How Are Green and White’s Life Gaining Different from Each Other?

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Posted on Nov. 22, 2022, 8:23 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Three colors in this game can gain players life: black, white, and green, and the methods by which they gain players life are different; black gains life either when other players lose life or when creatures die, white has unconditional life gain, but green is less clear about that. It does seem that green can gain life unconditionally, but I feel that green’s life gain should feel distinct from white’s life gain, so that the two colors do not feel too similar to each other.

Other users here have previously stated that there is no significant different between how white and green gain life, but, given that each color draws cards in a different manner, I feel that each color should gain life differently, as well. I previously stated that I feel that green’s lifegain should be reliant upon creatures, just as is green’s car drawing, but, if that is not the determining factor, then I feel that green’s life gain should not be as powerful or as mana-efficient as white’s; for example, compare Stream of Life to Heliod's Intervention or how cards such as Celestial Mantle or Boon Reflection can exist in white, but not in green.

What does everyone else say about this? How are green and white different in how they gain life?

Also, as a side note, green’s card drawing/card advantage used to be reliant upon lands as well as creatures (such as with Nissa, Voice of Zendikar), but WotC decided at one point that green would use only creatures for card advantage, so does anyone know why WotC changed their minds on that subject?

wallisface says... #2

As far as differences between white and green lifegain, there’s some pretty clear/obvious ones:

  • White creatures can use Lifelink, which is comparably super-rare in green.

  • Green tends to be able to gain life from exiling graveyard cards, or from Landfall style effects - neither of these avenues are really open to White.

  • White cards have various benefits for gaining life, such that there are actual payoffs and a reason to bother gaining life. Because of that, there tends to be more white cards whos sole focus is on giving its controller life. Green on the other hand, has no real reason/payoff for gaining life, and so it has nothing to really gain by focusing solely on that aspect - its lifegain effects tend to be more incidental, and tacked on to more value-based plans.

November 22, 2022 8:39 p.m.

FartSeize says... #3

Black gains life by feeding on the weak, culling the unworthy, draining the lifeforce/energy of its foes, and by contracting dark deals with darker forces.

White by contrast gains life by healing both the worthy and unworthy. Offering respite, divine intervention by celestial and god like forces, and the protection of solidarity.

Green has lifegain by its own growth and vitality. Natures way gives a path to the natural cure. providing in all ways, too all its needs.

Now with all of that color theory outta the way, green and whites methods of gaining life are...not actually all that different gameplay speaking. They both offer permanents that gain small amounts of life from triggered abilities. They both have mana dumps and payoff cards. Be it little by little, or all at once. Lifegain as a mechanic is hardly primary/secondary/tertiary as much as other mechanics and abilities are in magic. That's the thing about a 20+ year old card game, changes in game design and philosophy add up. Eventually every color will be able to do almost everything the other colors can do. But that's a whole 'nuther conversation entirely.

November 24, 2022 4 a.m.

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