Monday, May 27, 2024

Murders at Karlov Manor: A Murder Mystery-Themed Set

Mere months after Magic: The Gathering‘s Multiverse was threatened by a cataclysmic invasion of organic machines, the world’s premiere trading card game is blowing off some steam with Murders at Karlov Manor, a murder mystery-themed set in a fan-favourite setting.

It’s hard to believe that at this time last year, planeswalking MTG players were prepping for the invasion of Elesh Norn and the Phyrexians. With that decade-long plotline wrapped up, Wizards of the Coast has been touring the Multiverse with a series of seemingly-unconnected sets. In February, that tour will return to Ravnica with a light-hearted (yet murdery) twist.

“Alquist Proft, Master Sleuth,” art by Andreas Zafiratos
“Aurelia, the Law Above,” art by Lie Setiawan
“Rakdos, Patron of Chaos,” art by Joshua Raphael

New characters—like Alquist Proft, Ravnica’s greatest detective—and some familiar faces will explore a gothic mansion in Murders at Karlov Manor, seeking clues to the killer’s identity. We don’t yet know who the unlucky victim is, but from the first look at the new set it seems all the guilds of Ravnica, the plane-wide city, will have a hand in the investigation.

Proft (and players) will get a leg up to reveal the killer’s identity with thirteen “Mystery File” puzzles built into Murders at Karlov Manor. These puzzles will open daily starting on the prelease date, February 2, and culminate in the ultimate reveal. Other clues will be peppered in via story spotlight cards.

Of course, a new Magic: The Gathering set implies new variant art cards, and Murders at Karlov Manor will lean hard into this trend to get the theme across. “Dossier” Showcase art treatments highlight detectives and people of interest, dressing the cards up like typewritten notes in a noir investigator’s case files. Other clues will be hidden in “invisible ink treatments,” while the guild leaders of Ravnica, like Aurelia and Rakdos, will be featured in serialized “Ravnica City” cards. Full-art basic land cycle, art by Mia Boas

And of course, there’s a new cycle of full-art basic lands, showing the unique cathedral architecture found across Ravnica and customized by its various guilds, like the overgrowing forests of Selesnya’s territory on the Forest card.

Notably, Murders at Karlov Manor will also be the first time Magic: The Gathering offers its new booster pack format, the Play Booster. After extensive market feedback, Wizards of the Coast is replacing the Set Booster, a compromise between the draft portion of the player base and the collector side.

Murders At Karlov Manor’s Tie-In: Ravnica Clue Edition
Shortly after the set’s official launch on February 9, 2024, Wizards of the Coast will release Ravnica: Clue Edition. This spin on the classic board game—another Hasbro-owned license—will further immerse 3-4 players in the murder mystery fun. Playing like a MTG-skinned version of the classic board game, this set will also include 8 boosters, one guaranteed Clue-themed shock land per box, new cards featuring a person, place, or object, and “a whodunit gameplay twist” to thrill players.

“Senator Peacock,” art by Aurore Folny
“Dining Room,” art by Arthur Yuan
“Lead Pipe,” art by Clint Lockwood

Was it Senator Peacock in the Dining Room with the Lead Pipe?

All told, the premise of Murders at Karlov Manor seems like an interesting way to return to one of Magic: The Gathering‘s most famous settings with some narrative stakes without plunging the entire plane into another civil war. In the meantime, the official story begins today on the MTG homepage, and we’ll surely learn more about how the set’s mechanics will truly convey the mystery theme over the next few weeks—especially with Ravnica Remastered, the third remastered set in the Masters series, dropping in the interim with reprints and new variants from the plane’s previous features.

Prerelease events for Murders at Karlov Manor, MTG‘s first Standard-legal release of 2024, will begin on February 2, followed by the full release on February 9. Later that month, MagicCon will bring the Pro Tour to Chicago on February 23-25, as well as immersive experiences inspired by the set.

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