Murders at Karlov Manor Review, Part 4 of 4: Monocolor Cards

Magic’s newest expansion takes us back to Ravnica once again, to a party at Karlov manor and the body of Zegana, former leader of the Simic guild. A new set means new cards, and we’re continuing our review with the colorless cards. 

Last time we covered the colorless cards, and this time as usual we won’t be looking at everything, and we’ll be doing this primarily but not exclusively with an eye for Commander play.


Monocolor Cards


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Assemble the Players

BPhillipYork: Potentially a really solid card as it’s every turn as opposed to each of your  turns. So flash creatures (like white hatebears) or Vedalken Orrery or other things that will let you cast creatures at instant speed will really turn this into a turbo engine. Really solid for aristocrats which has a lot of enabling cheap pieces, and pair well with Lurrus of the Dream-Den; green has a lot of cast creatures with flash, so solid in Selesnya also.

Marcy: There’s a fair argument this might be better in Enchantment beatdown decks in Standard than Tocasia’s Welcome. While Welcome lets you draw a card a turn, it also costs 3 mana. This gives you the ability to know your next card, counts for things like Hallowed Haunting, and every creature the deck runs except for 2 is 2 mana. The biggest issue that deck archetype has is running out of gas/hitting too many lands, so this might help the tempo.

FromTheShire: In a deck set up for it, this is fantastic. Expect to see a lot of it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Aurelia’s Vindicator

BPhillipYork: Solid card since it’s a mass exile opportunity, and also a way to return cards from your yard to hand, and even its base is pretty strong for an Angel, 4 for a 4/2 flyer with lifelink and ward 2, assuming you want to beat down or do some kind of Angel tribal.

Marcy: If you’re running one of the lifelink shells that plays a lot of Angels and white creatures of non-creature spells, there is some potential for using this as a type of targeted removal. The Ward 2 is nice, but the toughness is so low that there are a lot of easy ways to kill this (shockingly, one of which is not Cut Down!). However, is this card better than Brutal Cathar? No, and that’s the real problem.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Case of the Uneaten Feast

BPhillipYork: Really good for aristocrats I’d mainly say, which tends to care about life gain triggers but also might have a way to return creatures and sacrifice for mana to return more creature kinds of loops.

Marcy: Lifegain in White is a somewhat common staple deck in Standard lately, and this actually seems like a pretty solid addition into those decks, at least maybe as a 2 of. The third ability is where it shines, because there’s a good chance you could make use of that ability to great effect, assuming you can time your trigger right.

FromTheShire: In Soul Sisters and aristocrats style decks you don’t even care about solving this, though you may well do so incidentally.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Delney, Streetwise Lookout

BPhillipYork: Well some kind of weenie beat down is definitely doable, and there’s plenty of “when X deals damage/combat damage” but this also works really well with aristocrats, since so many of the on death triggers are low power.

Marcy: Weenie Panopticon! Anyway, there’s a really good chance you’re going to see this card in some capacities in Human decks in Standard, which rely very often on small, low powered swarms of tokens to slam into your opponent. This could even easily slot into the 3 drop slot that is highly competitive in those decks, which is funny because those decks likely don’t care overmuch for the second part of this card, just the unblockable part.

FromTheShire: The unblockability is nothing to sneeze at but you’re here for the Panharmonicon. It may seem like there’s a restriction on it, but all of the cards these style of decks spam for value like Mulldrifter and Cloudblazer and the like are neatly 2 power or less. Dynamite card.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Doorkeeper Thrull

BPhillipYork: I miss Thrulls. And the whole Fallen Empires. But this is a solid solid hatebear.

Marcy: A specific type of stifle effect, I’m not particularly sure if this does much in Standard right now. I suppose you could shut down a Portal to Phyrexia, There are some cases where this might be helpful as a way to stop ETB triggers on creatures but I am not sure it’s really worth much overall.

FromTheShire: I’m a massive fan of Torpor Orb in the right decks, so I love seeing another version. The vast majority of decks these days are stuffed absolutely full of ETB effects, so if you’re planning not to need them and can turn them off for everyone else you can often just completely shut a deck off. Sometimes they’re even relying on creatures entering as removal and then they have straight up no chance of ever getting out from under the lock, and adding artifacts to the no go list is even better.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Not on My Watch

BPhillipYork: Well this pales to Swords so it’s kind of just outclassed by extant removal. That being said, run more removal. If you eliminate the top removal cards this is a solid mid-tier one.

