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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
May 30 2014 11:00am
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where it's mean and green.

   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

 With the spoilers completed, the Vintage Masters storm has settled, replaced by a thrill of anticipation for all those Black Lotuses we're bound to open. But the spoiler season doesn't stop there! In fact, while the eyes of the digital world were all understandably mesmerized by the prospect of Power, there was another upcoming attraction to console the paper world – and no, it wasn't Conspiracy. I'm talking of the new Core Set that's bound to come online less than two weeks after Vintage Masters (yes, you're going to go broke in July). As of today, we have already 38 spoiled cards for Magic 2015, and I gotta say, the set looks good to me. It's no secret that I've been disappointed by Theros block as a whole, creative-wise (you can read my evaluations for that), to the point that I wondered if we were getting to the point where the design team had run out of new ideas. Now, I don't necessarily think M15 dispels this fear, but I'm liking what I'm seeing so far, especially considering that a Core Set is a simpler, less pretentious affair by design, and that might exactly be what we needed at this point. I'm particularly liking the Avatar of the Planes cycle – two spoiled so far, the blue one is Ravnica, the green one is Zendikar – as I think it's a good  thing for the Core Set to reference the multiverse at large, it gives more coherence and flavor to the entire game world. Plus, it hints at a "Return to Zendikar" block in the near future, and I for one am looking forward to that, as Zendikar's Adventure World remains one of my favorite settings. Any bet on what the other three planes will be? Mirrodin for white? Innistrad for black? Alara for red? Will Dominaria get one?

For the non-German speakers: this guy creates a bunch of 3/3 Beasts, even from beyond the grave.

 And look at those blue spoilers: we got Squid, guys! They're really playing up the obscure tribes lately, and especially the sea life variety. Which also speaks to the attempts to link blue more and more tightly to the marine environment (and to creature-based strategies in the process). Once upon a time, the four elements were given to red and blue only, but after a while, green took Earth and white took Air, leaving red with Fire and blue with Water – and if you go with The Book of Five Rings, black clearly gets to be Void. The mana wheel is large, and contains multitudes.


  • Event Number: 4.20, Week 177 BE
  • Date: May 24
  • Attendance: 12
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Plants vs. Zombies! (Enter two decks, players listed first in the pairings play Plant, the others play Zombie)
  • Winner: romellos (Plant x2, Zombie x2)
  • Other undefeated: MisterMojoRising (Plant x2, Zombie x2) 
  • 1 Loss: Bazaar of Baghdad (Plant x3), longtimegone (Plant x2, Zombie), smawatts (Plant x2, Zombie), mihahitlor (Plant x2, Zombie)
  • Tribes: Plant (x12), Zombie (x12)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is (Zombie lists here)

 Cheers to the Plants winning the duel against the Zombies! Woot!


 Match wins as follows: Round 1: Plant 5 – Zombie 1. Round 2: Plant 2 – Zombie 4. Round 3: Plant 3 – Zombie 3. Final round: Plant 0 – Zombie 1. Overall: Plant 10 – Zombie 9. Most of these duels end with the winner just 1 match ahead. Also, the winner has always been the tribe listed first. What does this mean? Unclear.

 Anyway, this has also been an occasion for romellos to get his 3rd win of the year (the 13th overall). Both he and the other finalist MisterMojoRising played both their decks an equal amount of times. This was the Zombie deck with which romellos took the final, a really cool all-Zombie Pod (his Plant deck was this Punishing Fire build, instead).


 As for MisterMojoRising, he managed to build this Honor of the Pure Zombie list (with the traditional, accompanying token package) thanks to Stillmoon Cavalier, Tidehollow Sculler and the nearly forgotten Putrid Warrior. His Plant deck worked an interesting angle, with Sickening Dreams as a soft dredge enabler to discard Shambling Shell and Dreg Mangler, but also flashback cards like Call of the Herd and Roar of the Wurm.


 For the rest, let's celebrate the Plants and their accomplishments. And if there's one thing our vegetable friends do well, taking a page from their cousins the Walls' book, is engaging in some crazy ramping, even without the assist of Overgrown Battlement, which, like Smawatts laments below in his War Report, isn't actually a Plant. Several decks tapped into the Plant's ramping power, like Bazaar of Baghdad's honest Dark Depths build (with AEther Flash as defensive MVP), or this Banefire-spitting cabbage monstrosity by longtimegone.

by longtimegone - Top 4
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Utopia Tree
4 Vine Trellis
4 Wall of Blossoms
4 Wall of Roots
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Crop Rotation
4 Harmonize
4 Snap
3 Banefire
2 Cyclonic Rift
1 Prophetic Prism
18 cards
11 Forest
4 Cloudpost
4 Glimmerpost
3 Island
22 cards

Wall of Roots


 And of course, the latest vantar6697's extravaganza couldn't go unmentioned: Wall of Kelp/Genesis Wave/Helix Pinnacle combo (?) deck for the ages, ladies and gentlemen.




 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of May 29, 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, romellos's Zombies: $310.37 (nonland cards: $69.40; tribal base: $8.65)
  • 2nd place, MisterMojoRising's Plants: $6.92 (nonland cards: $4.73; tribal base: $1.76)

 The price of romellos's Zombie deck is high due to, can you guess it?, all those expensive dual and fetch lands. But the 45 tix for the Birthing Pod playset also takes a good chunk out of that figure. Whereas the price of MisterMojoRising's Plant deck is almost Top 10 worthy cheap due to, now you guessed it, the absence of any expensive land. You can do well even without them, see? And even without any card at all that's worth 1 tix or more, apparently.

 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

 Plants vs. Zombies! This was my first "vs." style Tribal War, and I have to admit I was less than excited about it when I sat down to make some decks. Though I have to say, once I had the decks done, I was really looking forward to it. I didn't think things would go well for the Zombies as they tend to lend themselves to a more linear aggro, with potential for a late game combo finish maybe, while Plants seemed a natural fit to ramp/combo, the rock to aggros scissors. But it turned out less one-sided than I had thought.

 For the Zombies I built a simple mono-black all-in aggro deck. I had considered splashing red for Goblin Bombardment to gain some reach over the loom walls of greenery, but then decided not to muck with my mana base.

 For the Plants I made a Genesis Wave deck. It felt very in theme, unleashing a powerful wave of life and using it to annihilate the hordes of the dead. Unfortunately I didn't have any (Avengers of Zendikar) which would have been the best thing to wave into, and instead I had to use Centaur Glade. I also had to make a minor 13th hour change since Overgrown Battlement is not a Plant [both tribes weren't allowed to use off-tribe creatures, except Avenger of Zendikar for the Plants – Kuma's note]. Flavor fail. It should at least be a Plant Wall like Wall of Roots, clearly the overgrowth is what makes it generate mana.

 Here's my deck techs:

 Round 1: I played the part of the brain eaters against vantar6697's walls of leafy greens. Lots of lords and pressure was the game plan.

 Round 2: I have to admit I really wanted to play the Plant deck more than the Zombie deck. And I got to play it against the eventual winner romellos. There were some close games and I think I almost got there on a mull to 4. Props on that Zombie Pod deck, it was pretty brutal.

 Round 3: I got to play plants against Aleister's Zombie horde. His deck seemed geared to play a grindy game going for incremental board advantage.

by RexDart


 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 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):

  • 4.21 (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) 
  • 4.24 (Week 181 BE), on June 21: Tribal Singleton (only one copy of each card except for basic lands)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Equipment on the Topdeck Awards!