[Casual] Tendrils of Agony on a Budget

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While building my Ooze deck I stumbled upon Tendrils of Agony and this cart gave me an idea for a deck.


I don't want to spend to much money in this deck, since I'm building the Ooze deck, so i'm using peaty swamps instead of Lotus cards.


The deck Would work like this:


Mana accelerators to improve the deck speed: Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Culling the Weak, Lotus Bloom


Creatures to count as spells casted and to increase the number of carts in the graveyard, without paying any mana: Blood Pet, Basal Thrull, Soldevi Adnate.

Control magic to know if it's safe to finish the game and to remove any dangerous spell: Duress

Draw spells to get more cards, to try to finish the game in a single turn, it will be powered up by the cards in the graveyard and by my own life : Skeletal Scrying

The finisher of this deck, if needed the finishing blow can be divided, to gain more life needed by the Skeletal Scrying.

I know that there are better alternatives, but for a less expendable deck this is what I came up with:

Lands ( 20 ):
12 x Swamp
4 x Peat Bog
4 x Ebon Stronghold


Instants ( 16 ):
4 x Dark Ritual
4 x Cabal Ritual
4 x Culling the Weak
4 x Skeletal Scrying


Creatures ( 12 ):
4 x Blood Pet
4 x Basal Thrull
4 x Soldevi Adnate


Sorceries ( 8 ):
4 x Duress
4 x Tendrils of Agony


Artifacts ( 4 ):
4 x Lotus Bloom

Any comment would be appreciated.
Doesn't it basically require you to draw a Skeletal Scrying to win? Otherwise you probably can't get a high enough Storm count.
Doesn't it basically require you to draw a Skeletal Scrying to win? Otherwise you probably can't get a high enough Storm count.



Yes, that's a key card ... but you made me realise that it's low numbers can be an issue ... I could take out Lotus Bloom, since it would be a dead draw after exiling one of them in play, to put 4 Beseech the Queen:

Lands ( 20 ):

12 x Swamp
4 x Peat Bog
4 x Ebon Stronghold


Instants ( 16 ):
4 x Dark Ritual
4 x Cabal Ritual
4 x Culling the Weak
4 x Skeletal Scrying


Creatures ( 12 ):
4 x Blood Pet
4 x Basal Thrull
4 x Soldevi Adnate


Sorceries ( 12 ):
4 x Duress
4 x Tendrils of Agony
4 x Beseech the Queen

I'd go Plunge into Darkness over Beseech the Queen. There's Tainted Pact to, but that's super risky.
I'd go Plunge into Darkness over Beseech the Queen. There's Tainted Pact to, but that's super risky.



The problem of both of them is that they remove cards from the game, cards that may be needed for the storm count.

What if I added Night's Whisper?

I'd try it with Infernal Contract.
I'd try it with Infernal Contract.




The problem is that I need life points to power up Skeletal Scrying .. loosing half of them to get it doesn't seem very efficient.


What about using Credit Voucher instead?


I was thinking about using Skullclamp, the problem is that would require me to add more creatures.





Removing cards from the game isn't really a problem, you don't need to resolve a whole deck of spells, just 10. Infernal Contract is probably a really good idea actually, I was trying to find the card that did something like that on magiccards.info, but I must have worded it wrong.
I think I would be able to replace 4 Swaps by 4 Lotus Petal.

Are athera any alternative to Infernal Contract?

Tainted Pact seems a bit better that it ... since losing half my life with a single play to get 4 cards doesn't seem worth it ... especially if I need the life points to use  Skeletal Scrying.
Ad Nauseam allows you to draw enough ammo to win with.

Null Profusion can also work.

What if I splashed some blue to use Lim-Dul's Vault?


I could build the deck like this:


Lands ( 16 ):
4 x Ancient Spring
4 x Sulfur Vent
4 x Peat Bog
4 x Ebon Stronghold

Artifacts (4 ):
4 x Lotus Petal


Instants ( 16 ):
4 x Dark Ritual
4 x Cabal Ritual
4 x Culling the Weak
4 x Skeletal Scrying
4 x Lim-Dul's Vault


Creatures ( 12 ):
4 x Blood Pet
4 x Basal Thrull
4 x Soldevi Adnate


Sorceries ( 12 ):
4 x Duress
4 x Tendrils of Agony

Are you going for a turn 3 win?  With all of the ramp, and the fact that the average CMC of this deck is around 1.1, ad nauseam would probably work.  Also, if you are going for a turn 3 win, isn't Basal Thrull useless unless you happen to cast it by turn 2?  Maybe replace it with cathodion.
Just play tested this and it works, but needs some tweaking -- I'm having to mulligan down to 5 and 4 in some cases.



The main problem is not having a land in the opening hand.  Generating enough mana to go off on turn three is easy.  I added 2x diabolic tutor to make sure you can find ad nauseam or tendrils of agony.  I removed 2x skeletal scrying because there are not consistently enough cards in the graveyard to use it. Dropping down to 3x tendrils just to add another swamp would probably be worth it.
Ad nauseam isn't as good with so many 3/4+ cmc spells. You'd probably be better with Null Profusion, or even Necropotence to draw into the win.
I guess it's personal preference, but I would choose Ad Nauseam because it allows for
T1 => ebon stronhold/peat bog
T2 => ebon stronhold/peat bog
T3 => swam --> ad nauseam --> draw for combo
which happens consistently since you've got a playset each of ebon stronghold/peat bog. 

Null Profusion requires you to use a ramp spell, which you really want to keep open for storm.  Also, if you draw into land, it can stall out.  The trade-off is that Ad Nauseam leaves you vulnerable to burn and aggressive decks can severely limit your ability to draw.  The CMC=4 spells are only a factor if you draw into multiple Ad Nauseam's.  Once you draw into Tendrils or Diabolic Tutor, your basically done drawing.

Now if you go with necropotence, you might as well include demonic tutor, vampiric tutor, etc. which is a completely different category of deck.
which happens consistently since you've got a playset each of ebon stronghold/peat bog.



But if he's running 3 more AN, 2 Diabolics, 4 Priests, 4 Cathodians, 4 Tendrils and so on he kills himself before drawing into the necessary 9-storm count.

If you're running AN, you want very few highcost stuff.
Assuming that you don't cast anything on turns 1 and 2, storming 9 means you need to draw ~4 cards.  9 cards total - three lands = six cards in hand by turn 3.  If one is Ad Nauseam, you cast it, draw 4.  Your up to 9, Assuming one is Tendrils/Diaboic Tutor, you empty your hand and cast Tendrils for game. 

The deck's avg CMC = 1.8.  that means you're losing on average 8 life for Ad Nauseam (10 if you muligan once or have one extra land, 12 twice, etc.).  The numbers per card may need to be tweaked, but the deck works as is.

After analysing the responses to this deck, I did some changes to make it better.


I made a mistake relating to the creatures, I forgot about summoning sickness ... so I'm puting in 0 cost artifact creatures (Ornithopter, Memnite) instead of the tap to sacrifice creatures, this will make the use of Ad Nauseam more efficient and greatly improves the use of Culling the Weak.



So, what if the deck was like this:


Lands ( 16 ):
8 x Swamp
4 x Peat Bog
4 x Ebon Stronghold


Artifacts (4 ):
4 x Lotus Petal

Instants ( 16 ):
4 x Dark Ritual
4 x Cabal Ritual
4 x Culling the Weak
4 x Night's Whisper
4 x Ad Nauseam


Creatures ( 12 ):
4 x Blood Pet
4 x Memnite
4 x Ornithopter


Sorceries ( 12 ):
4 x Duress
4 x Tendrils of Agony

Mana costs:
0 CMC: 28 cards - 47.7%
1 CMC: 16 cards - 27.7%
2 CMC: 8 cards - 13.3%
3 CMC: 0 cards - 0%
4 CMC: 4 cards - 6.7%
5 CMC: 4 cards - 6.7%



Or I could use Lim-Dul's Vault, since it's a cheap and efficient way to dig deep into the library, to search for any missing key card and I could even prepae the next 4 cards and I would only pay 1 life for each 5 unwanted cards. Since Lim-Dul's Vault it's an instant, I can play it before my draw phase, to count to the storm count and to enable me to draw any card I would need. The drawback of this card is the need to splash some blue, but with Ancient SpringSulfur Vent and Lotus Petal, I think it would be easy o get the needed blue mana without having problems with the production of black mana.

