Welcome back everyone! Today we have some exciting stuff to go over. Gathering Magic and I have a spoiler for you today, and it is a doozy. I could sit here and write a small paragraph or two that sufficiently prepares you for what you’re about to see, but I think the card speaks for itself. Besides, who am I to step on the toes of royalty? All right, without further ado, here is Liliana, Death's Majesty!
Prostrate yourself before death’s majesty and pray that she is merciful because this card is absolutely amazing! Let’s break down her abilities.
+1: “Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. Put the top two cards of your library into your graveyard.”
The plus ability is usually the ability that gets used the most on a Planeswalker, so it’s important that it’s good. Well, rest assured, this one is. Not only does Liliana’s plus ability protect herself with a 2/2 Zombie token and an additional loyalty, but she also puts two cards from your library into your graveyard. This can be equivalent to drawing a card depending on how you built your deck. A 2/2 token and draw a card? Where can I sign up?! Imagine if Gideon’s zero ability could also “draw” you cards. Well, this one does and it’s not a zero ability, but a plus one ability.
Here is a small list of cards that want to be in your graveyard as well as some benefits.
- Scrapheap Scrounger
- Prized Amalgam
- Haunted Dead
- Advanced Stitchwing
- Drownyard Temple
- Relentless Dead
- Startled Awake
- Any card with the new mechanic Embalm.
- New split card from Amonkhet that you can only cast from your graveyard like Dusk / Dawn.
- Turns on Delirium
- Allows you to reanimate creatures easier.
- Powers up Seasons Past
- Plays well with The Gitrog Monster
- Fuels Splendid Reclamation
- Makes cards like Take Inventory and Galvanic Bombardment stronger
That’s a LOT of stuff! You could build a Gitrog Monster Deck with Drownyards and the new cycle lands. Then you can get all the lands back with a Splendid Reclamation! You could even just stick to what works and play an Emerge deck with Prized Amalgams, Scrapheap Scrounger, Haunted Dead, and things like Elder Deep-Fiend. Then you could make a brand-new deck based on reanimating big fat creatures from your graveyard because not only does Liliana put cards into your grave yard, but her other ability, brings them back!
-3: “Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. That creature is a black Zombie in addition to its other colors and types.”
So, we have established that her plus ability is very, very good. All right, so what about her minus ability? Well . . . It works extremely well with her plus ability. It does what Liliana does best, and that’s bringing back zombies from the dead. Again, this is great with things like Prized Amalgam and Emerge or you can just bring back huge things like any of the Gearhulks, Eldrazi, or something like Greenwarden of Murasa. It’s also fine with other staple creatures like Tireless Tracker or Ishkanah, Grafwidow. This ability is only limited to what creatures are available to us in Standard, so we have a lot of options.
Imagine Unburial Rites, instead of having flashback though, you get a Planeswalker that sticks around. On top of all that you can play this “Unburial Rites” without having a creature in your graveyard and start putting cards from your library into your graveyard so you can reanimate something later. That’s insane and very powerful! So not only does Liliana, Death's Majesty have a great plus ability, but she also has a fantastic minus ability. What else could you possibly want? Well, how about an ultimate that is basically Plague Wind?
“-7: Destroy all non-Zombie creatures.”
Welp, in case you weren’t aware, this works perfectly with her other abilities. Anything Liliana creates or brings back to life is a zombie. So, this will essentially just wipe your opponent’s board clean while allowing you to keep all your zombies. Yea, basically spelling game over.
Wow . . . What an amazing card! I know Amonkhet isn’t fully spoiled so building a deck around her right now isn’t the most optimal, but I must try!
W/B Control ? Amonkhet Standard | Ali Aintrazi
- Creatures (11)
- 1 Bruna, the Fading Light
- 1 Linvala, the Preserver
- 2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
- 2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
- 2 Thalia's Lancers
- 3 Gisela, the Broken Blade
- Planeswalkers (6)
- 1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
- 1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
- 2 Liliana, Death's Majesty
- 2 Liliana, the Last Hope
- Spells (17)
- 1 Blessed Alliance
- 3 Fatal Push
- 3 Succumb to Temptation
- 4 Grasp of Darkness
- 1 Fumigate
- 2 Yahenni's Expertise
- 3 Ruinous Path
- Lands (26)
- 4 Plains
- 7 Swamp
- 1 Blighted Fen
- 1 Evolving Wilds
- 1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
- 4 Concealed Courtyard
- 4 Forsaken Sanctuary
- 4 Shambling Vent
This is where I would start with a control deck that can abuse all of Liliana’s abilities. We have a legendary package with Thalia's Lancers and then we can continuously get more advantage through reanimating Thalia's Lancers or bringing back a Bruna, the Fading Light to fuse with Gisela, the Broken Blade. Even just recurring Linvala, the Preserver is extremely powerful. Keep in mind that you can get Geier Reach Sanitarium with Thalia's Lancers. This will help filter your hand and makes Liliana stronger in the long run. This is a great strategy for Liliana, Death's Majesty.
Okay, what about a reanimtor deck? Is that possible? Sure! Let’s look at a possible iteration.
Reanimator ? Amonkhet Standard | Ali Aintrazi
- Lands (24)
- 1 Plains
- 4 Mountain
- 4 Swamp
- 1 Shambling Vent
- 2 Concealed Courtyard
- 4 Evolving Wilds
- 4 Inspiring Vantage
- 4 Smoldering Marsh
And here is a take with Mardu Reanimator with a focus on artifacts and Refurbish. The concept of this deck is to just fill your graveyard with Prized Amalgams, Haunted Deads, and Gearhulks. You then Refurbish the Hulks or bring them back with Liliana. Liliana not only reanimates here but fuels the graveyard so you can swarm your opponent with Prized Amalgams and Haunted Dead. Combustible Gearhulk will also fuel the graveyard usually while dealing a bunch of damage to our opponent since they will usually pick the “put the top three cards of your library into your graveyard . . . ” So, the deck is attacking from the graveyard with zombies and hulks while also having the threat of Liliana and Nahiri.
With this sideboard you can board out the artifacts and Refurbish for some angels and board wipes against the faster decks or you can bring in cards like Planar Bridge against the control decks since Refurbish gets back any artifact.
We will see what Amonkhet has to offer but it also may just be correct to not run the artifacts at all since Linvala, the Perserver does so much work against Mardu and Four-Color Saheeli. Keep an eye out for any big creatures that Liliana will want to bring back from the dead in Amonkhet!
I’m hopeful she’ll be strong enough to combat Mardu and Four-Color Saheeli. I’m especially fond of the B/W control list.
I look forward to playing with Liliana, Death's Majesty and I’m excited for Amonkhet. It’s Nicol Bolas’s home plane afterall!
Until next time!
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