Liches, where is the thread about em?

Discussion in 'Forsaken Wastes' started by Varthas, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Varthas

    Varthas I need me some PIE!

    I have tried many times, in different years, but they are notoriously difficult to play with. I often heard opponent say like: "you need more melee." But FW melee champ are often expensive, and a double 80ish nora champ deploy is often to costly & to weak for the intitial scramble.

    Any tips on how to do it?
  2. Excalibur95

    Excalibur95 I need me some PIE!

    brightmoon lich?
  3. Varthas

    Varthas I need me some PIE!

    Thanks i totaly missed that one. I am gonna try him out in the deck for sure, even tho i dont have the new Legendary champ i want to have a somewhat working Lich deck without him.
  4. kalasle

    kalasle Forum Royalty

    Try Essence Devourer + Graveyard, or some Wandering Zombies if you want something more stable that takes up less space.
    Tweek516 likes this.
  5. Tweek516

    Tweek516 I need me some PIE!

    I've been running them with Essence Devourer & Graveyard (like @kalasle mentioned) for the last few days and have had reasonable success.

    Will post the bg when I'm home.
  6. Tweek516

    Tweek516 I need me some PIE!


    Like I said, I really don't play FW so this bg is frequently changing.
  7. Varthas

    Varthas I need me some PIE!

    Essence Devourer i havent tried, but i met a guy who used it well. Anyways i been trying a Lich deck and it went better than expected but i struggle to be creative with it. I am more known with skeletons.

    But i found some great runes in Brightmoon Lich, and also Stitched skeleform, wich made the deck more viable. I did struggle against things i dont struggle with against with skeletons, and i found some new stuff i could use in skeletons.

    tldr; Liches i really liked, but i enjoy skeletons more.
  8. davre

    davre The Benevolent Technofascist

    Liches have been a pet deck of mine for the last year or two, and I can finally say that I'm pretty happy with the deck right now.

    I tried a lot of variants, including the essence devourer list, but this seems to be the most balanced version. I think it needs some explanation because it looks different from a typical FW deck.
    The big thing that everybody is going to notice right off the bat is no tomb/tome. If you've tried liches before, you would know that their biggest weakness is early game and stabilization. An early version ran double wandering zombies but even that was pretty uneven and they just took space and deploys away from the liches.

    I had tomb in early versions but it runs a lot smoother without. Simply put, tomb is a substantial tempo hit that starts pulling its weight in the lategame. Lategame scaling is already a huge strength for this deck and you don't need that extra nora gen. The two vendettas can double as spot nora gen as needed. I've found myself tossing a vendetta on a lowhp phylactery lich and cliffing it a few times already and those equipment slots provide the versatility of upfront nora gen or backloaded champ power + backloaded nora gen.

    The new elder vampyre is actually very good in this deck. I had also been testing him in previous versions and he was very lacklustre, but he shines with the right deck support. Escalation seems intuitively better on a champ with 0 base damage but don't be fooled. He needs vitality to shine in liches. Your opponent is going to try to one-round him and they will find ways to take out the phylactery. Invoke on its own is too slow to prevent one-rounding, but vitality will quickly get him up to a level where your opponent will have to spend a lot of nora to take him and a phylactery out on the same turn. The key here is to remember that the phylacteries are an insurance policy, not a game plan. The only time you should count on them is if you are cliffing or consuming your own dude.

    Lich apprentice is the game plan. For some reason my previous versions had him with summon skeleton instead of worship lich. This was a mistake. Lich apprentice needs to stay way the hell away from everything, find a good place to chill and sit there for the rest of the game. He is a walking relic and he provides enough backloaded value to rival tomb in this deck. Global regen3 is phenomenal, and especially good on elder vampyre since he needs some baseline hp before he can start healing himself. Without regen, his signature ability is just a bad global heal; with it, liches have the staying power they need to push into the lategame.

    There are still a couple of slots I am not 100% certain on but it actually feels like a viable deck now.
  9. kalasle

    kalasle Forum Royalty

    Awesome post, have a lot of questions and comments, will edit this post...



    Ok, first, have been watching you play the deck and am glad to see you talk about it.

    Tome -- Do you run into shrine damage problems? Phylactery spawns damage the shrine; does that cause problems for you, or do you expect those to be rare?

    Tomb -- Your reasoning makes sense. I still stand by the rune, but if a deck has other plans, I can see taking it out. Speaking of...

    Late-game? -- What does the late-game look like? You mention it wants to build up -- what's the process for that? What are you looking to establish as the game progresses, and what are some rhythms the deck can follow against rush or opposing buildup?

    Kill-y Spell set -- The last five spells in that lineup are exactly my core spell set as well, so no questions there. Your other ones, though, seem very aggressive. What's the reasoning behind those spells? What makes you want to run double Chain Lightning over splitting 1/1 with Soulbane?

