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Goldfish Gladiators: Rainbow Lich (Standard, Arena)


Welcome to Goldfish Gladiators, a new series with a twist: rather than taking place on Magic Online, Goldfish Gladiator is focused on Magic Arena. A couple of weeks ago, we played Ali Aintrazi's crazy Rainbow Lich deck on stream, and the deck was super unique and fun. The deck has been updated a few times since then, and then it managed to take first place in the SCG Classic just this past weekend! While normally we don't stream and make videos about the same deck, sometimes there are exceptions, and Rainbow Lich is one of them. The deck is just too sweet to not give the full video treatment. So today, we're heading to Magic Arena to see if we can take infinite turns, with the help of Chance for Glory, The Mirari Conjecture, and Lich's Mastery in Standard! How does Rainbow Lich work? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Goldfish Gladiators: Rainbow Lich (Standard)

Discussion

  • As for our record, we had sort of a weird mashup of a competitive constructed event and competitive ladder play. In the event, we ended up going 1-2, losing to UBx Surveil twice, but we did much better in the ladder, going 3-0, giving us a total record of 4-2. While the deck probably isn't in the very top tier of Standard, it's super fun, unique, and competitive enough to pick up a reasonable amount of wins. 
  • One of the strange aspects of the deck is that is has some matchups that feel almost unlosable and others that feel almost unwinnable (at least, before sideboarding). Random midrange and aggro decks are close to drawing dead against Rainbow Lich. While they can win if we get a clunky draw and they have a fast start, in general, those matchups are extremely favorable. On the other hand, the matchup against control decks is really difficult. While it improves after sideboarding (when we take out all of the Lich's Mastery combo pieces), it's still challenging. 
  • When it comes to playing the deck, the three cards you need to watch out for are Cleansing Nova (extremely heavily played), Discovery // Dispersal (somewhat heavily played), and River's Rebuke (not really played at the moment). All of these cards cause us to lose the game immediately if we have a Lich's Mastery on the battlefield by causing our Lich's Mastery to leave the battlefield. If you run into a deck playing these cards, the best option is to either attempt to tutor a Carnage Tyrant from the sideboard or to build up enough mana that you can play Lich's Mastery and combo off all in the same turn (hopefully while the opponent is tapped down). 
  • The main combo you're trying to assemble with the deck is two copies of The Mirari Conjecture (one can be in the graveyard), one Chance for Glory, Lich's Mastery, and Mastermind's Acquisition to find Nature's Spiral from the sideboard. Once we have the Nature's Spiral, it's pretty easy to go infinite and win the game by looping our two copies of The Mirari Conjecture (since we can keep getting back Nature's Spiral with the second lore counter) and Chance for Glory (which comes back with the first lore counter). Eventually, we get our Mastermind's Acquisition back from the graveyard, tutor up Banefire, and double it up with The Mirari Conjecture's third lore counter to win the game with 20 (or more) uncounterable damage to the face.
  • So, should you play Rainbow Lich? The downside of the deck is that it's extremely expensive on Magic Arena, which is the downside of playing all five colors (you need a ton of rare lands), but the upside is that it's super fun and one of the spiciest competitive decks in Standard. While the bad matchups will probably keep it from being top tier, it's good enough to win a lot of games, and it's strong enough to win a tournament if you practice with and tune the deck enough, as Ali showed this weekend at the SCG Classic.
  • Speaking of the SCG Classic, Rainbow Lich got yet another upside. Here's the list that Ali used to win the tournament this past weekend:

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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