Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CCDD 050317—Liliana's Will & Liliana's Command

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/3/2017 - In Impact, Liliana demonstrates command over the undead; not just the ability to raise them, but to turn any undead to her own bidding. When I read that, I had to make this card:

I love the elegance of Liliana's Will, and it will certainly give players a story to tell every time it does something, but it very rarely will—because why would you play a card that narrow except in the sideboard of a format where your deck loses to some zombie tribal deck? If I had known at the time Amonkhet would feature cycling, I definitely would've stuck that on there. This is what I did instead:

I'm pleased with that design (because it offers so many synergies, along with a sort of mini-game, all while feeling coherent and flavorful), and with the idea of a new cycle of commands as planeswalker signature spells too. Take a crack at one?


  1. The first would certainly be relevant in Amonkhet limited with all the Zombies from Embalm running around. With cycling it'd be perfect for sure.

    Jace's Command
    Choose two:
    -Target player puts the top 5 cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
    -Scry 2.
    -Put up to one instant or Jace planeswalker card from your graveyard on top of your library.
    -Draw a card.

    1. Nice.
      Definitely switch the order of the first two abilities.

    2. Debatable. Scry lets you put on the bottom - if you want to choose the first two abilities, I think digging two cards afterwards to look for your reanimation spell/what have you is generally better than looking to see if you want to mill cards 3-7 instead of 1-5.

    3. Also my suggestion only works if the mill is optional in the moment.

  2. The middle two abilities on Lilliana's Command are clearly the fun ones, right?

    Lilliana's Control 3BB
    Each opponent returns a creature card from their graveyard to the battlefield. Those creatures are zombies in addition to their other types.
    Gain control of all zombies.

    1. Good focus.
      I'd either put this in a multiplayer product, or make it cheaper, because it's weaker than Rise from the Grave in duel. (Or put it in Amonkhet where white gets common zombies.)

    2. Lilliana's Control 3BB
      Each player returns a creature card from their graveyard to the battlefield. Those creatures are zombies in addition to their other types. Then choose a player, and gain control of all zombies that player controls.

    3. I want to see the art for this.
      Liliana: Zombies for all! Ooh. Except that one. I'm keeping him.

  3. Bolas' Offer 1UBR
    Instant - (r)
    Exile target spell, then that spell’s controller chooses to do two —
    • Return that spell to its owner’s hand and lose half your life, rounded up.
    • Sacrifice a land and a nonland permanent.
    • At end of turn, return Bolas’ Offer from the graveyard to its owner’s hand.
    • Discard two cards and end the turn.

  4. "Gain control of all Zombies" is in the Tsunami/Chill/... era of sideboard cards that just win you the game. I think those cards are pretty miserable in actual play, so I don't want to print that on an instant/sorcery taht might ever actually get cast in a game of Magic, because that would be unpleasant.

    But the line of text is so Lilliana, I think it is too good not to appear somewhere. I think the right place is in an ultimate for a Lilliana Planeswalker that has some Olivia-esque ability to turn opponent's creatures to zombies to guaruntee it will always be relevant.