    Very doubled-down on champions, does this work? -- You have a lot of duplicate champs. Although this is something I would generally critique in a FW deck, I could form an argument for heavy duplicates here. Are there just not many good lich champs? Do you need some very specific things that only certain champs provide? I want to hear your reasoning. I especially wonder about Draco-Lich -- that seems an uncommon champion to 2x.

    Upgrades? -- What upgrades are you running on these champions? I am in particular curious about Xulos and Cleric of Unrest. I also want to hear why you picked the upgrades that you did on Draco-Lich, because you run Breath 3 and Rotting Blows, right?

    Speaking of, Why Xulos? -- He isn't a lich. Do you think he is just good enough to include regardless? Is there some special reason you want him, or is it just a power thing?

    Lots of expensive combat champs, is this a problem? -- I notice you have little in the way of melee beef, and are running 70+ on 4/5 of them. Your ranged lineup also includes two heroes and two 85 liches. How does nora work out for you, and do you feel stretched when working on maps with few fonts?

    How's the damage output? Is this what the spells are for? Vengeful? -- The champ lineup seems to be a bit soft on damage, at least compared to what I would expect. How do you go about getting kills? Do you do any grinding (and if so, how do you feel about it without Skull of Decay)? Are there certain periods of the game, or certain game states, with which you can struggle more when it comes to dealing damage? Any kinds of champions?

    Desecration? -- You're running 2 of this rune. Why is that? Is it for relics, or general damage, or something else? Detection?

    Death Harvester? -- Macca was an advocate of this champ and its signature ability for expensive respawn mechanics. You seem to be down-playing Phylacteries, though -- is that part of the reason you leave Harvester out? What were your experiences using the champ in Liches, if any?

    Brightmoon -- I notice that you don't include any of this champ. Is there a reason for it? What are your thoughts on the champion in Liches? My experience with the champion was quite limited, but I was impressed with how valuable it could be when buffed with Dark Apprentice.

    Utility equips? -- I'm curious to hear about your equip lineup. The double Vendetta makes sense as you explain it. Is Reaper's Blade for kill potential? On which champs does it usually go? Of the three main utility equips -- BCS, Collar, and Reaver -- why go for BCS and eschew the other two? Are cleanse and Dispel less necessary, or would just rather devote the slots to other runes?

    Deck weaknesses and strengths? -- Last, where do you think the deck excels and falls short? Does it have any notable weaknesses or bad matchups, and, conversely, does it have any great matchups or special strengths? Where would you put it in the FF tier list?
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  10. Varthas

    Varthas I need me some PIE!

    Very good thoughts up here, i didn`t know Liches had as much tools. I forged two Apprenties and Vendettas and taken out Unholy Tomb among others. Now the Lich deck is more complete. Thanks.
  11. davre

    davre The Benevolent Technofascist

    Here is a previous iteration, for reference (last slot is bone circle archmage). *Disclaimer* pox's population really makes it hard to assess decks these days. 4-6 months ago, I was playing 9/10 games against active top-ranked players. Now it feels like that rate is about 2/5 or less. The deck could secretly be a bad deck that just happened to face a lot of other bad decks (I am still waiting to see how it faces FS meta, which destroyed previous versions).
    ^reiterating, this is an older version

    1- no tome? Other versions (there was an ED version between this and the recent version) had tome and market. The amount of shrine damage that I take from apprentice and rebirths alone doesn't quite add up. If I get enough rebirths that it starts to really impact my shrine, I've probably accrued enough value to win the game (25 shrine damage = 5 "free" champs). It's also to make room for the extended spell kit.

    2- late game? Lich lategame is already versatile, and this version of the deck has a lot of buildup potential. Serkan and genesis lich both provide natural ranged damage scaling (adaptive on genesis lich answers a lot of your questions actually). The global range bonus from bone circle also has a ripple effect through the mid/lategame, making every move that much less risky. On top of that, we have that slow hp bonus accumulation coupled with regen to keep the bonus accumulating, and the odd phylactery rebirth for bonus value.

    3-spell set? This is based on 2 things: favor on dark apprentice and adaptive on genesis lich. I like spells and I've crammed in as many as I can get. This means that I almost always have an answer to an aggressive lone champ. With just apprentice and a genesis lich I can turn pretty much any early rush champ into a phylactery for 80n (85n in hand) and buff the genesis at the same time. It's an aggressive set but I am still a defensive player so it's more of a counterattack/opportunistic thing. For chain lightning I just prefer the raw damage and upside. Even without the adjacent damage, 15 (alt) damage for 40n is in line with most other single-target spells now. The curse would be pretty nice for proccing conduit on dracolich but regen3 generally covers all the healing I want.

