Is Liliana going to be Jace-level dominant?

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Although I was initially more impressed with Geist of Saint Thraft, now it's Liliana who worries me. I saw it on play in Limited and it came from good to a supreme beating depending of how adjusted was the deck including it, but most of its supposed weakness were proved false. Although a noob kept playing a single creature each turn only to get sacrificed one after each other, the main point is that she doesn't actually gives that much time to sculpt a hand and a manabase to play two creatures on a row and provided that opponent has board presence, the simmetrical discard is negligible.

The main problem is that, as I'm imagining scenarios in my head, the only consistent way to deal with her is by playing creatures with etb or dying effects or with haste. This is, with a minor modification, the same Jace test that kept so many creatures from ever being good. Is there a particular archetype able to keep her on check without being, you know, just another deck with Liliana on it? Another $60 walker that kills the format is the last thing we need.

At least we have Swiftfoot boots this time...
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
The Jace test was never really about Jace, it was really more about Titans. Removal was and still is at a premium, and in such a format you need to be able to profit from your big play or you just get totally eaten by tempo removal. 

There are plenty of ways to deal with her, though. She's basically a dead card against RDW because they beat her in every angle. Other creature decks can just, you know, play more than one creature.

Control, you have Oblivion Ring and counterspells; the danger here is not the sacrifice, but the discard-discard-discard-nuke your land, and the inability to sit on answers while she pecks at you.

Liliana really only destroys the ubiquitous UW Swords decks that people are using because they don't realise Caw-Blade died along with it's best matchups. Reliance on Invisible Stalker and Traft is shaky at best given how reliant they are on Swords/Destiny protection, but Liliana makes those all-in-on-one-creature decks pretty awful.
She is only really good in decks that can utilize her discard. So the flare control that can already keep creatures away has a chance to toss bombs in the yard and play them for cheap can use her. Other reanimator decks might be able to work her in too. Otherwise, shes too easy to play though. You either +1 and she gets plowed through by whats on the board, or you minus and give them a turn to get another dude out and kill her then.
She's really nuts when played with Sun Titan.  That might imply a reanimator type deck - which would mean that her +1 is highly usable - although it wouldn't have to be.  Without Sun Titan I wouldn't say she compares with Jace at all.  With Sun Titan, it can become really tough to keep creatures on the board.
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She's really nuts when played with Sun Titan.  That might imply a reanimator type deck - which would mean that her +1 is highly usable - although it wouldn't have to be.  Without Sun Titan I wouldn't say she compares with Jace at all.  With Sun Titan, it can become really tough to keep creatures on the board.



It's certainly a powerful interaction, but it's not going to be the deciding factor in regards to her standard dominance. It's already been said - solar flare makes the best use out of her, giving you a 3-mana walker with blatant and subtle single-sided abilities. Her most powerful use is indeed in the control mirror, since she rewards decks for being able to play out of the grave, and being able to play bombs in the absence of countermagic.

I disagree with her usefulness against RDW - despite the fact that she's not going to stay on the board very long, she still represents a potential CA machine when your opponent is trying to melt your face. She's either removal, life gain, or discard - all of which are useful for surviving long enough for titan mana.

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The Jace test was never really about Jace, it was really more about Titans. Removal was and still is at a premium, and in such a format you need to be able to profit from your big play or you just get totally eaten by tempo removal.

No.

The Jace test was very real. There were a lot of good 3cc+ creatures that just didn't see play because they sucked once a Jace hit the table. If your 3cc+ creature didn't do anything when it hit play, it either wasn't wasn't going to be played outside of decks that had plenty of answers for Jace or needed to basically win the game on its own if left unchecked. Or it had to have Jace protection, but even Thrun saw little play because of the Hawks being able to protect the PW'er.

