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Jan 06 2017 1:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   Table of Contents 

  1. 2016: The State of the Players
  2. 2016: The State of the Tribes
  3. The Human Problem?
  4. New year, new rules...
  5. Announcement Time!
  6. What's Next

Check the full archive for the "Diaries of the Apocalypse" series


2016: THE STATE OF THE PLAYERS

 Happy New Tribal Year! Last Saturday was New Year's Eve so we didn't have a Tribal Apocalypse event, but there's much to discuss about the new season that starts tomorrow, January 7. First of all, let's review once again the 16 players who qualified to compete in the Tribal Apocalypse 2016 Invitational, to be held January 21, and how they fared compared to the previous year.

  1. mihahitlor, 292 pts. IMPROVED! In 2015 he was second with 258 pts. A confirmation for one of the all-time greatest.
  2. Socanelas, 203 pts. VASTLY IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 25th with 46 pts. A great improvement for one of the new sheriffs in town, capable of winning three events in a row (weeks 307, 308 and 309, all different tribes).
  3. Bazaar of Baghdad, 200 pts. IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 10th with 147 pts. BOB proves himself to be a very influential player.
  4. AJ_Impy, 190 pts. STEADY. In 2015 he was 4th with 193 pts. Seasons pass, AJ never fades.
  5. Golden_Lin, 178 pts. STEADY. In 2015 he was 5th with 187 pts. One of our main players from the Eastern hemisphere, never fails to deliver.
  6. Yokai_, 169 pts. IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 14th with 99 pts. and finalist in last year's Invitational. Definitely a player who's going places.
  7. ML_Berlin, 156 pts. DECREASED! In 2015 he was 3th with 257 pts. Running Chainsaw Massacre might have taken its toll.
  8. Generalissimo, 155 pts. IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 13th with 122 pts. Master breeder of the thousand tribes, but also a great player all around.
  9. Robin88, 144 pts. DECREASED! In 2015 he was 6th with 174 pts.
  10. Deonmag, 125 pts. IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 15th with 98 pts.
  11. Gq1rf7, 104 pts. DECREASED! In 2015 he was 8th with 172 pts.
  12. TLR, 102 pts. NEW ENTRY!
  13. Kasparadi, 98 pts. VASTLY IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 35th with 27 pts.
  14. BrunoDogma, 96 pts. VASTLY IMPROVED! In 2015 he was 63rd with 6 pts.
  15. MisterMojoRising, 82 pts. DECREASED! In 2015 he was 9th with 154 pts.
  16. AEFabricio, 74 pts. NEW ENTRY!

 So, two players who joined Tribal Apocalypse this year ended up in the seasonal Top 16, while other three greatly jumped ahead, including seasonal runner-up Socanelas. Congrats!

 But what about those from last year's Top 16 who didn't feature in this year's list? (Ignoring those who just got a life ban from the event).

  • Tribal Apocalypse legend romellos, #1 Player in 2014, was 7th in 2015 but only 22nd last year.
  • Lordpipas was 11th in 2015, didn't feature last year.
  • Yours truly was 12th in 2015, only 31st last year.
  • JogandoPelado was 16th in 2015, didn't feature last year.

 Of course, most of these decrements are due to players joining Tribal Apocalypse events a lot less, if at all. Changes of job, interests, or economical concerns might have influenced it. It's only natural, if sad, to see people leave the event, when not the game altogether, but I certainly hope to see everybody back this year.


2016: THE STATE OF THE TRIBES

 Let's examine the accomplishments of the tribes now. First by looking at those who won an event in 2016.

  1. Human, 17 events won
  2. Elf, 7 events won
  3. Eldrazi, 4 events won
  4. Archon, 3 events won
  5. Plant, 3 events won
  6. Kor, 2 events won
  7. Shaman, 2 events won
  8. Vampire, 2 events won
  9. Ally, 1 event won
  10. Angel, 1 event won
  11. Cleric, 1 event won
  12. Construct, 1 event won
  13. Fish, 1 event won
  14. Goblin, 1 event won
  15. Naga, 1 event won
  16. Praetor, 1 event won
  17. Skeleton, 1 event won
  18. Wizard, 1 event won
  19. Wurm, 1 event won

 You can see how one specific tribe won exactly one third of the 2016 events (17 out of 51, not counting the Invitational). But we'll talk about it below. Among the classic tribes, big loser this year was Goblin, hindered by having a lot of key members quickly banned in Pure events. But to get a better picture, let's first add the undefeated results that didn't turn into a win.

