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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Oct 11 2013 10:24am
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where the Number of the Beast is 1.

   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


 The Beast is out! Of the Underdog zone, I mean, and directly into the Major League, now that they finally conquered their first event of the Blippian Era, thanks to the relentless work of well-known Underdog tribeskiller mihahitlor.


 For one old tribe that goes away, there are  4 new tribes that join us: God, Nymph, Octopus, and Satyr. The first of them, courtesy of Theros, has already been test driven, despite its inherent building complexity. Breaking such things is AJ_Impy's mission statement, and we have lots of videos this week witnessing how the Gods did it, ending in the money at their very first attempt.

 The remaining 3 will also be granted the special New Kids on the Block Award, a 2-tix credit on SBena_Bot to the first player who'll win a proper match (no byes, no forfeits) with a new tribe. Nymph is the other new entry from the Greek world, despite (how AJ noted in the comments last week) being the original type of Shanodin Dryads back in the Alpha and until the 6th Edition's changes that took away that "Summon Nymphs" line to replace it with "Creature — Dryad". And now the Nymph type has been brought back for them, so suddenly we have 6 Nymphs available. All awfully Limited-looking, but hey, those 2 tix call for some sweat and pain.


 Theros also brought out of the non-eligible zone two very ancient tribes. Octopus got a new member (as it does each decade, apparently), so it's now playable with the needed 8 Changelings.


 Satyr got a giant boost (bound to continue in the next sets, as they are the block's Elves), passing from a negligible 2 members to a whopping 9 and counting, plus their very own planeswalker, like RexDart noted in his Theros Top 10 last week.


 What are you waiting for? Go brew one of these tribes, pronto! Win 1 match, get 2 tix is about the biggest deal you can get around here!


  • Event Number: 3.39, Week 144 BE
  • Date: October 5
  • Attendance: 20
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Beast)
  • Other undefeated: _Kumagoro_ (Insect)
  • 1 Loss: Robin88 (Weird), Heureka (Weird), DirtyDuck (Beast), romellos (Beast), slug360 (Minotaur), Deonmag (Bat), Bazaar of Baghdad Scarecrow, AJ_Impy (God)
  • Special Prizes: Up-and-Coming Prize to mihahitlor (Beast); New Kids on the Block Award (win the first match ever with a new tribe) to AJ_Impy (God)
  • Tribes: Bat, Beast (x6), Berserker, Bringer, Centaur, Dauthi, God, Insect, Kavu, Minotaur, Myr, Scarecrow, Vedalken, Weird (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Sheer green-based efficiency in the power/cost ratio, that's how mihahitlor finally tamed the Beast. With a little help from Chameleon Colossus, who's sort of an honorary Beast, isn't he? (Shut up, he is!)

by mihahitlor - 1st place and Up-and-Coming Prize
4 Kalonian Tusker
4 Leatherback Baloth
4 Thragtusk
3 Obstinate Baloth
1 Indrik Stomphowler
4 Chameleon Colossus
4 Llanowar Elves
2 Arbor Elf
2 Dungrove Elder
1 Scavenging Ooze
29 cards

Other Spells
4 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Rancor
8 cards
22 Forest
1 Dryad Arbor
23 cards

Green Sun's Zenith


 But let's not be shy about it: this week's greatest accomplishment was from a certain player who have been played Insect for months now, and has finally managed to get close to a win, ending undefeated with the little suckers for the very first time in player's memory. And that's me! With a big help from Liliana of the Veil, who's sort of an honorary Insect Queen, isn't she? (Shut up, she is!)

She is! She loves filthy things that crawl in the dark!

 More about that in the Insect section, of course, including video proof that I actually did it. And this is miha's thoughts about his winning Beasts: "The goal of the deck was to simply overwhelm the opponent with threats. I generally don't like running decks without removal, but here I was quite happy with how my ramp suite performed (10 turn-1 mana guys — 6 Elves + 4 Green Sun's Zenith into Dryad Arbor), along with the relatively undercosted beasts and the Rancor playset. Rancor is crucial in this deck, since giving +2/+0 and trample to any big non-trampling creature is a huge improvement. It's especially good with Chameleon Colossus, and in the worst case it makes your mana dorks more relevant (in such a deck with lots of mana producers, I would also play one or two Swords if I had them). Additionally, I ran Scavenging Ooze, a GSZ target against decks that use the graveyard (admittedly a little slow against the faster reanimators, but it would be useful in the final vs. Kuma's slower Recurring Nightmare deck if he hadn't draw terribly), Indrik Stomphowler if I needed to destroy some artifact or enchantment, and Dungrove Elder because I just love it in all-Forests decks."

