork has a few abilities we already know and love. First, did someone wanna target this? Then they'll have to sacrifice a dork, so unless it was a token, they are down a card to answer you. And it was something they spent mana to play and their answer too, so they are down tempo. Then this has a death trigger of anything, your stuff, your foe's dorks whatever! You drain two life from a foe, like Blood Artist, but twice the life gain. Note that there are no brakes here, like once per turn, or spending mana, or just your stuff. This is great in Aristocrat and Sacrifice builds where you'll sac your stuff, Lifegain decks to trigger your stuff, and control builds where you are often killing opposing stuff with Murder and Mutilate. Good stuff!
Honorable Mention #2. (#12. Overall) - Doorkeeper Thrull
This two-drop flashing 1/2 flyer is next! You can flash it out to block attackers on turn 2 that are 1/1s from the first turn and kill them and save this and keep blocking 1/Xs in the sky or ground until this is answered.
This is also a powerful shutting down of the key ETB stuff on dorks and artifacts too that are so heavily played and relied on in multiplayer, Commander and other places from Mulldrifter to Primeval Titan to Flametongue Kavu to Ancestor's Chosen, all are shut down, including yours too, like a Torpor Orb on a dork. But unlike that, this shuts down artifacts too, like Spine of Ish Sah, Ichor Wellspring and similar stuff too. But since you build around it, you just won't include that stuff. Also, since this is on a dork that can swing, block, arrive on turn 2, this can be a great addition to your Hate Bears brew, and since it's a flyer, Azorius and Esper flying matter, aggro, and loads more all day every day!
Honorable Mention #3. (#11. Overall) - Undergrowth Recon AND Aftermath Analyst
Next is this pair with similarly awesome abilities Green permanents. The enchantment costs three, and then in your upkeep you'll recur a dead land to your battlefield tapped. Note that, unlike Crucible of Worlds effects, this does not take your land drop for the turn, so you'll still have that for two landfalls each turn trigger too, by the by. The creature costs two for a blockable 1/3. When it ETBs you mill three cards. That's already strong in self-mill, flashback, jump-start, recursion, and more! Then you can spend four mana and sac her without tapping to bring back all dead lands to your battlefield from your graveyard. Both of those feel strong in different ways but play into the same central theme of loving fetch lands, cycling lands, and loads more!
#10. Incinerator of the Guilty
This six-drop 6/6 flyer with trample Dragon has two abilities to evade and harder for smaller reach or flying blockers to keep from their controllers. That also helps with its combat damage trigger to deal damage to each dork and planeswalker the damaged party has, equal to the mana cost of what you exiled when it happened. So, it's mass removal if timed right and hard to stop and takes nothing other than combat damage to trigger.
There is no mana, no discarding, no tapping, nothing, just exile and smash. You can sculpt this to the battlefield for maximum hurt for your foe for minimum effort for you. Note that creature tokens typically have no cost unless they are copies so if you exile a zero-drop land, you'll sweep them all. This is ideal in decks that can fill the graveyard like self-mill or Red's discard to draw like Cathartic Reunion or its wheels like Wheel of Fortune or Magus of the Wheel. It's great in most red shells with sacrifice (Goblin Welder), Dragons-matter (Bladewing the Risen), Izzet Spellslinger, and loads more!
It's also great in Type Four with infinite mana but just one spell per turn, so you often have big costs like Searing Wind or Decree of Silence, so you can easily kill bunches. I also love this with haste enablers like Anger or Lightning Greaves to net the trigger when no one is expecting it to block.
#9. Anzrag, the Quake-Mole
Get ready for multicolor overloads and our first legendary dork to lead your Commander brew! Love this four-drop Gruul 8/4 God! This has a blocked and an activated ability. When blocked, you untap it and your team and take another combat so that's Relentless Assault when blocked. Since people won't want that to happen, they'll want to let it slip on by, but who wants to take 8 damage that could also be Commander Damage? So, it's like pseudo evasion. Then you can spend a massive seven mana for forcing your foe to block and that a powerhouse. Sure, that's pricey, but it lasts the turn, and you can kill one player with enough beaters. Also, if you have dorks in Gruul that make mana when they swing or connect, you'll pay for this like Savage Ventmaw that is all up and down this color. You can also give this trample, and it can be killed in combat, so then indestructible to save it. This is just so much...fun!
#8. Case of the Locked Hothouse
Our highest and only scoring Case is this four-drop enchantment in Green! First, it's an Exploration for as long as you control it! Secondly, if you control at least seven lands, easy to do in Green, multiplayer, Commander and with this out, you can solve it EOT. Then you can play lands, dorks, and enchantments from your library like Future Sight. And you can drop two lands from your library, not one, which would normally stop Future Sight from really breaking the bank! Of course, here the break will be artifacts, planeswalkers, instants and sorceries, or a third land. But that's pretty deep and most Green decks love playing lands and dorks, and many love Auras! This is my favorite Case in the set since it's easy to solve and strong one that's done!
#7. No Witnesses AND Deadly Cover-Up AND Anzrag's Rampage
Next are three sweepers hat cost four/five, sweep stuff, and then have other abilities when they resolve as well! Let's do them in color order!
