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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Feb 13 2014 1:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where something happened.

   Table of Contents 

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

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


by Kumagoro, AJ_Impy and RexDart

 I had a long, long section prepared about the changes I'm going to make (and propose) to Tribal Apocalypse. But then another kind of apocalypse happened, so we'll postpone all that for a time when we'll feel more positive about the future (you can already see the reformed, fixed Underdog list. We'll talk about it another time, the next Underdog event is in 3 weeks anyway).

 If you don't know what exactly I'm talking about, this is the announcement for yesterday's downtime. You might want to scroll down to the Retiring Formats section. And this is the thread from the WotC forum, started by Pete Jahn. I report here the full post sent in that thread by AJ_Impy, our reigning Ultimate Champion and general godfather of the format. I'll leave to him to appropriately express what probably we're all thinking, then make a call to arms. After that, RexDart will also chime in to comment on the situation. (From now on, my own text will be in bold large font).

 AJ_Impy: I am livid.

 No consultation? No warning? No advance notice in the client?

 It's time for a little history lesson.

 Here is the last time Wizards tried to get rid of of the full card set tribal format. 

 Here at the bottom of the article is what happened as a result, quoted here for your convenience:

Aaron Forsythe wrote:

Here's what I wrote originally concerning the switching of Tribal Wars to Standard:

The big change was the switching of Tribal Wars to the Standard card pool. That was the best solution we had for a format that was increasingly deviating from the “spirit” of its initial conception. Several good things happen with this change: (1) We lose the decks based on Tooth and Nail, Isochron Scepter, and Lion's Eye Diamond, which are less about tribal and more about preying on the fact that other people's decks are tribal; (2) We lose the oppressive Onslaught Goblins, Elves, and Zombies, which were fun for a while but had outlived their welcome; and (3) We get to guarantee that the format won't stagnate again. As sets come and go, various tribes will be more or less feasible, and new block will have an actual impact on what is being played, as opposed to feebly trying to unseat the eternal powerhouses.

This change was made to re-inject some fun into the format and allow creative deckbuilding—rather than metagaming—to be the driving force behind what tribes are showing up.

Let me make it very clear that we have rethought our stance in light of public reaction. We are going to keep "Classic Tribal" as a format, and add "Standard Tribal" as yet another alternative; all Tribal tournaments will be run using the latter format going forward. Look for the DCI announcement to be revised sometime on June 2. (And Umezawa's Jitte will be banned from both versions of Tribal Wars; its removal from the Banned List was an oversight.)

The DCI is in uncharted waters when it comes to managing "casual" formats; after all, that body's job is to make sure that tournament environments are fair. To that end, I'm positive that something had to be done about the Tribal tournament environ, and my above comments hold true on that. We always have to assume that prize-driven Spikes will exploit any and every rule, card interaction, and format deficiency to win, and that has to be addressed whenever it pops up. What the DCI doesn't have a great read on is how well casual players self-regulate within their own circles. And honestly, how could we? It really isn't our domain. But, at the same time, we have to recommend how to operate the various Magic Online formats so as to maximize player enjoyment.

That's where you, the public, come in. You spoke and we heard. Your Specter and Volver and Sliver decks will never be without a format to call their own.

 There, we have a public statement from Aaron Forsythe, the present director of Magic, that tribal decks will "Never be without a format to call their own". In light of this statement, I formally request one of two things:

1. Reinstate the Tribal Wars format in accordance with this statement.


2. Allow the reprinting of cards on the Reserved list, since we only have your public statements upholding that, and if breaking your word of public record is something you are willing to do, you might as well go the whole hog. 

 Full disclosure: I have been writing about, podcasting about and playing in Tribal Wars, casually and in player run events, for over a decade continuously. I have accurately been able to say I have played every possible tribe online in the format. It is the principal format on which I spend my MTGO-related disposable income, to the tune of a three-digit sum every single month. This matters to me, deeply.

