Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Turning Liliana, Heretical Healer"

"Turning Liliana, Heretical Healer"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

One of the first cards that I ever saw from the Origins spoiler was Liliana , Heretical Healer. And by then I didn't even know her full name. I already wanted to have her and I didn't even know what she would be able to do. So when I got her in my PR kit I was just ecstatic and began planning all sorts of things for her.Liliana , Heretical Healer would be great as a Tiny Leaders Commander and as  support for the various Necromancer EDH decks that I have. 

The first thing I wanted to do was figure out how the best way to Flip her into that sexy Liliana , Defiant Necromancer. 

I mean Liliana , Heretical Healer is a great creature that has a 2/3 frame and lifelink. She could easily recover those early damages and dispatch those weaker creatures when she is defending. Liliana is just wonderful when she flips since she comes back with a 2/2 Zombie! So what would be the fastest way to flip her and when would be the best time to do so?

Liliana gets her spark ignited when a non-token creature you control dies. Much like when she inadvertently turns her brother into a zombie. While you could have creatures and a sacrifice outlet it is best to have creatures that sacrifice themselves like Blood Pet. 

The reason for a self sacrificing creature becomes apparent when an opponent targets Liliana in her creature form with an instant removal spell.In response to this threat you could sacrifice a creature like blood pet and Lili would blink out of existence causing the spell to have no legal target. She then comes back as her tattooed self along with a 2/2 zombie slave as well. Talk about cheating death right?

Creatures that die when they hit the battlefield are also great for Flipping Liliana. I am looking at Hangarback walker and Endless One just arriving and finding themselves with no +1/+1 Counters on them because you cast them for Zero mana and poof they die. Liliana also flips! 

Flipping on Offense and Defense:

One of the best times to Flip Liliana is on the defense. Liliana could block(even the biggest creatures your opponents throw at you) ,you sacrifice a crit and she bounces to the aether and comes back. Not only did you save her from being dead as a creature you also activated her spark!Oh and yeah your opponents creature is still considered blocked! You may not get the benefits of the lifelink but heck you have a planeswalker ready to work hard for you on your coming turn.

The same principle applies when she is on the offensive since she could be targeted by instant speed removal or be killed by a blocker.In response to anything targeting her as a creature you could just sacrifice a non-token creature and Liliana is saved! She can then be used as a planeswalker in your 2nd main phase.Plus that 2/2 zombie she just came back with could defend her. Whoa! 

Once Liliana turns into her nastier form expect a lot of things to go in your favor in an instant. If your opponent still has some cards in his or her hand at this point then you could go ahead and target it with discard. Both you and your opponent will discard a card but while it is a disadvantage to your opponent it would turn out be a great advantage for you since you are in control of a powerful necromancer who loves a well-stocked graveyard.

If in case you need a creature to come back right away you could use Lili's necromantic second ability and do just that. Since this is an X ability it will eat up her Loyalty points you could reanimate a 1 mana cost creature or a 2 mana cost creature right at the time that she manifests on the battlefield.Just make sure that the creature you are getting back is worth it since she would die if you choose a 2 mana cost creature.

Black never seems to have a lack of monsters in those mana costs. Death's Shadow is one example for one mana. I mean it is a possible 13/13. Sangrophage or even a Myr Superion could take up the 2 mana slots! A 3/3 or a 4/5 is not bad at all. Sarcophage mainly takes a bite of your life total each upkeep and as for the Myr Superion reanimating it with this ability bypasses that whole "I have to be cast by mana produced by creatures only" clause.

And to make matters worse if you do get to Liliana's ultimate ability you basically have undying creatures that return on the next end step when they die. Meaning if they died attacking they come back as your defenders on your end of turn and if they died defending they will be available attackers on your next turn because they would return at your opponents end of turn. If you even have creatures with ETB effects like Liliana's Specter or Ravenous Rats then you would also take advantage of those effects as well. All in all it will be bad news when Liliana hits her ultimate since creatures would be able to die and come back.

The other aspect of this emblem is that you could "steal" your opponents creatures by killing them with a spot removal and then the emblem automatically reanimates their corpses and makes them your loyal servants.Think Grave Betrayal only much better since an Emblem doesn't get affected by a naturalize or anything else for that matter.

So who is ready to Turn Liliana? I know I am. 

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