Best Life Gain Cards In Magic The Gathering

In Magic, life is a precious resource; players lose it when their health reaches zero. Increasing your beginning value provides greater punishment latitude and increases lifegain-related benefits, making it worthwhile to increase your starting value.

In classic commander, players start with 40 life while in standard, they start with 20; in any case, having surpluses can help you buy time if your match goes south. Life-giving talents are widespread in both white and black people, but you’ll find them in every race—which one reigns supreme? These are Magic: The Gathering’s top 10 life-gaining effects!

Scavenging Ooze

Scavenging Ooze (Core Set 2021) - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering

This is one of the list’s more surprising additions. When it comes to life gain methods, this creature does not immediately mind, but after reading its ability, it fits well into the archetype.

It’s inexpensive and has respectable stats as a 2/2. It also has the fantastic ability to exile a card from a graveyard for one green, and if this card is a creature, it receives +1+1, and you gain 1 life.

This card’s ability allows you to deal with troublesome cards in graveyards while also allowing you to activate your life gain synergy cards.

Firesong and Sunspeaker

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Firesong and Sunspeaker is a six-mana Red and White 4/6 spell that grants lifelink to all of your Red Instant and Sorcery spells and allows you to inflict three damage to a Creature or Player when you gain life from a White Instant or Sorcery.

Both of these effects seem wonderful in principle, but in fact, you have to put in a lot of effort to gain the full advantage from them, so using them may be difficult. However, some individuals thrive on a challenge, so here you go.

Vampiric Link/Spirit Link

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Both the white and black factions benefit from Spirit and Vampiric Link, which are essentially the same card. You can attach these auras to any creature, and it will gain a matching amount of life anytime it deals damage (much like the lifelink trait), even non-combat damage.

Furthermore, you may bestow your Links on an enemy unit, which will always restore your life (not their controller), making this combination as powerful at delaying hostile monsters as it is at bolstering your own.

Absorb

Absorb (Ravnica Allegiance) - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering

This is a straightforward yet effective card. Its primary function is to serve as an old-school Counterspell in Azorius colors. It also has the power to save your life while doing so. It may be played at breakneck speed, and the only drawback is that it requires a color commitment.

Aside from that, it’s a good 3 counter that gives you life. This card is ideal for any life gain control deck.

Lathie, the Bounteous Dawn

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If you desire Creatures as big as your life total, Latheil, the Bounteous Dawn is the game to play. You gain a Green and White 2/2 with lifelink for four mana.

Then you get to put +1/+1 counters on your Creatures equal to the life you earned that round at the start of each end phase. Two things to note: this happens in each end step, so life earned in past rounds is still useful, and you can distribute these counters anyway you choose. That means you may expand your army of 1/1s or go all-in with trample on your large Creature.

Fumigate

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This card is a super-effective boardwipe. It’s a 5 mana sorcery, which isn’t a bad price to pay for a board wipe. It also has the crazy ability to give you life proportional to the number of monsters destroyed.

It’s a must-have in any white Commander deck, as well as any life gain Commander deck. Apart from the fact that it is a standard-priced board wipe that also gives you life, there isn’t much to say about the card. It’s rather good.

Obzedat, Ghost Council

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For this famous spirit, black and white come together. Obzedat costs a reasonable five mana, but he provides 5/5 power and toughness. Plus, when he enters the battle, he gives you two life and drains the same amount from an opponent.

The best part is that Obzedat can reactivate his siphon by exiling himself at the end of your upkeep and returning with haste at the start of your next upkeep. And, because he only returns under his owner’s control, if an opponent steals him with a blue card like “Treachery,” they won’t be able to use this ability to return him to you.

Alhammarret’s Archive

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This is the greatest artifact card for a life gain deck. It multiplies the influence of your game plan by doubling the amount of life you gain, and it can also double the number of cards you draw.

Of course, drawing cards in a life gain deck is difficult, but this card becomes quite strong when combined with other synergistic components.

Its mana cost of 5 is the main deterrent to ranking higher on the list of top life gain Commander cards.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic (Commander 2013 Edition) - Gatherer - Magic: The  Gathering

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic is a six-mana White, Blue, and Black 4/5 with a number of very useful abilities when it comes to acquiring and using additional life. For starters, you’ll earn two lives in your upkeep regardless of whether they’re in a play or the command zone.

You can also pay one mana to draw a card and compel each opponent to lose one life whenever you gain life. When it comes to almost any strategy, Esper colors offer a lot of interesting toys, and the Blue really helps you defend whatever ridiculous combinations you’re attempting to put together.

Noble Purpose

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This pure-white enchantment restores your life whenever a creature you control takes battle damage, making it an excellent companion to white buildings dedicated to martial warfare. You’ve effectively provided lifelink to your whole army, with the proviso that it won’t work on non-combat damage.

If your opponent doesn’t have a removal, your reservoirs will soon rise—but keep in mind that your opponent can still win with commander damage or infect tactics regardless of your life total.

Approach of the Second Sun

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This card can be considered a “cheap way” to win games. During its time in Standard, it was a mainstay. Many control decks planned to play it before drawing to it. This card had more power in Standard since you could have several copies in your hand and cast them one after the other.

In Commander, however, this is not the case. This reduces the efficiency of this card in the format, but it still has some of its greatest features.

First, because it is a victory condition, it draws the attention of your opponents. This implies they’d try to kill you or deal with it in your library before you could play it again. In any case, it gives you the chance to win in a different method while they’re preoccupied.

Finally, it gives you life, which buys you time. 7 mana for 7 lives isn’t insignificant. It isn’t perfect, but it is functional. For any control-oriented deck, this is a good try-out as a backup or primary approach.

Willowdusk, Essence Seer

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Willowdusk, Essence Seer is a Black and Green 3/3 that costs three mana. They have a one-mana ability that requires you to tap them to “Choose another target creature.” Place a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the number of lives you earned or lost this turn, whichever is larger. Only activate as sorcery.”

Being unable to do so at instant speed is frustrating, but the fact that it may be a life lost or gained offers them a lot of versatility, and thanks to Strixhaven and the Commander decks that come with it, the color combination has a lot of new toys for both scenarios.

Tamanoa

Tamanoa (Coldsnap) - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering

Tamanoa’s stats are a respectable 2/4 for a three-cost creature, and her special effects allow your non-creature spells to heal you when they inflict damage. To make use of the benefit, use red’s broad selection of destructive instants and sorceries (“Blasphemous Act,” “Fiery Justice,” etc.).

Even better, the ability works even when non-creature spells do direct damage to you, thus neutralizing the controller-damaging effects of cards like “Karplusan Forest” and “Inferno.”

Dawn of Hope

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White in Commander is often less effective than the other colors. The color for tokens or life gain is well-known. It has issues with card draw, which is one of the most essential aspects of Magic.

This card combines two of white’s strengths and adds card draw to the mix. If you pay two when you gain a life, it can draw a card for you. Its ability to create a 1/1 lifelink is its second ability. Soldier is also beneficial and beneficial. This card may provide you with a blocker as well as profit on your life gain.

It’s a must-have in any Commander deck with life gain.

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim

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Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim is a 2/3 with deathtouch for one White and one Black mana. They are extremely powerful due to two abilities. The first demands you to sacrifice a Creature for one mana, after which you can gain life equal to that Creature’s toughness.

The second ability costs three mana and demands another sacrifice, but it enables you to exile a non-land permanent if you have at least ten more life than you started with. The removal is fantastic, and if you design your deck around Creatures that enjoy being sacrificed, you’ll have a blast with Ayli.

Divinity of Pride

Divinity of Pride (Eventide) - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering

Pride’s unusual mana symbols accept either white or black mana, allowing you can use her in Orzhov themes without being landlocked, and she both rewards and grants lifegain. You get a flying 4/4 with lifelink for five mana, which is already a good value. However, Pride’s amazing impact gives her +4/+4 if your health is at least 25!

In commander format, you start with roughly double this number, making Pride a monster 8/8 in most cases. Even if your life falls below the threshold, Pride’s lifelink can assist you in regaining control of your life by allowing you to use her fierce latent powers quickly.

Aetherflux Reservoir

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This is another “cheesy” or “cheap” method of winning a game. This is due to the fact that it is extremely efficient to utilize. With your life gain Commander deck, it’s definitely the simplest method to one-shot any of your opponents.

Because of its capacity to quickly storm off, this card was a common victory condition in many decks when it was in the standard. In Commander, it’s the same. Because the starting life total is 20 and the cost for the ability is 50 in Standard, it was a little more difficult to pull off, but in Commander, the cost is 10 more than the starting life total. This greatly improves the efficiency of Aetherflux Reservoir.

This is the simplest method to score a one-shot kill in any deck that tries to storm or uses life gain as a primary tactic.

Heliod, Sun-Crowned

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When a God is barely halfway up a list, it says a lot about how strong Magic cards are. Heliod, Sun-Crowned is a three-mana indestructible White 5/5 that only becomes a Creature if your White devotion is five or higher.

You can put a +1/+1 counter on a Creature or Enchantment you control whenever you gain life, and you can spend two mana to grant another Creature lifelink. You can literally win the game by simply doing this with Walking Ballista or Triskellion.

