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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
May 22 2014 1:54pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where we're over the rainbow.

   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

 The first official Kaleidoscope event of the rotation went well enough. There are 3 more before the end of the year, and we'll wait until that point to make some adjustments, if needed, like banning some abused card or some tribe (Knights? They seem too much the go-to tribe for our resident Spikes).

 In the meantime, next week we'll do our Duel Event of the year, Plants vs. Zombies! If you don't know where the idea for this duel came from, it's the same thing Mark Rosewater was paying homage to whit Grave Bramble: the excellent, award-winning videogame Plants vs. Zombies by George Fan and Laura Shigihara, that you should absolutely check because it's the funniest and most creative tower defense game ever (well, along with Kingdom Rush, which is entirely free to play on your browser, so you don't have excuses for not getting addicted to this type of game that I especially love).

 Rules for this duel: you must enter Tribal Apocalypse with two separate decklists, a Plant deck and a Zombie deck (you'll find a separate entry on Gatherling for the Zombie lists). No Changelings, no off-tribe creatures, with the only exception of up to 4 copies of Avenger of Zendikar allowed in Plant decks. Remember that if you build a deck where all your creatures are both Plant and Zombie (it's fairly possible, since there's a Golgari-themed overlap there), the deck will result to be Plant, because it's the smaller tribe between the two, so to have it count as Zombie you'll need one Zombie more (or one Plant less). Ban list as a Regular event (checks all the different ban lists here), plus the following additional cards for this event only:

 Please note that Grave Bramble will NOT be banned, as it's the flavor card that originates the duel. Similarly, Elephant Grass will be allowed for flavor reasons, but it's also less destructive than Light of Day, doesn't prevent blocking and wears off eventually. Stuff that gives protection to one creature won't be banned (that includes Blazing Torch. Yes, the Plants use fire against the Zombies, in the videogame too!). Be wise and put something in your deck that can deal with those things and you'll be fine.

 We still need to choose the last special event of the year, for August 23. I'm thinking a multiplayer event, given that it's been a while since the last one. To keep it simple, just a free-for-all with Regular decks, 3-man and 4-man tables? (4-man where possible). And then we can do Classic Tribal Wars (nay, VINTAGE TRIBAL WARS!) for the 200th event, which happens to be the Halloween event, so the impact of the broader format should be contained. What do you think?


  • Event Number: 4.19, Week 176 BE
  • Date: May 17
  • Attendance: 16
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Tribal Kaleidoscope (only multicolored cards and lands)
  • Winner: ML_Berlin (Goblin)
  • 1 Loss: romellos (Elf), AJ_Impy (Giant), brettmemphis1989 (Knight), mihahitlor (Knight)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to vantar6697 (Thrull)
  • Tribes: Beast, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Human, Knight (x5), Soldier (x2), Spirit, Thrull, Weird, Wizard
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 The assault of the Knight squadron! Repelled by the Goblins! Thanks to first time winner ML_Berlin! Congratulations!


 That's a lot of lands for a Goblin deck, isn't it? But I suppose that playset of Boartusk Liege calls for it, as do the two copies of Void (both make this list a lot more pleasant to look at than the usual Goblin Guide builds). Speaking of which, here's the Cards You Don't Usually See Played Outside of Kaleidoscope from our winning deck:


 Yeah, we're bound to see a lot of split cards in these events (Pure/Simple is the format's Vindicate. Well, the format's other Vindicate. But this one's worth a few cents!). Speaking of which (again), check the super-cool new challenge by RexDart, all based on cards that have two faces! If you like them, and I guess Werewolves, and you wouldn't mind getting a free Garruk Relentless (that's right, Rex is giving planeswalkers away now!), you must try this challenge.

 Anyway, Berlin was the only undefeated player in the event, and only two of the five Knight decks ended in the prizes. At the fourth place in the ranking, we find this build by brettmemphis1989:


 Along with Berlin's Goblins and these Elves by romellos, all these Knights have also been beaten by AJ_Impy's 5-color Giants (not hard to play 5 colors when you run a full playset of Pillar of the Paruns, Cavern of Souls and Reflecting Pool – it's a 32-tix mana base, cheaper than a single copy of many ME dual lands):


 Finally, these are the Thrulls by vantar6697, who's lately taking back the Underdog Prize throne:




 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of May 22, 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, ML_Berlin's Goblins: $16.12 (nonland cards: $3.56; tribal base: $2.76)

 Do the Kaleidoscope Goblins cost that much more than regular, monocolored Goblins? Well, they do cost a bit more indeed, mostly due to that couple of Stomping Grounds, because the M10 checklands are just a few cents apiece these days.

 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

 [NOTE: This is Smawatts' report from Event 175, that came too late to be included in last week's article]

 This week I decided to run a straightforward linear aggressive white weenie Soldiers deck.

 Round 1: Gq1rf7 and his legion of pointed-eared forest dwellers. Elves is a very very strong deck that can ramp out by having both a wide and tall creature base. If they get ahead of mono white it's just game over.


