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Aug 15 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

 A couple items of notice this week: one change to the calendar, and a long due update to the general ban list. The first is: the planned Tribal Commander event of August 23 has been moved to November 22 (in place of a Kaleidoscope event), and replaced by yet another Regular event. This is because in August the attendance is typically low, so a special event would end up wasted this month. We'll also have more time to ponder if we really want to do a Commander event, or rather something else, maybe still in a multiplayer flavor.

 The second item is: I finally decided to add one card to the general numbers of those who are banned everywhere (remember to check the ban list of every single sub-format, though: the cards are all repeated for each of them, so if it's not listed, it's legal). The card is simply the hated Umbral Mantle.

 

Pictured: on the left, now banned; on the right, now useless.

 It's a combo piece that's only used (and useful) with one tribe, which however happens to be one of the strongest, if not THE strongest tribe in the format. For the same reason why Glimpse of Nature (along with its poor cousin Beck/Call is banned, so should be the Mantle. And it's not that Elves don't have other ways to go infinite. In fact, the Mantle just inspires laziness (why nobody ever uses Cloudstone Curio?), as it's a quick way to end the game right there, whereas your typical infinite mana outlet would then ask for something to do with all that mana. Next event is Singleton, where nothing is banned, so there's 2 weeks to adjust to the new Mantle-less environment. I gather a chorus of "Good riddance!" is all we'll hear.


LAST WEEK ON TRIBAL APOCALYPSE...

  • Event Number: 4.31, Week 188 BE
  • Date: August 9
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • Winner: romellos (Human)
  • Other undefeated: Gq1rf7 (Vampire)
  • 1 Loss: MisterMojoRising (Elemental), ML_Berlin (Human), Robin88 (Human), AJ_Impy (Sliver)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to milegyenanevem (Dwarf)
  • Tribes: Beast, Dwarf, Elemental (x2), Human (x3), Kithkin, Myr, Sliver (x2), Vampire, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, romellos did it again, and he's now 5 points away from the top spot in the leaderboard, held by MisterMojoRising, here only Top 4 with his fiery Elementals. And for the second week in a row, his opponent in the final playoff was Gq1rf7. This time romellos was piloting his trusty Humans, now experimenting with Yisan...

 

 ...while Gq answered with his budget Vampires...

 

 More about Gq and his $5 builds in the price section.

 In an event where Humans scored 3 of the top 5 places (thanks to the monowhite ones by ML_Berlin and the multicolored, Pod-assisted ones by Robin88), we better focus on something less usual. Like, of course, what AJ_Impy was running, i.e. this All-Legend Sliver build.

 

 Another strange one was this Dwarf build by milegyenanevem.

 I'd also like to check back on the status of my own green Elementals, a deck that I used a couple times in the past, but it's still very much in flux (you'll see a match of it in this week's War Report).

 

 This time, I wanted to try out Generator Servant, but as suspected, the math isn't quite right. The Servant wants to power up something in the CMC 5 range on turn 3; saccing it for a 4-mana dude is a waste. Especially if that dude is Vengevine, which already has haste of its own. And while I've finally established that, yes, Forgotten Ancient is a great midrange card and should be played in 4 copies in this deck; it's still certainly not something you want to give haste to. Same goes for Omnath, of course, which would attack as a simple 1/1. Truth is, Elementals don't have a lot of great options at CMC 5. The best you can find in green is Thornling (which, again, doesn't feel like the guy you want to attack with right away when you have no open mana), because Rushwood Elemental isn't even playable with Generator Servant's mana.

 

Spend 2 mana to give haste to a critter that can get haste for 1 mana: not exactly the recipe for success.

 Red has Malignus to offer, which might be good, even if it's bound to be chump-blocked. With an additional splash, we get Lord of Extinction, which is great (albeit sharing Malignus's issues), but not so much on turn 3; and Elderwood Scion, which looks like a solid option.

Lifelink is often the crucial factor when choosing a midrange beater.

 White would also put me in Reveillark color, and Reveillark is probably the best Elemental at this point in the curve, able to give me Omnath back. So maybe that's the direction I should go, but I'm not that convinced by the double splash. Maybe I should drop red and the Generator Servant plan entirely, ramp with something like Overgrowth and be more lethal overall with Nissa. The reimagined planeswalker performed well (and she's an elementalist, so she fits perfectly in the deck). I'm also sold on the interaction between Omnath and the classic Wall of Roots (to transfer green mana into Omnath's account in the opponent's turn). On a similar line, I want to try Bear Umbra: protecting your Omnath while giving it more punch (both from the aura bonus and for untapping and retapping lands that will make it grow further) while also ramping: all seems good. I would then drop the most expensive Elementals in favor of more Forgotten Ancients. And if I decide to keep Vengevine, I might well reinforce its presence with other smaller creatures to bring it back. The cheaper green Elemental is Bramblesnap, which is kinda bad, but if seen in the right perspective, it's a way to resurrect Vengevine and a natural trampler to carry the counters coming from the Ancients. Alternatively, I may just keep Omnath, Forgotten Ancient and Vigor, and add either white for Elderwood Scion and Reveillark, or black for Lord of Extinction and Shriekmaw, probably making room for a playset of Generator Servant in the process, otherwise I feel it'll be too fatally slow. We'll see.

 

They kinda have the same pose!


