|A lich who, having existed for countless centuries, has grown almost unimaginably powerful through the study of dark magic.|
Ancient liches are extremely powerful undead casters with a wide array of resistances and access to deadly attack spells that can deal ridiculous amounts of damage. If you are not confident in your skills, escape is strongly advised.
Tips & Tricks
First and foremost, understand that ancient liches are some of the most powerful casters in the game. Don't worry too much about conserving resources; if burning a consumable or two will greatly ease the battle, do so. Going berserk is chancey, as ancient liches often generate in places where you don't want to be attracting a lot of attention, but the boost to HP and damage can make a huge difference.
As liches resist most elemental damage, combat casters should rely on pure Conjurations or Earth Magic. Necromancy specialists can deal brutal amounts of damage with Dispel Undead, though it requires getting to and staying in point-blank range. Nearly all Hexes are useless against their infinite willpower, so don't bother with them.
Melee fighters should lure them around corners or use scrolls of blinking to get into melee range as quickly as possible, lest you get pounded by brutal attack spells or petrified. Once there, casting Silence or reading a scroll of silence will disable the vast majority of their abilities. It may be worth swapping to a Holy wrath- or antimagic-branded weapon, if available. The lich's melee attacks might not be insignificant, but they're a good deal safer than most of their attack spells.
Throwing nets are very useful against ancient liches. Throwing a net at the edge of LOS guarantees that the lich won't be able to follow you for several turns, allowing a fairly safe escape. Nets distract monsters; letting any player, especially Short Blades users, multiple chances to attack for free.
Of course, since it's unlikely that you'll be able to take them out without taking a single hit, being able to survive their spells is advisable. Don't go after them while wounded, apply any useful buffs you may have available, and consider chugging a potion of resistance to patch up vulnerabilities; it may be wasteful, but better to be safe than sorry! Taking 100+ damage in a single turn stings.
- Prior to 0.27, ancient liches could have one of several spell sets. In particular, the Summoning-focused spells were given to the newly-introduced dread liches.
- Bolt of Cold (3d37), Force Lance (3d27), Summon Greater Demon, Slow, Invisibility
- Bolt of Draining (3d33), Poison Arrow (3d34), Haunt, Banishment, Haste
- Bolt of Fire (3d37), Iron Shot (3d44), Summon Greater Demon, Confuse, Invisibility
- Corrosive Bolt (3d28), Lehudib's Crystal Spear (3d48), Petrify, Haste
- Lightning Bolt (3d29), Orb of Destruction (9d20), Paralyze, Haste
- Prior to 0.18, ancient liches had randomized spell sets.
- Prior to 0.16, ancient liches would generate with one of four predetermined spell sets.