Liliana, the Last Hope was an extremely exciting Planeswalker when she hit the scene. You gotta remember, this was before Oko, Thief of Crowns and Teferi, Time Raveler had ruined the notion of broken 3-mana Planeswalkers. At this point, the 3-mana options were big fan favorites — well-designed options like Jace Beleren, Domri Rade, and of course, multiformat powerhouse Liliana of the Veil. Then came this Liliana.

She's a value engine, which is a bit concerning for a permanent that can hit the board so quickly and defend itself while ticking up the loyalty. Luckily, the middle ability isn't terribly powerful, and the goal is to tick up to the Ultimate. (One of the coolest ones to ever see print, by the way!) It feels like a magnificent achievement to put that Emblem into play. If you haven't had the pleasure, I suggest you give it a shot. 

For a while, this new Liliana was a big hit. She won her inaugural Pro Tour (against Emrakul, no less, for the ultimate flavor win on the big stage) and saw play in Standard, Modern, and Legacy before being unseated by broken monstrosities like Oko or genetically engineered trumps like Wrenn and Six. Liliana was not quite as powerful as those options, but she was much more interesting and fair while still being strong. 

As far as Planeswalker Duel Decks go, we've got a few different Lilianas that reference Zombies. I thought it was important for this deck to emphasize Zombie tokens, since her Ultimate reflects and rewards that strategy. And it was a great chance to play a certain common as a 4x…

Ready to eat some braiiiiiiiiiins? 

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Liliana, The Last Hope by Andy Hurst

' Liliana, The Last Hope' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $47.64

Cards

Gluttonous Zombie

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12671_200w.jpg

Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)

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Liliana, the Last Hope

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $20.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120266_200w.jpg

+1: Up to one target creature gets -2/-1 until your next turn.
−2: Mill two cards, then you may return a creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
−7: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your end step, create X 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens, where X is two plus the number of Zombies you control."

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Gisa's Bidding

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/116400_200w.jpg

Create two 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens.
Madness {2}{B} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Murder

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227178_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature.

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Feeding Frenzy

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/10551_200w.jpg

Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of Zombies on the battlefield.

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Maalfeld Twins

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227175_200w.jpg

When Maalfeld Twins dies, create two 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens.

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Cryptbreaker

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $9.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120259_200w.jpg

{1}{B}, {T}, Discard a card: Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
Tap three untapped Zombies you control: You draw a card and you lose 1 life.

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Feast or Famine

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/66365_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
• Destroy target nonartifact, nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.

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Charcoal Diamond

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226319_200w.jpg

Charcoal Diamond enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}.

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Cradle of the Accursed

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130161_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice Cradle of the Accursed: Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. Activate only as a sorcery.

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Forlorn Pseudamma

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/78760_200w.jpg

Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
Inspired — Whenever Forlorn Pseudamma becomes untapped, you may pay {2}{B}. If you do, create a 2/2 black Zombie enchantment creature token.

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Lord of the Accursed

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130049_200w.jpg

Other Zombies you control get +1/+1.
{1}{B}, {T}: All Zombies gain menace until end of turn.

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Diregraf Ghoul

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/168459_200w.jpg

Diregraf Ghoul enters the battlefield tapped.

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Corpse Connoisseur

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128853_200w.jpg

When Corpse Connoisseur enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a creature card, put that card into your graveyard, then shuffle.
Unearth {3}{B} ({3}{B}: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step or if it would leave the battlefield. Unearth only as a sorcery.)

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Shambling Ghoul

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167980_200w.jpg

Shambling Ghoul enters the battlefield tapped.

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Quest for the Gravelord

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167894_200w.jpg

Whenever a creature dies, you may put a quest counter on Quest for the Gravelord.
Remove three quest counters from Quest for the Gravelord and sacrifice it: Create a 5/5 black Zombie Giant creature token.

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Wakedancer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118718_200w.jpg

Morbid — When Wakedancer enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

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Moment of Craving

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/155760_200w.jpg

Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. You gain 2 life.

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Liliana's Mastery

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130048_200w.jpg

Zombies you control get +1/+1.
When Liliana's Mastery enters the battlefield, create two 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens.

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Moan of the Unhallowed

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180926_200w.jpg

Create two 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens.
Flashback {5}{B}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Dark Salvation

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/120287_200w.jpg

Target player creates X 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens, then up to one target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn for each Zombie that player controls.

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Black Oak of Odunos

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/79096_200w.jpg

Defender
{B}, Tap another untapped creature you control: Black Oak of Odunos gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

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Dunes of the Dead

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/136783_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
When Dunes of the Dead is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

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Shamble Back

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/116455_200w.jpg

Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. You gain 2 life.

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Undead Servant

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192794_200w.jpg

When Undead Servant enters the battlefield, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token for each card named Undead Servant in your graveyard.

