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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Liliana's Caress
Image from Wizards.com

Liliana's Caress
M11

Reviewed July 23, 2010

Constructed: 2.75
Casual: 3.55
Limited: 2.00
Multiplayer: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Liliana's Caress

People have been building Megrim decks for years. Most of them sucked. Why? Because Megrim on its own does nothing. You have to play it and then make your opponent discard cards. And once your opponent is out of cards, it really does nothing. Will making it one mana cheaper make it better? Well, the good news is that a lot of discard spells-- Mind Rot, Blightning, Stupor-- cost three mana. Liliana's Caress can come down a turn earlier, meaning your opponent has one fewer turn to play out his hand before he'll be punished for holding cards. Decks of this nature can now curve out-- The Rack or Bloodchief Ascension turn one, Liliana's Caress turn two, Mind Rot turn three, etc. It's also not fighting with a slot on the mana curve with Temple Bell, the new Howling Mine. Sure, the old Howling Mine wasn't fighting with Megrim, but the Mine gives your opponent extra cards when you're not ready to make him discard them, but he's ready to play them for fun and profit. Temple Bell can be activated immediately before you're ready to cast a Blightning, ensuring that Liliana gets to make her Caress felt.

Constructed- 1.75
Casual- 2.5
Limited- 1.5
Multiplayer- 3

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Liliana's Caress
 
There's a multiplayer deck archetype that has been around for a very long time, and still makes the rounds of playgroups every now and then. It involves cards like Howling Mine (or nowadays, perhaps, Temple Bell) with the idea of making opponents draw more cards than they can use, and often also includes things that punish opponents for having to discard. It seems like Liliana's Caress was made, metaphorically and perhaps literally, for that type of deck. In one-on-one it's a little hit and miss, but group games give you the chance to combine it with other staples of that style of play - and the more players there are, the more chance that someone will have to discard for some other reason if you don't happen to have Unnerve or Liliana's Specter!
 
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 1/5
Multiplayer: 4/5

Paul

Magic The Gathering Card of The Day: Liliana's Caress 
 
Welcome back readers today's card of the day is the in most cases strictly better Megrim costed at 1B. In standard this card has seen a bit of play so far in B/R discard decks and with cards such as Blighting  in color it will take time to see but this is a promising concept and definitely competitive factoring in the cheaper mana cost of the key piece. In extended and eternal any deck that utilizes Megrim may make the switch to this card to fuel discard decks and Memory Jar combos. In casual and multiplayer this is Megrim 5-8 for a dedicated multiplayer discard deck this card is the bee's knees as it gets around damage prevention a must have for black discard based decks. In limited it would be hard to draft enough support I would stay away unless you can construct a great black discard deck. Overall Megrim is one of my favorite Magic cards and its good to see Wizard's upping the power of older cards.
 
Constructed :3.0
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 2.5
Multiplayer: 4.5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Liliana's  Caress which is a two mana enchantment that causes an opponent to lose two life whenever they discard a card.  Previously the core sets from seventh and up had Megrim which was three mana and caused damage instead.  While there are some benefits to damage instead of loss of life the difficulty in avoiding loss of life generally outweighs the opportunity for increasing damage and the lower mana cost leaves this as the better choice most of the time.  For a discard deck you will likely want a playset, but that style belongs more to a casual format than a serious constructed setting.
 
Another factor that weakens discard is when the opponent doesn't have many cards in hand which effectively limits the damage or loss of life they can suffer in a single turn.  Sign in Blood is another useful card in 2011 that can be used to help build your hand or offensively to have your opponent lose life both from the initial card and from discard effects later.
 
For Limited there are six other cards that involve discarding: Duress, Liliana Vess, Liliana's Specter, Mind Rot, Fauna Shaman, and Obstinate Baloth.  The latter two are Green rares that you would be unlikely to play against and the Baloth even benefits from being discarded.  Duress, the Specter, and Mind Rot are at least common and in color which provides the potential for some options, but having them in your Sealed pool or seeing them in Booster is a matter of luck.  If you can get Caress out before playing one of the other Black cards above you get two damage out of it.  That is barely worth the two mana cost and card slot when a two mana creature can potentially do that and more or at least trade cards with an opponent.  If you have three or more discard effects available then running this becomes more appealing while having Liliana herself makes running it a given.
 
If you do have Liliana Vess the game changes as you want to play multiple copies of Liliana's Caress whenever possible.  Her second ability can search out a copy if needed and her first ability will help keep her alive and cause the opponent to lose life to the Caress.  The cards discarded will add to the graveyard to fuel her final ability making for a fairly elegant design by Wizards of the Coast.
 
In Multiplayer a discard deck just doesn't have the design to really threaten multiple opponents or hold up well against several threats, so the card or the style of deck rarely does as well here.
 
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 3.0
Multiplayer: 3.0


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