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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 05 2013 12:16pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where there's no place like hive.

   Table of Contents 

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

 So, the Slivers won another battle against civilization (specifically, the Merfolk variety of it), just in time to celebrate the very strange fact that they are about to freaking double their ranks, for no apparent reason than "why not?". Rex talks about it a bit in the coverage of last event's newbie-licious finals. Also, check out my and Rex's Building Lab project that's aiming to make the Sliver' poor country cousins, the Insects, finally win one event.


LAST WEEK ON TRIBAL APOCALYPSE...

  • Event Number: 3.25, Week 130 BE
  • Date: June 29
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes nor T9 cards allowed)
  • Winner: Edison_88luckyplayer (Sliver)
  • Other undefeated: brettmemphis1989 (Merfolk)
  • 1 Loss: Nagarjuna (Eldrazi), RexDart (Knight), ML_Berlin (Soldier), slug360 (Giant), bdgp009 (Soldier), Robin88 (Kor), romellos (Kor)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to milegyenanevem (Yeti)
  • Tribes: Bat, Beast, Eldrazi (x2), Elemental, Faerie, Giant, Insect, Knight (x2), Kor (x2), Merfolk, Sliver, Soldier (x2), Yeti, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And here we are, Sliver won for the second time this year, after never doing much at all in the past. It was an event with a few unusual tribes (Yeti showed up for the 3rd time, Bat for the 5th time, Giant for the 8th time, as strange as it sounds), but mostly characterized by seeing two newcomers ending at the top. The one ending at the top of the top was Edison_88luckyplayer, who came from Honk Kong (yeah, we're so thoroughly international!) and already did great things in my Commander PRE, but just got into Tribal:

 

 Yeah, this one list really spells "That's my first attempt at Tribal so I went linear and easy". But was enough to beat a player with the very same approach and similar experience, brettmemphis1989 with this Merfolk list.

 

 These players aren't just new to Tribal Apocalypse. They're new to the Tribal Wars format in general. And yet, with very simple, very budget-friendly decks, they managed to end undefeated. May this be a lesson for everyone. (And no, the lesson is not "Play Sliver linear and Counterfish", for God's sake!). It's funny to me that Sliver got their two wins without the need of all the power card paraphernalia they have been associated with lately (Force of Will in particular), since the only other top Sliver deck, as piloted by Nagarjuna in Event 109, was similarly cheap (except for a couple Mutavaults).

 Speaking of Nagarjuna, he was playing Sneak Attack/Through the Breach Eldrazi (to my chagrin), while most of the other Top 8 were in some kind of white-based build, like Kor, Soldier, or Knight. But I mentioned the Giants earlier, and here they are, by none other than our Ultimate Champion slug360:

 

 And finally, these are the Underdog of Them All, the Yetis by milegyenanevem:

 

 And that's it.


THE HIGH PRICE OF WINNING

 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of July 5, 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, Edison_88luckyplayer's Slivers: $35.59 (nonland cards: $9.84; tribal base: $9.81)
  • 2nd place, brettmemphis1989's Merfolks: $25.35 (nonland cards: $24.07; tribal base: $13.14)

 It weren't for a couple Plateau and Steam Vents, Edison's Sliver deck would have stayed below 10 bucks, which would make it one of the cheapest winning decklists ever, especially where the manabase is concerned (the 36-slot Sliver base ends up being relatively more expensive than most). On the other hand, the Merfolk build by brettmemphis includes a singleton Cryptic Command, but that's about it as money cards go. Once more: Amazing.


REXDART'S SHOW AND TELL

 

 Welcome back to Show and Tell, the audio/video deck tech and replay series covering the Legacy Tribal Wars format and the Tribal Apocalypse PRE!

 This week was Pure Tribal. I've always considered the absence of the "Tribal Nine", and in particular the absence of the three white exiler spells, to be the most significant restraint on this variant format. Yes, even more than the lack of off-tribe creatures. It completely warps how we build decks, what colors we play, and even what kind of decks have the most success. Black becomes much more important for removal during Pure Tribal, and the choice of removal spells becomes much more difficult overall. I threw together a Junk Knights list this week at the last minute. I like to fall back on spells like Vindicate and Maelstrom Pulse as versatile removal during these events, and Abrupt Decay usually has decent targets, so Junk colors suit me quite well in this environment. I was pretty happy with the list overall, even though my Knight of the Reliquary + Armageddon plan didn't play very well in my matchups this week. I also had insufficient playtesting time, and realized too late that my count of green mana was too low. I had a pretty good shot against this field nevertheless.... unfortunately for me, I ran into a newcomer with a Merfolk deck in Round 3 and got knocked out of contention.