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Lazotep Reaver

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187251_200w.jpg

When Lazotep Reaver enters the battlefield, amass 1. (Put a +1/+1 counter on an Army you control. If you don't control one, create a 0/0 black Zombie Army creature token first.)

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Zombie Infestation

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216148_200w.jpg

Discard two cards: Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

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Victim of Night

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/113348_200w.jpg

Destroy target non-Vampire, non-Werewolf, non-Zombie creature.

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Without Weakness

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/136683_200w.jpg

Target creature you control gains indestructible until end of turn. (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don't destroy it. If its toughness is 0 or less, it's still put into its owner's graveyard.)
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Carrion Crow

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/91300_200w.jpg

Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)
Carrion Crow enters the battlefield tapped.

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Ifnir Deadlands

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/135088_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Pay 1 life: Add {B}.
{2}{B}{B}, {T}, Sacrifice a Desert: Put two -1/-1 counters on target creature an opponent controls. Activate only as a sorcery.

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Vizier of the Scorpion

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188358_200w.jpg

When Vizier of the Scorpion enters the battlefield, amass 1. (Put a +1/+1 counter on an Army you control. If you don't control one, create a 0/0 black Zombie Army creature token first.)
Zombie tokens you control have deathtouch.

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Stir the Sands

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130061_200w.jpg

Create three 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens.
Cycling {3}{B} ({3}{B}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Stir the Sands, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

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Endless Ranks of the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $9.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/52201_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, create X 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens, where X is half the number of Zombies you control, rounded down.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/72296_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Skirk Ridge Exhumer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14983_200w.jpg

{B}, {T}, Discard a card: Create a 1/1 black Zombie Goblin creature token named Festering Goblin. It has "When Festering Goblin dies, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn."

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The Game Plan

Get ready to swarm with those Zombos! Don't worry about doing so quickly — the undead don't tend to move very fast anyway. Just accumulate an army of tokens and overwhelm the enemy defenses. At pretty much every spot on the curve, we've got a way to put Zombie tokens into play, and sometimes our effects can generate more than one. We do have a few Zombie Army enablers, but the difference is miniscule. Keep in mind that Vizier of the Scorpion doesn't discriminate about whether or not the Zombies are enlisted men, just throws out that Deathtouch for the whole squad! Very generous. And speaking of generosity, Lord of the Accursed takes our entire squad from fearsome to indomitable. 

That 4x I mentioned is the Undead Servant. We aren't often interested in casting one unless it's got a few reinforcements in the bin, so if we see one early, feel free to pitch it to Cryptbreaker, Zombie Infestation, or Skirk Ridge Exhumer. Corpse Connoisseur can also tutor one straight to the 'yard. If we can start getting that chain going, a goofy Undead Servant will run wild. Make sure to consider the synergy with Liliana's minus ability!

We've got some spicy removal, and it's best used on the largest creatures to let our mass of 2/2s start crashing in. Moment of Craving will either be used on Turn 2 or in tandem with a token to get rid of a big baddie. Victim of Night, Murder, Feeding Frenzy, and Feast or Famine all shine in gameplay and in flavor.

The Rares

Although Zombies has been a fun, compelling tribe since the mid-90s, Cryptbreaker is the game changer that allowed it to break through on the big stage and led Gerry Thompson to win a Pro Tour with the brain eaters. And it's hard for us to ask more from a Rare than what we get out of Cryptbreaker: it's dirt cheap, it allows us to take advantage of either flood or relative screw by turning extra cards into 2/2s, and it uses that army of 2/2s to get more cards to keep the cycle going. We want to see Cryptbreaker every game. 

The poor man's version of Liliana's Ultimate ability, this is a somewhat expensive enchantment that doesn't affect the board and takes a while to pay dividends. Buuuuut, if the Ranks get cooking, it can put us ahead in a way few other spells can.

For 5 mana, we get 6-power worth of creatures and likely a handful of tokens get a nice boost as well. It's also a Lord effect that's difficult to disrupt, since Disenchants are less plentiful than Creature removal in these decks. It's basic, but there's nothing wrong with a little bread and butter. 

A Story Spotlight that meshes perfectly with our Planeswalker, while also being one of the strongest cards in our deck? Yes please! It's somewhat slow removal, but remember that with some of our board states, we'll only need X to be 1, or maybe 2, to kill most creatures on the other side. Obviously we'd rather swing for the fences and hold out until we can maximize that X value, but don't be afraid to build out the board and get a decent threat out of the way. If we're able to 2-for-1 like that, it'll rarely be a waste of the spell. 

Unsung Hero

Like television dialogue, sometimes the best thing about text on a Magic card is the stuff left unsaid. In this case, take careful note of the lack of the word "nontoken." For only 1 mana, this lil' war bond will rapidly mature into a 5/5 beater, and since we're only paying 1 mana to get it, it isn't even that awful if the token gets dealt with. Consider trading early and often once we've received our quest, and soon the board will be insurmountable.