Karlov of the Ghost Council MTG Card


Card setsReleased in 7 setsSee all
Mana cost
Converted mana cost2
RarityMythic
TypeLegendary Creature — Spirit Advisor
Power 2
Toughness 2

Karlov of the Ghost Council Key Takeaways

  1. Karlov accelerates power through lifegain, turning it into a formidable board presence and interactive threat.
  2. Deck building around Karlov demands a dedicated Orzhov lifegain strategy to maximize potential.
  3. Versatile and combo-friendly, Karlov’s growth and ability to exile threats enrich MTG collections.

Text of card Karlov of the Ghost Council

Whenever you gain life, put two +1/+1 counters on Karlov of the Ghost Council., Remove six +1/+1 counters from Karlov of the Ghost Council: Exile target creature.

"Does Teysa think me blind to her scheming? Ambition runs in our family."

Delving into the strengths and weaknesses of Karlov of the Ghost Council, this comprehensive guide also explores its strategic uses, related cards, and how to effectively counter it in gameplay.

Key Takeaways

  1. Karlov accelerates power through lifegain, turning it into a formidable board presence and interactive threat.
  2. Deck building around Karlov demands a dedicated Orzhov lifegain strategy to maximize potential.
  3. Versatile and combo-friendly, Karlov’s growth and ability to exile threats enrich MTG collections.

Card Pros

Card Advantage: Noted for its capability to grow in power quickly, Karlov of the Ghost Council can become an impressive threat on the board. Each instance of life gain puts two +1/+1 counters on it. This ability ties directly into card advantage as it can deter opponents from attacking or blocking, potentially leading to a card deficit on their side.

Resource Acceleration: Though not directly contributing to mana acceleration, Karlov’s second ability allows you to remove six +1/+1 counters to exile a creature, clearing the way for a more formidable board presence. This helps you keep the tempo and utilize your resources efficiently.

Instant Speed: Karlov of the Ghost Council can interact at instant speed, leveraging life gain triggers from other instant-speed spells and effects. This reactive playstyle offers significant strategic depth and can surprise opponents with sudden, substantial increases in power.

Card Cons

Discard Requirement: While Karlov of the Ghost Council doesn’t force you to discard cards, it does require a health gain mechanism in play to utilize its abilities. This might strain your deck resources since you must tailor your strategy around life gain to power up Karlov.

Specific Mana Cost: This card’s strength is contingent on Orzhov colors (white and black mana). Therefore, its two-color mana cost can limit integration with decks that aren’t utilizing both hues, potentially restricting deck-building versatility.

Comparatively High Mana Cost: Karlov enters the battlefield for two mana, which is economical. However, to truly capitalize on his potential, a dedicated life gain engine is necessary, which could mean a higher than expected mana investment across your deck to ensure consistency in growth and ability activation.

Reasons to Include in Your Collection

Versatility: Karlov of the Ghost Council offers great flexibility for deck building, thriving in a life-gain strategy while also serving as an efficient removal tool. Its ability to grow and exert control fits various playstyles and can adapt to diverse game situations.

Combo Potential: Karlov’s ability to accrue +1/+1 counters rapidly sets the stage for numerous combos. Paired with cards that trigger life gain for each creature or every spell, Karlov can become a powerhouse, pressuring opponents with a sizable threat early on.

Meta-Relevance: In a gameplay environment where life gain is prevalent or against decks that rely on key creatures, Karlov’s capability to exile opposing threats after just a few life-gain triggers makes it a tactical asset. Its relevance increases as it aligns with strategies that disrupt opponent plans while providing a robust offensive presence.

Similar Cards

Diving into the dynamic world of creature strategies in Magic: The Gathering, Karlov of the Ghost Council emerges as a unique figure. We find a striking parallel in cards like Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, for instance. Like Karlov, Ayli takes advantage of life gain events to trigger her abilities. Still, unlike the synergistic power growth of Karlov, Ayli focuses on sacrifice as a pathway to control the board.

When considering cards within the same Orzhov color combination, Obzedat, Ghost Council offers a different approach. Much like Karlov, they helm the Ghost Council but opt for an evasive, more cautious style of play, contrasting sharply with Karlov’s ever-growing threat presence. Obzedat also dips into life gain strategies but leans more towards directly affecting opponents with life loss.

Nevertheless, it’s the incremental boost to Karlov’s power and the potentially limitless capacity to grow simply through life gain that sets him apart. Whereas other creatures are restrained by static abilities or more restrictive conditions, Karlov thrives on the widespread life gain prevalent in Orzhov decks. This synergy tends to make Karlov a more imposing force the longer the game unfolds.

How to beat

Karlov of the Ghost Council is a unique presence on the battlefield in Magic: The Gathering. This card thrives on lifegain, rapidly accumulating +1/+1 counters and becoming a considerable threat. To effectively counter Karlov, denying your opponent’s lifegain opportunities becomes crucial. This can be achieved by using spells that limit healing, such as Tainted Remedy or Erebos, God of the Dead, turning their lifegain strategy against them.

Another strategy involves removal spells that can bypass Karlov’s growing power. A timely Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares can exile Karlov before it accrues too many counters. Since Karlov also has the ability to exile other creatures, instant-speed removal is key, allowing you to wait for your opponent to invest in that ability before you cast your spell, maximizing their resource loss.