 And this is what AJ wrote on his Facebook wall (omission and bold are mine), calling for action, a position which of course Tribal Apocalypse strongly endorses:

 With apologies to non M:tG-related friends and family, this is a plea for help to all those affiliated with that card game, particularly its online incarnation. A decision was recently made to pare down the number of available formats on the M:tGO client. The casualties included several casual format stalwarts which see regular play from the player-run event crowd. We're making a stand for reinstating the Tribal Wars format. Even on the low-traffic official forums, the thread on this topic is seeing new posts at a rate almost unprecedented since the latest refurbishment. Our argument is not just based on the unhappiness of those who play the format, but also upon a promise, on Aaron Forsythe's word given the last time they tried to change the format, at the bottom of this article: "(...) Your Specter and Volver and Sliver decks will never be without a format to call their own." We all know how important Wizards of the Coast holds its word of public record to be. We only have to look at all the cards on the reserved list and recall Wizards' promise never to reprint them, no matter how much good it would do to the format. Therefore, I ask Wizards of the Coast to uphold Aaron Forsythe's statement, and ensure that all our weird and wonderful tribal decks will still have a format on MTGO to call their own.  Everyone, the casual player base, online and off, is at the heart of M:tG. On Magic Online, we don't have a kitchen table, all we have are the formats available to us in the client, and trying to get a group together to play a given format not on that list would require a far better communication tool within the client or as with player run events, scheduling off it. Please, I ask you to get in touch with Wizards of the Coast and ask them to reinstate Tribal Wars on Magic Online, not because it has any meaning to tournament players, but because it gives casual players something truly unique on the digital kitchen table. Help me, Obi-Worth Wollpert Kenobi, you're our only hope!

 And now it's RexDart's turn...

 RexDart: The big news this week is that several niche formats, including Legacy Tribal Wars, are no longer supported by the deck filter. This means you can't start a table for the format, can't check your deck for format legality, and can't find a match in the Just For Fun room. While this doesn't quite "kill" the format, it will cause some headaches, and you can trust that Kuma is working to get us through it. The official statement from MTGO only states that Legacy Tribal Wars was cut for being among the least popular formats. Now I'm not going to pretend that Tribal Wars is one of the most popular, but this format supported a vibrant player community in every sense of the term.

 You want participation in the format? How about a weekly tournament that fired for hundreds of weeks in a row and never dipped below double-digit participation? We just got done celebrating our third year-end Invitational tournament. Over a thousand unique decks have been entered in the tournament over the course of the past year. You want contributions to the format outside the games themselves? This article series has been providing volumes of coverage about the format for years. Kuma and his predecessors have written pages upon pages about the format, the decks, and the players. I personally produced dozens of hours of video content, including comprehensive coverage of strategy and deckbuilding theory for all major archetypes, for this format. Can you say the same about 100 Card Singleton? Standard Pauper? No offense to those formats, they have their enthusiasts and I wouldn't take their formats away from them either, but Legacy Tribal Wars is heads and shoulders above the other niche formats when measured by the devotion and creative production of the player community.

 And that leads us to the big question: why? Even if WotC were right about Legacy Tribal Wars being unpopular, why the need to cull some formats in the first place? Software issues in the new client? Maybe, but I doubt we'll ever hear that from them. Just cleaning up the "clutter"? I'll admit that some of the formats were truly dead – I tried for months during the summer before Return to Ravnica block's release to find people to play original Ravnica Block Constructed, as I figured there would be some renewed interest in it. I only got two takers. And sure, nobody was playing old theme decks. Some formats were popular once and gradually died, like Kaleidoscope. I was always on the lookout for a Kaleidoscope match, it was a fun format, but it had unique problems in that it grew stale quickly when there wasn't a multicolored block in print. But Tribal Wars never grew stale. Every set, even a set without a tribal focus, had creature types. Every set gave something to Tribal Wars. The format continually evolved, and the weekly Tribal Apocalypse has seen underperforming tribes turn into superstars overnight as decks rose and fell in popularity.

