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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Oct 17 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. Show and Tell
  5. Announcement Time!
  6. What's Next

Check the full archive for the "Diaries of the Apocalypse" series

by Kumagoro

 Just a brief announcement: the Underdog Calculator is now public, you can find it here in the main page of the Tribal documents. It works this way: after round 1 of each event, when each player's tribe is revealed on Gatherling anyway, I'll paste the list of players and tribe on the calculator, so you will see who checks positive for most Underdog categories, becoming a candidate for the Underdog Prize (players with the same number of categories use the number of matches won as a tie-breaker; players with the same number of categories and win all get the prize). Note that some tribes allowed in the Underdog events (that now used a fixed list), like for instance Monk, don't check positive for any Underdog category anymore, so they can't actually win an Underdog prize.


Underdog-legal, but not prize-worthy


  • Event Number: 4.40, Week 197 BE
  • Date: October 11
  • Attendance: 15
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Regular
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Goblin)
  • Other undefeated: Gq1rf7 (Goblin)
  • 1 Loss: _Kumagoro_ (Angel), ML_Berlin (Human), MisterMojoRising (Goblin), AJ_Impy (Monk), romellos (Human)
  • Underdog Prize: marcuskane (Elephant)
  • Tribes: Angel, Cat, Elephant, Elf (x2), Goblin (x3), Human (x3), Monk, Sliver, Wall, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 We had a very Goblin Saturday in the last regular tribal, with the three green dudes in the event scoring the first two places, plus the 5th one, to boot. Do we really need to see yet another Goblin list? Oh well, I guess there's the matter of seeing if they made the cut for most budget-friendly winners (spoiler: they didn't), so let's have a look at the winning one, by mihahitlor...


 ...and the runner-up, by Gq1rf7.


 The two builds mostly differ in the supporting card section: miha goes all-in with creatures, only allowing for Aether Vial as a non-critter, whereas Gq doesn't feel like depriving itself of bolts and grenades. There's a guy who's a constant there, but I'll let you find out by yourselves. I put some subtle clues on its identity.

 As for me, I was playing these pretty straightforward Angels, which went well enough (first of the non-undefeated), so I'll have videos for them. (Same goes for smawatts, who's finally back with his War Reports after some technical difficulties. Nice to hear your voice again, Shawn!).


 Meanwhile, remember how we said Monk wasn't eligible for the Underdog Prize anymore? AJ_Impy thinks they're even ready to try and win a regular event. Well, maybe not quite, but they can certainly do well, and the Khans of Tarkir are looking upon them.


 As AJ mentioned in this week's Freed from the Real, this deck is about exploiting Narset's ability to flip Erayo. Good in-tribe interaction.


 We also salute a new player, Elizabeth_Lah from Australia (but currently residing in the UK). It's nice to see all continents AND genders represented in the tribal arena. She was playing these Walls, a shell to protect and enable a Blasphemous Act/Boros Reckoner combo. And, look, Spitemare does the same thing, too! I bet many of us had totally forgotten about him. (I know I had).




 Here's the prices of all the featured decks (wait for more in the following weeks, pending technical developments), courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of October 17, 2014):

 Did you realize that the price of Aether Vial from Modern Masters crashed so hard? It's finally time to buy that set, folks. Also, the fetch lands from Khans of Tarkir changed the overall price of most decks (by influencing the price of ALL the fetch lands), making the same builds from before the set's release considerably cheaper now. Times change.

 But speaking of crashed prices, whoa, Boros Reckoner is 12 cents now?! That's brutal!

Standard giveth, Standard taketh away.

 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

 So I have been having PC issues with my power supply causing my PC to crash for the last couple of weeks, but I have finally gotten it sorted out, I think. So I decided to play an old favorite of mine, Naya Blitz Humans, but with a splash of black, thanks to Khans of Tarkir tanking the price of fetches down to reasonable levels.