Marcy: The cost isn’t the problem it’s the condition of requiring the creature to be attacking. There is already a lot of removal in Standard, and actually, Elspeth’s Smite is probably just better to use.

FromTheShire: It’s not Swords to Plowshares but the vast majority of removal isn’t, still extremely playable.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

No Witnesses

BPhillipYork: Well another straight up Wrath of God is nice to have in white’s toolbox.

Marcy: Perhaps you’ve seen the video by the time this article comes out, but recently MTGoldfish did a video talking about how this card very likely was meant to replace Depopulate, but instead we now have a standard that has 2 4 mana White board wipes, and frankly a huge amount of board wipes in general right now because of the no-rotation choice. Standard is currently filled with a lot of aggro that focuses on going wide, so it isn’t really a problem to have these, but the sheer amount of overlapping cards because of the policy change is what really frustrates me.

FromTheShire: Just a solid straight up Wrath.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Tenth District Hero

BPhillipYork: I think indestructible is pretty solid, though it’s 2, then 2 more, then 3 more, so 7 to give all other creatures you control indestructible, and then you can wrath or whatever and your creatures won’t die, except for this one, except someone will surely kill it in response, in which case, yeah, Cut Down.


FromTheShire: Like most level up style creatures, it’s almost certainly too much mana for not enough effect and will eat spot removal when you’ve invested maximum resources into it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Unyielding Gatekeeper

BPhillipYork: Solid removal really, okay at 2 for a 3/2 but definitely playing face down lets you either flicker and protect something else in response to removal or else get rid of a threat but replace it with a Detective. Now I’m trying to understand how a gatekeeper flickers something, I guess kicking it out the gate, but then it comes back as a detective? Someone help me please understand the logic of this card.

Marcy: There are just so many better ways to remove or exile something without giving your opponent an upside. Sure, you could use it to flicker your own things too, which is probably the majority way you want to use this. The Angel of Ghirapur self flicker deck didn’t take off, and I don’t think this fixes it. And. Well. Just look at the power/toughness. (Also, it dies to Cut Down.)

FromTheShire: This is actually a pretty good example of how the fact that a creature can be dealt with by removal isn’t the same thing as Dies To Removal, in this case Cut Down. If that were the case then any creature ever printed would be unplayable which is clearly not the case. Instead, dies to removal is meant to show how possibly splashy seeming cards can actually be bad if they do not impact the board right away, especially if they trade unfavorably mana wise with the removal that is used on them. Sometimes even if it doesn’t impact the board immediately the effect is SO overpowering or people have to warp their decks SO much to ensure they have removal in hand the second it comes down that the card is still perfectly playable. Mirrodin Standard had plenty of artifact removal available, it didn’t the Skullclamp became unplayable.

In this case, you will always be playing Gatekeeper face down since its purpose is to use the ability. At that point, it can technically be removed before it gets to activate its ability, but in reality your opponent both has to correctly guess what your face down card is and also pay 3 mana for their Cut Down due to the ward 2, and at that point you’re fine with it – if the removal deck has to take their entire turn 3 off just to deal with your turn 3 creature, that’s a win for the type of deck that would run this card. There’s a reason people don’t generally run 3 mana removal. If they DON’T deal with it before it’s turned face up, then either you get to blink something of yours for value or you get to turn their big threat into a 2/2, and at that point if they want to spend their removal on your 3/2 that has already netted you an advantage, it’s a win for you again.

Now with all of that being said, I don’t know if this will be playable in Standard – morph decks tend to be kind of slower and I know the format has a good bit of aggro in it currently. If it isn’t it will be for reasons other than that it dies to Cut Down though.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Wojek Investigator

BPhillipYork: So potentially investigating 3 times on your turn is pretty decent, if you have a way to use a bunch of Clue tokens, things like Galazeth Prismari or ways to sacrifice for mana or whatever. Also your worst case scenario is paying 2 to draw cards, which is pretty solid.

Marcy: Did anyone else read that as Wojack Investigator? No? Just me? I don’t hate that this creates conditional card draw or just an artifact token, I just also don’t know what deck needs or wants this card.

