Tendrils of Corruption

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Casual Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis (DDR) Common
Commander 2014 (C14) Common
Duel Decks: Garruk vs. Liliana (DDD) Common
Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition (DDE) Common
2010 Core Set (M10) Common
Time Spiral (TSP) Common

Combos Browse all

Tendrils of Corruption

Instant

Tendrils of Corruption deals X damage to target creature and you gain X life, where X is the number of Swamps you control.

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Tendrils of Corruption Discussion

DemonDragonJ on Guilds of Ravnica: Spoilers and ...

1 week ago

saj0219, the game has been around for twenty-five years, so why now are WotC messing with something that is not broken? I have no problem with black dealing damage to creatures (such as through Tendrils of Corruption), because creatures cannot lose life, but, if it is affecting only a player, it should always be life loss.

Also, after Dominaria, WotC printed black cards in Battlebond and Core Set 2019 that caused life loss, so I am hoping that black cards that deal damage shall be only an occasional thing.

I also must say that I am slightly disappointed with the new Aurelia; I understand that she needs to feel like the same character who was seen in the Return to Ravnica block, but the Boros guild (and red/white in general) really needs to have an identity beyond combat.

On a more positive note, another reprint of Skyknight Legionnaire, again with new artwork, is nice, because I now can have four copies of it in my red/white deck with three different images. Even better is Swiftblade Vindicator, which shall definitely be a replacement for Boros Swiftblade; it may have lower toughness, but, in exchange for that, and at the exact same mana cost, it has vigilance and trample, which shall make it a deadly force when enchanted with Scourge of the Nobilis or with a Balefire Liege on the battlefield. Being a rare means that it will likely be expensive to purchase as a single, but I doubt that it will be prohibitively expensive.

Also, why does the text on book devourer say "you may discard all the cards in your hand" rather than "you may discard your hand?" Has not WotC been making certain phrases shorter (i.e., "die" or "exile")?

Even further, I just noticed that, thus far, the Dimir guild has only a single counterspell, and it is mono-blue, so they currently have no black/blue counterpsell, which seems to be ridiculous, to me, considering that the Izzet has a red/blue counterspell in Ionize, and this would have been a great opportunity for the Dimir to have a similar card, such as a reprint of Undermine or Countersquall (also, it may not be a counterspell, but a reprint of Recoil would have been very nice, as well).

Dracoson on Best Thoughtsieze variant for mono-B?

1 month ago

It's meta dependent of course, but I've always favored 4x Wrench Mind Main Deck (and 4x Chittering Rats) with 4x Duress Sideboard. As Boza says mono black rarely has a problem with creatures. That diminishes the need for something like Divest. I also run Pestilence and Tendrils of Corruption, so I want to keep making my land drops later in the game, or else I would probably run 2x Raven's Crime

Lemtard on The Evil That Men Do

1 month ago

ektoe253,Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Tendrils of Corruption is a possibility for a finisher, I mainly haven't put it in yet because I'm just trying different stuff like using shadow creatures and a heavy control shell to finish off my opponents.

xyr0s on Help me fine tune this ...

3 months ago

Luminarch Ascension could also go in this deck.

Lifegain in black... Disciple of Bolas and Tendrils of Corruption, perhaps?

TheRedGoat on Black Shades

3 months ago

I like the idea of this for a casual build, but you really should change the name to "Cheap Sunglasses". If you're into adding flavorful cards, then you might try out Tendrils of Corruption, Corrupt, and Bubbling Muck. I would personally treat Drana as the place to drop for these, so that your "removal" is not tied to a permanent that can be disrupted in so many ways. Similarly, I would take away some instances of Pestilence since your life gain is so minimal really.

DemonDragonJ on Will WotC Keep Life Loss ...

3 months ago

In Dominaria, there were a number of black cards that dealt damage to players, rather than causing those players to lose life, as has been traditional for black. Black has, in fact, dealt damage in the past, but always when draining life, as seen on cards such as Corrupt or Tendrils of Corruption.

Mark Rosewater has commented on this matter on his Tumblr account, saying that WotC is testing the idea of black dealing damage instead of causing life loss, but I very much hope that black retains life loss, as that is an essential aspect of black and helps to make it distinct from red, so removing that aspect would be bleeding the colors into each other. Not only that, it is pure laziness by WotC to think that players cannot handle the difference between the two effects.

Also, there are important reason both in terms of flavor and mechanics for maintaining life loss in black: first, from a flavor perspective, being punched in the face or struck with a bolt of lightning is very different from blood slowly draining from one’s body; second, from a mechanical perspective, effects such as Furnace of Rath will multiply damage from effects such as Lightning Bolt, but not life loss from effects such as Soul Feast, and a circle of protection will prevent the damage from a lightning bolt but not the life loss from soul feast.

