Thursday, January 12, 2012

Heartless Lich

At the time I make this post, only 31 of 158 cards from Dark Ascension have been spoiled, but there's one deck that's already popping out to me and I just can't help myself. Call me crazy, but I think this might work:

Heartless Lich
(Innistrad Block Constructed)

Creatures (16)
4 Gravecrawler
4 Armored Skaab
1 Laboratory Maniac
2 Falkenrath Noble
1 Evil Twin
1 Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
3 Havengul Lich

Control (7)
4 Silent Departure
3 Sever the Bloodline

Other (14)
4 Heartless Summoning
3 Secrets of the Dead
4 Dream Twist
3 Unburial Rites

Mana (23)
1 Altar of the Lost
4 Shimmering Grotto
4 Isolated Chapel
7 Swamp
7 Island

How does the deck work?

The goal of the deck is to get a single Heartless Summoning onto the battlefield get a Gravecrawler in the yard, enabling a lot of combos. Your main win condition is through Falkenrath Noble + Heartless Summoning + Gravecrawler, but there are a couple of alternate win conditions as well. Here are a couple things to note:
  • If you also have a Falkenrath Noble and a zombie in play, you can begin casting and re-casting your Gravecrawlers. They come into play, immediately die, and trigger the noble's ability. (1 black mana = drain 1 life)
  • If you also have Secrets of the Dead in play, every time a Gravecrawler dies, you can draw a card. (1 black mana = draw 1 card)
  • There are a total of 12 zombies in the deck. (13 if you count Evil Twin.)
  • Havengul Lich treats your graveyard as a toolbox so that you can pick out the key pieces you need.
  • Unburial Rites can jump start your combo, fetching either a Falkenrath Noble or Havengul Lich.
  • If you don't have a Heartless Summoning in play, Grimgrin can act as a back up sac outlet for the Gravecrawlers. (1 black mana = +1/+1 counter on Grimgrin)
  • Four copies of Shimmering Grotto will give you the mana to cast any creature from your opponent's graveyard, no matter which colors your opponent is playing.
  • I think Secrets of the Dead is going to make 4 copies of Dream Twist in this deck completely viable. It fills your graveyard while having a cheap flashback cost to draw more cards.
  • Laboratory Maniac was a late inclusion. It was pointed out to me that the draw effect from Secrets of the Dead wasn't a may effect and this was a problem.

How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

Well, given that Dark Ascension hasn't been released and hasn't even been fully spoiled, there's nothing to really compare this to. Until then I'll wait patiently for other cards to add when the rest of the set is spoiled.

What is your favorite thing about the deck?

The synergy between Gravecrawler, Heartless Summoning, Grimgrin, Falkenrath Noble, Havengul Lich, and everything else is amazing. The truth is that Gravecrawler is the heart of the deck and the engine that keeps the deck running.

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