FromTheShire: Very solid artifact generation/ card catch up mechanic.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Case of the Ransacked Lab

BPhillipYork: Wow that’s potentially a real whammy of a spell for a deck that essentially wants to storm off. Especially with all the red cast triggers, this is a strong way to refill your hand effectively cantripping everything, so there’s lots of decks this can slot into usefully.

Marcy: Too expensive and slow for Standard.

FromTheShire: Massively powerful, both modes are exactly what you want in a spellslinger deck.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Conspiracy Unraveler

BPhillipYork: The danger of this card seems to be you cheat it out and mill away so you can then cast Omniscience or something effectively free. It’s a lot of steps but if you’re already milling to get to this to reanimate your yard should be full so you can collect evidence 10.

Marcy: So this is literally just a card for 100 card formats, right? Anyway, no way this card hits the table and does anything very likely. For the mana cost, you could just run Hullbreaker Horror, and frankly Blue decks don’t even run that card these days.

FromTheShire: Cheating mana costs is very powerful, but this does have a noticeable tax both on the creature itself and how much evidence you have to collect. That said, can absolutely enable a couple of key spells snowballing into a win.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Coveted Falcon

BPhillipYork: Cute, “both sides of the trick” card, fun for Zedruu the Greathearted, and wonky decks that Donate things or what not. Can also just use the various trade cards and take your stuff back, which is fairly nasty.

Marcy: I’d love the idea of this card if there were a lot of ‘bad’ permanent type cards to own in Standard right now, but sadly there are not. So, I really don’t know if this does anything. Also, I would giggle insanely if you gave me a bunch of valuable stuff and I killed this bird with a single mana spell.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Cryptic Coat

BPhillipYork: So it’s a weird card, I guess it’s okay if you maybe…  Well you could do things to make artifacts cheap and then play creatures that have turn face up abilities or have top of library manipulation, or put really nasty stuff in your deck like Phage the Untouchable or Master of Cruelties.

Marcy: This is certainly a card. I’m not entirely sure what you do with it. Maybe a limited star?

FromTheShire: What you do with this card is win the game with your infinite mana by cloaking your entire deck. Or I guess play it fairly but nobody is doing that.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Forensic Gadgeteer

BPhillipYork: So this is kind of neat, I’d say you need a kind of funky artifact recursion deck, so maybe something like Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain where you cast and recast artifacts, there are also artifact loops, I would say the best thing to do with this card is power up your Rocket Launcher.

Marcy: I feel like not reducing it to 0 is the weakness here. Not bad otherwise. Probably doesn’t have a home in any decks I can think of at the moment though. Frankly I don’t even care that it dies to Cut Down.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Intrude on the Mind

BPhillipYork: So your worst case scenario here is probably draw 2 which is okay, instant speed makes it a lot more usable, but probably the real place to run it is a deck where you want things to hit your yard.

Marcy: I’m not sure if this card is better than Memory Deluge, and in fact it probably isn’t, but if this were a Standard where Memory Deluge didn’t exist, I think you’d see this card. You may still, it has some nice potential.

FromTheShire: Time to teach Zoomers about Fact or Fiction piles, except with power creep, and boy am I here for it. There’s a number of cards in the set like this that are upgrades on wildly popular cards from the past and I love it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lost in the Maze

BPhillipYork: I think the hexproof for tapped creatures for 2 is pretty solid since once you declare attackers they tap immediately (I wrote instantly but that’s confusing) and you can use it in response to your creature being targeted. The stun counter thing could be good in like Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice since you can just keep them tapped down, which is potentially fairly nasty. I don’t see this card actually seeing too much use though.

Marcy: The funniest thing to me here is using this as a 2 mana counter to Wandering Emperor only.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Proft’s Eidetic Memory

BPhillipYork: With Sage of Hours this is a potential source of infinite turns, which is basically a win con, you need to be drawing 6 cards per turn or some combination thereof, but in blue that isn’t really that difficult to pull off, if that is what your deck does.

Marcy: I’m not a big Commander player but I have to imagine this finds a home. You could even find a home for this in Blue Tempo standard perhaps, especially to turn some of the card draw spells into lethal damage on your Djinn or Terror.

FromTheShire: This is going to see a bunch of play for the no max hand size alone. Then on top of that, a lot of decks will abuse the counters aspect, a lot more will flicker it for the card every turn…. really good.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Reenact the Crime

BPhillipYork: 4 mana to copy anything is solid, since you know, you can copy uh, Omniscience or something crazy after you cycle it away. Or a crazy planeswalker or whatever.

