Murders at Karlov Manor Set Review - Minotaur

Minotaur Reviewer • February 2, 2024

Ordruun Mentor by Loïc Canavaggia

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands | Allied Colors & Shards | Enemy Colors & Wedges | cEDH | Reprints | Budget/Pauper

Leather Coats and Ca-moo-flage

Hello, fellow sleuths and hard boiled gumshoes. We're back on Ravnica with a Sherlock/Poirot twist, Murders at Karlov Manor! High profile murder is at hand, and the city is on High Alert. And maybe while we're all here, the Minotaurs of Ravnica can teach us a thing or two.

Since we were last here, Ravnica has survived Bolas' and Phyrexia's invasions, and yet with so much destruction, not much has changed, besides of course the recent popularity of fedoras and porkpie hats. In any case, the rain falls in sheets over the 10th District. Of all the places in the planes, the omen paths took us here. I can only hope it's for a good reason.

As always, this review is targeted toward the formats of Pioneer and EDH, but by all means, you're welcome to apply my thoughts to other formats.

Let's round up the usual suspects, for the game is ahoof!


Now before we start this review proper, I feel I need to get something off my chest. Namely I feel frustrated and annoyed by the Minotaurs presented in this set, even though we did in fact get new Minotaurs.

To start, the only new Minotaurs printed in Karlov Manor are exclusively found with in the Ravnica: Clue Edition supplemental product. For those that don't know, the Clue product combines the rules of the board game Clue with the rules of a four-player game of Magic. The game includes eight special packs that are comparable to Jumpstart boosters featuring the ten guilds with two variations each. This means there are twenty possible unique packs, but only eight will be in your copy of the game.

The new Minotaurs are found in the Boros packs, with one being in both packs and the other found only in one version packs. The reason this is frustrating is that there is no guarantee that if I bought this game (which costs around $70 in my area) that it will include any of these Minotaurs in it. To me and other Minotaur enthusiasts, this severely limits the availability and accessibility to these new Minotaurs. Meaning its unlikely I'll be able to play with them for some time.

Now this wouldn't be an issue, if we had other Minotaur cards in the main set. Instead we got a handfull of "Target Minotaurs". For those unfamiliar with the term, Target Minotaurs refer to card art that depict Minotaurs being the target of a spell. Back in the day, it was common for Wizards of the Coast to have a Minotaur suffer the spell whenever they couldn't think of another creature to be on the art, so to see five cards in this set show Minotaurs without having a single Minotaur creature was very disappointing.

But I'm not sure many people actual understand why this is a problem for me. It comes from the fact that their aren't many Magic planes where Minotaurs exist. We have Dominaria, Theros, Zendikar, Amonkhet, and Ravnica, and each year we'll visit maybe one of those planes, where even then Minotaurs aren't always common, so whenever we're going back to a plane that's known for Minotaurs, I get really excited. But when this is all we get... it's like when, if the McRib comes back to McDonald's, but every restaurant in your area doesn't have any.

This is all to say, I am thankful for new Minotaurs, I'm just very ticked off at what we got, how they are presented in the set, and how difficult it will be to collect the ones that were printed in this set.


Extract a Confession

I am very excited for this card. At a glance it looks like your average Edict effect. However, causing your opponents to sacrifice their highest power creature has been printed at two mana only once before with Myrkul's Edict. The difference being that here the effect we want is much more consistent, as we won't need to roll a D20 dice in hopes of getting what we want.

However, I imagine I'll be choosing to collect evidence each time I play this, as it shouldn't be difficult to achieve with the inherent discard synergies Minotaurs, or just losing a few creatures due to combat.

Additionally, removing the highest power creature from each opponent's board, for only two mana, can be devastating. And it will make our future combat steps a lot easier.

Illicit Masquerade

One of the most difficult challenges, in EDH, that I often face with Minotaur kindred are board wipes. Piloting these deck often requires a delicate balance of being aggressive without becoming the threat. The reason being, Rakdos doesn't have a lot of tools to protect ourselves from Wrath effects, unlike white or blue. This means a board wipe is ruinous, as it will often take a few turns to build back our army.

Illicit Masquerade, however, is the protection spell we need! By being able to flash this in response to a wipe, we maintain our board presence by swapping out our dying creatures with the creatures in our graveyard. Depending on how far we are into the game, this can be as powerful as a Cyclonic Rift, as it's unlikely our opponents will have any creatures on board available to meaningfully defend themselves.

Alternatively, this can be used to dissuade single-target removal or our opponent blocking in combat, as we can then get a Minotaur out of the graveyard.

