Completely unplayable in Vintage. Perhaps you should check out what decks receive regular Vintage play before you suggest this.
Legacy, on the other hand, is a much more viable format for the monster. A lot of people here are trying to be too cute and complicate with Lich, and are forgetting many basic Legacy principles. For instance, Lightning Greaves and Whispersilk Cloak do not see Legacy play with good reason. They do nothing on their own and they equip at Sorcery speed.
The artifact lands have a similar problem. Enough decks use Wasteland that you cannot reliably slap your counter onto Vault of Whispers. While Darksteel Citadel is a better option, it doesn't produce black, so you are essentially playing a dead or near dead card in the early turns.
Artifact creatures are also a bad idea. It is pretty foolish to turn Swords into a 2 for 1 exchange, and I would rather avoid that play, given that Swords is one of the most widely played spells in the format.
So what does that leave Legacy players with? Noncreature utility artifacts. It is here that we will find the best combinations with the Lich. I am specifically looking at the following cards, although some others might be on the list.
-Chrome Mox: Accelerates the Lich into play, sticks around for subsequent turns.
-Pithing Needle: Shutting down any number of critical cards (like the Zoo staple Qasali Pridemage), and then following up with a turn 2-3 Lich.
-Aether Vial: Lich is an aggressively costed creature. Vial is good in an aggro deck. Sounds like a match made in hell.
-Grindstone: As part of the Painter's Servant combo, Lich could give the deck an alternate win condition AND hold the line against Zoo/Goblins/Merfolk beaters.
-Thopter Foundry: CounterTop Thopters won the most recent SCG open. Lich does not fit well into that particular build, but he still synergizes well with the low cost win condition.
Quote fromI can't see this getting played in legacy or extended... It's just an easy two-for one for your opponent... it's not like people aren't prepared to kill artifacts.
There are basically zero decks in Legacy that play maindecked artifact removal. The exception to this is Zoo with the afore mentioned Pridemage, and a few tier 2 or lower decks that run maindeck Krosan Grip. But outside of these two cards, no other artifact destruction makes the maindeck cut in Legacy. Games 2 and 3 are, of course, a different matter, but you can always board out the Lich's to keep the core of your deck and not open yourself up for the 2-1 trades.
Quote fromCome on guys its not that strong. It might see play in some storm man plans or suicide aggro. MBA is pushing your luck unless you play a lot of artifacts.
Also, STP and PtE haven't gone on vacation. They still eat Lich alive.
Goyf also dies to Swords and Path, as does Knight of the Reliquary and Terravore. In fact, every creature in Legacy (with a few Reanimator and NO exceptions) dies to Swords and Path.
As a 5/5 Indestructible, Lich is way, way ahead of the curve at 3 mana. His drawback forces you to use other artifacts, and those that I mentioned in this post are powerful even without the Lich as backup. Lich can kill the average Goyf (average being about 4/5), makes Zoo attacks unfavorable, can slow down Goblins by at least a turn, can chump a Knight forever, can slow down Merfolk by multiple turns, and can double duty as a beater. He's not a new Tarmogoyf, nor even a new Knight of the Reliquary. But he is quite good and definitely is relevant in the format.