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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Jan 30 2015 1:00pm
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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. Show and Tell
  4. Announcement Time!
  5. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 After the previous week's Invitational Mayhem (now reported with fully working images!), we went back to normal, resuming the brand new season with the third event of the year, following by the fourth this week, which completes the first month already. And looking forward to a year that will hopefully be able to increase the attendance from 2014, because we saw a serious decline last season. Look at these data on the overall number of Tribal Apocalypse registrations per year:

  • 2011: 910 players
  • 2012: 889 players
  • 2013: 1014 players
  • 2014: 866 players

 That was our veritable worst year, sob. But 2015 appears to be already swinging back, because we had two events over the 20-player mark. That's promising. Keep the numbers up, folks.

 Also, don't miss the upcoming Tribal Evaluation for Fate Reforged. A lot of new tribal toys for all of us to crush our opponents with, making their way into our collections as we speak!


  • Event Number: 5.03, Week 212 BE
  • Date: January 24
  • Attendance: 23
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Regular
  • Winner: Robin88 (Human)
  • 1 Loss: DrunkenSailor15 (Merfolk), m4vis (Myr), ML_Berlin (Goblin), Chamale (Human), mihahitlor (Goblin), milegyenanevem (Human)
  • Underdog Prize: m4vis (Myr)
  • Tribes: Cat, Dragon, Elf (x2), Goblin (x6), Human (x4), Kithkin (x2), Merfolk, Myr, Snake, Soldier, Vampire, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Look who's back! 2013 #1 Player Robin88, who missed yet another Invitational after barely qualifying last year, and now passed by say hello and take a casual 1st place while he was at it. With this 4-color Human deck:


 The player formerly known as m4vis and currently known as The Kingslayer (see last week's report to know why) went Top 4 piloting the Myr combo deck that gave him dark glory during the Invitational. And yes, it's an Underdog deck.


 Speaking of combo, an insane one came from returning Johnny player Chamale, this time applying his beloved manaless dredge tech to the ever-versatile Human tribe, resulting in alleged turn-1 kills. I didn't see the deck in action, but Chamale made an educational video (plus, he promised to never play this combo ever again). Go watch the dark arts in action at the end of this week's Show and Tell and don't try this at home


 Finally, to close this combo week (except, not really: there were actually SIX Goblin decks. Not cool, guys! This will result in the ban of Goblin Lackey, effective next week, and probably also in some other way to avoid that the second Regular event of the month will just be more of the same), I played this Snake deck, whose origin I'll explain below in Show and Tell. See you there.




 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of January 29, 2015):

 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. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  4. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  5. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  6. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  7. Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147
  8. Trickerie's Golems, $4.31, 1st place on Event 138
  9. Gq1rf7's Vampires, $4.38, 2nd place on Event 188
  10. arcbounddaylabor's Goblins, $4.46, 1st place on Event 111

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



 As you know, I like to think Tribal deckbuilding has a twofold approach: either "what strategy best fits this tribe I want to use", or "what tribe best fits this strategy I want to use". In this case, I had just read about this new Modern brew by my favorite pro builder, Travis Woo, featuring one of my favorite cards, Doubling Season. And I just couldn't resist (you can read the original article here, and follow the links at the bottom to see TWoo testing and tweaking the build). It goes like that: cast Doubling Season, cast Jace, Architect of Thought, ultimate Jace, search for another Jace + the best card in your opponent's deck, repeat for as many Jaces you have left in the deck (there's also a way to make this infinite by having Wheel of Sun and Moon on the board, but that would turn it into a 3-card combo, and in Tribal Wars it'd be especially difficult to find the room for all that stuff – not to mention, actually draw and cast all the pieces before the Goblins overwhelm you).


 Once Doubling Season is in there, you have to wonder, as Travis himself did, which cards could make a good pair with it. More so, I had to choose a tribe that would complement it well. Of course, the straightforward, boring way would be to use something like Elves, so you can get to that 5 CMC quickly. But that's just distasteful. I want a deck that does interesting things even when it's not comboing out. And, to be honest, what's the point of bringing Elves into this particular endeavor? They have better in-house ways to end the game as it is. Despite TWoo's enthusiasm (which is part of his charms), this combo is not an extremely reliable finisher, as it's slightly more flash than substance. You end up hijacking about 3 cards from the opponent's deck (accounting for at least one Jace already ended out of the library by then), and sometimes that means Emrakul, but sometimes that means 3 burn spells that aren't going to give you the win. In Tribal Wars, the issue is even more polarized depending on the tribe you're facing, as you will witness watching my replays below. Regardless, as far as endgames go, this one is a lot of fun, precisely because it's unpredictable even to the pilot.


