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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
May 09 2014 2:36pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where no one can teach riding so well as a centaur.

   Table of Contents 

  1. Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
  2. The High Price of Winning
  3. Show and Tell
  4. Top 10 Creatures for Tribal Wars: Journey into Nyx Edition
  5. Announcement Time!
  6. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 Here we are again: it's that time of the year when... Kuma takes his annual 1st place! Woot! And apparently Kuma's lucky stars aligned in a special way last week, because I also managed to Top 8 in Ham on Wry III, which is a great honor for sure. Particularly so since I was piloting what was possibly the only RecSur deck in the tournament, which is my favorite archetype ever, and sadly I can only play it in Classic (I'd like to do a special Classic Tribal Wars event at some point, what do you think?)

When is this judge promo coming online? I want it! (The original art is so terrible)

 Back to our tribal business, my win with Centaur (the first ever of the tribe) spawned a little Centaur special that you'll find below in this week's Show and Tell, where I and RexDart (who also gives us his opinions on the best Journey into Nyx additions) discuss our respective equine lists and you'll see a few of the games that lead to my undefeated turn. Kudos to me, but especially kudos to this little card you'll see mentioned a lot from now on, as it's a veritable game-changer in Tribal Wars.


  • Event Number: 4.17, Week 174 BE
  • Date: May 3
  • Attendance: 16
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • Winner: _Kumagoro_ (Centaur)
  • 1 Loss: Robin88 (Rebel), MisterMojoRising (Pegasus), romellos (Monk), RexDart (Centaur)
  • Special Prizes: True Underdog Prize to MisterMojoRising (Pegasus), Up-and-Coming Prize to _Kumagoro_ (Centaur)
  • Tribes: Ape, Basilisk, Bat, Bear, Berserker, Centaur (x2), Kor, Kraken, Minotaur, Monk, Pegasus, Plant, Praetor, Rebel, Weird
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 We almost achieved singularity this time (which is an event where every registered deck features a different tribe, which I don't think ever actually happened), if not for... well, those two Centaurs, of course. Time to have a look at both my undefeated list and RexDart's one, that still ended 3-1, confirming the great moment of the proud Greek quadrupeds. Chiron was really smiling upon us.



 The deck techs for these builds are below. For the rest, it's worth mentioning the return of the deadly Monks by romellos, which you'll see in one of my replays. These guys are surprisingly very hard to beat. An element in common between Rex and romellos's lists is the presence of Knight of the Reliquary off-tribe. I'm mentioning it because next week I'll have a write-up about the different uses of off-tribe creatures. It's not just about rubbing some people the wrong way; there are a few distinctions to be made.


 Last but not least, here's the little tribe that could: the True Underdog deck of the week (played here for the 6th time ever), which also managed to achieve Top 4: Pegasus by MisterMojoRising. Or: White Weenies With Wings.

by MisterMojoRising - Top 8
4 Loyal Pegasus
4 Mesa Pegasus
4 Mistral Charger
4 Stormfront Pegasus
4 Mirror Entity
4 Mother of Runes
24 cards

Other Spells
4 Battle Screech
4 Honor of the Pure
4 Spectral Procession
12 cards
22 Plains
2 Kjeldoran Outpost
24 cards

Loyal Pegasus




 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of May 8, 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, Kumagoro's Centaurs: $354.95 (nonland cards: $101.60; tribal base: $27.22)

 As you can see from the nonland figure, most of the cost of the deck comes, as usual, from the mana base, which feature full sets of all the needed ME duals and fetch lands (and they are even among the least expensive ones!). The big nonland money cards are the singleton Enlightened Tutor, which is sold at almost 16 tix (let's hope it'll be reprinted in Vintage Masters), and Courser of Kruphix himself, which is currently over $6 for reasons of Standard.

 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.



 Centaur talk! Featuring Centaur overachievers Kumagoro and RexDart. Enjoy.

