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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
May 17 2013 2:41pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where everything must change so that everything can stay the same.

   Table of Contents 

  1. Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
  2. The High Price of Winning
  3. RexDart's Show and Tell
  4. Announcement Time!
  5. What's Next

 So, I sold my collection. That happened. Rea life needs and everything, you know. Actually, I didn't sell all of it. I kept 150 high-profile cards (56 different), making up the basis (with just the addition of about 200 cheaper cards I'm just about to buy back) for 5 complete decks, 2 for Modern (those from my Birthing Pod article), and 3 for Tribal, starting with the highly successful Snake ramp deck, because it was the fruit of my collaboration with RexDart, and because we're in the Year of the Water Snake, and I just like Snakes; so much that I also saved the cards for my Singleton Snake deck (the big ones were already there after all; also, did I mention that I like Snakes?), while the deck I'll use for a while in Underdog and Pure events is my classic Sphinx build, the Living Death one. If you're curious to see which cards did exactly make the cut out of the 16k I used to own, here's the full list:

 4 Abrupt Decay
 4 Acidic Slime (PRM)
 1 Angel of Serenity
 2 Aven Mindcensor
 4 Birthing Pod
 1 Blood Crypt
 4 Brainstorm (CMD)
 2 Breeding Pool (GTC)
 4 Consecrated Sphinx
 4 Copperline Gorge
 3 Creeping Tar Pit
 4 Drowned Catacomb (M10)
 3 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
 2 Eternal Witness
 4 Forest (Unhinged)
 2 Garruk Relentless
 2 Glen Elendra Archmage
 1 Grave Titan
 4 Hinterland Harbor
 4 Island (Unhinged)
 1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
 4 Kitchen Finks
 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
 4 Living Death (CMD)
 4 Lotus Cobra
 4 Maelstrom Pulse
 1 Massacre Wurm
 4 Misty Rainforest
 4 Mountain (Unhinged)
 1 Natural Order
 4 Overgrown Tomb
 4 Path to Exile (PRM)
 1 Phyrexian Obliterator
 4 Plains (Unhinged)
 4 Razorverge Thicket
 2 Reflecting Pool (SHM)
 2 Restoration Angel
 1 Reveillark
 2 Savannah (ME4)
 1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
 3 Spellskite
 1 (Sphinx of Steel Wind)
 1 Stomping Ground
 4 Sunpetal Grove
 4 Swamp (Unhinged)
 1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
 4 Tectonic Edge (PRM)
 2 Temple Garden
 1 Thragtusk
 2 Tropical Island (ME4)
 2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
 4 Verdant Catacombs
 2 Vraska the Unseen
 1 Watery Grave (GTC)
 2 Windswept Heath
 4 Woodland Cemetery

Of course, it shows that I'm a green-based player at heart, and especially a Golgari/Simic disciple. Also, that I'm a high-maintenance guy, since I couldn't go back to play non-Unhinged basic lands! Anyway, I'll kinda enjoy the re-building, in that RPG spirit mihahitlor described in his interview. I just reset my character's stats, I guess. So, let's go completing some quests to earn me a few XPs now. And by XPs I mean tix. And by quest I mean actually writing this article rather than digressing about personal stuff.


  • Event Number: 3.18, Week 123 BE
  • Date: May 11
  • Attendance: 24
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules:  none
  • Winner: DirtyDuck (Cat)
  • Other undefeated: Frenzy277 (Goblin)
  • 1 Loss: Chamale (Horror), mihahitlor (Vampire), _BIG_BROTHERS_ (Elf), Coolcat1678 (Elf), AJ_Impy (Minotaur)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to AJ_Impy (Minotaur)
  • Tribes: Angel, Berserker, Cat (x2), Construct, Elemental (x2), Elf (x2), Goblin (x2), Horror, Human (x3), Kor, Merfolk (x2), Minotaur, Myr, Vampire (x2), Vedalken, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Look at all the power tribes paired in couples! Two Cats, two Elementals, two Elves, two Goblins, two Merfolks, two Vampires... three Humans, because there's ALWAYS too many of them. They took the place of the second Zombie! But all of them did badly, so you can imagine that one of them died and got turned into an undead, if you want. The only featured tribes that were played less than 20 times already were Berserker, Vedalken, and Minotaur, which has become AJ_Impy's territory recently. And this was another good showing for him piloting the big bad bulls, with this very streamlined, all-red list:

by AJ_Impy - Top 8, Underdog Prize
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Gorehorn Minotaurs
4 Lord of Shatterskull Pass
4 Minotaur Aggressor
4 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Blasphemous Act
4 Didgeridoo
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Starstorm
16 cards
21 Mountain
3 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
24 cards

Boros Reckoner


 At 1st place, though, we find an established tribal champion, DirtyDuck, with an established Big Shot tribe, Cat (now with 100% more Rubblebelt Maaka , aka "the Cat you never see on the battlefield").