Lands ( 16 ):
4 x Ancient Spring
4 x Sulfur Vent
4 x Peat Bog
4 x Ebon Stronghold

Artifacts (4 ):
4 x Lotus Petal

Instants ( 16 ):
4 x Dark Ritual
4 x Cabal Ritual
4 x Culling the Weak
4 x Lim-Dul's Vault
4 x Ad Nauseam

Creatures ( 12 ):
4 x Blood Pet
4 x Memnite
4 x Ornithopter

Sorceries ( 12 ):
4 x Duress
4 x Tendrils of Agony
 

Mana costs:
0 CMC: 28 cards - 47.7%
1 CMC: 16 cards - 27.7%
2 CMC: 8 cards - 13.3%
3 CMC: 0 cards - 0%
4 CMC: 4 cards - 6.7%
5 CMC: 4 cards - 6.7%

So, what do you guys think? Would one of this decks work properly? What deck would work better?
Are you open to splashing :W:?

If so, then Ad Nauseam works well with Angel's Grace.

Angel's Grace on it's own also allows you to recover against surprise burn spells which otherwise put a flaw in your plan.

White also gives cheaper options for sweeping until you can alpha strike, though on a budget, you're left with 'come into play tapped' lands, bounce lands, or things like Kabira Crossroads and so forth.

Street Wraith and Serum Powder can also help mulligan into a quick win.
Look up PSI, or "Pact Spanish Inquisition" on the net.
It's a legacy style turn1 kill deck featuring Tendrils, Empty the Warrens and Goblin Charbelcher as possible win-con's.
It's the best use of Tendrils I've seen....

Honestly, unless you're winning by turn 5 reliably, I see no reason to build a deck around any storm card like Tendrils.

You really need cards like Culling the Weak with Ritual's to get going, maybe stuff like Manamorphose or Wild Cantor if you're gonna splash another colour.
DRAW is just as important as mana, get as much draw cards in there as possible, I LOVE Infernal Contract for decks that wanna accelerate.
Take a good look at Ill-Gotten Gains aswell.    

Are you open to splashing :W:?

If so, then Ad Nauseam works well with Angel's Grace.


Angel's Grace on it's own also allows you to recover against surprise burn spells which otherwise put a flaw in your plan.


White also gives cheaper options for sweeping until you can alpha strike, though on a budget, you're left with 'come into play tapped' lands, bounce lands, or things like Kabira Crossroads and so forth.


Street Wraith and Serum Powder can also help mulligan into a quick win.



I don't want to splash to many colors, I just added blue since Lim-Dul's Vault seems to be worth any complications added by additional splashed colors.


What cards would you add, if I wanted to spend more money with this deck?


Look up PSI, or "Pact Spanish Inquisition" on the net.
It's a legacy style turn1 kill deck featuring Tendrils, Empty the Warrens and Goblin Charbelcher as possible win-con's.
It's the best use of Tendrils I've seen....

Honestly, unless you're winning by turn 5 reliably, I see no reason to build a deck around any storm card like Tendrils.


You really need cards like Culling the Weak with Ritual's to get going, maybe stuff like Manamorphose or Wild Cantor if you're gonna splash another colour.
DRAW is just as important as mana, get as much draw cards in there as possible, I LOVE Infernal Contract for decks that wanna accelerate.
Take a good look at Ill-Gotten Gains aswell.



I don't want to splash many colors, I would prefer to play only black, but I decided to splash blue to use Lim-Dul's Vault, since this card enable sme to scry my entire library for +/- 10 life points, on turn 3.


I'm tempted to use Infernal Contract, it can be useful if I'm playing against a aggro or burn deck and lose to much life points before starting the storm to win the game, but if I don't, it can break the other draw cards, by draining to much life to get only 4 cards.



The card I would love to add is Yawgmoth's Will, but the problem is that this cards is expensive to buy.