Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease Info

Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease Info
In a city that needs investigating, you’re the one on the job. Find out who committed the Murders at Karlov Manor before you become their next victim. Track down the clues and unravel the mystery with us this February as we take a sneak peak at this brand new Magic expansion!  For a full rundown of how our prerelease events work, and what changes are afoot with this set read on!

Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease Information

Ready to break out your magnifying glasses and find out who-dun-it? Join us for up to six sealed prerelease events this February. If you've never played at a prerelease before - no worries! We've got some helpful tips and reminders for you below, along with links to all of our events and preorder information to boot. 

Sealed Prerelease Events

Each event will consist of a sealed event of some variety (regular or 2 Headed Giant), and last 3-4 rounds of play. More on that just a bit further down. If you’d rather draft a prerelease, we have you covered the Tuesday after prerelease weekend!

Bonus Draft Prerelease Event!

  • Flight 7 - Tuesday, February 6 at 6:30 PM (this link will go live Monday, February 5 at 11 AM)

As soon as we open on Friday, February 2, we'll have the entire product suite available for you! And that’s not all - we’ll also be able to sell individual packs, including play and collector boosters, alongside bundles, commander decks…basically anything you could ask for to help you hunt for clues. boosters? What are those?

Introducing the Play Booster

Murders at Karlov Manor marks a big change in the product lineup. Draft boosters, the mainstays of the magic limited and draft scene, are being retired. And so are Set boosters!  In their place one singular type of pack - the play booster - emerges to fill the needs of both the die hard drafter and the collector. Play boosters contain 14 cards, and have the same capacity for multiple rares as their set booster counterparts. Additionally, play boosters will also be optimized and randomized such at that draft and limited players will still be able to utilize them effectively. But rather than just talk about them in kinda abstract terms, let's just show you what you can expect when you open one.

You'll get your first crack at trying out play boosters at one of our prerelease events. Each prerelease kit contains six play boosters, plus one foil year-stamped card that you can use as part of your prerelease pool.

Murders at Karlov Manor Preorders and Buy-A-Box Promo Information

Preorders for Murders at Karlov Manor are already up on our web store when you’re ready for them. As with most recent sets, preorders for whole boxes (see below) will also receive the following buy a box promo (while supplies last).

You'll receive one buy-a-box promo for every purchase of the following items:

You'll get 1 promo per qualifying item(s) purchased. So if you preorder 6 prerelease kits and a set booster display, you'll get 2 of these lovely promo cards. 

30th Anniversary Bonus Promos! 

 Magic's 30th Anniversary marks the final installment of the 30th anniversary promos! These promos will be stamped with the year each card came out, and there will be 30 promos in total, one per year. Wanna get one? We’re making it easier than ever! 


Everyone who plays in a prerelease event will recieve a promo while supplies last! 

Additional promos can also be awarded by event staff for excellent behavior such as assisting other players with deck building, helping event staff, and good sporting behavior and more. If you’re looking for one particular promo, please understand that we did not receive equal amounts of all the promos for this set. Some cards will be harder to find than others!

Preparing for a Prerelease at Phoenix

Once you've preregistered for your event(s) of choice, there's a small checklist of things to do before prerelease weekend rolls along. If you're planning to play at one of the in-person events, here's what you'll need to be aware of:

  • Review our current guidelines regarding in-store play. (updated May 17, 2023)
  • Per our new in-store play guidelines, players who need an accommodation to attend a prerelease event should request them at least 48 hours prior to the event.
  • Food and Non-alcoholic drinks are allowed inside, so please do make sure you bring a snack and water bottle in case you get hungry between rounds.
  • Optional, but highly recommended: Download the Magic Companion app to your phone or tablet.
  • Optional, but highly recommended: Make sure you have a login setup with the MTG Companion App (if you play Arena, these login credentials are the same for both game and app).

What to do during Prerelease Weekend

If you're playing in one of our in-person events, just make sure you arrive at the store before the event's start time. We recommend aiming for about 30-45 minutes prior to the event to make sure you can get checked in, find a seat, and get comfortable in the space. You can do some trading, or pick up some sleeves or what have you, and it's way easier if you do that ahead of start time rather than during deck construction.

