Lightning Helix

Lightning Helix


Lightning Helix deals 3 damage to target creature, player or planeswalker and you gain 3 life.

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Have (4) gildan_bladeborn , Mortiferus_Rosa , metalmagic , Azdranax
Want (1) habar414

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Guilds of Ravnica: Guild Kit (GK1) Uncommon
Explorers of Ixalan (EO2) None
Iconic Masters (IMA) Uncommon
Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning (DDN) Uncommon
Modern Masters (MMA) Uncommon
Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas (DDH) Uncommon
Planechase (HOP) Uncommon
Ravnica: City of Guilds (RAV) Uncommon
Promo Set (000) Uncommon

Combos Browse all


Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Frontier Legal
Vintage Legal
Pioneer Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Noble Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Brawl Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Standard Legal
Arena Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vanguard Legal
Leviathan Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Modern Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Casual Legal
Oathbreaker Legal

Lightning Helix occurrence in decks from the last year


All decks: 0.36%

RW (Boros): 30.79%

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%

Lightning Helix Discussion

Flooremoji on I am tired of losing ...

1 week ago

I also like Weather the Storm. Maybe Lightning Helix?

Wasn't there a deck like 'Make burn players cry'?

Good luck against burn!

antacidbrn on I am tired of losing ...

1 week ago

In my local Modern Meta, there are a lot of burn deck players. Most common is the Boros Burn deck with the usual spells: Lightning Helix, Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze, Boros Charm, etc. Mana bases are usually a few shock, fast or pain lands with occassional Sunbaked Canyon.

The problem I have is that the game comes down to a dice roll most of the time. I am running Tiny Zoo, Naya colors, and the deck has its fair share of burn spells. But overall, the games vs. Burn are usually over by T4 and the winner of the dice roll wins the round. I am trying not to be salty, but I want to build a deck incapable of losing to Modern Burn. Any ideas?

I have kicked around with running Life Goes On or Dragon Claw in the main deck. Maybe Kor Firewalker?

Tzefick on Two Life-Draining Spells

1 week ago

griffstickIt would push burn too far?? In what format? I checked RDW in Modern on - which is a mash of straight burn and aggro prowess/burn. In 2019, the average use of Lightning Helix is 1.4x in RDW. Those who use it, use 4x. The only good reason to use Lightning Helix over more efficient burn like even Skewer the Critics (which is 2.2x on average over the same decks) is the ability to off-set the clock in a mirror-match or against other aggro. These types of decks run Eidolon of the Great Revel just to squeeze in some more damage on everyone and they don't care, as long as the opponent is hurt worse.

I think we already established that Lightning Helix and Lightning Bolt are too good for Standard, so I would never expect this type of card to be printed in Standard. So we're at least talking Modern, and I just don't see that this should make burn better against anything other than... burn. If Lightning Helix was as good a card as you seem to think for burn, I'm confused why they are so low on average on the pro scene.

The suggested card would definitely be a strict upgrade on Lightning Helix, but on average it would be Lightning Helix 5-8. I think you overestimate the healing to have value outside mirror matches. It would be similar to saying a cheap blue counterspell, that can only target spells that would counter a spell you control, would make control stronger. I would actually argue that it would make them weaker against anything but the mirror match. Gainsay was printed in OG Theros block and I cannot find it appearing in Standard nor Modern at the time.

griffstick on Two Life-Draining Spells

1 week ago

If I dont control a vampire it's just as good as Lightning Helix. if it's just as good as Lightning Helix then you just have a 3 color burn deck. And then you dont need vampires. 8 Lightning Helix's. I feel that would push burn to far

griffstick on Two Life-Draining Spells

1 week ago

Or it could read exactly like Lightning Helix with "kicker: tap an untapped vampire you control and instead deal 4 gain 4"

But maybe change the casting cost to

Tzefick on Two Life-Draining Spells

1 week ago

WizardOfTheNorthernCoast But Warleader's Helix is generally considered overcosted - although that's maybe not entirely a fair appraisal.