Vengevine, SGO, and the like did this, and they saw some play. Vampire Nighthawk saw play in decks with plenty of PW'er answers. Mirran Crusader saw little to no play despite sick interactions with the different swords - and what little play it did see was as a 2-of in decks that could play it at an opportune moment and amass enough CA next turn to make Jace almost irrelevant.

Yeah, the Jace test wasn't just for Titans. And I don't actually disagree much with the comparison to Liliana.

The main difference, though, is that while her -2 isn't targeted meaning that it's still dangerous to rely on single fatties (which was pretty much the bane of midrange in the Jace era), having a mana dork when your opponent drops his Liliana means that you can still kill her with your Thrun or Geist. In the Jace days, that mana dork was essentially useless on two levels, because it's only goal was to accelerate you into a moot point. Now, it serves a dual function.
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No. Jace was far more versatile.

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Liliana can never win you the game. This is huge. Jace was CA, board control, draw-oppression and a win condition.

Lili is an engine, and removal, that's it.
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With all due respect, I think you're missing the point.

Decks with Jace was quite probably a lot better than decks with Liliana is going to be. That wasn't the point, though.

The argument was that midrange decks, that is, decks relying on single large creatures often will have significant problems against an active Liliana, much like they had significant problems against an active Jace. This means that Midrange will be in a position post-rotation which is similar to the position it was in when Jace dominated - given of course that a significant portion of the metagame is playing Liliana as more than a 2-of.

The counter-argument is that, while Edict effects dodge shroud and troll-shroud, it doesn't dodge the mana dorks that most midrange decks will probably be playing. This gives midrange decks an obvious out to an active Liliana. Also, because Liliana decks typically won't have an army of small fliers to protect her, cards like Geist of Saint Taft, Gideon and Thrun become a lot better at simply attacking her to death.

So yeah. Jace is/was better. Also, Liliana won't kill off midrange.
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@Alien: I think I was misleading - I meant that it wasn't something unique to Jace, but a format issue. When cheap, indiscriminate removal is available and ubiquitous, vanilla beats aren't enough to win a tempo centric format like this.

Upshot: the whole format punished midrange, not Jace alone.
Liliana of the Veil, Sun Titan and Isolated Chapel share a standard.  D:

Word.


So far, results show that Sun Titan is a big part of whatever dominance anyone wants to suggest that Lilliana is having.

I would suggest that this will continue.

Attitude reflects leadership. Vindicated! * HawkBlade is aggro/control! * Post-ban HawkBlade! * Jace, the Mind Sculptor is good! * End-of-Lorwyn TurboFog! ‘Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.’ – André Gide '...but if you're repeating yourself in an online forum, chances are you're just feeding a troll.' - Rat Bastardsen
@Alien: I think I was misleading - I meant that it wasn't something unique to Jace, but a format issue. When cheap, indiscriminate removal is available and ubiquitous, vanilla beats aren't enough to win a tempo centric format like this. Upshot: the whole format punished midrange, not Jace alone.



True, but midrange decks did have creatures which resisted removal. Those creatures didn't punch through Squadron Hawks very well, though.

I think that with Hawks and combo gone and mana dorks protecting your guy from Liliana, midrange should be in a much better position now.
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Liliana will see lots of play in the same way jace 1.0 did, because she is a CA engine. However, dominant she will not be, because she cannot win the game on her own like Jace 2.0 could.
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Liliana is not a CA machine though. She is a three mana Edict. In terms of her discard ability, it's only CA if you pitch something reusable(think twice etc), and your opponent doesn't, or if you are hellbent, and they are not.

Those are some pretty specific circumstances to make her a card advantage machine. Unlike jace.1 who was just drawing cards every turn. There are often situations with lili.2 where you can't use any of her abilities in the turn because you fall behind, for example if she can't edict and you can't afford to discard a card.

