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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Sep 12 2015 9:33am
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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. Announcement Time!
  4. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 Last week's event, hosted by ML_Berlin (thanks, Berlin!), triggered a very interesting discussion about the current state of the Major League and Underdog division. And also about the necessity to rein in the Altar of the Brood/Sensei's Divining Top combo, that proved to be incredibly consistent and lethal. For now, I'm banning the Altar retroactively from Pure, where it had already won in the July event. Back then, it didn't feel fair to ban it right away, since it was showing up there, or elsewhere, for the very first time. Now we know we'll be better off without it in Pure. There are other combos to be done with the Top, of course, but the Altar one is the most alluring right now, as Robin88 just proved.


Pictured: left, now Purified; right, still legal in Pure.

 Along the same lines, quod erat demonstrandum: Myr are at a point where all their decks end in the money in any single non-Regular event they took part in, and this factoid will only push more players into playing them. Which takes us back to the Major League question: it is time for a change. Bazaar of Baghdad devised a very interesting proposal: the creation of a third tier between Major League and Underdog. It will work this way: tier 1 (applied to Regular events, that I would rebrand for clarity with the name of the tier, i.e. Major League) would encompass all tribes; tier 2 (applied to a new sub-format, tentatively named Minor League) would exclude the most successful ones while leaving access to a number of those that are currently Major League but, as noted last time, aren't really the same power level as the classic tribal powerhouses; and tier 3 would only be about the Underdog's least efficient tribes, without things like Myr, Kor, Berserker and Scout.

 BoB's first draft is like this:

  • Major League only: Construct, Druid, Elf, Faerie, Goblin, Human, Knight, Merfolk, Shaman, Soldier, Spirit, Wizard, Zombie.
  • Minor League: moved down from Major League: Ally, Angel, Assassin, Beast, Bird, Cat, Cleric, Demon, Dragon, Eldrazi, Elemental, Golem, Illusion, Imp, Kithkin, Monk, Rogue, Sliver, Snake (was forgotten, I assume it was meant to be Minor), Treefolk, Vampire, Wall, Warrior, Werewolf; moved up from Underdog: Berserker, Centaur, Horror, Insect, Kavu, Kor, Myr, Plant, Rebel, Scarecrow, Scout, Soltari, Vedalken.
  • Underdog: all the others.

 This needs work, of course. My two cents: I don't think Construct and Golem's power level is that different, so they should be in the same tier, whatever that is; Kithkin, Sliver and Wall are too powerful for Minor, would dominate the subformat (a case can be made for Ally, too, especially after Battle for Zendikar); Elemental needs some bans in Minor, because the RDW version is also too lethal; on the other hand, Shaman can be allowed in Minor, I think; whereas Artificer, Rat and Sphinx look more Minor than Underdog to me.

 The idea is reworking the monthly rotation, starting next year, like this:

  • Week 1: Major League
  • Week 2: Minor League
  • Week 3: Underdog
  • Week 4: Pure or a specialty format (Singleton, etc.)

 Of course, a lesser tier can take part in a superior tier's events. The Underdog Prize stays as it is now, and it's awarded in Minor League events as well, but only for tribes from the Underdog category.

 We will do some test events before the end of the year. Thoughts?


  • Event Number: 5.35, Week 244 BE
  • Date: September 5
  • Attendance: 19
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: Robin88 (Vedalken)
  • 1 Loss: EndofDays (Soltari), MisterMojoRising (Myr), Gq1rf7 (Myr), Bazaar of Baghdad (Plant), ScionOfJustice (Kor), m4vis (Myr)
  • Underdog Prize: Golden_Lin (Worm)
  • Tribes: Artificer, Bat, Hellion, Kor (x3), Myr (x3), Ninja, Plant, Rat, Samurai, Soltari (x2), Specter, Vedalken, Worm, Zubera
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 After their first win ever in Event 239, Vedalken gets to the high place again, this time thanks to Robin88, who's now the third more successful winner in Tribal Apocalypse, along with ScionOfJustice, with 11 first places. And it's only thanks to the very same ScionOfJustice's Altar combo. Ironic, isn't it?