 This is as good a place as any to announce that next month's extra event, on June 22 (June being one of the months with five Saturdays) will be a Duel Week, and specifically will be the already suggested Cats vs. Dogs event. In Duel Weeks, like 2011's Elves vs. Goblins (the actual event report is buried somewhere within that crazy 4-week article), and last year's Angels vs. Demons (again, an article covering 3 weeks: I was lazy back then!), players need to register two different decklists, as every match will see the two tribes facing each other, with the players listed first playing Cats, and their opponents playing Dogs. In this case, "Cats" is self-explanatory: a Cat deck, but "Dogs" means your choice between a Hound, Wolf, or Werewolf deck. More info and possible additional bans (although I don't think there will be any, as even our usual ban list doesn't seem to really matter, except maybe for Stoneforge Mystic) coming up in the next weeks.

 In the meantime, this is Frenzy277's Goblin list that did better than a few recurring attractions like Chamale's dredge-based Horrors, mihahitlor's Vampires, _BIG_BROTHERS_'s Elves, and Coolcat1678's other Elves.


 And since it's possibly been more than a year since the last time I featured an Elf deck around here, let's acknowledge _BIG_BROTHERS_'s great history with the smug princes of forests:


 And that's it.


 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of May 17, 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, DirtyDuck's Cats: $179.83 (nonland cards: $43.21; tribal base: $1.40)
  • Top 8, AJ_Impy's Minotaurs: $27.69 (nonland cards: $27.00; tribal base: $23.48)

 Fairly cheap decks this week (considering the 2nd place was Goblin, which are cheap by definition), which is interesting for a regular event. Dirty's deck only goes up a bit when you add the price for the dual and fetch lands — that are necessary to pump the Nacatl and activate the Lynx, though —, but AJ's Minotaur is pretty much a 5-buck deck plus Boros Reckoner. And when you consider what the Reckoner does, 20 tix for the playset isn't even much.



 Welcome back to Show & Tell, the ongoing audio/video deck tech and replay series covering the Legacy Tribal Wars format and the Tribal Apocalypse PRE!
 Dragon's Maze was online and legal in Legacy formats this past weekend. At that point, only the prerelease events had been firing, so cards were still a bit scarce. But despite that, the set had a definite showing at this event, and I think we'll continue to see it explored in the coming months.
 I've been in an Orzhov mood lately, and was excited to try out my earlier idea of splashing white in the traditional mono-black Vampire midrange-control deck. I managed to track down three Blood Baron of Vizkopa and a set of Tithe Drinker to give it a run. I ran a full set of Malakir Bloodwitch as well, taking advantage of her and the Blood Baron's immunity to the most commonly-played removal, and this set-up seemed good in my few test matches. But although 72% of the registered field contained white in their deck, I wound up matched against both of the Goblin decks, an Elf deck, and Angel Reanimator. Well, that sort of thing happens. Protection from white (and having two colors of removal to get around Iona) DID win me the match against reanimator, so at least that worked out. I finished just out of the money at 2-2, but I did get a pretty good feel for the deck, and I think there's enough to the idea to merit making a few tweaks and trying again.
 So with Blood Baron lingering in the middle of the pack, do you know which DGM card managed to break out and take down 1st place in the first weekend of its legality? Rubblebelt Maaka! A couple weeks ago, I predicted in my Top 10 DGM Creatures column that this guy would find a home in Cats on account of his ability to act like a Giant Growth while helping fill the 20-Cat quota. And this week's winner, DirtyDuck, was a multiple-time past champion with the Cat tribe. As a Cat expert (or at the risk of mixing Latin and Greek root words, can we say
felinologist?), I asked DirtyDuck about the decision to add Maaka. He told me that he had been looking to cut Qasali Ambusher for some time now (and I agree, I never liked that card in Cats), and Maaka was an easy fit. Ambusher was good in multiples, but otherwise too low-impact in a hyper-aggressive deck like Cats.
 Apart from the Maaka, the other change from previous lists was the use of Knight of the Reliquary instead of Tarmogoyf in the slot usually reserved for large off-tribe beaters. I scanned the list and don't see any utility lands to fetch up with the Knight, not even a Horizon Canopy or two. But the inclusion of the Knight has its merits, as she can outclass the 'Goyf in late game, and she occasionally fixes your mana, or powers out an Elspeth when you're stuck on three lands. Having a bigger beater like that for late game, as well as Elspeth herself, gives the deck some reach in the event that its early rush is stopped.