    4 -duplicates and dracolich? Consistency for sure. The doubles are 5 specific champs for 10 slots: dracolich was a holdover from when he had surge-lich but he is still a really important and useful champ. Even for fw, bombs and cones are incredibly versatile and I make it a point to include at least 3 mobile champs (ie. flying/leap/teleport etc.) in my decks because of the current map rotation and the strength of skywings etc. Apprentice is integral to the deck but he's also very mortal and dies eventually (unless you live the dream and get a bone circle staff to bounce onto him). Depending on the map and circumstances he is very nice to get out early. The three remaining liches are the core phylactery part of the deck - I said before that you can't count on phylacteries, but they can still provide lots of value. Genesis lich produces free phylacteries, and every time it does it forces your opponent to deal with the phylactery somehow, even if it just delays a one-round by a turn it's still good value. Without the phylactery procs he still scales through adaptive and is a solid ranged 70n ranged champ that also has a LoL alt-attack. Elder scales through vitality and the invoke is near-guaranteed damage value on its own. The eternal liches are kind of junk champs but the on-deploy loss of life and the spot phylactery can punish your opponent if they mess up trying to one-round one of your other phylactery bros. They also become 7 range with the bone circle relic and are a great target for the reaper's blade. Another underrated thing about the phylacteries is that, in the event that they do proc, your champ immediately goes on cooldown so you can field these champs in triplicate or more if the game goes on long enough.

    5 - all champs as they appear in that first pic:
    BCA - one with nora and augment: OWN just gets stronger when you add regeneration and a slowly growing pool of max health. A pretty viable stalling option. Augment just accrues value over the course of the game and is especially useful on the junk range champs (eternal, apprentice, cleric).

    Cleric of Unrest - hex and leverage. Early/midgame rush deterrent. Leverage over the phylactery for the pure efficiency and because paying for a summoned phylactery in the early game can easily become a chunky value swing for an opponent (I only deploy eternal on a mature board where the pot can get immediate value or force them to change up their plan). Hex also provides a small source of healing for dracolich on top of its general utility.

    Dark apprentice - Worship: lich and favor. This guy is a relic that can cap fonts and only fights if the enemy comes to him. My deck is just as spammy as a typical non-fw player's and I also have some cheap spells that cycle off cooldown quickly. On top of that, favor gives me control of his nora gen and synergizes with adaptive in a way that council:spells does not. As a non-combat champ that loses max life over time spellswallower doesn't provide any utility. Global regen3 is really really strong and keeps him away from the edge of battle where he will inevitably get killed.

    Dracolich - Rotting blows + breath 3. For rotting blows, the other 2 upgrades don't make much sense for this deck - the dracoliches themselves are the only source of disease DoT in the deck and the bomb is rarely every followed up by a melee attack so hunter doesn't provide any value. He is more of a skirmisher than a one-on-one champ and any time I am paying for situational future value I will typically just pick the cheaper option. Breath 3 to maximize that bomb damage.

    Elder vampyre - blood rage + vitality creation. This guy fills a similar role as brightmoon as far as proactive burst damage goes. With blood rage it's a double attack from 7 spaces away, and if he attacks proactively his life siphon should recoup the hp loss from blood rage. The other options are completely useless for liches as well. We can immediately remove teleport: bloodball from the other upgrade line for obvious reasons, leaving us with the choice between vitality: creation and escalation (at +4 nora). If both players keep deploying, vitality produces 4hp per round and strength of body gains damage at a rate of 1 per 5 hp. As long as either side deploys at a steady rate (let's go with a conservative 1 champ every 2 rounds for each side in the lategame) we are looking at 4 hp and +0.8 damage every 2 rounds vs. 0hp and +2 damage every 2 rounds. I prefer the health here because a dead champ life siphons for 0hp every time.

    Eternal lich - dark favor 2 + gift of scrying. Late game champ so he gets no value out of either gift or anthromancy but gift is cheaper. Dark favor 2 because that extra 3 global LoL damage is worth the +3 nora.

    Genesis lich - Adaptive + consume. Adaptive for scaling, consume gives me control over phylactery procs on cliffless maps (I rarely ever use consume but I like having the option - I may revisit this upgrade and switch out for cackle but, again, we're talking about two low-impact/situational abilities so I feel good about choosing the cheaper one).

    Lichling- gift of scrying + initiative 1. Keep his cost down. Not much to say here, just cheap fodder with initiative.

    Serkan - vengeful + cone. Late game threat. Like elder vampyre, he benefits even more from life siphon with the extra hp provided by dark apprentice.

    Xulos - dark favor 3 + vitality. It's Xulos.

    6 - Xulos? He is a recent include that I'm playing around with. I'm not sure that there is any FFFW deck that doesn't benefit from Xulos. There is also a bit of side-synergy with drain, in that he can either drain a safe champ in the back and put their regen3 to use or he can rebirth a low-hp phylactery champ.