 Other decks that make a strong argument for the creation of a superior tier. Soltari, by EndofDays:


 Myr, by MisterMojoRising:

by MisterMojoRising - Top 4
4 Gold Myr
4 Iron Myr
4 Myr Battlesphere
4 Myr Sire
4 Perilous Myr
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
21 cards

Other Spells
4 All Is Dust
4 Expedition Map
4 Fireball
4 Whipflare
16 cards
11 Mountain
4 Cloudpost
4 Glimmerpost
2 Vesuva
1 Eye of Ugin
1 Karakas
23 cards
Perilous Myr


 Plant, by Bazaar of Baghdad:



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of September 11, 2015):

  • Robin88's Vedalkens: $188.65
  • EndofDays's Soltari: $10.59
  • MisterMojoRising's Myr: $20.33
  • Bazaar of Baghdad's Plants: $201.22

 The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated

  1. mihahitlor's Warriors, $1.95, 1st place on Event 233
  2. morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
  3. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  4. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  5. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  6. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  7. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  8. Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147
  9. mihahitlor's Goblins, $4.22, 1st place on Event 240
  10. Trickerie's Golems, $4.31, 1st place on Event 138

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


 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 third quarter of 2015. The quarter will end September 26. By that date, the player or players who registered the greatest number of different tribes will get a 5-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. Congratulations to last quarter's winner, Generalissimo!

 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 September 26. 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 and congratulations to last quarter's Achievement Master, ScionOfJustice!

 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):

  • 5.36 (Week 245 BE), on September 12: Regular
  • 5.37 (Week 246 BE), on September 19: Regular
  • 5.38 (Week 247 BE), on September 26: Pure
  • 5.39 (Week 248 BE), on October 3: Underdog

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2015!

Vote for your favorite Board Sweeper on the Topdeck Awards!



Of all the damnable things, by AJ_Impy at Sat, 09/12/2015 - 11:10
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Of all the damnable things, my car broke down :( Will be late if at all. Been waiting weeks for this, looks like I wait longer.

Not a huge fan of a proposed by mihahitlor at Sat, 09/12/2015 - 12:22
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Not a huge fan of a proposed Underdog format that is even weaker than in its current form. The weaker the tribes, the less decks (at least the most successful ones) will rely on the tribe, and more on some combos/powerful off-tribe cards that have nothing to do with it. There will always be couple of tribes that will be the strongest no matter how much you reduce the options, so the change would not automatically make for more diverse field, just less powerful. This is also Legacy after all, and are say Berserkers/Soltari really too strong for a format where you can play all the degenerate non-creature spells? If those decks tend to dominate I propose that we make the field more powerful by including other tribes that
are less played in regular tribal, rather than turn the Underdog completely into some strange legacy format where we will be casting Giant Spiders along Swords to Plowshares.

I also like the current system with 2x Regular, Pure and Underdog. If there is any format of the three that should be set aside for an occassional specialty format, its underdog IMO, Pure is much more exciting and fun.

I find myself 100% in by Paul Leicht at Sat, 09/12/2015 - 14:27
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I find myself 100% in agreement with what you just said and feel like most of my own angst over the tournament comes from shoehorns that imho dominate a weak tribe state. But I wonder if stronger tribes prevent that or if people just don't bother as much when the tribe does a lot of the heavy lifting anyway.

I also agree. As I said last by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sun, 09/13/2015 - 11:45
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

I also agree. As I said last week: "One problem with watering down the tribes, however, is that the non-tribal cards come more to the forefront in importance." I still think Spiders vs. Serpents is, at its essence, more interesting than the heavily-played Elves vs. Goblins (or what have you). The question is how to bring that about without the former matchup reducing itself to Friends of Spiders vs. Friends of Serpents. We're all puzzle lovers and we should all focus on that question.

There are various tries: a really long, well manicured ban list; a card pool restriction like no non-tribal rares, no non-tribal extended-only cards, no non-Heirloom cards; or importing the pure list onto underdog; or banning non-tribal removal. Other than a long ban list, which I'm game for, but many find annoying, I'm not sure I have an answer yet.

But if we're going to pretend that Spiders and Serpents will never be competitive, as is, I still think then we should limit the Major Leagues to the decks that can be competitive with Elves and Goblins. Bring all decks except those ~13 decks back down, even if we don't create a third tier.

