- Pretty much strictly better than Sacred Nectar
- 2/1 for 2
- Easy mana cost
- ridiculous innuendo name
‘Lifegain doesn’t win games’ is a phrase often heard fairly early on in your magic career. This is usually because almost all lifegain cards are instants or sorceries, and the few times it comes on a creature, the creature kinda sucks. Lone Missionary changed that wonderfully, and remained incredibly versatile. 4 life for 2 mana is a fairly poor deal in a world where we can get 8 life for 2 mana and playing a land, or 5 life for 2 mana at instant speed.
Where Lone Missionary shines for me is in matchups where lifegain is actually pretty useful. In a WU control deck, a frequent play is Lone Missionary, gain 4, trade with a weenie, and blank your next attack. Now, I don’t want to say it’s as good as time walk, but it’s about as good as taking an extra turn for 2 mana against aggro. Alternatively, if you’re playing a slow rock deck, Lone Missionary (along with Kitchen Finks) can allow plenty of time against aggro and midrange to wrath or get removal, or just drop a fatty yourself. Another deck Lone Missionary is great in is blink, where you can quickly gain 16 life, and slowly win through attrition.Finally, being an easy to cast 2/1 for 2 means that Lone Missionary can still be used in aggro in a winston draft, which is always useful.
Despite how much I love Lone Missionary, I think it’s time in my cube is coming to an end. In a world of 3/1s for 2, a 2/1 is looking less and less attractive, and when you get one with first strike, Lone Missionarys ability against aggro doesn’t look so good. I recentuly decided to cut Lone Missionary for Porcelain Legionaire, because they’re both easy to play,and both can be played for or against aggro. The downside for the legionaire is that it costs 2 life, is an artifact, and can’t have blink shenanigans like Lone Missionary. I’m hoping it’s the right cut.