THE HIGH PRICE OF WINNING

  

 Since I found out the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish, this section might turn into "What are the prices of ALL the decks?". For now (also waiting for other developments in the Goldfish area), I just put here the decks I mentioned in the article (MTGO Traders prices as of August 14, 2014):

 Gq1rf7's deck enters the Top 10 Cheapest list below, which is almost entirely populated by Gq now (his Minotaur deck from last week was also cheap, but as of today is worth $5.93, so it would be 11th in the list).

 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. Gq1rf7's Vampires, $4.38, 2nd place on Event 188
  9. arcbounddaylabor's Goblins, $4.46, 1st place on Event 111
  10. Coolcat1678's Elves, $5.13, 2nd place on Event 149

 NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85.


WAR REPORT
by Smawatts

 After sadly oversleeping last week and not getting to play my sweet Skeleton brew, I wanted to try out one of my favorite cards from M15, Necromancer's Stockpile.

 This card can do a lot of things in the right mix of Zombies. You can fill your graveyard for a Living Death, you can use creatures like Gravecrawler, Lotleth Troll and maybe a Vengevine in a Modern aggro shell. You could also say the heck with Zombies and discard giant monsters... like Eldrazi, and then reanimate them. The combo I went with this week, though, was Shambling Shell and Stockpile. The way the timing works, you can always redraw the Shell via dredge whenever you discard it. Placing that in a Rock style midrange deck seemed like a good idea at the time. Here's the list.

 Round 1: Against romellos with Humans. I could probably have told you 75% of the cards in romellos's deck before turn one. That isn't much of an advantage when they all sort of wreck your plan. Scavenging Ooze is a card I really can't beat. Mom is a tough one, and Plows are a beating. 

 Round 2: Against arcbounddaylabor with Kithkin. This match up played out oddly. On paper I would have thought Kithkin would be a bad match-up, but he was going for a more midrange build of them, with token generation. An interesting take on the tribe.

 Round 3: Against Kumagoro with Elementals. Green Elementals splashing red for Sudden Demise and Generator Servant. I will say I have gained more respect for Vigor. Well, as much as I can respect a dog monster with bull horns and a turtle shell. Seriously that thing is weird-looking.


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: 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, too! Be the first to win a match with freshly promoted to tribes Cockatrice or Badger 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 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. And of course this will happen only as soon as the Changelings will work on V4 as promised.

 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):

  • 4.32 (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: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • 4.34 (Week 191 BE), on August 30: Pure Tribal (no off-tribe creatures, complete rules here)
  • 4.35 (Week 192 BE), on September 6: Tribal Underdog (only Underdog Tribes allowed)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite ETB Creature on the Topdeck Awards!

SEE YOU ALL IN THE TRIBAL ROOM!

8 Comments

It's interesting that no one by ScionOfJustice at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:02
ScionOfJustice's picture

It's interesting that no one had been playing elves before I came back to magic in April and played my list from three years ago with Umbra mantle and took first. Since then I noticed a ton of other people played the infinite combo elves and got mantle banned.

Hopefully Mr.Watts gets his microphone issues sorted out.

Rather that many players by Paul Leicht at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 04:16
Paul Leicht's picture

Rather that many players bring elves and are not successful. (Hint: it was the combo that people finally started playing again. There was a fairly successful campaign by current players to discourage easy button tribe builds at the event which meant that players were struggling with subpar elf builds.)

I think it's unfair that by MisterMojoRising at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 12:47
MisterMojoRising's picture

I think it's unfair that you've banned the Mantle, as you had previously stated you'd give elves another go at Pure until it was banned there (which I've failed to do with the elves and the Mantle in the last two Pure events). I had been having trouble with the elves in Regular now that everyone has caught on to how to beat it, so I had already switched to something else there.

Nothing done against the #1 by Tribal Apocalypse at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 15:24
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Nothing done against the #1 tribe in the meta can be called unfair. And I never promised anything, I just declined to ban the Mantle in that occasion (which is FOUR MONTHS AGO, by the way). Now it was the right time. And Elves won more events without the Mantle that they did with, so it's not really a matter of "Oh my God, now they're unplayable". They used to win Legacy tournaments back when the Mantle didn't even exist.

I don't understand why you're by MisterMojoRising at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 15:31
MisterMojoRising's picture

I don't understand why you're banning it now when it hasn't won an event in ages and the metagame has finally adjusted to its presence (hint: keep mana up to kill the creature when they go to equip it). It's only a thing in two of the events and you're banning it in all four. Why not ban a load of other things in singleton too?

It's not banned in Singleton, by Tribal Apocalypse at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 15:45
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

It's not banned in Singleton, nothing is ever banned in Singleton.
It was already banned in Kaleidoscope by the format's restrictions.
It's essentially unplayable in Underdog.
It would have been banned in Pure soon enough.

So, it's only about Regular. Regular needs to be preserved a little, lest it becomes the most annoying event of the month. We had a Regular event where almost everybody was piloting Elf, Goblin or Human. Then we had the Regular event with the smallest attendance of the year.
Everybody building Elves builds Mantle.dek. Enough is enough. There are other ways to build Elf, and this is the right moment PRECISELY because it doesn't feel ad personam.

What about Hollowhenge by Rerepete at Sat, 08/16/2014 - 15:51
Rerepete's picture

What about Hollowhenge Scavenger? A hasty 4/5 that gets you 5 life can't be that bad.

Well, yeah, I guess its by Tribal Apocalypse at Sun, 08/17/2014 - 07:08
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Well, yeah, I guess its interaction with the Servant isn't that bad. I'll keep it in mind.