And boy was this ever the Week of the Tribal Newbie! Our finals featured two new players as the only remaining undefeated ones: brettmemphis1989 with those aforementioned Merfolk, up against Edison_88luckyplayer with a tweaked version of the Sliver pre-con deck. Edison's deck actually featured ZERO instants or sorceries, and the only non-creature is one Vessel of Endless Rest for a bit of mana-fixing and acceleration into his higher-costing Slivers. Although both decks made a few questionable inclusions and had some apparent budget limitations, they are great examples of decks that can really shine during Pure Tribal: When creature removal is worse, tribal lords become much, much better than usual. Both Slivers and Merfolk are classic, time-tested tribes, and a great introduction to the format for new entrants.  

 Unfortunately, the finals were a bit anticlimactic. In Game 1, brettmemphis1989 never draws a second land and is vanquished by Edison's power-pumping Sliver lords.

 

 In Game 2, brettmemphis1989 has to mull to 5 to find any hand with two lands. He still has a shot (he beat me in Round 3 after mulling to 4, using a Spreading Seas to shut me down plus a bit of luck in the draws, so it can happen.) An unfortunate misclick during his attempt to pull the double Tectonic Edge maneuver leaves Edison's mana mostly intact, and the endless onslaught of Slivers finally proves too much for brett to overcome.

 And now it's time for...

The Tribal Apocalypse Mid-Season Leaderboard in Review!

 Well we're at the halfway point, and it's time to take a look at how the players are doing in the points chase, and the race to qualify for the Invitational next January. Let's have a look at the current standings after to see how things are shaping up....

 #1 romellos (Points: 146, Wins: 2, Undefeated Finishes: 4)
 Romellos hasn't had as many great finishes this year as usual, but the switch in our scoring system has allowed him to put together a consistent string of x-1 finishes that have put him well ahead in the points chase. He's only missed one event all year. Weekly devotion to the event is rewarded. I certainly expect a couple more wins from him this year, and he is clearly a lock for a top seed.

 #2 slug360 (Points: 131, Wins: 4, Undefeated Finishes: 5)
 slug360 has been having a great season. His win in the Invitational spurred him to compete in the event much more often than he had in the past, and he has shown an ability to win with a wide variety of decks. He's made the most of his opportunities, by winning the playoff 4 out of 5 times that he finished undefeated. His string of 3 wins in a row was unprecedented. Definitely a lock for a top seed this year, though he hardly needs it, as he won the Invitational from a low seeding in January.

 #3 Robin88 (Points: 121, Wins: 2, Undefeated Finishes: 3)
 Robin88 has been one of the most successful new players this year, racking up a string of solid finishes. He tends to build decks in an odd style, and his mana-bases are often bizarre. Although he has a strong preference for a couple particular decks, including the Kor-phalid Breakfast deck, he can build outside the box when necessary, and is a solid player. Like romellos, he has also benefitted from frequent play, as he has only missed 4 events all year.

 #4 mihahitlor (Points: 111, Wins: 1, Undefeated Finishes: 3)
 mihahitlor has not had as strong a year as 2012. He always seems to be in contention, but has had some unlucky breaks and bad matchups from time to time. His one win came with white weenie Humans, and he has leaned heavily on Soldiers and Soltari when Humans were unavailable, showing a bit more of a preference for white over his other favorite color (black) this year. I don't expect him to catch romellos for the #1 spot, but I wouldn't be surprised if he went on a run and moved up a spot or two.

 #5 Nagarjuna (Points: 107, Wins: 2, Undefeated Finishes: 3)
 Nagarjuna has deliberately chosen to stick to a limited rotation of decks this year, with a frequent preference for Sneak and Show variants, as well as reanimator. As I've written before, this type of deck often crushes the opponent, but is prone to some do-nothing hands; as a consequence, x-1 finishes are quite typical for such archetype, but 0-2 drops are exceedingly rare, so he's always in contention.