  1. Human, 19 undefeated results
  2. Elf, 8 undefeated results
  3. Eldrazi, 5 undefeated results
  4. Kor, 4 undefeated results
  5. Shaman, 4 undefeated results
  6. Archon, 3 undefeated results
  7. Goblin, 3 undefeated results
  8. Plant, 3 undefeated results
  9. Warrior, 3 undefeated results
  10. Ally, 2 undefeated results
  11. Construct, 2 undefeated results
  12. Vampire, 2 undefeated results
  13. Angel, 1 undefeated result
  14. Assassin, 1 undefeated result
  15. Berserker, 1 undefeated result
  16. Cat, 1 undefeated result
  17. Cleric, 1 undefeated result
  18. Demon, 1 undefeated result
  19. Fish, 1 undefeated result
  20. Gargoyle, 1 undefeated result
  21. Insect, 1 undefeated result
  22. Lizard, 1 undefeated result
  23. Naga, 1 undefeated result
  24. Praetor, 1 undefeated result
  25. Skeleton, 1 undefeated result
  26. Soldier, 1 undefeated result
  27. Vedalken, 1 undefeated result
  28. Wall, 1 undefeated result
  29. Wizard, 1 undefeated result
  30. Wurm, 1 undefeated result
  31. Zombie, 1 undefeated result

 So, in the end, 31 different tribes went undefeated, which doesn't seem that bad as far as variety goes. Of course, the monthly Underdog and Pure events helped (which is the reason why we have them to begin with). Let's look at the list for Regular event winners only. It's short enough.

  1. Human, 12 Regular events won
  2. Elf, 4 Regular events won
  3. Eldrazi, 3 Regular events won
  4. Cleric, 1 Regular event won
  5. Construct, 1 Regular event won
  6. Goblin, 1 Regular event won
  7. Shaman, 1 Regular event won
  8. Wizard, 1 Regular event won

 So, Human also won half of the 24 regular events of the year. This latter list also emphasizes how Goblin is not that hot with Spikes anymore, even in events where they have their full arsenal of tricks available. Another consideration is the (literal) rise of Eldrazi, which greatly benefited from the latest Zendikar visit.


THE HUMAN PROBLEM?

  

 In light of the 2016 results, I think we should take a step back and see if the current Human dominance has gone too far, and whether that's okay or something must be done about it. First of all, let's consider this is indeed a recent development. Sure, Human is the tribe that won the greatest number of events in Tribal Apocalypse's six seasons of the Blippian Era. It won a whopping 46 events, twice the number of the second runner-up, Goblin. But those are 46 events out of six entire seasons, which means 46 out of 307 (as the first season ran 52 events). As we've seen, last year they won one third of the events, i.e. 17 out of 51 (plus another 2 undefeated results). For comparison, during the first 256 events (seasons 1-5), they had won "only" 29, which is a good number, but very far from one third of the total.

 So, what happened? I can't exactly tell, and it's not just a consequence of Pure events seeing Goblin's decline, although I'm sure that's somehow connected. It might be the effect of new cards that reinforced well-established strategies, like Thalia's Lieutenant. It might just be happenstance, just the combination of some new players liking the tribe and being very good with it.

 The most typical defense of Human comes from the fact that the tribe is so large, those winning decks can be whatever, so this dominance doesn't generate a boring repetition effect. This is only partly true. Yes, you can pretty much use Human as a shell for a great range of vastly different strategies. But the truth is, those 17 victories all came through three well-known archetypes: White Weenie, Red Deck Wins, and UR Delver.

 It's important to underline how freakishly large Human has become as a tribe, though. There's 1846 different Human card in the game (and I still need to update that number through Conspiracy: Take the Crown and Commander 2016). That's not just the largest subtype, it's also larger than most types. It's larger than the total number of sorceries or artifacts! This means Human tribal is not really tribal anymore, since it easily plays like a normal Legacy deck that's just a little more creature-heavy than needed (and yet, nobody is complaining about the "Spirit of Tribal" being broken).

