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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 10 2014 1:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where it's a new beginning.

   Table of Contents 

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

Check the full archive for the "Diaries of the Apocalypse" series


 The times they are a-changin', folks. Although not as much as I was planning to at some point. But more on that later. Here's what we'll do this year, prize-wise.

 The New Underdog Prize: Starting from the next event tomorrow, MTGO Traders will take charge of the Underdog Prize, which will see a couple changes (the same goes for the Up-and-Coming Prize, but that one won't change form and will still award 3 tix to the player winning an event with a tribe that never won before). First of all, it's now 1-tix credit on Pennybot. And it's awarded to the player or players running the tribes with more Underdog categories. Of all the eligible players, the ones getting the prize will be the ones with more points at the end of the event. Unlike in the past, this mean that more than one player may end getting the prize. Also, you don't necessarily need to win one match to get the prize. If, say, at the end of an event, two players are running a tribe with three Underdog categories, and both ended with 0 points, they'll both get the prize. At this point, it's more important to me that the lesser tribes get played at all, as opposed to be played in ways that still make them competitive.

 The New Hamtastic Award: Starting January 25 (the event after the Invitational), we'll start a brand new version of the Hamtastic Award. Now the prize awards a 5-tix certificate from MTGO Traders 4 times per year, at 4 established end-of-quarter dates: March 29, June 28, September 27, and December 27. The player or players who had played the greatest number of different tribes during the previous quarter (each quarter starts at the event after the previous ended), will receive the prize. There's not a sequence that resets if you repeat a tribe anymore: you just go and play as many different tribes as you can, in whichever order you like. For instance, if during a given quarter you played Elf 5 times and Goblin 2 times, that's a grand total of 2 tribes played. You still need to play all the rounds of an event for your tribe to be marked down (which however means you can drop if you were playing a tribe you already marked for the current quarter).

 The New Achievements: Also starting from January 25, we'll get a new batch of achievements. This is the only prize still sponsored by SBena_Bot (it was SBena's idea, after all), which didn't want to entirely leave the Tribal but won't do week-by-week sponsoring anymore. This also means that the achievements turn into a year-long race for a 25-tix final jackpot to be split among the players who cleared the greatest number of achievements during the year (a ranking will be compiled and maintained). As you will see when the list will be released, the available achievements are now a lot more (all those unlocked in the first two seasons will be back) and some of the new ones are easier tasks. Also, and I think that's what makes this system better than the old one after all, now more than one player can unlock the same achievement – what counts is how many different achievements you'll have unlocked at the end of the season.

 3 rounds upper limit decreased to 15 players: This is the part where I entertained different, more grandiose plans for a while. It all started from the fact that most Tribal Apocalypse players want to play more. After all, you don't get to competitively play your tribal deck elsewhere, and when Saturdays comes, you may end up in a 3-round tournament where you get a terrible, unwinnable matchup followed by a BYE, which means you only played one meager match. I get this. At first, I was dead-set on raising the rounds to 4 for all the events. But that comes with a different issue: if we do that, we end up encouraging cutthroat strategies, able to more consistently end in the money over 4 rounds, over experimental building. And that's not what we want to do. So this is a viable compromise, I believe: from now on, we'll play 4 rounds in all the events with 16 players (and 5 rounds with 31 players or more, which happened a couple times). The rules page has been updated accordingly. So, what was my grandiose plan, instead? Well, it was simply to create a second Tribal Apocalypse event! It's less insane that it sounds, because my idea is something I would call "Tribal Post-Apocalypse", a side event that would start immediately after a regular event, and where only the players who did NOT end undefeated could reg, with the same deck they just used in the main event. A quick, single-elimination tournament with limited prizes (something like 3 tix to the winner, 1.5 tix to the runner-up) that would still provide more opportunities to play at least another round of Tribal Wars. For now the idea is discarded (not secondarily because that would mean other hours of work for me), but who knows, maybe we'll get there one day. Would you like that?

 Mongoose Prize Pride discontinued: Back when there still were Virgin Tribes (remember that time?), Mongoose was the last tribe standing, the one nobody had played when every other tribe had been played at least once. To celebrate this incredible act of neglect, I created the Mongoose Pride Prize, giving 1 tix to any player who would play the Herpestidae and win at least one match with them. It was sort of a joke, but a few players managed to get the prize, most notably Tribal Legend Ranth as the first player to be awarded the prize. Now it's time to put that to rest, I believe. So we say goodbye to the Mongooses, coincidentally in the same week where the final Mongoose Prize Pride has been awarded.


 And speaking of notable tribes and awards, here's the list of the Top Tribes of 2013, who surprisingly sees Shaman as the most successful tribe of the year, beating such heavyweight as Human, Goblin, and Zombie. And look at that, Elf didn't win a single time last year! Of course, that's also an effect of them not being allowed in half the events, but that's true of Humans and Goblins, too. So shame on you, Elves.