 #6 RexDart (Points: 106, Wins: 3, Undefeated Finishes: 5)
 I've had a great season so far, considering that I cannot play as often as I like in the event (I've attended just under half the events this year.) All of my wins came with decks that I was revisiting for a second or third try: Snake Trap, Tezzeret Birds, and UB Faeries. Perhaps I should do that a bit more, and brew new decks a bit less. My schedule gets much worse in the fall, but I think I've attained enough points to be a lock for the Invitational, even if my seeding slips a bit.

 #7 justcanceled (Points: 88, Wins: 2, Undefeated Finishes: 4)
 He came like a thief in the night, took the event by storm, then vanished. He had 4 undefeated finishes in his first 8 events, but hasn't played in over a month now. If he comes back, the sky's the limit, and he's likely to have a spot in the Invitational even if he doesn't play another match.

 #8 AJ_Impy (Points: 84, Wins: 0, Undefeated Finishes: 2)
 AJ has suffered a bit from the change in scoring, as he used to rake in a lot of points from special bonuses related to tribe selection. He has built some notable decks, including Minotaurs, and survived a complete selloff of his collection and subsequent rebuilding process. AJ is a lock to qualify for the Invitational where his deckbuiding ability will always give him a shot no matter the seedings.

 #9 _Kumagoro_ (Points: 82, Wins: 1, Undefeated Finishes: 1)
 Kuma took the Snake Trap deck to victory early on, and helped make Snakes a power tribe in conjunction with myself and slug360. Snakes have a chance to be a Big Shot tribe at some point! Apart from that, Kuma also had to rebuild his collection, and is still working on developing new decks as always (see our Insect Project section!)

 #10 endless_nameless (Points: 74, Wins: 3, Undefeated Finishes: 4)
 He has managed this in only six total events! He doesn't play much, but when he does, look out! His hybrid MUD/Affinity deck was a great success and an interesting build. He also won with Demon reanimator in Pure Tribal (isn't Entomb going to catch up with Dark Ritual and take its spot on the banned Tribal Nine soon?)
[It should, right? — Kuma's Note] and was the player who finally turned Druids into Elfball and knocked them out of the Underdog events. Likely makes the Invitational even without another point, but I think 70 will be close to the bottom line so there isn't a lot of wiggle room.

 #11 DirtyDuck (Points: 70, Wins: 1, Undefeated Finishes: 3)
 DirtyDuck is not a big fan of the special rules events, and consequently has played far less this year than usual. He could easily have another win or two under his belt if he hadn't run into my Wastelands with his ramp decks as often as he has. Should still make the Invitational if he continues to play, and he can compete with any player in Tribal Apocalypse.

 Other players currently qualified would be Frenzy277, Gq1rf7, Chamale, SBena (if he's permitted to play in the Invitational, as he is a sponsor)
[he technically might, as the Invitational is mainly sponsored by MTGO Traders, but there's a chance he'll just resign his spot in the end — Kuma's Note], and milegyenamevam. I expect pk23 to jump somebody and qualify based on his recent play. Our usual Elf players Coolcat1678 and _BIG_BROTHERS_ have been playing less frequently but could become a factor if they play more in the second half; fliebana and Ayanam1 would also have a shot, they're within striking distance if they return to the event. SekKuar Deathkeeper is a player I keep expecting to break through in a big way, he has a nice collection and builds solid decks, and right now is only a few points out of 16th place.

 On other news, this week is Underdog, so the Knight-based Army of Telim'Tor Deckbuilding Challenge cannot be attempted again until next week. The prize is one nonfoil, digital copy of Wilt-Leaf Liege, the retail value of which has increased recently to over 3 tix, making this a pretty decent prize to go after, so give it a shot next week. How do you go for the challenge, you ask? It's easy, just follow these rules:

  1. Build a Knight tribal deck.
  2. Every creature in the deck must have the flanking ability.
  3. You may NOT use any card that turns into a creature, or creates a creature token, unless the resulting creatures or tokens also have the flanking ability. (For example, you may not use Spectral Procession, Kjeldoran Outpost, or Sword of Body and Mind, but you may use Riftmarked Knight.)
  4. Your deck must include at least 3 copies of Telim'Tor, if allowed (it won't be allowed during Singleton events, of course: in that case, you'll only need the one allowed copy).
  5. You must enter a Tribal Apocalypse event with your deck and obtain at least 2 match wins, not counting forfeits or byes. 
  6. The prize this time is one nonfoil, digital copy of Wilt-Leaf Liege, worth just under 3 tickets on MTGO Traders!
     