 The deck DirtyDuck faced in the final playoff round was Frenzy277's Goblin Storm build (which I previously covered in Show & Tell 15). In game 1 of the finals, Dirty steamrolled Frenzy with a very quick start. Dirty's deck is just about one turn faster than Frenzy's in a vacuum anyhow, and Dirty also has kill spells that make it risky for Frenzy to run out his sac outlets before it's time to combo.

 In game 2, DirtyDuck takes only a couple minutes longer to seal the deal, and Cats takes 1st place in a convincing fashion. Of the Big Shot tribes, Elf and Goblin are known as the best of the budget-friendly, linear tribal decks, Human and Wizard as the most versatile, but Cat has proven once again that it's the best aggro deck in Legacy Tribal Wars. 

 And now, remember: the Old Fogey Deckbuilding Challenge is still available! No attempts were made last week. This challenge will be available through and including the Underdog Tribal event on June 1st, or until somebody wins the challenge. If nobody has won the prize by that time, the Old Fogey Challenge will be retired as unclaimed, and brought back later in the year. I have another fun challenge to introduce next month, which will begin with the Regular Tribal event on June 8th (I'm holding rotation until then because you will not be able to complete the next challenge during Underdog weeks.)
 So if you want to claim the prize of one non-foil, digital copy of Sylvan Library from Master's Edition, valued at 3.5 tix on MTGO Traders, you only have a few weeks left! How do you win the prize? It's easy! Well, OK, it isn't easy, but just follow the simple rules below:

  1. Build a tribal deck using ONLY cards that were originally printed (in paper Magic) in one of the following sets: Alpha/Beta/Unlimited, Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, The Dark, Fallen Empires. (Because these sets were not released online except in Masters Editions and other reprints, please be sure to use the Gatherer online tool to check legality.)
  2. Your tribal identity may NOT be Human or Soldier.
  3. The following cards are BANNED from this challenge: Crusade, Bad Moon.
  4. You must enter a Tribal Apocalypse event with your deck and obtain at least 2 match wins, not counting forfeits or byes.

 DISCLAIMER STUFF: Only one prize is available. In case multiple players accomplish this in the same event, the player with the greater number of valid match wins takes the prize; if two or more players are still tied, the player whose tribe has the fewest lifetime Hall of Fame points will take the prize. If the players are still tied, a random choice will award the prize. Also: please note that the winner will be determined by reviewing decklists AFTER the event. This means that the winner will not be officially chosen until the announcement is made on the following Friday, within this article here on PureMTGO.com. If you are the winner, you may collect your prize from me by messaging RexDart on MTGO after the winner is announced.

 And that's all for this week! Good luck in Tribal Singleton this Saturday, I'll be at the St. Louis Zoo and unable to attend, but be sure to send me your replay videos!

 Check the complete archive of RexDart's Deck Techs here.


 Just to remind you of a few things:

 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 6th 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 Champion Challenge: challenge one of our Tribal Champions, and win an Egg of Tarmogoyf (aka a Future Sight booster, courtesy of SBena_Bot) and 20 points in the seasonal leaderboard! In order to do that, you must: 1) choose one of the Challenge Decks; 2) end X-1 or better with it in a Tribal Apocalypse event; 3) beat its creator in a challenge! Follow this link for the complete ruling and the decklists.

 The Bringer Challenge is on! A new, crazy pentacolored challenge has been issued! After Elder, Kirin, Nephilim and Volver, it's time for a true heavy weight, the kind I like best: be the first player who'll win a proper match (no byes, no opponent forfeiting) with a Bringer deck featuring 4 copies of each of them, and you'll win 1 tix and admiration, both from me!

C'mon, this time is alluring!

 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 4 events (i.e. they'll have to register a different deck or decks 4 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.

 The Watch List: some particular, archetype-defining cards have been put into a specific Watch List, giving them Annoyance Levels based on how frequently they show up and their degree of success. Once a card gets to Level 3 or more, it'll be banned until enough weeks will have passed to make its appearance ratio acceptable again. So far, with 13 cards on watch, none of them reaches an Annoyance Level.

