Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where, unfortunately, sad things happen, too.
Table of Contents
- Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
- The High Price of Winning
- Five Questions with a Tribal Player
- Tribal Lab
- Announcement Time!
- What's Next
THOUGHTS OF A TRIBAL HOST
I'm going to tell you a scary story. It's the story of one player, who was also a tribal player, and a great one at that: you may have known him as mihahitlor. It's the story of why I'm using the past tense while talking about him now. It's not a story with a lot of details: I know the details, but they're irrelevant. What counts is what happened: two other players who I won't even dignify with a name, because they lost the right to a name, started a bullying campaign against mihahitlor, causing him so much psychological distress to end up pushing him away from this game. That's right, mihahitlor is gone. He's no more.
Those players, who I'll call the Bad Guys, and in particular one of them, who I'll call the Madman, fabricated accusations of fraud, of dishonesty. The Madman even went as far as to use a podcast to spread his venom. They lied, of course, as Bad Guys do. Some of those lies were so blatant, and their falsity so easily proven, that nobody really bought into them. I personally witnessed the Madman lie about something that involved me directly. In fact, I was a marginal part of the story. The other Bad Guy, who I'll call the Drama Queen, took a private letter where I was inviting him to be less so, because his attitude was starting to annoy people at some events I run and he was playing in, and in total disregard of any netiquette or just honorable behavior, he forwarded it to other people, including the sponsor of that event, trying to have my sponsorship revoked or something of that crazy sort (luckily, that sponsor is a Good Guy, and most importantly, he's not a madman and has a low tolerance for drama queens, as one should).
But all of this doesn't really matter. The story is simple, if scary: somebody decided they didn't like somebody else, for whatever reason, and tried to hurt him as much as they could, with all the means they could find. It's an old story, really. The Internet is filled with it. MTGO is filled with it, sadly. So what's different here? Not much. Mostly, the difference is that this time I knew the victim. I consider him a friend. It was painful to watch him decide that he can't stand it anymore. I remember, when I interviewed him last spring, how we talked about people's perception of him as this glacial, cool guy. Turns out he's an oversensitive person, instead. Bullying is never easy to bear, regardless of your age or environment. I, for one, would have reacted differently than he did. I would have fought until the bloody end, until the Bad Guys were annihilated out of existence. I'm a very peaceful guy until provoked. But I understand miha's decision to just shut down everything. He agonized over it because he cared about the community. He used to run three Heirloom events for free (the same events he was accused to treat as tix farms – you can appreciate how maddening this had to be). But at the end of the day, this is just a freaking game. The only thing you should come here to fight is your opponent, and you would still say "good game" to them afterwards, regardless of the outcome. You come here to have fun, not to get a slightly different take on the same, hateful things that happen out there. The one I just described was not a good game, and nobody shook hands at the end.
So, mihahitlor is gone. I still hope he'll come back one day. People quit MTGO all the time, it's nothing new. Sometimes they come back. People I used to play and talk every day two years ago aren't around anymore. But they usually just fade away, they don't disappear out of a specific decision. And they probably just lose interest, didn't get chased away by the subtle violence of a defamation campaign. Here's what's different. But maybe it's not, maybe it's just that I had never touched with my own hands before all the pockets of malevolence, frustration, and pettiness that exist around here.
This was my Halloween scary story. Only, it's not made up, unfortunately. And it's not even really scary. It's just sad. Mihahitlor sold his collection last week and gave everything away to other players. He gave me 50 tix to be distributed as special awards to the players in the next Invitational, next January. Those will be our Top 16 players. Players who care about this event and keep coming to it. Mihahitlor was one of those, so those 50 tix will go to his fellow Tribal players, in the hope we'll remember what happened to him, and we'll make sure that it won't happen again, to anybody.
LAST WEEK ON TRIBAL APOCALYPSE...