 KUMA: So, Underdog was coming up and I wanted to try something new, because Underdog is the format where I repeated the same tribes most often, and while I love most of those (Sphinx, Ooze, Avatar), they don't excite me that much anymore. On top of that, I had recently acquired a playset of Courser of Kruphix, and was happily playing them in Modern, so Centaur came to mind.

 And with the Coursers making up the first 4 slots, I needed 16 more. As of Journey into Nyx, Centaur has 47 members (so I had 43 to choose from, excluding Courser and the three new ones from JOU not online yet). Some of them are very old – the largest chunk of them before Theros was from Odyssey block – not on par with most Modern-bordered critters anymore. Still, I knew I would play Phantom Centaur, because he's just hard to deal with, gives you 5 power for 4 mana, and protection from black is always at least a bit relevant.

 Centaur essentially starts (and mostly ends) at 3 CMC. There's Skyshooter at 2, but it's just conditional removal that doesn't do much else. At 3, I immediately noticed (Looming Shaman), which is great as a weapon against graveyards, but otherwise is subpar compared to the other Centaurs at the same point in the curve. Both Skyshooter and Looming would be great as 1-ofs in a deck with Green Sun's Zenith, but I soon decided not to use it, therefore aiming for a deck with mostly 3- or 4-ofs for consistency.


 Lately the Centaur's 3 CMC zone has got plenty of solid stuff like Centaur Healer and Fanatic of Xenagos, and those would put me in Naya colors, which I was fine with, since I recently completed both my Taiga and Savannah playsets.


Jolrael's Centaur was an old favorite (18-years old!), but he's not quite the same power level these days, he's terrible at blocking and can't wear a Rancor or anything. Seton, Krosan Protector is a great ramper in the right deck, but this wasn't the right deck, since I didn't have any Druid yet (and wasn't looking to). Spellbane Centaur is a cool sideboard card. But we're in Tribal Wars, so nope.


 White opened me to other lifegainers like Lagonna-Band Elder (who comboes with Courser of Kruphix) and Centaur Safeguard (which actually doesn't depend on white), but they're both strictly worse variations of Centaur Healer.


 Red felt more interesting because it opened me to two cool cards: Burning-Tree Shaman, and Stonebrow, Krosan Hero as a curve-topper. Now, Burning-Tree can be self-punishing, especially since I was going to have a fast enough deck to warrant 8 fetch lands. Then again, Courser of Kruphix is more than able to put a patch on that damage, and for the rest I didn't have any other activated ability yet. And Burning-Tree is 7 points of body for 3. Very tempting. So I put 2 copies in there, but in hindsight I could even up the number to 3 or even 4. He's fully capable of sneaking additional damage through with his ability, and even stops some combos from happening.


 As for Stonebrow, he's a 6/6 trampler for 5, and backs up at least Fanatic of Xenagos, which is a natural trampler. But I wanted to exploit him more, and I recently came to think that Nylea is one of the most underrated Gods from Theros. See, it's not about what she does in a vacuum. It's what she does in the decks that accommodate her. And she does a lot in this deck, which can easily "awaken" her as an indestructible 6/6, while she massively improves Stonebrow's ability.

 The deck was shaping up as a proper RG creature superiority aggro deck. So I started looking for a few other over-the-top creature boosts: a couple of the original Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and a singleton copy of the God version of Xenagos. You can see from the replays how bringing out Xenagos (who never turned creature once, but didn't need to) often meant winning out of nowhere by, say, dropping a Stonebrow and immediately swinging for 10.

 Another key element of the deck ended up being Sudden Demise, which is one of the most powerful sweepers ever printed for Tribal Wars. Many times, it just worked as Bonfire of the Damned, except without having to rely on a topdeck to keep the cost affordable. Worst case scenario, it's a cheaper Starstorm.