     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 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 Show and Tell this week!

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


    TRIBAL LAB: THE INSECT PROJECT!

     What follows is a discussion between me and Rex aimed to build an Insect deck that might end up winning a Tribal Apocalypse event (as Insect is currently an Unhallowed Tribe). It's something on the style of my Building Lab articles (those will be back at some point, featuring mihahitlor and romellos: I didn't forget about that one, guys!).

     Our starting point was the Insect deck I played last week, that is this one:

     

     KUMA: All right, I made this Insect deck with a main goal in mind: Exploiting Hornet Queen, which is one of my favorite "over-Titan" creatures in the game. I just made up this term, but it seems appropriate enough: Titans are the top-curvers of choice in modern Magic, making 6 mana a reasonable amount to hit during mid- to late-game; anything beyond that needs a definite battle plan to be attained. You and I already found a way to play Hornet Queen (and other 7-mana creatures) with our Ramp Snake deck. Going with Insect, my idea was to use a reanimator strategy instead, and specifically to marry the Queen with another favorite card of mine: Recurring Nightmare.

     

     KUMA: As we can see from the game below, once the Recurring engine is set, and two Queens take turn being exchanged from graveyard to battlefield, it becomes hard for the opponent to get damage through, as the mass of hornets kills pretty much anything, and the clock is fast enough, especially with the help of Oran-Rief.

     KUMA: So, what I needed was, for starters, a way to land one or more Queen into the graveyard, and nothing is more efficient than Entomb for that (the slower Buried Alive is just for when you need to assemble a combo directly into the graveyard; in this case, just one Queen is enough, the second one is gravy). The other thing this plan requires is something on the board to switch for the Queen. That's where things get complicated. The Insect tribe is a strange one. It's a large tribe (122 members online, the 18th biggest tribe), but the good ones are few and far between.  They're mostly Golgari, particularly green, with a few red ones. I wanted something fast that would buy me time until the Entomb/Recurring plan happened. Now, the protective side is certainly enhanced by this powerful yet rarely seen, tribe-specific card:

     KUMA: Of the four creature types Swarmyard mentions, Squirrel is essentially not a thing, Rats usually don't care about regenerating, and Spiders are sturdy enough on their own. So Insect seems the best home for this strange land, which may provide some free blocks. I experimented with things like Broodhatch Nantuko, that directly combos with the Swarmyard but it's kinda useless without, and Acridian, which is a great blocker for its cost but messes with your next turn (unless you let it die, but in that case its larger toughness would be for nothing and its presence pointless). In the end, I settled with a playset of these three:

      

     KUMA: The Mob is the fastest, and you just chump block with it with no worries, since its effect would come later on, and you can always Recur it back at that point, if you like. But the opponent usually considers it a threat, so they may waste a removal on it. Necropede is the best deal here, as it's directly removal, can cripple an attacker or hit a strategic creature, which makes it the Recurring Nightmare on-battlefield target of choice. Skylasher (which is what reminded me of the Insects to begin with) is just solid; the flash turns it into pseudo-removal, the built-in protection might sometimes prove relevant, and with an active Swarmyard is the ultimate blocker.
     This said, these 12 slots are far from fixed in stone (especially their overall distribution of copies), so feel free to explore other possibilities. Maybe the black ones, or even the red ones, even if the green ones seem faster in average, therefore more suitable.
     After that, I had 4 creature slots left, which I used to bring Deadbridge Goliath into the proceedings, as it's a huge blocker (potentially a finisher) for just 4 mana, and scavenge can be used to make one of the Hornets really big (to the point that the Goliath may even be a secondary Entomb target). There are some other good midrange Insects, like Vorapede or Ant Queen. However, the former didn't seem to me to add much to the Goliath for a mana more (if anything, it does less), and the latter does play into the same Oran-Rief plan but it's mana intensive, and at some point you would rather do two Recurring Nightmares per turn than spend mana on this other conflicting Queen.

