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How do we conceptualize the role of planeswalkers?
They tend to just be a pile of stats. If we look at Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Chandra, Torch of Defiance, they're just the “best” things their respective colors can be doing on the fourth turn to threaten a position that will inevitably snow ball out of control. Left unchecked, they are going to kill the opponent, whether through attacking or simply an insurmountable advantage (or emblem).
This is pretty normal; we've lived long enough in a world with these types of permanents to know that planeswalker on the battlefield unchecked for X number of turns equal game over.
At the end of the day, though, they're just good cards. We don't necessarily build our decks around them because there isn't always incentive to do so.
Liliana, Death's Majesty is a game-changer.
Liliana (and to some smaller extent the rest of the Amonkhet planeswalkers) is one of the first planeswalkers that I can recall that is going to actively formulate archetypes around her. (Yes, let's please ignore the accident that is Saheeli Rai here.)
When we typically think of planeswalkers that protect themselves effectively, it tends to be in the form of small-ball tokens (which incidentally she is capable of as well), but it's obvious that Death's Majesty is all about her -3 ability.
Reanimator is a classic Magic archetype for good reason. The allure of cheating giant monsters onto the battlefield quickly is attractive – everyone wants to have the most dominant battlefield position, and if one can do so with flashy creatures that often are resigned to uncastable status, that's even more appealing.
In Standard this effect is typically tied to four (or even more commonly five) mana these days. Should you cast Rise from the Grave and your opponent kills your creature, you're left with nothing.
Have a hand full of reanimation spells but no enablers? Sift through your deck but never find your large creatures? You're out of luck.
Yes, these examples are elementary, but it is important to emphasize just how much better having your reanimation spell tacked to a planeswalker is than a one-shot sorcery.
The floor on Liliana, Death's Majesty is respectable:
+1: Create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. Put the top two cards of your library into your graveyard.
Six loyalty, a creature to protect her, and some small help turning on your engine is the worst thing that can happen on a stable battlefield. This is still immensely threatening.
An understated aspect of the modern state of Standard and the movement towards play patterns dominated by planeswalkers is the strength of permanent diversification. My classic example is G/W Tokens. When one had a planeswalker, Evolutionary Leap, and creatures working in tandem, it was a borderline-impossible battlefield to beat.
The largest strength of Mardu Vehicles is its ability to produce battlefield states that involve Vehicles, sticky creatures, and planeswalkers. This is a reason the printing of a card like Cast Out is so celebrated, because it has been so difficult to contend with a properly built deck that actually forces an opponent to not only beat multiple types of cards but to be able to answer them at the appropriate times on curve.
This is why playing reactively is so difficult these days.
Liliana, Death's Majesty creates this tension with a single card.
Even if you can answer her, there's still (presumably) a powerful creature to beat. If you handle that, Liliana is threatening to bring it back in two short turns. Should one be interested in reanimating something like Ishkanah, Grafwidow, then turtling up behind Liliana is largely trivial, and that may result in a long-term advantage that's impossible to beat in traditional combat.
About the only clean answer to Death's Majesty is a powered-up Unlicensed Disintegration. That's a very short list of cards equipped to beat a five-mana planeswalker.
Liliana is the real deal and it still appears like folks are sleeping on her. Hopefully I can spark some ideas to convince them otherwise.
First, however, I should also note that Liliana is one of the truly rare payoffs that is also just going to fit seamlessly into the top-end of decks and sideboards as a “generic powerful card.” That is the raw power that can often be oppressive about planeswalkers. We often see Nahiri, the Harbinger and Ob Nixilis Reignited in sideboards as additional threats. Liliana can play that role, too, while also likely just being a trump to other “sideboard in planeswalkers” strategies.
It's 2017. You're going to be playing good creatures in your decks anyway.