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Thread: Lich Combo

  1. #1

    Lich Combo

    The Lich is a horrible card. So was Dream Halls once, or Oath of Druids.
    The latter 2 cards found their homes quickly, but the Lichs were not kissed by princesses yet. Not yet.

    As original creator of the Legacy Nourishing Lich deck, I present you Lich Combo in Premodern:

    // 60 Maindeck
    // 5 Artifact
    4 Lotus Petal
    1 Sungrass Egg

    // 7 Creature
    3 Academy Rector
    4 Veteran Explorer

    // 9 Enchantment
    4 Nefarious Lich
    4 Overgrown Estate
    1 Pernicious Deed

    // 6 Instant
    4 Dark Ritual
    1 Spinning Darkness
    1 Enlightened Tutor

    // 20 Land
    4 Caves of Koilos
    2 Phyrexian Tower
    4 Llanowar Wastes
    5 Forest
    4 Swamp
    1 Plains

    // 13 Sorcery
    4 Rampant Growth
    4 Cabal Therapy
    2 Duress
    2 Sickening Dreams
    1 Primal Growth

    // 15 Sideboard
    // 2 Creature
    SB: 2 Honorable Scout

    // 3 Enchantment
    SB: 1 Engineered Plague
    SB: 1 Ground Seal
    SB: 1 City of Solitude

    // 4 Instant
    SB: 3 Refreshing Rain
    SB: 1 Spinning Darkness

    // 6 Sorcery
    SB: 2 Gerrard's Verdict
    SB: 1 Infernal Contract
    SB: 2 Duress
    SB: 1 Infest

    1. The combo and gameplan:
    You abuse Nefarious Lich's ability "If you would gain life, draw that many cards instead" to draw many many cards.
    Here, you can sacrifice lands to Overgrown Estate and get new lands to sacrifice thanks to Veteran Explorers.
    Once you reached a threshold of cards, you cast Sickening Dreams to discard 20+ cards.
    Both players get 20+ damage, but instead of taking damage yourself, you exile the 20+ cards you just discard as additional cost for Sickening Dreams to prevent death.

    2. The setup and protection:
    This deck does not want to kill the opponent "as fast as possible". It wants to gather more pieces and secure the imminent doom of the enemy first. It wants to kill the opponent "as late as possible".
    Against a Goblin or Elves deck, one might pull the trigger turn 3-4. Against some Landstill deck, take your time and aim for turn 7-9.
    Cabal Therapy and Duress get rid of the antichrist "Chain of Vapor" and "Disenchant", but Cabal Therapy serves another purpose as sacrifice outlet for Veteran Explorer and Academy Rector.
    In general, the turn to cast Duresses is not turn 1, but instead "the turn before you win" or as start in the winning turn. It will see more cards in a later turn and won't need to get rid of the Counterspells and Disenchants on turn 1 yet.
    Sometimes, there are permanents that make the combo turn harder: Arcane Laboratory, Sphere of Resistance, Seal of Cleansing, Meddling Mage (on Sickening Dreams) etc. For that you deploy the one Pernicious Deed, possible off an Academy Rector or, if the problem is a creature, cast Spinning Darkness. Spinning Darkness can also target your own Rector and Veteran Explorers during your combo turn.

    3. Matchups and Sideboard:
    The mirrormatch is even.
    Aggressive strategies often have a problem attacking into Veteran Explorer and Academy Rector. They are a catalyst to your combo. That way, you need less pieces by yourself (ex: sacrifice outlet). Sometimes, you can even bring Nefarious Lich onto the battlefield to survive just another turn, untap and win in these matchups. Pre-Sideboard, they rarely have disruption. Post-Sideboard, they are often either slower or still have no disruption. Honorable Scout is perfect to get going in the matchups you want to board it in.
    Against control strategies, you often have a lot of time for your setup. With more Duresses after Sideboarding, you are looking for a turn with Duress into Academy Rector into Flashback Cabal Therapy into opponent dies to your combo.
    Midrange decks are a big problem. They have enough threats to encourage the Lich deck to combo off early, but enough Disruption to negate the attempt. During sideboarding, you need to decide against or for disruption. If you put too much disruption, their threats might just kill you. If you concentrate on getting the turn 3-4 kill, their single Mana Leak might be enough to stop it.

    4. Foresight and possible evolution of the deck:
    It is no surprise this deck gets talked about.
    More competitive versions could try Form of the Dragon as alternative win option. It is not to be confused with Donate-Lich variants. Those are often just a worse Trix deck.
    The biggest advantage to the deck is some opponents might not know exactly what's going on here and make mistakes because of that.
    The biggest disadvantage is it has Nefarious Lich.
    Last edited by Jander78; 01-11-2022 at 06:02 PM. Reason: Added card tags

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009



    Re: Lich Combo

    happy to see you post this deck here. it's a really innovative deck that doesn't see enough play. has there been anyone besides you trying this deck out? (you're the one behind it entirely right?)

  3. #3

    Re: Lich Combo

    There were others copying my or similar lists in Legacy, and I heard that in January, someone played Nefarious Lich in the Premodern Monthly, though I'd need to scroll through the names of players who went 0-6 to find out who and what their exact list was.

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