Well, Friday some stuff went down that prevented me from getting up to Castle for FMN, so no tourney report this week... instead I'm continuing the Planeswalker deck series I started with the last post - the Garruk deck. Basically the idea is to take 4x each of the new M11 "signature spells" for each Planeswalker, add a few copies of the Planeswalker in question, and use that as a core to build a deck around.
My first one worked out pretty well. I got to play it this weekend, and it utterly stomped my poor friends into the ground! But not before one of my opponents commented that "you're playing a green deck that draws like a blue deck!" I'd say that's as ringing an endorsement of the decks success as I could give.
Spurred by the success of that deck, I decided to really pursue the idea of building a deck around all of the Planeswalkers and their signature spells. My next entry in this series is Liliana Vess. Decklist follows:
4 Rotting Rats
4 Liliana's Specter
2 Bloodchief Ascension
4 Liliana's Caress
2 Liliana Vess
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Burning Inquiry
2 Sign in Blood
3 Dragonskull Summit
4 Akoum Refuge
3 Crumbling Necropolis
So I had been tossing some ideas around in my head for this deck already, when divine inspiration struck in the form of this decklist posted on the WotC site. I really liked what I saw here, as I already kinda knew Blightning was nuts with Liliana's Caress and Megrim. But the really amazing thing here is Blazing Inquiry. Of course I didn't want to just copy this deck card-for-card, and it didn't contain Liliana's Specter, so that was the first addition. The thing about Liliana's Specter is that it's great in multiplayer as it says "each opponent" rather than "target opponent". I then remembered one other similar creature recently printed: Rotting Rats. It hits me too, but that's usually no big deal. Unearth is particularly nice here, as with only 8 creatures getting a second use out of the Rats makes it seem like I'm running 12 creatures.
So I was already skewing things into a more multiplayer approach, and Blazing Inquiry already works fine there. Bloodcheif Ascension can be nutso in a multiplayer game, and it's very easy to get to 3 counters with this deck. So two of those made it in as well. I kept the Lightning Bolts for now, even though they are typically kinda bad in multiplayer formats. Here, though, they help get Bloodchief online, can trigger it later by killing a dude, or can finish off an opponent if I don't have quite enough discard to go all the way. Finally I squeezed in two Liliana Vess (it's HER deck after all!), and Viola! the deck is complete.
Originally I had a couple of Bloodhusk Ritualists and Hypnotic Specters, but they're both quite a bit worse in a 4-way game than in a duel. Also, the two terminates seemed necessary. I generally don't care too much about killing creatues, as it's best to just point everything at the opponents' life totals, but a Baneslayer Angel or something like it might ruin my day.
The deck is fairly straight forward to play. Ideally you want a Caress or Megrim in your opening 7 and naturally you want to save your discard until after you drop a Megrim or two. Don't be afraid to Duress early though, if your opponent is playing White or Green, as they may have enchantment removal. But definitely hold onto your Blightnings and Inquirys until you drop a Caress or Megrim. Then just try to kill your opponent before they kill you... it's actually quite a bit easier than it looks.