Frequently Asked Questions
We currently don't have any frequently asked questions listed for this card, but if you have a question about it, then feel free to ask it in our Rules Questions forum.
Official Card Rulings (Current as of 1/16/2004)
You can lose life and take damage, and thereby have a negative life total, while Lich is in play. [D'Angelo 2001/08/31] You cannot pay life, just like any player at less than one life cannot pay life. You can pay zero life if you want. [D'Angelo 1998/02/03] You cannot play this on an opponent. [PPG Page 221] The phrase "When Lich leaves play, you lose the game" is an absolute statement. Casting a Healing Salve Buy or using some other life gain after the destruction (or other means of leaving play) will not save you. [WotC Rules Team 1994/01/29] Note that you will normally lose when Lich leaves play as a State-Based Effect before you can take any actions because your life total is normally zero or less while you control Lich. If you have a positive life total or are otherwise prevented from losing due to a zero life total, this triggered ability will cause you to lose the game anyway. [D'Angelo 2000/09/09] If you have multiple Lich cards in play, you must sacrifice a permanent for each damage done to you for each Lich. This is because the sacrifice is a triggered ability (see Ruling 404). But you only draw one card for each life gained regardless of how many Liches you have. This is because the draw is a replacement effect (see Ruling 419) and not a triggered one. [WotC Rules Team 1996/12/03] You lose if any one of the Liches leaves play. If you take more than one damage at a time, sacrifice the permanents for that damage simultaneously. [WotC Rules Team 1995/06/15] This allows you to sacrifice both a creature and any enchantment that is on it all at once. If an opponent steals control of Lich, their life total does not change. The life total changes for a player only when it comes into play under that player's control. [DeLaney 2000/08/19] If an opponent steals control of Lich and no other effect prevents you from losing with a life total of zero, you will lose the game due to a zero life total as a State-Based Effect before you can take any actions. The last sentence doesn't apply in this case since the Lich didn't leave play. [DeLaney 2000/08/19] If you are at somehow at negative life points when Lich comes into play, it will try to raise your life total to 0 by making you gain enough life to do so. This life gain, however, will be replaced by you drawing that many cards instead. [DeLaney 2001/09/21] Extended tournaments (see Ruling 803) have always banned this card.