Lier, Disciple of the Drowned – Midnight Hunt
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The Lovecraftian cosmic secrets from our last visit to Innistrad are still lurking – which is, of course, kind of what Lovecraftian cosmic secrets do – and since that is not dead which can eternal lie, Lier has a huge, huge effect for the mana involved. The effect reminds me a little of Dralnu, Lich Lord from Time Spiral, but it’s obviously much more potentially explosive. Five mana means that Lier will usually have to survive a turn to set off that explosion, but once you do, it’ll probably be very hard for an opponent to come back. The instinctive response is to make some kind of control deck that can run the opponent out of resources in a reliable manner and then out-value the opponent, but of course you won’t be able to counter your opponent’s spells when the flashback effect is active. That adds an interesting twist to deckbuilding which will take some building around, but it certainly has potential.
Knowing how much I like Battlebond, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Lier can help your Two-Headed Giant partner if they have some kind of must-stop combo (although, once again, your options to stop your opponents’ must-stop combos need to be chosen carefully).
Being able to cast all of your instants and sorceries for a second time is the dream scenario for a deck built around spellslinging, and Lier offers just that. A second shot of a lot of spells can help inevitability, and Lier is strongest when paired with other colors that are a bit more direct; Jeskai and Izzet decks are quite fond of being able to reuse their spells, especially if they aim damage to the face, and that’s indeed where Lier’s wound up.
The “spells can’t be countered” rider is an interesting wrinkle. On one hand, it’s great to have on your side, since the most annoying thing for a deck that rides and dies on its spells is having them thwarted. On the other hand, blue is the countermagic color, and Lier more or less asks that you give up on one of blue’s best tools to draw on their powers. It’s an interesting trade-off, and I think Lier’s going to keep seeing play in Standard both because of and in spite of it. Their other weakness is a fairly underwhelming body, though 4 toughness at least dodges a lot of cheaper red removal, and costing five mana to get going. Still, Lier’s quite nice, but they are a card you need to build around instead of wantonly splashing wherever.
Limited: 2.25 (spellslinging is rarely the best strategy in Limited)
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned
This card is fun, there are a lot of different decks and strategies that can be conjured up that would just make this card be bonkers, especially in commander! One drawback, in constructed this card is expensive at 5 mana value. It is going to take some time to bring out, depending on what your opponent is running this could be too late to turn the game but on the flip side it could save you from losing as a constant Snapcaster Mage on the battlefield. It really shines with how you build around it, do you go with a blue/red, blue/black, or blue/black/red strategy to fully maximize the aggro/control that the instants or sorceries can give you is the question you should ask yourself when you are considering putting this in your deck. Definitely has build around potential in constructed in multiple formats, at the very least it can go in the sideboard. Casual/Multiplayer is a tough one, it might be too difficult or challenging to really get the full value from this card. To really make it shine you need some staples and good, cheap cards to get the ball rolling and then finally the big kill card. Solid mono blue commander card, pairs quite well with Talrand, Sky Summoner to create several 2/2 Drake tokens or extra turns strategies. I think it’s served better in a U/R commander deck or U/B because in mono blue you need counter spells and the line of text “Spells can’t be countered” just doesn’t help utilize your Mana Drain, Counterspell, or Force of Will. Great card for more advanced players!
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