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Nov 13 2015 11:00am
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CJB: Parting is such sweet sorrow, Legacy Tribal Wars. Let's drown our sorrows in Commander.


I'm the cohost for this site's official podcast, Freed From the Real, in case there's some people that haven't made the connection, or haven't had a chance to listen to some 'casts. AJ, a Pure contributor and the main cohost of the show for too many years to count, is a tried and true, lifelong Tribal Wars fan. We recently lost the format to WOTC cutbacks on the V4 program, and a lot of us casual gamers are sad. In fact, for me personally, Tribal Wars was one of my favorite formats before I even got into Commander. I know I'm a casual player; I own it; I welcome it. I have always loved stuff like Tribal Wars, Prismatic, 100-card Singleton, 2hg/3hg/Emperor/Teams, Rainbow Stairwell (not even a recognized format), and Color Wars/Star (Also not a recognized format). I found my true love and niche with Commander-- and am lucky it's not slated (Currently, and hopefully never) for the chopping block, but I still mourn these formats. I even enjoyed Block, and had a well-earned respect for Standard Pauper. I enjoy all of these formats more than Modern, Standard, Legacy and Vintage -- the big four. I'm not alone, either-- but we casual folk, especially on MTGO, are a vocal minority. I'm sorry to get back on my soapbox about it, but that's the way it is, and this is my last pontification about the subject. 

As I said, I'm lucky that my preferred format isn't getting the chop like the Gordian Knot, but it is suffering from some of Magic Online's decisions, such as making procurement of Commander 2015 (#MTGC15) cards a veritable labyrinthine affair. But, I can still grab a random, casual game on the program usually whenever with very little wait time.

To tie this all to Commander, and the article at hand, the new MTGC15 cards have a lot of Tribal shenanigans built into them-- something, of course, I find Ironic given the nature of their formats removal. The paper world got a silver-card-frame Urza's Incubator

Something I do rather frequently is make Tribal based Commander decks. Sometimes I share them with you all, such as the case with BFZ Vampires, Allies and Colorless (non-devoid) Eldrazi; Rats; Soldiers; New Omnath mostly-Elementals; or Hydras. Other times I just keep them and their contents locked away in my online account collection. I don't share them frequently because sometimes they are boring (While being fun to play, boring to write about), or don't work out as much as I'd like. All of the referenced articles didn't actually set out to be Tribal specific, except Soldiers. Today's article is truly Tribal focused, and may be revisited at a later date.

I do this to honor my fallen brother-format Tribal, and to keep its spirit alive.

By the way, if you are a fan of Tribal, just hearing about it and intrigued, or just want to keep tabs on it here's some links:

Also, here's AJ's battle plan for trying to renew their interest in supporting the format. If they took it down, perhaps they can put it back:

Be polite, clear, respectful, determined and loud. Fill this inbox to the bursting point.

Reddit: thread 1thread 2.
This needs to be too big to ignore, too obvious to brush under the carpet.

Tumblr: WotC corporate page.
Use the 'Ask me anything' link.

Twitter: WotC corporate account.
This is relevant to the entire client, so we use the #mtgo hashtag. If people want to look it up they should see wall to wall comments on this unwarranted change.

Now I'll climb down off my soapbox, pour one out for my fellow casual format brethren, and talk Commander. Let's start with:

 Kaseto, Orochi Archmage

Patagia Viper 
Lorescale Coatl 
Coiling Oracle 
Lotus Cobra 
Nemesis of Mortals 
Ribbon Snake 
Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro 
Sakiko, Mother of Summer 
Seshiro the Anointed 
Winged Coatl 
Wasteland Viper 
Mystic Snake 
1 Skullwinder
Sosuke, Son of Seshiro 
Snake of the Golden Grove 
Shisato, Whispering Hunter
Orochi Eggwatcher 
Sakura-Tribe Springcaller 
Sakura-Tribe Scout 
Sakura-Tribe Elder 
River Boa 
Orochi Sustainer 
Ohran Viper 
Mold Adder 
Mire Boa 
Matsu-Tribe Sniper 
Kashi-Tribe Elite 
Hooded Hydra 
Death-Hood Cobra 
Coiled Tinviper 
Chameleon Colossus