 Videos: Send me replays of your games, please! 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):

  • 3.19 (Week 124 BE), on May 18: Tribal Singleton (only 1 copy of each nonbasic land)
  • 3.20 (Week 125 BE), on May 25:  Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes or T9 cards allowed)
  • 3.21 (Week 126 BE), on June 1: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 3.22 (Week 127 BE), on June 8: Regular Week (just plain, old Legacy Tribal Wars)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2013!

Take the Tribal Survey!

 See you all in the Tribal room!


Glad you kept some decks by RexDart at Fri, 05/17/2013 - 16:14
RexDart's picture

Glad you kept some decks together Kuma, though I'm surprised you didn't hold onto Recurring Nightmares, one of your favorite cards! Glad that Snakes stayed together... as for those Sphinxes, one of my earliest Tribal Apocalypse memories is beating them with my undefeated Samurai deck by Mana Tithe'ing you 3 times in one game, and your article comment that week about "nobody expects a goddamned white counterspell" was hilarious.

I gave serious thought myself to selling my collection recently, because the more I hear about the new MTGO client being a complete disaster, the more I'm fearing that MTGO may be a total wasteland by year's end, or at best filled with only a few dedicated limited players still chugging along just to redeem sets. If that happens, and I'm holding onto a sizeable legacy collection like I have now, I'll be kicking myself for missing the best chance to cash out. But I just play SO MUCH MORE online than in real life, and it's my only way to play legacy at all outside of one or two SCG Opens per year in my area, so I'm invested in hoping it doesn't fail. Not to mention all the effort I made buying/selling and following price trends to incrementally expand my collection with new format staples over the course of three years. I couldn't even imagine trying to rebuild, personally, if I sold my collection I think I'd just be OUT for good.

If you're gonna selloff, your way is likely the best. You kept a few intact decks, plus the manabase to run your most frequest colors, so at least for tribal you can slap together a 5 ticket creature base and the usual spells for those colors and a couple build-around cards and have something new if you really want.

I did see you kept Path to Exile, are those the Rebecca Guay art promos? If I had those, I couldn't part with them either.

Recurring is surely among the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 05/17/2013 - 17:37
Kumagoro42's picture

Recurring is surely among the first cards I'll buy back (didn't even cost much). It's seriously exciting, in some way, to enter a free bot and be happy that you can find a lot of essential bulk cards for free again, rather than hoarding absurd stuff that you'll never use in your life. :)
(I'm sure a year from now I'll be back to hoarding absurd stuff, though.)

And please, don't jump into any "sky is fallen" bandwagon you too! The thing is: sky never does that. :)

I usually sell off the cards by RexDart at Fri, 05/17/2013 - 19:59
RexDart's picture

I usually sell off the cards I don't regularly use to build decks, but occasionally I'm looking through my collection and am stunned that I have a playset of some 5-10 tix card that I never use. I trimmed most of this excess during my big push to get the set of promo Force of Will set. But I totally relate to the "why am I hoarding this thing I never play" feeling.

As for panicking, since the 2008 housing market collapse, all Americans see "bubbles" in anything that increases in price. I'm half-convinced every day that my entire MTG collection in paper and online will be worthless in a year. The only reason I hesitate, is that back in 1997 I predicted it would die, sold off my Power9 and moved into the Star Wars CCG. Star Wars was the #2 CCG back then, and I assumed it would last longer than MTG because it was based on a licensed property with a big fan base, and MTG had no established mythology at the time since Weatherlight had only just been released and the game was only 4 yrs old. What happened was that Decipher lost their Star Wars license to WotC, who ruined it, and Magic somehow kept trucking along. So I already predicted the death of Magic wrongly 16 years ago. But I still worry a lot about the influx of players since DotP came out, that it all will come crashing down and everything except graded Power will be worthless overnight.

What really happened is that by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 05/18/2013 - 03:06
Kumagoro42's picture

What really happened is that the new trilogy came out, and then the Star Wars franchise has become a joke a la Ed Wood. :)

I could predict the death of paper Magic at some point in the (not so near) future, as every aspect of society will be more and more digitalized — books, newspapers, records/CDs and even DVDs are already experiencing the same thing. Hell, even personal hard disks are bound to become obsolete at some point! (Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu predicted it 50 years ago.) And the more people will distance themselves from the need to own physical objects (and cut down trees), the more digital games will thrive. The beta is just trying to give MTGO a slightly more presentable looks by dressing it up and making it wear a tie, since right now, compared to other digital products, it looks like a barefoot, toothless yokel. (Problem is: the current beta looks like a dressed up yokel wearing a cheap suit found in a dumpster, but they'll get there in the end.)