Lightning Helix is the combination of Healing Salve and Lightning Bolt. We all know the value of Lightning Bolt, but much less so that of Healing Salve. These days, Lightning Bolt is too strong for Standard and we refer to Lightning Strike for a more appropriately costed card for that damage range. If we look at specifically instants or sorceries that deal 4 damage, we come into the midrange territory and the costs are similarly higher or with extra conditions or restrictions. Char, Collective Defiance, Electrify, Flame Lash, Exquisite Firecraft, Lightning Blast, Slaying Fire, Stoke the Flames. On the cheaper side we have Cut, Flame Slash, Heartfire, Galvanic Blast, Lava Coil, Reckless Abandon.

I think at the least we can say that dealing 4 damage to any target unconditionally is more likely a CMC 4 spell that usually has some additional benefit stuck onto it or a 3 CMC with some requirements. So the raw unconditional 4 damage is somewhere around 3,X CMC.

Now healing 4 is way cheaper and can be done with Life Goes On for a single mana, at instant speed, with a condition to gain more life. The only other card to note is Sacred Nectar, which I believe we can quickly agree is overcosted and underperforming. All other cards that gain life around these ranges have something else going on for them, Feed the Clan, Blessed Alliance, Life Burst. As such, the raw 4 life is not even worth a mana.

So 4 damage is roughly worth 3,X CMC and 4 life is worth 0.Y CMC. Put those effects together on a multicolor card and Warleader's Helix seems like a fairly costed card at uncommon. Although fair does not equal good.

That was a rather long way to go just to say that Warleader's Helix is a fairly costed card... but not a very good one.

A condition may shave off a mana in the cost, but that leaves us at 3 CMC for a 4 damage, 4 life spell. The Vampiric Helix is definitely undercosted by 1 or needs a tougher condition, say control 2 or more vampires.

Now the biggest issue I take to this card is the ability to play it mono black. Mono black is not that efficient, seeing cards like Consume Spirit or Agonizing Syphon, Pharika's Cure. However neither red nor white has these effects by themselves. I think a good midway would be to have black as a required cost and then have the supplementary color be hybrid: would be fair in my eyes. Alternatively you could have white as the primary color and black/red as the supplementary, but that is not very flavorful as far as Vampire tribal goes. To compensate the increased cost, you could have the base version be 3 damage/3 life.

WizardOfTheNorthernCoast on Two Life-Draining Spells

1 week ago

Nice idea and thank you for sharing! Love the flavor :)

My opinion: I think Vampiric Helix is too strong. Lightning Helix is already very strong and represents a limit to this kind of effect IMO (just like Lightning Bolt acts as a comparison point for burn spells). You just need to take a look at the ridiculous Warleader's Helix - which is the closest thing they printed since the original helix - to understand how undercosted Lightning Helix is.

The mana cost is even less restrictive with double hybrid (should mono-B really have access to yet another drain effect that is that strong?) and the condition to deal 4/drain 4 (ultimately resulting in an 8-HP difference which is HUGE) isn't even hard to get. It should be 2 or 3 vampires or something to really insist on the fact the card goes into a tribal deck.

Markov’s Grasp is really neat, though.

DemonDragonJ on Two Life-Draining Spells

2 weeks ago

I have noticed that life-draining spells exist in black/red, black/white, red/white, and mono-black, so I decided to make spells that provide a player with all of those options, as seen, below.

Vampiric Helix Show

When I originally designed this spell, it did not have the second sentence, only the first, so that it would not be strictly better than Lightning Helix, but I was having difficulty giving it a name; after I decided on “vampiric helix,” I decided that it would be interesting if it had a conditional ability that related to vampires, so I added the second sentence to it.

Markov's Grasp Show

After designing the first card, I wished to make a variation of it that dealt a variable amount of damage, and this was the result. Again, it becomes more powerful if its controller controls a vampire as they cast it. I know that this spell is strictly better than Death Grasp, but that card would likely be the victim of power creep, today, so I feel that this spell is acceptable. I named this spell in honor of house Markov from Innistrad, a family of vampires.

What does everyone think of these cards? Are they impressive?

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