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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Jul 31 2014 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   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


THOUGHTS OF A TRIBAL HOST
by Kumagoro

 First of all, a very important public announcement: VMA and M15 cards are now on Gatherling!

 No more placeholders, guys! (Those will just be reserved for auxiliary cards in Pure events.)

 And speaking of M15, here's the set's TOP 10 CARDS I MOST WANT TO BUILD DECKS WITH.

 1. Hornet Nest. I literally can't wait to play with Insect's new, exciting toy! I've already found out several interesting things I want to do with it. You know, sometimes those hornets may get disturbed by tremblings on the ground...

 2. Generator Servant. This thing is just such a powerhouse. In one of my sealed events (I've two MTGO accounts, so I got two for free), I was lucky enough to open 3 copies of it, and suffice to say, I got very close to 4-0 it. Attacking with a big flyer on turn 3 is amazing. I'm gonna try it in my green Elemental deck, that recently already extended to red for Sudden Demise. The weaker link in that team was Spawnwrithe, so I can replace them with the Generators. They don't play particularly well with Vengevine, since it already has haste, and costs 4, while the Generator wants to give you 5 mana on turn 3 (and there's not a lot of good 5 CMC Elementals in green. Rushwood Elemental asks for all green mana, and Thornling is pretty meh, especially if hurled into the red zone with no mana available to activate its abilities). But I can use it to cast Vigor on turn 4, maybe. Or I can delve into red Elementals.

 3. Nissa, Worldwaker. Nissa is currently, and by far, the most expensive card in M15 (so proud of her!), but she's still affordable enough, all things considered, so I'm going to buy a couple copies (one of which is practically courtesy of WotC, thanks to the cards I found in the free sealed events). I'm not exactly sure where I want to play her in Tribal Wars, though. On the one hand, she's an endless source of aggression, in the form of free, big tramplers that have essentially haste and can even get vigilance once in a while. All while building towards an ultimate that (in the right deck) may range between "you'll never get dead draws again" and "you win the game next turn". On the other hand, in order to exploit her second ability, you need a deck where most of the lands are forests (ideally, basic), which is not usually a big problem in my green decks, especially now that most VMA duals are cheaper than certain scrylands. Still, you need a reason to ramp from 5 to 9-10. I guess she's fine enough as a beatdown machine, but being a CMC 5 walker, she might not always find room. I mean, I use to include 1-2 copies of Vraska in my Golgari builds, because at the very least Vraska is a Vindicate. Similarly, Tamiyo, Gideon Jura and Elspeth Tirel have great tactical value. A 4/4 trampler for 5 (which, incidentally, eats up one of your mana source) isn't exactly an auto-include.

 4. Scuttling Doom Engine. This thing is pretty strong, isn't it? You need to take notice, because it's easy to dismiss it because it doesn't say Wurmcoil Engine at the top. But this can't be chump-blocked, and you can shoot it to your opponent's face if you have a sacrifice outlet. My colorless Construct deck with Phyrexia's Core and Trading Post might have found something better for curve-topper than Myr Battlesphere.

 5. Chief Engineer. This is easy: my Vedalken deck is going to replace Vedalken Certarch. Now those Etherium Sculptors can tap for mana even when Grand Architect isn't there. And this guy/gal is great at defense. I feel the deck as a whole just became better. I might even start using Scuttling Doom Engine as finishers, as I run Trading Post in this deck, too.

 6. Necromancer's Stockpile. Considering the return of (Liliana Veil) to my collection doesn't look like is going to happen anytime soon, this card might become my discard outlet of choice for my reanimator builds. It wants you to do it in Zombie, and I might do that, too (it's a great setup for Recurring Nightmare), but "dump your fattie into the graveyard, avoid card disadvantage" is already good enough.

 7. Spirit Bonds. Not sure if this card will see play in general, but it's intriguing in Spirit because it gives you a sac outlet for the Kamigawa Dragons (giving indestructible to some opponent's creature is awkward, so I might want to find the right off-tribe creature to include as the Spirits' protegé).

 8. Soul of New Phyrexia. I've an Avatar deck I like, but it's a monoblack Living Death deck based on Avatar of Discord. I don't have much use for Soul of Innistrad (maybe as a 1-of, to exploit it from the graveyard and recast a Demigod of Revenge), but this one is definitely the strongest, and it's colorless. Its ability is expensive, but can make sense.

 9. Yisan, the Wanderer Bard. This guy has gotta work to some extent, I'm sure of it. Human gives him a wide range of options, but I want to investigate Rogue, too, see what happens. In the art, he's singing for a wurm. Or a lobster. Or a wurmster.

 10. Chasm Skulker. I've absolutely no idea where to use this, but I know I want to. Maybe I'll look into Horror beyond black. Fortunately, it only requires one blue mana.


LAST WEEK ON TRIBAL APOCALYPSE...

  • Event Number: 4.29, Week 186 BE
  • Date: July 26
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)  
  • Winner: VictorBike (Kithkin)
  • Other undefeated: Deonmag (Zombie)
  • 1 Loss: romellos (Scout), fliebana (Kithkin), Jeketerri (Goblin), MisterMojoRising (Elf)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to smawatts (Wurm)
  • Tribes: Angel, Beast, Elemental, Elf (x2), Goblin, Human, Kithkin (x2), Myr, Rogue, Scout, Treefolk, Vampire, Wizard, Wurm, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Notable occurrences this week: None of the prize winners from the previous week won a prize again, so this happened. MisterMojoRising surpassed mihahitlor in the seasonal leaderboard. It looks like it'll be a duel between these two for Player of the Year, but romellos isn't that far behind (everyone else is). And we had two undefeated, blast from the past VictorBike with his signature Kithkin deck...