 Still a little scared by the possible damage from the Burning-Tree Shaman and the fetches, I wanted to up the lifegaining count. Naya aggro decks should never go to battle without Lightning Helix, so that was a given. But after rounding up my tools with Sylvan Library (which ended up being enabled a lot by all that lifegain), and since I already had almost a dozen enchantments in there (starting from Courser of Kruphix himself), something that in turn warranted the inclusion of the Enlightened Tutor I had bought for Ham on Wry, I was left with a couple free slots, and wasn't sure whether to devote them to more straightforward lifegaining, or to noncreature removal. Was there something that could give me both? After some research, I stumbled upon Quiet Disrepair, an obscure Future Sight card that I had never actually played but always considered potentially effective, and this looked like the right time to try it out. In several occasions, when I didn't have to Naturalize anything, I just put a Disrepair on a Courser, and enjoyed the steady flux of 2 life per turn.

 Here's the games I won vs. romellos's Monks. Behold Sudden Demise wreaking havoc while set on white. Considering red creatures have typically smaller toughness than my red Centaurs, the ample presence of white-based tribes could be a strong argument against Centaur Healer, which usually dies along all those Knights and Angels. In the end, though, the 3 life he provides are enough to still justify his inclusion (but I'm probably cutting one of them for a Burning-Tree Shaman more).

 And this is the final round, when I faced Robin88 and the Training Grounds of his Rebels.

 In both games you can see how the mad lifegaining allows some serious Sylvan Library advantage, and the amazing Stonebrow/Xenagos connection (especially against Robin).

 REX: This was the third consecutive month I'd played Centaurs in the Underdog event. The current metagame is leaning very hard towards aggro decks, with far less combo or control than usual, which makes midrange a very good place to be in theory. I'll talk about how I built my list, the tweaks I made through the events, and then talk about some of the cool innovations I may borrow from Kumagoro's winning list.

 Even prior to Theros block, I thought Centaurs were creeping towards playability in Underdog events. They already had creatures with lifegain, protection, and decent power/toughness for their cost, which is the basic seed of a midrange deck. But the ranks were still a bit too thin. Much like Kuma, I took a renewed interest in Centaurs when Courser of Kruphix was released. I acquired a playset for my Standard Gruul midrange deck and was excited to try them out in Tribal Wars. So, like Kuma, I began with 4x Courser of Kruphix and tried to figure out where to go from there.

 The mana curve is indeed very clogged at the 3 CMC spot. In fact, that feels like the main drawback of the tribe to me. So the first decision I made was that I would want an off-tribe mana dork to get those three-drops into play on Turn 2. The three Legacy-playable choices are Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch, and Deathrite Shaman. I suspected that I would want to make at least some use of the tribe's threshold mechanic, so I passed on the Shaman. The Hierarch synergized best with my original list, and my red color splash was intended to be far more minor than Kuma's, so I stuck with Hierarch.

 Before I even turned to the question of other tribal members, I started filling in the deck around Courser of Kruphix to maximize her power. Domri Rade seemed like an obvious inclusion, he's been paired successfully with the Courser in Standard for the past few months and is always a reasonable card in creature-heavy formats. For top-of-library manipulation I chose Mirri's Guile over Sylvan Library – Kuma went the other way on this, and I agree that the Library is more powerful, but I had almost nothing to do on Turn 1 in this deck so I went with the 1-cmc option. Finally, I brought in Knight of the Reliquary. Both aspects of Courser, the quasi-landfall lifegain and the ability to view the top of your deck, work great with KotR. A fetchland mana-base was obviously the best here, and as an incidental bonus it might help me reach threshold on some of the Centaurs that have that keyword.


 Now it was time to fill out the rest of the tribe. Let's start at the 2-slot. I was concerned with having early plays, so I chose to run a set of Seton's Scout and a few Swordwise Centaur. Kuma was not at all concerned with this, and instead completely skipped over the 2-slot and ran a full playset of board sweepers. That was clearly correct for his build. But with a build including Domri, having some board presence early is likely the best way to go. You want to both protect Domri and have guys in play for his -2 ability. Although I only had a couple devotion cards in the deck (which I've cut down to just one by this past week), Swordwise Centaur was an OK curve-filler. If I wound up playing Nylea like Kuma does, I might want to play a full set of those over the 4th Seton's Scout – arriving at threshold was still pretty hard even with a conscious effort to do so.


