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Fae Flight Art from Murders at Karlov Manor (MKM) by Durion

Murders at Karlov Manor (MKM) Limited Set Review: Blue

J2SJosh reviews and rates every card from Murders at Karlov Manor (MKM) for limited!

Hey everyone! It’s time to slap on my detective hat and solve some cases in Magic: The Cluening. We all know that it was really Urza with the Candelabra of Tawnos in the Library of Alexandria. Wait, you’re telling me it wasn’t?  Uh oh, I’ll leave all of that to Scooby and the gang then. While they are solving some mysteries, I’ll be reviewing the full set of Murders at Karlov Manor.

Per usual, I’ll be grading the entire set for the purpose of limited as well as writing about a million other articles about it. With all that, you’ll be well prepared to crush some serious dreams.

Here’s the usual grading scale:


Agency Outfitter

Rating: 1.5/5

For the low, low price of six mana, I can get a 4/3 flyer that can search up cards that I hope didn’t make the cut in my deck. Magnifying Glass and Thinking Cap aren’t exactly setting the world on fire and you’d be hoping that you don’t draw them before you play this. There’s also the possibility that you don’t see those particular cards in the draft and end up with an overcosted flyer with zero upside.

Behind the Mask

Rating: 1.5/5

While this has a bit more versatility than most of the versions of this, it is nowhere near as good as the ones that drew a card. Six is a hefty amount of evidence to collect, but it shouldn’t be too big of a problem in the late game when you want to shrink one of their creatures.

One thing this does have going for it is the surprise factor when you animate a clue token to kill an attacker.

Benthic Criminologists

Rating: 1.5/5

Most of the time this is a chonker that lets you cash in Clues without having to pay for them.  Occasionally you might want to trade in a different stray artifact for an extra card, but mostly it will be clues. Pretty much you only want to be playing this if you’re looking for a somewhat beefy curve topper.

Bubble Smuggler

Rating: 1.5/5

While I do love saying Bubble Smuggler, the card itself isn’t doing much for me. It is nice to have the different options, but none of them really do enough to matter.

Burden of Proof

Rating: 2.5/5

It is important to note that this doesn’t remove abilities from the creature, it just shrinks them down. They can also still block non-detectives. I’d say that you’re going to play it for that mode most of the time, but every once in awhile you’ll get to use it as a combat trick that leaves you with a detective that didn’t skip leg day.

Candlestick

Rating: 2.0/5

Surveil two isn’t quite drawing a card, but it does have some value for digging through excess lands and fueling your graveyard shenanigans. The trigger being on attack is a big step up from having to connect with their face. It can even cash itself in when you’re in the dreaded no creature spot.

Case of the Filched Falcon

Rating: 3.0/5

Don’t filch my falcon bro!

You need to be digging deep for the clues to play this because it’s a three mana cantrip if you can’t pump out the artifacts. If you can solve it, the real beatings commence once you get to turn a clue into a 4/4 flyer with pseudo-haste.

Don’t be the person who thinks they’ve solved this and sac a clue before your end step because you still have to meet the conditions when it checks.

Case of the Ransacked Lab

Rating: 1.0/5

This is a build around that takes a deep investment in Instants and Sorceries. Making them cheaper certainly isn’t worth an entire card and you need to pop off four of them in the same turn. If your deck is stacked with cheap spells then you might be able to pull it off. It’s very situational though.

Turning the rest of your instants and sorceries into cantrips sounds great in theory, but how many more do you have after flipping this. That’s not even getting into how terrible of a top deck this is in the late game.

Cold Case Cracker

Rating: 2.5/5

A Phantom Monster that replaces itself when it dies is a totally fine bread and butter type card these days.

Conspiracy Unraveler

Rating: 2.0/5

Maybe you drop this and immediately use its ability to play something else huge, but how many cards are you going to have in your hand after playing your seven drop. It’s not like ten is an easy amount of evidence to collect so it’s not even guaranteed that you can use it.

What you see is what you get and in this case you’re seeing a massive flyer that’s slightly overcosted.

Coveted Falcon

Rating: 2.5/5

You’re going to want to play around removal when you flip this because you want your donations to be temporary. You don’t want to get too greedy with this especially early in the game because giving them a few extra land drops can be a disaster.

In the late game, it is a great way to draw five or so cards to put the game out of reach.

Crimestopper Sprite

Rating: 2.5/5

Did this really need the Collect Evidence 6? We had Frost Trickster back in Strixhaven and it wasn’t even close to broken. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t trigger it, but it certainly will make a difference.

Cryptic Coat

Rating: 4.0/5

Getting a 3/2 unblockable with ward two for three mana is a great place to start with this amazing technicolor dreamcoat. If you hit a creature, you can flip it up to lay even bigger beats. We’re already at a solid card there so everything else is just gravy.

You don’t lose the creature if you bounce this so it’s an engine to keep pumping out creatures. It feels like one of those cards that people may underestimate until they have to play against it.  

Curious Inquiry

Rating: 2.0/5

I guess a Curious Inquiry doesn’t quite go quite as hard as a Curious Obsession. At least you don’t have to sacrifice this if you don’t attack. Having to pay two mana to actually get the card is a bit of a downer, but decks with evasion will still want this.

Deduce

Rating: 2.0/5

It’s Inspiration that can be paid in installments. That makes it much better, but Divination type cards aren’t nearly as useful when everything else has value packed into it.

Dramatic Accusation

Rating: 2.5/5

This is as close as blue gets to removal. Having the option to shuffle it back into a library is an out on the creature still being able to get value, but does give them a shot to draw it again. A nice upgrade from the usual keep something tapped auras.

