Video Daily Digest: Liliana And Company

Ross Merriam was glad to see a different spin on Collected Company make the Top 32 of the Modern Open at SCG Dallas! What makes it so special? Well, there’s Liliana, but not the one you’re thinking of…

Historically green has not been the color with card advantage, putting it at a distinct disadvantage relative to the rest of Magic’s color pie. But in recent years we’ve seen that change with cards like Courser of Kruphix and Tireless Tracker.

In keeping with the color’s theme, green’s card advantage tends to be creature-based, which is a benefit since it allows you to generate your advantage without falling behind on the battlefield, a liability we see a lot with blue’s card draw spells now that the power of threats has caught up to that of the answers.

No card typifies this kind of power more than Collected Company. For four mana, you get up to six mana worth of creatures spread across two bodies, and being an instant makes it great against sweepers. The card dominated Standard, despite that format being fairly small for a card that necessitates you play 25+ creatures that cost less than four mana, and now it’s a staple of Modern.

It’s so powerful that you can do nearly anything with it. You can play fair with Knight of the Reliquary or Loxodon Smiter, tutor for a combo with Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies, or assemble some aggressive synergies with a pile of Elves. Today’s deck is doing something a little different, meant to attack the rise of Bloodbraid Elf and Jace, the Mind Sculptor Strategies.

Four maindeck copies of Fulminator Mage are great against those decks and good against the big mana strategies like Tron and Scapeshift that combat them. But why stop there? Liliana, Heretical Healer gives you the ability to rebuy the land destruction, and if you hit the pair off a single Collected Company, you can turn your namesake card into a four-mana double Stone Rain, a huge tempo swing if you have any kind of a battlefield presence.

The rest of the deck is your typical assortment of green card advantage creatures, including Eternal Witness for more rebuys on your land destruction. The one outlier is Troll Ascetic, an excellent card against fair decks as a pseudo-Thrun, the Last Troll that can be hit off Company.

Despite lacking traditional card draw, this deck can grind with the best of them while having a strong proactive plan with the land destruction that gives it a good shot against combo decks, especially if you back it up with some discard spells in the sideboard. With such a large card pool in Modern, I’m sure there are tons of other ways to utilize Collected Company left to be found, so I’m glad to see someone digging to find something creative rather than sticking with the same old stuff.