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Feb 20 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

 You all know I don't share AJ's extreme dislike towards off-tribe inclusions. Sometimes your tribe just works better with some ally (probably with some Ally, though). But there has to be a limit somewhere. Stuff like Birds of Paradise or Wall of Roots, now, that's harmless, as you just play them as tools in place of, say, a Signet. Same goes for finishers like Craterhoof Behemoth, or combo pieces that complete your tribe's strategy, like Narcomoeba in your Horror dredge deck. But some decks these days feel like just a mix of everything at hand. A Birthing Pod deck, for instance, in Tribal Wars should make evident its focus on one tribe; not 20 creatures sharing a type, then the 12 creatures that really matter, from 12 different tribes. These are mostly aesthetics concerns, I admit it. But there's also an approach that defies the very idea at the base of Tribal Wars while also taking advantage over those players who respect it more. I'm thinking of including everywhere some of those extremely powerful, extremely efficient creatures whose tribe you mostly don't care about.


These are probably the 4 biggest offenders, but there might be more examples.

 So I'm thinking of putting a few more creatures that are notoriously being played off-tribe into the "restricted to their tribes" list for both Underdog and Regular. From the four examples above, I think we can forgive Scavenging Ooze, because it helps fighting graveyard strategies; but not the other three, and especially Knight of the Reliquary, what with all the targets she has in a Legacy environment. And Tarmogoyf and True-Name Nemesis also have high ticket values, which on one hand makes them less frequent, but on the other hand, it means giving players with rich collections an unfair advantage. Plus, Nemesis would remain in Merfolk, anyway. It's just its indiscriminate inclusion that's wrong enough to me.

 What do you think?


  • Event Number: 5.06, Week 215 BE
  • Date: February 14
  • Attendance: 25
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Regular
  • Winner: romellos (Human)
  • Other undefeated: under_a (Zombie)
  • 1 Loss: ML_Berlin (Goblin), Yokai_ (Human), Golden_Lin (Elf), mihahitlor (Human), ScionOfJustice (Elf), Dawwy (Wall)
  • Underdog Prize: Michelle_Wong (Sphinx)
  • Tribes: Beast, Dragon, Elemental (x2), Elf (x3), Fungus, Goblin (x2), Human (x6), Kithkin, Sliver, Soltari, Sphinx, Vampire (X2), Wall, Zombie (X2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And speaking of off-tribe inclusions, I know our current #1 player romellos is especially guilty of it, as seen in the Human deck below, but I know he's sportsmanlike enough to take the probable restriction in stride, if not even as a challenge: after all, when you're allowed to do it, why shouldn't you? But if you're not allowed anymore, you'll just have to find something else. Note that Titania is unquestionable here, since she's a combo piece that interacts with a tribesmember.


 The other undefeated of the week, and very close to his first win, was newcomer under_a with this great Zombie deck, using Zombie lords effectively for once. The finals between him and romellos was a great match, of which we have full replays in this week's Show and Tell.


 It was a large event (this year has really started off on the right foot), so there's a lot of other decks to choose from. I'll go with personal taste, featuring this Sphinx deck by Michelle_Wong, who takes more of a midrange path compared to my (and Winter.Wolf's) usual Living Death build. It seems a shame with all those looting Sphinges already there, though.

by Michelle_Wong - Underdog Prize
4 Argent Sphinx
4 Consecrated Sphinx
4 Conundrum Sphinx
4 Sphinx of Lost Truths
4 Vexing Sphinx
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Counterspell
4 Memory Lapse
4 Vedalken Shackles
1 Obsessive Search
1 Pact of Negation
1 Remand
15 cards
25 Island
25 cards
Sphinx of Lost Truths


 And while we're right in the middle of a Dragon-heavy block, here's AJ_Impy giving the Dragon tribe a dark twist, certainly inspired by FRF cards like Crux of Fate and Noxious Dragon.


 But I certainly can't help but showcase this wonderful monstrosity by Gq1rf7: the first (I think) Prismatic Tribal deck in our event's history, concocted to unlock one of the achievements. Good job, Gq.

Prismatic Men
by Gq1rf7
4 Banisher Priest
4 Bloodsoaked Champion
4 Champion of the Parish
4 Dauntless River Marshal
4 Elite Vanguard
4 Frontline Medic
4 Hero of Oxid Ridge
4 Jhessian Infiltrator
4 Mantis Rider
4 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Mentor of the Meek
4 Precinct Captain
4 Riders of Gavony
4 Sin Collector
4 Skyknight Legionnaire
4 Wojek Halberdiers
3 Ulvenwald Tracker
2 Captain of the Watch
2 Daxos of Meletis
2 Daybreak Ranger
2 Elder of Laurels
2 Geist-Honored Monk
2 Herald of Anafenza
2 Instigator Gang
2 Odric, Master Tactician
2 Seeker of the Way
2 Syndic of Tithes
2 Tajic, Blade of the Legion
2 Silverblade Paladin
91 cards

