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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Jun 20 2014 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where the red menace is still around.

   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

 I won't do a full tribal evaluation for Vintage Masters, because the new cards in the set are not enough to warrant an entire article, but here's some data about it.

 Vintage Masters Infodump

  • Cards: 325
  • New cards: 36
  • New creatures: 17
  • Reprinted cards: 289
  • Creature types affected: 15

 Angel: +1 – Magister of Worth
 Artificer: +1 – Muzzio, Visionary Architect
 Barbarian: +1 – Pillaging Horde
 Dragon: +1 – Scourge of the Throne
 Druid: +1 – Norwood Priestess
 Elf: +3 – Norwood Priestess, Realm Seekers, Selvala, Explorer Returned
 Goblin: +4 – Goblin Commando, Goblin Settler, Grenzo, Dungeon Warden, Hulking Goblin
 Human: +4 – Academy Elite, Marchesa, the Black Rose, Muzzio, Visionary Architect, Pillaging Horde
 Nightstalker: +1 – Predatory Nighstalker
 Rogue: +1 – Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
 Scout: +2 – Realm Seekers, Selvala, Explorer Returned
 Shapeshifter: +1 – Dack's Duplicate
 Spirit: +1 – Brago, King Eternal
 Wizard: +2 – Academy Elite, Marchesa, the Black Rose
 Zombie: +1  – Drakestown Forgotten

 I know everybody is only interested in the Power 9, or the reprint of Legacy-playable chase cards, but there's a bit more than that in the set. I already talked about the creatures salvaged from old starter sets (among the noncreatures, we say hello to Portal's Cruel Bargain and Nature's Ruin). On top of those, we have 18 Conspiracy cards out of the 65 new ones from that set, 25 of which weren't suitable for MTGO (the 13 conspiracies, plus 11 artifacts and 1 land that care about drafting). Here's the full list of the 22 cards we didn't get:

 Most are just devised for multiplayer casual fun. I would have liked to get these two, though:


  Treasonous Ogre isn't Channel for sure, but it's a (balanced) life for mana effect that could lead to something, especially in Commander. And Flamewright is just a great token generator. Being uncommon, I don't really see why they couldn't sneak it into a VMA slot.

  We also only got 3/5 of a cute, counter-based cycle. These three are in Vintage Masters...


 ...but these two aren't (and I, for one, like the white one better than the blue one).


 Realm Seekers seems the most interesting one, because of the huge size it can get (make that "insanely huge" in a multiplayer game), and most importantly for saying "land", not "basic land", which is always exciting.

 Anyway, the total number of the Conspiracy creatures in Vintage Masters is 11: the 3 of the cycle above, plus these 5 legendary guys...



 ...and these other 3.


 The two legendary mythics, Marchesa and Muzzio, both have strong abilities (infinite recursion and the chance to cheat (Blighsteel Colossus) onto the battlefield are nothing to sneeze at), and Grenzo is at least a fun build-around-me card, but Brago's repeatable, universal flicker is probably the most powerful effect here, while Selvala uses the Parley mechanic, which feels casual in multiplayer and definitely weak in 1v1.

 Almost the same goes for the Dethrone mechanic, which makes the obligatory Dragon Scourge of the Throne sort of an awkward mythic (if you're ahead in a 1v1 match, it just stops being relevant), while Dack's Duplicate is at least a hasty Clone. Magister of Worth is a very solid Angel, though, given that it's easy to predict the outcome of any Will of the council effect in 1v1. In this case, the Magister will always cause a Day of Judgment that leaves you with a decent sized flyer; hard to think of a situation where you want a mass Resurrection and your opponent agrees. But you can always dream.

 Finally, these are the 7 new noncreature cards from Conspiracy VMA brought online.



 I'm not a huge fan of Dack Fayden, but I like Coercive Portal as a colorless Phyrexian Arena (again, hard to envision how you could manage to convince your 1v1 opponent to let you go Oblivion Stone with it – which you shouldn't even try, because they might allow it only to stop you from drawing more cards – but it's surely a useful political tool in multiplayer). And hey, Council's Judgment is a monowhite Vindicate in 1v1! One that, granted, can't kill lands, but what does these days? The most recent card I remember that doesn't say "nonland permanent" is Karn Liberated, and that costs 7 mana.