Lili is very good, but not only do you have to build around her, but you have to hope your opponent doesn't build around her. The amount of times I've been able to pitch an Elesh norn or Unburial rites to my opponent's Lili is a joke, with think twice, forbidden alchemy, unburial rites, reniamtion targets, chandra's  phoenix, skaab ruinator, snapcaster mage etc, it's often quite hard to get value out of lili in some respects as she can often help your opponent out, or at least not really effect them negtively in CA terms.
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Liliana is not a CA machine though. She is a three mana Edict. In terms of her discard ability, it's only CA if you pitch something reusable(think twice etc), and your opponent doesn't, or if you are hellbent, and they are not.

Those are some pretty specific circumstances to make her a card advantage machine. Unlike jace.1 who was just drawing cards every turn. There are often situations with lili.2 where you can't use any of her abilities in the turn because you fall behind, for example if she can't edict and you can't afford to discard a card.

Lili is very good, but not only do you have to build around her, but you have to hope your opponent doesn't build around her. The amount of times I've been able to pitch an Elesh norn or Unburial rites to my opponent's Lili is a joke, with think twice, forbidden alchemy, unburial rites, reniamtion targets, chandra's  phoenix, skaab ruinator, snapcaster mage etc, it's often quite hard to get value out of lili in some respects as she can often help your opponent out, or at least not really effect them negtively in CA terms.

So... She's like Jace1?

Her +1 isn't necessarily CA.

Her -2 is if you can fire it off a couple of times.

If you sometimes get to gain CA off of her +1 as well, you have a pretty good CA machine, it would seem.
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Her +1 is a build around me ability, that can backfire by helping your opponent. Similar in some ways, to jace. But it's an ability that you can't always use, sometimes you don't have this option, which means you can't build up for the second ability.

Her -2 is a 1-for-1, it only becomes CA on multiple uses, like jace.1, except you can't back to back use it like jace, and the +1 ability is often bad.

Her ultimate is a moot point, but it doesn't give you a way to win the game.

On any board, Jace finds you more cards and value, Liliana doesn't do that, she doesn't even build up to an ultimate that successfully in the decks that run her, since hey often only want to + her 1-2 times in a game. This makes her very limited indeed.

She's not a CA machine or engine, she's a discard engine that can edict. Her ability to net you value from her discard engine is entirely draw dependnet on both your side and your opponent's side. That's a lot of variables, unlike Jace.1 who was simply, "I will be drawing cards". And if you Sunny T jace back, you get oodles of CA, you Sunny T back Lili, you get..... a cruel edict, maybe another one down the line.


Sure she protects herself better than jace.1, but doesn't really do anything worth protecting, the decks that run her would prefer compulsive research/thirst/etc.

I thought she was good, but the more I analyse and play with and against her, the worse she gets.
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I'm going to be honest, if the dominant deck pushes out it's power on t3 and t6, at it's fastest we're in hog heaven as far as standard formats go. Back in reality though, Liliana 2 is a weapon, but is difficult to use as an "omgwtfbbq" like Mr. MindSculptor, or even Jace Beleren for that matter. She makes hands smaller and knocks off creatures,  making her ideal for a choking game, but not so ideal that she''ll get to run away with games in the same way that Snapcaster Mage or Brainstorm do.
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Others have evaluated Lil much better than I could so I'll just say this.

When I first saw the card I said, "meh."

I still say it. Overated and overpriced.

Time will tell if I'm right. 
I would say she is a nice topdeck late in the game when both players are out of resources. She enters, kills one creature and builds up after that, if opponent only draws removal, counters and such, it will keep cleaning his hand. If no threath is put on the board, good bye half of the lands.

sure Gideon is better in same situation =P

So... 1of...
I didn't think Liliana was great when I first saw her; it wasn't yet clear how easy it would be to build around her +1.  But surely it has become very clear by now.  Solar Flare seems pretty obvious, maybe somewhat less obvious than some Esper Reanimator build. 

