Lifelink is a keyword ability introduced in Future Sight. The Lifelink keyword, fear, and the vigilance keyword are the only keywords with a card of the exact name. Flying comes close, with the card called Flight.
- The ability causes life gain whenever a permanent with lifelink deals any damage, not just combat damage.
- The life is gained as a state-based effect.
- All older cards with the ability "Whenever this permanent deals damage, you gain that much life." that received errata to change that ability to "lifelink" have reverted to their original wording with the exception of Loxodon Warhammer, which was been printed with the word "lifelink" in 10th Edition and two subsequent reprintings.
- Note that the card Spirit Link does not grant the creature it enchants lifelink. The lifelink ability has the creature's controller gain life. Spirit Link has Spirit Link's controller gain life. The same is true for Vampiric Link.
The latest reminder text for Lifelink reads "Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life."