 Tribal trivia: after VMA, Elf and Goblin have the same number of members online, 262 (offline, there's 1 Elf more: 272 vs. 271).


  • Event Number: 4.23, Week 180 BE
  • Date: June 14
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • Winner: MisterMojoRising (Goblin)
  • 1 Loss: mihahitlor (Goblin), Gq1rf7 (Goblin), smawatts (Eldrazi), Deonmag (Zombie)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to AJ_Impy with Cockatrice
  • Tribes: Beast, Cleric, Cockatrice, Dauthi, Eldrazi, Elemental (x2), Elf, Faerie, Goblin (x3), Horror, Human, Knight, Merfolk, Rat, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Do you know the one where three Goblin decks enter a tournament, and they end at the first three places? You do, right? That's what I thought.

 Only one of the red furies (which, it's worth reminding, are NOT the Spain national team) was truly undefeated, though. Namely this one by MisterMojoRising, a player who's giving a hard time to many of our established tribal champions this year.


 This is actually a nice build that extends into midrange territory, with Goblin Matron going to fetch bigger guys like Goblin Sharpshooter, (Krenko, Mob Moss), and Siege-Gang Commander. And with no burn spells, or no spells at all except a playset of Aether Vial. After all those Goblin burn decks with 15 lands and nothing over 2 CMC, it's almost refreshing. Of course, Goblin Lackey is the engine here, but it's okay if it actually pushes Goblins beyond the semi-pauper setup that has been the primary build for the tribe for years. There's not even Goblin Guide here!

 I'll gladly ignore the other two Goblin builds (by mihahitlor and Gq1rf7, respectively), while l invite you to watch the live commentary by smawatts on his Eldrazi reanimator deck, that did well this time (why not using It That Betrays, though?).


 One of his matches was against me, playing the new version of an old favorite of mine, a Venser deck with Academy Rector fetching Venser-friendly enchantments. In the past I run it with Human and Bird, this time it was Cleric.


 I'll talk about this a bit in Show and Tell. In the meantime, let's give a warm welcome to a new tribe making its (unfortunate) debut on Tribal Apocalypse. Ladies and gentlemen, Cockatrice! Built by none other than AJ_Impy, of course. They didn't grab the New Kids on the Block prize yet (which is available for Badger and Siren, too). Better luck next time, angry birds!




 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of June 19, 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, MisterMojoRising's Goblins: $27.67 (nonland cards: $27.67; tribal base: $8.43)

 It's official: even if you try to build the most expensive Goblin deck you can come up with, you'll still end up with... a fairly cheap deck. Thanks to Vintage Masters, the most expensive non-legendary Goblin in existence now is Goblin Sharpshooter at $0.87, while most of this deck's cost amount to Aether Vial.

 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

 So I really wanted to get that reanimator deck I tried a couple weeks ago to actually work. I figured in regular tribal with access to Entomb, I could cut a color and that should increase consistency and speed.

 I have to be honest, half the fun of playing a deck like this is that there are almost never close games, you either hit the grand slam or smack yourself in the face and KO yourself. Either way it's fun to watch.

 Round 1: Against arcbounddaylabor with Elementals. Arcbound was on Elemental burn, which meant the game were going to be super quick since a resolved Eldrazi was gg, but I would only have, like, 3 turns before I was charred to a crisp.

 Round 2: Against Kumagoro with Clerics. Kuma had one heck of a brew here, I have trouble describing it beyond a 4-color Clerics enchantment flicker thing. With some Grim Monolith for ramp. [It was 3 colors, actually. There were some black-producing lands only to try and exploit the second ability of Starlit Sanctum, which in the end I never did – Kuma's note].

 Round 3: Against Bazaar of Baghdad with Beasts. Almost every time I've played against BoB in the past I've been crushed, but this week he went super deep on a fun brew that seemed really neat. Working off of Fluctuator with cycling Beasts and Living Death-style effects, plus the Devil from Dark Ascension that does damage when things are reanimated. Game 1 and 2, after both of us decided that opening hands are for the weak, and mulled down to 4, were decided by which deck would fail to work more.

 Round 4: Against Robin88 with Faeries. I think this match was really unfavorable, Esper Faeries has everything reanimator fears: removal, counters, and bounce. I think I'd lose this matchup 8 times out of 10.

by RexDart


 Venser, the Sojourner has always been one of my favorite planeswalkers. His flickering ability is just so ripe for great potential interactions. And my favorite Venser interaction, to marry it with another passion of mine, is between Venser and big enchantments that I fetch via Academy Rector.