 At the 3-slot, Centaur Healer was an obvious inclusion, and it appears Kuma thought so as well. My assessment of the other subpar options at this slot is similar to Kuma's. One place where we disagreed is with Fanatic of Xenagos. He packs a decent punch, and although I don't like the tribute mechanic at all, I concede he's playable in the deck. He's just more aggressive than I was looking to be. On the other hand, I probably would have run Burning-Tree Shaman for a solid defensive body (especially against red) and some anti-combo applications, but my heavy use of activated abilities made it seem counter-productive.

 The 4-slot also packs a lot of punch. Phantom Centaur is hard for both red and black decks to deal with, and has good finishing power, so I definitely wanted 3-4 of these. That left me with a couple slots. Since I expected that I could see a decent amount of my deck with all the library viewing and manipulation, I added in some singletons. The latest version has one Nylea's Disciple and one Centaur Chieftain. In the future, I will probably replace some of the guys at the 4-slot with the new Centaur lord from Journey into Nyx (see below).


 Kuma's curve went higher, up to Stonebrow at the 5-slot. Without any natural tramplers, and with only a minimal red-splash, I opted against that. I do like his use of Nylea to combo with Stonebrow, and the novel choice of Quiet Disrepair was great as a flexible removal/lifegain option that could also contribute to devotion.

 KUMA: Little counterpoint. I disregarded all the others 2-drops as much as Skyshooter (which had the allure of the utility, at least) because they felt all too frail. Seton's Scout looks terrible to me. If you include it to cast it come turn 2, then you consciously aim to play with a strictly worse Grizzly Bears that dies to anything. I understand the Domri concern, but I don't see Domri liking a 2/1 that much, in general. And in late game, when you have attained threshold and you draw into a Scout, that's just a 4/3 vanilla now. For 2 mana, sure, but we're in late game and maybe topdeck mode, you have mana on the board, wouldn't you rather draw into something more threatening and/or that doesn't die to any bolt? Same reason I don't like 4-mana beasticks with toughness 3: I'm a green player, my 4-mana slots are either 4/4 or better, or they bring some serious tactical advantage to the board (like, say, Master of the Wild Hunt). By the way, I never had mana issues with 23 lands and 4 Coursers (which aren't exactly rampers, yet sort of accelerate your mana nonetheless, from the midrange point on). If I had mana dorks in there, it would be all the more reason to me to focus on the 3-drops, because they take the place of the 2-drops that way.

 REX: My original list went 2-1 in March, falling only to romellos's Monks – we had very similar decks, even a similar support shell around them, but my 3-power guys matched up very poorly against his 3/4 Rhox War Monks. In April, I fared worse, getting steamrolled by MisterMojoRising's Spectral Procession/Honor of the Pure deck and ending 1-2.

 In response to this, I added two Firespouts, but couldn't find the room for the full set. Here I think Kuma's use of Sudden Demise is a real innovation. It's a spell that grabbed my attention last year as a potential homerun in creature-heavy environments like Tribal Wars. There are a lot of monocolored decks in the format, often for budget reasons, and Sudden Demise is very easy to turn into a one-sided Wrath of God against them. I think this is a coming out party for that spell, and we'll see more of it in the future.


 KUMA: Yep, Sudden Demise is amazing. Firespout is still great, but it'd kill almost all my Centaurs all the time. While still not killing stuff like Rhox War Monk (not to mention, Baneslayer Angel) later.

