Planeswalkers: Liliana Vess

Liliana Vess is a planeswalker in Magic the Gathering who specializes in causing opponents to: discard cards, create zombies, and destroy other creatures. From her humble story driven abilities as a legendary creature in Magic Origins; Liliana has a total of seven different planeswalker cards that are based on her, all of which are in black. Her planeswalker abilities and her synergy with zombies have caused her to become one of the most popular planeswalkers in the game. So, without further ado, let’s look at her different counterparts and what abilities they can use.


Liliana, Defiant Necromancer: Unlike the other Liliana cards, Liliana, Defiant Necromancer requires you to cast Liliana, Heretical Healer and activate her ability in order to be used. However, her ability to force players to discard cards as well as reanimating creatures is nothing to shrug off. The only problem is that there are other Liliana cards that not only use similar abilities, but are also easier to cast.

Liliana of the Dark Realms: Instead of reanimating cards, creating zombies, or forcing players to discard cards; Liliana of the Dark Realms has more of a focus on mana. Her first ability makes sure that you get a land drop each turn, and her final ability creates an emblem that generates copious amounts of mana. She’s a staple in many black EDH deck’s, especially decks that want more mana generation.

Liliana of the Veil: She’s basically an easier to cast version of Liliana, Defiant Necromancer. Both discard cards; however, Liliana of the Veil’s final ability allows you to sacrifice half of your opponent’s permanents – which can result in a complete turn around. She can also force players to sacrifice a creature, but saving up for her final ability is recommended. Just like most Liliana cards, Liliana of the Veil is a powerful asset to any black deck.

Liliana, the Last Hope: This version of Liliana is a bit underwhelming on the surface. Her first ability can destroy weak creatures and weaken an attacking creature; however, sometimes the ability has no use except to increase her loyalty counters. Her second ability can be used to get back creature cards, but it costs the two cards on top of your library. Her last ability is powerful; however, the card Endless Ranks of the Dead completely replaces it. Liliana, the Last Hope is a bit underwhelming compared to other Liliana’s. However, due to her low mana cost, and her ability to slow down hyper-aggressive aggro decks, she has seen a lot of play in Modern recently.

Liliana Vess: Similar to other Liliana cards, Liliana Vess forces a player to discard a card, which doesn’t make her stick out compared to other iterations. However, her second ability allows you to search for any card in your deck and put it onto your library. This is an incredible ability that helps almost every single black deck. During the late game, her final ability allows you to flood the field with creatures. She’s definitely one of the best Liliana cards and her search ability can benefit any black deck.

Liliana, Death’s Majesty: She copies Liliana, the Last Hope’s self mill ability, which immediately makes her slightly worse than the other versions of Liliana. Even though she can reanimate creatures and turn them into zombies with her second ability, you have to use her first ability in order to do this more than once. Lastly, her final ability destroys all zombies; but cards like Damnation are cheaper board wipes. There are better cards to run, especially since zombies have multiple cards that bring them back from the grave.

Liliana, Death Wielder: Not only can Liliana, Death Wielder weaken the opponent’s creatures; but she can also destroy the creatures she weakens. The only problem is that the ability is a bit slow as she takes two turns to destroy only a single creature. Her final ability can take a while to activate; however, it’s useful late game ability that can flood your battlefield with creatures. Liliana Vess usually better, but Liliana, Death Wielder can still be useful at times.

In Conclusion

Overall, Liliana is one of the most popular planeswalkers in the game, and it’s not difficult to see why. Her ability to force other players to discard cards can disrupt plays and cause creatures to go the graveyard for later use. Her removal abilities can be useful and Liliana Vess’ ability to search for certain cards is incredibly powerful. Lastly, Liliana of the Dark Realms can produce a stable amount of mana each turn and provides a swamp each turn. Liliana is a powerful planeswalker and her cards can be utilized in almost every black deck.

What do you think? Have you ever used Liliana before? What kind of planeswalkers do you enjoy using? Fell free to leave any questions, comments, or concerns in the comments below. Also, be sure to support us on Patreon so that we can continue to write helpful articles for your enjoyment.



Sylvan Studies Team

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