In either scenario, we are maintaining our board presence and can keep the pressure up, where normally we might end up falling behind.

Long Goodbye

Well, here we have it folks, another round of  a "Two-Mana Conditional Black Removal Spell"! In all seriousness, I do enjoy them continually finding new space with black removal, to add to Pioneer's removal spell toolkit. Hell, at this point, you could probably make a mono-black control deck that has thirty of these kinds of cards, so let's have at look at what Long Goodbye can offer Pioneer Minotaurs.

At a glance, being uncounterable is a pretty big deal against Azorious Control decks, to get around all their counter spells. Unfortunately, the second half of the spell won't be able to destroy the creatures and planeswakers that the deck plays.

So it's a card that does nothing in the match up.

In fact, all the other current meta Pioneer decks, either don't run enough counter spells or play creatures that cost more than three, so as it stands now, I don't see this card being viable in the current Pioneer format. But, Pioneer is always changing, so one day Minotaurs might have a use for a Long Goodbye. But until then, we'll be slipping this back into the toolbox.

Massacre Girl, Known Killer

So I know her name is Massacre Girl, but this is a killer card.

Wither has an uncommon trait for a keyword, by being equally effective on offense as it is on defense.

This is because damage is done to creatures comes into the form of -1/-1 counters, it massively discourages our opponents blocking. Because, unlike damage, wither's counters stick around after each turn. The same also applies when we block, so our opponents will be discouraged from attacking us, as long as we hold a few creatures back each combat. Not even indestructible creatures are safe against wither.

And the cherry on top is that Massacre Girl draws us cards for each creature destroyed through wither combat damage.

Without a doubt Massacre Girl is a known killer, as she's going to be the reason a lot of creatures and players are going to die in Commander.

Snarling Gorehound

This menacing hound might not be after the Baskervilles, but it is surprisingly useful with two Minotaur commanders: Sethron, Hurloon General and Magar of the Magic Strings.

With Sethron, the Gorehound slots in perfectly as Sethron generates two-power Minotaur tokens by casting Minotaur spells, and most Minotaur spells just happen have a base power of two. So, with each Minotaur spell, we can reasonably expect two surveil triggers. Which in my opinion will go a long way to smooth out our draws or dig through the deck.

With Magar we will be getting a lot less triggers, due to Magar's tokens being three power. But the surveil triggers from playing our Minotaurs serve a different purpose. Here we are looking for ways to put our large spells into the graveyard. Getting these spells in the graveyard is what the deck needs as Magar will make them into tokens. Then upon dealing combat damage to a player they will recast the spell. Normally we use discard effects to get them into the bin, but Gorehound's surveil just adds more redundancy to the deck alongside Dragon's Rage Channeler.


Anzrag's Rampage

This is a pretty interesting card for Minotaur EDH. What's notable is that when red mass destroys artifacts, it normally includes our own. Here though, we are only destroying all the opponents artifacts, meaning our mana rocks, equipment, and anthem artifacts will be spared.  That by itself I think justifies playing this card, especially in a format like EDH. The only other example I can think of is overloading  a Vandalblast

However, the second effect here puts it over Vandalblast as likely we'll be exiling a bunch of cards and casting a creature from them for free. This card will return to our hand at the end of the turn, and given that Sethron cares about casting Minotaurs, this will get some extra token generation.

Case of the Crimson Pulse

I see this case being perfect for a discard synergy deck, like Neheb, the Worthy. To start, resolving this spell acts as a slightly more expensive Tormenting Voice or Thrill of Possibility, which will add redundancies. Then solving the case shouldn't difficult as Neheb already wants to have a hand with 1 or less cards to activate his +2 power buff effect. Finally once solved, we ensure that Neheb can always get his power buff, as on our upkeep we discard our hand then draw two cards, making it easy to always have one or less cards (that is if you remember to play one of the two draw cards before combat).

All in all this card is just perfect for discard Minotaur decks as it plays into so many of the aspects the deck wants to be doing. It facilitates discard, rewards having no cards in hand, then will constantly discard your cards and draw new cards to be discarded.

This might also function well in a Magar deck to pitch all the big spells, but I'm unsure how well it will work with the rest of Magar's play patterns, but it's definitely something to experiment with.

Connecting the Dots

This enchantment has a lot of potential for Minotaurs. What interests me the most is how it stores cards like Bomat Courier; however, this is for every creature we attack with. Bonus points for it being a lot harder to remove than Bomat Courier is.

