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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Jun 05 2014 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where we're all a bit vintage.

   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

 The countdown to Vintage Masters shows little more than a week now (the prerelease events will start on June 13 – a Friday the 13th, of all days). Along with the Power 9, the other Vintage goodness and the few Conspiracy cards that are actually playable, the set, being a draft set, contains a certain amount of fodder and utility designed to balance and enhance the Limited experience. Among these minor cards, there are a few that make their online debut. To be honest, Vintage Masters might have been the right occasion to bring into MTGO a few more of the cards we still miss; there are still 573 missing creatures, for instance, and although many of them are utterly irrelevant, some belong to minor tribes that could use the help of a larger pool. In the latter case are the Nightstalkers, that before Vintage Masters were deprived of more than half of the entire tribe, mostly featured in Portal Second Age. But now you can rejoice, Nighstalker fans, as one of those elusive Nightstalkers made the cut in Vintage Masters, namely this guy:

 And for being an obscure card from a very basic set, Predatory Nighstalker is actually a useful one, being a one-sided Fleshbag Marauder.

 Another salvaged creature is less significant, being from the Goblin tribe and definitely unimpressive. Goblin Commando was originally printed in Starter 1999, a follow-up to the Portal sets that's mostly remembered for Grim Tutor.

 Yeah, I can't see this guy being played at all, unless you want to try an all-Goblin Birthing Pod build, but even in that case, he would fight for the same slots of Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Siege-Gang Commander. Not gonna happen.

 Same tribe, same original set for Goblin Settler, which isn't Avalanche Riders for sure, but is still effective.

 Last of the recovered Goblins is Hulking Goblin from the first Portal set, their very own, strictly worse Grizzly Bears (but hey, it's red).

 Pillaging Horde is a Human Barbarian card that began its career in Portal.

 Remind you of someone else? These guys, maybe?

 Yeah, it's just a functional reprint of Balduvian Horde. Maybe the Barbarians can have a use for 8 of them? That random discard clause is harsh, tough.

 Green got what's possibly the most interesting recovered creature in Norwood Priestess.

 It was Portal Second Age's take on Elvish Piper, and despite the restriction to green creatures only and the downgrade to sorcery speed, she might still see play in Commander, for redundancy.


  • Event Number: 4.21, Week 178 BE
  • Date: May 31
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Human)
  • 1 Loss: ChNidox (Cat), milegyenanevem (Sliver), Deonmag (Zombie), fliebana (Ally), brettmemphis1989 (Elemental)
  • Special Prizes: arcbounddaylabor (Orc)
  • Tribes: Ally (x2), Beast, Cat, Eldrazi, Elemental, Goblin, Horror, Human, Orc, Phoenix, Rogue, Sliver, Spirit (x2), Weird, Werewolf, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 First victory of the year for Human, that thusly reaches the remaining Big Three, Elf and Goblin, at 14 wins. Despite such a traditional winner, this Pure event saw a pretty varied turnout. We didn't reach the ever elusive "singularity" (all different tribes in an event), yet none of the tribes in the prize range was repeated, and we had 16 different tribes out of 18 registered decks, with the only duplicates, Ally and Spirit, not being among the most obvious ones, and the Big Three only getting 2 decks, with zero Elf (and zero Merfolk, for that matter), possibly because the banning of Elvish Archdruid is already discouraging players from playing less than optimal Elf builds in Pure.

 This time, the Purification Process didn't hit just the Human tribe, but the white weenie archetype at large, removing Spectral Procession from the Pure picture. In mihahitlor's undefeated build, the other possible targets would have been the more tribe-specific Champion of the Parish (and, to a lesser extent, Precinct Captain); however, the Honor of the Pure/Spectral Procession package is nuclear in this kind of strategies, and Procession felt to particularly go against the "Your Tribe Only" rule which is the foundation of Pure Tribal itself. Magic 2015 (partial spoilers here) is now going to provide a convoke variant; we'll see how good that will be as a replacement, in addition to the well-tested Lingering Souls and Battle Screech.