 

 ...and a steady presence from this year, Deonmag with one of his favorite builds, Devotion Zombies.

 

 I believe Deonmag is from Ukraine, so let's take a minute to think about what's happening in his country.

 

 Purified cards of the week: Honor of the Pure for the Kithkin, thus completing the purification of the basic Mihahitlor Package, as Spectral Procession was already out (now you have to resort to things like Spear of Heliod + Battle Screech); and (Gray Merchant of Asphodel) for the Zombies.

 Only stopped by the Kithkin was this Scout deck by romellos:

 

 I once won an event myself with the interaction between Scout and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, which makes for a strong build. I didn't assist the explorers with Scapeshift, as I'd rather use the honorary scout Primeval Titan, which feels fairer. Of course, it wasn't an option in a Pure event. Romellos is also trying Selvala here. I think Realm Seekers is also interesting, possibly more so, in this kind of build. I don't like much being forced to juggle a white splash on top of the delicate balance between mountains, which you need to win, and forests, which you need to play.

 This time, in honor of Vegetation Week and especially my History of Plants and Treefolk, I was playing the latter.

 

 It's a new Treefolk build of mine that exploits the indestructibility provided by Timber Protector to run Oblivion Stone as a board sweeper. In several occasions, I managed to have TWO Timber Protectors on the battlefield before activating the Stone, and that was more or less auto-concede for the opponent. Maybe I should put Nevinyrral's Disk and Darksteel Forge in there! All right, maybe that's too much daydreaming. It might be the right deck to try a Nissa, Worldwaker, though, since Timber Protector would make her 4/4s indestructible as well. And this build needed fixing anyway; see that singleton Doran, for instance? It was there because I initially forgot I couldn't use Green Sun's Zenith in Pure. As it is, it's meaningless, and causes a lot of troubles in the mana base for just one card.


THE HIGH PRICE OF WINNING

  

 Also known as: how much do the top decks cost? As of July 31, 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, VictorBike's Kithkin: $47.17 (nonland cards: $6.71; tribal base: $4.54)
  • 2nd place, Deonmag's Zombies: $53.70 (nonland cards: $26.45; tribal base: $8.81)

 If it weren't for those three Arid Mesa, VictorBike's deck would belong to the Cheapest Undefeated ranking. But of course, if you own a fetch land in the right color, you gotta use it, always, even in monocolored builds. This deck would actually call for Marsh Flats, to fetch the single swamp used to pay for Lingering Souls's flashback. But I guess Victor doesn't own any of those. As for the Zombies, the only one you can consider vaguely expensive is Lifebane Zombie (Geralf's Messenger is just 1 tix now), and the list manages to stay relatively cheap thanks to the VMA duals. VMA really helped tribal players more than anybody else, because most of them operate within severe budget constraints, and now they have so many of the original duals available at sensible prices.

 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.


WAR REPORT
by Smawatts

 So as may seem obvious I really like reanimator decks. This week I tried to see if I could get Wurms to work with a deck that, if all else failed, was able to just cast them. This was basically a Frites deck. The name originally comes from Raphael Levy's PT Dark Ascension deck meaning "French Rites" or "Four/Five-color Rites". The basic idea being to try and mill yourself until you have both an Unburial Rites and a fattie in your 'yard, then flashback the Rites.

   

 I think the deck was fine and would do well against most noncombo decks, but I got terrible pairings as I played against three combo decks.

 Round 1: Against Robin88 with Elfball. I have actually played against Robin a lot lately and it hasn't gone well for me the past few times, plus Elves was a really bad matchup for my Wurms, with Novablast and Massacre being the only real way to stop the pointed-eared little devils from going infinite. [Whoa, Robin ended 0-4 with that Elf deck?! What happened?! – Kuma's note]

 Round 2: Against romellos with Scoutshift. The deck romellos was playing wasn't that far off from one I had considered but didn't have the Scapeshifts for. Scapeshift is a unique card in that if put into the proper deck it's 2GG: you win the game. It's hard to beat if you aren't able to reliably kill your opponent by turn five or six and don't have a way to interact with a spell/land-based combo.

 Round 3: Against hexalite with Rogues. He got a bit color-screwed both games and had little ways to meaningfully interact with powerful Wurms. I would recommend trying some budget color fixing in the form of the common fetch lands, Guildgates, or the M10 checklands.

 Round 4: Against MisterMojoRising with Elfball. Elves, why did it have to be elves? Though giving my draws I'm fairly sure I would have lost to any tribe that wasn't all 3-mana 1/1s; not to take anything away from my opponent, but I was more or less a goldfish both games.


ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

 Just to remind you of a few things:

 VMA and M15 cards are now on Gatherling! No more placeholder shenanigans are needed!

 Voting on Swords of X and Y Still Ongoing: And since this voting has been going on for 3 months, I'll force a resolution by going door to door in the next event. So get ready to answer (if you didn't already do): 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. The new majority at the end of this week's event will decide the fate of the Swords.

  

 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 third quarter of 2014. The quarter will end September 27. 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!


 WHAT'S NEXT

 The upcoming Tribal Apocalypse events of the Blippian Era (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT):

  • 4.30 (Week 187 BE), on August 2: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)
  • 4.31 (Week 188 BE), on August 9: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • 4.32 (Week 189 BE), on August 16: Tribal Singleton (only one copy of each card except for basic lands)
  • 4.33 (Week 190 BE), on August 23: Tribal Commander (read the rules here)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Card Drawing on the Topdeck Awards!

SEE YOU ALL IN THE TRIBAL ROOM!