Marcy: While the condition that the card had to be put in a graveyard might seem limiting, it can be from anything, even an opponent discarding to hand-size, which I think makes for some interesting plays with this. I also like that it isn’t limited, so you can grab a creature, enchantment, or otherwise. 3 Blue is pricey but there’s a good argument that this may be a contender for solid re-animator centerpiece, possibly even better than Squirming Emergence.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Steamcore Scholar

BPhillipYork: Well it’s a 2/2 flyer with vigilance that lets you get some card selection, really a standard card.

Marcy: Probably a solid draft piece. Could even perhaps fit into some Blue aggro that use Djinn and baby-reanimator cards, but it’s an expensive creature for a 2/2 that loots and then probably dies.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Barbed Servitor

BPhillipYork: Ooooh I love the “when this takes damage, opponent loses life” thing, I think it’s a hilarious archetype for funny decks and fight cards so, more please. I like this one because there’s a decent reason for your opponent to try to block it, so it has some built in payoff.

Marcy: Now this card might have some legs in Monoblack or even Rakdos. While it is expensive, the Indestructible turns it into an amazing meat-shield–oh, wait, it can’t block? Nevermind. This card sucks. The problem is that there are a lot of 1/1 creatures you can trade this into, so many ways to exile creatures easily, and at 4 mana, is gonna hit the field fairly late. At least it doesn’t die to Cut Down I guess!

FromTheShire: Always love these kinds of cards, bonus points if you can remove the suspect.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Case of the Stashed Skeleton

BPhillipYork: So solid for a deck that wants creatures to Victimize, aristocrats and things like that, and then it’s another tutor card, though its 4 and change for a tutor so doesn’t really stack up to the best tutors.

Marcy: So, if you can get rid of the Skeleton, you get to tutor with no downside for 2 mana. That’s not bad, and there are a lot of ways to kill your own creature off in Black and Rakdos. I like the no-downsides tutor a lot here, so I think this card might have some possibilities.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Deadly Cover-Up

BPhillipYork: So a black Wrath of God, basically, that also lets you clear a card, which doesn’t matter for Commander, but black having more straight up wraths is really nice. 5 mana is fine, if you want board clear like that, you want it.

Marcy: …So this is obviously Eldraine art that didn’t make it into the set, right? What’s interesting about this is that it is a weird combination of The End and a board wipe, which is further made interesting by the fact that you can select the card that you will be exiling, and it doesn’t have to be a creature. Sunfall is a really solid 5 mana board wipe, but this might have some use and provides Black with a far better wipe than Path of Peril.

FromTheShire: Solid Wrath that also lets you make sure one card is never getting reanimated, which is a valid concern.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Homicide Investigator

BPhillipYork: Main use I can see for this card is another trigger for artifact aristocrats decks, so Disciple of the Vault and its kin, which it’s nice for. Other than that, fine for regular aristocrats too if the deck isn’t very focused, otherwise this is just noise.

Marcy: It’s kind of wild how much of a nothing card this is. It has an ability because no ability creatures don’t seem to exist anymore, but this is just the most… whatever 2/2 for 2 in a while.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Hunted Bonebrute

BPhillipYork: So for 5 you get a 6/2 with menace which is cool, or else you pay 3 for a 6/2 and give out two dogs. If you want to give away creatures, and there are times you do, this is useful, for Commander a 6/2 with menace is kind of meaningless.

Marcy: Yeah sorry unless you find some way to remove the tokens you give me or I just don’t play any creatures and have no removal at the ready, I’m blocking this thing all day and losing 3 life.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Illicit Masquerade

BPhillipYork: With flash this is potentially a swingy kind of combo card, get a bunch of creatures out, flash it out, then wrath to return a bunch of creatures from your yard. That’s a lot of steps though and tricky timing (you generally want to return the same thing over and over, and you can only return Gary with this once). Though if you have a sac outlet you can sit there and return Gary, sac it, sac another imposter, return Gary, and that’s potentially gg.


