Magic: The Gathering - Murders at Karlov Manor preview card: Blindside your opponents with Pyrotechnic Performer

Using the new mechanic Disguise (or the OG Morph) and its own triggered ability, this Viashino Assassin can dish out some savage numbers.

It’s a brand new year, and Magic: The Gathering’s first Standard-legal set of 2024 (and ninety-ninth expansion set overall) Murders at Karlov Manor will make its appearance on 9 February. Designed as a top-down murder mystery set, Murders at Karlov Manor looks to be a wildly different expansion from other Magic: The Gathering sets.

Marking a return to the plane of Ravnica, players will get to explore the genre of murder mystery in a card game, and Yahoo Southeast Asia had a first look at one of the new cards of 2024, courtesy of Wizards of the Coast!

Pyrotechnic Performer comes in a normal art and an extended art treatment. (Image: Wizards of the Coast)
Pyrotechnic Performer comes in a normal art and an extended art treatment. (Image: Wizards of the Coast)

For one generic mana and one red mana, Pyrotechnic Performer is a rare 3/2 Viashino Assassin with an extremely interesting mechanic… Is Morph back albeit in a disguised form (yes, I know)?!

Pyrotechnic Performer has the new mechanic Disguise, which allows it to be cast face down for 3 generic mana as a 2/2 creature with Ward 2 (when this creature is targeted by a spell or an ability an opponent controls, counter it unless your opponent pays 2 generic mana more).

That means your opponent has no idea what card you have just cast, and for one red mana (its Disguise cost), you can turn Pyrotechnic Performer face up at any time.

This sounds very similar to the mechanic Morph first introduced in Onslaught in 2002 (a cool 12 years ago), and Disguise is indeed an upgraded variant of Morph, which means that you can activate Pyrotechnic Performer’s Disguise without using the stack!

The best part about Pyrotechnic Performer is, however, its triggered ability. Whenever Pyrotechnic Performer or another creature you control is turned face up, that creature deals damage equal to its power to each opponent.

I am pretty sure Murders at Karlov Manor will introduce many cards with the new mechanic Disguise, and that means Pyrotechnic Performer can potentially do a lot of work in Standard just by sticking around in the battlefield and turning creature cards face up!

This also means that Morph tribal in multiplayer Commander games is now a much more viable strategy, since Pyrotechnic Performer’s triggered ability is a payoff for turning creature cards face up by dealing damage to each opponent.

Morph cards were wild. (Image: Wizards of the Coast)
Morph cards were wild. (Image: Wizards of the Coast)

You can turn old cards like Blistering Firecat and Krosan Cloudscraper face up, and have all of your opponents take a grand total of 20 damage. It is a lot of mana (especially for Krosan Cloudscraper), but Morph does not use the stack, so turning cards face up can be difficult to deal with.

This payoff is beautiful, and your opponents will never see this coming (unless they read this).

Pre-release for Murders at Karlov Manor begins on 2 February.

Jay is a content creator who likes to hoard vintage photographic lenses, and loses too often in Dota 2 and Magic: The Gathering after work.

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