Thankfully, black cards in Battlebond are causing life loss rather than damage, so I hope that WotC realizes that black should keep that essential aspect of its identity. What does everyone else say about this? Do you hope that WotC keeps life loss in black?

xyr0s on A Dark and Stormy Night

6 months ago

Mmmm.... why play Unclaimed Territory in a monocolored deck with different creature types?

In the pile of removal, you could add a couple of Mutilate instead of a Vraska's Contempt and Grasp of Darkness. A bit more Liliana of the Dark Realms, and you'll hit your land drops every turn.

Black Knight seems random. Could be Geralf's Messenger (for resilience to removal), could be Gatekeeper of Malakir (for removal with legs), could be Vampire Nighthawk (for lifegain and deterring attackers)... or something else.

Do you have a plan for flipping Chalice of Life  Flip? Or is it just there to give you 1 life every turn? This might seem a bit abstract, but the lifegain from Duress could be a good bit better than either of the lifegain cards you're using, simply because it might remove a card from your opponents hand, that will cost you a lot more life than the lifegainers will give in any game where they don't come down right away. Or you could play Tendrils of Corruption in place of some of your removal, for even more swamps-matter, removal, and lifegain (in one bundle).

RingweMakil on Damned Devotion

7 months ago

APPLE01DOJ - I don't know. Yesterday, I could have written you an essay; today, I'm facing down Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I know nothing until further testing. I have rushed to bring back two copies of Liliana of the Veil to the list since the unbans, a card I had eschewed very quickly in my original construction of the deck, since it hardly favours the player drawing an extra card a turn; however, with the advent of Bloodbraid Elf and Jace TMS, opponents are now likely to be able to keep up with the CA of Phyrexian Arena, and as such, Liliana of the Veil is likely to be good again (even if the format is being overrun by lots of Bloodghast, Hollow One, and Faithless Looting).

However, I can offer a breakdown of how the creatures function in non-blue matchups:

a. Pack Rat:

The deck started with the set of Pack Rat. But that all in-strategy was soon found to be suboptimal - drawing multiple Pack Rats was unnecessary and rarely served any purpose; not to mention the speed of Modern means turn 2 Pack Rat is often too slow. As sweepers, Detention Sphere, and Maelstrom Pulse became common, and as Hollow One and Death's Shadow and Tasigur, the Golden Fang started to surface, Pack Rat lost some of its luster.

The natural question, then, if Pack Rat is slow and vulnerable, why play him at all? The answer: Pack Rat is ten cards in one card. Backed up with any kind of disruption and removal, he takes over the board and ends the game, quickly and unstoppably. Two activations are more than enough to put away games, and trading spot removal for Rats is a losing proposition. So in this list, he's gone from being a windmill early slam, to a lategame engine that turns dead land drops and discard spells into an army of creatures. Barring Path to Exile before a single activation is possible, Liliana, the Last Hope can always buy him back - one copy of the Rat, therefore, is ample.

Fringe case: Pack Rat allows for arbitrarily large amounts of devotion for Gray Merchant of Asphodel in boardstalls/against Lantern.

b. Desecration Demon

I've covered the virtues of this card in a post above - essentially, he's my Tarmogoyf, but he flies. Whether he functions as The Abyss or as a 6/6 unblockable, he ends games very quickly, and many a game against combo/Tron has been put away by disruption into disruption into Demon. Of the quick clocks available to black, he's one of the better ones. I believe the added utility to be well worth the extra two mana over Goyf (besides, far be it from me to argue against 6 6 fliers for four - speaking of which, Demon is almost always a strictly superior option to Abyssal Persecutor, since Persecutor requiring us to find an additional kill spell for our own demon while Phyrexian Arena ticks down/the burn opponent is topdecking is not a good feeling).

c. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

I cannot praise this card enough in any mono black midrange list. He exiles creatures, he gains life consistently, and he makes every removal spell in our deck a 2 for 1. Traditionally, efficient mono black removal has been weak to graveyard recursion such as Flamewake Phoenix, Bloodghast, Geralf's Messenger, Kitchen Finks, and so forth, since all these cards must be killed more than once, at no additional expense to the opponent. Thoughtseize and Phyrexian Arena is a painful combination, especially in a world of Lightning Bolt and Kolaghan's Command. Kalitas solves all of these issues beautifully, and with any removal spell stalls the board incredibly easily and well.

d. Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

Okay, have you seen the art? If Drana were real, she'd totally be my Valentine.

Jokes aside, one of the issues I was frequently running into with the deck was the amount of time it took me to close out once I had stabilised. While all of my creature threats (Gray Merchant of Asphodel is basically a Corrupt, he doesn't count) end the game quite quickly, I just wasn't drawing them fast enough - my opponent would get the opportunity to find that Cryptic Command or Sphinx's Revelation, or get those last 2 Boros Charm. There is a delicate balance between disruption and pressure that must be maintained in all decks that are not pure control, and maintaining that balance required me to find another fast game-ending threat.

