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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Monowhite Lifegain Deck"
ber 21, 2010 

Throughout my career at Pojo.com, one of the lessons I've repeated over and over is that life gain doesn't win games, it just makes you lose more slowly. That said, gaining life isn't a mechanic to be brushed off out of hand. You can build a deck out of it, if you keep your eyes on victory.

Okay So I am doing this instead of the forum because it wont let me use them.  So I am building a white type 2 life gain deck with some artifacts, and am having trouble finishing it so I am asking for your help. Here is what I have so far:

Creatures: (I am still 4 short)
4 goldenglow moths
4 Ajani's pridemates (for attack power)
4 soul's attendants

non Creature spells: (still 2 short)
4 Ajani's mantras
2 rest for the weary
2 holy strength (to beef up the low levels)
2 revoke existence
2 Accorder's Shield (once again to beef up the low levels)
1 sylvok lifestaff
2 trigon mending
1 bladed pinions
2 elixir of immortality

20 plains

okay so that's my deck as you can see I am still missing some cards but the reason being is i am still kinda new to building decks and am unsure of what else to put in, you can also so i have a fondness for artifacts and artifact equipment. what I am trying to do with this deck is get a deck that gains life while still attacking the other person to kill them. I am making it type 2 as well and so I need to have type 2 cards in it and I have not found very many cards that I think will help from the type 2 sets.  I tend to loose to fast playing decks and ones that have poison and or counter based effects. so any help you could give me for this deck would really help and if you can't find anyway to help it just let me know because just letting me know that means I need to look at my plans again and rethink what I want to do.

Thank you


In order for a card that gains you life to also help you make active progress toward winning, it has to do other things besides just gain life. Thus, all the cards in this deck that do nothing else-- Trigon of Mending, Ajani's Mantra, and Rest for the Weary-- can come out. I'd argue Goldenglow Moth counts too, since blocking is basically damage prevention, which is like reactive life gain, except that you have cards in here that can give it a power boost and allow it to attack. And since it has flying, that would be useful.

But then, what do you have to enhance the Moth? Holy Strength isn't good enough to play for other reasons, and Bladed Pinions leaves it still having zero power, which means your singleton of Sylvok Lifestaff is pretty much all there is. So pull Holy Strength, and the Moths with it.

Now, for what to put in. The most useful form of lifegain is lifelink. By tying the life gain directly to damage dealt, you encourage the player who wants a higher life total to get it by attacking with his creatures, rather than turtling up and dragging the game out forever. Well, Baneslayer Angel and Transcendent Master have lifelink, but the Angel is going for a ton of money right now. The Master's price tag I'm not sure of, but he's mythic rare so getting a playset may be a challenge. Serra Ascendant has lifelink too, and is "merely" rare so should be easier to get, but is only a 1/1 until you get 30 life. Better yet is Basilisk Collar, which can grant both lifelink and deathtouch to any creature. Your Soul's Attendant suddenly becomes a formidable blocker if if can kill a creature regardless of toughness and gain 1 life in the process. And Ajani's Pridemate suddenly becomes quite fearsome indeed when not only does it kill anything it tangles with, but every attack gives it a +1/+1 counter, and the life gained from lifelink increases by 1 each time.

I think Serra Ascendant is worth playing, however, because of its second ability. Any deck devoted to life gain should be able to get to 30 life. Once you do, the Ascendant ascends into a 6/6 flyer with lifelink. And I think that's really what a life gain deck needs: a card that rewards you for gaining all that life. Ajani's Pridemate is a step in the right direction, but I'd like to take a bigger step. What you really need is the biggest reward for life gain in the game-- Felidar Sovereign. Go into an upkeep with 40 or more life, and victory is yours! Suddenly, gaining life really is getting you closer to winning! And the Sovereign's 4/6 body gives you the attack power you've been craving.

The only other card I can think of in Standard (type 2) is Survival Cache, which asks you to have "more life than an opponent". Fail at this, and the Cache becomes worse than Rest for the Weary. Succeed, and it becomes better than Divination. Considering how little card draw white gets, it's a play worth making. By the time you've played out most of the cards in your hand, in this deck, you're likely to have gained a good bit of life and the Cache is likely to give you a card both times around. Just don't cast the Cache unless you're sure you'll get to draw.

Good luck!





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