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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Oct 31 2014 11:00am
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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. Show and Tell
  4. Announcement Time!
  5. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 Vintage Halloween ahoy, folks!

Art by... some guy on the Internet.

 Let me quickly remind you the rules:

  1. Every creature in your deck (therefore your tribe) has to have at least one of the types from the Spooky Tribes list. This means you can include a Human Assassin and a Zombie Elf, but not a Human Shaman or an Elf Druid.
  2. You are allowed to include non-Spooky creatures off-tribe, if they reference a Spooky Tribe in their text. For instance, Blood Speaker, Chainer, Dementia Master, and Demon's Herald are all legal.
  3. This year, in honor of the 200th Event in the Blippian Era, the Tribal Wars format is VINTAGE! This means we'll use the Vintage rules on top of the Tribal Wars rules: restricted card in Vintage are restricted (i.e. Black Lotus), while banned card in Tribal Wars are still banned (i.e. Engineered Plague). The hybrid format has been created on Gatherling, and the games will be played on MTGO using the Vintage filter.
  4. There's no additional banned cards, only those in the DCI Tribal Wars format, with the following Spooky-meta-related exceptions: Cleanse, Light of Day, Karma, Kormus Bell, Elephant Grass.
  5. Changeling creatures (including Mistform Ultimus are technically banned, because they would count as any of the Spooky Tribes, except the current bug actually prevents them from working that way. Anyway, they're still banned, pro forma.

 Honestly, I can't tell if keeping the DCI Tribal Wars stuff banned makes sense in an environment with the Power 9 (plus, Goblin Recruiter would still be illegal due to Goblin not being in the Spooky list). If Vintage Tribal Wars existed, it would probably have a different banned list (with Skullclamp on top of it). But just to be safe, let's keep it that way. After all, I'm pretty sure the Power 9 won't show up that much because not many players own them; most players own an Umezawa's Jitte, though, and that could become really annoying.

 Big news of the week: Commander 2014 has started spoiling cards! PureMTGO got one of the official spoilers, and it's a pretty good one. These cards are going to influence Tribal Wars a lot, you know. Well, unless they will be super-expensive (which the planeswalkers will probably be). After all, Toxic Deluge from Commander 2013 should constantly show up in Tribal Wars, but its preposterous online price (due to the online presence of those decks being paradoxically far smaller than the paper one) keeps it from being the tribal staple it should be.

 Let's leave these sad economical considerations for another time, though. The 5 Commander 2014 decks will feature each a monocolored planeswalkers and a monocolored legendary creature, all characters from Magic history. And they've been all spoiled now!


 Stoneforge Mystic, Planeswalker! She looks dangerous as a commander, doesn't she? Still nicely playable in regular formats, albeit in dedicated decks (but you know, Batterskull AND a planeswalker for 5, or Argentum Armor combo with little effort). Jazal is Ajani's elder brother, other than a good finisher for any white weenie deck.

 We already saw the blue couple, Teferi and Geralf. Black pairs the latter's sister Gisa with the planeswalking version of good ol' Ob Nixilis (who apparently cares more about his last name, possibly because "Planeswalker — Ob" sounded weird). Giving you two 5/5 flyers in 3 turns is quite powerful. I can't say I like much his overly human looks, though. What happened to your horns, Nixy?


 I don't know who the hell is Daretti, but apparently he's the Goblin Welder-in-chief, and as a planeswalker (and a commander, to boot), that seems quite a scary effect to have. Despite the goofy Italian name, I think Daretti is the winner for "strongest, most likely to be abused into annoyance" card of the lot. And Feldon (do you remember Feldon's Cane?) is a graveyard-based Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, although the activation cost and the lack of haste prevents him for being as combolicious. Still, he can copy legendary guys, too. And it's instant-speed, so Emrakul galore. The red cards seem to really win, this time around.


 You all must know by now that I have a special fondness for green, and these two ladies don't disappoint the green player in me (they're also probably the two most famous characters in the group). Freyalise, she of the weirdly incongruent pirate eyepatch, is a Llanowar Elves factory that doubles as massive card drawing, and can cast Naturalize when you need it, which wouldn't be necessarily much frequently, so she can go ahead with her plan of swarming the board with mana accelerators, then drawing you more gas. I like her. But I'm totally in love with Titania, instead, because she's an Elemental, and I've been wishing for new, good green Elementals for my green Elemental deck for a while. She's a bit frail, but she's a blast in conjunction with fetch lands, and able to immediately create a 5-powered dude out of nowhere. If not dealt with, in the right deck, she'll start swarm the board with more than 1/1s Elves. Plus, look how fierce she is! (She definitely got the better art of the two green dames).