  1. Shaman, 5 wins
  2. Human, 4 wins
  3. Goblin and Zombie, 3 wins
  4. Cat, Faerie, Kor, Sliver, Snake, Soldier, Spirit and Vampire, 2 wins
  5. Assassin, Beast, Berserker, Bird, Construct, Demon, Devil, Dragon, Druid, Dwarf, Golem, Illusion, Knight, Merfolk, Rebel, Satyr, Soltari, Wall and Wolf, 1 win 


  • Event Number: 4.01, Week 157 BE
  • Date: January 4
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules:  Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • Winner: MisterMojoRising (Myr)
  • Other undefeated: justcanceled (Troll)
  • 1 Loss: Bazaar of Baghdad (Hydra), pk23 (Mongoose), Heureka (Weird), ML_Berlin (Berserker), fliebana (Ape)
  • Special Prizes: Mongoose Prize Pride to pk23
  • Tribes: Ape, Avatar, Bat, Berserker, God, Hydra, Mongoose, Mutant, Myr (x2), Ooze, Pirate, Troll, Weird
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 New year, new player, new instant winner! Congratulations to MisterMojoRising, who started the event by asking me how you even reg, and ended with an undefeated score! All thanks to these little robots (which reminds us that this month we'll have Robot Week on PureMTGO! Woot!).


 Yeah, that's really an affinity super-package, isn't it? Leave it to a fresh perspective to realize this is perfectly viable in Tribal Wars. And, as it turns out, extremely powerful.

 And even if in the end they failed to regenerate one time too many, justcanceled's Trolls still got to the finals, which is impressive for such a posterboy of an Underdog tribe, although I feel like they can easily put together a very strong lineup these days. Like this one:


 I think I'd opt for something slightly slower featuring Thrun, but the interaction between Lotleth Troll and Varolz, the Scar-Striped (with a side serving of Entombed Death's Shadow) is just great.  

 Bazaar of Baghdad already used this Hydra build during the impromptu "Hydra Week" on my birthday, but I didn't feature it at the time, so that's something I'll correct now (okay, I since realized that I did have featured it one week earlier, but I don't care, I like this deck! Now with 100% more Kessig Wolf Run):


 And during that same sort-of-Hydra-week we had already seen last week's pk23's deck, too, but I couldn't leave our very last Mongoose Pride Prize unfeatured, could I? Que viva la mangusta! (Yeah, that's half Spanish half Italian, for some reason).


 And that's it.



 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of January 10, 2014, 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, MisterMojoRising's Myrs: $24.02 (nonland cards: $13.04; tribal base: $0.60)
  • 2nd place, justcanceled's Trolls: $204.16 (nonland cards: $42.54; tribal base: $5.20)

 Would you believe that such a mighty distillate of affinity goodness was that cheap? Essentially, the only expensive card in MisterMojoRising's build is the singleton Sword of Fire and Ice (there's also Blinkmoth Nexus that is currently sold at 3 tix, but used to cost a lot more). As for the Trolls, that price (which I still consider in the fair range, since we're playing Legacy after all: do you know how much the average competitive Legacy deck costs?) is almost entirely due to the usual land-fetching suspects (Marsh Flats and Misty Rainforest in this case; Bloodstained Mire at 5 tix has to be considered cheap). Plus those few copies of Deathrite Shaman, which however is kind of on the low lately.

 The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated

  1. morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
  2. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154 (cheapest event winner)
  3. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  4. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  5. Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147
  6. Trickerie's Golems, $4.31, 1st place on Event 138
  7. arcbounddaylabor's Goblins, $4.46, 1st place on Event 111
  8. Coolcat1678's Elves, $5.13, 2nd place on Event 149
  9. ellmaris's Goblins, $6.52, 2nd place on Event 103
  10. Heureka's Weirds, $6.53, 3rd place on Event 140

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


 Just to remind you of a few things: 

 The Underdog Prize: During any event of the regular rotation (but not during the one-time special events), all players who are running an Underdog Tribe are eligible for a 1-tix credit on Pennybot. The tie-breakers are first the number of Underdog categories (for instance, a tribe that's simultaneously Endangered and Unhallowed will take the prize over one that's only Endangered), then the points achieved in the final standings. During Underdog events, only the True Underdog tribes are rewarded (those are the tribes belonging to all three categories of Underdog at once).

 The Up-and-Coming Prize: When a tribe wins an event for the first time ever (losing Unhallowed status), its pilot will get a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders.

 The Hamtastic Award: The Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg will be back starting January 25. The first quarter will end March 29. By that date, the player who registered the greater number of different tribes will get a 5-tix certificate from MTGO Traders.

 The Achievements: A new list of achievements will debut on January 25.

 The Top Players Lockout: Every time a Top Player (either a Google Era Top 8, an Ultimate Champion/Tribal Player of the Year, 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):

  • 4.02 (Week 158 BE), on January 11: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • Special (Week 159 BE), on January 18: The 2013 Invitational! (check your ranking, you may enter as a reserve)
  • 4.03 (Week 160 BE), on January 25: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes nor T9 cards allowed)
  • 4.04 (Week 161 BE), on February 1: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote the Topdeck Awards!



The post-apocalypse idea has by Paul Leicht at Fri, 01/10/2014 - 17:07
Paul Leicht's picture

The post-apocalypse idea has merit. What you need is a secondary host who can do the work for you so that you merely need to be the man in charge and not have to do the drudgery of a second event on top of the first.

For post-apocalyptic by RexDart at Fri, 01/10/2014 - 17:44
RexDart's picture

For post-apocalyptic tournaments, single-elimination is very appropriate. "Two men enter, one man leaves."

I usually preferred 3 round tournaments, since a playoff between undefeateds was faster than waiting on another full round. Mid-day Saturday is just a tough time slot to justify sitting at the computer that long when the weather is nice and you're in a relationship with an outdoors-lover. I also agree with you that certain flashy decks lacking in consistency suffer from longer tournaments -- I'm not sure my 2012 Efreet deck, for example, would have won a four round tournament. But on the flip side, having decks with insane nut draws blow through a short event might not be what you want either.