 REX: This week I started off once again being curb-stomped by MisterMojoRising with basically the same deck he had the other time, just in a different tribal shell. You can play a dozen different white weenie decks in pretty much the same way – although, whether by accident or by design, the combo of Mesa Pegasus and Mother of Runes is pretty bonkers if you actually know how banding works. Anyhow, it's obvious that one of the weaknesses of my deck is a board flooded with cheap fliers, as I don't have any opportunity to leverage my creatures' superior power/toughness or pile up incremental advantages from the Courser. I'm not totally defenseless, as Seton's Scout has reach, but it just wasn't enough against the swarm of Spirit tokens. If I continue to play Centaurs, I think that I'll need to bite the bullet and find room for two additional sweepers, whether or not I switch to Sudden Demise.

 With aggro very popular in Underdog at the moment, I think a lot of fun midrange tribes should get a second look, as Centaurs and Monks clearly have in the first half of this year. It's probably more "correct" to be on combo right now, with so few counterspells or hand disruption around. But Centaurs seem like more fun, and are in a good enough position right now to be competitive unless or until the metagame shifts. They should certainly prey on red- and black-based aggro decks all day long.

 KUMA: And now Journey into Nyx gave us a proper Centaur lord. It's good for the abilities it provides on top of the pumping: vigilance is of course always relevant in aggro vs. aggro matchups (which, I agree, is the matchup one should build for in Tribal Apocalypse's current meta), and trample synergizes even more with Stonebrow. The only thing is: it's a 4-mana guy. I feel like I don't want another 4-mana guy in my lineup. It doesn't go even close to beat Phantom Centaur in my book. Mostly because it's a meager 3-3. It's boltable. It does nothing on its own. If only it were a 4/4 (which I feel it could have easily been, given that it's specifically a tribal player, it's not going to affect non-tribal decks that could play, say, Polukranos in that slot), then everything would change. As it is, I might put one copy of it in, just for kicks. What do you think?

 REX: I consider Pheres-Band Warchief, the new lord, to have a function similar to Centaur Chieftain, which is as an Overrun to finish the game. Centaur Chieftain is slightly better at that, because he affects the entire team including off-tribe creatures, but you need to be pretty sure you can hit threshold. Pheres-Band Warchief would likely be better in any capacity other than as a game-ending surprise, because vigilance on your mid-sized Centaurs shuts down a weenie-aggro deck pretty hard. I think Pheres-Band Warchief could find a home in a Pure Tribal build of Centaurs, because there it doesn't matter that he only pumps Centaurs, and there is no Lightning Bolt in that format to worry about [yeah, but there's still Incinerate, Lightning Helix, Searing Blaze etc. etc. etc. – Kuma's note]. Personally, I would not play Centaurs in Pure, because I think the off-tribe mana dork is essential to give the deck enough speed to keep up. But if you're going to try, I suspect Warchief would make the cut.


by RexDart

 Despite not being a dedicated tribal block, Theros has already been a total homerun for tribal players, even before Journey into Nyx hit the digital streets this week. Cool but long-neglected tribes such as Minotaur and Centaur have been given a huge new range of tools. Centaurs, as noted above, have become a legitimate force in Underdog events. Compared to the wealth of riches we've been given thus far, though, Journey into Nyx feels a bit underwhelming. I actually think it's a significantly better set overall than Born of the Gods, but most of the high-profile creatures are unexciting for Tribal Wars, especially at the mythic slots.



 For the first time, no mythic rares make my Top 10 list. This is largely because five of the mythic slots are devoted to Gods. I have to acknowledge that God tribal is now at least theoretically playable – and I mean "playable" as something other than a bizarre AJ_Impy brew. To do so, however, you would need to play a three-color deck. You would then have access to up to six different Gods in those colors, enough to fill out a creature base. But keep in mind that those cards are all crowded in the 3-5 cmc range, they're all legendary, they don't do much to actually enable devotion for each other, and this deck would have one of the most expensive tribal bases to build because all cards are currently Standard-legal mythic rares. For those reasons, I doubt the tribe will be popular in our format, except in a supporting role. I think you could find ways to do God tribal, leaning heavily on hybrid-mana permanents, perhaps – a hybrid mana symbol does count towards all of its different colors, it just doesn't get counted twice for the purposes of the two-color Gods like Ephara. But it's more of an advanced deckbuilding exercise than it is an actual competitive deck, or at least so it seems to me.

