Whenever You Gain Life: Fun with Triggers

If you love gaining life and getting triggered abilities out of it, you’ll want to run multiple lifelink creatures. Cards like Ajani’s Pridemate and Archangel of Thune will trigger for each lifelink creature you control that deals damage (attacking, blocking or otherwise). For example, if you are attacking with 3 Baneslayer Angels and one Ajani’s Pridemate – you will deal a total of 20 damage. Here is how it breaks down:

  • Baneslayers deal 5 damage each during the first strike combat damage step for 15 damage and you will gain 15 life.
  • Pridemate will trigger 3 times and when those triggers resolve it will have 3 +1/+1 counters on it.
  • Pridemate will then deal 5 damage during the normal combat damage step for 20 total damage.

The reason it works this way is because the rules explain that “Whenever you gain life” really means “Whenever a source causes you to gain life.” So it counts each lifelink creature in combat a source of lifegain, even though they are all dealing damage at once you’re gaining all that life at once.

Triggers and life-gain are really fun! Keep in mind though that multiple instances of lifelink on the same creature are redundant and will not double the life you gain or cause multiple triggers to occur. The caveat to this is if you have an older card that actually says “Whenever this creature deals damage, gain that much life.” This ability is stackable and if multiple instances exist they will trigger multiple times and cause multiple life-gain events to occur.

Today’s Rules tip written by Daniel Clarke

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