So, funny story about Aphotic Drain…
I was trying to build a Klaxon deck (because holy crap, that card is good-) and I was looking for sac outlets for my Unsevens, Dioltas’, and Klaxons- Consuming Rebirth was the first choice for nakedly obvious reasons- healing Klaxons and and Dioltas is pretty big game. Second was Darkfire Sacrifice, (a card which I’m now thoroughly convinced is broken beyond recourse- so much so that I’ve found myself calling it Ashnod’s Altar, a card many playgroups ask people very politely not to play in even powered EDH groups.)- and a singleton copy of Aphotic Drain- to cheat the 3-of rule.
So, what happens is that the deck works- but Aphotic Drain is simply too fair of a card to play. Sacrifice is just such a bonkers sac outlet, that Drain felt cumbersome and foolish- even on a previously developed Unseven, with no Sacs in hand, the Klaxon in hand and another great play for the turn. If I want lifegain, Spectral Blade does the trick, Kelaino does the trick, Pulse does the trick. If I want a sac outlet, Sacrifice does the trick, inefficient trades do the trick. If I want both, I’d just rather play two cards or something like Shadowdancer. In a fairer game, Drain would be an excellent tempo oriented sac outlet- but right now we’re playing in a world of super unfair, high tempo, mana cheating explosive bonkers land.