This is a casual, low budget deck that focuses on stealing your opponent's life. Many little life gain triggers make karlov very big very quickly, giving you both power to exile creatures and a combat advantage. This deck can turn this life gain into life drain, along with using other cards to drain life more directly to kill opponents. As a backup, the deck also has cards to give karlov evasion to kill with commander damage, along with the card Aetherflux Reservoir.

These cards are the most common in the deck. They all in one way or another allow you to have a life gain trigger which benefit Karlov of the Ghost Council which allows you to control the creatures on the board. These triggers also work with Ajani's Pridemate and Bloodbond Vampire to make them large. Some of the most powerful cards are: There are several other good life gain triggers, but these are the most powerful. These all work well with the life manipulation cards (See life manipulation tab below) which turn them into offensive damage.
Life drain cards are the main win condition of this deck. These cards can all lead to massive life steal which not only harms your opponents but also heals you, its a win win! The first three cards all play off of karlov's ability to grow huge, but they also work well with Ajani's Pridemate, Bloodbond Vampire, and Sunscorch Regent. Debt to the Deathless and Exsanguinate both target all opponents and are scalable with your mana, and Blood Tribute straight up win games when combined with life manipulation cards (See Life Manipulation tab below). Currently there are 8 vampires in the deck, so your odds of getting that kicker cost is pretty high.
For lack of a better word I call these cards life manipulation cards (If you have a better name, please comment it). They are the main cards that turn life gain into life drain, cause pain, and they drive your opponents insane (Sorry, I just had to say it). These are the cards that really make this deck potent and fun to play. All of these cards turn those tons life gain triggers into damage for you opponents. Also they all go infinite with Exquisite Blood, but I try to avoid that as this is a casual deck. Vizkopa Guildmage is the most abusable of these as its ability affects all opponents and can be activated more than once, leading to huge life drain. These cards really shine though when you use them with a card that already steals life (See life drain panel).
  • Blood Tribute + vampire + life manipulation = instant kill
  • Life drain card + life manipulation + Tainted Sigil = Deal damage with life drain spell and gain life, then deal damage with life manipulation because you gained life, then gain life with Tainted Sigil because you dealt damage, then deal more damage with life manipulation because you gained life
  • Vizkopa Guildmage + Karlov of the Ghost Council/other large creature = give Karlov lifelink with guildmage or other card, then use Vizkopa Guildmage's second ability to deal massive damage to all players
Please try to keep recommendations to a reasonable cost as this is a budget deck, any expensive cards in the deck were cards I already owned before making this deck (I'm looking at you Sorin Markov and Exquisite Blood!) Help is greatly appreciated, and if you like the idea please give the deck a +1!


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Date added 1 year
Last updated 5 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.24
Folders Community Life-gain EDH Decks
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