I’ll see myself out. Anyway, could be a fun bait and switch to re-animate something, otherwise it’s whatever. If it is against anything but Farewell or Sunfall, I think it would be really funny to use this as a Fuck You to the like 7 board wipes in Standard.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Long Goodbye

BPhillipYork: The can’t be countered is neat, and in Commander there will always be a target, but the fact you frequently must remove a commander and they sometimes cost more than 3, means I wouldn’t generally risk playing this, especially as there are several ways to stop a spell without countering it that are widely played.

Marcy: This might be one of the best cards in this set. An uncommon with this level of power is surprising, but welcome, because it is exhausting that most removal spells are somehow Rares these days. Even though it only targets 3 mana value, there are a TON of high value targets at 3 or less mana in the formats, and it comes with the inability to be countered. I see this finding its way into most decks that run Black.

FromTheShire: Incredible card for 60 card, straight up ignoring ward.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Massacre Girl, Known Killer

BPhillipYork: Neat card, potentially really good with board clears running around like The Meathook Massacre and Toxic Deluge. Also funny with her junior version, of course.

Marcy: Wither mentioned!!! I don’t really know if this is good. There’s not really a lot of great ways to apply damage without it just being through swinging into your opponent’s creatures, so maybe this is not a Standard playable card.

FromTheShire: Very cool, turning every creature that chump blocks one of yours into card draw is very strong. There are existing decks like Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons that can’t wait to windmill slam it too.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Outrageos Robbery

BPhillipYork: This is a pretty solid card IMO, playing from exile matters sometimes, grabbing cards off someone’s top is solid, in Commander lots of tutors and revealing what was tutored, and lots of free spells, just a good card.

Marcy: So I like this a bit because Siphon Insight is a similar card, but this works in just Monoblack, or can even work in tandem with Dimir also. The variability is nice too and can even suffice as a cheap way to mill someone of a few cards by placing them in exile.

FromTheShire: Always love a good theft effect in black.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Vein Ripper

BPhillipYork: Quite pricey and so not really suitable for a more competitive aristocrats deck, but solid enough especially if you cheat it out.

Marcy: I’m trying to ignore the fact that this card costs six so that I can talk about the fact that you could make a fun Rakdos Aristocrats style deck that uses this and Oni Cult Anvil together, but I just can’t get past the fact that this creature costs 6 mana.

FromTheShire: Generally you want this effect to be cheaper but c’mon, it’s Commander, treat yourself. Always good to have additional redundancy.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Anzrag’s Rampage

BPhillipYork: Wow asymmetric board clear of artifacts is pretty good, I’m not sure we’ve seen that especially with a “but wait there’s more” rider, you do risk exiling something useful but dropping out a creature on top of it for a turn is pretty good.

Marcy: So bad. Like COMICALLY bad in Standard. The highest cost creature played in Red is 3.

FromTheShire: Vandalblast is currently played in 17% of ALL decks registered on EDHRec, absolute staple in any red deck. I wouldn’t strictly call this a power-crept version since you do lose the early game utility of spot removal, but that’s very rarely used. When this is at its best it might exile a solid chunk of your deck but you do get a hasty creature for a turn out of it, and the effect is so good I expect this to also see quite a bit of play.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Case of the Crimson Pulse

BPhillipYork: Well if you burn through your hand quickly this will increase you card draw to 2 per turn and you can cast an instant if you drew that before you are forced to discard. Also good for reanimation decks to get things into the yard.

Marcy: I see we decided to just do Kiki-Jiki but like, only about card draw. This is kind of an amazing looting card for Red, a color that historically dumps its entire hand easily. You can, if empty handed after casting, just get 2 cards! And then, if you cast them, you can get another two cards before drawing for the turn! I like it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Connecting the Dots

BPhillipYork: Wow, pretty solid potentially for just refilling your hand, but 2 and 2 more mana and the visibly increasing threat of exiling so much is a bit dangerous, calling for someone to blow it up, so you’d definitely want to keep the mana to sacrifice it around.

Marcy: The comedy of doing this and flipping over nothing but lands is so hysterically funny to me that I kicked my feet imagining it. I don’t know if this card is good, but there’s a good chance you could have an empty hand or be sitting on land flood and take a gamble that might pay off.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Crime Novelist

BPhillipYork: So this means sacrificing a Treasure gives you a red and a mana of any color, Clues will generate a red when sacrificed, Krark-Clan Ironworks this is such an obvious combo piece it’s kind of boring.