 Moving on to the Top 10 now, as always the creatures are in no particular order or ranking. With no mythics making the list this time (though Prophetic Flamespeaker just barely misses the cut, on account of his tribes already having an embarrassing wealth of riches) cards are included from all other rarities from common up to rare.

 1. Eidolon of the Great Revel – Rarity: rare  – Types: Spirit
 This sort of Pyrostatic Pillar effect would lend itself naturally to any aggressive shell, as a Legacy-based format contains many spells at 3 cmc and below. On the surface, it would appear to be a risky inclusion in red aggro decks, since those decks would expect to take a lot of damage from it themselves. But there are ways to build around it a little, with spells such as Fireblast or Flame Javelin, which provide nice reach to close out a game. Red Spirits aren't a robust option – and this is quite a nonbo with Glitterfang – but off-tribe or as part of a multicolor aggro list, it could find a home.

 2. Master of the Feast – Rarity: rare – Types: Demon
 This is a monster 5/5 flyer for three mana. The drawback is substantial, but Demon decks are often in the market for something to do at lower spots on the mana curve, and this could easily just win the game on its own before your opponent draws into an answer. There's also the option of building around the drawback with Underworld Dreams and similar effects. Anything this cheap that has evasion and 5 power is a serious contender.

 3. Pheres-Band Warchief – Rarity: rare – Types: Centaur, Warrior
 I've been willing to play at least a miser's copy of Centaur Chieftain, so I have to at least consider including this in Centaur decks. Centaurs are a bit too expensive for a Crusade effect to be truly awesome, but vigilance and especially trample are abilities I am definitely in the market for! Kuma's Centaur deck this week was playing Nylea to get trample, and now he can do it in-tribe if he wishes, though this is certainly more fragile than the green God. It comes with some trade-offs compared to the Chieftain, however. The Chieftain gives you a pseudo-Overrun that affects all of your creatures, not just other Centaurs, and has haste to boot. But actually achieving threshold isn't always easy, and the Warchief has lasting impact on the board. There are pros and cons to each option, and I don't think you can afford to load up too heavily at the 4-cmc slot. Warchief probably wins out, though Chieftain's ability to win the game out of nowhere may still merit a copy or two.

 4. Scourge of Fleets – Rarity: rare – Types: Kraken
 A one-sided Evacuation sounds nice, doesn't it? The catch is that you need to have at least a few Islands in play when you run him out. In a land-based ramp strategy, that may be no problem. But it does mean that reanimating him is likely to be underwhelming. Still, you don't really need eight Islands for this to be worth it, and he's not at his best until maybe turn 4 or later, so I think you will find this restriction very workable. You can also double-up on this effect by playing Whelming Wave.

 5. Brain Maggot – Rarity: uncommon – Types: Insect
 Tidehollow Sculler is a legit Legacy-playable, and this is pretty similar. You would typically use it to grab your opponent's removal spell and pave the way for a bigger threat. Last summer, Kuma and I had a back and forth about Insect decks, and the Rock-style approach to the tribe would definitely have been interested in this. Getting valuable spell-like effects from your tribal base is the core of good deck-building in this format, and Brain Maggot delivers.

 6. Dakra Mystic – Rarity: uncommon – Types: Merfolk, Wizard
 I like this as a possible replacement, or supplement to, Cursecatcher in Merfolk decks. This is a creature-dominated format, and Cursecatcher has far fewer targets in Tribal Wars than in the wider world of Legacy. You get to determine whether or not the cards are drawn, so the effect is close to one-sided if played correctly.

 7. Felhide Petrifier – Rarity: uncommon – Types: Minotaur
 Giving your Minotaur army deathtouch isn't quite as awesome as giving them trample or haste. But we've seen this type of effect used well before in Tribal Wars, in conjunction with the fight keyword or by granting "pinging" effects to your team. The deck that wants this lord will definitely be building around it, otherwise the others are just far superior.