I considered running the fourth Desecration Demon, but the idea of another big dumb beater was not appealing. I wanted a powerful threat with intrinsic value attached to its kit, that could help deal with the board even when I was not drawing multiple cards a turn, and hopefully one that was either resilient, or dodged some of the common removal in the format (Lightning Bolt, Abrupt Decay, Fatal Push - although I was open to playing four drops, since consistently having revolt to deal with a whole myriad of four drop threats is difficult). While black has plenty of value three drops, none of them offered this game ending power, or were too easily killed - Nightveil Specter and Lifebane Zombie, for instance, offer great card advantage in specific situations, but don't really pack the same punch as something like a Desecration Demon or Pack Rat army.

Finally, I settled on Drana. There are a lot of powerful five drops in black with value built in (Bloodgift Demon, for instance), but Drana does something none of the others do - she kills things, turn after turn, while being able to attack in the air for huge chunks. In a meta with Lingering Souls, Dark Confidant and Young Pyromancer, Drana seemed like an elegant solution, and so far, she has far exceeded my expectations. I do not think I should consider running multiples of her, since she is quite expensive and can be killed for no value the turn she comes into play, but untapping with her can feel a bit like untapping after a Supreme Verdict to an empty board.

e. Gray Merchant of Asphodel

No Geralf's Messenger, no Phyrexian Obliterator; only 2 Gray Merchant. I do not believe the all in devotion plan is likely to ever become Modern competitive, for sheer want of interactive capability and card advantage - if you are playing a midrange list in Modern, you need lots of early interaction in the form of hand disruption and removal, a proactive plan to end the game with efficient threats, and ways to pull ahead on cards after both players have been stripped down to limited resources. Gray Merchant is an extremely powerful card, as good as or better than Siege Rhino if it drains for upwards of five; it swings races, it ends games, it doesn't care about board stalls, and for all intents and purposes is basically a Modern legal Tendrils of Corruption (not my quote - blame LSV. Then again, that man also calls Disciple of Phenax Mind Twist, so take these statements with several grains of salt).

But despite his inherent power level, Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a very high variance card, and can sometimes be Highway Robber. Removal in Modern is aplenty, and curving out into enough devotion for Gray Merchant to be good is not a reliable plan. Even when the traditional mono black lists do manage to implement their plan - Geralf's Messenger into Gray Merchant, for instance, after having gotten two or more of their creatures removed, despite being an overall drain for seven to nine, just lacks the power/speed to push through opposing Tarmogoyf, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Grim Flayer, Death's Shadow - not to mention blue decks with their Cryptic Command and board sweepers and Sphinx's Revelation.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel in my list is therefore a card I'll often be discarding to the various discard outlets in the early game; using either the second copy or Liliana, the Last Hope's minus two to drain the opponent out if necessary later on. His being a zombie means he can be sacrificed to Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet either to simply grow the great vampire, or to be recursed with Liliana, as the situation calls.

I do not think running more than two of the card is likely to be feasible for Modern given the uncertainty of whether Merchant will be Corrupt or Highway Robber, and also given Merchant's relatively high mana cost; while it is possible that one is the correct number (and indeed, often in post board games, I do go down to one or no Merchant) at least in game 1, the proactive plan of discard, kill, kill, flier, smack, Merchant win is a very strong one. Having access to the second copy in case the first gets exiled and therefore cannot be returned with a future Liliana is also quite relevant against decks with Path to Exile and Pyxis of Pandemonium.

Despite Merchant's variance, I believe his power level and his ability to end the game on the spot through cards like Ensnaring Bridge and Witchbane Orb is not to be undervalued. In a deck with Phyrexian Arena and Ob Nixilis Reignited, every life point represents an extra card; while Highway Robber may be terrible, a five mana 2 4 that draws 4 cards on etb and drains the opponent for four is an absolutely phenomenal Magic card.

I would also like to point out the maindeck inclusion of incidental lifegain like Collective Brutality and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in conjunction with Gary makes most burn and aggro matchups extremely favourable.

While the creature suite has been carefully picked, and is constantly being chosen and rechosen and tweaked, the engine that enables this deck is Phyrexian Arena. Any interactive deck with reactive spells always runs the risk of its reactive measures not lining up well against the threats being deployed on the other side; Arena churning through the deck presents the critical mass of answers and threats to overwhelm the opponent, ensures land drops are made, and essentially in every regard dots the deck's i's and crosses its t's. With discard outlets like Collective Brutality and Liliana of the Veil to trade potentially dead cards for relevant spells early on, irksome draws with too many high cmc cards can still function smoothly and well.

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