Blake Rasmussen and Steve Sunu brought Magic designers Mike Turian and Mark Rosewater on Weekly MTG to talk all things Core Set 2021 and preview the Liliana vertical cycle cards.
The four kicked off the episode by showing the four cards in the Liliana, Waker of the Dead vertical cycle, starting off with the Swamp with art depicting her home plane of Dominaria.
Next up were Liliana’s Steward and Liliana’s Devotee, the common and uncommon of the cycle, respectively.
Both cards play well with the cards in the cycle and planeswalker focused on filling both graveyards, amassing zombies, and returning creatures from any graveyard to the battlefield under your control. The rare in the cycle has a payoff for creatures dying, which also helps fill the graveyard while being a zombie as well.
Liliana’s Standard Bearer plays all kinds of roles from being a flash threat, checking the Zombie box, and refilling your hand with card draw that doesn’t cost life. Whether setting up a big offensive swing, sacrificing your creatures for value, or losing your battlefield to mass removal, Liliana’s Standard Bearer rewards you for losing creatures.
The squad then talked about cards that received the borderless treatment like Solemn Simulacrum and Azusa, Lost but Seeking. All six that get the borderless frames will be reprints. They even mentioned how Baneslayer Angel was designed back in Magic 2010.
Rosewater explained how we finally ended up with mill as a keyword as well as what it took to get Dog to replace Hound as a creature type. The crew wrapped up the show answering questions and showing promo cards like the alternate art Pack Leader from the Core Set 2021 bundle. They also previewed the alternate frame uncommons that can be opened in the promo packs.
The final previews in the episode were common reprints Defiant Strike, Duress, and Ranger’s Guile.