The White one costs four, you destroy all dorks. But whoever has the most dorks will get a free Clue token to sac for that good card draw for two mana! And if tied, that's all of them. The Black one costs five. You destroy all dorks. Then you can also collect evidence 6 to Extirpate a card from a foe. And they might draw a card if they had to discard!
The Red sorcery also costs five and destroys all other artifacts so it's an overloaded Vandalblast with the same mana cost. Then you exile from your library cards equal to the amount destroyed, and then you can toss a dork exiled onto the battlefield with haste and it self-bounces EOT. Some players may let you destroy their Treasures since you are already digging to get a bigger exile stack to get you closer to decking. This is better in big deck formats like Commander and Five Color. I think the first is so good it'll get played in many places from Standard to Multiplayer, but the Deadly Cover-Up might not want to run it often since sorcery speed exiling for 5 mana to answer a card isn't really strong, and the red one is both better and worse than Vandalblast depending on the board state, but you can run both in Highlander formats!
#6. Judith, Carnage Connoisseur
My personal favorite Commander from the new set! This is the new take on Judith which I call "Newdith" since I called her first after previews were done and we'll see a deck around her next week. This five-drop Rakdos colored 3/4 brings a new color to the Spellslinger beloved archetype - Black! Previously this was Izzet with Young Pyromancer in Red and Talrand, Sky Summoner in Blue, Boros with Monastery Mentor, and Jeskai with all three color combos! But now we've added in Black here to turn those into making a 2/2 Imp that shoots all foes for two damage each!
You can also make her a Burn Commander by giving your Lightning Bolt deathtouch to kill anything killable and lifelink to gain three life. That ability is also bonkers with her with damage-based sweepers like Blasphemous Act. You can also run her in a Lifegain shell to trigger your Black life gain triggers. Or you can use her as a Sacrifice/Aristocrats leader to make fodder free to sacrifice to kill foes and get an effect too. Newdith is great with Vein Ripper in that role or Goblin Bombardment or Viscera Seer in her colors for free sacrifices, or to make mana to kill like Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar or Mana Echoes with Imps and keep on casting and recasting your spells with buyback. Love her loads! And then there was five!
#5. Outrageous Robbery
Welcome to our first Top Five, and then final mono-Black card, and second highest scoring mono-colored card period!! Ready for our X double-Black to start fun times to commence? You make your foe exile X cards from their library's top. Then you can cast them whenever you want with any color of mana no matter their identity. So unlike Red's exile from your top library, there is no window here, you can always cast this, so no need to not tap out EOT and then cast. Then you exile, so you can deck them or use this when they tutor to the top of their library like Vampiric Tutor or Mystical Tutor or drop their hand with Scroll Rack. Also note that you can always cast what you need! I adore this Black instant so much that you have to give this fun thing a spin!
#4. Kaya, Spirits' Justice
Our next Black card is this four-drop three loyalty planeswalker! She has four abilities. The first is triggered. As your dorks in your graveyard or in the battlefield are exiled, you can choose one to make a token you control a copy of it for this turn. That's pretty strong and note the token here doesn't have to be a dork, it can be a Treasure or Clue. Also, please note that it gains the flying keyword so you can have evasion. Then her +2 will surveil 2 and drop good stuff and then exile from your graveyard to trigger her. Then her +1 will make a 1/1 flying Spirit. Great for blocking attacks on her and attacking over ground pounders. Then she can -2 easily to exile a dork you control for her ability and then each other foe also exiles their things. This is all about self-exiling synergy. She's great with delve or the new collect evidence keywords. All four of her abilities can be used as soon as you drop her! Kaya is pretty strong at self-exiling or token leading fun times.
#3. Niv-Mizzet, Guildpact
Let's turn to Black/White again with this Five Color legendary to lead your Commander deck 6/6 flyer hard to target. Five Color Commanders are always popular no matter what. Then when it smashes face, you can deal damage to a target, draw cards, and gain life equal to the number of colored pairs you have among two color permanents. So that could be loads of card draw in the right deck. He's awesome possum and totally a powerhouse leading a Commander deck or in a Five Color deck too. Ready for the era of the new Niv-Nizzet to begin?
#2. The Surveil Dual Land Cycle
Next are our latest dual land that count as both types for fetchlands or Farseeks. This cycle ETBs tapped and then will surveil 1 on arrival to the battlefield. Many like surveil more than scry, like Temple of Abandon that's also really good, and with the better land types this cycle is better. I've already tossed these into my two Commander decks from this set too.
#1. Intrude on the Mind
Check out this fun five-cost rare mono-Blue instant to finish things out. Fact or Fiction dominated formats, was restricted in Vintage, and created an entire anagram about how if it resolves your foe loses. So, you respect anything that plays into FOF's shoes, like Sphinx of Uthuun or this. For one more Blue mana, you still reveal five, this time you separate your piles, not your foes, and then they choose which to draw and which to head to your graveyard. Clearly, not as good. But then you'll make a flying Thopter with power equal to what was tossed into the graveyard. Normally, you would choose the split with three bad cards, or sometimes two good ones. But here, if your foe chooses the two, you'll make a bigger dork. Also, because this is an instant, you can make this to flash out a flyer to chump block to save you or a planeswalker or to just EOT and attack with on your turn after you untap. It's awesome.
And there we go! I hope that you enjoyed this look at my top cards from Murders! We'll see you next week!