Description

Lich

This tribal deck focuses on heavy synergy with Wizards, so much so, that I've decided to not run any non-Wizards that otherwise could be very much staples in other Marchesa, the Black Rose decks (e.g. Zealous Conscripts). The deck was made to be able to compete pretty much with any deck, except with the highest tier 1 tables (though it has taken a few games down against those decks).

The general strategy is to play our commander, Marchesa, the Black Rose , a sacrifice outlet and as many wizards as possible for crazy, fun synergies. By having our wizards go through the graveyard and achieve lichdom, we usually assume a control role, winning by outgrinding and outlasting everyone with value.

When I was building this deck, I kept in mind that it'll be more fun to play if I have a plethora of options available for me and, as I play, discover new synergies and combos. All of this while everything is in theme with my favorite D&D class - the Wizard!

In fantasy fiction, a lich (/lt/; from Old English 'li' meaning 'corpse') is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect and soul to his phylactery and thereby achieve a form of immortality. Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, bodies desiccated or completely skeletal. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as soldiers and servants. Unlike zombies, which are often depicted as mindless, a lich retains independent thought and is usually at least as intelligent as it was prior to its transformation.

Such sort of fluff fits perfectly the play style of the deck, as you get make long-term plans and cackle maniacally as your persistent (pun intended) wizards refuse to stay in the graveyard! Even your innocent-looking Faerie Wizards (looking at you, Sower of Temptation) soon become deliciously evil, controlling those undead minions through the scheming power of Marchesa, the Black Rose .

Usually, the first turns are spent on either pumping out Marchesa, the Black Rose on turn 3 thanks to mana acceleration that's slammed down on turn 2.

Another - usually better - way of going about things is to drop a creature like Sage of Fables, that will enable Marchesa, the Black Rose to come down both with a counter, and also give one to Sage of Fables through dethrone on the same turn.

Once a couple of things have been checked off the list, you can start to look for crazy, fun synergies:

  • Marchesa, the Black Rose is on the battlefield.
  • Wizards entering the frame will come with a +1/+1 counter, through things like Sage of Fables.
  • You've got yourself a sacrifice outlet, such as Viscera Seer
  • If you get to this state, the deck becomes incredibly, surprisingly complex to play, as I keep finding both a plethora of routes you can take in the game and new synergies to widen my eyes, which is exactly the reason I love playing the deck so much.

  • Yes, she reanimates herself.
  • Yes, a stolen creature with +1/+1 will reanimate itself and come back under your control
  • Yes, the ability will work on each end step.

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    1

    To initiate an infinite amount of creature sacrifices, we first need a sacrifice outlet. Here is a list of the combo-relevant ones we have in our deck:

    Ashnod's AltarPhyrexian Altar Thoughtpicker Witch Viscera Seer

    (note that Barrin, Master Wizard and Voidmage Prodigy can't go infinite, as they require to target something in order to activate.)

    2

    Next up, we need to input either Sage of Fables or Metallic Mimic to counteract the -1/-1 counter gained placed on our Persist creatures.

    3

    Speaking of which, they are Glen Elendra Archmage and Puppeteer Clique. It's important to note that they don't come back through the delayed trigger of Marchesa, the Black Rose , but instead come back instantly by themselves.

    4

    Next up, we need something to win the game by infinitely looping our Persist creatures. Some of such ways would be:

  • Thoughtpicker Witch - for exiling everyone's deck
  • Phyrexian Altar or Ashnod's Altar - for infinite mana.
  • Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Grim Haruspex or Magus of the Future with infinite mana - for infinite card draw. Just remember to sacrifice Grim Haruspex before you draw from an empty deck.
  • Flesh Carver - for infinite tokens.
  • With infinite mana we get:

  • Voidmage Prodigy - infinite counterspells
  • Vigean Graftmage , Azami, Lady of Scrolls - infinite card draw
  • Vigean Graftmage , Sigil Tracer, any spell - infinite copies of target spell
  • Vigean Graftmage , Patron Wizard infinite amount of mana our opponents need to pay for their spells or they get countered
  • Havengul Lich - all creatures from all graveyards under your control
  • Barrin, Master Wizard - infinite creature bounce
  • Please, I might have missed some combos, and would love to hear any that I've missed, so let me know. :)

    Remember to upvote if you like the deck!

    Suggestions

    Updates

    So, I've made some cuts as well as new inclusions!

    IN:

    Martyr of Frost

    Cursecatcher

    Wizard Replica

    I think going for this route of including a "counterspell" package is a good idea, as our deck can now compete better in cEDH tables. They don't feel oppressive at all, and make the deck's average CMC cheaper.