Marcy: I’m sure nothing bad will ever come of a card that can, functionally, generate infinite red mana.

FromTheShire: I mean come on, just look at it. Crazy powerful.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Expedited Inheritance

BPhillipYork: Kind of a weird card, I like that it’s not just your creatures, though red is frequently the source of damage and board clear so kind of unintended consequences, great for a deck that wants to exile things and cares about playing from exile since it turns your board clears into massive card advantage but it’s also kind of a unique effect so dangerous to depend on.

Marcy: I don’t understand the point of this card except that you want to use this to get bad blocks so you can filter your own deck, but if I’m mono-Red and I’m on a tempo and you’re scrounging for answers, the last thing I want to do is let you filter your deck for answers.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Fugitive Codebreaker

BPhillipYork: I guess red is all in on discard draw for this set which is okay but not particularly good for Commander. Fine in Standard, strong even, and nice late game recovery mechanic.

Marcy: Monastery Swiftspear, is that you? Actually, I don’t hate this card, and think it might be a solid include in the 2 drop spot in Red. It is basically just Swiftspear with Power and Toughness reversed, but unlike Swiftspear, if your game is somehow going a bit too long, the flip-up side could maybe find you an answer. Otherwise, it’s just top-heavy Swiftspear for an extra mana, which isn’t terrible.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Incinerator of the Guilty

BPhillipYork: Well that’s a fun one player board clear, and hits planeswalkers too, but 6 for a 6/6 flyer with trample is pretty durdly.

Marcy: I don’t think this is Standard playable but it is a pretty neat card, possibly in Limited or otherwise. The ability to be a variable board wipe by adjusting the power to what you need or have is pretty solid. The issue is red decks right now cap out at like, 3 mana, so I don’t know if this card has a home.

FromTheShire: This is another one of the power-crept cards, just a straight up better Balefire Dragon the vast majority of the time, and in reality probably just going to be the second copy in every Dragon deck. Massive fan.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Krenko, Baron of Tin Street

BPhillipYork: This is, again, like, so blatantly a combo card, and yeah obviously if you can turn your Goblins into artifacts you are pretty close to a loop here, and there are ways. It is potentially a straight up new Krenko commander for mono-red Goblins that is super aggro and fun for that purpose.

Marcy: Wow I wonder if there’s some way to generate infinite red mana after sacrificing an artifact. That would be crazy. There certainly isn’t one in this article.

FromTheShire: This spin on Krenko makes you work a lot harder to make your Goblins, possibly too hard because the dividing line between optimizing this enough to be good and just going infinite is vanishingly thin.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Krenko’s Buzzcrusher

BPhillipYork: These effects are potentially abusable if you are running enablers or ways to penalize searches and things, and that’s where this would really shine. Otherwise it’s just kind of non-basic control, which is actually getting to the point where you could be pretty aggressive in shutting that down.

Marcy: We love land destruction. I don’t hate this card although I don’t know if it’ll find a home in Standard right now.

FromTheShire: Absolute auto include for Ponza decks so I can’t get enough – the fact this doesn’t target means it gets around things like Lotus Field which is excellent. It also immediately adds a clock to the board as well, which is one of the things the deck can struggle with, where you draw all of your land destruction but no threats, allowing them to eventually claw back into the game.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lamplight Phoenix

BPhillipYork: A phoenix that flies and is not big but not tiny that uses the sets mechanic to return to the yard. Box checked.

Marcy: About the only downside of this card is that you probably just want to be re-animating Squee instead, although this doesn’t require mana, so there’s potential argument this is just as good.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Pyrotechnic Performer

BPhillipYork: Oh so this is the set mechanic triggered damage thing, well it’s fine for 4-of, probably cannot cut it in Commander unless you are building specifically around morph and disguise and cloak and manifest a lot.

Marcy: A delayed Lightning Strike that might also turn other disguised creatures into Lighting Strikes, that’s not terrible.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Vengeful Tracker

BPhillipYork: Nice group slug for Commander to shut down Treasure usage.

Marcy: Can you say ‘sideboard card’?

FromTheShire: Very nice hate piece against all of the Clues, Treasure, Food, etc that a ton of decks make these days.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Analyze the Pollen

BPhillipYork: MMMM I dunno, it’s okay, late game get a combo piece, yeah that’s pretty reasonable if you are sure you will fill your yard with spells by the time you need your winning creature then it’s effectively just a creature tutor, and in that sense it’s good.

