Published on 02/05/2024

Law & Order: A Karlov Whodunit

Dun, dun, duuun!

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She is the law here.

Murders at Karlov Manor is here and we have new cards and new mechanics to investigate. Hopefully you got a chance to enjoy the prerelease this last weekend, I know I did.

If you have Magic rules questions, we would love to answer them and might even include them in an upcoming article. For short questions, you can send them to our Twitter account at @CranialTweet, and if you have a longer question, you can send it to our e-mail at .

Q: What is the new disguise ability?

A: In short it's the morph ability but the face down card also has Ward .

Disguise (and morph), allow a permanent (usually a creature) that has the ability to be cast for instead of its normal cost. However, the card is placed on the stack and enters the battlefield face down with no name, no mana cost, no creature types, and is a 2/2 creature with no abilities (other than ward if it has disguise).

Once on the battlefield, its controller can reveal the front face of the disguised creature and pay its disguise cost to turn the card face up. This is a special action that doesn't use the stack, so no player may respond until after the card has fully turned face up.

Q: What is the new cloak action?

A: In shorts it's the manifest action but the face down card also has Ward .

Cloak (and manifest) take a card (usually from a hidden zone, but not always) and place it face down on the battlefield as a 2/2 creature with no name, no creature types, and no abilities (other than ward if it was cloaked).

Once on the battlefield, its controller can reveal the front face of the cloaked creature and if it's a creature on its front face, may pay that creature's mana cost to turn it face up. This is a special action that doesn't use the stack, so no player may respond until after the card has fully turned face up.

Q: If I cloaked a creature that already has disguise, can I still turn it face up with its disguise cost?

A: Yes, you can. You can choose to pay either its normal mana cost or its disguise cost to turn it face up.

Q: If I use Cryptic Coat to cloak the Sanitation Automaton from the top of my library, then later pay its mana cost to turn it face up, do I get to surveil 1?

A: You do not. Turning a face down card face up, does not make it enter the battlefield. The Automaton entered the battlefield when it was cloaked, so it had no enter-the-battlefield ability at the time.

Here is our victim.
Q: What happens if I use Vannifar, Evolved Enigma's trigger to cloak a double faced card like Ulvenwald Oddity?

A: You get a 2/2 nameless creature with no abilities other than ward . It can't transform while it's face down. However, you can pay to turn it face up as it is cloaked.

Q: What happens if I cloaked a Lightning Bolt using Vannifar, Evolved Enigma's ability and then my opponent casts Break Open targeting the face down Lightning Bolt?

A: Assuming your opponent pays the ward cost, you reveal the Lightning Bolt, showing it's not a permanent, and it stays a face down 2/2 creature.

Q: How does a card like Case of the Crimson Pulse work?

A: There are currently only thirteen Case cards in Magic. Case is a new subtype for enchantments. Each of the current Cases has an effect you get without having to jump through any hoops, such as an enters the battlefield trigger, an upkeep trigger, or some static effect bonus.

Then, if you can "solve" the case you get an additional benefit. Solving a Case can only be done once per Case and requires you to jump through some sort of hoop to accomplish.

The "to solve" is the hoop (which is checked at the beginning of each of your end steps) and the "Solved" is the additional benefit.

So with the Case of the Crimson Pulse, when it enters the battlefield you discard a card and then draw two cards. This is the "hoop free" benefit.

"To solve" this case, you only need to have no cards in hand as your beginning of end step starts.

Once solved, the case will make you discard your hand and draw two cards on each of your upkeeps.

Q: My opponent has already solved their Case of the Trampled Garden. If I copy it using Copy Enchantment, will mine already be solved?

A: It will not be solved yet. Being solved is not a copiable value. You can think of it similarly to being tapped, you don't expect if you Clone a tapped Bear Cub that it would enter the battlefield tapped.

Q: I have a Vitu-Ghazi Inspector in my hand and I have more than enough mana value in cards in my graveyard to collect evidence 6. However, my opponent controls a Tormod's Crypt. If I go to cast the Inspector, can my opponent exile my graveyard to prevent me from collecting evidence?