 So, what's the more Doubling Season-friendly tribe? Well, there are a few, especially those where the creatures come with counters attached (like Spike or Mutant), but I wanted one that allowed me at least a modicum of ramp, or I felt I would end up not even able to see the combo playing out at all. On top of that, the two pieces put me in Simic colors. So Snake seemed a good answer, and I always like me some Snakes. I've got Lotus Cobra and Coiling Oracle for ramp and selection, and I've got Lorescale Coatl and Patagia Viper to interact with the Season along its two different lines of action: counters and tokens. The rest of the deck (which means 8-9 cards tops) is still up in the air. The version I tested was purposely light on support cards, with just some classic Remand and Repeal (which, incidentally, both interact with the Coatl), a couple Tamiyos, who can also ultimate instantly under Doubling Season (but doesn't do much afterwards in this build: infinite Remands and Repeals require a lot of mana to be truly effective in late game), and a singleton Kiora, just because a Simic deck without Kiora seems wrong (but she interacts with the growing Snakes as well, and summons double the Krakens under Season).


 In particular, by the time I played this, I still hadn't decided on the crucial element of what to fetch from my deck with the last Jace's ultimate. Travis has Time Warp as a target of choice, which is strong enough because then you get to use whatever you stole immediately. I don't currently own a Warp, and didn't want to follow the Modern list too closely (I avoided the secondary engine of Garruk Wildspeaker/Simic Growth Chamber/Savor the Moment, for instance, as tempting as it was).

 I think I'll give the build a second chance by adding some singleton targets that will allow me to at least not lose right after I comboed out, which is an unfortunate occurrence that you'll see happen below in at least one game. I think Travis didn't include off-color finishers because in Modern he doesn't have good ways to shuffle them back should he happen to draw into them – there's mostly just See Beyond, which is decent but not ideal. The Legacy pool gives me Brainstorm and Sylvan Library instead, and I already have a fair amount of fetch lands due to the Cobras. So I'm thinking to go off-color and put a one-sided sweeper (say, In Garruk's Wake or Overwhelming Forces) in order to close the combo on a clear path, or at least without dying immediately thereafter to my opponent's late game army (unfortunately, Jace doesn't let you cast an overloaded Cyclonic Rift). I may also put a Time Warp in there, should I decide to acquire one. Maybe that's all I need.

 Of course, "search & cast without cost" scream Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, but that's just going too much the same way I used to go with my Dream Halls deck back in the day (roughly the same Conflux build Chamale used to storm the achievements the first time around), and it's also moving into a bit of unfair territory, at least where I'm concerned lately. I don't dislike the idea of going virtually 4-color, though, so it occurred to me that Sarkhan Vol would do two important things in this deck: combo with Doubling Season, creating a powerful endgame of his own, able to protect me the first turn from any flyer's retaliation; or give haste to whatever the Jaces just stole. The latter effect in particular would have given me a smoother win in more than one occasion last week. I'll think about that.


 For now, here's the deck facing m4vis's Myr – and ultimately losing, but through some truly great games. It was a bad matchup in general, because it's another ramp combo build, and those pesky Perilous Myr are able to stop almost all of my guys. Also, Kiora's Krakens can't do much against freaking Marit Lage, as you see here:

 Like that wasn't enough, in game 2 m4vis also drew into multiple Staves of Nin. C'mon, man! But then the game achieved epic size, with the Double Season combo getting me all of m4vis's Myr Battlespheres and a Myr Matrix, which coupled with Gaea's Cradle meant that the final board looked like this:

 And I also got to repeal Marit Lage herself! Check this:

 Another bad matchup for me was Elf, of course, much for the same reasons. But here the issue was also not being really able to kill my opponent (in this case, Golden_Lin, piloting this Heirloom build) with their own weapons. I mean, sure, I could have done some damage with that Ezuri and the Champions alone, I think. But I should have been able to stop the counterstrike first: that's where In Garruk's Wake or Sarkhan Vol would have helped.

 And now, here's Chamale's explanation of his latest Breakfast-named combo. Enjoy fearfully.


 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 first quarter of 2015. The quarter will end March 28. 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 Achievements (sponsored by AJ_Impy): Unlock the greatest number of Achievements from this list and AJ will grant you 5 tix per quarter! The current quarter will end March 28. Players with the same number of achievements will split the prize. 5 more tix will be given at the end of the year to that whole season's Achievement Master. Good luck!

 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):

  • 5.04 (Week 213 BE), on January 31: Pure
  • 5.05 (Week 214 BE), on February 7: Underdog
  • 5.06 (Week 215 BE), on February 14: Regular
  • 5.06 (Week 216 BE), on February 21: Regular

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2015!

Vote for your favorite Flyer on the Topdeck Awards!



The missing image: by Tribal Apocalypse at Sat, 01/31/2015 - 13:05
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

The missing image: