Revisions – Heavy Metal, Villainess Control

Last week, I decided that Liliana needed more Instants. Since then, and after some additional testing against a couple different decks I’ve been tinkering with, I’ve realized that along with Instants, Liliana really, really needs card advantage. With that in mind, I’ve revised the Liliana build. I’ve also switched up my take on Big Mana a little. Both lists are in the extended.

Heavy Metal

17 Creatures:
Wall of Roots
Radha, Heir to Keld
Bogardan Hellkite
Akroma, Angel of Fury
Panglacial Wurm
20 Spells:
Molten Disaster
Seach for Tomorrow
Chandra Nalaar
23 Land:
Karplusan Forest
Grove of the Burnwillows
Treetop Village
15 Sideboard:
Ancient Grudge
Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
Krosan Grip
Eyes of the Wisent

This deck saw fairly minor tweaking to put it into its current shape. It’s dropped from 24 to 23 lands, losing a Forest in favor of a single Panglacial Wurm. This seemingly random one-of is there to let late-game Search for Tomorrow not be a dead card — when Search resolves, you can play the Wurm out of your deck. As it happens, even plain old hardcasting a seven-mana, 9/5 trampler isn’t such a bad deal, either. People were certainly surprised to see it in casual play last week. The sideboard has also changed slightly, losing a Krosan Grip in favor of a full four-of for Eyes of the Wisent (since if you want one at all, you want it in your opening hand).
One poster on the boards recommended swapping in Cloudthresher in place of Hostility, since it’s a 7/7 for six mana, with Flash. I’ve considered that, although the ability of Hostility to convert each burn spell into a wave of attackers is a wonderful game ender. A second recommendation, given the amount of on-board mana, was adding Boom//Bust. This seems like a more acceptable change to me — I might swap in two for the Deathrenders.
Villainess Control

6 Creatures:
Aeon Chronicler
29 Spells:
Ancestral Vision
Coldsteel Heart
Slaughter Pact
Liliana Vess
Take Possession
Beacon of Unrest
Profane Command
25 Land:
Underground River
River of Tears
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Frost Marsh
Dreadship Reef
Urza’s Factory
Snow-Covered Swamp
Snow-Covered Island
15 Sideboard:
Take Possession
Phyrexian Ironfoot
Profane Command
Tendrils of Corruption
Sudden Death
Razormane Masticore

From my original model of “it’s W/B Rock,” I’ve switched over to U/B on the grounds that this deck keeps faltering due to a lack of card drawing mechanisms. Popping into blue gives me Ancestral Vision for early-ish draw, ideally suspending one on the first turn. This is followed by Aeon Chroniclers for uncounterable later-game card draw, as well as potential finishers.
From the original mix of Wrath and Damnation, I go all-in on Damnations with this design (not really much of a change there). I do lose the Oblivion Rings, which is unfortunate, as they’re handy against a range of threats up to and including opposing Planeswalkers. In their place are three maindeck (and one sideboard) copies of Take Possession. Although it’s more expensive, it’s uncounterable and actually gives me the offending object to do with as I will, which seems just fine when it’s a planeswalker.
I’ve also replaced the Terrors (discussed in this post) with Slaughter Pacts, because the Pacts let me aggressively tap out on my own turn to play staples like Liliana while still leaving me with a defense against hasty killers and other problem cards. The sideboard still supports switching to anti-control and anti-aggro modes, although I’ve shelved the specter horde for now in favor of Distress, Extirpate, and additional Take Possession.
Fun Fact – You can Commandeer a planeswalker.