 But again, there shouldn't be a need to justify Tribal Wars popularity or viability. It was already available, and people played it. Why take away options when variety is part of the program's appeal? The kind of people who want to play an infinitely customizable game like Magic: The Gathering are NOT paralyzed by having too many choices; rather they thrive upon it! This is the bottom line: Magic is a game that can be enjoyed in many ways by many different people. When you feel you've explored all you want to discover about one format, there's another out there waiting for you, and another after that. Maybe you find a format you truly love and stay there awhile. In paper Magic, finding somebody to play niche formats is a nightmare, as is keeping decks for those formats built. Online, all of this is made easy, and that was one of the great appeals to online play. Magic players have no end of complaints about MTGO's software and interface, but the ability to find hundreds of opponents and dozens of different ways to play at any time of day or night keeps us coming back for more. Format diversity isn't a bug, it's a feature.

 I'll end with my own thoughts, although AJ and Rex very eloquently said it all already.

 Kumagoro: Let's say this first: this is not the end of the world. Certainly not the end of Tribal Apocalypse. It'll be a pain (and I'm still in the headache phase, Rex), but if WotC won't relent, we'll manage. It's funny to me that Forsythe was talking about "the spirit of the format" (an expression that always irks me, because it's typically used by people who actually mean, "the spirit of the format according to me"). And his solution to the "metagamization" of Tribal Wars was to bring everything down to Standard, which would essentially mean killing the format (just go and try building a Tribal Wars deck within the current Standard environment, then tell me how "creative" an experience that was). As for the "stagnation": as Rex said, we have 162 events on record (and dozens more with no record) that strongly speak against that idea, played within a ever-changing, carefully engineered, player-run meta that, like Forsythe himself admitted, they couldn't foretell.

 So what happens now? Without a filter, it'll be impossible to be sure that your opponents really have 20 creatures in their decks – you either find a way to look at their entire library during a game, or you'll never know if it really was what the Gatherling registration said it was. And what if they sneaked a sideboard in there? In game 2 you see a Mirran Crusader you didn't see in game 1. Was that new? What do you do at that point? You ask the host to verify the list? Every single time something doesn't sit well with you? Are we going to face a never-ending parade of "Judge, judge, judge!" from now on? Alternatively, you wait until the end of the event, look at the list yourself, prove there was a cheat... cue disqualifications, fights, bad blood.

 This is a bit of an apocalyptic scenario (in the wrong sense of the word), it might go more smoothly than that, considering our players base. But there will be some degree of annoyance for sure. But again, we'll manage. Two days from now we'll be playing our first event without the filter (hoping there won't be that many more), a Singleton event – incidentally, I had devised an amusing solution to our "Singleton Problem", but this is not the right time nor mood: We'll get to that down the line. In the meantime, the event will start as scheduled, and will be played as usual. Just know this, though: if somebody will be caught blatantly exploiting the situation to cheat, I won't just ban those players for life in Tribal Apocalypse. I'll ban them for all the Gatherling events. Immediately and without appeal. I've admin powers, so I don't even need to pass through Dabil. Just watch me. I can condone many things, but not vultures, not at a time like this.

 There are things to do now. Write a post in that thread, simply asking for the Tribal Wars format to be reinstated. E-mail Mike Turian, like gwyned suggested. My personal suggestion: if you can, play Tribal games on MTGO, every day, in any room, putting "THIS IS A TRIBAL GAME" as description. If they monitor such things, they'll see them. It's the MTGO equivalent of picketing holding a sign.

 And in conclusion, this is what AJ told me when I was wondering if there's a chance to undo all this, or if we're just trying to mend our collective ego:

 AJ_Impy: Hell yeah there's a chance, if we make enough noise. This isn't the first time this has happened. But we need to mobilize. Get everyone posting. Get it trending on social media. Make it big. We need a noticeable amount of loud, polite people.

 So, loud, polite people: the move is yours now. Do you care? Do you really care? Then show that you care. This isn't going to be a good game. In every sense of the expression.


 And now back to our regular programming, like nothing ever happened. Seriously, let's enjoy the format and let's show them how much content this community generates: in this installment alone we have the report of mihahitlor's latest victory and the debut of the live audio commentaries of Shawn-Michael Watts a.k.a. Smawatts, with his own recurring feature from the perspective of a tribal newbie (but experienced player). Enjoy. You still can.


