Should Green Have Lifegain this Efficient?

General forum

Posted on June 1, 2019, 1:08 a.m. by DemonDragonJ

White is undisputedly the best color in this game at gaining life, but green is allowed to have lifegain, as well, although green’s life gain can never be as mana-efficient or in as large quantities as white’s.

However, there are a number of green cards that gain life that I feel are too powerful, and thus blur the line between green and white, including Stream of Life , Feed the Clan , Phosphorescent Feast , and the new Weather the Storm . If all of those cards were white (or even green/white), they would be perfectly acceptable, but I feel that such powerful and efficient lifegain is not suitable for green, which focuses more on power and brute strength, whereas white is the color of healing and repair (typically, but there are certainly exceptions in both cases).

What does everyone else say about this? Do you believe that those cards are too powerful and efficient for green?

pskinn01 says... #2

Life gain has always been part of green and white. It is also in black, but usually only in combat, draining the opponent, or by sacrificing other resources.

Green is fundamentally about life and growth. White is about justice and healing. Both are shown in life gain, they just represent different aspects - like you as a player are experiencing growth in life or being healed are two separate things but both make you live longer. So an explosion of life gain, like this new card, fits into green just fine.

June 1, 2019 1:53 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #3

I think what it comes down to is core color philosophy.

White seeks to expand and grow. It wants to control and be on top.

Green also wants to expand and grow, but it would rather see natural order reign supreme.

The difference, ultimately, is WHAT is in control.

White wants to build a civilized empire. Think tokens, cheap creatures, ETB effects, but also the structured side of a civilization. This comes in the form of combat hate spells, exile effects, and prisons.

Green wants the world to be at harmony and balance. We see wild creatures, natural ramp, land production, and the destruction of anything not natural - artifacts and enchantments.

White gains life to show the people growing and overcoming.

Green gains life to show nature flourishing and sustaining.

So I feel they are both reasonable. Now if you want to talk about blue having lifelink we can, but this is the single blue card in the game with lifelink, it's conditional, and requires a Plains. So, take that as it is. :)

June 1, 2019 8:18 a.m. Edited.

GhostChieftain says... #4

Each color has things that are shared with other colors. For example, lets look at trample. It is shared by red and green and is generally on something relatively large. It doesn't mean that one is diluting the color pie, but more that they are sharing the ideal that strength is important.

June 1, 2019 8:47 a.m.

pskinn01 says... #5

Most evergreen keywords are on 2-3 colors. With the third color seldomly receiving it, or it being used differently (like with a condition). The same is true for most types of spells. The thing is the spells that are not the primary focus of that color, But still part of its color pie, generally are restricted in some way.

Direct damage is reds domain, but white can do it during combat.

Countering spells is blues forte, but white gets some when its protecting things.

Destroying enchantments is in white and green.

Destroying creatures is blacks thing. Exiling them is whites. Fighting them is greens, stealing them or keeping them tapped is blue. Hitting them with direct damage is red. But all of these remove creature threats.

The new green life gain spell is only efficient if there is a build up of spells prior to it being cast. The life gain spell is essentially feeding off of the spells cast prior to it. So definitely a green spell characteristically.

The blue merfolk with life gain if you control a plains bends the rules but doesn't break them, as merfolk were a mainly white/blue tribe.

June 1, 2019 11:19 a.m. Edited.

TypicalTimmy says... #6

pskinn01, oh I know it merely bends the rules. I wouldn't even say that. More like pushes up against it. It was done so in a flavorfully way; And to be honest flavor should trump established design everytime.

  • If it looks cool, sounds cool, and works cool it should be allowed; As long as it's not broken.
June 1, 2019 1:03 p.m.

Stream of Life originates from Alpha. Back then, "White is undisputedly the best color in this game at gaining life" simply wasn't true. In fact it was quite a while before white caught up to green's level of lifegain.

Fruition , Rejuvenate , Wellwisher , Nourish , and so on. It wasn't until Soul Warden that white got anything even resembling efficient lifegain imo. Maybe Spirit Link , but that's still a single outlier among plenty of efficient green lifegain cards.

Lifegain is one of those things that shifted on the color pie as the game matured. It started as a primarily green thing that white did on occasion. If anything, I'd argue that White has become too efficient at it, to the point that Green rarely even bothers with it anymore, effectively robbing Green of what was once a defining characteristic.

And it would seem to me that Sanguine Sacrament makes Stream of Life look terrible. I don't see how Stream could possibly be "too efficient" in the face of that.

Finally, I feel like pointing out that in general, the best lifegain cards tend to be ones that are both White and Green. Vitalizing Cascade , Heroes' Reunion , Dawnglow Infusion , Oracle of Nectars , Ajani, Mentor of Heroes , Pledge of Unity , etc.

June 1, 2019 2:42 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #8

Everyone here has given great responses, but I do not have time to respond to each individual post, so I shall simply say that I greatly appreciate your feedback, and you definitely have helped me achieve a greater understanding of this situation.

June 3, 2019 10:03 p.m.

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