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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Jan 27 2017 1:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   Table of Contents 

  1. Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
  2. Announcement Time!
  3. What's Next

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


 A new season ends, a new kind of surprise is unveiled: this time last year I was reflecting on the first double victory of a player who was already in the All-Time Champions list (mihahitlor, winning the season in 2012 and the Invitational in 2015, and who would go to win the season again in 2016); today I'm celebrating a freshly appointed Ultimate Champion that never was too much on anyone's radar, despite having a really good summer last year (4 first places between June 25 and August 13). I'm talking of the very talented, very determined Kasparadi: hooray for him!

 But let's start from the beginning. These were the 16 players qualified for last week's Invitational, based on the 2016 Leaderboard.

  1. mihahitlor
  2. Socanelas
  3. Bazaar of Baghdad
  4. AJ_Impy
  5. Golden_Lin
  6. Yokai:
  7. ML_Berlin
  8. Generalissimo
  9. Robin88
  10. Deonmag
  11. Gq1rf7
  12. TLR
  13. Kasparadi
  14. BrunoDogma
  15. MisterMojoRising
  16. AEFabricio

 Unfortunately, four of them couldn't be there, including the first two seeds: mihahitlor, Socanelas, BrunoDogma, AEFabricio. They were replaced at the bottom of the seeding by available players with lower seasonal placements: former Player of the Year romellos (seed #21), Armont (#24), The_Sensei (#28), and ChNidox (#37). (Remember, all the positions have been moved up one place compared to the Gatherling table due to the disqualification of the player formerly at #7.)

 Therefore, the first round board looked like this (you can also look every list here: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Finals).

 Round 1 is the Underdog fight. Table 1 had Bazaar of Baghdad, former #3 seed promoted to #1, beat the lower-ranked reserve ChNidox using these Vedalken with Helm of Obedience. ChNidox's Insect stomper was interesting, though.

 Easy win for the seed #2 as well: AJ_Impy was using his crazy God combo deck against The_Sensei's aggro Scouts.

 AJ would find Robin88 waiting for him in round 2, as the Hong Kong fury would ultimately pilot his Archon reanimator to the win over TLR's proud Splinter Twin Fish.

 Taiwan representative and #3 seed Golden_Lin also didn't betray expectations by vaulting towards round 2 thanks to another Archon list. Armont's Storm Kobolds couldn't stop the winged avengers. That makes two years in a row Armont takes the place of an Invitational absentee, though, so here's hoping next year he'll directly qualify and have an amazing tournament. Or at least better than a round-1 exit.

 First high seed out: reigning Rider of the Apocalypse Yokai_ lost to Tribal legend (yet only reserve) romellos. The decks were both strong: Natural Order Plants vs. Valakut Scouts. In the end, the latter got the upper hand.

 Standing at seed #5, ML_Berlin piloting Berserkers defeated the 2014 Ultimate Champion, MisterMojoRising, and his Restore Balance Lizards.

 The most balanced battle was between seed #8, Deonmag, and seed #9, Gq1rf7. Deonmag's Scarecrows ended up on top over Gq's Plants.

 Finally, Kasparadi was starting his triumphal march by beating seed #6 Generalissimo: it was once again an Archon-based affair, once again beating poor little Fish.

 All this means Round 2's four tables were as follows:

  1. Bazaar of Baghdad vs. Deonmag
  2. ML_Berlin vs. romellos
  3. Kasparadi vs. Golden_Lin
  4. AJ_Impy vs. Robin88

 Rule of the round is: each player's most successful deck of the year. Bazaar of Baghdad chose a Painter's Servant/Grindstone combo in a Cleric shell from last February, back when it was still legal. This means Deonmag and his Golems had the misfortune of being the very last victim of the much hated combo. Unpleasant, but rules are rules.

 Super-aggro battle in table 2, where ML_Berlin's WW Humans ultimately defeated romellos's Bant Allies.

 Same fate for Golden_Lin's Elves that couldn't stop the inexorable Kasparadi, here piloting the very Human Tempo Delver deck that gave him all those abovementioned summer victories.

 And AJ_Impy grabbed once again a spot among the Four Riders of the Apocalypse in the Battle of the Reanimators: Praetor vs. Wurm. With MisterMojoRising, romellos and now also Robin88 out of the competition, AJ at this point was the last player in the event with a previous title to his name.

