I was playing Hearthstone the other day and was intrigued by a card that causes healing spells to do damage instead. I was curious if there was ever anything printed in MTG that would have a similar effect, i.e. every time you would gain X life you take X damage instead.

  • As an interesting aside: The lack of a distinction between damage and loss of life in Hearthstone causes Auchenai Soulpriest (the card you are talking about) to interact VERY poorly with mistress of pain (mistress of pain will kill you the moment it damages anything)
    – Patters
    Jan 12, 2015 at 9:07
  • 1
    You should clarify: do you mean [an effect that causes life gain for you to causes life loss for your opponent] or [an effect that would normally cause life gain for an opponent causes life loss instead]
    – Zags
    May 27, 2015 at 23:46
  • I know this question is pretty old, but in HS creatures have their own life points (instead of just a constitution score) and thus can be healed (instead of just preventing damage the moment it happens) - As a result, Auchenai Soulpriest works whenever anyone heals anything (it takes damage instead). Some of the answers are geared towards "you gain life the opponent deals damage", and this is not what this question is asking, is it?
    – Zachiel
    Aug 22, 2016 at 10:49

4 Answers 4


Yes, there's Rain of Gore.

If a spell or ability would cause its controller to gain life, that player loses that much life instead

As well as False Cure.

Until end of turn, whenever a player gains life, that player loses 2 life for each 1 life he or she gained.

There's also Sanguine Bond.

Whenever you gain life, target opponent loses that much life.

  • Also Transcendence.
    – jwodder
    Jan 11, 2015 at 18:11
  • And Rain of Gore.
    – Hao Ye
    Jan 11, 2015 at 18:22
  • @HaoYe, good one, I forgot about that. Edited. I was unsure about Transcendence, since it doesn't literally make you lose life when you use a life gain effect (although the end result is very similar).
    – Kevin
    Jan 12, 2015 at 3:20

Tainted Remedy: if an opponent would gain life, that player loses that much life instead

  • @JoeW This does answer the question. By providing one example, the author has demonstrated that this type of card does exist in MTG.
    – Rainbolt
    Oct 6, 2015 at 21:36
  • @Rainbolt, I see the mistake I made now, is there anyway to undo the review action?
    – Joe W
    Oct 6, 2015 at 21:39
  • @JoeW Currently, no, but you can show your support for such a feature by upvoting this proposal. Until then, you just have to rely on our moderators to make the right call.
    – Rainbolt
    Oct 6, 2015 at 21:44

There is Vizkopa Guildmage, which has the following activated ability:

{1}{W}{B}: Whenever you gain life this turn, each opponent loses that much life.

I play a health to damage deck. All I have to do is pay 1 white, 1 black, and 1 mana of any color each turn, and play any health gaining card, and my opponent loses that much health.

I run 4 of these with some instances of Font of Vigor, Centaur Healer, Kheru Bloodsucker (gain health when creature of toughness 4 or higher is killed) and finish with a Soul of Innistrad: for {3}{B}{B}, bring 3 creatures from grave to my hand. These make an infinite loop!

  • I've done some copyediting to this answer and added some formatting. Just FYI, you can convert those mana symbols to the actual icons using an unofficial plugin of ours I wrote. Mar 13, 2015 at 1:18

Look at False Cure and cards from the masques block. you can win without anything but a False Cure and several cards with the alternate casting cost of having your opponents gain life. Reverent Silence, Refreshing Rain, Skyshroud Cutter and Invigorate all have the alternate casting cost. you need a forest or overgrown tomb/bayou in play then cast false cure and win by having them gain/lose life. fun mechanic very meme-ish. not competative but if you pull it off it your friends will think it is.

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