(nicknames for Liliana…..
Liliana Vess- (Why would you give this a nickname?)
Duel-iana (Alternate art Liliana Vess vs Garruk)
Pricey-ana (Liliana of the Veil)
Swamp-iana (Liliana of the Dark Realms)
Flip-iana (Liliana, Heretical Healer//Liliana, Defiant Necromancer)
Hope-iana (Liliana, the Last Hope)
Zombie-ana (Liliana, Death’s Majesty)
Slow-iana (Liliana, Death Wielder)
So with the release of AMONKHET, we now have not just one, but two new Liliana cards!
Liliana has long been my favorite planeswalker, as I owned Liliana Vess way back when I opened her in a core set pack that I purchased as I started to get into the game. Liliana Vess plus Grave Titan was just AWESOME!
I continued a legacy of loving the cards as I drafted a Liliana Vess back in M15…and I remember when I began to get into standard heavily main-decking Liliana of the Dark Realms and I remember getting the emblem, and then spectacularly topdecking Rakdos Return for a win…everone in the room made a noise when I did that! (Wow! AHHH! Ugh!) Topdecking stuff like that is one reason why I love playing black.
How did I get Liliana of the Veil…such an expensive and rare card? A friend gave me a booster pack of Battle for Zendikar, and I opened a Zendikar Expedition Marsh Flats, which I traded for Liliana of the Veil. Pricey-ana is an important piece of “the rack” deck, as well as an enabler for re-animation in the “Gifts Ungiven” deck.
My pet commander deck is Liliana, Heretical Healer. And all of the Liliana cards I have had up until recently are in that deck…which brings us to the recent two versions of the cards. (Oh yes. You might be wondering if I marked on my cards…the little “ZZZ’s” are meant to remind me to get a Zombie when she flips! Don’t worry, I wrote on the inner sleeve. double sleeved)
LILIANA, DEATH’S MAJESTY
A five-drop Liliana. But this is where the similarities to Liliana Vess end. I think they costed her out at five though, because her top two abilities are absolutely use-able very relevant abilities that are worth five mana. If she gets removed next turn, your investment was not in vain! The art on this one is also some of the best art depicting the character. I really do like how snobby and in-charge she appears. Liliana is the ultimate “mean girl.” Maybe I like the art on Heretical Healer//Defiant Necromancer better? The -7 ability on this card is a sweeper. But the problem is that little word, “destroy.” There are a lot of indestructible creatures out there in standard, especially the new “god” cards. But also Gideon. Also that she only gets non-zombies can’t be ignored. There are and will be mirror decks, as well as emergent zombie decks.
I wish I had a foil!
LILIANA, DEATH WIELDER
It hurts me to say this…this is one of the JANK-IEST CARDS ever printed. (Janky-ana?)
You know those lists of bad cards that people sometimes make? Liliana of the Dark Realms makes that list occasionally. Yeah, yeah. The flavor is a little off. It takes a while to ultimate. You have to play mono black pretty much. And what’s with the hair?
But this card just bumped that Liliana off the list. Why?
OK. Seven Drop. In a mono-black deck, it’s going to be at least a full seven turns before you play this, if you aren’t doing DARK RITUAL, or some other crazy acceleration trick. Which most of the time you won’t be doing. If you wanted ramp, your color would be green….
What else? +2, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. By turn 7, your green opponent could have any number of gigantic threats. Even White and Blue will have bigger creatures by turn seven. What about red? By turn seven, red already killed you if you were counting on this card to win you the game. So let’s say you DO get a -1/-1 counter on a creature…
-3 Destroy target creature with a -1/-1 counter on it.
Let’s math for a minute. 3>2. So. you just lost that progress you made last turn, PLUS ANOTHER LOYALTY POINT.
How about her ultimate….
-10 Return all creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield.
How is this ultimate not strictly, strictly, strictly worse than the original Liliana Vess’ ultimate ability, that takes all creatures from all graveyards and puts them on the battlefield under your control?
Now I’m quite aware why this card is the way it is.
The art is big and splashy. A nice foil. And new players will be attracted to the looks of this card. Which is exactly the point.
Liliana, Death Wielder can only be gotten in a Planeswalker Deck, the equivalent of an intro pack, (which the Wizards don’t make any more.) I can see a kid really digging this card.
But I think I am going to keep her in the Planeswalker Pack with the rest of her deck. She’s just too bad for my special commander deck. I have played this card against the SpartanKid a couple of times, and found it to be lacking in every department except for the art and flavor departments. I have yet to try it out against the Gideon Planeswalker deck, but all accounts out there on the internet say that his deck is better, and partly because his Planeswalker card is better.
Review of the Liliana Planeswalker Pack will be coming soon!