Tendrils of Corruption – Time Spiral
Date Reviewed: April 8, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Tendrils of Corruption is one of the simplest expressions of black’s “Swamps matter” subtheme. We haven’t seen that quite as much in recent sets, as it doesn’t always play so well in multicolor sets, and can also discourage people from playing cards they like together just in general, but it does make for some very powerful plays at times. In Time Spiral Standard, Tendrils was a staple in control decks and aggro decks basically had to avoid getting hit by it at all costs – in the first half of that season, some went so far as to jam Greater Gargadon into Rakdos decks and thus risk losing 10 life to Dark Confidant, just to have a countermeasure. It’s gone on to be a solid card in casual Magic, though it does sometimes warp the manabase more than some decks will prefer.
A bit of column A, a bit of column B. Tendrils of Corruption refers to two separate cards: Corrupt in terms of mechanics, and Tendrils of Agony in its mana cost and aesthetic. While being limited to creatures makes Tendrils of Corruption a mediocre finisher, it is an excellent kill spell to finish off creatures, thanks to it being an instant and black decks tending to be very black. Four damage on turn four to a creature is pretty solid, and this keeps scaling well into the late game. This isn’t a card for Constructed anymore, but it’ll pull its weight as premium removal in more friendly formats.
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