      

     KUMA: That's essentially it. I wanted to add something to discard directly from hand, and in an earlier version from before I sold my collection, there were 3-4 Liliana of the Veil. I replaced them with Tortured Existence, a very fast enchantment (which I remember seeing my clan founder Leys7 use to great results), sort of a graveyard-contained Survival of the Fittest. I can discard both the Queens and the Goliaths to it, and take back the fast creatures that died early on, especially Necropede. This way is easier to have a target for Recurring on the battlefield. The rest of the deck features a restricted removal suite in the form of a triplet of Damnation, given that we can always count on Recurring to rebuild the board, and 3 copies of Abrupt Decay that's just all-purpose useful (these slots might easily become the slower but more powerful Maelstrom Pulse, though).
     Thoughts? Keep in mind that we probably won’t try and play this in a Regular Event (and definitely we’re not building towards Singleton), as Insects are Underdog and we should build this as a Pure Tribal deck so we don’t risk to see the Queen exiled by Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile.

     REX: First let’s propose the basic parameters for the deck, which I will not violate in suggesting alterations:

    1. Insect tribal.
    2. Features Hornet Queen (or a comparable fattie if Queen is found to be lacking).
    3. No off-tribe creatures, so that it can be played in both Underdog and Pure Tribal. 

    4.  The central idea of your design is to get Hornet Queen into play. Let’s talk about this aspect first and decide where to go from there.

       KUMA: Fine by me. I’ll add one: We’re doing an Insect deck where the Insects matter. If we just wanted a deck featuring the Insect tribe to win, we might just try and cram an unrelated killer combo into it (say, Helm of Obedience/Leyline of the Void).

       REX: As you says, anything beyond Titan-mana needs a special plan to get it into play. In theory, there are two practical ways in Legacy Tribal Wars to win a game with a 7-drop: ramp or reanimation. Because ramp and reanimation both require a heavy commitment of cards, the target creature should be one that your opponent cannot favorably interact with one-to-one. Additionally, you will have diverted resources towards this plan rather than interacting early with the opponent, thus your target should either immediately stabilize the board or win the game very quickly on its own (or both.) Hornet Queen easily earns an "A+" rating from me in stabilizing the board. The card produces 5 deathtouch fliers, and that kind of board presence immediately gets you back in the game (and in most cases, puts you well ahead.) As for winning the game quickly, I give it a more modest "B" rating. It is 6 flying power, so if you get 2 incidental damage somewhere (or your opponent uses two fetchlands) you could win in 3 turns from an otherwise empty board. It lacks shroud or protection, but spot removal is nevertheless miserable against it.

       KUMA: Don’t forget that the deck features several copies of Oran-Rief, so the Hornets are most likely one 3/3 and four 2/2s, which put the clock to about 2 attacks (and ideally, after one attack, the Queen is recurred again, so you get 5 fresh blockers as well.)

       REX: This puts Hornet Queen on par with the best 7-drops… but in a reanimation deck, where the actual mana cost isn't a real issue, you actually need to compare this against 8-drops and 9-drops and other ludicrous reanimation targets. If we don’t actually do anything with the Insects that helps enable the reanimation plan, we’re just making a worse version of some other deck that takes the reanimation package and moves it to Demons or Angels and uses their in-tribe 8/9/10 mana bombs that win on the spot or lock the opponent out of the game.
       Although both ramp and reanimator are built to get fatties into play, there are huge distinctions in what kind of fattie is a good target in each deck. Ramp is typically slower, but once it hits the target level of mana production it can continue to spit out fatties as fast as it draws them. Reanimator requires some amount of setup and generally has to burn most of its resources to get the first fattie out there. Your choice of Recurring Nightmare somewhat mitigates this, as you can sacrifice and re-use the same fattie for its enter-the-battlefield effect over and over rather than needing to find additional Entombs and reanimation spells if the first fattie is dealt with.

       KUMA: In fact, I don’t really think it’s fair to see Recurring Nightmare as a reanimator deck. More correctly speaking, it’s a card advantage engine that uses the graveyard as a resource. You don’t aim to Entomb turn 1, that would be pointless. And you don’t even care too much about anti-graveyard techs, since you get infinite shot at reanimating, and you can just bring back ANY strong creature that got killed, not just your big fattie of choice (it’s essential that they don’t get exiled of course). Look at what Tortured Existence (which is a similar concept, and the reason it fits so well) does with Necropede and Skylasher in this game, negating any way the opponent may find to get rid of them for good:

       

       REX: But in order to do that every turn, you need TWO Hornet Queens in the yard, or have to reach six mana to cast the Recurring Nightmares twice in a single turn, and I believe this plan is simply too slow for a reanimation deck. (Also, as you mentioned, this plan is extremely vulnerable in any week other than Pure Tribal, because a single white exile spell stops all these shenanigans cold.)
       I greatly prefer Hornet Queen in a ramp deck over a reanimation deck. In reanimator, you are asking Hornet Queen to do too much of the work by itself. In ramp it primarily serves to stabilize the board and allows the second fattie to actually win the game.

