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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Aug 28 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

by Kumagoro

 All right, while Magic as a whole is undergoing an unexpected, groundbreaking metamorphosis, Tribal Apocalypse also keeps interrogate its player base to see what changes might be needed. Last week I finally collected enough answers (by going door to door) to decide that where the Swords of X and Y (and cousin Batterskull) are concerned, no changes from the current behaviour are required. This means that the 6 abovementioned pieces of equipment will keep being banned in Underdog and Pure events, while being playable in Regular and Singleton events. Here are the details of the voting process:

  • UNBAN 'EM: Chamale, endless_nameless, fliebana, Lord Erman, mihahitlor, milegyenanevem, ML_Berlin, RexDart, Robin88 – TOTAL: 9 votes
  • KEEP BAANING 'EM: AJ_Impy, Bazaar of Baghdad, brettmemphis1989, ChNidox, CruelHellraiser, Deonmag, Golden_Lin, Gq1rf7, justcanceled, LeilaPari, MisterMojoRising, RoccoCiccio, romellos, SBena, ScionOfJustice, smawatts – TOTAL: 16 votes
  • ABSTAINED: pfirpfel, Winter.Wolf. TOTAL: 2 votes
  • GRAND TOTAL: 27 votes

 So this is finally settled. Yay transparent democracy.




  • Event Number: 4.33, Week 190 BE
  • Date: August 23
  • Attendance: 24
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • Winner: MisterMojoRising (Goblin)
  • Other undefeated: pfirpfel (Shaman)
  • 1 Loss: brettmemphis1989 (Goblin), Chamale (Horror), romellos (Scout), mihahitlor (Human), Deonmag (Zombie)
  • Special Prizes: Underdog Prize to m4vis (Dauthi)
  • Tribes: Artificer, Dauthi, Elf, Faerie (x2), Goblin (x3), Golem, Horror, Human (x3), Imp, Kithkin, Kor, Merfolk, Myr, Scout, Shaman, Sliver, Vampire, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Second Regular tribal of the month (hint: get used to this), with a great, sudden reversal of the attendance trend I lamented last week. Sometimes, you just have to make a wish, no?

 Also romellos's streak of wins was ended by his direct rival MisterMojoRising, who's now back to 1st place in the leaderboard with a record 8 wins in the same year (which in his case is also the debut year. I can't stress enough how impressive this is.) It's also the 17th Goblin win overall, reinforcing their current status of most successful tribe ever, but more importantly it's the 7th Goblin win of 2014, which means this is turning out to be a very Goblin Year. The green menace is going to win more this year than all the 3 previous years combined, and its successes have been all over the map: 3 in Regular events, 2 in Singleton, 1 in Pure, 1 in Kaleidoscope. It's hard to be afraid of combo (which this year did very little), when to win an event you just need $5 worth of very straightforward red cards.

 To answer a mini-debate originated in the #Tribal room, I don't dislike Goblin. It's a very basic way to play Tribal, and often Magic in general. It's sort of boring to me after a while, as it's very low variance, but it needs to exist, it's an elementary force, a challenge every deck should be prepared to face. I'm more annoyed by Elfball, which is just a way to play Elf, but since it's so successful, it becomes the default way. Also, games vs. Goblins are usually quick and honest, whereas games vs. Elfball take forever, and you have to put up with the inherent smugness of those neverending, Storm-like turns where the Elf pilots just play by themselves for 10 minutes. I don't know if Elfball players realize this, but when you're preventing your opponent to play at all, that's legit in your path to victory, yet it's going to make them hate you. Which of course, it's something you could totally not care about, but it's a well-deserved hatred that's part of the nature of the beast.

 Anyway, here's MisterMojo's all-creature Goblin list (brettmemphis1989 was the first of the "defeated" with his own gobbo build).


 In the final, MisterMojo faced the other undefeated deck, my favorite of the week: this Shaman build by pfirpfel, that hides complexity under an apparently simple surface: there's only Shamans (and other creatures, mostly as 1-of) and a set of Recurring Nightmare to play off Fauna Shaman. But, well, that's more than enough!


 Elsewhere, Chamale was back to the event (welcome back!) with his signature landless dredge Horror deck. Mark one for combo!


 Then we have romellos with a new turn of his Scout/Valakut deck, which is still nominally dedicated to Selvala, but apparently the explorer didn't return this time.


 As a moment of personal pride, I'd like to reaffirm that I was playing Scouts + Valakut + Primeval Titan in 2011 already. In fact, I'm still the only player who won an event with them (event 27). I also brought them back in 2012 for a second place. I didn't use Scapeshift (or maybe there was a copy in 2012, I remember owning a copy at some point), because winning by Scapeshift in Tribal feels bad to me. I would use Natural Order to fetch the Titans by sacrificing one of the lesser scouts that already did their job. Just saying, with all due respect to romellos, I take credit for this build. I was playing it before it was cool!