Ajani’s Welcome

Magic the Gathering : Ajani's Welcome - M19 - UC MTG White Enchantment |  Shopee Philippines

Like many of today’s greatest troops, this enchantment requires one mana, allowing you to plan your game’s lifegain strategies from your first turn. When a creature under your control enters the field, Welcome provides a life.

Because commanders are creatures, they provide a significant advantage in EDH, particularly if you swarm tokens with aces like “Leonin Warleader.”

K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth

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K’rrik, Yawgmoth’s Son is an intriguing card. As I said in my previous post, Top 10 Best Free Spells in Commander, I’ve always been captivated by the notion of Phyrexian mana. He has lifelink, which enables you to pay 2 life instead of black mana in any card, which is a very strong ability. Its last ability is to give him a +1+1 counter for each black card you play.

This card demonstrates the strength of Phyrexian mana, and it has the potential to be incredibly broken in a deck tuned to make use of it. K’rrik is a great commander to have in your 99 decks, whether it’s mono-black or Commander life gain decks of other colors.

Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice

Trostani, Selesnya's Voice (Commander 2019) - Gatherer - Magic: The  Gathering

Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice, is an excellent token commander, but she also excels at lifegain. If you decide to do both, they should probably be the ones who lead the charge. You gain a 2/5 for two Green and two White mana.

Then, whenever another Creature under your control enters the battlefield, you gain life equal to their toughness, and you can tap them to populate for three mana. This offers you a lot of options when it comes to playing Trostani, and while we prefer her as a token commander, you’ll be gaining a lot of life, so doing both isn’t a bad idea.

Soul’s Attendant/Soul Warden

Soul's Attendant (Rise of the Eldrazi) - Community - Gatherer - Magic: The  Gathering

Soul Warden (Modern Masters 2017 Edition) - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering

Attendant and Warden are both weak 1/1 human clerics that grant you a life whenever another creature enters the field, providing a monster version of Ajani’s Welcome.

In general, they’re equally powerful, although Attendant has a little edge in her “may gain” phrasing, which allows you to escape her power if necessary—we’ll go through some instances later. On the other hand, Warden is a regular member of my own commander decks due to her lower cost of less than a dollar!

Blind Obedience

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This is a classic Commander move. It works well in any deck that has white. It has one of the most powerful abilities in the game. It causes not just creatures but also artifacts to be tapped when they enter the battlefield. This not only prevents any aggressive creature plans from being employed, but it also prevents the critical mana rocks from being used after they’ve been played.

It slows down the game for everyone but you, and it provides you the power to extort money from one black or white.

The best feature of this card is its cheap mana cost of 2 and the fact that it is an enchantment, which are the most difficult permanents to deal with.

In general, this card is probably one of the most powerful cards in the whole game. White is necessary if you have it in your deck, especially if you’re playing a life gain Commander deck.

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose (Core Set 2021) - Gatherer - Magic: The  Gathering

Vito, the Dusk Rose Thorn is a three-mana Black 1/3 that is half of a famous combination. You see, every time you gain life, your opponent loses the same amount of life. That implies they can function as a backup copy of Sanguine Bond if necessary. That implies you can almost immediately win the game by casting Exquisite Blood.

They also have a five-mana ability that provides all of your Creatures lifelink until the end of the round, which means you always have a lot of potential life lying around ready to be used. They’re really effective.

Soul Link

Soul Link (Apocalypse) - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering

Soul Link costs more mana than Spirit and Vampiric Link, but it has a better effect: anytime the linked unit deals or takes damage, it restores your life. Both abilities work if a creature injures itself, which is useful for cards like “Stuffy Doll.”

You can use this on either your own warrior or a rival’s soldier; either way, Soul Link gives you life (and not its controller).

Karlov of the Ghost Council

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Karlov of the Ghost Council is our final selection, and he’s also a great aggressive commander. Karlov is a 2/2 deck that costs one White and one Black. When you gain life, they acquire two +1/+1 counters, and you can exile a Creature by paying two mana and removing six of those counters.

It’s so simple to amass a large number of little pieces of life and then either swing in with Karlov or use them to clear out everything in your path. It only becomes simpler as more cards are released, and they pose a significant danger, even if they can’t gain your life on their own.

Fountain of Renewal

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This artifact provides a small but consistent and low-cost lifegain tool, providing one life at your expense. Furthermore, it may be used by any theme because of its colorlessness, providing useful defenses even for non-white or black decks.

Renewal provides a wonderful self-destruction opportunity, allowing you to pay three mana and sacrifice it to draw a card. When your opponent’s spells negate or penalize lifegain, or when you need cards more than vitality, use this.

Christian Allen Tandoc
Christian Allen Tandoc is a frantic writer, blogger, and ghostwriter. He quit his office job as an Applications Engineer for the love of writing. When he’s not working, he’s either playing with his PS4 or his 1-year old daughter.

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