Managing graveyard interaction is also pivotal against Karlov. Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void can prevent the triggers from death-related lifegain, cutting off the primary source of Karlov’s strength. By employing these tactics thoughtfully, you can dismantle the synergy on which Karlov of the Ghost Council’s strategy is based, neutralizing it as a threat in the game.

BurnMana Recommendations

Delving into the strategic nuances of MTG, we recognize that Karlov of the Ghost Council is a card worth garnering attention. With its swift power growth and instant-speed interactions, Karlov serves as a linchpin in life-gain-focused decks. But every strategy has countermeasures, and understanding how to optimize your deck or dismantle an opponent’s powerful Karlov can shift the tide of battle. If you’re intrigued by Karlov’s potential or seeking ways to stave off this life-gain juggernaut, we invite you to continue your MTG journey with us. Dive deeper into the world of deck-building and in-game strategy to enhance your gameplay and outmaneuver your opponents. Visit BurnMana for insights that can solidify your deck and elevate your MTG experience.

Similar Cards

Diving into the dynamic world of creature strategies in Magic: The Gathering, Karlov of the Ghost Council emerges as a unique figure. We find a striking parallel in cards like Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, for instance. Like Karlov, Ayli takes advantage of life gain events to trigger her abilities. Still, unlike the synergistic power growth of Karlov, Ayli focuses on sacrifice as a pathway to control the board.

When considering cards within the same Orzhov color combination, Obzedat, Ghost Council offers a different approach. Much like Karlov, they helm the Ghost Council but opt for an evasive, more cautious style of play, contrasting sharply with Karlov’s ever-growing threat presence. Obzedat also dips into life gain strategies but leans more towards directly affecting opponents with life loss.

Nevertheless, it’s the incremental boost to Karlov’s power and the potentially limitless capacity to grow simply through life gain that sets him apart. Whereas other creatures are restrained by static abilities or more restrictive conditions, Karlov thrives on the widespread life gain prevalent in Orzhov decks. This synergy tends to make Karlov a more imposing force the longer the game unfolds.

Similar cards to Karlov of the Ghost Council to use in your decks

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim - Oath of the Gatewatch Promos (POGW)
Obzedat, Ghost Council - Gatecrash (GTC)

Where to buy Karlov of the Ghost Council MTG card?

If you're looking to purchase Karlov of the Ghost Council MTG card by a specific set like Commander 2015 and Legendary Cube Prize Pack, there are several reliable options to consider. One of the primary sources is your local game store, where you can often find booster packs, individual cards, and preconstructed decks from current and some past sets. They often offer the added benefit of a community where you can trade with other players.

For a broader inventory, particularly of older sets, online marketplaces like TCGPlayer, Card Kingdom and Card Market offer extensive selections and allow you to search for cards from specific sets. Larger e-commerce platforms like eBay and Amazon also have listings from various sellers, which can be a good place to look for sealed product and rare finds.

Additionally, Magic’s official site often has a store locator and retailer lists for finding Wizards of the Coast licensed products. Remember to check for authenticity and the condition of the cards when purchasing, especially from individual sellers on larger marketplaces.

Below is a list of some store websites where you can buy the Karlov of the Ghost Council and other MTG cards:

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Karlov of the Ghost Council card sets

The Karlov of the Ghost Council Magic the Gathering card was released in 4 different sets between 2015-11-13 and 2024-01-12. Illustrated by 3 different artists.

#ReleaseNameCodeSymbolNumberFrameLayoutBorderArtist
12015-11-13Commander 2015C15 462015normalblackVolkan Baǵa
22015-11-18Legendary Cube Prize PackPZ1 1082015normalblackVolkan Baǵa
32021-01-01Judge Gift Cards 2021PJ21 72015normalblackWisnu Tan
42024-01-12Ravnica RemasteredRVR 369z2015normalblackVolkan Baǵa
52024-01-12Ravnica RemasteredRVR 3691997normalblackVolkan Baǵa
62024-01-12Ravnica RemasteredRVR 4372015normalborderlessDai-XT
72024-01-12Ravnica RemasteredRVR 1932015normalblackVolkan Baǵa

Card legalities

Magic the Gathering formats where Karlov of the Ghost Council has restrictions

FormatLegality
CommanderLegal
LegacyLegal
OathbreakerLegal
VintageLegal
DuelLegal

Rules and information about Karlov of the Ghost Council

The reference guide for Magic: The Gathering Karlov of the Ghost Council card rulings provides official rulings, any errata issued, as well as a record of all the functional modifications that have occurred.

DateText
2015-11-04 A creature with lifelink dealing combat damage is a single life-gaining event. For example, if two creatures you control with lifelink deal combat damage at the same time, the ability will trigger twice. However, if a single creature with lifelink deals combat damage to multiple creatures, players, and/or planeswalkers at the same time (perhaps because it has trample or was blocked by more than one creature), the ability will trigger only once.
2015-11-04 In a Two-Headed Giant game, life gained by your teammate won’t cause the ability to trigger, even though it causes your team’s life total to increase.
2015-11-04 The ability triggers just once for each life-gaining event, whether it’s 1 life from an attacking creature with lifelink or 4 life from Faith’s Fetters.

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