The last page of comments sound like they come from people who haven't tested Solar Flare at all.  She always does exactly what I want her to do in Solar Flare.  My only complaint would be that she has to +1 before I can put her into the graveyard for a fresh start with Sun Titan (unless my opponent is cooperative).
Attitude reflects leadership. Vindicated! * HawkBlade is aggro/control! * Post-ban HawkBlade! * Jace, the Mind Sculptor is good! * End-of-Lorwyn TurboFog! ‘Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.’ – André Gide '...but if you're repeating yourself in an online forum, chances are you're just feeding a troll.' - Rat Bastardsen
In a vacuum, I compare Liliana 2.0 to Jace 1.0 and they compare favorably. 

Remember, too, though that Jace was run as a trump card to beat Jace 2 by sticking it one turn earlier.  Lili won't have that.

However, as far as the Solar Flare comments go .... Lili + Sun Titan + Unburial Rites seems like a very good thing.  In fact, you could probably do a lot in the W/B color scheme.

Also, I've seen a modern deck that uses Lili + Bloodghasts to break the symmetry in a very effective manor.
Liliana should be compared with Gatekeeper of Malakir. I mean she's basically gatekeeper kicked for . The difference is she is a planeswalker and not a creature which gives her a little more versatility. I mean 99% of the time she's played I'm sure people will use the -2 to force a sacrifice.

The biggest problem I see with Liliana is her +1 isn't that great. If a deck can find a way to abuse the +1 she will be a force. If some reanimator deck ends up being good then she's a top tier card. I mean at that point you can just keep forcing your opponent to sac a creature if you can keep her alive each turn.
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You guys don't have to speculate on Liliana2.  She's in the format right now.  There is a format right now!  Try her out in a nice Esper Reanimator list.  They try a good Solar Flare list. 

Is the problem that you don't have the card?  You might want to look into one of the free programs for testing MTG.  Or proxy her up, and go early to your next FNM.


 Don't have lists?  Let me know.

Attitude reflects leadership. Vindicated! * HawkBlade is aggro/control! * Post-ban HawkBlade! * Jace, the Mind Sculptor is good! * End-of-Lorwyn TurboFog! ‘Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.’ – André Gide '...but if you're repeating yourself in an online forum, chances are you're just feeding a troll.' - Rat Bastardsen
Liliana is good.  She's not Jace 2.0 level good, but neither is Grave titan, and nobody thinks it's a bad card.

The correct question is not "will she be as good as Jace?"

The correct question is "is she going to be heavily played and effective in THIS metagame?"  The answer is yes.
ALSO there are numerous splashable standard playable answers to planeswalkers now, as opposed to 5 months ago. Beast Within, Oblivion Ring, etc

Hell, Celestial Purge hits her AND KOTH for god's sake.
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Liliana is good.  She's not Jace 2.0 level good, but neither is Grave titan, and nobody thinks it's a bad card.

The correct question is not "will she be as good as Jace?"

The correct question is "is she going to be heavily played and effective in THIS metagame?"  The answer is yes.


I disagree.

The question is not 'will she be heavily played?', because that's almost a given.

The question is '*HOW* will she impact the general deckbuilding in the format as a whole', which is a lot harder to answer. But where Jace pretty much prevented anyone from relying on 3cc+ creatures which had to untap to be relevant, Liliana has more 'weak points' because her -2 is an edict.

And even though you probably can't just reanimate one big dude with protection from removal and win, there should be plenty of cards which give you CA when edicted (Titans, Wurmcoil, etc), and even when you decide to reanimate something which may not (Elesh Norn, etc), you get multiple uses out of your Unburial Rites.

