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I'm looking for creatures that cause loss of life when they enter the battlefield, can you recommend any?

So far I've found Gray Merchant of Asphodel and would love to find more like it.


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Technically, Gray Merchant doesn't do any damage; it just causes loss of life. This matters for things like Curiosity; does it matter to you? – jwodder Nov 18 '13 at 1:24
sorry, loss of life is more what i'm looking for – user1305 Nov 18 '13 at 2:47
Blood Artist sounds like a good card in a deck with this theme. You might also want to check out Blood Clock and Umbilicus – AndSoYouCode Nov 26 '13 at 7:52
@AndSoYouCode Nice suggestions. Blood Clock would be great. (this will be a modern deck) – user1305 Nov 26 '13 at 7:56
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Technically, there appear to be only three black creatures that deal damage when they enter the battlefield, and for color pie reasons they're all black/red: Anathemancer, Hellhole Rats, and Murderous Redcap. However, if, as your example indicates, you're also after creatures that cause loss of life (which doesn't count as damage; this matters for things like Curiosity), you also have available:

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You can used the Gatherer's Advanced search to find cards. Gatherer-Black, EtB+Lose+Life will find you all Black cards that aren't any other color, that contain the words "enters the battlefield", "lose", and "life" in the rules text. The URL contains variables after the '?', and are separated from each other by the '&'.

  • action=advanced : Use the advanced search instead of the basic search.

  • color=+@(+[B]) : The cards color is black and no other.

  • text=+[%22enters%20the%20battlefield%22]+[lose]+[life] : The cards rules text includes EtB, lose, and life. Certain characters are encoded so they can appear in the URL, like and .

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Do you really construct these as URLs instead of just using the advanced search form? – Jefromi Nov 18 '13 at 6:18
@Neřekli, no. I was just explaining what the parameters that I passed, and therefore the search URL that returns. In general, I use the search form, unless I want to do something strange and the form is making it difficult (I.e. wanting cards with rules text that is ((destroy && creature) ¦¦ (exile && permanent)) is difficult to do from the form.) – user1873 Nov 18 '13 at 6:34
Who's Neřekli? Anyway, I see - just surprised to see an explanation of the URL instead of how to do it with the form. – Jefromi Nov 18 '13 at 6:39
Possibly worth noting for advanced users: Gatherer supports regular expression searches. (Although it doesn't seem to support character classes, unfortunately; this is likely due to the URL encoding more than anything else.) – Brian S Nov 18 '13 at 17:06

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