Murders At Karlov Manor precons should be the new standard

Murders At Karlov Manor precons should be the new standard
Johnny Garcia Updated on by

Fact Checked By: Amaar Chowdhury

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With every major set release in Magic: The Gathering, Commander pre-constructed decks tend to come with them. These have had very high highs and low lows. The power level, playability, and value have all varied greatly throughout the years of Commander precons, however, with Murders At Karlov Manor, a new standard has been found. They are some of the best precons the game has seen in managing to be balanced, easy to understand for new players, and having valuable reprints to make powerful cards more accessible. The Murders At Karlov Manor precons should be the new standard for Commander precons going forward.

Murders at Karlov Manor Commander Precons


4 (Blame Game, Revenant Recon, Deadly Disguise, Deep Clue Sea)



Out Of The Box Playability

All four of the Commander decks for Murders At Karlov Manor can be played right out of the box. While all precons are meant to be playable as such, what makes the Murders At Karlov Manor decks special is they are not just playable out of the box, but also strong. They all have a consistent strategy to them, with each of the face commanders giving you an immediate idea on what you need to be doing with the deck. 

Every precon usually has weaker cards that are easy to remove when you want to upgrade them, but there are much less obvious choices with the Murders At Karlov Manor precons. There are a few exceptions, like Sophia, Dogged Detective in Deep Clue Sea or Feather, Radiant Arbiter from Blame Game, but for upgrades, you might find yourself struggling to pick what to cut just because of how well-made these decks are. 

While the precons aren’t going to be winning games against more refined decks, against other precons, they’re among the best you can be playing. They are well made, have a ton of synergy within their cards, and can hold their own quite well. 

Precon decks are a big onboarding product for new Magic players, and the Murders At Karlov Manor decks are a great choice for those getting into the game. All of the decks are easy to understand, with rather simple mechanics. The only exception might be Deadly Disguise, which is a bit more complex with face-down creatures, but is a good introduction to more complicated mechanics that players will eventually need to be expected to run into. 

Reprint Value

Another thing the Murders At Karlov Manor does well is reprint values. Commander precons are the easiest place to put reprints, and help players new and old get access to powerful cards without needing to break the bank. 

Every single precon from Murders At Karlov Manor has amazing reprints that in some cases are worth more than half the price of the deck they are in. Toskia, Bearer Of Secrets, Seedborn Muse, and Jeska’s Will are all in Deadly Disguise, with the value of those three cards alone being about $45 and you can buy the precon itself for $35. 

This isn’t just for Deadly Disguise, as all four precons have amazing reprints of many powerful cards that play into their respective strategies. Having reprints that matter in these precons is important as it gives incentive for older players to check them out. Necromancy, Rise Of The Dark Realms, Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Smuggler’s Share, and Fiendish Duo are all other great reprints found across the other decks. For how cheap all four of the Murders At Karlov Manor decks are, the value you get out of them often exceeds the price you paid for them because of how good the reprints are in them. 

Reprint value in Commander precons should be a part of the standard that Murders At Karlov Manor set. It should be expected for there to be valuable cards that every player would love to get their hands on. It makes the game more accessible, and gives incentive to buyers to purchase the precons from stores to support their local game stores. Locking away the ability to upgrade your decks with powerful cards behind a paywall doesn’t benefit the players, and by including reprints in precons the cards become more accessible to a wider audience, and give more players a chance to play with those cards. 

New Commanders

Every Commander precon has an alternate commander (some have three total instead of just one), and for Murders At Karlov Manor, they all support a much different strategy from the main deck. This makes them easy choices to remove when you are upgrading, and gives you a base to work with to start building your own Commander deck with them at the helm. 

An example is Duskana, The Rage Mother which cares about creatures with a 2/2 statline found in Deadly Disguise. This is a great commander to build a bit more of a gimmicky deck while taking full advantage of its effect, something it can’t comfortably do within the confines of Deadly Disguise. 

Another example is Sophia, Dogged Detective. It’s a Bant commander in Deep Clue Sea that supports the Dog creature type. However, there are no actual Dogs in that precon with the exception of the legendary Dog token it makes when it enters the battlefield. As such, it doesn’t quite work with Deep Clue Sea’s strategy of making Clue tokens, but is instead a much more interesting commander on its own. 

These alternate commanders are a great gateway into crafting your own deck with them. One thing precons are best at doing is seeing how a commander deck should function with synergies in the 99 cards of your library with your commander outside of it. 

With Murders At Karlov Manor, the alternate commanders don’t do too much for their decks, they are amazing commanders if the 99 is built with them in mind. The Murders At Karlov Manor precons are built in a way to understand the importance of a deck having a core theme and sticking to it when building. It gives players a better understanding of the basics of deckbuilding so that they can build new decks around these alternate commanders and expand their deck collection.