- Event Number: 3.42, Week 147 BE
- Date: October 26
- Attendance: 20
- Rounds: 3
- Special Rules: Halloween Special (only Spooky Tribes allowed)
- Winner: Gq1rf7 (Assassin)
- Other undefeated: fliebana (Demon), romellos (Zombie)
- 1 Loss: RexDart (Vampire), milegyenanevem (Snake), justcanceled (Devil), ellmaris (Assassin), Robin88 (Spirit), hexalite (Vampire)
- Special Prizes: Special Bolasween Award (a copy of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker for playing tribes nobody else was playing): AJ_Impy (Gorgon), justcanceled (Devil), milegyenanevem (Snake)
- Tribes: Assassin (x2), Demon (x3), Devil, Gorgon, Snake, Spirit (x2), Vampire (x2), Zombie (x8)
- Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is
Back from the sour trip, and into the fun Halloween event we had last week! Where, in a twist of fate, the first place went right to mihahitlor's own favorite tribe, the Assassin, as piloted by the Player with the Most Annoying Nickname, aka Gq1rf7! And since he's a longtime tribal player who had taken his first win just two weeks ago and now found himself back on top already, it seemed the right time to launch our new irregular section: Five Questions with a Tribal Player! I thought it could be interesting to know better some of our recurring players, so from now on I'll take any occasion of a new winner or other similar festive occurrence to ask that player some questions based on the classic Five Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why). But before clicking on that link and read the mini-interview to Dániel (that's his real, easier to type name), let's have a look at his murderous list.
The other finalist was fliebana (also long due some win and accompanying interview: keep trying, flie!), with this pretty frightening Demon-sneaking deck with both Show and Tell and Eureka.
Once again, the overwhelming mass of Zombies (making up almost half of the event!) didn't manage to do much, except for this sweet Liliana/Haakon build (one true pair!) by romellos, who managed to pilot the rotting corpses to undefeatedness, then lost to the Assassins in the first turn of the 3-man playoff.
Only three tribes were unique, and they got a special prize from SBena_Bot and Nicol Bolas, in the form of a copy of the original Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker (remember the Dragon Week? Relive it now!). One of those playing out of the jack-in-the-box was AJ_Impy (of course he was), trying the Gorgon deck I feature below (along with his comments and replays) in Tribal Lab. Another one was justcanceled running Devil. And the third one was milegyenanevem, trying to take the meta by surprise by playing one of this year's Spooky new entries Snake (the other one was Spider).
Note that the presence of Sakura-Tribe Elder was somehow ambiguous. The rules stated that the Halloween Snakes needed to be of the non-Kamigawa, non-humanoid, crawling-on-their-bellies variety. And this deck correctly features 20 of them. There was also a rule saying that you can include off-tribe both members of the other Spooky Tribes and/or creatures that had one of the Spooky types referenced on them. Of course, one of the non-allowed Snakes reference the Snake tribe by being, you know, a Snake. So I allowed it, despite not having really thought of it beforehand. After all, just like Chainer, Dementia Master is not a Thrull, yet he's granted access to the party as a friend of the Thrulls, so a humanoid Snake has to be a friend of the animal-kingdom Snakes.
THE HIGH PRICE OF WINNING
Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of November 1, 2013, here's the answer (MTGO Traders prices; mtgGoldfish charts and analysis; the cheapest version of each card is always used; basic lands count zero):
- 1st place, Gq1rf7's Assassins: $4.18 (nonland cards: $3.98; tribal base: $1.62)
- Tribal Lab, AJ_Impy's Gorgons: $88.86 (nonland cards: $22.88; tribal base: $19.28)
As a mono-colored tribe with very cheap members (the priciest being Guul Draz Assassin at 13 cents!), the Assassins always had an amazing power/money ratio, ending many times at the top spots with builds worth less than $20. Gq1rf7 went even far with this 4-buck deck, confirming his incredible streak of great results with super-budget lists (you can see how his decks now occupy all the ranks from 2nd to 4th in the list below, and two of them are 1st-place decks). Along with our Budget Wonder (about whom you can read everything here), I also wanted to feature AJ_Impy's Gorgon deck discussed in Tribal Lab, in case someone wanted to take over the challenge to bring the Gorgons to success. The build is cheaper than expected, due to Cabal Coffers being little more than $3.50 and Bloodstained Mire (in its modern-framed promo version even!) being the cheapest fetch land available at $4.70. The Gorgon themselves only have Damia as a somehow expensive member (she's currently sold at $3.50). The others range from almost nothing to reasonable. You can even buy a gorgeous FTV Visara by Brad Rigney from just $0.70!