 That would cease to be in Round 3, with the following tables:

  1. Bazaar of Baghdad vs. ML_Berlin
  2. AJ_Impy vs. Kasparadi

 The seed #1, #2, and #5 are still in the event, challenged by seed #11. Round rule: a Pure brew (rules still not revised) that's also something new, i.e. a tribe that the players didn't score a win with. And of course, tribes the players piloted in previous rounds are ineligible.

 The highest-ranked of the four, Bazaar of Baghdad, is the first to secure a place in the final for the first place. His Knight deck has a typical Bazaar of Baghdad twist: tutorable Isochron Scepter/Orim's Chant lock. ML_Berlin countered that with Goblins, but it wasn't enough.

 Kasparadi had to face AJ_Impy's well-oiled Golems, but his own Cloudpost Eldrazi proved to be more than up to the task.

 So that was it: Invitational Revelation Kasparadi had to end his adventure by facing the #1 seed of the tournament and comboist extraordinaire, Bazaar of Baghdad, all while AJ_Impy and ML_Berlin would face for 3rd place. Round 4 typically has some crazy, undisclosed-until-the-last-minute rule, which means the players have 20 minutes to build a deck on the fly that would satisfy the ruling. Which in this case would require the players to first define a pool of 3 tribes their opponent will have to choose from to build their final deck. The two pairs would take turn naming the 3 tribes they want their opponent to choose from, one of which must have at least 20 members; once a player names a tribe, the opponent can't name it anymore. Here's the resulting pools:

  • Bazaar of Baghdad gave Kasparadi the following choices: Scorpion, Ouphe, Nightmare.
  • Kasparadi gave Bazaar of Baghdad the following choices: Slug, Ox, Serpent.
  • AJ_Impy gave ML_Berlin the following choices: Ooze, Lhurgoyf, Volver.
  • ML_Berlin gave AJ_Impy the following choices: Gnome, Whale, Thrull.

 I'm pleased to say that I think the final was decided in no small part through these choices, because Kasparadi's pool for Bazaar of Baghdad was definitely the hardest to work with. Other players have been a big too generous, considering there were possible stinkers like, just off the top of my mind, Antelope, Kirin, Worm.

 Anyway, the four choices in the end were, respectively: Nightmare, Serpent, Ooze, Whale. And these are the four resulting builds:




by AJ_Impy - 4th place
4 Colossal Whale
4 Great Whale
4 Killer Whale
4 Long-Finned Skywhale
4 Narwhal
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Propaganda
4 Spreading Seas
4 Vedalken Shackles
4 Wayfarer's Bauble
2 Web of Inertia
18 cards
20 Island
4 Flooded Strand
24 cards
Long-Finned Skywhale


 And so it ended: Berlin borrowed an Ooze deck directly from the paragon of sportsmanship AJ, and then proceeded to beat him with it; and Kasparadi built a brilliant Nightmare deck against which Bazaar of Baghdad had to surrender his Serpentine weapons.

 Another great Invitational tournament, with a great, well-deserving winner. And now, on to 2017, with the new rules for Pure events (that are still up in the air!), and everything else exciting and surprising this Tribal Apocalypse will bring to us in its 7th Blippian Year!


 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 New Kids on the Block Award: When a new tribe is introduced in the game, or reaches enough members to be played as a proper tribe (i.e. at least 3 members, so you can build a deck that features 4 copies of each plus 8 Changeling creatures), the first player to score a match win with it will get a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. You'll need a hard win, not a BYE or a win by no-show of your opponent. Three tribes are currently eligible for the award: Assembly-Worker, Gremlin and Monkey.

 The Hamtastic Award: The Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg rewards each player who registers 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! (So if you manage to register 50 different tribes in one season, you can get up to 15 tix!)

 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!


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

  • 7.03 (Week 316 BE), on January 28: Regular
  • 7.04 (Week 317 BE), on February 4: Underdog
  • 7.05 (Week 318 BE), on February 11: Regular
  • 7.06 (Week 319 BE), on February 18: Pure

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2016!



Congratulations, by Generalissimo at Fri, 01/27/2017 - 15:02
Generalissimo's picture

Congratulations, Kasparadi!

Except for the part where you knocked me out in round 1...

Good, enthusiastic write-up. by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 01/27/2017 - 23:53
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Good, enthusiastic write-up. Congrats to our champion!