 My basic package of enchantments for Venser amounts to Exclusion Ritual for exiling stuff even before the ultimate (and double the stuff afterwards); Decree of Silence to soft-shut the opponent out of the game (Venser resets the counters every turn, so you need to cast 3 spells in rapid succession in order to get rid of the Decree); and Day of the Dragons to seal the deal by turning all my tribe into 5/5 flyers, again and again, getting ETB effects between each new transformation. To this I usually add Teferi's Moat for defense. It's only minimally related to Venser's main ability, but it's in Venser's colors and it helps a lot against monocolored decks.


 Due to Academy Rector creating a toolbox, I only need 1 copy of each of these, even if I should probably start including 2 copies of the Moat, to buy me the time to reach my endgame.

 At this point, it's all matter of choosing a tribe. It preferably has to be in Venser's colors and Academy Rector's types, but more importantly has to feature useful ETB effects for Venser to exploit. A typical setup I used several times is with Humans, that gives me a lineup with useful members like Sea Gate Oracle for card drawing and Aether Adept for bouncing. I've been known to play the deck with Birds, too. This time I tried Clerics (next, I want to give a shot to Soldiers, exploiting the detain ability from Return to Ravnica). Cleric gave me this Bant lineup: Temple Acolyte, Fiend Hunter, Banisher Priest, Loxodon Hierarch, Academy Rector. Lots of lifegain and temporary exiling.


 Exploring the tribe, I also found two less-known members that turn into great finishers in a Venser deck: Evangel of Heliod and Urbis Protector. I had 1 non-fetchable copy of each, I intend to bring in more in the future.


 To kill the Rector, I use two lands: the tribal Starlit Sanctum and (Phyrexan Arena). You can also appreciate how the Cleric fits the theme of my enchantments: they perform the Exclusion Ritual, issue a Decree of Silence (to match their vows, maybe?), and well, they're all priests of a cult that's waiting for the Day of the Dragons!

 Let's see some games now. A good one is in smawatts's War Report above. I then played against Deonmag and his Zombies. An interesting and flavorful matchup, because his monoblack build with no flyers could look very vulnerable to Teferi's Moat at first sight, but actually didn't care much for attacking, thanks to our old friend the Gray Merchant of Asphodel. This lead to some epic games where the Cleric tried in every way to stop the zombie apocalypse (literally: there was Zombie Apocalypse as a finisher!), but in the end, they failed.

 In this game, the enchantments (helped by Grim Monolith's mana boost) do their job even in absence of Venser.

 Here, instead, even Venser and the full set of his toys couldn't manage to stop the apocalypse.

 Looking back, I realized I was over-affectionate to those specific enchantments and the Timmy win they produce. I could try new things. For instance, Evangel of Heliod works very well with Cathars' Crusade.


 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! And Badger and Siren, too! Be the first to win a match with freshly promoted to tribes Cockatrice, Badger or Siren, 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):

  • 4.24 (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)
  • 4.26 (Week 183 BE), on July 5: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 4.27 (Week 184 BE), on July 12: 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!




There are some interesting by romellos at Fri, 06/20/2014 - 14:24
romellos's picture

There are some interesting cards from Conspiracy side. I wish they print other ones too, especially that Boros blacksmith is a great loss.

I think Council's Judgement will be the one that will impact most to the Tribal games as an ultimate O-Ring that can exile True-name, Emrakul or any other creatures with hexproof/shroud too.

But, my personal favorite card is actually Selvala. She is more than she seems even for 1v1 games. Mana acceleration & life gain & extra card can be crucial in some moments, even with its downside. And her CMC range is right to be splashed.

I didn't consider that by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 06/21/2014 - 08:22
Kumagoro42's picture

I didn't consider that Council's Judgment circumvent hexproof & co., that's a great application of will of the council. It's the only single-target card that can exile Progenitus!

And I guess Selvala is good for being a 2/4 for 3. I just dread to tap her, get nothing from the effect, and then my opponent draws a card. I suppose I should play with her to better judge her strength. It's interesting that she's a Scout, there are 2 good new Scouts among these cards.