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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Sep 20 2013 12:16pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where we might not need another hero, but we always need good monsters.

   Table of Contents 

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


 Theros has been entirely spoiled (even ahead of time, thanks to a good old-fashioned leak), so now we have a pretty good idea of what the first visit to the world of Gods, Heroes and Monsters will look like. It means it's time for me to do one of my Tribal Evaluation articles, so there's no need to repeat myself here, but on the other hand, I want to feature something in this space! So what about this: while not being exactly a tribal environment, the Theros block is going to do interesting things to the tribal panorama. The complete absence of both Elves and Goblins (while the Merfolk are there in the form of Tritons) means there will be more room to focus on minor tribes. And the Ancient Greek setting provides the perfect occasion to bring back a few forgotten types. We already saw how Satyr will play a big role in the block, as the main green tribe (they even got their very own planeswalker, Xenagos, the main antagonist of the Gods). But another, even more unexpected tribe got a big boost, doubling its ranks and getting a complete restyling in the process. I'm talking about the mostly ignored (and really underserved) Chimera!


 For comparison, these were the 4 original Chimeras of the past, most notable for featuring all artwork by The Sandman's artist Mike Dringenberg during the one time they appeared back in Visions (when creature types didn't even exist yet, so we needed rule text to explain how these were, in fact, all Chimeras):


 Why they thought Chimeras had to be artifact creatures beats me. Maybe it's because the mythological one is a monster made up of parts from different animals? According to the Greek myth, the Chimera from Lycia in Asia Minor had the head of a lion, another head of a goat, and the tail of a snake. And that's what the new living and breathing versions all more or less feature in their art (whereas Dringerberg apparently was free to draw whatever). The original artifact Chimeras had a strong linear tribal theme and sort of a proto-modular mechanic (based on 4 colors and their typical abilities — and who knows why black was left out). Honestly, they weren't that great. The new Chimeras... well, they're not that great either, but a bit more interesting overall. Mostly they smell of a replacement for typical Limited fodder blue flyers like Drake. Prescient Chimera is kind of cool for a common, though, and there's an instants-and-sorceries theme with the Izzet one as well. But the best one is probably the very versatile Simic Chimera.

 Another tribe that already existed and clearly has all the flavor of myth is Giant, which includes the Titans, as we all know too well. There's 6 new ones in Theros, of which a couple are just vanilla or French vanilla commons, plus these four:


 I have to say, the only Theros mechanic that I find convincing, game-wise, is Devotion. Heroic seems very hard to enable in an only-for-casual way, and both Bestow and Monstrosity have insane activation costs in average. It's nice that you can use it at instant speed, but 8 mana to prevent nonflyers from blocking? 6 mana to put 3 +1/+1 counters and cast a Plummet? Although, in the case of Arbor Colossus, a 6/6 reach for 5 mana is kinda good, isn't it? Maybe that's the key, monstrosity is just a bonus to use whenever you happen to have the free mana in the opponent's end phase. The monster needs to have value in itself, then, and this green colossus might fit well in the curve, at least in Standard. And Hundred-Handed One is certainly flavorful, in an exquisitely tongue-in-cheek manner. As for Titan of Eternal Fire... well, hello, Prometheus! (He wasn't necessarily a "Titan" in this sense, but the interpretation is welcome). I'm not sure a Human deck will be interested in him, but the ability is good enough. Of course, that red mana in the activation makes it more of a gimmick.

 Anyway, it's time to start brewing some heroic or divine or monstrous deck for Tribal Wars. Speaking of which (?), check the reformed Champion Challenge below. Now you don't have to use extraneous decklists to challenge our champions and win the prize!


  • Event Number: 3.36, Week 141 BE
  • Date: September 14
  • Attendance: 20
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars) 
  • Winner: RexDart (Human)
  • Other undefeated: Gq1rf7 (Goblin), justcanceled (Sliver)
  • 1 Loss: mihahitlor (Human), _Kumagoro_ (Human), Deonmag (Zombie), slug360 (Snake), milegyenanevem (Elf), pk23 (Human)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to undeadgod Scarecrow
  • Tribes: Ally, Cat, Elf, Goblin, Human (x7), Illusion, Kor, Scarecrow, Sliver, Snake, Soldier, Vampire (x2), Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, Rex did it again, 4th win of the year with a Human deck he called "Broken-Hearted Jubilee". Which is a lyric from the Beatles' song Junk. For a deck in the Junk colors. Clever boy.


 After him (who gave us his comments on the final here) came two other undefeated players, both with budget decks. First Gq1rf7 with classic budget Goblins...


 ...then justcanceled with semi-budget Slivers, which give me an occasion to both feature the new and very discussed ones from M14, and to highlight how you don't need Force of Will and Wasteland to play Slivers. Slivers were poor man's friend until they became the next "money aggro" tribe!


 Finally, in the week with SEVEN Human decks (I believe it's a record), all wildly different (I did well myself with my Armageddon build from the Human vs. Machine event), AJ_Impy's build, sort of a mix between Amulet of Vigor tech and Maze's End wincon, stands out among every other, like AJ_Impy's builds do.


 And that's it.


