Magic: the Gathering


Explorer: 10 Best Cards from Murders at Karlov Manor

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In today's article, we ranked the ten best cards from the new expansion, Murders at Karlov Manor, for Magic Arena's Explorer format!

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Murders at Karlov Manorlink outside website spoiler season has come to an end. The new expansion arrives at Magic Arena next week, on February 9, and brings the mystery-solving theme to the game's universe.

For Explorer, the set brings some excellent cards to the format, such as the reprint of Lightning Helix and a new Leyline that can revive Mono Green Devotion, in addition to the second card in a cycle with a comparable Modern Horizons' power level.

In this article, after our review of Murders at Karlov Manor for Pioneerlink outside website, we ranked the ten best cards in the set for Explorer!


Top Ten Murders at Karlov Manor Cards for Explorer

10 - Deduce

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Deduce is an improved Think Twice that stands out for its potential in Indomitable Creativity decks, especially in those looking for a single wincondition in Atraxa, Grand Unifier or Torrential Gearhulk with Magma Opus.

For two mana, the new draw competes with Impulse which is much more efficient in finding combo pieces, so it's possible that it won't have that much impact in the competitive Metagame.

9 - Deadly Cover-Up

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Deadly Cover-Up gives Explorer an unconditional sweeper for five mana that we can also use as a Cranial Extraction in games with recurring threats or combo pieces like Amalia Benavides Aguirre.

As the format still lacks unconditional five mana board wipe in black, this spell is likely to find a home in Dimir Control and similar lists, with the bonus of still being an excellent hate against Arclight Phoenix and other commonly troublesome cards.

8 - Insidious Roots

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Insidious Roots has enormous potential once players learn how to run it. The most notable interactions involve Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven, as well as cards like Scavenging Ooze, Scrapheap Scrounger and Bloodsoaked Champion.

However, building a list around it is a little more challenging than it seems, given that decks like Jund Sacrifice look much worse than their Rakdos variants. So, while Insidious Roots looks promising, it will depend on how players find the most out of it.

7 - Lightning Helix

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Explorer still lacks a vital piece for Niv-Mizzet Reborn decks, Bring to Light. Without it, this archetype has infinitely less redundancy and cannot take advantage of cards like Lightning Helix.

However, as proven for a long time in Historic, Jeskai Control is a viable strategy in Magic Arena, and the reprint and insertion of Lightning Helix into the format is an excellent reason to seek out new variants of this archetype, especially now that Smuggler's Copter will arrive at the digital platform.

6 - Krenko's Buzzcrusher

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Krenko's Buzzcrusher is a direct and intentional response to Lotus Field, a card whose combo is not yet available in Explorer due to the absence of Hidden Strings in Magic Arena, which motivated players to build a control deck where it is combined with Strict Proctor and Discontinuity.

With the inevitable insertion of untap effects in Magic Arena, maybe through Pioneer Masters, the new creature stands out as an efficient answer to one of the most efficient cards for combos in the format. And today, with the possible return of Devotion decks, it is possible that it will receive space on Midrange sideboards to deal with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

5 - Leyline of the Guildpact

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Placing Leyline of the Guildpact in fifth position is an excellent metaphor for its potential and space in the Explorer and Pioneer Metagame. After all, the new enchantment could be the most broken card in the set, or the worst card of which people will run for a few weeks believing it's good.


Its potential lies in the four points of devotion to green that the enchantment offers for free, while allowing flexible access to other colors. This devotion “bonus” means having the potential to cast Cavalier of Thorns or Nissa, Vital Force as early as the second turn if its controller starts the game with the classic land + mana dork combination.

On the other hand, the new Leyline doesn't fully compare to Leyline of Abundance, the first card banned from Pioneer after Fetch Lands. While it offers two extra points of devotion, its predecessor amplified the potential of mana dorks and gave additional use to the absurd amount of mana that the archetype generated.

Time will tell if Mono Green Devotion will return to Explorer and whether it might take over the format. If it dominates, it's likely that Leyline of the Guildpact and the next card on the list will be the reason behind its resurgence.

4 - Archdruid’s Charm

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Archdruid's Charm is another powerful addition to green in Pioneer and one of the most efficient methods of fetching Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and payoffs while also dealing with common hate, such as Alpine Moon and Damping Sphere.

Today, the “Karn Toolbox” version of Devotion decks is dead. After all, its centerpiece, Karn, the Great Creator has been banned, and it's up to Devotion players to find the right pieces to make the archetype have some competitive potential now that it's received two powerful supports in the new expansion - in this case, perhaps a “Creature Toolbox” with Archdruid's Charm and Vivien, Arkbow Ranger would be the ideal answer.

3 - Novice Inspector

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Novice Inspector is Thraben Inspector's twin brother, which amplifies Boros Convoke's consistency in casting one of its bombs on the second or third turn.

Although it may seem like a tiny difference, having eight white creatures that generate tokens when they come into play makes sequencing errors with Pathways and other lands less punishing, and also amplifies Warden of the Inner Sky's potential to grow quickly in a few turns.

2 - Gleaming Geardrake

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Izzet Ensoul has grown substantially in Pioneer lately, and the arrival of Smuggler’s Copter in Magic Arena will certainly make the deck have an impact on Explorer.

Gleaming Geardrake does everything its strategy wants: adds two artifacts to the board, is a flying threat to Ensoul Artifact, benefits from the sacrifice effects of Shrapnel Blast and Torch the Tower and can get out of control with Treasure and Clue tokens.

1 - No More Lies

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If Mana Leak was reprinted in Explorer, it would automatically be a staple, so how about giving the format an improved version of it that fits into the main Control and Tempo decks?

No More Lies is this card. Its range and exile ability make it superior to spells like Make Disappear by a significant margin, even in decks with an efficient creature core, like Azorius Tempo or Azorius Spirits, given that each threat In these archetypes plays a key role.


Furthermore, the exile clause is beneficial when dealing with recurring threats. A classic example is how casting Arclight Phoenix is a good idea against Azorius Control, as it forces the opponent to spend more resources - now, No More Lies makes this approach way more risky.

There is no doubt that the new counterspell will be an excellent addition to Explorer and a mainstay in most Magic Symbol WMagic Symbol U decks in the format.


That's all for today!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!