The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated
- morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
- Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145 (cheapest event winner)
- Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
- Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147
- Trickerie's Golems, $4.31, 1st place on Event 138
- arcbounddaylabor's Goblins, $4.46, 1st place on Event 111
- ellmaris's Goblins, $6.52, 2nd place on Event 103
- Heureka's Weirds, $6.53, 3rd place on Event 140
- kokonade1000's Rats, $7.55, 2nd place on Event 140
- mihahitlor's Goblins, $10.24, 1st place on Event 100
NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH A TRIBAL PLAYER: GQ1RF7
My name is Dániel Kui, I'm 24-year-old, and I live in Hungary in a small village 60 km from Budapest. I’m currently learning finance and accounting in college. Other than Magic, I've played Rubik’s Cube competitively for 6 years. My nickname doesn’t have any meaning. The first site I ever registered into was a popular chatting site that had already lots of registered users. I tried to quickly guess a username based on my real name, but all of those variations were already in use. I got angry, and so I entered a username that I thought was surely not in use. It wasn’t. I’ve been trying to come up with a better nickname ever since, but… my creativity is equal to Gq1rf7.
I consider myself a Timmy. I like playing with creatures – that are bigger than the opponents’. I like straightforward decks, and I sometimes play combo decks.
My first Tribal Apocalypse win ever was with Goblins two weeks ago. Nothing special here. They are quick, and if they get stopped, you still have some burn spells to finish the job. Price of Progress helped me a lot along the tournament, because almost everyone plays nonbasic lands. I always run 4 of them when playing monored.
The second win was with Assassins last week when only the Spooky Tribes were allowed. They are weak and slow, but almost every creature can kill other creatures in one way or another. Once the game is stabilized, most of them can kill a creature every turn. I played a full set of Lashwrithe, they were very useful to stop enemy creatures, and if needed, pump my unused weaker Assassins.
In the final I played against big, scary Demons. In general they might be difficult to deal with, but black and the Assassins are capable of killing any big creature.
I played some paper Magic in 2004-2005 during Mirrodin and Kamigawa blocks. Then, the shop where I was playing closed because it was unprofitable, so I stopped playing too. I started playing MTGO in 2011. Making a collection was exciting, but I got crushed almost every time in the Just for Fun room, so I quit. I returned one year later. I still got crushed, but I once happened to play a game with BlippyTheSlug, who told me about the Player Run Events. Since then, I've been hooked.
I like playing almost every format. Except maybe the less restricted formats like Classic, where broken combos and more pricey cards exist. I haven’t played in drafts or dailies yet. They cost too much for me, and I don’t spend any money on Magic. I finance my Magic expenses only by PREs, this is why I play with cheap decks.
As I mentioned earlier, I like playing with creatures, and Tribal Wars is the format where everyone else will do so. I don’t usually meet too many Wrath of God here, that could ruin the purpose of my decks. Tribal Apocalypse is a great event with lots of different possibilities, and has events with restricted tribes that gives more space for less expensive decks.
After the The Insect Project reached the peak of an undefeated result, the crawling suckers have been temporarily benched in favor of the sexier Gorgons. Two installments ago I reviewed all of them, and now AJ_Impy actually played with them during the Halloween Special. Here's his list, his comments, the replay of one of his games against ML_Berlin's Zombies.