    Sidisi's Faithful - I've tried to find room for this guy for a while. The card does a lot for how much it costs.

    Path of Ancestry - First I shied away from this card for the reason that it comes into play tapped. Luckily I tested it and found it to be quite good. I think it gets you around 3 to 5 scries per game.

    Force of Will - A card I've loved for a long time, not just because of its "power".

    OUT:

    Psychic Trance - As funny and flavour hitting this card is, I very rarely even get to cast it. I think, in the end, it's more fun to run cards that do things rather than not, even if they fit the theme extremely well.

    Phantasmal Image

    Phyrexian Metamorph

    The clone package has been shrinking down in my list to this point, where I don't have any clones anymore. As sweet and fun as they are, I've decided to have my whole deck be only wizards (Metallic Mimic being the only "kind of" exception. I don't miss them too much, as now we have space for more sweet wizards.

    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - Honestly, every time I've played it, I've either haven't needed as much black mana, or it has only benefitted my opponents. The only argument to keeping it is the amount of colorless lands we have, but even then I've found the mana base to be solid, especially in terms of how much black mana we get.

    Shadowmage Infiltrator - It sort of pains me to cut this, as I have a sweet Finkel foil of it, but I'm now shying away from cards that don't sacrifice themselves, have ETB/death trigger or otherwise synergise with our commander

    Riptide Director - To the same vein as Psychic Trance, the card just costs too much to play and activate, and we really don't have time to wait a whole round for a creature that doesn't do anything the moment it hits the board.

    Comments View Archive

    DrukenReaps says... #1

    Nice deck. I just recently started my own with Marchesa but the tribe is demons instead. I found a great interaction with her if you have a sac outlet and her and all the critters you sac have +1/+1 counters you then play Apocalypse. There are some other options that are effectively the same but apoc is probably the best and all your critters come back afterwords. Also seems worth pointing out that Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip's emblem and Lifeline perform similarly to Marchesa. Personally not using Lifeline since it hugs everyone but the emblem seems worth trying to get to. Anytime you do get to it you have your commander for the rest of the game.

    August 12, 2017 9:47 p.m.

    Enral says... #2

    Thoughts on replacing Marchesa with Inalla, Archmage Ritualist ?

    August 14, 2017 11:58 a.m.

    Teemursu says... #3

    Enral, I thought about it a lot and came to the conclusion that the deck would just be very different. It's not only the cards that synergise with Marchesa, the Black Rose directly, but also cards like sacrifice outlets suddenly become a lot worse, or rather less synergistic and less "planned" in the deck. I'm very tempted to still make another list and switch half the cards around or so whenever I feel like playing an Inalla, Archmage Ritualist deck.

    August 15, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    Teemursu says... #4

    Bhaal666, the Apocalypse is pretty great actually, wonder if there'd be a more flavor-hitting replacement for it. Unless it's the undead Wizards coming back/causing an Apocalypse, mmm...

    August 15, 2017 1:08 p.m.

    jstizzle says... #6

    Looks like you're missing Sea Gate Oracle

    September 11, 2017 6:13 p.m.

    Teemursu says... #7

    jstizzle Hmm, you're quite right. Any ideas on what to replace with it?

    September 12, 2017 4:30 a.m.

    Gosse says... #8

    Teemursu this makes me giggle... Stranglehold + Maralen of the Mornsong keeps us in dethrone and locks down the game while we demonic tutor every turn :P.. just recently acquired marchesa for my 2nd EDH build using your list for reference i love it! +1

    October 23, 2017 6:57 p.m.

    Teemursu says... #9

    Gosse Awesome! I'm so honored, honestly. :D I've definitely wanted an excuse to include Maralen of the Mornsong, and your idea might actually be a good catalyst for it. c:

    November 28, 2017 2:30 p.m.

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    Compare to inventory
    Date added 7 months
    Last updated 3 months
    Exclude colors WG
    Splash colors R
    Legality

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 3.32
    Tokens */* Horror
    Folders Look At, EDH, Decks I like, ideas, Wizards, Cool EDH, A EDH Playtest, Interesting Commander Decks, CMD Marchesa, EDH - Ideas, See all 21
    Top rank #4 on 2017-08-22
    Views 5503

    Revision 26 See all

    3 months ago)

    +1 Grim HaruspexJA main
    -1 Disciple of Bolas main
    -1 Grim Haruspex main
    +1 Disciple of BolasJA main