Kuma, on a more narrow point, I've gone 7-1 with Shaman with its terrific support for Dark Depths combo. I'm confident I would have good chances of winning again, if my main matchups are watered-down tribes. Shaman has an amazing toolbox. 4- and 5-star creatures include: Burning Tree Emissary, new Chandra, Cunning Sparkmage, Deathright Shaman, Doran, Elvish Visionary, Elvish Warden, Eternal Witness, Fauna Shaman, Fulminator Mage, Guttersnipe, Herald of the Pantheon, Kiki-Jiki, Martyr of Ashes, Master of the Wild Hunt, Reclamation Sage, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Spikeshot Elder, Tasigur, Thrun, Troll Ascetic, Ulvenwald Tracker, Veampiric Hexmage, Vampiric Nighthawk, Woodfall Primus, Young Pyromancer, and so many other role players. I've probably missed some. Absolutely a powerful tribe that can go many directions.

Thanks,guys!I feel the same. by ML_Berlin at Mon, 09/14/2015 - 18:31
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Thanks,guys!I feel the same. I see no sense in making a 3rd group of tribes, when the real problem are those infinite combos, that deny a 'tribal game', the tribes doesn't matter at all then. That's even worse than: 'Friends of Spiders vs. Friends of Serpents! Which is still within the parameters of a tribal environment - creature vs. creature - , although a bit unfair, because the tribes mostly doesn't matter much either.

At the moment I see no other way than expanding the ban list, to eliminate those 'untribal' infinite combos.
Umbral Mantle is banned, but those are not!?!
If you really want to make 3 groups, then all non-tribe creatures should be banned to make really 'spiders vs serpents', but then it's close to Pure...

Part of the problem with the by Bazaar of Baghdad at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 12:58
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Part of the problem with the infinite combos is that control is hard to build properly with a 25-minute clock, and sometimes a 25-minute clock on top of that, as control is not allowed to optimize its own win cons that are already likely handed by your opponent's removal. I'm not the fastest in the world, so then I'm reduced to combo, ramp (which is a mana combo), or aggro (including midrange). The latter is heavily metagamed against, and maybe dubiously so since I feel most of the lists I've seen should be more proactive. Another problem with choosing a fairer win con is that you can get beat by the unfair ones by other players. Kill or be killed.

At any rate, I begged Kuma a couple of times to ban Top before last week's event, but (if I interpreted him correctly) he is rightly apprehensive of the secondary consequences and decided not to do it. I still think he should, and that banning Altar alone in Pure is not enough; and the combo would still dominate Underdog as the ban list currently stands. Top combo is particularly egregious since it doesn't involve a single creature.

Berlin: I agree that Umbral Mantle (etc.) on the ban list is a cruel joke compared to some of the more problematic combos. Maybe we could get the third-tier tribes to work if we banned the top-50 (top 100?) most played off-tribe cards in Legacy and Modern, updating the list once a year.

But maybe the best way for me to have my Spiders vs. Serpents fix (the "real" tribal) is to do it through a deck contest or column (or both) eventually getting stock, fair lists (however we define fair) for most of the underdog tribes, then finding a play partner willing to run a tournament with me on random nights. It might take a year to round out all the lists, but it could prove fascinating, and would be subject to various re-runs in future years with different results.

Random Question by ComixWriter at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 14:40
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I've enjoyed reading a lot about the Tribal Format. You present a lot of interesting things, including: 1)diverse decks that win or lose, 2) comments about the current state of affairs within your supported format/league, 3) seem motivated to have as level of a playing field with nods to the dominant types and sometimes neglected types. Most other articles seem loyal to their format/league but don't seem to offer newer players much of a Day One advantage by offering special tickets or other prizes. I like what you are doing!

Question: With the various "Living Weapon" Equipment pieces, would "GERM" be a welcomed tribe?
I guess a bigger question would involve how a tribe is considered currently, and if other considerations may be considered. For instance, a current tribal deck requires me to (virtually) sleeve-up at least 20/60 cards, that have the same type (while it'd be a stretch, each Living Equipment does indicate that a Germ creature is created), but how is type defined? Is it just want WotC says on Gatherer?

I am generally asking if a tribal deck could be made without casting creature cards. No, don't go and research everything now to see what valid decks could be made. Let's pretend for now and in future, if I could cast 20/60 cards in my deck that made, I dunno, plant tokens, would you consider this a viable tribal deck, by current interpretation? Again, I don't know if there are enough token generators.