Other Spells + Edric 
Time of Need 
Sigil of Sleep 
Soul Foundry 
Stolen Identity 
Sol Ring 
Mana Crypt 
1 Quietus Spike
Swiftfoot Boots 
1 Argentum Armor
1 Scour from Existence
Karn Liberated 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Beast Within 
Curse of the Swine 
Rapid Hybridization 
Door of Destinies 
Brittle Effigy 
Erratic Portal 
Crystal Shard 
Desert Twister 
Skyshroud Claim 
Urban Evolution 
Rogue's Gloves 
Sosuke's Summons 
Snake Basket 
Coastal Piracy 
Bident of Thassa 
1 Edric, Spymaster of Trest


Yavimaya Coast 
Simic Guildgate 
Temple of Mystery 
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 
Command Tower 
Ghost Quarter 
Encroaching Wastes 
Reflecting Pool 
Ancient Tomb 
Hinterland Harbor 
Breeding Pool 
Halimar Depths 
Tropical Island 
1 Buried Ruin
1 Academy Ruins
1 Shambling Falls
1 Blighted Woodland
Myriad Landscape 
Cavern of Souls 
1 Command Beacon
Tectonic Edge 
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Thornwood Falls 

I've actually been dying for a Simic Snake Commander. I love the various blue-green snakes and I love that their newfound Commander draws heavily from Thassa's 'can't be blocked' ability, but adds a Snake-twist. I thought I would capitalize on this ability first and foremost by adding in cards like (Rogue's Gauntlets), Coastal Piracy, Edric, Bident of Thassa, the Cipher-able Stolen Identity, Quietus Spike and Sigil of Sleep. Edric, by the way, is the only non Snake creature.

A new MVP for this snake deck is Shisato. I've had a Seshiro deck for a long time, and Shisato is in there, but his payoff is harder to pull together. Making him unblockable really helps offset the "sacrifice a snake" situation we have to endure. Having an every turn tap-down for your opponent can really come in handy, and there are enough snakes (and a few snake token makers) to be able to pull this off.

Sakiko also gains new viability, giving you more of a chance to score extra green mana, which can be funneled into the high costing cards like Scour, Ugin, Karn, and Argentum Armor... or activating Snake Basket.

Another theme I went with was how a lot of the blue-requiring snakes, as well as some of the monogreen ones, have etb triggers such as Mystic Snake, Coiling Oracle, Patagia Viper or even Snake of the Golden Grove. To capitalize on these I added in Erratic Portal and Crystal Shard, which also loves that Door of Destinies is in the deck.

I also put in Soul Foundry, which, when you imprint a Mystic snake, can get ugly fast. Protip: I like imprinting Coiling Oracle the most. Two mana a turn for that advantage is priceless.

The trick here, much like my Edric deck, is to get in quick and start attacking with snakes, while having a lot of answers and Johnny shenanigans (like I just laid out for ya'll) for the long game. You can activate Kaseto's ability more than once, per snake, too... and you could even alter the deck to include more stuff like Might of Oaks, which is totally your call and the way I almost went.

Of course there's a package of answers, everything from Beast Within to Curse of the Swine to the Scour.

Finally, check out our Chameleon Colossus, and how well it pairs with Kaseto. Mmmmm, nice.

Arcbound Bruiser 
Arcbound Overseer 
Arcbound Reclaimer 
Beast of Burden 
Brass Herald 
Blightsteel Colossus 
Clay Statue 
Coal Golem 
Colossus of Akros 
Darksteel Colossus 
Darksteel Sentinel 
Golem Artisan 
Guardian of the Ages 
Guardians of Meletis 
Karn, Silver Golem 
Lodestone Golem 
Mirror Golem 
Mycosynth Golem 
Oxidda Golem 
Phyrexian Colossus 
Platinum Emperion 
Precursor Golem 
Voltaic Construct 
Goblin Welder 
Archetype of Aggression  
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Mage-Ring Responder
Solemn Simulacrum 


Other Spells 
Golem Foundry 
1 Blinkmoth Urn
Seething Song 
Sol Ring 
Mana Crypt 
Trash for Treasure 
Mana Echoes 
1 Titan Forge
Scrap Mastery 
Cryptic Gateway 
Belbe's Portal 
1 Darksteel Forge
Coercive Portal 
Staff of Nin 
Chaos Warp 
Spine of Ish Sah 
Argentum Armor 
1 Scour from Existence
Mizzium Mortars 
1 Riddle of Lightning
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Karn Liberated 
1 Unwinding Clock
Akroma's Memorial 
Expedition Map 
Mana Flare 
Urza's Incubator 
Warstorm Surge 