  • Event Number: 4.42, Week 199 BE
  • Date: October 25
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Pure
  • Winner: romellos (Elf)
  • Other undefeated: mihahitlor (Warrior)
  • 1 Loss: _Kumagoro_ (Insect), brettmemphis1989 (Zombie), m4vis (Elk), ML_Berlin (Goblin)
  • Underdog Prize: m4vis (Elk)
  • Tribes: Elemental, Elf (x3), Elk, Goblin, Insect, Sliver, Spirit, Vampire, Warrior, Wizard, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, I actually cheated on myself by playing Insect again, while they were locked out for me after my recent 1st place with them. So I punished myself with a 10-week lockout for Insect, as per rule that says, "If a Top Player enters a locked tribe in an event, and the host didn't realize, the Top Player will receive a 10 week lockout penalty for that tribe." Heh, the host didn't realize! It's not that I'm not used to have locked decks due to undefeated results (although, I'm not), it's that I usually never play the same tribe again before months, but when it was time to enter the list, I felt the Insect call, and wanted to see if they were good in a Pure event, too. Well, they were, as documented below with some more videos. Yeah, it's all a stunt to promote my upcoming Entomopedia!

 Once again, though, the final was romellos-mihahitlor, which is sort of our Brazil-Argentina or Italy-Germany now (even if it's actually Turkey-Slovenia). And romellos confirmed his state of form, getting even closer to this year's overall title by playing Elf in a not very usual setup: Infect.


 The relative novelty of this strategy in Tribal Apocalypse, and especially in a Pure event, made me delay any purification from this list. It's sort of a warning: Should infect end undefeated again, it'll probably be punished. But the problem is that taking away one of the key cards, like Glistener Elf or Invigorate, will probably kill the archetype entirely. One more reason to wait some more before taking action: the Purification Process is meant to encourage variety, after all, and this was certainly new (Glistener Elf had been played only once in Tribal Apocalypse since when we are on Gatherling, and it was just a Singleton deck from last year).

 From monogreen to monored: At second place, and just one point away from MisterMojoRising's own second place in the seasonal leaderboard, we had mihahitlor, with these Warriors.


 Even in this case, the build left me conflicted as to what to purify, since the only purification-worthy cards, Goblin Bushwhacker and Goblin Grenade, were both more suitable targets for a Goblin win rather than a Warrior win, and the latter was only present as a 1-of. So in the end I gave this a pass as well (we're already into a phase where Pure events are not being won by the usual suspects? Well, sort of: these were still Elves and almost-Goblins, after all).

 And while m4vis is still trying to win an event with his semi-Christmas-y Deers from Valakut, I'd like to give the spotlight to a player who's been a Tribal Apocalypse aficionado since a while now, brettmemphis1989, who grabbed a Top 4 placement with these Zombies, another monocolored deck and a perfect way to announce Halloween. Congrats, man!



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of October 30, 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 Kumagoro


 Just two more Insect games (full list here) after the bellyful from 3 weeks ago. Here I'm playing a tense match against Gq1rf7's Vampires, and only a final stroke of luck saves me against a rampaging Captivating Vampire on his way to become a devoted hornet collector. The game also shows how unsuspectingly useful Bond Beetle is as a 1-drop. It stopped even a few Goblin Lackey elsewhere.

 And this is just a perfect hand against ML_Berlin and his Goblins. Thornscape Familiar into Purphoros into Natural Order into Hornet Queen for 10 damage into Crop Rotation into Gaea's Cradle into Sarkhan Vol making the hornet team swing for 11 (not event counting Purphoros' possible bonus), plus Goblin Grenade, just to be sure. God, I love this deck.


 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):

  • 4.43 (Week 200 BE), on November 1st: Vintage Halloween Special!
  • 4.44 (Week 201 BE), on November 8: Underdog
  • 4.45 (Week 202 BE), on November 15: Regular
  • 4.46 (Week 203 BE), on November 22: Tribal Commander

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!



I think Invigorate is Ok to by romellos at Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:19
romellos's picture

I think Invigorate is Ok to be purified in the future. Any Infect themed decks can still operate without it.

Maybe this way, infect decks will be more fair without Invigorate, as it makes T2 or T3 kills quite common.

Great job by romellos, I had by ScionOfJustice at Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:45
ScionOfJustice's picture

Great job by romellos, I had the idea of infect elves before but was too lazy to put them together and already had a fine elf deck.

How about the Swords? Light by AJ_Impy at Fri, 10/31/2014 - 15:11
AJ_Impy's picture

How about the Swords? Light and Shadow or Feast and Famine would be perfect for hosing the spooky.

We didn't ban them last year by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 10/31/2014 - 15:46
Kumagoro42's picture

We didn't ban them last year (or the year before).
Besides, it's too late, I've been rightfully criticized in the past for doing last-minute rule changes, so I won't do it again.

This has already happened: I by AJ_Impy at Sat, 11/01/2014 - 05:06
AJ_Impy's picture

This has already happened: I purchased my deck based on the rules set out in last week's article, namely no banned list except the spooky hosers. Fortunately, Tsabo's decrees, Extinctions and Engineered Plagues are cheap, so no biggie. ;)

Well, it wasn't stated by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 11/01/2014 - 06:27
Kumagoro42's picture

Well, it wasn't stated explicitly, but there was no reason why a Vintage Tribal Wars format wouldn't use the Tribal Wars part of the DCI bans, even if some of those bans, as we know, are silly. But some are inherent in the format, like the ones you mention. :)