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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Magic: The Gathering
Image from Wizards.com

Lion's Eye Diamond

Reviewed August 28, 2007

Constructed: 3.83
Casual: 2.50
Limited: 1.20

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Lion's Eye Diamond

When Black Lotus proved too good, they made this as a "fixed" Black Lotus. You discard your hand before you get the mana, so the mana can only be spent on abilities. This was thought to make it balanced. Actually, it's still pretty broken. I think it's been on and off the banned list countless times, but I don't play Legacy or Vintage, so I can't be sure.

Constructed- 5
Casual- 4
Limited- See yesterday's card.


Tuesday - Lion's Eye Diamond

In their attempts to make a 'fixed' or 'unplayable' version of Black Lotus, Wizards just produced an unrestricted version for the decks that can support it, such as Iggy Pop (for those that don't know, the combo, in its simplest form, is to play out a couple of these, tutor up Ill-Gotten Gains, respond to the tutor by cracking the Diamonds, play Ill-Gotten Gains and recurse your tutor and Diamonds, repeat until you hit enough Storm to win with Tendrils of Agony). In any Vintage combo deck that doesn't require you to have a hand to go off, you are likely to see 4 of these as the first cards in the deck.

In limited, hardly useful, and even when it could be useful, you don't need it by then.

Constructed - 4
Casual - 1
Limited - 1

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Lion's Eye Diamond

It's the "fixed" Black Lotus. And it's still very, very, very good. It's not for every deck, but if you have a way to recur things from your graveyard it's an incredible card. There are probably more decks that use this in casual play (and your criteria for quality of the ability to be recurred are different) than in tournament play; most of the combo and control decks in formats where Lion's Eye Diamond is legal like to have cards in their hand. But see: Ill-Gotten Gains.

In limited, I imagine you might occasionally be willing to discard your whole hand to put some kind of ridiculous bomb along the lines of Shauku, Endbringer or Crimson Hellkite into play. The problem then comes if your opponent manages to kill said ridiculous bomb and you then have no way to recover. Also, you know where to draft Mirage? And didn't invite me?

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 2/5

Lion’s Eye Diamond

Welcome to Round-Table week on Pojo. All the COTDs this week are based on the interviews at the GenCon round table discussion last weekend (they can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/bd294  ). Enjoy!

Constructed: One of Wizard’s first attempts at creating a Black Lotus variant that they were positive players would almost never like, it has become almost more powerful that its Alpha cousin in terms of popularity in some formats. The disadvantage of discarding your hand to get “free” mana can be offset by effects like madness or using it as fuel for in play card effects. You can be sure that anytime Wizards prints a Lotus variant, people will want to play it. Note too that because of the oracle wording of the card you can’t play a spell and then use the Diamond to pay for it as the Diamond can only be used when an instant could be played, which means when a player has priority (which is not in the middle of paying for a spell).

Casual/Multi: I used to have a very fun deck that was based around never having a hand that this card would fit perfectly into, involving cards like Future Sight and Yet Another Ęther Vortex. The deck had a hand and was constantly playing spells of the top of its library so having to discard the hand was a negligible penalty to pay for 3 mana. The card can just scream card disadvantage though if not used properly. If you can find them at a reasonable price you might think of trying it in a madness/Hellbent theme deck for the kitchen table.

Limited: Mirage online was actually drafted for a little while, but the set wasn’t really built with limited play in mind, nor was it really built with any mechanics that could be readily abused by the discard clause. Honestly though you still snag this at it’s more of a money card sought after by collectors and players. Probably won’t do much for you in the draft portion of the game though.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 2
Limited: 1

MTG Rules Advisor
Lion's Eye Diamond:

Interesting card. The wording has changed, so check the oracle wording of the card, it is very important. No longer can it be used during the declaration of a spell to produce mana for the spell. Now, the only way for it to be of use is to use it for an activated ability or to "stack it" on top of a tutor spell. Even being nerfed down so much, it can still be a potent card.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3.5/5

#1 Magic Noob in Canada since 2002
Lion's Eye Diamond (0)

Sacrifice Lion's Eye Diamond, Discard your hand: Add three mana of any
one color to your mana pool. Play this ability only any time you could
play an instant.

This thing is obviously really good, having synergy with Infernal Tutor.
(You can play Infernal Tutor then sack Lion's Eye Diamond is response.)
It's role in Epic Storm and a variety of combo decks gives this a high

In casual, discarding your entire hand isn't quite as fun as there's no
point in playing a OTK deck in casual.

In limited, I would assume thing thing is a bit useless as crazy comboes
are non-existant here so discarding your hand is not a good thing.

Constructed: 4.5/5
Casual: 1.5/5
Limited: 1/5

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