1 Shrine of the Forsaken Gods
Haven of the Spirit Dragon 
1 Sanctum of Ugin
Myriad Landscape 
Tectonic Edge 
Mishra's Workshop 
Mystifying Maze 
Thespian's Stage 
Buried Ruin 
Command Tower 
Flamekin Village 
Urza's Tower 
Urza's Mine 
Urza's Power Plant 
Scorched Ruins 
Temple of the False God 
Ancient Tomb 
Terramorphic Expanse 
Evolving Wilds 
Eye of Ugin 
Strip Mine 
Ghost Quarter 
Encroaching Wastes 
14 Mountain 
1 Phyrexia's Core

My next deck is my most obscure Tribal deck, and that's saying a lot. It's never really expected when they all start dropping onto the battlefield.

Bosh is head Golem, and brings red into the fray alongside colorless creatures. He's also one "o" away from Boosh, so he's a pet favorite.

This deck is pretty straightforward. It has a red and colorless removal package for answers to common problems.

Karn, OG non-planeswalker Karn is in here. Alongside Voltaic Construct, he makes your mana artifacts go infinite mana. The Construct and Unwinding Clock go hand in hand to untap things like Phyrexian Colossus and Mage-Ring Responder. Titan Forge also loves the clock and the Karn/Voltaic Construct combo.

Most of these Golems are huge, so Warstorm Surge seemed like an appropriate inclusion. So did Archetype of Aggression, again, for the hugeness of everything. Akroma's Memorial helps the huge stuff murderdeathkill even quicker.

If you fear Precursor Golem's everything targets everything ability, then just sac it right away to Bosh and keep two tokens. Also, isn't it nice Brass Herald finally gets to be a proper lord in this deck? And doesn't he just love Mirrorworks?

By all means, Belbe's Portal out a Blightsteel Colossus, you've earned it.

Purphoros, God of the Forge
Champion of the Parish 
Norin the Wary 
Hua Tuo, Honored Physician
Gerrard Capashen 
Mangara of Corondor 
Sun Quan, Lord of Wu 
Village Cannibals 
Daru Stinger 
Dearly Departed 
Angelic Overseer 
Academy Rector 
1 Soul Sculptor
Dark Confidant 
Avalanche Riders 
Deranged Outcast 
Xathrid Necromancer 
Elder Cathar 
Falkenrath Aristocrat 
Hamlet Captain 
Homura, Human Ascendant
Skirsdag Flayer 
Thraben Doomsayer 
Hidden Dragonslayer 
1 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
1 Liliana, Heretical Healer
Captain of the Mists 
Angel of Glory's Rise 
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
1 Bastion Protector
Champion of Lambholt 
Devout Chaplain 
Herald of War 
Kessig Malcontents 
Riders of Gavony 

Other Spells 
Bonds of Faith 
Butcher's Cleaver 
Commander's Authority 
Gallows at Willow Hill 
Gather the Townsfolk 
Coercive Portal 
Cathars' Crusade 
Increasing Devotion 
Marshal's Anthem 
Vigilante Justice 
1 Mana Crypt
Descendants' Path 
Call to the Kindred 
Akroma's Memorial 
Shared Animosity 
1 Sol Ring
Cryptic Gateway 
Utter End 
Maelstrom Pulse 
Beast Within 
Mass Appeal 
Council's Judgment 
Harsh Mercy 

1 Canopy Vista
1 Cinder Glade
Tectonic Edge 
1 Prairie Stream
1 Smoldering Marsh
1 Sunken Hollow
Strip Mine 
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 
Thespian's Stage 
Volcanic Island 
Tropical Island 
Underground Sea 
Temple Garden 
Hallowed Fountain 
Steam Vents 
Watery Grave 
Godless Shrine 
Stomping Ground 
Overgrown Tomb 
Sacred Foundry 
Breeding Pool 
Blood Crypt 
Command Tower 
Reflecting Pool 
City of Brass 
Volrath's Stronghold 
Mana Confluence 
Ancient Ziggurat 
Murmuring Bosk 

I've talked about Humans twice before. And, if you clicked on that second link, and traversed the interwebs to my Atheism vs. Theism article, and perhaps, perchance to dream-- you read it or have previously, then you can see I even said I'd be revisiting humans again, in a tighter, more honed deck. Well, here we are, revisiting.