The Prerelease "How to"

All of our regular Murders at Karlov Manor prerelease events will be a sealed (or limited) format events. That means you'll be given 6 play boosters of Murders at Karlov Manor and a foil prerelease promo inside of your prerelease kit. We'll give you about 45 minutes to open those packs, sort them, and build deck out of the contents inside. Here are all the deck building requirements: 

  • Minimum Deck Size is 40 cards
  • You may use the contents of your prerelease booster packs (plus the date stamped promo) to build your deck.
  • Aside from basic land, you may only use whatever is in your prerelease kit to build with. (No trading with other players or combining multiple pools, please). 
  • There's no cap on the number of cards of the same name you can have in the deck (ex: if you open 5 of the same card, you can use all 5 if you want).
  • You may adjust your deck between games or matches. If you're just not doing well with what you built, maybe try a different combination of colors!

Once you've got your deck built, set the rest of your card pool aside until the end of the event. Don't trade anything away yet, cause those leftover cards will be your sideboard. 

Prerelease Prize Support

All of our prerelease events are run with an eye towards having the best possible time, learning, and trying out new ideas and strategies that come from every new set. So with that in mind, we stick to a simple pack-per-win prize structure that looks a little like this:

  • 4 Wins - 4 Packs
  • 3 Wins - 3 Packs
  • 2 Wins - 2 Packs
  • 1 Win - 1 Pack

With the exception of the Friday at 3 PM event, each event will have a maximum of 4 rounds. All prizes will be awarded to players in the form of Murders at Karlov Manor play boosters once they've finished with the event. Only play 2 rounds and need to drop? No problem! Just let us know you're leaving and we'll give you whatever prizes are owed at that point.

Because the 3 PM Friday event will be constrained to 3 rounds in order to make sure that the 7:30 PM event can start on time, it will have a similar prize structure to the one listed above, but adjusted slightly. In order to accommodate the missing round, the final round of the event will count for 2 boosters (so you can still win as many as four packs if you 3-0 the Friday event).

Murders at Karlov Manor Mechanics

Karlov Manor is full of mysteries, and what better way to keep to that theme than with the returning mechanic Investigate, as well as three new mechanics - Disguise / Cloak, Suspect, and Collect Evidence. All perfectly on-brand for this murder-mystery themed Magic set. We’ll give a brief overview of them here, along with a few examples but for a full run-down of the mechanics and an in-depth discussion of them, head over to Wizards’ own write-up.

Returning Mechanic - Investigate

Investigate is a mechanic hailing from the Shadows Over Innistrad / Eldritch Moon block, and it’s pretty simple. Anytime a card tells you to “investigate” you’ll make a colorless “Clue” artifact token with the activated ability “(2) - Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a Card.”

Disguise / Cloak

It’s dangerous out there. Best to go out…in disguise! Disguise is an ability that lets you pay (3) mana to cast a creature with disguise face down as a colorless 2/2 “Mysterious Creature” with ward (2). Then, when the time is right, you can pay the creature’s disguise cost to flip it face up and reveal itself to the assembled crowd (or any blockers that are about to have a bad time). While revealing a creature doesn’t use the stack, certain cards may have additional effects that do go on the stack when a creature is flipped over. If you’re familiar with the morph mechanic you’ll find there’s a lot of overlap here.

Speaking of overlap - disguise’s counterpart, cloak works a little bit like the older manifest ability. If you’re instructed to cloak a card, you’ll put that card into play on the battlefield face down as a 2/2 “Mysterious Creature” with ward (2). If the card is a creature card, you can turn it face up by either paying its disguise cost (if it has it) or it’s mana cost. If for some reason it’s something that isn’t a creature (say an instant or sorcery), it cannot be turned face up.

One important note - If face down cards leave the battlefield for any reason (returned to hand, they die in combat, they’re exiled, etc.) OR the game ends, those cards have to be revealed to the opponent. 


Hey that critter looks really guilty…do you suspect it of wrongdoing? Suspect is an effect that you’ll apply to a creature. A creature that’s suspected has the ability menace and can’t block. Once a creature is suspected, it will stay that way until it leaves the battlefield or another card ability un-suspects it. In addition, certain cards in this set will have other abilities if they target a suspected creature.