She definitely will impact deckbuilding, though.
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The fact that she can't kill a creature every turn, or even every other turn, indicates that she's no where near as good as jace at controlling creatures (Jace didn't kill them, but he could go -1, -1 if need be; liliana can't go -2, -2 no matter how much you want her to because she only starts at 3, and if you go -2, +1, -2 you lose her).
Stop using "IMO" in sentences that aren't opinion. If you don't think a deck will ever be tier 1, that's great - but it's not an opinion. It's a prediction of the future. I identify as neither male nor female. You may refer to me with either gender pronoun or the singular they, whichever suits you best. ^_^ Re: Dismember
97543238 wrote:
Everybody knows that having your awesome creatures killed before they can do anything is frustrating, but the Red mage in me doesn't seem to understand why it's so bad when his creatures spontaneously combust into Flame Javelins and make his opponent discard something at the same time.
Currently Working On: Self-Mill (Standard)

I would like to point out Liliana is now $69.99 USD on Channel Fireball.  Which is generally one of the cheapest sites around.  Ridiculous.  Maybe she will be the new Jace with a price like that.


store.channelfireball.com/catalog/innist...

I wish I had some to sell before the price dropped...
Stop using "IMO" in sentences that aren't opinion. If you don't think a deck will ever be tier 1, that's great - but it's not an opinion. It's a prediction of the future. I identify as neither male nor female. You may refer to me with either gender pronoun or the singular they, whichever suits you best. ^_^ Re: Dismember
97543238 wrote:
Everybody knows that having your awesome creatures killed before they can do anything is frustrating, but the Red mage in me doesn't seem to understand why it's so bad when his creatures spontaneously combust into Flame Javelins and make his opponent discard something at the same time.
Currently Working On: Self-Mill (Standard)
Planeswalkers always go like this in the early days. Spec prices are ALWAYS inflated. Noone wants to make a loss.

I would like to point out Liliana is now $69.99 USD on Channel Fireball.  Which is generally one of the cheapest sites around.  Ridiculous.  Maybe she will be the new Jace with a price like that.


store.channelfireball.com/catalog/innist...




No way it's gonning to hold.  It has a significantly greater supply and less demand than Jace.  

If I open any I'm immedietly selling.   

I would like to point out Liliana is now $69.99 USD on Channel Fireball.  Which is generally one of the cheapest sites around.  Ridiculous.  Maybe she will be the new Jace with a price like that.


store.channelfireball.com/catalog/innist...




No way it's gonning to hold.  It has a significantly greater supply and less demand than Jace.  

If I open any I'm immedietly selling.   



Wait, shouldn't it have a lesser supply since it's printed in a large set rather than a large one? Or do I misunderstand the implications of that?
Stop using "IMO" in sentences that aren't opinion. If you don't think a deck will ever be tier 1, that's great - but it's not an opinion. It's a prediction of the future. I identify as neither male nor female. You may refer to me with either gender pronoun or the singular they, whichever suits you best. ^_^ Re: Dismember
97543238 wrote:
Everybody knows that having your awesome creatures killed before they can do anything is frustrating, but the Red mage in me doesn't seem to understand why it's so bad when his creatures spontaneously combust into Flame Javelins and make his opponent discard something at the same time.
Currently Working On: Self-Mill (Standard)
Actually, as of right now, it's at it's lowest availability.

 As it's in a larger set, assuming equal numbers of print runs means the overall availability will be lower than Jace.
Another factor pushing her price is the complete lack of chase mythics beyond her and geist of st. traft. Hell, even the rares are pretty weak as a whole.

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Another factor pushing her price is the complete lack of chase mythics beyond her and geist of st. traft. Hell, even the rares are pretty weak as a whole.



Jace had that sort of thing working for (against?) him as well though, no?


I would like to point out Liliana is now $69.99 USD on Channel Fireball.  Which is generally one of the cheapest sites around.  Ridiculous.  Maybe she will be the new Jace with a price like that.


store.channelfireball.com/catalog/innist...




No way it's gonning to hold.  It has a significantly greater supply and less demand than Jace.  

If I open any I'm immedietly selling.   



Wait, shouldn't it have a lesser supply since it's printed in a large set rather than a large one? Or do I misunderstand the implications of that?



I heard that Jace's price was so high partially because WWK had a very small draft window.  People will be drafting INN a whole lot more than WWK.