A feeling that suits the Beasts, after 66 failed attempts to win an event.

 It's been actually a very fun week, where, granted, we got a record 6 Beast decks somehow gathered to compete for the title of Beast-breaker (that's sort of appropriate in their last appearance ever in an Underdog event), but there was some variety even among them, including this Astral Slide build by DirtyDuck. We don't see many of those, and they're damn effective. Follow Dirty's lead, competitive folks, he always knows what he's doing.


 Great week for the Weird tribe, too, which sends both of its two decks into the Top 4, with Robin88 and Heureka in the roles of the Weird guys.


 Among the other decks, I particularly liked this Vedalken list by Deemed, a new take on the Grand Architect build featuring the Birthing Pod engine (and another favorite of mine in Trading Post).


 And of course, this is the Gods-worshipping AJ_Impy. An old-fashioned but still creative Attunement/Replenish engine leading to the obscure Kamigawa rare he had hinted at as a devotion-enabler: Swirl the Mists. Remember it? No? Well, you're not alone.


 And that's it.


 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of October 11, 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, mihahitlor's Beasts: $19.38 (nonland cards: $18.67; tribal base: $7.72)
  • 2nd place, _Kumagoro_'s Insects: $367.84 (nonland cards: $213.48; tribal base: $8.12)

 All right, miha's build is cheap (in fact, it's a new entry on the Top 10 Cheapest chart below), mine, not so much. It's mostly Liliana's fault, of course (and she even went a bit down again this week), but also a few other non-super-budget cards, and of course the land base made up of Bayous, Verdant Catacombs, and whatnot. Craterhoof Behemoth is almost 5 tix by itself (which is nothing, considering that it's been 24 and was 16.5 as recently as last August), and of course Damnation is currently over 12 after a steady increase all year long. And if you're interested, a full Recurring Nightmare package (playset of both it and Buried Alive) is worth a little more than 20 tix, using the cheap Buried from Graveborn.

 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. mihahitlor's Beasts, $19.38, 1st place on Event 144

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



 Behold the eternal battle of Gods vs. Demons, AJ_Impy style!

 First, a blast from the (recent) past. From Tribal Apocalypse 143, what AJ describes as "a fun, tense, removal-heavy brawl which ended with the winner clinging on at 1 life." The winner being him, of course, but it's really a great game, against CruelHellraiser and his Zombies.

 From last week, instead, here's how the wondrous God deck actually works. This is round 2, game 1, against CruelHellraiser again, this time with Dauthi.

 And game 2 of the same match:

 And this is the decisive game of Round 3, where the Gods faced misterpid and his Myr squadron.

 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.

 THEY DID IT! Well, almost. But the Insect went undefeated in an event! Woot! Well, almost. In the Swiss part of an event. But it's still something! They beat DirtyDuck! And when I say "they", I mean me! Here's the heroic Recurring Nightmare build that managed to lay the first stone of the future Insect dominance.


 The strategy was already there, but got rounded out. the soft combo goal is to get one Hornet Queen and one Craterhoof Behemoth in the graveyard, and then Recurring Nightmare them in that order for the win. Brood of Cockroaches proved an invaluable piece (Rex, you were right!) in that it guarantees to always have something to sacrifice to the Nightmare, much in the same role of Bloodghast in my Recurring Spirit deck. Jet Medallion is also an important accelerator, because it makes possible to cast Cockroaches and one Nightmare for just 3 mana. Given the presence of the Medallions I built toward a stronger black presence with Damnation, Blister Beetle as starting dork and Bane of the Living as midrange finisher/sweeper, despite it being cast more frequently as colorless. And of course Liliana of the Veil, who's just perfect in this build, getting rid of early threats, then dumping the Hornet Queens and occasional Behemoth in my hand while disrupting the opponent. Having a way to discard the latter is important because I run only 1 copy, and it's essential to close the game in one, giant alpha attack rather than trying and holding the board with tiny 1/1, although of course the great thing about the Hornets is that they can trade against pretty much anything, so once you manage to resolve on Queen, you can definitely feel safer. (The deck is midrange, so it typically takes quite a few damage in early turns.)


Hornet math: Cockroaches into Behemoth with a Hornet team on the board = 8+7+7+7+7+11 = 47 trampling damage.

