Welcome to Karlov Manor
Welcome back to Ravnica! We have a murder mystery underway. Today, I want to focus on our favorites and the best cards in MKM for Commander. Are these cards the work of a mastermind? Or do they have something more devious in the works? Let’s take a look!
Anzrag, the Quake Mole – Burrow Through Defences
Anzrag wins points for the type line: Mole God! That alone might be enough to have you jamming this in a Gruul shell. Having a four-mana 8/4 is also quite an interesting stat line. Whenever this creature gets blocked, we get to untap all our creatures, and there’s even an extra combat phase. And guess what? You can spend seven mana to make sure they have to be blocked if possible. How awesome is that?
Anzrag has incredible potential in an aggressive elfball strategy. It reminds me of Raggadragga, Goreguts Boss. Start by playing Llanowar Elves and Priest of Titania to generate a significant amount of mana, then untap them! Even better, those mana dorks can be used to pay for Anzarag’s ability. If we have a mana outlet on the board, we can tap those elves for mana and then untap them with Anzrag. This opens up a world of possibilities, allowing us to use that mana on various abilities or instant spells.
Roar of Challenge is a great shout out to Anzrag. For three mana, all creatures capable of blocking Angraz must do so. Moreover, it grants indestructibility. This enables you to attack, have all creatures block, trigger Angraz’s ability, attack again, and repeat the process. This can lead to wiping out each player’s creatures! Additionally, if you have trample, you may be able to deal a significant amount of commander damage. You can also achieve this with the card “You Look Upon the Tarrasque.” It is also possible by activating Anzrag’s ability and granting them indestructibility with a card like Gaea’s Gift.
Assassin’s Trophy – Best MKM Reprint
Assassin’s Trophy is one of the best removal spells in the format. If you play black and green, you definitely want to include this card in your decks! For just two mana, you can eliminate any problematic permanent. Whatever is causing you trouble will be gone in no time! The only minor drawback is that your opponent gets to search for a basic land and put it into play.
Trust me, this card is simply too good to pass up! Whether you’re cracking packs or searching for a great deal due to a reprint, Assassin’s Trophy is definitely worth grabbing! I can’t say enough about this card. It’s like Path to Exile’s incredible big brother that can blow up anything!
Surveil Lands – Fetchable Lands That Do Stuff
I am not sure if the Magic community has settled on a name for these, so I’m going to refer to them as the Surveil Lands. There are 10 altogether. Each tap for one of two colors, enter the battlefield tapped, and Surveil 1 when they enter the battlefield. These are stellar in any deck with the right colors.
The great thing about these cards is that they have basic land types! You can find these lands with fetchlands! Any Modern player understands the advantage of being able to search for exactly what they need. While these lands may not be as powerful as shock lands or the original dual lands, they are still valuable in Commander decks where budget and redundancy are crucial. If you already have a Sacred Foundry in play, being able to fetch another dual land is a fantastic advantage. I am absolutely delighted to see more dual lands with basic land types being introduced!
Kaya, Spirit’s Justice – MKM Planeswalker Powerhouse
First things first, this card has a lot of text! Let’s take it ability by ability. Her first ability triggers whenever a creature you control, or a creature in your graveyard, becomes exiled. When this happens, you can turn a token you control into a copy of the exiled creature, and it gains flying. This ability can really come in handy when you want to make the most out of those powerful creatures that have either died or been sent to the graveyard. And the best part is, Kaya’s other abilities work together with this one.
Kaya’s plus two loyalty ability lets you Surveil 2 and exile a card from a graveyard. This can be used offensively or defensively. Either setting you up to use her triggered ability or to exile problematic cards from an opponent’s grave.
Her plus-one loyalty ability creates a 1/1 spirit token with Flying. Again, we are setting up her passive ability by putting a token on the table. Additionally, it can be a chump blocker to protect her.
Her minus-two ability is what really makes Kaya stand out to me. You can exile a creature you control and then exile a creature that each player controls. With this ability, Kaya can come in and remove the three best creatures on the battlefield from each opponent! I absolutely adore this ability. And the best part is, it also sets you up to use her passive ability! Each of Kaya’s abilities is important in its own right, and they complement each other perfectly.
Analyze the Pollen – Sylvan Tutor at Home
Analyze the Pollen is an amazing tutor from MKM and one of the best cards for Commander from the new set. For just one mana, you can search your deck for a basic land and add it to your hand. However, if you exile eight mana worth of stuff from your graveyard, you can search for a creature instead! Analyze the Pollen reminds me a lot of Traverse the Ulvenwald. Both cards depend on having a reasonably full graveyard to meet their condition. Having additional tutors is always a great addition for players looking to make their deck more consistent.
