The long-awaited time has come. It’s preview season for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms! I’m here to highlight the new black planeswalker who’s on her way – Lolth, Spider Queen.
The first thing to notice is that Lolth has no plus ability. Instead, you can manage her loyalty via her passive ability, which is having creatures you control die. Alternatively, you can leave her on the battlefield using the 0 ability to draw cards indefinitely.
Because of the passive, Lolth is most at home in a deck with lots of disposable bodies. This can mean a weenie creature deck, a token deck, or – best of all – a sacrifice deck. I’m excited to pair Lolth with some of the sweet Witherbloom sacrifice cards, some of which haven’t really gotten their 15 minutes of fame yet.
Arguably Lolth’s biggest strength compared to similar planeswalkers is her -3. Creating Spiders provides blockers to protect the relatively fragile planeswalker. It also fits well in a token or sacrifice deck, and of course works perfectly with Lolth’s built-in passive ability.
And there’s one tiny, unassuming word in the middle of the text box that makes me truly excited about this planeswalker: reach. If Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate has taught us anything, there’s a big difference between generating mopey ground creatures and generating reach blockers that can stop the opposing air force dead.
Dimir Rogues and various Goldspan Dragons are sure to remain major players even when Forgotten Realms is released, and the fact that the spider tokens have reach changes Lolth from an easily-killed liability to a card that might prove to be excellent against such strategies.
Less important, but still relevant, is menace. Menace helps you win planeswalker battles by making your creatures more difficult to block. Finally, Lolth’s ultimate ability – which can be easily reached if you’re able to sacrifice your own token creatures – effectively makes any unblocked attacker deal eight points of life loss.
I’m very excited about Lolth, Spider Queen. She stands alone as a powerful planeswalker who can generate card advantage or immediately stabilize the board from a significant deficit. On top of that, she’ll be even more powerful as a build-around for decks well suited to generating and sacrificing lots of small bodies.