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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Apr 25 2014 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where there's light at the end of the tunnel. 

   Table of Contents 

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

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

by Kumagoro

 Finally some movement on the "Legacy Tribal Wars filter will be reinstated in the client" front (I remind you how Wizards sneakily removed it from MTGO then immediately promised to bring it back... nearly 3 months ago).
On the official Twitter account for Magic Online, this tweet by Alison L. (Associate Community Manager) appeared yesterday:  

 Elsewhere, we're voting to bring the Swords of X and Y (and cousin Batterskull) back in the Underdog and Pure Tribal events (they will be back regardless in Regular events, never went away in Singleton, never could be played in Kaleidoscope). We had 10 votes so far in last week's comment section (including Facebook votes). I'll put a tally in this one. Then I'll ask for votes in the newsletter, too. I aim to conclude this voting process by next week, before the Underdog event of May 3.

 I take the chance to make a couple Gatherling glitches know. For some reason, the Archetype cycle isn't recognized in Gatherling. We're fixing this. For now, just put a placeholder in the deck and a note saying which card is there only to represent which Archetype.

 Also, and this is interesting, we have a Goblin Warchief issue, meaning that it's only marked as a Goblin, not a Goblin Warrior. And this is because it was only recently (last January) promoted to Warrior status. The Born of the Gods Oracle update by Matt Tabak had several rule changes (I realize I should monitor these things more thoroughly; if you do, please let me know of similar cases when they present themselves). Among those, there's this passage about the Warchief:

Goblin Warchief, originally printed in Scourge, also joined his brethren in the very first Duel Decks: Elves vs. Goblins. At that time, its creature types were updated to Goblin Warrior. Not only is he called a Warchief, but he's in a very war-like posture. And check out that stick! Unfortunately, this change was accidentally left out of Oracle and lost to time. Well, time's up, because I noticed. I'll just make that Oracle update now, I suppose.

Old creature types:  Goblin

New creature types: Goblin Warrior

 So, until this is also fixed on Gatherling, whenever the lack of a Warrior type affects your deck (for instance, if you try to build a Warrior deck with the Warchief as part of your lineup), do the placeholder+note thing, I'll replace it in the list as soon as it's possible. You can play the deck as you should in the actual tournament. Except this specific case is made a little bit more complicate by the fact that, of course, even the client hasn't been updated yet. So, as long as we play with a Legacy filter, it's all good, because the client won't notice the difference. After May 7, when hopefully we'll get the Tribal Wars filter back, if the Warchief situation will not have been fixed, the client will prevent you from playing a deck with 16 Warriors and 4 Warchiefs as a legal Tribal Wars deck. And in that case, the Warchief will become a bug we'll have to  bow to, just as we do with Goldmeadow Harrier (which is okay for Gatherling, but has no creature types whatsoever where the client is concerned, therefore is not accepted as a member of a Kithkin or Soldier deck, a known and reported bug all Kithkin players in the past had to put up with).



  • Event Number: 4.15, Week 172 BE
  • Date: April 19
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Tribal Singleton (only one copy of each card except for basic lands)
  • Winner: romellos (Knight)
  • 1 Loss: Robin88 (Shaman), smawatts (Goblin), Bazaar of Baghdad (Human), endless_nameless (Vampire), mihahitlor (Goblin)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to ChNidox (Minotaur)
  • Tribes: Cleric, Elf, Goblin (x3), Human, Knight, Minotaur, Mutant, Ogre, Shaman (x2), Soldier (x2), Vampire, Warrior, Wizard, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Did you know that Knight won the last two specialist events? First Kaleidoscope, now Singleton. This time with romellos as the only undefeated pilot.


 Let's have a look at the more uncommon, Underdog-style Singleton builds (you'll see the top decks in smawatts' War Report, anyway). Like these Minotaurs by ChNidox.


 Or these Mutants by Leys7.


 And of course, welcome back vantar6697! We know it's you because your chosen tribe is... Ogre!




 Singleton week means no prices, so just Meditate while looking at the list of the cheapest winners ever.

 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, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  4. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  5. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  6. Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147
  7. Trickerie's Golems, $4.31, 1st place on Event 138
  8. arcbounddaylabor's Goblins, $4.46, 1st place on Event 111
  9. Coolcat1678's Elves, $5.13, 2nd place on Event 149
  10. ellmaris's Goblins, $6.52, 2nd place on Event 103

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

by Smawatts

 For Singleton I wanted to play something that would be consistent, so I built a Goblin deck focused more on mana curve than individual card power.

 Round 1 vs. mihahitlor's Goblins: Goblin on Goblin violence. Oh the humanity, err goblinity. Aggro mirror matches are always my least favorite type of matchups.

 Round 2 vs. Robin88's Shamans: Once these green-red Shamans got control of the board, they just had too many ways to gain incremental advantage.

 Round 3 vs. brettmemphis1989's Soldiers: A series of super close games against green-white midrange Soldiers. I actually think I got lucky and that generally this matchup should go to the slightly slower bigger deck.

 Round 4 vs. MisterMojoRising's Warriors: I actually thought I was playing another Goblin mirror but it would seem that these were Warriors. Very Goblin-looking Warriors. Tough mono-red aggro mirror.


 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 second quarter of 2014. The quarter will end June 28. 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):

  • 4.16 (Week 173 BE), on April 26: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)
  • 4.17 (Week 174 BE), on May 3: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 4.18 (Week 175 BE), on May 10: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • 4.19 (Week 176 BE), on May 17: Tribal Kaleidoscope (only multicolored cards and lands)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Burn spell on the Topdeck Awards!



Well, update already: by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 04/25/2014 - 17:40
Kumagoro42's picture

Well, update already: Archetype and Goblin Warchief issues both solved on Gatherling.