Even the decks that want to run Lili.2 have many turns where they don't/can't activate her without a negative impact on themselves. How many decks are running cards they can discard? Chandra's Pheonix, Unburial rites, Think Twice, Desperate ravings/dec, ancient grudge, forbidden alchemy. You get very little effect from making your opponent discard, and you making yourself discard is only good once or twice, then you are left with cards you need to keep in hand.

She doesn't fit into many decks.

She often sits on a board and does nothing even in the decks built for her.

Her advantage is very easy for a lot of decks to get around without building for it.


Weirdly, her symetrical effect, is bad because it's too symetrical. Other symetrical effects in the past were easy to make lopsided, Wrath, Balance, Tanlge Wire, Smoke Stack etc etc. Espeically ina small card pool where your opponent has to play some of the GY based cards because they make up so much of the format and are powerful. She doesn't really put you ahead ever, she just helps inforce a strategy, a discard engine is much worse than a draw engine.

Sure, the block as a whole will surely make her better, but from testing and analysis at the moment, I wouldn't want to spend more than £10 on her.
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Another factor pushing her price is the complete lack of chase mythics beyond her and geist of st. traft. Hell, even the rares are pretty weak as a whole.



That's true, especially when you put the DFCs aside since they're in a different slot than her.

People always said that about Worldwake, though. (I think they were wrong - you had JTMS, Avenger of Zendikar, Abyssal Persecutor, 5 manlands, Basilisk Collar, and then a number of notable uncommons like Tectonic Edge and Cunning Sparkmage).

@Cyrus:

While I broadly agree with you, I think many people make the mistake of only using Liliana's discard ability to dump graveyard-relevant stuff in the graveyard. I have been perfectly happy to +1 her and discard a land, or a random removal spell or whatever, if doing so puts my opponent under pressure by hellbenting them and/or allows me to build up to an threaten her ultimate. If your deck is built around powerful topdecks and a long grinding attrition game like Solar Flare is, it's perfectly legitimate to use Liliana in this way.

But the issue with upping liliana when you don't have flashback stuff etc, is that if your opponent does, you've just lost card advantage due to your own spell, so you are doing there job for them.

The thing with her, is that she is more situational than pretty much any planeswalker before. Her + ability(the key bread and butter ability of PW's), is only relevent if you have stuff in hand you want to pitch, and if your opponent doesn't have stuff to pitch. Sure you can build around her in your deck, but she still won't be able to + herself all the time(which is huge), but you can't build your opponent's deck, so you open yourself up to all kind of problems.

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But the issue with upping liliana when you don't have flashback stuff etc, is that if your opponent does, you've just lost card advantage due to your own spell, so you are doing there job for them.



Not so. Think Twice in the hand represents +1 CA. If they discard it to Liliana instead, it's now only an effective +0CA. 

In essence, any given Flashback card in a player's hand is inherently card advantage. Them discarding it reduces that positive to a neutral by stripping away the bonus.

It's only doing their job for them if they have a card that they can't use in their hand, but can use in their graveyard. That's very rare (basically only if they don't have the mana to cast the bombs in their hand, but their Alchemies haven't yarded anything to target with Unburial Rites). In fact, the chance of it happening is so low that it basically gets completely outweighed by the CA you gain from her ultimate.

The thing with her, is that she is more situational than pretty much any planeswalker before. Her + ability(the key bread and butter ability of PW's), is only relevent if you have stuff in hand you want to pitch, and if your opponent doesn't have stuff to pitch. Sure you can build around her in your deck, but she still won't be able to + herself all the time(which is huge), but you can't build your opponent's deck, so you open yourself up to all kind of problems.



She's definitely more situational than most playable planeswalkers so far (possible exception for Sarkhan the Mad), but you don't have to be enabling her to be using her (you just need to have the potential to enable her to put her in your deck - but that's a question of using her in the right deck rather than playing her correctly).
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