 I have no idea what to do, or even if we should do anything. Banning cards seems out of the questions, since the three abovementioned archetypes don't even share too many cards, if any card at all (two of them are monocolored builds of different colors). I thought about a possible new kind of rule that could discourage players from playing Human decks without outright preventing them from doing it: just shut down prizes for Humans. You can play your Human deck, but you're not eligible for prizes if you do. Would it seem fair? Or, I don't know, tribal racist?

 Ultimately, if nobody complains about the Human invasion, that's fine by me, but you must recognize the anomaly of having not just one third of all events won by a Human deck, but of course also a similar quantity of registered decks from the tribe, which means the chances of facing Human in any given Tribal Apocalypse match is pretty large. Oh, the humanity.


NEW YEAR, NEW RULES...

 Tribal Year 2017 is here, and will bring a little wind of change to Tribal Apocalypse. Let's see how.

 New Rotation.  The survey about the Modern/Pure rotation saw a slight victory of "Let's do Modern instead", but a solid showing for "Let's keep Pure but rework it into something more stable". So we'll do both: as shown in the brand new Calendar, the third week of the month will not alternate between Pure (6 events in the year) and Modern (5 events in the year). This leaves room for running some Singleton as well (3 events in the year).

 New Pure rules. So, you wanted for Pure to change, and we'll change it. It will be a little bit of a process, though, because in order for it to be more stable, it needs to have a fixed ban list, and following the spirit of the format, that'll mean choosing "unfair cards" from all the Major Tribes. I intend to proceed like this: take away one broken card for each 5 events a tribe ever won, rounded down. So, looking at the list of the all-time winners here, this means that, for instance, Ally and Soltari will lose one card each, while Human will lose 9. This will create a more workable environment, while preserving a little bit of dynamic movement, because when tribes with 4 victories will get to 5, they'll lose one card as well. (Of course that specific card will go into the overall Pure ban list and be unusable to every other tribe as well; it'll just be a card whose absence affects that tribe the most). In order to decide what all these cards are I need a little more time, and a bit of help. I hope the likes of AJ_Impy, Bazaar of Baghdad and mihahitlor will give me input there.

 New Hamtastic rules. The Hamtastic Award ceases to be a race between players and, in a very appropriate Hamtastic flavor, will start rewarding everyone! Well, everyone who plays different tribes, that is. Starting from tomorrow, each player's registered tribes (except for Human, Elf and Goblin) are marked down, and once that player reaches 10 different tribes, they'll get 3 tix! And you can go on from there, so if you totalize 50 different tribes in the year, your winning will end up amounting to 15 tix! (Remember you must play all rounds of an event for that week's tribe to be validated; you can't just reg and run).

 New undefeated pool division. Starting from tomorrow, the playoff round to determine the event's winner will also determine a different split in the prize pool, with the winner of the playoff getting 60% of the undefeated pool and the runner-up 40%. In case there are more than two undefeated players (it never happened last year, by the way), tie-break matches will establish two finalists, losers of those matches will be downgraded to the 1-loss pool.

 Team Tribal: I'd like to compile and maintain a separate leaderboard organized by team, with the teams being groups of players that decide to team up, or players grouped by country of origins, or both. Since the team efforts can be easily calculated afterwards, we can decide during the year which team is which, but it'll all culminate in a special event in December 30 all about team play (is Emperor still playable on MTGO?)


ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

 Just to remind you of a few things:

 The Ishkanah Prize: The first player to win a match with a Spider deck by activating Ishkanah's lifedraining ability for a lethal strike of at least 4 damage, will get a 3-tix credit certificate from MTGO Traders. Spider lovers, or simply ticket lovers, start building!

 The Underdog Prize: During any event of the regular rotation (but not during the one-time special events), all players who are running an Underdog Tribe are eligible for a 1-tix credit certificate from MTGO Traders. The tie-breakers are first the number of Underdog categories (for instance, a tribe that's simultaneously Endangered and Unhallowed will take the prize over one that's only Endangered), then the points achieved in the final standings. During Underdog events, only the True Underdog tribes are rewarded (those are the tribes belonging to all three categories of Underdog at once).

 The Up-and-Coming Prize: When a tribe wins an event for the first time ever (losing Unhallowed status), its pilot will get a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders.