Eliminate the Impossible

Rating: 3.0/5

This can be a real kick in the pants (Editor’s Note: I toned this one down a bit, pants is a lot more kid friendly) when it lines up right. Winning one combat with it is fine because it replaces itself, but there are going to be times that you can win a few with it. It even strips away the menace on their suspected creatures. That’s a huge ceiling on something with a decent floor because it gives you a clue for only two mana.

Not targeting the creatures actually matters because of the ward on Disguise.

Exit Specialist

Rating: 3.0/5

I love the Man-o'-War effects and while this is a little above what I want to pay, it can be done using the installment package. The slightly harder to block clause won’t let it slip through too often because of how many two power creatures there are in the set, but it does make it more likely to be able to profitably attack.

Fae Flight

Rating: 2.5/5

I’ve always enjoyed blowing people out with Starlit Mantle. While this doesn’t have that extra point of toughness (and I can assure you that will matter), it does give you a suddenly evasive threat.

Forensic Gadgeteer

Rating: 2.5/5

This sounds great in theory, but how many actual artifacts are you going to be casting. It doesn’t trigger when an artifact enters play, they actually need to be cast. The common colorless artifacts are all pretty janky so something went wrong if you’re playing a few of them.

If you have a bunch of the uncommon or rare ways to trigger this, then by all means go nuts. In most decks it will just be a 2/3 for three that lets you crack your clues for cheaper.

Forensic Researcher

Rating: 2.5/5

This will usually let you ramp early by untapping a land and turn into a tapper late as long as you can keep your graveyard stocked with evidence. It doesn’t take very much research to figure out that is pretty dece.

Furtive Courier

Rating: 2.0/5

It’s nice that this can be unblockable as long as you’ve sacrificed a clue for the turn and I do love looting. I just hate the 3/2 for three stat line. That leaves this in the I’ll play it, but I’m not taking it early zone.

Hotshot Investigators

Rating: 2.0/5

I like what this card does, I just don’t want to pay the cost for it. I’ll run them if I lack other top end.

Intrude on the Mind

Rating: 4.0/5

I’m a sucker for anything resembling Fact or Fiction since it was one of my favorite cards. While they get to choose what you get, you get to make the piles and get a thopter out of the deal.

The thing is that there are so many ways to play this minigame. You can do the five and zero giving them the choice between letting you draw five or getting a 5/5 flyer. Most of the time it will end as a three two split, but the options will make this really enjoyable.

Jaded Analyst

Rating: 1.0/5

Normally we get these cards as 3/3s which makes them good blockers when you’re not able to trigger them. I might be jaded here, but my analysis says this is just a bad wall.  

Living Conundrum

Rating: 3.0/5

I am probably overrating this card, but I love that it exists. It’s just such a cool win condition that the hexproof really mattes on so you don’t have your dreams dashed by removal. You need to find a way to draw through your deck and this big old thing just slaps on over in the air as a one critter win con.

Lost in the Maze

Rating: 3.5/5

This is one of those “Oops, guess I win” cards. Having the option to both protect your creatures while still tapping down their side is simply stunning. I see what I did there.

Mistway Spy

Rating: 2.5/5

This is too expensive if you’re only getting one clue out of this. It’s for those situations where you can flip this and make three that really matter. It could also just be a Scryb Sprites if you’re in the go wide or flying deck.  

Out Cold

Rating: 2.0/5

This feels like a card that would have been insane back in the day, but ends up being just fine these days.

Proft’s Eidetic Memory

Rating: 2.0/5

At it’s base this is essentially put a +1+1 counter on a creature and draw a card. That’s too good for one mana, but not quite worth two. Pumping up the jams off of your later card draw brings it up to snuff since you were planning on doing that anyway.

Projektor Inspector

Rating: 2.0/5

We all know how thrilled I am with running this statline. Getting one guaranteed loot doesn’t quite make up for that, but getting more loots off of your other detectives does.

Reasonable Doubt

Rating: 1.5/5

I have a fairly low value on suspect and Quench has always been kind of questionable. It can be a huge swing in a tempo-oriented deck where you can counter their threat and make their on-board creature unable to block. It just loses value so quickly as the game progresses.

Reenact the Crime

Rating: 1.0/5

I’m sure Commander players are going to be pulling some crazy things off with this card. In limited, it’s going to be a lot harder to get the right situation for it. Needing to have triple blue is way too rough to want a card that could be stuck in your hand for awhile.

Think about it, do you want to pay four mana for a Fork or to copy a creature that died? There isn’t even anything that is so amazing that looting it away into this feels like a build around you need to do.

Steamcore Scholar

Rating: 3.0/5

Adding card selection (and possibly advantage) to a Wind Drake with vigilance tacked on is a nice little package. I’m tempted to bump it up for having a dad joke in the flavor text.

Sudden Setback

Rating: 2.0/5

The extra blue pip on this bounce effect is worth it since you have to option to Memory Lapse (almost…) something.

Surveillance Monitor

Rating: 3.0/5

If you didn’t need to collect evidence for this, it would be up in the 3.5 range. As it is, you need a little bit of setup to let it be all that it can be. Still a card I’ll be thrilled to have in most of my blue decks.

Unauthorized Exit

Rating: 2.0/5

We tend to get these cheap bounce spells in most sets. They are always fine and Surveil one is a nice little add on. You can use it for tempo, to protect you creatures, or to reset a case. Cheap and versatile is how I like my spells.


Wrap Up

Blue has a lot of ways to generate card advantage or at least card selection. While it is lacking in hard removal it does have some bounce spells and a tap lockdown spell in Dramatic Accusation. It seems like it will be a strong support color.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow for my limited review of the black cards of Murders at Karlov Manor. Until then, stay classy people!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

You can also find me at:

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j2sjosh
j2sjosh

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

Articles: 286