    7 - Costs? The core combat champs are reasonably priced - draco @ 74, genesis @70, elder @ 78. Eternal is a late game champ @85 so I tend to deploy it after things have stabilized and when I can get value from dark favor + a pot. Lichling, dark apprentice, and cleric all provide the 10n leverage discount so you can break out a front-5 of cleric + dark apprentice + 3 liches and keep pace with SP deploys. Serkan gets deployed during a standoff most of the time and Xulos is Xulos.

    8 - Expensive combat champs? Again, leverage is aces.

    9 - Damage output? It is problematic in the early/mid-game and this has always been a problem with liches. The spells even this out while adaptive slowly does its thing, and they are my way of addressing the weakness instead of going all-in with relics and grinding like FW normally does. With dark apprentice out, Essence Drain + Chain Lightning is basically drown with a lower cooldown and no terrain requirements. I also try to get bone circle archmage out fairly early and augment is usually enough to produce some respectable champ-based damage before adaptive/strength of body/vengeful kick in. 3 sources of dark favor are also nice. Skull of decay is next in line when I start tinkering with the deck again. I briefly had it in there but replaced it with reaper's blade as a knee-jerk reaction to badger's decavoth deck.

    10 - Desecration? All of the above. It is really versatile and comes to a cool 20n after dark apprentice. VS other FW players it can push a standoff in my favor and also deal some bonus damage in a huge aoe. At 20n it's also a great move-fixer if you are off by a couple of HP (with huge aoe bonus damage upside). 5 turn cooldown. Adaptive.

    11 - Death harvester? As before, the champs and mechanics already have a really strong lategame but struggles early. Dark apprentice provides the same role as a font-capping relic, replacing nora gains with global hp gen, spell discount, and global regen.

    12 - Brightmoon? Just no room and I've only found it to be a glass cannon. Elder vampyre is more expensive but has taken brightmoon's place for now (shiny green).

    13 - Utility equips? There is still room for play here, I had soulreaver in before and it is also on the bubble alongside skull of decay. The deck already has loads of built in loss-of-life so I don't feel a need for collar. The phylacteries provide my core with insurance that means that my opponent will be spending more on them than I am if they are CCing them and taking out the phylacteries, so I am usually OK without cleanse. Eternal lich is basically made for reaper's blade with junk damage and high range.

    14 - Weaknesses and strengths? Very difficult to say since the competitive field is so garbage right now. I would tentatively put it at tier1.5 but I haven't had enough games to say so definitively. It does feel like it can hold its own so far, though.
    kalasle likes this.
  12. Varthas

    Varthas I need me some PIE!

    This is what i have made. It is untested and a few of the x2 are possible to take 1 out of, BCA, Vendetta, and High Warlock i am unsure of. Also Bazaar, it is good but maybe not worth 2 slots. Can`t wait to test it.

  13. potatonuts

    potatonuts I need me some PIE!

    Liches seem to be very heavy on ranged units, have you run into many issues with Arrow Eater bgs or anything else that counters range?
  14. themacca

    themacca Master of Challenges

  15. potatonuts

    potatonuts I need me some PIE!

    Was kinda directed @davre as i noticed he wasn't running it
  16. themacca

    themacca Master of Challenges

    oh bugger i was looking at the wrong BG when i posted this. My smartassery is detracted
  17. davre

    davre The Benevolent Technofascist

    As I mentioned before, I got wrecked by badgerale's decavoth deck and that's what led me to adding reaper's blade (+ xulos and I think there was one other tweak). If you take a look at the deck though, the only champs that can't deal damage to arrow eaters are the eternal liches and the dark apprentices (who are not combat units anyway). Soulreave is another one of those spells that is on the bubble though, and I don't think that my current deck is the definitive version at all.
  18. potatonuts

    potatonuts I need me some PIE!

    Yeah i can see it working now I think about it, you've got a lot of alternate damage sources there and the percentage based LoL effects are really good for catching an over aggressive voth off guard.

    How do you get on with Desecration? It's one of my favorite spells especially for dealing with annoying relics but I hate that it needs to be run 2x to be effective.
  19. kalasle

    kalasle Forum Royalty

    How well do you think the deck gets on without Genesis Lich?
  20. davre

    davre The Benevolent Technofascist

    It would be a lot rougher - no genesis means you only have the 2 phylacteries from eternal liches. You could change the upgrades on cleric for another 2 but you're backloading him then. You would probably be able to get one rebirth off if you time it right but the pots are vulnerable, especially if there's only two in the match.

    Genesis is pretty mvp though. Zeya got tons of use out of them in his stealth/adaptive deck that didn't have any other phylactery liches.

    e: Zeya's deck was actually the reason I started running desecration in the first place.

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