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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

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Drain Life
5th Edition

Reviewed October 31, 2007

Constructed: 2.60
Casual: 3.20
Limited: 3.20

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Drain Life

It's been uprooted from its classic status by Consume Spirit, which is strictly if marginally better. It's still one of the most versatile black kill cards there is, ranking right up there with Fireball. Its only real requirement is that you basically have to be running monoblack, and in recent years monocolor decks have become passe as color-fixing technology improves. But then, Drain Life hasn't been Standard-legal in a while, so this is probably still fine in all the formats it's legal in.

In Limited? I'm not even sure which Limited formats this is legal in, much less how they play, but I'm ranking it highly just for its versatility and the fact that it kills a creature.

Constructed- 3
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 3.8


Wednesday - Drain Life

The original kill card. When Mike Long won a Pro Tour using the ProsBloom deck way, way back when, he chose this as his kill mechanism, and it does a very good job at doing that. Nowadays there are better ways to kill an opponent if you can make infinite mana, but that doesn't make this card necessarily a bad choice for a kill card. Outside of the combo decks, it's still useful for getting rid of an irritating creature or blasting your opponent, but it is very mana intensive.

In limited, if black is a main color, you play this, no doubt. Removal, life gain, kill card...what more can you ask for?

Constructed - 2.5
Casual - 3
Limited - 4

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Drain Life

This is part of the reason that lifelink is a black ability even now, and a popular finisher in many black control and combo decks down the years, and one of black's icons. Consume Spirit has since replaced it for recent core sets because of the less complicated rules text, but Drain Life will always have nostalgic value. I never played limited with the Fourth or Fifth Editions, but you need an awful lot of black to make it work. That's probably more likely in draft than in sealed, if it's going to happen at all.

Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 2/5

#1 Magic Noob in Canada since 2002
Drain Life

Barring any weird scenarios, Consume Spirit is better than this. There's really no need for 8 cards with the same effect so I'd have to say this is obsolete in constructed.

In casual, it's always fun to pay like a billion black mana, but Consume Spirit is still better here.

In limited, it needs a lot of black mana.

Constructed: 1.5/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 2/5

Wednesday's card is Drain Life, another oldie but goldie.  For one colorless and one black, you essentially have a finisher if you can get the mana to cast it.  Old school decks had Dark Ritual and other mana accelerators to get the mana to finish a player off, and since it is loss of life, most white cards cannot prevent the damage.  It's the old school Consume Spirit, and both are pretty decent in black.
Limited: 3/5
Constructed: 4/5

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