 8. Forgeborn Oreads – Rarity: uncommon – Types: Nymph
 There are a lot of Nymphs out there now with the block complete, and they all trigger this card. You can build-around the large number of enchantment creatures in the tribe, and this card presents the best payoff available. Legion's Initiative or Parallax Wave combined with a significant number of creatures in play could put quite the beating on your opponent or mow down his entire forces.

 9. Golden Hind – Rarity: common – Types: Elk
 The last few years have seen the total number of Elk double or more. Maybe we need to have a longer Elk-hunting season to cull their numbers? The creative team seems to be giving Elk an identity as mana-ramping creatures, with three Elk of varying efficiency having abilities like that. This might be the best of them. You can fill out the deck with the solid Great Sable Stag and add in Glimmerpoint Stag to get double-duty out of any enter-the-battlefield abilities you might be using. Ramping into Titans, blinking them with the white Stag... this is starting to seem like an actual deck, isn't it? Who would have thought Elk would get such support?

 10. Satyr Hoplite – Rarity: common – Types: Satyr, Soldier
  For a very new tribe, there are a surprisingly large number of playable Satyrs, and more than one way to take your Satyr tribal deck. Personally, I think I favor the mana-ramping Satyr deck. But there are certainly the tools available for a red-based aggressive Satyr deck, and with Satyr Hoplite the tribe gains a second powerful 1-drop. You will likely be at least touching green in any Satyr deck, so Rancor seems like an easy way to bring the beats hard and fast with this guy. Beyond Rancor, unfortunately, the options get substantially worse and much more vulnerable to spot-removal, which is everywhere in Tribal Wars.


 Just to remind you of a few things: 

 Voting on Swords of X and Y Still Ongoing: Do you want the Swords (and Batterskull) to be unbanned in Underdog and Pure? We have collected 19 votes out of 30 so far. Current tally is here (and will be reposted in the comments below).

 Special Duel Week: Plants vs. Zombies on May 24: You'll need a Plant deck and a Zombie deck to play. Each round, players listed first in the pairings will play Plant, the others will play Zombie. Zombie decks can't have off-tribe creatures. Plant decks can, but only if they are Treefolks, Fungi or green Elementals. Be aware that a deck with exactly 20 creatures that have both the Plant and Zombie types counts as a Plant deck (as per rule f2 on Tribal Identity). To count as a Zombie deck, it'll need one non-Plant Zombie more.

 Cockatrice Wants You! Be the first to win a match with new (sort of) tribe Cockatrice and you'll win 1 tix. Remember: only tribes with at least 3 members are effectively considered tribes in Tribal Apocalypse (since tribes that field an equal or greater number of Changelings than actual members count as Shapeshifter decks). Tribes with exactly 3 members, like Cockatrice, are allowed to play in Underdog events with 8 slots filled by Changelings, whereas nobody else (but, of course, Shapeshifter decks) can play with more than 4 Changelings in those events.

 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):

  • 4.18 (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)
  • 4.20 (Week 177 BE), on May 24: Special: Plants vs. Zombies (all players need to reg a Plants deck and a Zombies deck)
  • 4.21 (Week 178 BE), on May 31: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Equipment on the Topdeck Awards!



I get what you're saying by RexDart at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 16:07
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I get what you're saying about the 2-drops, Kuma. But they do have a fair shot to trade with an attacker or a removal spell early and potentially protect Domri for a turn, which can make a difference. It's not even so much as I wanted those 2-drops as it is that I *didn't* want an additional seven or eight expensive creatures. Building endangered tribes is sometimes like a hybrid of a constructed format and a sealed deck. In sealed, you nearly always have to play 12-18 creatures, and because you have limited options available to you there is often a need to play some low-impact 2-drop just to make sure your curve isn't clogged too badly in one spot. Endangered tribes likewise present a very limited card pool to choose from. I would not have been comfortable playing only 3+ cmc creatures unless I was running more like six to eight mana dorks, rather than just the one set of Hierarchs.