 The Hamtastic Award: The Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg rewards each player who registered 10 different tribes (except Human, Elf and Goblin) during the year with a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. You can go on and win the prize multiple times in the year, but you need to keep playing different tribes!

 The Top Players Lockout: Every time a Top Player (either a Google Era Top 8, an Ultimate Champion/Tribal Player of the Year, or a seasonal Top 8) will end undefeated, they will not be allowed to register the same tribe and deck again for 5 events (i.e. they'll have to register a different deck or decks 5 times before coming back to the undefeated one). With "deck" is meant a specific, recognizable archetype (e.g. Wall-Drazi), which in some case will be linked to a specific combo card (e.g. Helm of Obedience). A list of the current lockouts is maintained here.

 Wanna test your deck? Tell us when you're online, and look who else is there and when! All of this here!


 WHAT'S NEXT

 The upcoming Tribal Apocalypse events of the Blippian Era (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT):

  • 7.01 (Week 313 BE), on January 7: Underdog
  • 7.02 (Week 314 BE), on January 14: Regular
  • Special (Week 315 BE), on January 21: Invitational
  • 7.03 (Week 316 BE), on January 28: Regular

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2017!

SEE YOU ALL IN THE TRIBAL ROOM!

31 Comments

Rendering Human decks by AJ_Impy at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 13:27
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5

Rendering Human decks ineligible for prizes is worth trying at least for a while: As the ultimate catch-all tribe it definitely seems to have crossed a threshold of power this season.

I love the idea of more team-based involvement, and salute the sterling efforts of TBG to leave their mark upon this tournament. They've successfully sent four players to the invitational this time, and we definitely need to give them some competition.

So, let's do that. I hereby announce the founding of Team Imperial Renaissance. Who wants in?

I am interested though I am by Paul Leicht at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 18:14
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I am interested though I am not sure I can pull my weight.

I really don't like the idea by Generalissimo at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 18:44
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I really don't like the idea of making Humans ineligible for prizes. It effectively doesn't seem any different from outright banning Humans as a tribe - we might very occasionally see a Human deck but I can't imagine many people will take the effort to build, buy and refine a deck with no hope of winning prizes - which I think is both absurd overkill for the problem and needlessly broad-brush to ban every single Human deck for the sins of the best three. It's also the sort of unintuitive rule that will easily catch new players off-guard and could discourage them from returning if they fall foul of it.

If White Weenie Humans, RDW Humans and Delver Humans are all winning too many events and/or are over-represented I would much prefer that they simply each have something banned to lower their power-levels.

A fair place to begin the by AJ_Impy at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 19:54
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A fair place to begin the discussion. What would you say was the key for each of those three archetypes, the lynchpins without which they would drop back into the chasing pack?

Champion of the Parish or by Generalissimo at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 09:10
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Champion of the Parish or Thalia's Lieutenant for WW, Monastery Swiftspear for the other two? Champion provides the most explosive starts for WW and a big early creature makes the deck more resilient to cheap toughness-based sweepers like Pyroclasm and Anger of the Gods and the Lieutenant is less explosive but retains more usefulness later in the game; I think removing either would do a decent job of hurting the deck. Swiftspear hits two decks with one ban and I don't think there are any particularly good aggressive 1-drop Humans to replace it with in those colours.

That being said, I'm not really convinced that anything *needs* to be banned; I don't really think that a particular tribe doing so well is a big deal as long as there's enough diversity between the types of decks being played.

I'm not a fan of the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 20:19
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I'm not a fan of the no-prize-for-you solution either for the reason you said. But I also really don't want to ban more cards in Regular.
It should be considered if players with $400 decks with Wasteland set and stuff would seriously take umbrage at not being allowed to win 3-4 tix per event; maybe at some point what you really want is just to play your deck in a competitive environment, but I can see how it could be a matter of principle too and not to be discriminated against.

"But I also really don't want by Generalissimo at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 09:17
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"But I also really don't want to ban more cards in Regular."

Why exactly? I mean, I certainly understand the desire to keep the ban-list as streamlined as possible but the alternative of soft-banning the largest tribe in Magic seems so much more expansive and inelegant.

