[FR2] Lich for Niche

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// Lands
12 [AVR] Swamp (1)
2 [RTR] Golgari Guildgate
4 [ISD] Woodland Cemetery
4 [RTR] Overgrown Tomb

// Creatures
4 [DKA] Gravecrawler
4 [DKA] Geralf's Messenger
4 [M13] Phylactery Lich
4 [RTR] Deathrite Shaman

// Spells
3 [ISD] Runechanter's Pike
4 [RTR] Grisly Salvage
2 [M10] Sign in Blood
2 [ISD] Inquisitor's Flail
1 [RTR] Ultimate Price
3 [ISD] Victim of Night
2 [ISD] Blazing Torch
2 [ISD] Tribute to Hunger
3 [GTC] Glaring Spotlight


Been working on this for a while, but I'm sure the numbers are still off a bit. Just clearing the way for some of the largest three-drops in the format right now. You are able to sacrifice Spotlight and swing through for a million. Reach with Shaman activations, Messenger's CIP, and Sign in Bloods.

Honestly, Pike seems terrible on paper, but it performs fairly well in the deck because of Salvage. At worst, it gives you a FS Assassin. I wanted Nighthawk in the build, but Messenger is needed to push through damage and laugh at removal. I might still want Nighthawk over Assassin, but it seems weird to have 12 3-drop creatures. Might end up being better for the deck and the curve though. I don't know, still doesn't seem right.

Some might ask why not include some fours, but I need to keep the land count pretty low, so that I can keep the instant/sorcery count up for Pike.


Edit: Updated OP with new decklist.

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Disclaimer: This member may or may not be associated with Team GFG in any other regard besides his admiration of its members.

Use faith in the absence of science, not in its stead.

Why not play Grixis Lich? Gem of Becoming, Staff of Nin and Grafdigger's Cage/Pithing Needle are all cards. Or hell, why not try to make a deck of sacrificing dudes and Jar of Eyeballs with the Lich? (Possibly even with the Bloodthrone Vampire+Dying Wish combo.)
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 -4 Geralf's Messenger +4 Vampire Nighthawk

First strike death touch is too good to pass up IMO, plus it opens up your possibility to go deeper into green. Maybe Garruk Relentless or some Abrupt Decay.  

Definitely don't like slip, either. Maybe change it over to Abrupt Decay. 
You need 10 artifacts to run 4 lich.

Use inquisitors flail. Like 2 or 3.

I like salvage/pike/lich. That's strong synergy.

Spotlight is ok, but 4 is too many.

Due to lich's resilience the other creatures are going to die hard and fast. Might just try a creature base of drs, gravecrawler, and lich. Crawler jives well with the aforementioned synergy stack and carries flails/pike fine.

Being on this plan I think we need tribute to hunger to fight for life.

All I got for now.


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Great advice so far guys. You've given me a lot more to explore.

@Midgling: Ya, I think Nighthawk might have to be a SB choice. I was trying to help the curve by going with Thrill-Kill, but he's just not the same. I wanted to have some more resilience against quick Aggro like RDW and Boros, but I think I can get that with more removal instead. Not to mention, landing a Turn 3 5/5 isn't bad against those decks. As bad as it sounds, you can always chump with DRS as well.

I'm pretty sure Slip is getting the boot. I've been on the fence about it, but Decay does sound better. I'm just weary because of the Green in the cost. Even with 8 sources, it can be difficult to find one by Turn 2.

@Niche: I want to add more artifacts, but keep the same amount of removal. I'm thinking about Blazing Torch, but I hate that I can't use it when I have Lich. But I agree, I need more artifacts. Other than that, the one-spot for artifacts is looking pretty meh. Spotlight is really nice, but I can probably shave one. Being able to end the game with one is great. And the fact that it only costs 1.

Crawler seems awesome in the build. I wish it could block, but it's just something I have to get over. The synergy is too strong to not include him. 

As far as Flail and Tribute, I forgot they existed. They'll find a way in. Tribute is actually just what I've been looking for. It's like Nighthawk in spell form.

Also, other random things that have crossed my mind that I need an opinion on:

1.) Saying that I went with Nighthawk instead of the Zombie strategy (very unlikely), would the Grafdigger's Cage + Treacherous Pit-Dweller interaction be worth it? I've played around with it, but it doesn't seem great. And it requires you to run something like Cremate as a backup.

2.) Does Deadly Allure have a place, or is it just better as removal? I like that it's two spells in one and I can dig for it with Salvage, but I don't like that it's conditional (and not instant-speed). I think it's just not worth it.

Team PMP - Practice Makes Perfect

Team GFG - Good F***ing Game

Disclaimer: This member may or may not be associated with Team GFG in any other regard besides his admiration of its members.

Use faith in the absence of science, not in its stead.

treacherous pit-dweller  is a fun card but not worth it right now, not enough reliable ways to deal with his negative side, if you don't like cremate  for handling his bad side you can always use fling, vile rebirth, or bloodthrone vampire  to kill him before he goes to the enemies side.

I remember when lashwrithe  was legal I used to play a deck like this abusing torpor orb  I would get pyhlactery lich  out then put lashwrithe  on him, then next turn hit them for like 13 damage, and after that essence harvest  for 26 damage in 1 turn; maybe with liliana of the dark realms  you could achieve a similar effect.

Prophetic Prism  might be a good artifact for phylactery lich, it cantrips and allows you to use any color mana, might be a fun combination with havengul lich, kill their creatures then take them over.

The deck has been running much more smoothly since the changes were made. The only problem I find sometimes is getting land-flooded or not finding creatures. You would think sixteen creatures would be sufficient to not whiff with Salvages, but there are times when you do. It may just be the MWS shuffler.

I plan on buying the deck once GTC is released on MTGO. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring in more honest test results at that time.

@Niche: Great suggestion with the Gravecrawler. Gives the ability to Salvage for two creatures, plus provides you with a recurring threat to Pike.

Flail has been decent as a 2-of. It can be huge in games against Control where they hope to lean back on Planeswalkers and Verdicts.

Salvage remains the all-star of this deck. Other than Reanimator, this is the best use I've gotten from it.

Team PMP - Practice Makes Perfect

Team GFG - Good F***ing Game

Disclaimer: This member may or may not be associated with Team GFG in any other regard besides his admiration of its members.

Use faith in the absence of science, not in its stead.

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