 Speaking of me, I'm starting to realize I have a Johnny problem. Of course, my Johnny side has always been strong, and it feels good to come up with something cerebral and have it work at least once. Like this:


 Now, since I always test decks directly in tournament, this list contains some clear mistakes and ample room for improvement. For instance, the set of Chromatic Lantern was ill-advised, as the deck really needed another turn-2 ramp (for a turn-3 Lodestone Golem) that could double as a fixer for Bosh's activation, like a simple red-producing Signet.

 But this is basically a deck that really wants to play Mycosynth Golem. So it goes all-in with artifact permanents, accelerating the "affinity lord", then following it up with Bosh, who will then be able to hurl the 11-mana extravaganza and himself at the opponent's dome for 19 points of damage (and yeah, that 19 is another problematic piece of bad math). I did it once in game 1 of round 1, so I was happy for the remainder of the event, but I knew that it wouldn't happen very often, or ever again. In fact, it didn't. It's a cool card interaction, but that's it. And obviously a Cloudpost base would put me in a better position to ramp, and at that point, why should I bother with Mycosynth Golem at all, rather than, say, Darksteel Colossus?


Pictured: same casting cost, different impact on the board.

 "Why should I bother" is the key question here, and of course it has a legitimate answer in, "Because it's cool". Sort of a "Why climb Everest? Because it's there" deal. But after a while, I realize I'm railroading myself into playing this kind of decks most of the times, when I have a lot of simpler, more effective decks with cards that I still like a lot, and I shouldn't bench them all the times only for the sake of the next Johnny hijinks. It gets to a point where it becomes a sort of addiction, and I should try and purge myself with some straightforward linear tribal deck or something. Maybe even Goblin! (Okay, let's not get carried away now).

 Anyway, the event also saw the debut of two new players, arekdahl (with a honest, "equipments matter" Kor build) and LeilaPari (with a Merfolk deck dedicated to Douglas Adams). Welcome aboard, guys!

 And last nod to AJ_Impy's build of the week, a monoblack Vampire deck with no removal and no disruption, as per the Black Friday achievement. Guys, you're letting AJ walk away with those 25 tix, you know that, right?




 Here's the prices of all the featured decks (wait for more in the following weeks, pending technical developments), courtesy of the amazingDeck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of August 28, 2014):

 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.

by Smawatts

 Okay I think mistakes are just as important as successes long-term. Sometimes looking at something and seeing why it didn't work can give you insight and, most importantly, prevent you from repeating such mistakes.

 This week I decided to play a Stax deck that was built around the Myr tribe. With the basic idea to restrict my opponent's mana with Storage Matrix and Propaganda and then use Smokestack and various recursive Myr to grind out my opponents permanents. I knew it would sort of have a soft spot against Goblins since they can rush early and then use burn for reach. As you will see in the videos, my estimation of the Goblin matchup was a bit off.

 Problems with the deck:

  1. Genesis Chamber being symmetrical was more of a problem than I thought.
  2. No Magus of the Tabernacle. I didn't think this would be as huge a problem as it turned out to be, but I found many times where my only out would have been a Magus, if it had been in my deck. [Or else The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale itself? – Kuma' note]
  3. No targeted removal means creatures like Krenko or Rabblemaster are all but unbeatable.
  4. Deck needs sweepers. With my multicolored base I should have ran at least Engineered Explosives.

Side notes: Storage Matrix in a pure artifact deck is amazing; if my creatures had been threats, this would have been way better.

 Round 1: Against MisterMojoRising with Goblins. Um, yeah, Goblins are pretty good.

 Round 2: External Commentary. So I got a bye round 2. Sad face, but I did some commentary hopping around to various games and caught some interesting board states.

 Round 3: Against ML_Berlin with Goblins. See round 1.


 Just to remind you of a few things:


 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!


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

  • 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)
  • 4.36 (Week 193 BE), on September 13: Regular Tribal (just plain old Legacy Tribal Wars)
  • 4.37 (Week 194 BE), on September 20: Tribal Kaleidoscope (only multicolored cards and lands)

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite ETB Creature on the Topdeck Awards!



My current Scout deck is by romellos at Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:58
romellos's picture

My current Scout deck is following your footsteps Kuma. I remember our game for the first place on May, 2012 where you were playing with a Scout deck.