"It should be considered if players with $400 decks with Wasteland set and stuff would seriously take umbrage at not being allowed to win 3-4 tix per event"

Well, for a broad idea, I think the first place to look is how many people drop from the event once they're out of contention for prizes; from what I've seen, it seems like it happens a lot.

Why exactly?The reasons you by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 12:46
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Why exactly?

The reasons you said, and my wanting for Regular to be as much as possible an unadulterated Legacy Tribal Wars as if WotC started supporting it again (after revising their outdated ban list a little), as opposed to one filled with "house rules".

I think the first place to look is how many people drop from the event once they're out of contention for prizes; from what I've seen, it seems like it happens a lot.

Fair enough, but I don't know for sure these are players with very expensive decks. It might just be an effect of annoyance at being beaten, while recognizing the list needs fixing. This said, at least two of the three mentioned Human archetypes are pretty cheap, which is another reason they're popular.

I see where you're coming by Paul Leicht at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 14:11
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I see where you're coming from but really what you do now on a weekly basis is forming the shape of Tribal Wars Legacy as it official is. Whether WOTC chooses to follow up or not is irrelevant imho. You're the one maintaining the format so it is your obligation to do what you think is best for it.

For the record, I am probably one of a few players who can enter a tournament with a full playset of whatever I want. I might have to swap some trades around to accomplish a particular deck but I can definitely get it done. I don't think there is anything wrong with playing with the cards you have. I do agree that 3-4 tix should not be the goal if you have a collection like mine. Fun should be the goal. But everyone defines their fun differently.

I am of mixed feelings regarding banning an entire tribe that isn't Elves or Goblins. On the one hand Humans have SO many interesting and unique members that spawn archetypes on their own that to see them shut out of an event like this is not a good thing. But again the ubiquity of easy button tribes seems like it must be addressed somehow.

On the other hand the last time I played (or the time before) I ran into a fairly consistent turn 1-2 win grindstone painter's servant deck where Servant was the only relevant member of its tribe. So it isn't just Humans that can be abused by cheesy shoehorn strategies.

Personally I'd build a list of the worst offenders and start adding to it until the problem ebbs.

I think humans began to by MisterMojoRising at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 18:54
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I think humans began to dominate more and more because every time something else took over (such as elves with Umbral Mantle or goblins with Goblin Lackey), you would ban those. This continued until humans was better than anything else. If you want to watch the humans return to their farms, then unleash the other tribes by unbanning their cards.

I do think Elf and Goblin by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 01/06/2017 - 20:51
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I do think Elf and Goblin being partially neglected had some kind of role in the Human dominance, but it can't be as direct as you're picturing it. Goblin Lackey in particular can't be a reason for it because Goblin Lackey was banned for 5 seasons out of 6 (I found it banned and I was the one who decided to unban it for the first time), yet the Humans only got dominant this past year.

Also, Elves didn't exactly lose steam, as we can see they still enjoy more success than any other non-Human tribe. In fact, Elves won 7 events in 2016 and 22 events in the previous 5 seasons, which means they're actually MORE successful now than in the past.

I'm pretty sure making Elf and Goblin stronger would take away a lot of Human victories, because they're inherently better decks, but is that even a desirable outcome? I'm not too keen on fighting a pest with its predators, only to find that those predators are even more annoying (and we know they are). At least Human are three very different archetypes, potentially more; and they're easier to beat, more interactive than Elves, more forgiving than Goblins.

That's why I put a question mark after "The Human Problem?". I'm just asking: do we have one? Do we care? I've got the impression it's more of a statistical anomaly than an issue during events. And isn't that anomaly essentially caused by the fact that WotC kept slapping the Human subtype on any generic dude they can't find another subtype to define? Which is akin to say it's just the way the game is designed. It's silly, because a single subtype shouldn't be the third or fourth largest set in the game, but that's not something we can fix, and Tribal Wars just reflects that strangeness (or maybe it's just more of the anthropocentric paradigm rearing its ugly head: we always put the human race at the center of everything, even in card games).

The humans don't bother me. I by MisterMojoRising at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 05:38
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The humans don't bother me. I don't even think they're that good. My guess is that it's a combination of people enjoying playing them more and them being less expensive to build.

By the way, do I still have by Generalissimo at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 09:20
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By the way, do I still have the extra restriction on what tribes are eligible for the Hamtastic Award with this new structure?