AJ: The approach hinged on the interaction between Damia, Sage of Stone and Zombie Infestation (seemed fitting for Halloween!), namely emptying your hand and drawing 6-7 new cards a turn, with a handful of Zombies as a bonus. The deck featured 8 reanimator effects, with the Profane Commands also serving as removal, reach and punch-through, especially with the Cabal Coffers engine in full flow. Visara and Hythonia act, respectively, as spot and global removal, with the two nonlegendary Gorgons as cheap and powerful warm utility bodies, Reaper of the Wilds' scry ability coming in handy, and Gorgon Recluse acting in tandem with the Infestation as a surprise ambusher. The high number of Gorgon legends isn't a problem, as any spares can be made into Zombies or held back as a reserve.
The deck ended with a negative score, but it seems solid and it's worth a retry. Sometime soon, maybe?
Just to remind you of a few things:
Meet a new, very special challenge from RexDart: the "Chris Has Bought an Engagement Ring Challenge"! That's right, we're going to celebrate another Magic marriage at some point! Congrats, Rex! And the challenge is of course ring-based.
- Build a deck that includes at least a total of 12 copies of cards from the following list: Jinxed Ring, Ring of Gix, Rings of Brighthearth, Sisay's RIng, Ring of Ma'Ruf, Ring of Renewal, Ring of Three Wishes, Aladdin's Ring, and/or no more than 5 of the rings from the M13 Ring cycle (Ring of Evos Isle, Ring of Kalonia, Ring of Thune, Ring of Valkas, Ring of Xathrid).
- Enter a Tribal Apocalypse event with the deck, and achieve at least two match wins, not counting byes or forfeits.
The prize is a Darksteel Sword of Fire and Ice.
First tiebreaker: The total number of rings in your deck. Second tiebreaker: The player whose tribe has the fewest total event wins. Final tiebreaker: randomization.
The Up-and-Coming Prize is now 3 tix! So go find a tribe that never won an event (the Unhallowed list) and try and be the first to break it!
The Tribal Achievements: Welcome to the second season of the Tribal Achievements! Find new ways to have fun within Tribal Apocalypse, challenge yourself to complete all kinds of strange MTG feats, and make some tix in the process.
The Hamtastic Award: The Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg has started again, for its 7th edition: be the first to run 10 different tribes in a row and you'll get 5 tix on SBena_Bot! You have to play all the rounds of an event in order for the tribe to be added to your sequence. If you repeat a previous tribe, your whole sequence resets.
The Mongoose Pride Prize! As the last tribe standing after everyone else had been played at least once, Mongoose has become the protagonist of a dedicated prize that will remember forever that you all neglected them despite Nimble Mongoose being featured in high-profile, tier-1 Legacy decks. The Mongoose Pride Prize will permanently award 1 tix (at SBena_Bot) to everyone who'll just... play Mongoose. That's right, you just have to play them and you'll get 1 tix, till the end of times. Well, there's just one clause: you have to win at least one match with them within the event (byes and forfeits don't count). Let's show them all what the mighty Herpestidae can do, shall we?
Hard to kill, hard to play (apparently)
The Top Players Lockout: Every time a Top Player (either a Google Era Top 8, an Ultimate Champion 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.
Videos: Send us replays of your games and we'll feature them in these articles! Don't know how? Read this quick guide in 6 easy steps and start saving your tribal feats for posterity!
The upcoming Tribal Apocalypse events of the Blippian Era (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT):
- 3.43 (Week 148 BE), on November 2: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
- 3.44 (Week 149 BE), on November 9: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
- 3.45 (Week 150 BE), on November 16: Tribal Singleton (only 1 copy of each nonbasic land)
- 3.46 (Week 151 BE), on November 23: Slug Special! (Tribute to BlippyTheSlug, every deck will have Slugs in it)
- 3.47 (Week 152 BE), on November 30: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes nor T9 cards allowed)
Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2013!
Take the Quick Survey about the ban list and the event rotation!
See you all in the Tribal room!