With Minotaurs, it isn't that hard to get at least three to five creatures attacking, so I can easily see a fat stack piling underneath this enchantment. All we need to do is wait for the right moment to ditch our hand and take all cards we've been storing.

To me this can be useful for any of the Minotaur commanders out there, either to refill our hand for gas, or to have a massive hand to be discarded. It's all good once we've connected the dots.

Demand Answers

Here we have an iteration on Thrill of Possibility that can add redundancy in a discard synergy deck, but it also can just replace Thrill of Possibility in a Minotaur Pioneer deck, since it's simply just better. Now that said, I don't think there will be many cases where we chose to sacrifice an artifact over discarding a card, but the flexibility could just prove to be useful in corner case situations.


Nelly Borca, Impulsive Accuser

I really like Nelly as a possible non-Minotaur commander for Boros Minotaur decks. Suspecting creatures and then goading them I think really pairs well with the aggressiveness nature of Minotaurs, especially when supported by Boros Minotaurs, like Ordruun Veteran and Boros Battleshaper.

It's a direction for Minotaur typal in EDH I don't think that I've seen explored, and one I'm interested to see the results of.

Boros Strike-Captain

And here we have our first new Minotaur from the Clue supplemental product! This Boros Minotaur focuses on the Battalion mechanic, which is one Minotaur decks can easily achieve.

What the Strike-Captain does here is interesting, as when it attacks with two or more other creatures, we exile the top card of our library. What sets this apart of other impulse draw is that it can played any time we would achieve a Battalion effect. In other words, we are effectively drawing a second card by attacking, but Strike-Captain doesn't need to attack on future combats to be able to play the cards exiled.

So as long as Strike-Captain sticks around we essentially are storing cards as a second hand, which I think is a utility that can be very important in EDH.

Ordruun Mentor

Ordruun Mentor isn't that impressive of a card when compared to other three-mana Minotaurs available to us. However, that doesn't mean she's useless to us.

What is important is that Ordruun Mentor has the mentor ability with three power. This matters as mentor requires there to be another attacking creature with less power to trigger, and it just so happens there are a lot of playable Minotaurs with two power. So even when we add on anthem effects, Ordruun Mentor should have plenty of targets to bestow a +1/+1 counter to.

Additionally, when the mentor ability triggers  it gives that creature first strike for the turn. This is relevant, as in Boros Minotaur decks we won't have access to Neheb, the Worthy (due to its color identity being Rakdos) which would give all Minotaurs first strike.

Judith, Carnage Connoisseur

Judith will slot in nicely with Magar. Magar wants to always be triggering his token's recast of spells, which with Judith will rack up a bunch of Imps. But the deck also runs a lot of low cost support spells, such as removal or graveyard set up, so I think Judith has the potential to make a big Imp army in this kind of deck.

However, you need to be a little careful, as Judith doesn't do anything on her own and has a high mana cost for her stats. If you can't cast spells, Judith is a glorified blocker and that's less than ideal.

Carnage Interpreter

This cheeky little Devil makes me want to smile. Carnage Interpreter here helps us recover from a problem discard Minotaur decks can face. The problem being, what do you do when you have no cards to discard?

The solution is that when it discards our hand, it creates four clue tokens, which will allow us to draw extra cards as we need it.

At the same time this guy pairs well with Neheb, the Worthy, as he gets buffed by having one or less cards in hand. All in all, this is just a great enabler for Neheb and discard decks in general.

Colorless & Lands

Raucous Theater

This land, outside of having the land types of Mountain and Swamp is comparable to Temple of Malice with surveil instead of scry.

Having surveil makes it useful in a Magar deck to bin a spell to be later turned into a token. But for more other Minotaur decks, if you aren't already playing a Temple of Malice, then I don't see much incentive to play this either.

I also don't recommend this land for Pioneer, as the format lacks fetch lands and has a lot faster mana than this.


And with that, the case is solved! Turns out it was the Selesnya's own Trostani to blame! What a twist!

With the investigation coming to a close, I think it's time for a vacation to someplace warmer and dryer. Somewhere a Minotaur can run free...Thunder Junction perhaps?

Until then, be sure to check out the other set reviews found on the Commander's Herald for other perspectives on this new set.

See you later.

Hello everyone! I'm the Minotaur Reviewer. Hardcore Minotaur enjoyer and casual Johnny/Timmy Simic Hybrid. You may know my most from my Minotaur Set Reviews which started on Reddit. When I'm not jamming MTG I like to play Guild Wars 2, Duelyst 2 and Lufia the Legend Returns