Marcy: The collect evidence trigger here is insane what the hell am I fishing for with 8+ cards in my graveyard in which I’m not probably already dead at that point?


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Archdruid’s Charm

BPhillipYork: Solid charm card, one of the charms where the various modes are all somewhat useful, so it’s actually flexible, but GGG can be a bit difficult.

Marcy: No way we put this card after the other one, this is just hysterically the better card by a mile.

FromTheShire: Incredible charm, all of the modes are great so expect to see this a lot.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Audience with Trostani

BPhillipYork: Fine card draw if this is what you are doing.

Marcy: Jinnie Fay, Jetmir’s Second probably really likes this card, as do a lot of other token heavy decks.

FromTheShire: Definitely a build around, most token decks are all in on one or two types rather than a variety. Very powerful in a deck that does.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Axebane Ferox

BPhillipYork: This needs like one more ability then it can join the overtyped creature group. See Questing Beast and Rampaging Raptor. I guess it speaks to how pushed creatures are getting that mid range creatures need 3 and 4 abilities to be playable.

Marcy: So basically this is a 4/4 for 4 with haste, and conditional protection. The problem is I don’t think this is better than Ulvenwald Oddity, but could be a solid include in green aggro anyway.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Case of the Locked Hothouse

BPhillipYork: The dollar cost of additional land cards is getting up there so its okay if you want to do lands matters, and then getting seven or more lands won’t be too bad. But it’s 4 mana to get there, seems like this should have collect evidence to lower the cost or something. Wait shouldn’t all the cases have collect evidence wtf.

Marcy: This might be the best of the Case cards so far, although the Black tutor card is also very good.

FromTheShire: Not being able to play additional lands until you get to 4 is a little annoying, but boy howdy is this a card. You’ll naturally get there as you ramp, and then it provides massive card advantage.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Hide in Plain Sight

BPhillipYork: I guess this is… I mean it lets you get a creature out, I dunno is this like 50 ways to play Phage the Untouchable for some reason? Also Wormfang Manta. So do that.

Marcy: I’m not entirely sure what to think of the Cloak/Face down mechanic yet. I don’t think it’s very good, at least not in Standard, and while this thins your deck, I think Green ramp/aggro would just prefer to play these creatures faster. Of course, you can also just turn dead cards into 2/2s (like too many lands, or cards you don’t think you need), so… still not great, really.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Sharp-Eyed Rookie

BPhillipYork: This seems super strong for Standard, I dunno for Commander. But go hog wild, there was that Wilds of Eldraine card with a similar mechanic, Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig and that certainly was a bit of a beater.

Marcy: This is the best 2 mana Detective so far. A card that can easily and quickly get out of hand, especially in Green ramp and Stompy shells that requires you to do very little extra but just play the card. This isn’t limited to once per turn, either, which I think is important to note.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Pride of Hull Clade

BPhillipYork: Fun. I mean bad. But fun. Also works well with that uh, clam. There is a theoretical like turn 20 damage beat down with this which is kind of hilarious. So Simic defender attack needed a commander and now it has a fun one.

Marcy: I would almost like this card if not for the Blue in the activated ability, but the Defender Aggro shell that people meme-d with a few sets ago might like to try this. I don’t actually think the cost is outrageous, since Green creatures and defenders tend to be capital T thicc, but… this card is also kind of a joke.

FromTheShire: Extremely fun, and being a Simic monstrosity it’s one of the few times I think these 3 creature type cards actually work. Always happy to see more support for attacking with big butts.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Undergrowth Recon

BPhillipYork: Potentially you could be returning Strip Mine and stuff and that’s nasty, also with fetch lands solid, but 3 mana is a lot for something that then won’t pay off until turn 4.

Marcy: This is the card that I think a few decks needed in Standard to make self-mill decks work because of the way they tended to chuck all of your lands into the graveyard without security. You could use Blossoming Tortoise, and there was also Wrenn and Realmbreaker, but both had some issues of getting removed or not being consistent. This is a nice way to help fix that issue while ensuring you don’t fall behind on lands, even if it enters tapped.

FromTheShire: Straight up returning one per turn means this stacks great with Crucible of Worlds style lands decks. Really good.


That wraps up our look at the latest set! Join us next time as we return to regular content. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at