The Secret Love of Jace and Liliana -
I'm going to come out and just say it: Jace Beleren
and Liliana Vess
Sub Type: Jace
Artist: Aleksi Briclot
Text: +2: Each player draws a card. -1: Target player draws a card. -10: Target player puts the top twenty cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
are totally made for each other. I'm not sure if there is some sort of Planeswalker dating service out there, or if, cosmically, they were bound to meet on some war-tattered plane, but they make an absolute adorable couple.
Sub Type: Liliana
Artist: Aleksi Briclot
Text: +1: Target player discards a card. -2: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. -8: Put all creature cards in all graveyards into play under your control.
Now, before I get written off as some nutjob that's getting his jollies by writing saucy fanfics about these guys, hear me out for a second on this. First of all, check out their colors. Blue and Black. How's that for a nice, solid combination for control. You've got your counters and your removal. Simple. At all of the Prereleases and constructed tournaments I've been to for Lorwyn, I have heard about people building decks around planeswalkers. What surprises me is that I haven't heard of people using the synergy of multiple planeswalkers to build decks. I mean, in constructed, planeswalkers are gigantic bombs that put you on such a short clock you need to use all the resources at your disposal to diffuse them. I did not have the luck of pulling one of these illusive cards at the Prerelease (frown), but I did have the opportunity to meet Garruk Wildspeaker
in a dark, damp alley... you know the ones where nothing good ever happens in them? Yeah, it didn't end well.
Sub Type: Garruk
Artist: Aleksi Briclot
Text: +1: Untap two target lands. -1: Put a 3/3 green Beast creature token into play. -4: Creatures you control get +3/+3 and gain trample until end of turn.
Anyway, I'm getting off topic.
Jace has some great moves, but the weird thing is that his first one (and the only one that boosts that delicious loyalty counter) actually benefits your opponent. It's not the end of the world, you aren't really LOSING anything in card advantage, but you're giving your opponent more choices, and more choices equals more threats. The next ability lets you be greedy and draw a card just for yourself. Chuckle quietly while you draw it knowing you got it for free. Sure, you lose a loyalty, and you could go back and forth with that and his first one all day, drawing three extra cards to your opponent's one. It's a good trade off. But the bomb, his ´´Limit Break´´, so to speak (yay Final Fantasy geeks), is the absolute nuts: Mill TWENTY. [Editor's note: That is such a great term that I am now going to refer to the third ability of each planeswalker as his Limit Break. Thank you Ben.] Take a third of your deck and put it in the junk heap, boy. That's a wrecking ball. And if the game goes on long enough, and you're able to defend Jace to get back up to that power, it's reusable!
And then there's Liliana, who's name I can never, for some reason, pronounce correctly. She's got her own tricks when she shows up at the big dance. Her first move is pretty decent: have your opponent dump a card. Nothing wrong with that, it's pretty direct card advantage, you can do it every turn, but your opponent will quickly see it coming and prepare for it, it even helps him if he has Madness cards. Basking Rootwalla
is my favorite madness card just because you have a reason to scream ROOTWALLA! Go ahead, try it... nobody's watching... anyway. Liliana's next ability is pretty nice, who can argue with a free Vampiric Tutor
Sub Type: Lizard
Text: 1G: Basking Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn. Madness 0
? It's not the best that you have to wait an entire turn until you actually draw the card, unless you have a few tricks, but it's better than having to draw down to it the old fashioned way. It hits the loyalty pretty hard, but when you need a specific answer, you can get it. Her limit break, though, shows her true black colors. Reanimating every creature that touched the dust bin this game just for you to play with. From those pesky 1/1 clowns you trounced right in the beginning to that fat Tarmogoyf
|Set: Classic Sixth Edition|
Artist: Gary Leach
Text: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.
you had to spar with just a few turns ago, it's all yours. Essentially, your opponent now has exactly one turn to deal with this fresh zombie army that you just summoned, or get overrun by his own creatures (muahaha).
|Set: Future Sight|
Sub Type: Lhurgoyf
Artist: Justin Murray
Text: Tarmogoyf's power is equal to the number of card types among cards in all graveyards and its toughness is equal to that number plus 1. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal.)
The magic, though, is when these two happy-go-lucky planeswalkers hook up. They simply work so well together. Take their first ability. Jace lets everyone draw a card, that's cool, but wait, what's that? Liliana says you need to discard a card too. I'll just keep the one I got. Thanks. And it gets better with their second ability: Liliana finds that elusive card for you and sets it right on top of your head, ready to be drawn next turn. Jace, could you help me get that? Awesome. Free Demonic Tutor
every turn, I can handle that. Then comes the absolute devastating Limit Break: Have your opponent dump 20 of his next cards in the graveyard and then have Liliana raise them right back up on your side to beat face next turn. Bonus points if you Damnation
|Set: Revised Edition|
Artist: Douglas Shuler
Text: Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.
beforehand. Man, that sucks! Good game?
|Set: Planar Chaos|
Artist: Kev Walker
Text: Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
I won't make a deck because I'm awful at making decks. I haven't gotten used to the new cards yet (see next paragraph)... but I think a simple blue/black control would fit the bill here no problem. Flavor to taste.
I'm awful at writing summaries, but I feel entitled to put one in here, so I'll talk about what everyone else is talking about: Lorwyn. I love the block, I just got started back in Magic with 10th edition after a LONG hiatus, and I'm really enjoying the mechanics of the game. I feel bad that I missed Morph and Storm as those looked like they were fun to run... they may have been gamebreaking in actual tournaments, but I like being a casual player more. Lorwyn has so many subtle mechanics to it. Shapeshifter
s are so ridonkulous [Editor's note: Not a typo, that's the most accurate description of the Changelings that I've seen yet.] to run because every card seems to affect them in some way. I'm having a blast with Clash (another article maybe) even though many people don't seem to like it. But the advent of the planeswalkers, that's the news, I'm glad I came back to Magic when I did, there's a lot of synergy to be found!
|Set: Fourth Edition|
Type: Artifact Creature
Artist: Dan Frazier
Text: Shapeshifter has power and toughness that add up to seven, but neither may be more than seven. Set them when Shapeshifter comes into play; you may change them during your upkeep.
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