MTG Murders at Karlov Manor Draft archetypes

Jack Bye
MTG murders at Karlov Manor draft header Aurelia

The guilds are waiting on Ravnica once more, and we’ll walk you through how each of them plays in Murders at Karlov Manor’s draft environment.

Returning to Ravnica means only one thing: choosing your guild! While the guilds of Ravnica may not rely on their iconic abilities as much as usual – instead fitting into the set’s Murder Mystery theme – each guild color pair presents a draft archetype to try out.

We’ll run you through how each guild plays this time around so you’re well prepared to draft Murders at Karlov Manor and pick up on all the clues you need to win.

Murders at Karlov Manor draft archetypes

Azorius (Blue/White): Detective Typal

Detectives are Murders at Karlov Manor’s main creature type, and Azorius allows you to use them to their full potential. Buff up your Detectives, lean into Typal buffs, and utilize their plethora of Investigate abilities to keep your hand stocked with options to shut your opponents down.

Dimir (Blue/Black): Clues Control

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Dimir

Set up the board and drag out the game. Dimir has always excelled at control strategies, and it’s no different here. Clues in blue mana will keep your best options on hand, and once your opponents are getting wearing, make your biggest plays and overwhelm them all at once.

Rakdos (Red/Black): Suspect Aggro

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Rakdos

Suspect is an excellent and versatile new ability in Murders at Karlov Manor, but here it’s all about one thing; Menace. Don’t worry about making your opponents’ creatures unable to block, instead just turn your heavy hitters into suspects and have them swing away.

With Menace on your side, your opponents will have to expend twice as many blockers as usual, and will often be helpless to prevent your attacks from cracking into their life total.

Gruul (Red/Green): Big Disguise

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Gruul

No archetype in Murders at Karlov Manor is going to set up big plays quite like the Gruul. While this color combo can often rely on haste to field boards and aggressive threats as quickly as possible, in this set the Gruul are playing the waiting game.

Build up as much Mana as possible, and set up a whole field of landmines waiting to blow with the Disguise mechanic. Then, once you’re ready to swing with everything you’ve got, flip the disguised cards and bet it all on overwhelming your opponent with sheer might.

Selesyna (Green/White): Go Wide Disguise

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Selesnya

Where the Gruul Clans might be relying on Disguise to sneakily set up a board of big beaters, Selesyna is in it more for the effects of coming out of Disguise instead.

Selesyna can allow you to fill up the board quickly and cheaply, and pumping mana into flipping your disguise cards as much as possible allows you to activate a plethora of abilities to overwhelm and out-value anyone else at your table.

Orzhov (White/Black): Pint-size Diguise

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Orzhov

Yet another archetype that goes all-in on Diguise, ensuring that face-down cards will be a regular occurrence in this draft format.

While Disguise plays a major part in Orzhov’s gameplay here, it also relies on the tried-and-true white strategy of amassing weak creatures and then buffing them into a more impressive state.

Izzet (Red/Blue): Artifact Sacrifice

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Izzet

Izzet has always incorporated Artifacts well into their strategies, and the abundance of Clue tokens in this set allows Izzet players to accumulate a significant card advantage.

Azorius often makes the most of flying creatures, but the skies belong to the Izzet in Murders at Karlov Manor. Swarm opponents with Thopter artifacts and chip away for the win.

Golgari (Black/Green): Gravebreak

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Golgari

Golgari is one of MTG’s consummate necromancer groups. No matter when or where the Golgari Swarm shows up, you can bet the graveyard is going to play at least a part in their strategies.

Leaving aside Disguise, Suspect, and Investigate for the most part, Golgari goes all-in on the Collect Evidence mechanic, funneling cards to the grave and then exiling them to pay off powerful on-field effects.

Boros (Red/White): Batallion

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Boros

The Boros Legion is an anomaly in Murders at Karlov Manor, as they simply don’t have time for all this detective nonsense. Refusing to rely too heavily on any of the set’s new abilities, Boros decks focus on their tried-and-true guild mechanic Battalion.

With Batallion, players will be fielding as many creatures as fast as possible, granting buffs when attacking with three or more at once. Boros troops stick together, and can often overpower opponents through sheer force of arms and will.

Simic (Blue/Green): Collect Evidence

MTG Karlov Manor draft archetypes: Simic

Simic often relies on creature strategies and +1/+1 counters, but Murders at Karlov Manor sees this guild stepping outside their comfort zone somewhat.

Creatures are as important to the Simic as ever, but this set features more graveyard interaction for this guild than usual. Collect Evidence has Simic players exiling the graveyard to boost their spells and

No matter what guild you gravitate to, Murders at Karlov Manor offers engaging playstyles in an MTG set like no other. The set launches on February 9, so get ready to crack some packs, draft your preferred colors, and deduce how to win.

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