Collect Evidence

 Before you can prove who dun it, you’ll need some evidence!  When a card tells you to collect evidence, you exile a number of cards from the graveyard with a total mana value equal to or greater than the collect evidence number. 


What would a murder mystery set be without cases to close?  Cases look a lot like saga, but instead of working through chapters of a story, cases will have an ability or effect that happens when they enter play. Then, when the criteria for solving the case is met, you’ll trigger the “solve the case” part of the card. Once a case is solved, you’ve unlocked the third part of the case, usually some additional effect or passive benefit.

Murders at Karlov Manor Prerelease FAQ

Here's a few commonly asked questions about prerelease events and in-store play events. If your question isn't on this list, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at the store! We're happy to answer any questions you might have.

Q: How well do I have to know Magic to play at a prerelease?

A: Not that well really! We ask that you have a working knowledge of the game (i.e., you know how to play, and no one's going to need to explain turn order or any of the basics), but beyond that we'll do our best to accommodate any and all skill levels. Prerelease events are a fun and casual environment, and if you're having a tough time with something we'll have a judge or tournament organizer available to help you through it.

Q: What should I bring with me to the event?

A: Here's a short checklist of items that are either required or good to have:

  • Optional but recommended: A well fitted mask to wear while at the tables.
  • A water bottle and energy bar or dry-snack (it's a good idea to have something if you're hungry and a round goes long).
  • Sleeves and a deck box (you also can buy these at the shop if you forget them)

Q: Should I preregister for the event?

A:  If you're able to, yes absolutely! Preregistration locks in your spot at the event. The last thing you need or want is to show up on the day of and find out we sold out the night before (which is a thing that has happened in the past).

Q: If I preregister and can't make the event, what happens?

A: That depends on you! In the event you aren't able to make it to the event, you can either contact us to request a refund, or stop by as you're able to and pick up the prerelease kit we would have handed you if you had gone to the event. If we don't hear from you, we'll assume you want the prerelease kit and hold it til the next time we see you.

Q: I've never built a deck for limited before. Any pointers?

A: We've got a few! Here's a short list of handy tips when building a limited / sealed deck:

  • Stick to 40 cards! That's roughly 23 spells and creatures + 17 land. Those numbers will shift a little bit depending on what you open, but broadly that's where you should aim to be.
  • Play the colors that let you play your best cards. 
  • Don't be afraid to experiment! You can switch your deck around between rounds and between games. Every card you're not actively using in your deck is part of your sideboard, so if one color combo just isn't working for you, maybe wait until the match is over and try swapping it around.
  • It's okay to ask for help from other players. This is a prerelease; we're here to have fun and enjoy the new set. You'll often find that we've got several players at each prerelease that enjoy helping and mentoring newer players through the deck building process.

Q: Any other advice on getting ready for a prerelease?

A: Yup! If you can, try to familiarize yourself with the set ahead of time. Keep an eye out for spoilers! By the time you're reading this, spoiler season will already have started and you can bet that there's a few really cool looking cards and mechanics out there that need reading up on. 

Q: What if I need to swap from one event to the other, can I do that?

A: Sure! As long as there's still a spot at the event you want to swap to, yes definitely. Please email us (or contact us through the contact page of our website) and we'll get right on it. Please don't call - we want an email or contact form so that we have a record of when the request was made.

Q: Where's the best place to park for a prerelease event?

A: If you're not familiar with Capitol Hill, you should know that parking is at a premium. If you're planning to drive to us for one of our events, we recommend either parking at the paid lot at Harvard & Pine, or parking at one of the park & rides along the light rail route and taking the light rail into the Capitol Hill stop. We're just across the street.

Having said all of that - if you're in a hurry and need to find parking right away, our neighbor, Dick's Drive-In, has now allocated a small number of parking spaces along the wall of our building as paid parking. You'll need to download the pay-by-phone app to get started, and instructions are available next to each paid parking space.

And that's it for our Murders at Markov Manor Prerelease Guide! We hope you found this informative and helpful, and we hope to see you at one of our many prerelease events!