Other Spells
4 Detention Sphere
4 Glorious Anthem
4 Go for the Throat
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Military Intelligence
4 Oblivion Ring
4 Path of Bravery
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Ultimate Price
4 Unmake
3 Shared Triumph
2 Bow of Nylea
2 Cover of Darkness
2 Spear of Heliod
2 Spirit Bonds
2 Teferi's Moat
1 Abzan Ascendancy
1 Ajani Goldmane
1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1 Garruk Relentless
1 Mardu Ascendancy
1 Sarkhan Vol
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
64 cards
28 Plains
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Godless Shrine
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Jungle Shrine
4 Mystic Monastery
4 Nomad Outpost
4 Polluted Delta
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Seaside Citadel
4 Temple Garden
4 Vivid Meadow
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blood Crypt
1 Breeding Pool
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plateau
1 Raging Ravine
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Slayers' Stronghold
1 Stomping Ground
1 Taiga
1 Watery Grave
1 Yavimaya Hollow
95 cards
Hero of Oxid Ridge



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of February 20, 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. 

by RexDart


 So, here's the final match between romellos's Humans and under_a's Zombies, in its entirety and teneness.


 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 and vantar6697): Unlock the greatest number of Achievements from this list and AJ and vantar will grant you 10 tix per quarter! The current quarter will end March 28. Players with the same number of achievements will split the prize. 10 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):

  • 5.07 (Week 216 BE), on February 21: Regular
  • 5.08 (Week 217 BE), on February 28: Pure
  • 5.09 (Week 218 BE), on March 7: Underdog
  • 5.10 (Week 219 BE), on March 14: Regular

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2015!

Vote for your favorite Trampler on the Topdeck Awards!



Yes, yes, a thousand times, by AJ_Impy at Fri, 02/20/2015 - 13:33
AJ_Impy's picture

Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. The dislike to which you allude in your opening sentence was born of inclusions such as those, cards which render the tribe an irrelevance, placed into a deck because their strength can win the game by themselves. Sticking the ones you highlight into the 'own tribes only' list is an elegant and effective solution of which I am entirely in favour. In perhaps the least unexpected expression of support for this idea, you have mine.

I support your suggestion to by romellos at Fri, 02/20/2015 - 13:52
romellos's picture

I support your suggestion to restrict Knight of the Reliquary, Tarmogoyf and True-Name Nemesis to their respective tribes only. Especially, I have broke Knight of the Reliquary's fetch ability many times in various of different decks and, I think, it is a fair decision for diversity.

Scavenging Ooze is also good against some specific strategies, but I don't think it is powerful as above three in general matter. Maybe, we can put it on a watch list for a while to see how it will continue to impact.

I don't mind the mentioned by mihahitlor at Fri, 02/20/2015 - 13:55
mihahitlor's picture

I don't mind the mentioned off-tribe additions. They don't make the deck more powerful compared to Tribal staples like SotP, Lightning Bolt, Vedalken Shackles and the like, and if some players prefer to play with additional creatures in their off-tribe slots that doesn't bother me at all. If those three cards are banned, such players will simply pick other powerful off-tribe creatures.

That being said, I don't think the restriction will have big impact on Tribal so I am fine either way. The only card I would really not like to see banned is Scavenging Ooze, because it's one of the few good anti-gy cards that you can play in Tribal. But since you also recognize this, there is no worry.

Just a note, I think by Paul Leicht at Fri, 02/20/2015 - 14:41
Paul Leicht's picture

Just a note, I think Michelle's deck fits the Control moniker more than anything.

I am not against the bannings though I question Scavenging Ooze's inclusion. It seems to me to be a presideboard and as such is quite quirky. Not saying it isn't good on its own but it is not a "Play it and Instawin" card. Also if you did make it tribe-only it would rarely ever be seen again as while people do play Ooze occasionally, the occasions are rare indeed.

You mention Craterhoof and I am of the opinion, were it more ubiquitous it would be a big offender of the offtribal. That it isn't speaks to the taste (and maybe wallet) of the average builder more than to the power of the card. Instawin out of nowhere is printed all over that card which is why it is a legacy staple with a high price tag.

Tarmogoyf is not an Instawin. It is just a bit harder to kill than average as it tends to shrug off bolts. Restricting it to its tribe will essentially ban it as Gofy is largely unplayable. TNN is a mean but focused card that happens to be pricy. As such I doubt anyone but Rom will bring them. I'm fine with a restriction to their tribe.

Knight might be the worst offender. It has shown its ugly head in so many off tribe positions I've begun thinking that those who use it just want to play KoTR tribal and toss their tribe of choice in place as an after thought. Still, with Humans as a large tribe and Knights as a solid tribe it will still see plenty of play imho. Good to go.

your idea is excellent. I by m4vis at Fri, 02/20/2015 - 16:27
m4vis's picture

your idea is excellent. I think there are other cards that would be good to include in those restrictions, although I'm drawing a blank atm. scavenging ooze shouldn't be there imo but the others are fine. that knight is definitely nasty

Dark Depths perhaps? :p by Paul Leicht at Fri, 02/20/2015 - 20:04
Paul Leicht's picture

Dark Depths perhaps? :p