And I really liked it back then and I always wanted to play with a version of it one day. This year, I'm mostly approaching to my tribal deck builds differently and that's why I have decided to try more interesting decks like Scouts... I also improved my first version by adding Primeval Titan after your comments about it.

I like Selvala there but land base with Plains subtype ruined the first version. I want to splash her in some other decks but Yisan seems more promising then her at 3 CMC range with his fetching ability. All I can do for now, is to honor her name in the deck title...

I honestly always found by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:43
Kumagoro42's picture

I honestly always found strange that nobody had ever played Valakut Scout afterwards. I might bring it back, too!

I keep looking at Yisan in my collection, and I want to play him, but I'm still not exactly sure it won't be a lame "I wish I was Birthing Pod" build.

The problem is he isn't pod by Paul Leicht at Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:45
Paul Leicht's picture

The problem is he isn't pod and doesn't play like pod. To use Yisan properly you need to remember at the top of the curve he does nothing anymore so he has limited uses unless you find a way to reset the counters or sac him or return him to your hand.

Still love him though. Awesome card for Timmy...

I ran into a Modern build by Procrastination at Thu, 08/28/2014 - 18:53
Procrastination's picture

I ran into a Modern build with Yisan the other day that used Hex Parasite to adjust the number of counters on Yisan. It used Wheel of Sun and Moon on itself so even if creatures died, they just went back into the deck to be re-tutored. It then set up a soft lock of Magus of the Disk + Dauntless Escort to wipe all other permanents off the board.

I know that's a lot of different Tribes, but I thought I'd share the concept!

- Gio

That's pretty brilliant :) I by Paul Leicht at Thu, 08/28/2014 - 19:12
Paul Leicht's picture

That's pretty brilliant :) I want a list please. :D

That's interesting. Hex by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:29
Kumagoro42's picture

That's interesting. Hex Parasite was obvious since day 1, of course. And Wheel of Sun and Moon was seen in certain casual Pod builds (including one of mine), but of course it felt overkill there, may be better with Yisan. The Wheel is a beautiful card in all senses, and versatile enough to have a room in main deck.

I guess there are a number of combos you can set up with Yisan. Hell, once you get to 4 and then 5 counters, you've set up Resto/Kiki. I'd like for Yisan to have his own stuff, though, rather than just trying to do the same things the Pod does.

If you have a creature live by RexDart at Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:47
RexDart's picture

If you have a creature live for four turns in Tribal Wars, you should get a medal.

My chest would be too heavy, by Paul Leicht at Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:00
Paul Leicht's picture

My chest would be too heavy, Id have to store all of them. It is amazing how many players do not run mass removal and or can't deal with indestructible, etc.

Tell you what, submit that as by AJ_Impy at Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:14
AJ_Impy's picture

Tell you what, submit that as an achievement. (I've already got credit for one.) Have a creature survive four turns. See how many folk qualify for it. I'd wager 'lots'.

Done. The achievement is #46, by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:26
Kumagoro42's picture

Done. The achievement is #46, "RexDart's Medal".

Haha, okay I maybe should by RexDart at Sat, 08/30/2014 - 14:30
RexDart's picture

Haha, okay I maybe should have refined that one a little, lol :-) You could probably park a Phyrexian Crusader on the field indefinitely if you dodge AJ_Impy's decks.

edit: btw, while on the topic, I will have a very cool new deckbuilding challenge coming up, I may need to bounce ideas off you for implementation though, I want it to be progressive through a few different challenges with escalating prizes.

You can still refine it, if by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 08/30/2014 - 16:45
Kumagoro42's picture

You can still refine it, if you want. But an easy achievement isn't a bad thing.

Don't forget Power Conduit to by Rerepete at Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:06
Rerepete's picture

Don't forget Power Conduit to turn those useless verse counters into +1/+1's, or proliferate to ramp up the counters (eg Tezzeret's Gambit)

Kaleidoscope? by MisterMojoRising at Mon, 09/01/2014 - 08:16
MisterMojoRising's picture

So we're doing Kaleidoscope on the 20th? How often will we be doing that event?

Yep. Check at the bottom of by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 09/02/2014 - 07:09
Kumagoro42's picture

Yep. Check at the bottom of the article, where it says TRIBAL CALENDAR FOR 2014, you'll find all of them.

Are we doing anything about by AJ_Impy at Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:03
AJ_Impy's picture

Are we doing anything about the Kscope meta?

Maybe Oversoul of Susk should by romellos at Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:30
romellos's picture

Maybe Oversoul of Dusk should be restricted to its respective tribals (Spirit or Avatar) only.

Concur. by AJ_Impy at Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:20
AJ_Impy's picture


Will do. by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 09/04/2014 - 05:10
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Will do.