Of course not, now you don't by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 12:43
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Of course not, now you don't play against anybody else. :)

Excellent, I will feast on by Generalissimo at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 15:47
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Excellent, I will feast on ham!

Is your Pure tribal-specific by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 15:28
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Is your Pure tribal-specific ban list in addition to the original 9 cards for the format?

Also, when dealing with a by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 15:50
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Also, when dealing with a Pure-ban, it might get tricky with creatures with multiple subtypes. Does a Human Wizard count towards the Human ban, the Wizard ban, or both? What if it's determined that Wizards, for example, really needs a new ban but there is already a human wizard banned that never would have been played in a Wizards deck? Anyways, let's get a good tribal crossover rule before we go too far into this.

You mean the T9? by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 01/11/2017 - 09:58
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Is your Pure tribal-specific ban list in addition to the original 9 cards for the format?

You mean the T9?
You know what, it would be swell if the T9 could be counted as bans for one tribe or another. This way there's just one list to look at. Aether Vial is easy, we can give that to Merfolk. The white removals are trickier, but we can distribute them among the bigger white tribes.
The Swords of X and Y are the trickiest, though. But maybe we could even unban them if the rest of the bans are solid enough.

It's unfortunate that WotC by ML_Berlin at Sat, 01/07/2017 - 16:17
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It's unfortunate that WotC ignores the Tribal concept(not only the format itself!), by flooding the pool with humans.
But I think the statistics are somehow irritating, because if Goblins win, it's an aggro deck!
The numbers of direct damage spells and creatures may vary, but that is all.

If a 'human' deck wins, it could be almost anything from 'Instant Combo Kill' to 'White Weenie Aggro'.
So, if there are 3 different Human decks, and they use different strategies and colors(!!), I see no reason for action or a threat for the format.
Opposite to the example presented by Winter.Wolf( Paul Leicht)!
This kind of Instant Combo Kills should be rather adressed.

The idea to remove prize support for Humans is bizarre. As others wrote before, white weenie decks are cheap to build, hence are popular amongst beginners. Those are the ones who are happy when they win 1-2 tix!
I see absolutely no reason to punish players with little budgets, to cut their options in participating in the event.

You asked for 9 human bans by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 01/09/2017 - 15:00
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You asked for 9 human bans for Pure. I’ve also listed in parentheses other tribes affected. Here is my human list in order of importance:

1. Mother of Runes (Cleric) – wide potential abuse across archetypes
2. Snapcaster Mage (Wizard) – a no-brainer for any combo deck that just wants to survive
3. Grim Lavamancer (Wizard) – a ban of Burn’s best human keeps burn two-dimensional
4. Noble Hierarch (Druid) – making the strong decks stronger, green is only detriment
5. Delver of Secrets (Wizard) – swingy, non-interactive card (Vintage playable)
6. Knight of the Reliquary (Knight) – supports at least two combo decks and Wasteland
7. Champion of the Parish (Soldier) – aggro’s best friend, but other aggro decks exist
8. Dark Confidant (Wizard) – already on the list (interesting card) and susceptible to abuse
9. Laboratory Maniac (Wizard) - some people don't like the win conditions he enables

Honorable Mentions: Monastery Swiftspear (Monk), Thalia’s Lieutenant (Soldier), Young Pyromancer (Shaman), Magus of the Moon (Wizard), Eternal Witness (Shaman). I’m sure I missed some good candidates.

After looking at this list, nothing strikes me as incredible. Banning nine good creatures just makes Tribal’s already superior non-creature spells even that much better than they were previously. I think I’d rather keep the creatures and ban the tribe. Letting WW morph into Knights/Soldiers or Burn into Warriors would be a way more interesting situation. Honestly, when it comes to burn, I feel Fireblast (after Lightning Bolt) is a bazillion times more important than any Human. But from what I understand, Fireblast is soon coming back, getting us back in the same rut.

Hey, thanks for accepting my by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 01/11/2017 - 09:46
Kumagoro42's picture

Hey, thanks for accepting my cry for help!
First of all, though, I think you misunderstood: the bans should be done the same way I was doing it so far, that is by banning anything relevant to a tribe, not just creatures. So Fireblast is a go, goodbye, good riddance for sure, charged to either Goblin or Human (we should feel free to allocate the bans to attain the best balance; clearly noncreature cards will directly affect multiple tribes, but we'll count them as the ban quota of just one).

On the other hand, for creatures with two tribes (or more, but that's rare), I was planning to let them count as the ban for both, provided they were actually played in winning archetypes of both. I think that has to be the key: not just one generically strong creature that bears the type of the tribe we're hitting, but one of the creatures that show up frequently in that tribe's decks and is often the MVP.
For instance, Dark Confidant is a good ban for Wizard, but not a particularly relevant Human ban, because Human decks rarely show up in black in TribAp. I would put down Confidant as one of the bans for Wizard, but in this case not counting it as one of the bans for Human.

Then again, the idea of just go and ban Human from Pure is not a bad one. Although, I don't know, it feels like saying the subformat doesn't really work, because it should be the subformat where all the tribes play without external help, and then we say that Human can't. I'd prefer to find a balance, if we can manage to.

Monastery Swiftspear and Young Pyromancer should be in the 9 for Human, because they're the backbone of the Red Humans Win deck that's the new Goblin. You don't stop that deck cold, you just redirect all Human players to it. I don't think Pyromancer is a MVP in Shaman (we should research that), but Monk decks are usually Bant affairs, so they don't care much about Swiftspear, and I don't think you can build a tier-1 monored Monk deck.

I think we should start writing basic lists like you did, then go to Gatherling and see how frequently those cards actually show up in winning decks (of all formats, not just Pure). For instance, I don't have the perception Noble Hierarch is really important for our Human decks (possibly also an effect of the fact that's very non-budget-friendly). And if you take away all the obvious reasons to go Bant, like Delver, then Noble Hierarch just becomes a mana fixing tool that helps build more interesting decks. And once they reprint it, it might be more accessible.

I won't be able to work on this before next Friday, though.

So, if we get rid of by Bazaar of Baghdad at Thu, 01/12/2017 - 20:17
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So, if we get rid of Fireblast, charging it to Humans (Goblin decks aren't even that interested in the card), can other decks like Warriors play it, or is it as currently exists, that the card is unavailable for every tribe?

Quoting the article: "Of by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 01/13/2017 - 07:48
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Quoting the article: "Of course that specific card will go into the overall Pure ban list and be unusable to every other tribe as well; it'll just be a card whose absence affects that tribe the most."

I'm okay charging Fireblast to Humans. We can hit more Human-crucial cards from other tribes' quotas, like Soldier and Wizard. So we should have enough slots to get the intended result.

Only allow pure humans? by pfirpfel at Mon, 01/09/2017 - 10:43
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What about the following soft-ban:
Human as tribe is only allowed, if the cards are "pure" human, meaning those creatures don't have an additional creature type. Other humans can only be played as their additional creature type, for example Noble Hierarch as Druid.

The pure humans are (as of Kaladesh):
Abu Ja'far, Ali from Cairo, An-Havva Constable, Angry Mob, Arena Athlete, Caller of the Hunt, Cartographer, Cave People, Chaos Harlequin, Chaos Lord, Chosen of Markov, Cloistered Youth, Devout Harpist, Enchanted Being, Enlightened Maniac, Farrel's Zealot, Flying Men, Folk of An-Havva, Grizzled Angler, Herald of the Fair, Icatian Moneychanger, Imposing Sovereign, Kelsinko Ranger, Kindly Stranger, King Suleiman, Martyrs of Korlis, Master of the Hunt, Merchant Ship, Peacekeeper, People of the Woods, Port Inspector, Repentant Blacksmith, Scavenger Folk, Seller of Songbirds, Sengir Autocrat, Shu Farmer, Sindbad, Soul Sculptor, Stoic Builder, Stronghold Zeppelin, Town Gossipmonger, Tracker, Tragic Poet, Treasure Hunter, Uncle Istvan, Unruly Mob, Veteran Bodyguard, Village Cannibals, Village Survivors, Warden of the First Tree

I'd be fine with that as an by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 01/09/2017 - 14:55
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I'd be fine with that as an alternative to a complete Human ban. Although there are a few gems in that list, nevertheless, I think it's practically the equivalent of a human ban outright. But if better minds than mine can find a solution, more power to them.