       KUMA: But this way, you’re asking the deck to provide you with a second fattie. What if it doesn’t? What if the resources you use to ramp get destroyed? Granted, that doesn’t happen much if the resources are lands, but if that’s the case we would just use Snake Ramp and call it a day, as doing a land ramp with a tribe that doesn’t have members actively playing into that plan seems random. I defend Recurring Nightmare with Hornet Queen because Hornet Queen’s great strength is exactly of the kind that recursion maximizes. You don’t get anything by recurring Inkwell Leviathan or Empyrial Archangel when they're already on the board. You attain inevitability by recurring Hornet Queen (that incidentally might do more damage — and of a more evasive sort — than the Leviathan, and defend better than the Archangel.)

       REX: At this point, I want to propose a few different branches down which this deck can move. I think that we must incorporate some of the strengths of the Insect tribe, otherwise it’s hard to justify stapling a reanimator or ramp shell onto the Insects solely for Hornet Queen. The problem is that Insects have few creatures that enable either approach directly. There is only one Insect that makes mana (Nantuko Elder, who ramps you from 3 to 6, not ideal for a deck featuring a 7-drop).

       

       KUMA: I actually used the Elder in past versions. It’s fine, but it gets killed on sight, so it’s like swapping your third turn for an opponent’s removal. Going midrange you need protection against aggro in the first few turns, or you’re likely done no matter what.
       I’ve also tried to find something that could be worth recurring to get effects. Insect have a good noncreature destroyer in Nantuko Vigilante, which is sort of a worse Acidic Slime but it doesn't use an ETB effect, so it’s wasted with Recurring Nightmare (ironically, it works better with Tortured Existence).

       REX: Mind Maggots looks interesting as a discard outlet, but we need more to integrate Insects into the reanimation plan. Here are my suggestions at this juncture: OPTION 1: Convert deck to midrange with some ramp elements, eliminate reanimation. I would move towards things like Vorapede and towards the inclusion of weenie-killing sweepers (i.e. Firespout, or Massacre if we stayed in black.) This will be bad against combo but fairly good against everything else, especially in Pure Tribal. This deck would want to have ramp like Farseek and Three Visits to hit the 4-5 cmc spells, and hit Hornet Queen mana naturally a bit later.

       KUMA: We can do this in Jund, if you want to red sweepers (which I generally like). Sort of an Insect Rock. Goliath and Vorapede already make for a critical mass. I don’t think Hornet Queen has a business of being in this deck, though. Too slow, too cumbersome in early hands. Rock doesn’t usually need to hit 7 mana at all, why force it?

       REX: OPTION 2: Add a Broodhatch Nantuko and Saber Ants plan. This could be done as a combo with Blasphemous Act, or a lesser combo with Firespout, and would make the Swarmyards really shine. This plan could be integrated into either a ramp or reanimation plan, and could also incorporate anthems or overrun effects to boost Hornet Queen’s effectiveness and shorten your clock to win with the token armies.

       KUMA: This seems potentially good. I like Blasphemous Act shenanigans! It’s easy to incorporate this plan into the Insect Rock above. Again, Hornet Queen would be (literally!) over-the-top here. This seems a work for another Queen entirely: the Ant variety.

       REX: OPTION 3: Retain the Recurring Nightmare + Hornet Queen plan as the main focus of the deck, and make adjustments to make Insects a bigger part of the core reanimation plan. For example, Brood of Cockroaches plays well with Recurring Nightmares as well as some of the other sacrifice outlets available in the tribe. Every creature not named “Hornet Queen” should be on the chopping block potentially if we went this route. Frankly, I am not the fan of Recurring Nightmare that you are, and I would rather not continue down that road — I think it is far too clunky for my tastes. I would rather at least explore the possibility of one of the other paths to some degree, those options are much more to my style of deckbuilding, but I leave it in your hands. What do you think?

