Hymn to the Dying

Liliana of the Veil is a card that defined Modern and was a powerful presence in Legacy for many years. However, in recent months, we’ve seen a severe decline in the amount of Liliana of the Veil getting played. There just aren’t as many decks that are interested in playing the kinds of protracted games built around efficient exchanges of resources that Liliana excels at. However, there is one deck in Legacy that will always play the maximum number of Lilianas and put them to effective use. Let’s take a look at Reid Duke’s build of Legacy Pox.

Liliana of the Veil
Pox is a deck that is built around minimizing your opponent’s access to key resources, be they creatures, spells, or lands. Your goal is to hit your opponent with as much backbreaking disruption as possible early on in the game. Notice that, while other decks may emphasize efficient interaction like Thoughtseize, this deck opts to play Hymn to Tourach and Smallpox over Thoughtseize. You certainly need some amount of targeted disruption, such as Inquisition of Kozilek, to stop fast combo, but you’re much more concerned about quantity of resources versus quality.

The idea here is straightforward — deny your opponent access to mana. What does a Delver opponent do if a Smallpox hits their Deathrite Shaman, land, and a card out of their hand? What about when you follow up with a Wasteland or a Sinkhole on their second land? Legacy decks don’t play very many lands that actually produce mana, and you’ve got more than enough ways to destroy most of the lands that matter. Even if your opponent has a land-heavy hand, your Hymns can strip away multiple lands at a time and Liliana can clean up whatever’s left.

Winning is almost an afterthought in this style of deck. Your goal is to win the game very slowly with either Mishra’s Factory or Cursed Scroll once you’ve got your opponent empty-handed, out of lands, and you locking them out of multiple draw steps with a Liliana of the Veil.

If you want to play a deck that emphasizes quick disruption and preventing your opponent from really playing a game of Magic, this is a deck that is capable of very efficiently making sure that your opponent can never cast a spell that matters.

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