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.
Limited- See yesterday's card.
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
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
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: 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.
MTG Rules Advisor
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.
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.