Yeah, I don't see a tier-1 or by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 01/11/2017 - 09:49
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Yeah, I don't see a tier-1 or even tier-2 competitive deck ever coming from that pool, so Spikes will just discard the tribe altogether.
It's a nice idea for a special prize in Pure, though. I think I'll create it: win 1 tix if you enter a list where your creatures are all Human with no secondary types.

Or even only humans not by Sensei at Sat, 01/14/2017 - 00:34
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Or even only humans not originally printed in the Scourge expansion or earlier can be played. (Conversely, if it was originally printed in 8ED or later then it cannot be played)

Team Tribal by pfirpfel at Mon, 01/09/2017 - 10:47
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"[...] (is Emperor still playable on MTGO?)"

WotC reduced the multiplayer functionality severely. There is only the free-for-all mode left. Even the 2HG mode got removed despite being one of the most popular modes in the casual room.

This means team multiplayer is not supported any more. You could still pretend to play a 2vs2, but the game does not recognise a team as winner, just a single player.

That's unfortunate. I thought by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 01/11/2017 - 09:53
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That's unfortunate. I thought everything could be simulated via freeform?

And hey, pfirpfel! Hope to see you back in TribAp this year.

> That's unfortunate. I by pfirpfel at Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:39
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> That's unfortunate. I thought everything could be simulated via freeform?

Only deck building is affected by Freeform. Emperor and Two-Headed-Giant are game modes with different conditions than the regular game, like shared life totals and a certain group players need to be defeated for another group of players to win the game. An the word "opponent" behaves different. In FFA all other players are automatically opponents from the rules perspective. In 2HG your other head was not affected by your effects which targeted "your opponents".
WotC dropped those modes quite some time ago (> a year at least). And while the group of multiplayer regulars is and was relatively small, at least 2HG has been very popular and is dearly missed. I don't like the political aspect of free-for-all games. In 2HG you have at least a clear goal and "correct" play gets rewarded.

A workaround is using the FFA mode (the only multiplayer mode left) and just pretend that teams work. Players just should keep in mind that effects that affect "your opponents" also hurt their teammate. The game will not recognize a team win, this has to be handled by the players manually. As long as everyone is aware of this and the rules to work around the client's limitations are clear, this should be possible!

> And hey, pfirpfel! Hope to see you back in TribAp this year.

I will try and catch some events. Saturday is often busy. But I still check your articles and the results from time to time :)

Ok, revised list:Human (46) by Bazaar of Baghdad at Thu, 01/12/2017 - 21:32
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Ok, revised list:

Human (46) - Fireblast, Lightning Bolt, Brainstorm, Snapcaster Mage, Mother of Runes, Swords to Plowshares, Champion of the Parish, Delver of Secrets, Dark Confidant
Elf (29) - Elvish Archdruid, Wirewood Symbiote, Inkmoth Nexus, Chord of Calling, Collected Company (or Priest of Titania)
Goblin (23) - Aether Vial, Goblin Matron, Goblin Warchief, Goblin Chieftain (to be replaced by Lackey, if that returns to Regular)
Vampire (11) - Hymn to Tourach, Gatekeeper of Malakir
Shaman (10) - Dark Depths, Punishing Fire
Knight (9) - Knight Exemplar
Cat (8) - Path to Exile
Kor (8) - Batterskull (I guess, Stoneforge Mystic is possible, but it's interesting once the best Swords are gone)
Wall (8) - Green Sun's Zenith
Wizard (8) - Counterspell
Merfolk (7) - True-Name Nemesis
Eldrazi (6) - Eye of Ugin
Plant (6) - Natural Order (apply to Underdog!)
Ally (5) - Kabira Evangel
Archon (5) - Entomb (apply to Underdog!)
Berserker (5) - Searing Blaze (apply to Underdog!)
Kithkin (5) - Spectral Procession
Scout (5) - Scapeshift (already banned)
Soltari (5) - Honor of the Pure (apply to Underdog!)
Zombie (5) - Gray Merchant of Asphodel

General: Swords of X/Y

Leftovers from current list: Greater Gargadon, Griselbrand (set free?), Ball Lightning (set free?), Rage Forger (set free?)

Enlightened Tutor is probably worth inclusion somewhere too.