Tree of Perdition – Eldritch Moon
Date Reviewed: October 7, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Tree of Perdition reads like an Un-set card, and has a concept that could indeed be a joke card, were its art and flavor text not so heavy. A 13-toughness defender for four mana is not a joke for a lot of decks, though, and in the right kind of format, it could be effective at stopping aggro. That format hasn’t come around yet in constructed since its release, but it’s surprisingly good in Commander. It punishes any decks that were hoping to take advantage of the 40-life buffer, and does a lot more than that if you combine it with things like Wound Reflection (its effect counts as loss of life if the opponent’s previous life total was higher). And that’s even before taking into account how easily it foils anybody who thinks it’s funny to show off how many obscure, theoretical, effectively-meaningless numbers they know (I’m thinking of the kind of combo that involves triggering a Soul Warden a number of times equal to Graham’s number).
A dark mirror of Tree of Redemption from Innistrad, Tree of Perdition has an obvious thing it paired well with: Triskaidekaphobia, which was fortunately in the same block as it. Meme kills aside, Tree of Perdition is a pretty interesting way to threaten opponents and counteract boundless life gain, pulling their life total down to a manageable sum and making an absolute unit of a plant. It’s not particularly good in Constructed: life gain is not a particularly strong strategy that needs to be thwarted (and 13 is only 7 below starting life totals; you can do better than 7 effective damage for 4 mana and a turn of waiting), and Triskaidekaphobia is not a good win condition there. However, it does have enough it can do if you believe yourself and are in a play group that allows for such belief to pay off, and it’s a fun and flavorful tool to create a little chaos.
Limited: 3.25 (it’s good outside its kill combo, but vicious with it)
Commander: 3.75 (pulling someone from 40 life to 13 life is quite a swing)
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