Drain Life

Drain Life

Sorcery

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.

Browse Alters View at Gatherer

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

Legality

Format Legality
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Vintage Legal
Limited Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Oldschool 93/94 Legal
Pauper Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Highlander Legal

Latest Decks as Commander

Drain Life Discussion

warkettle on Legacy ProsBloom

1 day ago

I found out about ProsBloom from Jon Corpora's Pretty Deece video about Exodus standard, and I thought it would be a fun legacy deck to pilot in 2020. What a faithful recreation! You took some newer cards and mixed them in with cards from the original brew, and created a fantastic decklist. How cool!

Although, as user Nethereon stated, I think it would be better if the deck ran Drain Life instead of Tendrils of Agony. I think Drain Life is more reliable because you are gaining a lot of mana from Cadaverous Bloom and can easily cast spells after 10-15 cards pitched, while if you use Tendrils you won't have enough spells in your library after pitching so many to Cadaverous Bloom.

TheMadRocketeer on I hope he didn't die of anything catching, eh?

1 month ago

Epicurus: Thanks for the nice and very well thought out posting. As you can see, I've not looked at this deck in some time and never considered it quite finished. You've pointed out a number of places where I've found it clunky in actual play, so I'd say your analysis is spot on. And, in fact, it does need a major overhaul, so I'll be using your comments as a template for the rebuild when I get back to this one.

I wish I had either Idyllic Tutor or Enlightened Tutor. They'd be perfect here and also in a new deck I just put together but haven't entered or tested yet. The new one is an attempt at a Life Gain deck. Nothing in it is just life gain, though. It's all incidental life gain, plus things that trigger and do good things when life is gained (e.g. Angelic Accord) or let you spend life for value (e.g. Greed). It's B/W like this one, so there may even be a crossover that could be fun.

Totally agreed about High Priest of Penance. It shuld either come out or go up to 3-of or 4-of and be better supported. Maybe 4-of Indestructibility (4 CMC, though) or Shielded by Faith. Might need more land to do that.

The idea I was going for with Lifelink was to replace what I lose to Pestilence and any hits from critters that survive it. Drain Life was to gain a bit of life but mostly to kill stuff that's too big to comfortably kill with Pestilence.

Good points on the creatures with WW costs too. I'd have to go shopping for a Blood Baron of Vizkopa, but it looks well worth it.

Pretty sure I don't have a Vindicate, but I have plenty Disenchant and 1 Mortify.

On the lands, I don't yet have any of the suggested ones. And they're all really good. Curious about the sugestion of removing Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Is that so I don't somehow benefit an opponent? Otherwise, it's just a Swamp with an upside for me. Still, if I had the suggested lands and everything made black mana, I wouldn't need the Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Such good suggestions. Pure gold from start to finish. Thanks!

Epicurus on I hope he didn't die of anything catching, eh?

1 month ago

Hello there! You were very kind to me in your comment on my Pyrohemia deck, so I figured that I should return the favor.

As a disclaimer, though, I am about to suggest a good number of changes, so bear with me. I'm definitely not aiming to completely deconstruct and rebuild your deck.

To begin, there are some cards in here that I find superfluous. For instance, I know that Crypt Rats is appealing, fits the theme, and acts kind of like a 5th Pestilence, but it requires assistance to stay alive. It isn't as good for the deck as it might seem. I feel like you'd be better off replacing it with something to tutor out the Pestilence, like Idyllic Tutor or Enlightened Tutor.

Similarly, High Priest of Penance is a one-shot ability that you're only running one of, and really would require Shielded by Faith in order to really floop the pig, which you're also only running one of. I would cut both of them.

Next, Sanguine Bond and Night Dealings are both good synergies with Pestilence, but they're also pulling up your mana curve. You want to make sure that you have mana to pump into Pestilence as often as possible. I would keep one or the other, or maybe even cut them both.

Then there's the 3 Lifelink I get it why you'd want them, but feel like you'd be better served with something like Sun Droplet that's not dependent on creatures dealing damage. You don't need to gain a ton of life, just enough to keep your life total higher than your opponent. By that same token, I think 3x Drain Life is too many.

Next, I would update your creature base. Remember that you need to have at least one creature in play to keep the Pestilence on the battlefield, and right now you only have 11 in the deck (and I just suggested cutting 2 of them). While I'm all about White Knight and Order A Lite Beer, I think you'd benefit from replacing a lot of that with creatures with less symbols in the mana cost, like Disciple of Grace, Death Speakers and/or Apostle of Purifying Light. And/or another Cemetery Gate. And then maybe a one-of Blood Baron of Vizkopa to round it out. In total, I'd suggest having north of 15 creatures.