Is "Triplicate Spirits" a working name that somehow ended on the actual card? Because it's awkward.

 Here's miha's deck (which you might remember from the last time he beat you with it), that marks the 18th Tribal Apocalypse victory in his career. When he'll get to 20, he'll have to buy drinks for everyone.


 At virtual second place (but with 1 loss), this Cat deck by ChNidox, that proves that in the Brimaz era, Cats don't need green anymore. (Note: I have absolutely no idea what the deck's name means).


 And this is the Werewolf deck with which romellos took home RexDart's Two-Face challenge (winning at least two matches using only flip cards, double-faced card, or split cards), and the Garruk Relentless... he needed to complete his playset?


 In hindsight, this challenge was easy enough, considering Werewolf was a very obvious, very strong option. Romellos recently told me that the wolfmen are the very reason he started playing tribal to begin with, so double cheers!

 Speaking of which: you might have noticed I didn't come around to do the interviews with the #1 player of the 2013 ranking, Robin88, and the winner of the Invitational, AJ_Impy. I didn't forget guys! I just kept procrastinating, and at some point I decided to wait until the midseason point, which comes at the end of this month. So expect those interviews soon enough.

 And speaking of AJ, have a look at his recursive Spirit deck. You don't see Evershrike often. Or Helm of Possession!


 And this is the Underdog Prize of the week, arcbounddaylabor trying to come up with a workable Orc build. I mention it because I really never entirely understood why Magic chose to essentially give up on Orcs and Dwarves. I mean, I get that it would feel so very Middle Earth, but what fantasy setting doesn't take inspiration from Tolkien? And the Elves still run rampant in Magic, after all.


 No player exploited the Auxiliary rule so far (you can include up to 4 copies of an off-tribe lord or God in your deck during Pure events), which is fine. Just remember that you have to "cheat" Gatherling by using a placeholder (Darksteel Relic being the prescribed one, unless you actually want to use Darksteel Relic), and leave a note with the name of the Auxiliary card you're actually playing.



 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of June 5, 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 Humans: $46.14 (nonland cards: $46.14; tribal base: $13.79)

 Not a super-cheap build for mihahitlor this time around, despite being a monocolored deck with a good zero in the mana base's figure. It's mostly due to the 3 copies of Elspeth 1.0, of course, but Mirran Crusader is also currently in a peak. Boy, that chart is really crazy: why does the Crusader keep going up and down like a rollercoaster?

 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 this Pure event I wanted to try something a little different, and I wanted to try a tribe that I had not played. After watching Pacific Rim, I decided to go with a reanimator build of Eldrazi. I tested the build out as much as it's possible to do by just running it against itself, and I found that about 15% of the time it just defeated itself, but most of the time it could power out a giant annihilator guy into play on turn 2 or 3. A really high variance deck.

 Round 1: Against mihahitlor with Humans. Before the event I knew mono-white decks would be my worst match-up, as they can power out tokens and most are going to be playing low cost removal that can wipe away my elder beasties. I got somewhat awkward draws while facing draws that were very powerful against me.

Round 2: Against ML_Berlin with Goblins. ML was playing a more midrange Goblin build, not a blindingly fast one, and once one of the world eaters hits the table it's really hard for the little green men to keep it under control.

 Round 3: Against milegyenanevem with Slivers. Remember that 15% ratio I mentioned in the intro? Well, here is what it looks like. One should not meddle with the unknowable horrors lest they turn on you.

 In spite of the abysmal showing, I think the deck has some real potential and I may run it back again sometime soon. 


 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):

  • 4.22 (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)
  • 4.25 (Week 182 BE), on June 28: 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!



Regrettably, I can't make it by AJ_Impy at Fri, 06/06/2014 - 06:57
AJ_Impy's picture

Regrettably, I can't make it this week owing to a family commitment. Romellos, I salute you taking on RexDart's challenge: With so many opportunities for extra prizes available, it would make for a better event if more people went for them.