The new expansion, Murders at Karlov Manor, arrives at Magic Arena next Tuesday, February 6th and brings with it several cards with mystery-solving themes. In addition to them, it also brings to the digital platform the Special Guests, reprints with a select list of historical Magic cards and staples.
In this article, I present five lists of decks to try in Timeless, based on the importance and potential that the main Murders at Karlov Manor cards feature the format!
Break Out Zoo
Break Out is one of the most powerful spells in the new set. Serving as a mini-Collected Company, it does not offer the same card advantage nor cheat on mana as its predecessor, but it guarantees immediate impact to any creature that comes into play through its effect, and benefits aggressive archetypes who need more redundancy in finding their threats.
Creatures with low-cost and high power, or that have abilities when they come into play or attack, seem to be the best way to take advantage of the new spell in competitive formats. In Timeless, Domain Zoo has the largest number of them in the current Metagame and is in the ideal color combination for it.
Other creatures work well alongside Break Out. For example, Meddling Mage becomes much more interesting as a disruptive option when put directly into play, since its ability doesn't go on the stack - that is, there is no response window between the moment it enters the battlefield and when we name the card that should not be played.
Archdruid Titan Field
Titan Field is already one of the best Timeless decks today and defines the inevitability metric of the current Metagame. Murders at Karlov Manor gave the archetype one of the most powerful ways to add more consistency to its game plan and even respond to the most common hates against it in the maindeck: Archdruid’s Charm.
Despite its restrictive mana cost that requires more green mana sources and fewer colorless lands, the new spell joins Once Upon a Time and Sylvan Scrying in finding Field of the Dead - with the advantage of putting it directly into play - while being an excellent tutor for Primeval Titan in hands without Natural Order, as well as allowing a small “toolbox” with Craterhoof Behemoth, Titan of Industry and Stormkeld Vanguard.
However, swapping Fierce Empath for Archdruid's Charm also opens up compromises, such as reducing the consistency with which Natural Order is used - it can be fixed if we increase the number of Khalni Garden in the maindeck, but that could either slow the deck down or compromise Field of the Dead as wincondition.
Sultai NO & Tell
Sultai NO & Tell is a classic attempt at combo-control play in Timeless. In it, we took the already known Sultai Midrange shell with cheap interaction, mana dorks and Oko, Thief of Crowns and added a “free-win” combo aspect with Natural Order and Show and Tell to put Worldspine Wurm or Atraxa, Grand Unifier into play as early as the second turn.
One of the biggest problems with Sultai decks in the format today is that they take a long time to win games since they rely too much on an attrition strategy with Oko, Thief of Crowns. Making room for a combo allows ending games much faster and ensure that our discards and removals are optimized to hold the opponent just long enough until we take over the battlefield.
This version is also a little more adaptable than the other Show and Tell decks that have emerged so far: the Sideboard is much more flexible in dealing with the opponent instead of focusing too much on protecting your combo, and guarantees the potential for us to even cut some pieces on attrition matchups.
This is the list I'm most excited to test over the next few weeks. Therefore, if its results exceed the expectations, you can expect a deck tech soon!
Sneak & Show
But if you prefer to go for the all-in combo plan similar to what was once one of the most famous decks in Legacy, Sneak Attack and Natural Order are an excellent trio alongside Show and Tell to cheat on mana costs early!
In this version, all cards revolve around executing a combo with one of the key pieces: mana dorks ramp Sneak Attack while they can be sacrificed with Natural Order to get Atraxa or Worldspine Wurm , and draw spells are used to remove excess pieces from our hand, find others, or even to protect our combo with Veil of Summer - in the maindeck, as Thoughtseize and counterspells are our biggest enemies when it comes to completing one of the combos.
Overall, this is probably the fastest and most consistent version of playing with Show and Tell. However, there is not much space even in the Sideboard to think about alternative plans, given the need to protect it even more in games 2 and 3.
Leaning more towards the casual side, the insertion of Kuldotha Rebirth and an extra copy of one-drop that creates artifacts with Novice Inspector gives more redundancy to try Boros Convoke on Timeless and Historic, similar to the old “8-Whack” decks.
Unfortunately, Goblin Bushwhacker and Reckless Bushwhacker are not available in Magic Arena, so we are forced to run Regal Leosaur and Imodane's Recruiter instead, both of which are one turn slower than their predecessors.
The rest of the list is the same essence as what we find in Pioneer, except for the redundancy added by Kuldotha Rebirth, which increases the odds of casting creatures with Convoke on the second turn for a bonus - in this case, Venerated Loxodon is a little better for reducing the vulnerability that tokens have against Orcish Bowmasters.
This isn't a list I'd recommend for more competitive events, but it looks like a fun option and one that could win some games in Best of One, so if you already have the Boros Convoke cards available and want to try something different in Timeless, this list seems like a good start.
That's all for today.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!
Thanks for reading!