Massacre Girl, Known Killer – Degenerate Potential
Massacre Girl, Known Killer is an excellent choice for those looking for a casual killer! She has a powerful impact. For just four mana, you can have a 4/4 creature with menace. Additionally, she grants all your creatures wither, which means that whenever a creature deals damage, it applies -1/-1 counters equal to the damage dealt. Furthermore, whenever a creature with a toughness of less than one dies, she rewards you by drawing a card.
This commander is all about maintaining a clean board, having a full hand, and controlling the flow of combat. Massacre Girl can help you draw a lot of cards with spells like Toxic Deluge, Mutilate, or the original Massacre Girl! Clearing the board and drawing cards is a potent combination! It creates a cycle that keeps repeating itself. Massacre Girl, Known Killer wipes the board and allows you to draw cards. Then, you can wipe the board again and repeat the process.
Wither is cool. Do you know what also gives -1/-1 counters? Infect! Massacre Girl works as a commander or in the 99 of an infect deck. This gives you a powerful win condition! This gives you great ability to close out games once the board is clear.
Doorkeeper Thrull – New Year, New Hate Bear
If you’ve been following our articles, you might already know that I absolutely adore hatebears! Let me introduce you to Doorkeeper Thrull, a wonderful new addition to this archetype. For just two mana, you’ll have a 1/2 flyer with flash. It has an amazing ability: “Artifacts and creatures entering the battlefield don’t cause abilities to trigger.” This ability reminds me of two other fantastic cards – Hushbringer and Hushwing Gryff. Simply delightful!
At just two mana and with flash, this card has the ability to disrupt even the most formidable opponents. Thassa’s Oracle, in particular, often struggles to find effective answers outside of Blue. However, with Doorkeeper Thrull, which costs only two mana, you can halt this potent win condition. It’s worth noting that even outside of Competitive EDH (CEDH), you’d be surprised at the number of effects that are tied to enter the battlefield triggers. Whether it’s something as simple as Wood Elves or as imposing as Terastodon, this little Thrull can put a stop to them all!
Slime Against Humanity – Time to Slime!
Slime Against Humanity is a wonderful addition to the ever-expanding collection of cards reading “a deck can have any number of.” Slime Against Humanity summons a 0/0 ooze creature with Trample. When it enters the battlefield, it receives a number of +1/+1 counters equal to two plus the number of Oozes or Slimes Against Humanity in your graveyard and exile. This is an exceptionally kind demonstration of this effect. Taking into account exile and all oozes in general, this card has tremendous potential to grow and evolve!
I absolutely adore the idea of combining this with Aeve Progenitor Ooze. It’s like a dream come true to a green storm deck that casts Slime Against Humanity multiple times and then brings in Aeve to create even more ooze! Another delightful option to consider here could be Umori the Collector! While you won’t be able to have it as a companion, you can still include it as a Commander, opting for sorcery. Additionally, having black in the mix would grant access to some self-mill effects, further enhancing the number of Slime Against Humanity cards in the graveyard to strengthen this effect! And, yes, the obligatory “this works with Thrumming Stone.” Ask your local Shadowborne Apostle player if they have a spare one!
Leyline of the Guildpact – Wait This Card is Real!?!?
I can’t believe this card actually exists! It feels like something my little cousin would have made. But you know what? I love it! Leyline of the Guildpact has a pretty unusual mana cost. But at its core, you can cast it using just green mana or a combination of four colors. It has that classic leyline effect of coming into play for free if it’s in your opening hand. There’s a whole cycle of leylines to choose from! So go ahead and pick your favorites!
This card also makes all your lands every basic land type, and all your non-land permanents become all colors. In terms of mana fixing this does a pretty good impression of Prismatic Omens. This pairs well with Cabal Coffers or Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Fantastic opportunity here for tonnes of mana.
Leyline of the Guildpact also allows your creatures to have all colors, which is pretty cool! This ability might not be as commonly used, but it gives you the opportunity to get creative with deck building and find unique ways to make it relevant. Since Leyline itself is already all five colors, it can work really well with cards like Bloom Tender. Overall, it’s a bit of a quirky ability, but it adds an interesting twist to your gameplay.
Murders at Karlov Manor is shaping up to be an awesome set. There are some designs like the Surveil Lands that exicite me for future card design. Other cards like Massacre Girl, Known Killer make me wonder what other old mechanics could return as one-off cards! Outside the powerful and old-school, we have weird cards like Leyline of the Guildpact here to mess with our expectations. We would love to hear from you! What Commander cards from MKM are you going to pick up?