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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Mar 14 2014 12:00am
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where sometimes they come back.

   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

by Kumagoro

 Week 4 of not having the Tribal Wars filter in the client anymore. I remind you that the official forum thread is still active. Don't stop asking Wizards to keep their promises.

 In the meantime, while we're playing Tribal Apocalypse using the plain Legacy filter, one very short gal is pretty much the only one happy about the current arrangement:

 For the ones who didn't know (who mostly are the ones who never played with Kithkin or Soldier), Goldmeadow Harrier has a longtime known bug where her creature types aren't recognized by the client during deck validation, so she doesn't count as a tribal member either in your Kithkin or Soldier deck. I never investigated if she counts as those types in-game, though. Like, do Wizened Cenn and Veteran Swordsmith affect her? Does Kithkin Harbinger find her? Is Preeminent Captain able to drop her? Anyway, the Gatherling filter doesn't share the bug, so your deck with 4 Goldmeadow Harriers and 16 other Kithkins or Soldiers is considered legal during registration, and now that we use the Legacy filter, everything's fine when you start the tables as well. You might want to take advantage of this while it lasts.

 In other news, two weeks from now (March 22) we'll have the first Tribal Kaleidoscope event ever. The decks have to be Tribal legal and all the cards in them need to be either multicolored or land. The only additional cards banned for the event are the cards banned in the late Kaleidoscope format, namely Anathemancer and Destructive Flow (technically, Glittering Wish should be banned too, but if you use Glittering Wish in a tribal game, it means you have a sideboard, which means you're taking advantage of the Legacy filter to cheat, which means you'll be banned from Tribal Apocalypse effective immediately. We live in paradoxical times).


Most of the cards regularly banned aren't legal in Kaleidoscope anyway, with the only exception of Beck/Call, Thopter Foundry, and Progenitus in non-Hydra non-Avatar decks. None of these makes a lot of sense in K-Scope (as they miss all the monocolored Elves, Sword of the Meek and Natural Order, respectively), but we'll still keep the general ban list as it is, just to be safe.


  • Event Number: 4.09, Week 166 BE
  • Date: March 8
  • Attendance: 21
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Elf)
  • Other undefeated: romellos (Human)
  • 1 Loss: MisterMojoRising (Goblin), brettmemphis1989 (Merfolk), longtimegone (Sliver), justcanceled (Goblin)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to thorneweaver (Berserker)
  • Tribes: Berserker, Eldrazi, Elf (x4), Goblin (x4), Human (x4), Merfolk, Shaman, Sliver (x2), Spirit, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, a few weeks ago I was noting how the Elves don't show up that much anymore (they had made only 3 appearances so far this year, and they haven't won a single event in 2013, ending undefeated only once). And what do I know, here they are, back in full force. Only one of the 4 registered Elf decks made Top 8, though, and it's this very old-fashioned combo build by mihahitlor (who did recall playing Elves at the beginning of his tribal career in last year's interview; and by the way, Robin88 and AJ_Impy's interviews will happen as well, probably next month or so.)


 One of the other most consistently successful players was in the final table as well, and that's romellos, with a Human build that perfectly represents his style in the Legacy Tribal battlefield, as AJ and I discussed last week.


 It looks like Thalia has joined Bob, KotR, Mom and Noble Hierarch as the fifth member of the Obvious Humans Club (where blue isn't concerned, at least; that would add Snapcaster Mage and Meddling Mage, while red's representative is probably Grim Lavamancer). Also noteworthy is the first off-tribe use of Stoneforge Mystic since when she's back to gen pop following the (temporary?) ban of the Swords and Batterskull. And what does Stoneforge Mystic fetch in absence of those big weapons? Behemoth Sledge (the colored, quasi-functional reprint of Loxodon Warhammer) looks like a good candidate. But being both present as singleton copies, they don't seem to impact the deck too much, especially if you draw into them in the wrong order.

 For the rest of the winning decks, we have Goblin, Merfolk, and more Goblin. Plus this original Sliver build by longtimegone, who was mostly attempting an achievement where you need to have only lands that produce all different mana from the color identity of your tribe. In doing so, he came up with this surprisingly effective storm extravaganza:


 All while Leys7 was flexing his Johnny muscles with this Norin the Wary/Genesis Chamber deck that definitely does NOT contain any of the Obvious Humans.


 As for Kumagoro, which is me, I don't think I ever enjoyed a week where I ended 1-3 more than this one. This Shaman deck, that was probably more suitable to Pure events now that it's legal there, is a lot of fun with all its little interactions (all of which need more exploring), and was one of those 1-3 scores that are actually just a couple unfortunate calls or unlucky draws away from being a 3-1 (too bad the server was somehow purged and all those great, balanced games were lost).


 In particular, this deck marked the debut of a card from Commander 2013 I instantly fell in love with, Ophiomancer. This snake enchantress can lead to a lot of different applications, and this build (exploiting the constantly returning deathtouch reptiles with Ulvenwald Tracker and basically every ability of Garruk Relentless) merely scratched the surface of it.

Don't miss the crucial part of the text: "each upkeep".