Also, when I spoke  previously about my five color Allies deck that I was prefabricating in anticipation of BFZ's impending release, "Karona is my go to for all things tribal if I want to rock a five-color tribal commander iteration." So, here she is again, that plucky hard-living Jeska, as the Commander of an all Human build.

The humans in this deck are weenies for the most part. The trick is getting out the right mana to cast them quickly enough to smack around your opponent.

There's a subtheme in here of sacrificing humans to other humans and other creatures. The other, nonhuman creatures can get human boosts and count for humans because of Xenograft and Conspiracy. Some humans, like Elder Cathar or Academy Rector want to be sacrificed, and then recurred with other humans like Alesha or Hua Tuo. Homura wants to be sacrificed for sure, and Village Cannibals want you to activate your Deranged Hermit. If you get enough humans out, they all play off of each other in a twisted, macabre symphony.

(Norrin the Wary) loves Cathars' Crusade, Purphoros, and Vigilante Justice

Soul Sculptor, Devout Chaplain & two other Humans all work really well in tandem.

Hua Tuo, Honored Physician loves Call to the Kindred and Descendants' Path.

I eschewed putting in regular planeswalkers and instead opted for two of the four Origins flip-planeswalkers, that start as human. Lily works perfectly amid the subtheme, and Gideon is the one planeswalker who always retains his humanity.

All in all, the deck plays out pretty well when the mana works out, and you can chain some wonky, crazy stuff that can all be erased by a well-timed Damnation from your opponent, but still-- fun while it lasts, fun while it works out. Lots of little mini combos make it a fun, ever-changing play through.

Rimescale Dragon 
Ryusei, the Falling Star 
Teeka's Dragon 
Moltensteel Dragon 
Utvara Hellkite 
Two-Headed Dragon 
Thunder Dragon 
Stormbreath Dragon 
Spawn of Thraxes 
Siege Dragon 
Shivan Dragon 
Scourge of Kher Ridges 
Scourge of Valkas 
Moonveil Dragon 
Hoard-Smelter Dragon 
Kilnmouth Dragon 
Hellkite Tyrant 
Flameblast Dragon 
Fire Dragon 
Dragonspeaker Shaman 
Dragonlord's Servant 
Dragonmaster Outcast 
Bogardan Hellkite 
Balefire Dragon 
Taurean Mauler 
Steel Hellkite 
Tyrant's Familiar 
Stormwing Dragon 
Burnished Hart 
1 Conduit of Ruin


Other Spells 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Sarkhan's Triumph 
Dragon Tempest 
Crucible of Fire 
Seething Song 
Gauntlet of Power 
Caged Sun 
Journeyer's Kite 
Thran Dynamo 
Sol Ring 
Mana Crypt 
Chaos Warp 
Urza's Incubator 
Belbe's Portal 
1 Scour from Existence
Spine of Ish Sah 
Solemn Simulacrum 
Gilded Lotus 
Karn Liberated 
Cloud Key 
Flame Slash 
Mizzium Mortars 
Brittle Effigy 
Red Sun's Zenith 
Coercive Portal 
Staff of Nin 

Haven of the Spirit Dragon 
Crucible of the Spirit Dragon
Myriad Landscape 
Tectonic Edge 
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 
Mishra's Workshop 
Mouth of Ronom 
Thawing Glaciers 
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 
Strip Mine 
Encroaching Wastes 
Temple of the False God 
Ancient Tomb 
Rogue's Passage 
22 Snow-Covered Mountain 
Buried Ruin 
Mystifying Maze 

Our last deck is the most straightforward. If this deck was a superhero, it would be the Hulk, because, Hulk smash.

I win with this deck many times simply on the back of a hasty, flying Commander. In games I played pretty recently in regards to writing this article, I got Rorix out consistently on turn three. By choosing to add in a monored Dragon theme, though, it gives me an excuse to virtually sleeve up some big fattie red fliers that normally don't get to see the light of the battlefield.

It also gives me the excuse to use my all-time favorite red dragon, Rimescale Dragon and a package of Snow-covered lands, which also means, Skred, yay! 

This deck is all about a big dogpile of giant red dragons and the ability to cast them or cheat them into play easy, in order to go all Khaleesi on everyone and rain fire-death from the skies.

For many games, I'll sit there, taking damage for a good five or six turns, but that when the dragons start creeping out, and before too long I've won. An excellent combo I stumbled upon is Dragonmaster Outcast alongside Dragon Tempest. I highly recommend it.

Thanks for joining me again. Did I miss anything you would've included? 

Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.

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