Today, we’re going to look at a rather specific niche, which is Black and Green life gain Commander cards.
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The best Black and Green life gain Commander cards
Now, there are a lot of life gain Commander cards, but they’ve always been closer to White and Black than Green, at least in Commander. The new Witherbloom deck being filled with fun ways to benefit from life gain; we thought we’d put together some cards you can add to the deck.
10 – Savra, Queen of the Golgari
First up, we’ve got a classic commander for those keen on killing off their own Creatures with Savra, Queen of the Golgari. Of course, the Golgari are old news, and Witherbloom is the new name, but she’s still pretty decent.
She’s a four mana Black and Green 2/2 that lets you gain two life whenever you sacrifice a Green Creature, and lets you pay two life when you sacrifice a Black Creature, and if you do, your opponent’s have to sacrifice a Creature too. Green and Black are good at making tokens, so this should be a nice fit.
9 – Whip of Erebos
GIving all of your Creatures lifelink is a very easy way to gain a lot of life, but it’s damn effective. That happens to be exactly what this four mana Black Enchantment Artifact does, and we love it.
Whip of Erebos also lets you temporarily bring Creatures back from the dead too, although they’ll then get exiled. This is a nice option to have if you can’t bring them back through less cursed means.
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8 – Essence Warden
Sometimes you need a life gain Commander card that just goes off as you’re going about your business. Given that you’ll be playing lots of Creatures, Essence Warden is going to be gaining you a couple of life each turn, and that’s nothing to sniff at.
For one mana, you get a 1/1 Green Creature that gives you one life every time another Creature enters the battlefield. That includes your opponent’s Creatures, and it’s a great way to just gain life like some kind of side hustle.
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7 – Momentous Fall
Momentous Fall is both card draw and life gain, and that’s got to be a good thing. For four mana, you have a Green Sorcery that makes you also have to sacrifice a Creature as part of the cost.
You then draw cards equal to that Creature’s power, and gain life equal to its toughness. It’s a nice mix of basically everything you want to be doing in any deck, but especially one where life matters, and so do cards. To be fair, most decks want cards.
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6 – Exsanguinate
Exsanguinate drains life from everyone at an impressive rate, but you’ll need a lot of mana to get the most out of it. For X and two Black mana, you get a sorcery that makes each opponent lose X life, and you then gain life equal to the amount lost because of the card.
This isn’t useful in any situation other than wanting to gain a lot of life, or occasionally kill someone off, but if you can get enough mana, then you can sometimes win a game outright without even really trying.
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5 – Shamanic Revelation
This is another one that lets you draw cards and also gain life, but it costs five mana instead of four. Shamanic Revelation is a Green sorcery that lets you draw a card for each Creature you control, which is probably a lot.
It also has a ferocious keyword, and in this case, you get to gain four life for each Creature you control that has four power or more. That’s also probably going to be a lot, and it’s not very hard to make this card so obnoxious that it feels broken.
4 – Grim Feast
Ignore or embrace the creepy artwork here, but Grim Feast is a really interesting card either way. For three mana, you get a Black and Green enchantment that deals one damage to you in your upkeep. Yay?
Also, “Whenever a creature is put into an opponent’s graveyard from the battlefield, you gain life equal to its toughness.” The rulings around MTG have changed since this card was first printed, and the short of that is that it actually affects all opponents, which makes it incredibly good at gaining you life.
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3 – Gray Merchant of Asphodel
If you’ve never heard of Gray Merchant of Asphodel, the first thing that you need to know is that most people call him Gary. The second thing you need to know is that he will absolutely win you games, and people will often be perfectly fine losing to him.
Gary is a five mana Black 2/4 that drains you opponents of life equal to your devotion to Black. You then gain that much life again. The joy of this Zombie is that in Green and Black, recurring your Creatures is a doddle, which makes this ability fiendishly hard to beat.
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2 – Spike Feeder
Now, in most lists about life gain Commander cards, this might not rate so high, but given that the new Witherbloom commander, Willowdusk, Essence Seer, lets you put +1/+1 counters on a Creature equal to the amount of life you’ve gained or lost in your turn, Spike Feeder is suddenly very powerful.
For three mana, you get a 0/0 Green Creature that enters with two +1/+1 counters. You can pay two mana to move one of these counters, but you can also remove one of them to gain two life. All you have to do is combine that with Willowdusk, and you’ve got an engine that will just keep on giving.
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1 – Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
Finally, we’ve got Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose. This Vampire Cleric is at the top of the list because it’s powerful, quite simply. For three mana, you get a 1/3 that makes it so that whenever you gain life, you can have an opponent lose that much life. That’s useful in and of itself, and while we went out of our way not to include the Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood combo (you should have them both in your deck), having one of those effects on a Creature is useful.
Another benefit is that you can spend five mana to give all of your Creatures lifelink. Now, ideally, this would be done in other ways or via the Whip of Erebos or something, but having all of this in one place makes Vito an incredibly potent card, and very much worthy of your fancy new deck.