On the topic of off-tribe creatures, I thought that my choices were highly synergistic with the deck's tribal centerpiece, in addition to having adding a lot of raw power. So in my case KotR was keyed to a particular card that it played very well with, and adding manadork was integral to assisting the tribe's lousy distribution that clogged all the good creatures at 3cmc. Using BoP in Naya Beasts is another example, to enable turn 2 Wooly Thoctars. There are also a category of archetype-enhancing off-tribe creatures, such as Mother of Runes in any white aggro deck, that are both synergistic and independently powerful. Mom is to current aggro decks what SFM was to the format's aggro decks in 2010, before she became restricted. The other sort of off-tribe splash would be like running Tarmogoyf in Cats. DirtyDuck did that all the time, I did it in the 2013 Invitational, and it is probably the correct build, but it doesn't really have any synergy. It's just raw off-tribe power.

Hey grats on the t8 at the by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 17:14
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Hey grats on the t8 at the HoW! I just couldn't bring myself to field a bad deck so I opted out altogether. Incidentally grats on your annual undefeated win. May it be a streak.

Thanks, Paul! Streak already by Kumagoro42 at Sun, 05/11/2014 - 09:34
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Thanks, Paul!
Streak already ended, but it was a good one. :)

A brief comment on God tribal... by AJ_Impy at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 21:08
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The final five gods mean that you don't have to force a 3-colour deck trying to reach three separate devotions. Think about it: Each colour now has one mono, two ally and two enemy colour gods. You can do a base deck in any one colour with some 5-colour fixing like Cavern of Souls, City of Brass or prophetic prism to splash the single mana for the other tribe members. This lets you build a much tighter deck with only one devotion to go for, so if you make your support spells permanents you can do a straight-up honest mostly monooloured God deck.

Green can be a good one, by Kumagoro42 at Sun, 05/11/2014 - 09:57
Kumagoro42's picture

Green can be a good one, then, since you can include auras like Utopia Sprawl and Fertile Ground that both deal with your splashes and help devotion. Karametra also helps because the Gods are creatures in the stack.

The main problem to me seems the high amount of duplicate guys with legendary and indestructible, which means you might end up with a lot of dead cards in hand. Some discard outlet for profit seems a good thing to include.

So the first draft for a possible off-tribe lineup could be:

4x Utopia Sprawl
4x Fertile Ground
4x sweeper of a secondary color (I'd say Firespout or Sudden Demise)
4x discard outlet (Grimoire of the Dead?)

Fauna Shaman could be a great by AJ_Impy at Mon, 05/12/2014 - 02:52
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Fauna Shaman could be a great discard outlet, letting you fill out your set of deities. Also curves nicely into Pharika, fixing your array of Gods while giving you deathtouch fodder.

Been working on a version of by AJ_Impy at Wed, 05/14/2014 - 06:52
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Been working on a version of this deck. Gaea's Touch for ramp, Abundant Growth for fixing and draw, Bow of Nylea for utility, and of all things Drop of Honey for removal.

Classic Tribal by MisterMojoRising at Mon, 05/12/2014 - 15:33
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I would enjoy a Classic event, though I figure every game would last a grand total of about two minutes.

Tribally, we'd lose Lodestone by AJ_Impy at Tue, 05/13/2014 - 02:39
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Tribally, we'd lose Lodestone Golem and gain Goblin Recruiter, Hermit Druid and Worldgorger Dragon. The rest available would just render the format irrelevant.

Times by TheAmazingKamahl at Tue, 05/13/2014 - 19:35
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Just a question for the wonderful Tribal Apocalypse people... Do you ever host events at different times? The only commitment I have on the weekends just so happens to be at 17:00 GMT (or 9:00 in California for me). Are there ever more than one event a day? Maybe a smaller tournament?

Unfortunately not. We do one by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 05/15/2014 - 06:26
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Unfortunately not. We do one event per week (can't afford more), at 17 GMT, since 2009. Sorry.