Drain Life

Drain Life


Spend only black mana on .

Drain Life deals X damage to any target. You gain life equal to the damage dealt, but not more life than the player’s life total before the damage was dealt, the planeswalker’s loyalty before the damage was dealt, or the creature’s toughness.

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Printings View all

Set Rarity
Beatdown Box Set (BTD) Common
Fifth Edition (5ED) Common
Mirage (MIR) Common
Fourth Edition (4ED) Common
4th Edition Foreign Black Border (4EDFBB) Common
Revised Edition (3ED) Common
Revised Foreign Black Border (3EDFBB) Common
Unlimited Edition (2ED) Common
Collector's Edition (CED) Common
International Collector's Edition (CEI) Common
Limited Edition Beta (LEB) Common
Limited Edition Alpha (LEA) Common
Promo Set (000) Common

Combos Browse all


Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Oldschool 93/94 Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Casual Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Drain Life Discussion

SquirrelPenguin on Card creation challenge

1 week ago

So this is a Timeshifted version of Drain Life. this is also continuing epicurus's white mana-hate. can someone please tell epicurus to unblock me because i'm done with the beebles?

Life Drain


Spend only white mana on X.

Drain Life deals X damage to target player. You gain life equal to the damage dealt, but not more life than the player's life total. Until your next turn, if that player would gain life, that player loses that much life and you gain that much life instead. This effect can not reduce a player's life to less than 1. (If that player would have their life total become less than 1 with this effect, you don't gain life past the player's life total.)

bushido_man96 on Vilis, The Edge Lord

9 months ago

Other spells that function like Exsanguinate are Drain Life and Soul Burn , if you're looking for more of that.

Shamanintraining on Time to let old painless out of the bag

9 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions B0effe

Reliquary Tower for Swamp looks like a easy update and will give me 2 anti discarding effects in case I don't get Venser's Journal out. I'm trying to keep the Black mana symbols since those count toward a couple of my drain effects Soul Burn , Consume Spirit , Drain Life .

I might consider swapping Thought Vessel in for Charcoal Diamond . Seems like a fair trade off, especially if I look to add Ad Nauseam .

Ad Nauseam , Cabal Coffers look like easy additions. Why so expensive Coffers???

I absolutely love the buyback of Slaughter in this deck so it's staying in. I am considering the swap of Go for the Throat for Vraska's Contempt though. I won't get to reanimate the creature but sometime it's better to permanently remove a problem.

Cloudius on My Gain is your Pain!

1 year ago

eyes2sky These are very good points you made. Admittedly, I haven't been upgrading this deck in awhile since my current focus is on tweaking my new PDH deck.

I have to admit the over-reliance on the Commander is a down side, both in EDH and PDH but at the pauper level, there aren't that many redundancies, Epicure of Blood is probably the closest but it triggers off each life gain instance, and not each life point gained. Am also trying to find a way to fit this card in.

My removal spells help fill up opponents' graveyard so it is not difficult for Incursion to find a fat graveyard filled with creatures. Combat tricks like sending my lifelinkers to die in combat (blocked by stronger creatures) and then targeting my own graveyard with Incursion won me several games too.

Currently, am only running 4 protection package for my Commander. Let me do a bit more research to see if there're versatile cards that can both protect my Commander while providing other utilities too.

Admittedly, the alternate routes of victory for this deck ain't robust for its over-reliance on the Commander. Certainly can explore other paths like:

A) Creature Beatdown

B) Direct Life Drain - Extort, Sovereign's Bite or the classic Drain Life type effects, though the latter is restrictive since we need for it.

Decisions... Decisions... Decisions...

goldlion on Breaking Carnival of Souls

1 year ago

This conversation is great to see. I agree, it’s an untapped card (heh heh) and it was fun playing around with it in the deck Hamroids linked to above. This was more of a janky flavour version I built, but I want to do a cEDH version with the altars and cards like Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate . Drain Life is the version I used, a card I found in a free box but which works fantastic in here as a single target removal for both creature or opponent. I did throw in Sanguine Sacrament like Joe_Ken_ mentioned, especially for response to an opponent playing a bunch of tokens, but also Suffer the Past , for the same reason and as a response to graveyard tricks by opponents.

It was great to see your thought process leading to Abzan as the colours. Ghave is the king for breaking Carnival of Souls because he has both sacrifice and creature production built on board, both for the magical cost of one.

How about I get started on the cEDH version of what I did then get you guys on board for focusing it on breaking the carnival?

Hybrow on Gisa & Geralf's Zombification

1 year ago

I know its budget, that's why i only suggested lower cost cards. Then was reading above comments..

Cheaper alternative for extra mana would be Cabal Stronghold - with the amount of swamps in here, it should be useful (I do agree with Sol Ring though, didnt even notice you didnt have it on list.)

If you are looking for a less than $10 boardwipe (though expensive mana wise).. Necromantic Selection works well

If you are looking for card draw and cant afford a Rhystic Study, Necropotence could work, and so would Necrologia. You might just need more life gain to support them. I threw in a Exsanguinate, Drain Life and Gary just to help out with my card draw.

LordTsukune on Damia, The Degenerate

1 year ago

when i built my version i threw in some big beastys like Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger to keep opponents from doing things while at the same time swinging and they still fit the theme. http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/never-lose-card-advantage/ Tho i too am looking for a definitive win con i don't rely on infi mana combos cause they're to easy if your gonna do it tho you can also throw in Torment of Hailfire, Exsanguinate, Consume Spirit, Drain Life if your gonna rely on a infi mana combo. I also threw in a little mill with Sire of Stagnation its slow but it also allows for your opponent to question wither or not to put a land for turn sometimes that messes with plays and i like the 5/7 allowing me to swing without fear. i also threw in this card Villainous Wealth cause it lets me remove cards from the top of players decks

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