Key moment: With Leicester captain Ed Slater sin-binned after an accumulation of penalties had sent the visitors 12-0 down, Munster delivered a hammer blow with a wonderful team try finished by Conor Murray and scorer Simon Zebo to cap an excellent opening half and give the Tigers a mountain to climb at 19-0 down.
Talking point: If Eddie Jones had his head in his hands at Northampton following the stupidity of his captain Dylan Hartley against Leinster, the England boss will be utterly miserable after this as his man of the November series Ben Youngs was eclipsed by Conor Murray and Manu Tuilagi was reduced to a bystander until he was yellow carded late on.
Key man: Another excellent team performance which saw CJ Stander named man of the match but there was only one winner in the battle of the scrum-halves as Conor Murray outshone his English rival for the Lions number nine jersey Ben Youngs.
A month on from his tour de force against the All Blacks, Murray delivered in spades once more, creating an opening for Simon Zebo with a brilliantly deceptive reverse pass that epitomised a command performance.
Ref watch: Romain Poite repeatedly penalised Leicester's sloppy breakdown work during an ill-disciplined first half from the Tigers, and had little choice but to yellow card captain Ed Slater as the penalty tally reached eight on 32 minutes.
Leicester did not learn their lesson and the second half saw two more yellows, full-back George Wrth binned for taking out Jaco Taute in conceding a penalty try.
Injuries: No obvious injuries to report for Munster. Rory Scannell needed time in the blood bin during the first half but he returned with head bandaged to complete the match. Leicester have more pressing concerns ahead of next week's return at Welford Road with Freddie Burns and Mike Fitzgerald needing head injury assessments .
Next up: It's back to Welford Road for the round-four return as Munster attempt to avenge last December's 17-6 loss to the Tigers and turn the tables by completing a home and away double.
Munster 38 Leicester Tigers 0
Munster handed Leicester Tigers their heaviest ever Champions Cup defeat with a fantastic four-try performance in a 38-0 win at Thomond Park.
Building on their unforgettable round two victory over Glasgow Warriors, Rassie Erasmus' in-form side bagged the maximum again with man-of-the-match CJ Stander leading by example.
Simon Zebo struck for the first half's only try while Leicester lock Ed Slater was in the sin-bin, adding to Tyler Bleyendaal's quartet of penalties for a 19-0 half-time lead.
A brace of tries from short-term signing Jaco Taute after 49 and 56 minutes effectively sealed Tigers' fate.
They suffered two more sin-binnings, the second of them coming as George Worth coughed up a 71st minute penalty try which clinched Munster's bonus point.
Leicester did the double on Munster last year and also famously won in Limerick back in 2007, but Richard Cockerill's current squad failed to land a blow in the opening 40 minutes and were ultimately outplayed throughout.
Munster probed with the boot early on, the capacity home crowd loving winger Darren Sweetnam's seventh-minute catch before a knock-on and scrum penalty allowed Tigers to clear.
A Peter O'Mahony lineout steal preceded Bleyendaal's first successful penalty in the 10th minute, the New Zealander then keeping Munster on the front foot with a delightful touch-finder in behind Adam Thompstone.
Bleyendaal punished an offside with a crisp strike from the 10-metre line for 6-0, before Freddie Burns was short with a long range first shot at the posts, 20 minutes in.
Bleyendaal nailed his toughest kick from 45 metres out, rewarding a leg-pumping run from Zebo, and the margin was out to 12 points after Slater infringed at a lineout and the Munster fly-half did the rest.
The penalties were mounting against Leicester, Slater paying the price with a 32nd-minute yellow card. After Munster pounded away at the visitors' defence, Conor Murray's brilliant pop pass off a close-in ruck saw the onrushing Zebo break a tackle and glide in behind the posts.
Bleyendaal converted for 19-0 and with Keith Earls fizzing with intent, the Irish province held territory up to the break.
Despite better play from Leicester on the resumption, Munster's immense physicality held them at bay.
The home forwards were clinical in attack too, a monster maul setting up dominant carries from John Ryan and Stander and South African centre Taute was fed to crash over from close range, with Bleyendaal converting.
Tigers had to adjust after the injury-enforced departure of Burns, the Aviva Premiership Player of the Month for November, and his equally ineffective half-back partner Ben Youngs, who was replaced by Sam Harrison.
Approaching the hour mark, Sweetnam ran hard into the 22 and his excellently-timed offload out of a tackle released Taute for his second try which went unconverted.
Just a couple of minutes later, Manu Tuilagi was binned for what referee Romain Poite deemed a dangerous charge at a ruck.
Rips in contact by Stander and O'Mahony prevented Leicester from claiming a consolation try - this was the first time since a 33-0 hammering at Ulster in January 2004 that they failed to score in a European game.
The visitors' bench did have a decent impact, particularly young forward Luke Hamilton, but they were unable to take anything tangible into next week's re-match at Welford Road.
A Sweetnam-inspired attack yielded Munster's bonus point, his grubber kick being dribbled on by Taute who was tackled early by the covering Worth for the double whammy of a yellow card and penalty try.