  • Event Number: 4.05, Week 162 BE
  • Date: February 8
  • Attendance: 23
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Goblin)
  • 1 Loss: justcanceled (Shaman), Heureka (Vampire), MisterMojoRising (Goblin), romellos (Human), Gq1rf7 (Goblin), endless_nameless (Construct), AJ_Impy (Human)
  • Special Prizes: True Underdog Prize to raf.azevedo (Kobold) and erymrog (Troll)
  • Tribes: Construct, Elemental, Goblin (x4), Human (x5), Kobold (x2), Merfolk, Shaman (x2), Sliver (x2), Soldier, Troll, Vampire, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 One of the effects of having the big tribes banned in essentially all the other events but Regular is that Regular events are now teemed with Human, Goblin, Zombie and Merfolk. And Elves? Not so much anymore. Elves really went out of trend lately: they've been played only 6 times in the last 30 events, and only achieved a single 2nd place last year.

 Their sworn enemies the Goblins tell a different story: let's applaud mihahitlor's 15th victory in Tribal Apocalypse, which further consolidates his position at the top of the all-time winners list, and also marks the moment where Goblin surpasses Elf as total number of wins (11 to 10). Time to celebrate for the little greenskins.

 And oh, that's the list, one of mihahitlor's occasional ventures into mono-red, here using only one non-Goblin card (and some basic Mountains):


 Miha ended up the only undefeated, but there was some interesting stuff going around. What about Heureka ending Top 4 in a Regular event using a Singleton deck? It speaks volumes about the average power of the Vampire pool, I guess.


 And speaking of vampires, this is a Shaman deck by Bazaar of Baghdad where a certain vampire lady is the key to unleash a certain other lady's deep-sea avatar monstrosity...


 Shaman is a truly versatile tribe (look at this entirely different and winning build by justcanceled, for instance), and Deathrite Shaman has become quite notorious in that regard – you might have heard of the troubles he just went through elsewhere in the game. We find him as an off-tribe presence in many a Golgari build, like in this Troll deck by erymrog, one of the winners of the Underdog prize (the other being raf.azevedo with his Storm Kobolds).


 As for Kumagoro, our host was playing again his beloved Green Elemental deck from a few weeks ago, in a new version with 300% more Gaea's Revenge but also giving in to the ultimately unfortunate temptation of playing with his newly (re-)acquired Primal Command playset. Yeah, not the best of choices in a deck with already 4 slots at CMC 6 and 4 slots at CMC 7 (despite its pompous moniker, Omnath is NOT a reliable accelerator). The deck still generated occasional great games like this one vs. the abovementioned Trolls by erymrog, a strange regeneration-based attrition war, with Yavimaya Hollow (never without!) as MVP:

 But what can you do against the super-powered linearity of current era Slivers (here in Edison_88luckyplayer's very straightforward version)? In an unsaved game there were 2 Predatory Slivers, 1 Sinew Sliver and 1 Megantic Sliver during the Manaweft Sliver-powered turn-4 alpha strike! Who needs evasion?

 And that's it.



 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of February 13, 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, mihahitlor's Goblins: $25.04 (nonland cards: $25.04; tribal base: $9.68)

 The playset of Aether Vial (which is currently sold at half the price it had a few months ago) is what brings this deck from less-than-10-bucks, super-budget territory to still-damn-cheap-for-a -1st-place-deck territory. Of course, $25 still sound crazy expensive compared to those event-winning $2 Goblin decks you can see in the list below. Welcome to the Goblin world.

 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.


 Hello, everyone! I am Smawatts and while I am new to this apocalyptic venue I have been recording my MTGO matches for a while as a tool to go over my own play and see where it can be improved. I decided to dip my toe into this very deep pool of Tribal Wars in an effort to play more formats and stretch my deckbuilding muscles.