A: They can not. Collect evidence is an additional cost. Once you announce you are casting a spell, no player may respond until well after you have paid any additional costs.

For more details you can check out the article I wrote on the steps of casting a spell here.

Q: My opponent's Person of Interest is currently a suspect. If I enchant it with Frogify, is it still a suspect afterwards?

A: The Person of Interest will lose both menace and "this creature can't block", but it will still be a suspect. Suspect is a designation, much like being monstrous, and can't be erased by losing all abilities.

Q: If the top card of my library is Defenestrated Phantom can I cast it with Assemble the Players by using its disguise ability?

A: Yes, you can. Part of casting a disguise creature is placing it face down as a 2/2 on the stack, which fulfills the requirement that it be a creature with power 2 or less.

Q: Earlier in this article you said I can't respond to a creature being turned face up because it's a special action that doesn't use the stack. Can I still react to triggers caused by a creature turning face up, such as Aurelia's Vindicator's trigger?

A: Yes, you can. The special action of turning face up doesn't use the stack. However, the trigger caused by the Vindicator turning face up does use the stack. You can respond before it resolves and you will know which targets it has before you have to decide to respond.

If you were to Murder the Vindicator after it is turned face up but before its trigger resolved then no creatures would get returned to their owner's hands as its last trigger would resolve before its turned-face-up trigger did.

Q: If I attack with Kellan targeting my Barbed Servitor with his triggered ability, do I still draw a card even though the Servitor won't be destroyed?

A: You will still get to draw the card. Kellan's trigger doesn't require the artifact actually be destroyed to draw the card. It would have to be worded something like Rampage of the Clans for you not to draw the card.

She is our suspect.
Q: My opponent casts a card from their hand using disguise. If I target it with Long Goodbye, do I still have to pay the ward cost?

A: You do not have to pay the ward cost, and if you don't pay it, the ward trigger can't counter Long Goodbye.

Q: My Bear Cub is currently a suspect and has Rope equipped. If I attack with the Bear, can it be blocked?

A: Your Bear can't be blocked. It has two blocking restrictions:
1) Menace (can't be blocked except by two or more creature)
2) Can't be blocked by more than one creature.

In order to declare a legal block, your opponent must fulfill all restrictions. The only way to fulfill both restrictions is not to block the Bear at all.

Q: Can I put more than one copy of Slime Against Humanity in a green Commander deck?

A: Yes, you can. If a card has an ability allowing a specific number of copies of it in a deck or allows any number of copies of itself in a deck, this ability overrides the normal rules for that format.

Q: I have Connecting the Dots with several cards exiled with it, but I currently have no cards in my hand. Can I pay the activation cost ", discard your hand, sacrifice Connecting the Dots" even though I have no cards in hand?

A: You can! It's true if the cost of an ability or spell requires you discard a card, you can't pay that cost if you have no cards in hand, but you may discard your hand if you have no cards in hand. The subtle difference here is discard a card requires one card, whereas discard your whole hand can be any number including zero.

Q: If I control Conspiracy Unraveler and have 10 or more mana value of cards in my graveyard, can I cast Cyclonic Rift for free and overload it?

A: You can't. Overload and casting a card for free through the Unraveler are both alternative costs and you can't use more than one alternative cost at the same time with the same spell.

Q: My opponent cast Deadly Cover-Up and paid the collect evidence cost. They claim they can exile the Swamp from my graveyard and then rip all copies of Swamp from my hand, library, and graveyard. Is this true?

A: They can. Usually spells like this say "nonland" or "other than a basic land", however this card was not given those restrictions.

Q: If I cast Intrude on the Mind can I choose to make a pile of five cards and a pile of with no cards?

A: Yes you can. This gives the opponent the option to give you five cards and a 0/0 Thopter or to give you no cards and a 5/5 Thopter.

Well, this mystery is too tough for me. Good luck solving the murder, I'm out of here.

- Justin Hovdenes AKA Hovey
Level 2 Magic Judge
Rapid City, SD


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