 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of March 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 Elves: $12.59 (nonland cards: $11.69; tribal base: $8.49)
  • 2nd place, romellos's Humans: $1,280.93 (nonland cards: $704.03; tribal base: $251.38)

 A few records are broken this week. We see once again a very cheap build defeating a super-expensive build. But this went farther, because we're in presence of THE MOST EXPENSIVE BUILD EVER in Tribal Apocalypse (or at least, the most expensive whose price has been actually calculated). It's all because of the current insanity of cards like Dark Confidant and Noble Hierarch (33 tix? Seriously?), which make for an unbelievably expensive tribal base for Obvious Humans. Add to this usual suspects like Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil and Wasteland (did you know that Wasteland promo foil is sold at $600 apiece? Take a second to let this notion sink in), and we'll end up with this monstrosity of a total price.

 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.



 As mentioned, no games have remained in the server after the downtime. So we're only left with the rules for RexDart's "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):

  • 4.10 (Week 167 BE), on March 15: Tribal Singleton (only one copy of each card except for basic lands)
  • 4.11 (Week 168 BE), on March 22: SPECIAL: Tribal Kaleidoscope (all cards must be multicolored or lands, Anathemancer and Destructive Flow are banned)
  • 4.12 (Week 169 BE), on March 29: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)
  • 4.13 (Week 170 BE), on April 5: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Titan on the Topdeck Awards!



I used to play Goldmeadow by mihahitlor at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 06:25
mihahitlor's picture

I used to play Goldmeadow Harrier in my modern Kithkin deck, and she is recognized as a Kithkin in-game.

I still don't quite get the by Paul Leicht at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 06:36
Paul Leicht's picture

I still don't quite get the purpose of the singleton mystic and singleton sledge in Rom's deck. It seems like a double sledge would serve the same purpose without the off-tribe guy. Also is Behemoth Sledge the best equipment left after the swords/batterskull have been taken off the table?

I did ask that when he went by AJ_Impy at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:59
AJ_Impy's picture

I did ask that when he went mystic into sledge in our game this week. There's certainly an argument to be made for the Loxodon Warhammer family being the next step down, and +2/+2, lifelink and trample is the most 'sword-like' ability line out there, one benefit from either colour, the same power and toughness boost, just no proection.

I was amused to have last week's discussion with Kuma so thoroughly vindicated with Rom's deck choice, though. The best cards money can buy regardless of elegance, an expensive and intensive mana base, off tribe creatures in just for being efficient lumps of creature or utility. Can't argue with what works, but it can be tempting to go the blood moon/magus of the moon route. Worth noting that that wouldn't help against the winner, though. Tough call.

I'm running Loxodon Warhammer by romellos at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 10:22
romellos's picture

I'm running Loxodon Warhammer to neutralize the drawback of Dark Confidant, due to its Lifelink factor together with a single copy of Whip of Erebos. If I didn't need any extra Life, I would prefer to add a Sword of Vengeance instead, to increase both attack & defense stability.

The core of this deck is actually coming from a BGW Hate deck type that Classic players are well familiar with. Here is my version, I had played at Blippy's Ham on Wry II & 2013 CQ League QT 1 :

AJ, actually I was expecting to see some Price of Progress or Blood Moon variants around. And I adjust my land base as slightly for them. Not much, but better prepared than not.

I do like Sword of Vengeance. by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:24
Kumagoro42's picture

I do like Sword of Vengeance. If only costed 1 mana less either to cast or equip, it would be seen more. The Warhammer/Sledge are probably better. (Maybe in that deck, a couple Basilisk Collars would have been even better for you Dark Confidant problem?). I think in a vacuum the Warhammer is better than the Sledge, because it maximizes trample, and the Sledge can't be equipped on Mirran Crusader. :)

justcanceled was running Price of Progress. I know because I lost the crucial game against him while I was about to win, this way: I was at 4, had only 1 nonbasic land in play, he had 1 card in hand. I draw Overgrown Tomb, play Overgrown Tomb (tapped!) without even thinking about it, ready for the final assault. He plays Price of Progress, wins.

And that's how I learned not to play nonbasic lands against red if it's not strictly necessary.

I considered it, but I ran by AJ_Impy at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:44
AJ_Impy's picture

I considered it, but I ran with Price/Magus of the Moon last regular week, and I prefer to mix it up so as to be harder to plan for.

Can you tell me how am I by Lord Erman at Sat, 03/15/2014 - 02:11
Lord Erman's picture

Can you tell me how am I joining this from the beta client? I'd like to join for K-scope event if only I can find my way to it :).

It's held in the beta by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/15/2014 - 06:40
Paul Leicht's picture

It's held in the beta equivalent to the "Anything Goes" room. Ask an ORC and they should be able to tell you which channel that is. Also don't forget to sign up on and join the room (/tribal)

The playing room in the beta by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 03/15/2014 - 08:04
Kumagoro42's picture

The playing room in the beta is #Getting Serious.
The rest is as Paul said: reg on, join the chat at TRIBAL (don't think it's the /join command in Beta, not sure).

Thrilled to see you back there!

I've been thinking: Given by AJ_Impy at Tue, 03/18/2014 - 05:37
AJ_Impy's picture

I've been thinking: Given that Kaleidoscope necessitates a nonbasic mana base, we may need to emergency ban Wasteland. Its power increases massively in this format, and it has a couple of easy tutors such as Knight of the Reliquary. We don't want this to turn into 'You need a 300-dollar playset to compete' event.