 For the first event, the Underdog from two weeks ago, I didn't really stretch them that much: I built a monored aggro burn deck. I debated on what creatures would best complement a flurry of spells aimed at my opponent. I decided to go with Minotaurs, everyone's favorite bullheaded men. (If you have other favorite bullheaded men, I apologize for the presumption.)

 In the videos below you can listen to my live commentary recorded during the games.

 First round I played against fliebana; he was using Plant-drazi and sadly featured Maze of Ith, too. Mazes, it seems, are very good against Minotaurs. We put up a valiant effort but fliebana deck was brutally effective against us: our creatures weren't big enough to get through his defenses or fast enough to pressure him in early game.

 Round two: A bit discouraged after being eaten by Kozilek, we face against erymrog and his clan of blue and black Ninjas. In a fierce clash of horns and shurikens, we narrowly come out on top. I liked erymrog's build as I am always a fan of blue-black tempo decks.

 On to round 3. Now 1-1, we square off against an army of Myr lead by thorneweaver. Ultimately, I think that I probably should have lost game 1, but my opponent didn't utilize his card interaction to the fullest, and let me build up far too much devotion.

 Last round we are 2-1 and our opponent is justcanceled and he is packing a High Tide deck featuring Drakes to untap lands and act as counters. When I see him Merchant Scroll for High Tide, I briefly have a flashback to 1999 Extended.

 Final thoughts: I played against 4 wildly different decks, which is always nice, and did fairly well with my budget-y deck. Oddly, though I agree that the Swords of X and Y may be too strong for the events where the major tribes are banned, I think they were the worst cards in this deck as my creatures were way too slow to make good use of them. While I would make three or four changes to my build, in the end I had a good time and it left me looking forward to the following event.





 Here are the rules for the Robin and the Nine Hoods Deckbuilding Challenge:

  1. Your tribe must be Archer.
  2. Your deck must include one copy of at least 9 different Archery Theme cards from this list: Bow of Nylea, Nylea, God of the Hunt, Crossbow Ambush, Slingbow Trap, Viridian Longbow, Arrow Volley Trap, Arrows of Justice, Avenging Arrow, Borrowing 100,000 Arrows, Hail of Arrows, Infused Arrows, Serrated Arrows, Archery Training, Hankyu, Heavy Arbalest, Viridian Longbow, Wolfhunter's Quiver.
  3. You must include at least 3 copies of one Legendary Archer to play the role of Robin Hood and lead your upstart band of rebels to victory. (In Singleton events, this requirement becomes a single copy of 3 different Legendary Archers).
  4. You must enter Tribal Apocalypse with the deck and achieve at least 2 match victories, not including byes or forfeits. 

 Only one prize is available and it is handled and assigned by RexDart (so not Kumagoro nor MTGO Traders). If two or more players both achieve the challenge in a single week, the player with the most match wins will take the prize. If the players are still tied, the player with the most unique number of cards from the Archery Theme card list will take the prize.

 The prize will be one Mercadian Masques non-foil copy of Bribery, so that you can rob the rich of their best creature and give it to the poor... or just give your opponent a nice face-smashing!


 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 has started the first quarter of 2014. The quarter will end March 29. By that date, the player or players who registered the greatest number of different tribes will get a 5-tix certificate from MTGO Traders.

 The Tribal Achievements: The new list of achievements for the 2014 season is here. Unlock the most of them by the end of the year and you'll share a 25-tix Jackpot.

 The Champion's Challenge: AJ_Impy, our reigning Ultimate Tribal Champion, has issued a running challenge of his own: play with a deck featuring 4 copies of a card he'll nominate, and win 3 matches with it during a single event, and AJ will reward you with 1 tix (which you'll keep as eternal memento because it's the tix the Ultimate Champion gave you). You'll be required to prove through a screenshot (or calling either me or him as witnesses, but only if we're not playing!) that you actually played the card and/or activated the card's abilities at least once during the event. And the first chosen card is... Sunforger! Good luck, folks!