 And here's the videos. Round 1 against CruelHellraiser's Dauthi (once again portrayed in the loser shoes! Sorry, Cruel!). This is a bit of a luck — which is of course necessary to end undefeated — because I can't imagine another tribe where Blister Beetle would prove so relevant. In fact, in another game that didn't save it was all that I needed to win, recurring it again and again and leaving no way for the Dauthi to survive. Here still does its dirty job early on, and then it's Bane of the Living in the role of the finisher, no combo needed.

 Round 2 against the interesting Vedalken deck by Deemed. This is a game where the engine worked perfectly, for a quick finishing blow of super-charged Hornets. Ouch.

 And this is Round 3, which was essentially the final to me, because I was facing DirtyDuck's seriously powerful Astral Slide build, and because in the real playoff against mihahitlor the poor Insects were so tired that the deck practically conceded by itself, giving me only lands, or no lands at all, or blank cards with "c'mon, don't be greedy" written on them. In the first game against Dirty, Liliana provided a great deal of help, confirming to be great in general but in a reanimator build in particular. I tried and dug for the combo, but in the end it just took a Deadbridge Goliath scavenged into another to seal the deal.

 And to be fair to Dirty, this is what his deck could do when firing on all cylinders. Once the Astral Slide/Life from the Loam engine gets going, it's hard to come back, especially when your combo is nowhere to be found. Bane of the Living and Damnation found cycling lands always at the ready to save their Exalted Angel ally, and in the end I even managed to hardcast a Hornet Queen, only to witness a double Astral Slide machine gunning every last creature on my side of the board into oblivion. I hope they all went to a happier place.



 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 elected its 7th winner, which was also its 2nd winner, as slug360 finally did it again, with this sequence: Rogue, Wall, Cleric, Mutant, Illusion, Elf, Insect, Snake, Shaman, and Minotaur. The 8th edition will start next week: be the first to run 10 different tribes in a row and you'll get 5 tix on SBena_Bot! Remember, 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 is all new! Every time a player who's not currently Top 16 will end up X-1 or better in any event, they'll get the right to challenge one of our Tribal Champions, if available (they can try and find one next week, too). Winning that challenge means getting 3 tix on SBena_Bot and 10 bonus points in the seasonal leaderboard. More so, the Champions will have to answer the Challenge with a predefined deck, which you can see here, along with the complete ruling.

 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):

  • 3.40 (Week 145 BE), on October 12: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • 3.41 (Week 146 BE), on October 19: Tribal Singleton (only 1 copy of each nonbasic land)
  • 3.43 (Week 147 BE), on October 26: Halloween Special (only Spooky Tribes allowed)
  • 3.44 (Week 148 BE), on November 2: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)

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!



Great article Kuma and by romellos at Fri, 10/11/2013 - 11:54
romellos's picture

Great article Kuma and congrats with the Insect tribe. I, especially played with 3x Ground Seal for in case I face your reanimation deck. Regardless of that, Ground Seal is still good as a cantrip against any other decks.

By the way; is Rex's challenge still active, after I achieved it last week?

Totally forgot about that! by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:51
Kumagoro42's picture

Totally forgot about that! And didn't hear from Rex either. Did you contact him? (I'll do now!)

Good job Kuma, you almost did by slug360 at Fri, 10/11/2013 - 13:40
slug360's picture

Good job Kuma, you almost did it. The deck is getting there, next time for the number 1 spot :D

Don't forget there are 2 new by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/11/2013 - 16:34
Paul Leicht's picture

Don't forget there are 2 new tribes in waiting now. Sable and Siren, each with one whole member.

Siren isn't a new tribe: did by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 10/11/2013 - 17:04
Kumagoro42's picture

Siren isn't a new tribe: did you forget about poor Alluring Siren?
It has a good chance to become a TribAp-legal tribe by the end of Theros, though.

I'll talk about Sable in my evaluation article next week. I'm convinced it's some sort of in-joke by MaRo. I might be wrong, but I don't hold my breath for another Sable being printed anytime soon.

Apparently Romellos won my by RexDart at Fri, 10/11/2013 - 17:42
RexDart's picture

Apparently Romellos won my deckbuilding challenge. That means it is NOT available any longer -- though this should always be inferred from my disclaimer that "only one prize is available", so once a challenge is won it goes away. Grats Romellos! This is when I miss doing weekly content, since I would have featured any deck that wins my challenges typically.

I will have a new challenge available soon, which I will announce in next week's Diaries of the Apocalypse.

I like hex parasite/deadly by Rerepete at Mon, 10/14/2013 - 17:00
Rerepete's picture

I like hex parasite / deadly grub for insects deck...LOL