 Round 1: Against MisterMojoRising with Goblins. Goblin is the most nakedly powerful tribe, they are fast, with potential for a powerful end game, and the ability to search out silver bullets. I know my deck is capable of being faster, but somewhat surprisingly, the card that ended up being just too much was... Mogg Fanatic.

 Round 2: Against Golden_Lin with Bant Slivers. The good old meathooks. Slivers can be powerful but require a critical mass to get there. Hit them hard enough to force chump blocks before they are all 4/4 vigilant flying first strikers, and they will generally crumble.

 Round 3: Against Deonmag with Zombie Control. It's amazing how good Black Sun's Zenith and Skinrender are against my deck. I really did kick myself for my plan on turn 2 of game 3. I saw what was going to happen, I just didn't listen to myself and punted the game hard.

by Kumagoro


 Angel is not a tribe that accounts for a lot of different modes (essentially just midrange and reanimator), but there's enough strong members to push you into different directions and color splashes. My favorite build is probably Bant with Jenara, Asura of War, Stoic Angel and Sigarda. But once in a while I like to play them simply white, or just with a minimum Boros splash to account for Gisela at the top of the curve. Of course, that would require also a minimum of ramp (she's a 7-mana lady, after all), and what's better in midrange-veering-into-late-game than Grim Monolith, which can suddenly bring about that late game a lot sooner?

Timmy's Delayed Dark Ritual.

 The team was a pretty straightforward best of, focused on lifegaining, thanks to these three angelic superstars.


A more ruthless declination of "the Angels of the Battlefield".

 Exalted Angel in particular is able to attack on turn 4, provided you want to risk to see her bolted when she's just a 2/2. But hey, morph is what all the cool kids are at these days, right? I also had Emeria Angel to help Sublime Archangel causing more mayhem, and a couple Blinding Angel to achieve some soft lock against aggro. Add the Giselas, and you can see how I essentially needed only one attacker to seal the deal. So the rest of the deck was just aimed to enable these midrange marvels to actually have time to accomplish the plan: when I didn't manage a turn-2 Monolith into a turn-3 scary Angel, I had Wrath of God to clear the board and ensure my future against aggro. And Council's Judgment is the go-to all-purpose white removal these days. I mean, the way they worded it (and I'm still not sure they fully realized its wicked potential in 1v1), there's nothing in the game it can't deal with. I even killed True-Name Nemesis once!

 In the remaining few slots, I wanted something to protect myself and my precious finishers (i.e. any creature in the deck). I always liked mass vigilance, which becomes particularly relevant in a deck with so many lifelinkers. However, Heliod is too slow (and his other ability doesn't help me much here), and Serra's Blessing, while able to hit the board in an early turn, before any of my creatures even showed up, seemed a little too thin an effect to waste slots on. Luckily, Khans of Tarkir just printed a strictly better version, adding another useful defensive ability.

Too bad for the lost angelic flavor, though.

 Finally, to give my bigger Angels a chance to resist one of my opponent's attempts at obliterate them, I wanted to spend my last two slots on some kind of anti-removal tech. White has a couple of excellent 1-mana options in Brave the Elements and Apostle's Blessing. I felt like I needed less this kind of speed (I would use it in a turn when I untapped with a crucial creature on the board, so I'd ideally have more than 1 mana available, whereas in a turn when I dropped one of the Angels, I'd more likely have zero), and more a cantrip effect. So I remembered this one, which seemed perfect for the deck's overall strategy (and in fact, delivered a couple times, catching opponents by surprise, which is one of the keys to victory, after all):


Full disclosure: I mostly chose it because of the pretty lady with the informal dress code.

 Now, for some games. I'm proud to say I defeated two great champions with this deck. First, the current leader of the scoreboard romellos (and that's two weeks in a row I beat him!), who was playing these Humans. In game 1, first Thalia then Meddling Mage tried to stop my flyers obliquely (by nullifying my Monoliths, for one), but in the end an early, unanswered Exalted Angel, later supported by Sublime Archangel, proved to be too much to contain.