Swords Voting by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 06:05
Kumagoro42's picture

"Do you want the Swords and Batterskull back in Underdog and Pure events?"
Answer YES if you want for them to be unbanned, or NO if you want for them to remain banned.
(If they'll be unbanned, Stoneforge Mystic will be back to be playable only in Kor and Artificer decks).

Majority of 30 votes needed before a decision will be taken. Current tally:

YES, unban the Swords: mihahitlor, RexDart, Lord Erman, ML_Berlin

NO, keep the Swords banned: Ben Bentrup, Kenny Fromm Jr, Denis Bokach, AJ_Impy, romellos,

Abstained: Winter.Wolf


NO by Deonmag at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 09:02
Deonmag's picture


Unban by Robin88 at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 06:12
Robin88's picture

Unban the swords please. helps with the underpowered tribes so we don't need to buy a slew of weird-ass cards just to win an event and see yourself locked out from using that tribe for the next 6 weeks.

I.e. banning swords means we need to find other ways to power those less used tribes. and frankly it isn't economical to buy those niche cards just to win a tix or two.

The swords are more expensive by AJ_Impy at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 06:21
AJ_Impy's picture

The swords are more expensive than something niche and underplayed would be. Why should we give people a higher financial burden to compete? You'd need to win several events outright to get the price of just one sword.

The other problem is the swords can be used equally regardless of how underpowered or overpowered a given tribe is. They don't help the underpowered tribes for exactly the same reason that Aether Vial doesn't. The more powerful a tribe, the greater its superiority when additional power is made available to everyone.

AJ: Think of it like this, if by Robin88 at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 12:08
Robin88's picture

AJ: Think of it like this, if slugs are power level "1" and swords give the deck "+5", then the slug + sword deck is "6"

If Kor is power level "5" and swords give it +"5", then the kor + sword deck is "10" power deck.

So with the ban in place, there is power 1 vs power 5 deck, which is a 500% difference.
But with swords, the difference is only 166% (think 10/6)

so what I saying is sure, absolute level, kors + swords might be the strongest deck. But on a relative level, decks with swords are more even and the difference might even be minimal.

Regarding financial level, all you need is 1-2 swords, which cost around 6 tix*2 = 12 tix for a lifetime.
But think about if you make and bring a new tribe everytime, you have to invest probably 3 tix every week for each new tribe. So in the long run you have a bunch of these niche tribal members that doesn't even work for other formats like Commander, Modern, etc. I.e. I have a pile of junk that i can't use for other PREs or other casual formats.

I'm sure for the new players, it is important to buy robust cards that can be flexible and useful for a variety of formats.

The swords are multiplicative by AJ_Impy at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 13:24
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The swords are multiplicative rather than additive: every creature that can carry a sword is potentially bigger, protected and with additional abilities. So, a power 1 deck * the power 5 swords nets you power 5 total. a power 5 deck * power 5 swords nets you power 25, to use your numbers.

Playing games with numbers, to me, is not particularly relevant to either side of this argument.

I'd be more convinced as to your arguments as to what investing in niche tribes cost if there was evidence of you having done so. I see humans, shamen, Kor, Rebels, spirits, and faeries from you this season. Can you back up your assertions on what it costs to invest in a niche tribe with evidence?

For example. I ran Volvers at the beginning of the month. The entire tribe, consisting of 20 Apocalypse rares? Under a ticket. In terms of tribal base, running that nets you a profit even if all you get is the underdog payout, which winning even one match for will usually be sufficient given the utter paucity of competition for it.

Keep them banned. Tribal is by ScionOfJustice at Wed, 04/30/2014 - 20:11
ScionOfJustice's picture

Keep them banned. Tribal is designed to be based on the creatures, the swords make it based on the equipment.

My vote: No, do not un-ban them.

Swords Tally Update by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 05/02/2014 - 14:30
Kumagoro42's picture


Current tally:

YES, unban the Swords: mihahitlor, RexDart, Lord Erman, ML_Berlin, Robin88, endless_nameless, fliebana

NO, keep the Swords banned: Ben Bentrup (Bazaar of Baghdad), Kenny Fromm Jr (CruelHellraiser?), Denis Bokach (Deonmag?), AJ_Impy, romellos, ScionOfJustice, ChNidox, justcanceled, brettmemphis1989, Edison_88luckyplayer, Gq1rf7

Abstained: Winter.Wolf


On the one hand, I think it by MisterMojoRising at Thu, 05/01/2014 - 09:25
MisterMojoRising's picture

On the one hand, I think it benefits me to unban the swords. They're super slow, don't do anything until late in the game, and open you up to a massive tempo loss if your opponent has removal for your creature. So I really want to play against people with swords in their decks. I don't think they should be banned out of power level concerns. On the other hand, some people seem to hate them.

If you have to ban them, ban them in Pure events only. That's where you ban things. If you don't have Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolt, or Aether Vial banned in an event, you definitely shouldn't have the swords banned in that event either. Regular events are degenerate enough already, Underdog events are where you're limited by creatures only, and singleton's already a mess. So I think the best compromise would be to add them to the large list of cards banned in the Pure format and leave them alone everywhere else.

Just to recap. They are NOT by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 05/01/2014 - 09:33
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Just to recap.
They are NOT banned in Regular events (anymore).
They were NEVER banned in Singleton.
They were NEVER payable in Kaleidoscope.
So what we're voting about here it's just Underdog and Pure. They're banned now in both, so the question is whether unban them or keep them banned IN THOSE TWO FORMATS.

I was considering the idea of leave them banned only in Pure (which is the format where cards are banned) but not in Underdog (which is the format where tribes are banned). If the voting will result in about a draw, I think I might do just that.