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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Mar 28 2014 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE that turned kaleidoscopic for a day. Or more?

   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

 Who would have thought that Kaleidoscope would turn out to be such a crowd-pleaser? I had come up with the idea of using Kaleidoscope as the first special event of 2014 only to fulfill the request of "doing something we've never done before", as expressed through the latest survey. And also because Kaleidoscope was one of the formats that were discontinued from MTGO (speaking of which: the Tribal Wars filter hasn't come back yet, check the thread here).

 But apparently, many tribal players loved the multicolored extravaganza, which now has me wondering if maybe we should officially invite it into our monthly rotation. We have an easy way to do it, as I proposed at the end of the event, again to the general consensus of the room: giving Tribal Kaleidoscope half the controversial Singleton slots each year, thus turning the third week of each month into a Specialist Format Week, i.e. a week devoted to formats that just result from the marriage of Tribal Wars with another established format, such as Singleton and Kaleidoscope indeed, as opposed to variants of the Tribal Wars basic rules we came up with ourselves.

 It works for me, it's streamlined enough as a concept, and it keeps in calendar at least 6 Singleton events per year, thus avoiding that whole challenge concept that was fun on paper but probably a bit too complicated to handle. If it works for most of you as well, we can start putting Kaleidoscope in calendar starting from next May – we'll probably also have a proper Gatherling filter in place by then.

 May is also the second of the three 5-week months where we have room/need for a special event, the third being August. I was thinking of doing a Duel Week and a Commander event, respectively. For the duel, I'm leaning towards a very tongue-in-cheek yet easy to build Plants vs. Zombies (I hope you know why). Let me know your thoughts about it in the comments. (And no, Grave Bramble wouldn't be banned. It'd be the whole point of the event!)


  • Event Number: 4.11, Week 168 BE
  • Date: March 22
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Tribal Kaleidoscope (all cards must be multicolored or lands)
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Knight)
  • 1 Loss: romellos (Soldier), slug360 (Soldier), Lord Erman (Elf)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to AJ_Impy (Specter)
  • Tribes: Beast, Bird (x2), Elf (x4), Goblin (x2), Knight (x2), Soldier (x3), Specter, Spirit, Warrior, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Not a bad turnout of different tribes for our first Kaleidoscope event ever, despite those 4 Elves, only one of which ended up in the money anyway. I honestly wouldn't have expected Elf to be the go-to tribe for the format, while I'm less surprised about Soldier doing so well. Where I am surprised, instead, is by not seeing half the registered decks being Knight, considering the tribe had at its beck and call such multicolored bombs as these:



 Of course, the infallible instinct of mihahitlor didn't miss on the inherent power of the Knights, and took the event by storm with this build that doesn't even need Knight of the Reliquary or the expensive Liege:


 It's interesting to see how the only removals present, or really the only noncreature cards in the decks, are two situational spells like Selesnya Charm, that only gets rid of the larger creatures (but also doubles as a creature itself, and a Knight at that), and Snakeform, that replaces itself but requires a suitable creature to turn itself into a proper removal. The success of this strategy might hint at the scarcity of mass removal in the format: Snakeform was likely to always have a friendly blocker to "combo" with.


 You can also note the presence of a few support creatures, like the classic Selesnya factotum Qasali Pridemage, and most notably the recent and severely overlooked Fleecemane Lion, and the "half of Progenitus", Oversoul of Dusk, that might be able to cause troubles to many an opponent, considering the odds of having one of the colors of her protections within any of your creatures' multicolored mix.


 The other Knight deck, piloted by Bazaar of Baghdad, also chose to focus on the protection abilities, in the form of two members of the old Invasion cycle of the "protected bears": Galina's Knight and Llanowar Knight. The deck also features more traditional answers like Supreme Verdict and Detention Sphere, and a more accomplished mana base, whereas miha relied uniquely on the ubiquitous Pillar of the Paruns (thank the Gods it's worth less than 1 tix) and a few other cheaper duals.

 The two highest-ranked Soldier decks were the same kind of aggro builds, but tentatively faster than their bigger knightly cousins. Here's romellos' version, a 5-color build featuring a few singleton legends, including, curiously, the 3-colored, Commander-specific Oloro, Ageless Ascetic.


 And this is slug360's take on the same tribe, with a more focused Boros lineup supported off-tribe by a couple of the guild's brightest stars such as Figure of Destiny and Boros Reckoner:


 The more than welcome return of PureMTGO's Lord Erman to Tribal Apocalypse (welcome back, Erman! We missed you!) gives us the highest-ranked Elf deck in the event, with Bloodbraid Elf as the obvious centerpiece and theme-setter, and Master Biomancer as the Johnnier card.


From these last three decks you can get the sense of the most popular noncreature spells in the format:



 Of course Vindicate should be a very obvious option too, especially now that its cost isn't ridiculous anymore (it's not exactly cheap, either, but it's cheaper than Ajani Vengeant these days). And yet, it didn't appear in any of the registered decks, despite some of them having access to both white and black.

 A less predictable card that saw some play, and whose existence I essentially found out while researching for the event, was Pure/Simple, a.k.a. the Kaleidoscope's Vindicate (if Vindicate wasn't Kaleidoscope legal itself, that is. But you know what I mean):

 I used it in a Beast deck that wasn't officially registered. Comparing notes with Gq1rf7, pilot of the only Beast deck that was actually in the tournament, I came up with what I think could be an ideal build for the Beasts (another tribe I was expecting more of; the same goes for Spirit).


 Finally, I liked this Bird deck by ChNidox. Aven Mimeomancer's ability used aggressively on the opponent's creatures, in combination with Skymark Roc, makes for an interesting interaction.




 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of March 27, 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 Knights: $23.14 (nonland cards: $13.68; tribal base: $8.40)

 Did you want to know how much would cost to play a powerhouse like miha's Knights? Now you do: not a lot! The most expensive card is Stillmoon Cavalier at $1.95.

 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.



 Still no replays available in the client, so here are, once again, 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 first quarter of 2014 is ending this week, and mihahitlor is leading the ranking with 9 tribes. Guy's gonna win 'em all!

 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):

  • 4.12 (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)
  • 4.14 (Week 171 BE), on April 12: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • 4.15 (Week 172 BE), on April 19: Tribal Singleton (only one copy of each card except for basic lands)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Burn spell on the Topdeck Awards!