 After game 2 was mostly decided by Batterskull, in game 3 Council's Judgment got rid of a pesky Meddling Mage and cleared the path for Wrath of God, then Exalted Angel was again able to fly past even a superpowered True-Name Nemesis, making its counterattacks moot, and ultimately striking the crucial blow with the help of Gisela.

  In round 2, I faced returning tribal hall of famer DirtyDuck, with his historically powerful Cats. In game 1, Steppe Lynx's early attacks are fierce, and Qasali Pridemage even takes care of my Grim Monolith, but in the end Wrath of God puts an end to the feline supremacy, and by the time Gisela comes, Dirty has no more removal to throw at her.

 In game 2, I manage to save a morphed Exalted Angel via Shelter. See, it works!

 Unfortunately, round 3 saw a quick defeat at the hand of Gq1rf7 and his Goblins. In game 1, even Wrath of God can't stop the red furies to finish me via Goblin Grenade after a Goblin Lackey-smuggled Siege-Gang Commander threw enough of his minions at me even while the world was ending.

 In game 2, Goblin Grenade was still crucial, killing an early Blinding Angel that could have changed the course of the game. It's interesting to note that winner mihahitlor's Goblins would have been defenseless against her, instead. The inscrutable alchemy of the match-ups.


 Just to remind you of a few things:


 Cockatrice Wants You! And Badger, too! Be the first to win a match with these new eligible tribes and you'll win a 1-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. 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 fourth quarter of 2014. The quarter will end December 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 at least 1 match and at least a total of 3 games 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. The current card is... Kusari-Gama! 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 5 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):

  • 4.41 (Week 198 BE), on October 18: Singleton
  • 4.42 (Week 199 BE), on October 25: Pure
  • 4.43 (Week 200 BE), on November 1st: Vintage Halloween Special!
  • 4.44 (Week 201 BE), on November 8: Underdog

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2014!

Vote for your favorite Elf on the Topdeck Awards!



Morphed Exalted Angel on turn by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:38
Paul Leicht's picture

Morphed Exalted Angel on turn 3 only gives the opponent a narrow window to bolt her. Turn 4 is too late as she can flip faster than a bolt. (Gotta love the morph rules for that.)

I got to watch Elizabeth's fight with AJ and her deck was pretty cool. Spitemare, Reckoner and Wall of Hope all pulling in the same direction is way more than I'd come up with in my versions of the deck archetype. Oh look I wiped the board, got you down to 7 and gained 13 life all in one spell. :D

If the deck had a weakness it was the too few Acts redundancy. Blasphemous Act can end the game if you draw it. Not drawing it is bad. I probably would have forgone the spot removal in favor of Chain Reaction or Volcanic Fallout, or maybe even Starstorm. And I would have tried to squeeze in a few red draw cards. But regardless the deck was innovative and interesting and despite AJ being my bro, I was rooting for her to win.

Meh next time, It is awesome to have new blood bringing fresh perspectives to the tired old routine. Makes me wish I'd been up in time with a viable deck.

Mihahitlor could have stopped by MisterMojoRising at Fri, 10/17/2014 - 23:37
MisterMojoRising's picture

Mihahitlor could have stopped Blinding Angel with Gempalm Incinerator or Siege-Gang Commander. There aren't a ton of answers in the goblin deck for something like that, though, so just one of your protection effects like Shelter could be a game ender. It would be really nasty to put a Lightning Greaves on it.

I didn't play Siege-Gang by mihahitlor at Sat, 10/18/2014 - 04:59
mihahitlor's picture

I didn't play Siege-Gang Commander, but another way to kill it would be with Lightning Crafter + Mogg Fanatic/Goblin Sharpshooter or Goblin Sharpshooter + 2 Mogg Fanatics/Skirk Prospector. With 4 Goblin Matrons and 4 Goblin Ringleaders I am actually probably much more equipped to find an answer to a creature than Gq is with his deck.