 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of September 20, 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):

  • 2nd place, Gq1rf7's Goblins: $4.12 (nonland cards: $4.12; tribal base: $1.52)
  • 3rd place, justcanceled's Slivers: $261.05 (nonland cards: $40.54; tribal base: $8.94)

 See? Goblins are cheap (this is actually the second cheapest undefeated deck ever!). But see? Slivers can be, too! Ok, that's rich to say of a $261 decklist, but seriously, we had Sliver decks way past the $500 mark, and there's $220 worth of dual and fetch lands here (with those playsets of Arid Mesa and Misty Rainforest amounting to $150 alone, after their recent, unfortunate escalation). It qualifies as semi-budget for Slivers, that are naturally a 4- or 5-color tribe, after all.

 The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated

  1. morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
  2. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  3. Trickerie's Golems, $4.31, 1st place on Event 138 (cheapest event winner)
  4. arcbounddaylabor's Goblins, $4.46, 1st place on Event 111
  5. ellmaris's Goblins, $6.52, 2nd place on Event 103
  6. Heureka's Weirds, $6.53, 3rd place on Event 140
  7. kokonade1000's Rats, $7.55, 2nd place on Event 140
  8. mihahitlor's Goblins, $10.24, 1st place on Event 100
  9. mihahitlor's Vampires, $17.50, 1st place on Event 87
  10. AJ_Impy's Hounds, $24.26, 2nd place on Event 129

 NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85.



 The man is back! RexDart has briefly returned home to give us his unique perspective on a topic that's somehow near and dear to his heart: his victory. Here's his second game against Gq1rf7's Goblins in the final:

 Check the complete archive of Show and Tell here.


  Previously on The Insect Project: Kuma and friends set themselves a preposterous goal: giving the Insect their first event win ever. The previous episodes can be found here. No buzzing and crawling to report this week (well, slug360 did some crawling, but it was of the Snake variety). See you next week!



 Just to remind you of a few things:

Meet a new Challenge by RexDart: The Unnatural Deckbuilding Challenge! Here's the rules:

  1. Your deck must include at least 16 total cards that are either green enchantments and/or green artifacts.
  2. Your deck may NOT include any auras. If the challenge goes on long enough that cards with the new bestow mechanic become legal, those are allowed as they are not technically auras while in your hand.
  3. No colorless artifacts are permitted. Colored artifacts are only permitted so long as at least one of the artifact's colors is green.
  4. The deck must win at least two proper matches (no byes, no forfeits) in a Tribal Apocalypse event.

 The prize for this contest is one non-foil, digital copy of Mirri's Guile, valued at over 6 tix on MTGOTraders.com! Good luck!

 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. Minus 2 for slug360, who's leading the run with 8 tribes played, followed at 6 by AJ_Impy and justcanceled.

 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 is all new! Challenge one of our Tribal Champions, and win 3 tix on SBena_Bot and 20 points in the seasonal leaderboard! But in order to do that, you don't have to play other people's builds anymore. You just have to end undefeated in any event, then challenge with the same deck one of the champions, if present, and they'll answer with their Challenge Deck. Follow this link to find out all the rules, the name of the Champions and their 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 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):

  • 3.37 (Week 142 BE), on September 21: Tribal Singleton (only 1 copy of each nonbasic land)
  • 3.38 (Week 143 BE), on September 28: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes nor T9 cards allowed)
  • 3.39 (Week 144 BE), on October 5: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 3.40 (Week 145 BE), on October 12: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars) 

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!


UPDATE on "The Champion by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 09/21/2013 - 15:34
Kumagoro42's picture

UPDATE on "The Champion Challenge". It's currently on hold, because the reworking was causing issues that I didn't think about (in the 5 minutes before submitting in which I impulsively decided to change that damn thing). We'll get a new ruling next week.

In reply to that Facebook by RexDart at Sun, 09/22/2013 - 02:17
RexDart's picture

In reply to that Facebook comment from Ryan, there are currently about 20 million budget-based PRE's, I don't see any value in doing that with tribal. Especially since budget decks already have reasonable success here, not even limited to Goblins. IIRC, there was pauper tribal special events in the pre-2010 era, and I recall AJ remarking that they were not successful in creating a diverse field.

It isn't really about budget. by Paul Leicht at Sun, 09/22/2013 - 04:41
Paul Leicht's picture

It isn't really about budget. It is about power. And not the 9. There are cards that just give you a ton of synergy for their cost. The problem is, when a card becomes good enough its price rises to match its popularity. This means if you make a format excluding all the "rich kid" cards you will simply put off for a few weeks/months the inevitability of decks becoming too expensive again. Only since you now own all the pricy cards, it is you and yours that are the "rich kids." And someone else calls for a budget format...

This scenario doesn't quite play out this way in Tribal Wars Legacy because let's face it, the format isn't popular. Not even a little bit. Those of us who enjoy it, do so from a niche. Which is great. Like minds and all. But we have to face the fact that we either play it rough or we go home. There is NO middle ground. The special events where some cards are banned for that event are only different in that they make people think before they build their overpowered decks. The top decks are always going to be insane. Now that doesn't mean you can't play to win without having a huge budget. It means you have to build smart and play smarter. (CF: Anything AJ has built recently.)

My results lately haven't by AJ_Impy at Sun, 09/22/2013 - 13:45
AJ_Impy's picture

My results lately haven't been great, but I've looked good doing it.