       KUMA: I think it shows that you never played with Recurring Nightmare before, because no, Brood of Cockroaches does NOT play well with it, my friend. You don’t want for your creatures to escape the graveyard (and especially not by doing damage to you, which is sort of adding insult to injury). Look, the current decklist is not a disaster. It worked fine. I essentially conceded first round to Nagarjuna after he did a turn-2 Emrakul/Ulamog drop twice in a row (and he told me I shouldn’t have, since it was via Through the Breach in both cases, and he didn’t have a follow up to that, so the games might have well gone in an unexpected direction; but generally speaking, when you face a combo deck that does that sort of thing, your deck isn’t responsible.) I then beat 2-0 a ruthless Zombie deck with tons of removal and Withered Wretch. And I went close to beat romellos with Kor Blade, I actually made playing mistakes in game 2, and then game 3 I was mana-flooded. This is to say that I surely want to better it, especially for what concerns the elements around the central engine, and I also want to see what else one could do with Insect, of which Insect Jund Rock might well be a case. But that’s a deck that should lose Hornet Queen and focus on something more midrange. So, I say let’s build both and play with both (yes, I want for you to play with Recurring Nightmare, so you’ll see it from the inside!). Rock entirely needs building, I let the lead to you there. As for Recurring, I think its elements are those:

      • 8 slots: Recurring Nightmare + Hornet Queen. If the deck has a supporting system to put the Queen on the graveyard, you don’t need other targets, as she will always be the first AND second one. And the cases where she would be useless are next to none, as she also outplay (Teferis’ Moat) (but not Propaganda/Ghostly Prison, that’s why we should always include some anti-enchantment warfare.)
      • 12 slots: the faster Insects to stop early agro attacks and have fuel for the bait-and-switch. Currently: Scute Mob, Necropede, Skylasher. Are there better options? Possibly, probably, discuss.
      • 4 slots: a fattier Insect, because you never know. Deadbridge Goliath seems perfect there, as it also plays into the graveyard theme. Admittedly, you rarely get to scavenge it, but, like I said, you never know. And you certainly have good evasive scavenging targets at hand.
      • 12-13 slots: removal and battle plan support. Highly workable section. Tortured Existence should be tried to be believed, after a while it was killed on sight because the advantage it gives is insane. But it’s a route, there are others. Entomb seems hard to replace, but again, this is what surround the engine, it’s making all this click (more often than not, as it couldn’t always work) that’s the key to success.
      • 24 slots: lands. Too much? I sometimes wondered so, since the deck is often content with having 3 mana, 4 if you want to cast the Goliath. The larger land count, consistence apart, was to enable Scute Mob. But then Scute Mob is just a bluffed menace in the deck, so I don’t know.

       Ball's in your court, Rex.

       TO BE CONTINUED!


      ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

       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. And we're still one tribe short to end this edition, but the leader vantar6697 didn't show up this time so he's stuck at 9 tribes. Luckily for him, his two closest pursuers didn't take advantage of it. AJ_Impy didn't take part in the tournament as well, and romellos apparently decided that vantar was going to win anyway so he kind of gave up, repeating Kor after this sequence of 8 different tribes: Kor, Advisor, Human, Merfolk, Kavu, Sliver, Knight, and Cat/Werewolf.

       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 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.

       Videos: Send RexDart 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!


       WHAT'S NEXT

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

    5. 3.26 (Week 131 BE), on July 6: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
    6. 3.27 (Week 132 BE), on July 13: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
    7. 3.28 (Week 133 BE), on July 20: Tribal Singleton (only 1 copy of each nonbasic land)
    8. 3.29 (Week 134 BE), on July 27: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes nor T9 cards allowed)
    9. Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2013!

      Take the Tribal Survey!

       See you all in the Tribal room!

     

 

2 Comments

Interesting lab. I am by Paul Leicht at Fri, 07/05/2013 - 15:37
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Interesting lab. I am surprised you didn't add in Deadbridge Chant which seems like a natural fit if a little pricy. The end game is phenomenal if it hits though.

The two finalists both steamrolled my poor beasts on the way to the prize. I guess I feel less bad knowing they did it to everyone else too. Though I did have a close match with the slivers deck and game 3 could have gone either way with better land draws. Grats to both for doing so well as new PREers.

Good to know about this one. by ScottBivona at Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:01
ScottBivona's picture

Good to know about this one. I like the idea on this. Keep it up. - YOR Health