Additionally, I would cut Ephara's Radiance, and either bring Disenchant down to 2x or cut it entirely and instead run 2x Vindicate.

And finally, consider changing your land base to include less lands that only produce white mana (i.e. less Plains). Since it's a casual deck, you could include Tainted Field, but also Isolated Chapel. 4x of each could replace all 8 Plains. Then, I'd replace the Caves of Koilos, one of the Swamp and the Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth with 4x Godless Shrine. If you made all of those changes, all of your lands would produce black mana, and 15 of them would produce white.

Again, that's a lot of changes. Please take them all as simply suggestions. I really love Pestilence decks, if you haven't noticed, haha...

Cheers!

PaulMuadDib on Vito, Thorn of Dusk Rose

1 month ago

You are going to need more than 12 lands. Whenever I build a deck, I always start with 40 lands and then for every 3 pieces of ramp, which for a mono black deck would be a mana rock or swamp doubler or ritual spell like Dark Ritual, I remove a land.
Please retune the deck with 12 non-land mana sources and 36 swamps for starters and you can think of non-swamp lands you want to include later.
My suggestions for those sources are any 12 of the following, depending on your budget:
Sol Ring
Star Compass
Commander's Sphere
Crypt Ghast
Charcoal Diamond
Soldevi Adnate
Songs of the Damned
Worn Powerstone
Dark Ritual
Everflowing Chalice
Ashnod's Altar
Cathodion
Guardian Idol
Hedron Archive
Mind Stone
Magnifying Glass
Millikin
Prismatic Lens
Cabal Coffers <- could replace a swamp
Bubbling Muck
Pristine Talisman <- defiantly want that

After that you've got the commander, which takes up 1 card slot, so that leaves you with 51 cards to choose from.

I see the bare beginnings of either an aristocrats or a reanimator deck. In my opinion you should push more for aristocrats. It can draw you tons of cards and gain you quite a lot of life. There's no harm in keeping some reanimation spells in there though.

You want a good number of sacrifice outlets. I haven't heard of what a hard number should be so I'd shoot for at least 5. Here's a list of some that I remember off hand:
Witch's Cauldron
Vampiric Rites
Ashnod's Altar
Infernal Tribute <- has a funny synergy with Spine of Ish Sah
Gnawing Zombie
Altar of Dementia
Attrition
Blood Bairn
Bloodflow Connoisseur
Bloodsoaked Altar
Bloodthrone Vampire
Carnage Altar
Carrion Feeder
Corpse Blockade
Culling Dais
Dark Privilege
Diamond Valley
Disciple of Griselbrand
Gutless Ghoul
Lampad of Death's Vigil
Mind Slash
Spawning Pit
Phyrexian Plaguelord

For this strategy you'll need recurring creatures or token generators
Ghoulcaller Gisa
Reassembling Skeleton
Endless Cockroaches
Tenacious Dead
Nim Devourer
Bridge from Below
Open the Graves
Sanitarium Skeleton
Gravecrawler

value
Pitiless Plunderer
Bolas's Citadel

Lifegain
Blood Artist is a staple
Plunge into Darkness is something you might want for the pure lifegain of 3 per creature you sacrifice. Not sure that you want to use the "exile a bunch of your deck" too often.
Bontu's Monument
Corrupt
Drain Life
Shadows of the Past

reanimation
Living Death
No Rest for the Wicked
Sepulchral Primordial
Zombify
Rise from the Grave
Victimize
Apprentice Necromancer
Call of the Death-Dweller

spot removal/board wipes
Mutilate
Damnation
Defile
Hero's Downfall
Vona's Hunger

draw
Read the Bones
Sign in Blood
Damnable Pact
Smothering Abomination
Ransack the Lab
Minions' Murmurs
Harvester of Souls

and so forth. I'd look through some already built aristocrats decks to see exactly whether you want to take that strategy.

Oh yeah, for utility lands I'd choose any of the following within your price range:
Leechridden Swamp
Bojuka Bog
Reliquary Tower
Cabal Stronghold
Volrath's Stronghold
Phyrexian Tower
Myriad Landscape
Terrain Generator
Geier Reach Sanitarium

SquirrelPenguin on Card creation challenge

6 months 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

Sorcery

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

1 year 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

1 year 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...

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