 Round 2: Leys7 with a steel battalion of Golems. The powerful 12-Post land shell along with a slew of value artifacts. Chalice of the Void in particular was threatening to lock us out if more than one hit the table.


 Round 3: AJ_Impy with an iron army of Golems. The powerful 12-Post land shell (again!), with Dark Depths and Thespian's Stage, augmented with a red splash for big burn spells that could wipe the board on any card draw.


 Round 4: ScionOfJustice brought Elves, too. It felt virtually the same as round 1, though his version may have had a bit more of top end.




 Introducing: RexDart's new challenge!

 Are you the kind of person that sees two sides to every story?  Does your Ronco fishing pole double as a carving knife? Then get ready to double your pleasure and double your fun with... The Harvey Dent Memorial Deckbuilding Challenge!


 The prize this time is one non-foil, digital copy of Garruk Relentless/Garruk, the Veil-Cursed! How do you win this totally awesome prize, you ask?  Well the prize should give you a clue... 

  1. All permanents in your deck other than lands must be either flip cards (i.e. Nezumi Graverobber) or double-faced cards (i.e. Huntmaster of the Fells, Chalice of Life).
  2. All instants and sorceries in your deck must be split cards (i.e. Fire/Ice, Far/Away).
  3. You must play exactly 22 creatures.
  4. You must enter your deck in Tribal Apocalypse and win at least two matches in the event, not counting byes or forfeits. 

 To find lists of these cards on Gatherer, search "flip" (but exclude "coin") in the Rules Text field to find flip cards, search "transform" to find double-faced cards, and search "//" in the Name field to find split cards.
But wait, there's more!  A challenge like this doesn't feel complete with only one prize. So, if you manage to win four matches, I'll throw in a copy of Two-Face's favorite Magic card: Chance Encounter.

 Good luck and good luck!

 Note: 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, the player with the most match wins will take the prize. If the players are still tied, Rex will flip a coin!


 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? (Remember they're not banned anywhere else, nor will.) We have collected 19 votes out of 30 so far. Current tally is here.

 Cockatrice Wants You! Be the first to win a match with (sort of) new 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):

  • 4.20 (Week 177 BE), on May 24: Special: Plants vs. Zombies (all players need to reg a Plant deck and a Zombie deck)
  • 4.21 (Week 178 BE), on May 31: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)
  • 4.22 (Week 179 BE), on June 7: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 4.23 (Week 180 BE), on June 14: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars) 

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Equipment on the Topdeck Awards!



Should Absolute Law be on the by Misterpid at Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:05
Misterpid's picture

Should Absolute Law be on the banned list for this week's event?

All creatures gain protection by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:42
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

All creatures gain protection from red? :)
I take it you meant Absolute Grace. But I don't find it problematic. It should be used by Plants, but they'll likely use black creatures as well, and their Walls already block most Zombies without requiring protection. It's a strong card, but I'd personally run removal in that slot.

Thanks for the correction. by Misterpid at Thu, 05/22/2014 - 20:46
Misterpid's picture

Thanks for the correction. That's the one I meant.

It may just be a "win more" card. But it seems like it's a little stronger than just allowing your blockers to survive.

Banned cards? by MisterMojoRising at Fri, 05/23/2014 - 02:22
MisterMojoRising's picture

So Dystopia and Compost are both legal?

A thought: The swords of X by AJ_Impy at Fri, 05/23/2014 - 05:31
AJ_Impy's picture

A thought: The swords of X and Y would be insanely powerful here. At the very least, Feast and Famine would be a problem.

Everything not in that list by Tribal Apocalypse at Fri, 05/23/2014 - 20:20
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Everything not in that list is legal. No last minute bans (I was rightfully criticized last time when I banned Wasteland in Kaleidoscope the day before the event).

Compost doesn't seem a problem to me. We just want to avoid easy locks (you can still build a prison deck as you always can in Legacy, we're just not going to provide the easier routes). Meta-based card advantage is okay.

Dystopia is a strong card in the meta, but it has a cumulative upkeep. And against a deck that's allowed to run Avenger of Zendikar and can easily ramp into it, wouldn't Damnation be the better choice? Anyway, it balances the Plant's access to Elephant Grass.

Swords of X and Y. They're in. Be prepared to kill them on sight, as usual. Both the tribes are Golgari-based, so I assume Abrupt Decay will run rampant. Also, outside-the-box thinking suggests going mono-blue Zombie, screwing all the meta predictions. :)

Not finding this format very by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 05/24/2014 - 08:14
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Not finding this format very fun to deckbuild with - not many attacking plants, especially surviving copious amounts of removal, thus quirky or unrelated combo finishes only. Plants should have been given Fungus and Treefolk cards too, in my opinion. Oh well.

The irony is many of the best by AJ_Impy at Sat, 05/24/2014 - 11:49
AJ_Impy's picture

The irony is many of the best plants are zombies.

I'm just glad that this isn't by arcbounddaylabor at Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:09
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I'm just glad that this isn't further polluting the weekends as a regular rotation format.

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