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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

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 Tree of Perdition
- Eldritch Moon

Reviewed July 7, 2016

Constructed: 2.75
Casual: 4.25
Limited: 2.88
Multiplayer: 4.00
Commander [EDH]: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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David Fanany

Player since 1995

Tree of Perdition
Just the other day, I was having a conversation about how Shadows over Innistrad has been more of a true Lovecraftian block - the dark secrets, the horrifying cults, the aberrant worship - than Battle for Zendikar. Then Wizards of the Coast revealed a bunch of cards from Innistrad viewed through the lens of Rise of the Eldrazi. The effect is not uninteresting, though, and as an example of such design, Tree of Perdition is a curious deckbuilding puzzle to solve. It has an obvious use against decks with lots of life-gaining effects: one activation can undo a lot of investment on the part of a Soul Sisters-style deck, although 13 is a high enough number that if you can't kill them in a turn or two, they can easily rebuild. There is, of course, the recent card Triskaidekaphobia, although since triskaidekaphobia is a very real thing, that might be getting close to too many instances of the number in a single deck!
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 4/5
EDH/Commander: 4/5
James H. Tree of Perdition (7/7)

Back in the original Innistrad, we saw Tree of Redemption, a 0/13 Defender that could trade your life total with the tree's toughness. Now we get its darker counterpart, a 0/13 Defender that can trade your opponent's life total with its toughness. This is coming in the same environment as Triskaidekaphobia, which kills your opponent (or you) if they start your turn at exactly 13 life. Clearly, this is not coincidental.

Cute tricks aside, the tree seems more geared for casual play. The Triskaidekaphobia/Tree kill combo might do some damage and win games, but it's fairly slow as far as kill combos go, and the tree is pretty vulnerable to non-red removal. The real value here is keeping life gain decks in check and leveling the playing field; we all know the friend whose deck pushes their life total to absurd values. Resetting it to thirteen (and getting a massive body in the process) is not a bad thing to have, especially in Commander (where life totals start at 40).

One note about the Tree (as well as its greener counterpart): the exchange is permanent. So if you use this on an opponent with 40 life, they're now set at 13 life, and the Tree becomes an 0/40 body until you use its ability again.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 2.75
Multiplayer: 4
Commander: 4

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