 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):

  • 4.06 (Week 163 BE), on February 15: Tribal Singleton (only one copy of each card except for basic lands)
  • 4.07 (Week 164 BE), on February 22: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, no Big Shot Tribes nor T9 cards allowed)
  • 4.08 (Week 165 BE), on March 1st: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 4.09 (Week 166 BE), on March 8: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Take the survey about the Swords and the next Special Event!



This really came from nowhere by romellos at Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:06
romellos's picture

This really came from nowhere & without any logical explanation.

I hope Wizards will reconsider this decision. We can say lots of things about this and we will say. My only wish is that, our voices will be heard to change something.

Long live the Tribal Wars...

I like that while we used by Paul Leicht at Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:32
Paul Leicht's picture

I like that while we used some similar sources we came at this from different angles, as you will see when my article comes out. Getting the word out is key.

AJ_Impy's picture

We have succeeded in demonstrating sufficient support for the Tribal Wars format. The new Community Coordinator has indicated that the format will return:

"Wizards_Alison wrote:
Sorry for the delay in response, everyone.

Our team has discussed and deliberated the response we've gotten for the format retirement announcement. Based off of the reaction we've received, MTGO will be bringing back Legacy Tribal Wars in the future. The other formats will remain in retirement. Our reasoning for the retirement of the other formats is primarily for the sake of new players. Removing options that players have shown less interest in removes the frustrating experience of a player building a deck in one of these formats, only to discover that very few people play them and they have few opponents to play against. Additionally, newer players can be overwhelmed by the number of format choices, and this removal helps these players more easily find an experience that is right for them.

I cannot provide an exact date for the return of Legacy Tribal Wars, but I can assure you that we listened to your reaction, and it will be returned in due time."

Wow that was fast. I guess my by Paul Leicht at Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:52
Paul Leicht's picture

Wow that was fast. I guess my article is unnecessary now.

Tribal: Resurrection by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:00
Kumagoro42's picture

I was going to post the same.
The post by Alison is here.

Well, 48 hours since the announcement, 24 hours since the protest started.
Good job, everyone.

Glad it's coming back, but by RexDart at Fri, 02/14/2014 - 15:33
RexDart's picture

Glad it's coming back, but still can't agree with Alison's reasoning on the format eliminations:

"newer players can be overwhelmed by the number of format choices, and this removal helps these players more easily find an experience that is right for them."

That goes to what I was saying. I don't think the core demographic of people who are attracted to Magic are paralyzed by choice. I'm sure their market research shows that some people are, but those people can stay nice and comfy in the little restricted cocoon of Duels of the Planeswalkers, and leave MTGO to people who don't flee in terror from having options. And "experience that is right for them"... interesting way of saying: casual players need to play only the formats that we sell pre-con decks for at the storefront.

The other point about building decks for a format and discovering that nobody plays it is more valid, BUT... I never would have discovered Legacy Tribal Wars if not for that very thing. I had a Goblin deck that wasn't quite up to snuff for real Legacy at the time, saw the "Tribal Wars" format in the pulldown menu and figured I'd give it a whirl. After a few casual matches somebody mentioned this tournament to me, and it took off from there. I brewed up a Barbarian deck and took it to the event and was hooked ever since -- despite the fact that somebody (I think it was NemesisParadigm or filebana) Show and Tell an Eldrazi on me my first time in the event.

So while I understand the logic of that point, playing a format really only takes a few people interested in it, and things can easily snowball from there will the help of PRE support. If the PRE scene wasn't so dominated by budget restrictions, K-scope might have gained some velocity and been saved too.

I think it was more, "That by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 02/15/2014 - 14:51
Kumagoro42's picture

I think it was more, "That damn menu really needed some pruning", and they got carried away with their Spring cleaning. And now they're rushing to the street to salvage some valuable item they carelessly threw into the garbage can.

Hopefully they'll get Tribal by Misterpid at Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:17
Misterpid's picture

Hopefully they'll get Tribal back a little more quickly than bringing back leagues has gone on.

I like it. I learned a lot by MichelleStroude at Fri, 02/14/2014 - 19:37
MichelleStroude's picture

I like it. I learned a lot from this one. This is really nice. - Aldo Disorbo