Answering bigger questions like these help guide me in crafting a possible GERM deck and/or a thopter-based deck by using new Origins cards that create thopter tokens without being "thopters" in-and-of themselves, like Aspiring Aeronaut.

Essentially, where on any card can I check to see if it could qualify for tribal? I think there is a great opportunity to expand the format if we are willing to look how a card, as a spell, creates a tribe on the battlefield.

That's what we want, right- to see 20 goblins face 20 elves face 20 thrulls face 20 merfolk face 20 germs? face 20 thopters?

Token generators have a long by Paul Leicht at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 16:50
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Token generators have a long history as adjacent to tribal. They are not tribal cards themselves.

The concept of the format is 33% of your deck must be creature cards of a certain type with no sideboard allowed. It is incredibly straightforward and has not changed in those particulars since inception.

The banned list has of course changed but it has been a while since the last update. (I believe the last one was the transition to legacy from classic format.)

Imho having germ generators while an interesting sub theme would not be sufficiently tribal enough (even ignoring the 33% creatures rule) to be interesting though that may change if wotc adds actual germ creatures.

I would not want to see Tribal turn into a format where tokens dominated (they sometimes do even so with Lingering Souls etc. And Batterskull is a fairly difficult to answer card to begin with.

ComixWriter, welcome to the by Bazaar of Baghdad at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 16:08
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ComixWriter, welcome to the format. Mostly for simplicity's sake, and to comply with WotC's classification algorithms, the creature type must be on the typeline itself or it doesn't count. Yes, this leads to odd exclusions and some loss in diversification (Germ would be fun). The gains in simplicity and even rules enforcement are too much. On a casual basis, meet up in the tribal channel this Saturday, and ask around about playtesting a Germ deck you made just for fun using the Legacy format (but the players agree to use Tribal rules apart from counting the non-Germs as Germs).

In your MTGO interface, you can check on the type filter for creature, and then minimize that and open the sub-type filter, marking it for whichever tribe you want. If you do this for Angel for example, you'll see the Angels in your collection without seeing the non-Angel cards that support Angels. If you want to see all such cards instead, just type Angel in the search box. If you want to see cards you don't own also, make sure to set your quantity to 0 first. I hope this helps.

Already welcomed with advice! by ComixWriter at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 16:38
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Thanks, Bazaar of Baghdad, for your welcoming tone, invitation to play and test a Germ deck for fun (with suggestions for doing it), and for your shared enthusiasm for the game. I can understand the need for conformity to a set of rules, even if these rules may limit overall opportunities in smaller areas.

I think I like Tribal more than anything at the moment. As my login name suggests, I write comic books. Being a stay-at-home husband/father/writer, I want to make the most of my long-time love of the game. Like many players, I took a break from the game while addressing other life priorities, but want to play again for fun.

Now, my kids are growing and have a shared interest in fantasy and science fiction. Playing MtG seemed like a natural solution for quick bursts of fun and time together. Sometimes, my kids want to play LEGOS, or study bugs outside, or (whatever); I can still play MTGO when the kids are asleep or in school. Being newer to general formats, having a particular direction to go makes financial sense, as well as guide my future choices to match a format.

Starting with pauper, I found out quickly that netdecking a top deck is the best way to play. Even if cards were freely given, I don't think I would like to play Delver + Delver + Delver again and again. A few times? Sure. But the format seems to be limited by the dominant types, with rogue decks being very rare and underpowered by the format giants. Tribal, it seems, welcomes rogue decks, and even two popular Elves-themed decks can look very different.

I moved into Standard Pauper, with a limited resource pool. While I found greater success, I still stalled against the top tiers decks in the format. Will my warrior-themed standard pauper deck work? Sometimes...but, as I was playing with the warriors deck, I recalled a few things:

My first card I ever bought was a 4th Ed. Black Knight. I'm sure there was a rare in the pack, and some cool cards, too, but I was transported away by the black knight. His abilities made sense. His casting cost seemed do-able. Knights seemed like a great clarion call to the fantasy format, for me.

My daughters and boy like themes, too. Rather than a bunch of collected pieces to a metagame puzzle, Tribal would allow them to express their individual attractions to fey, zombies, and the rest of a wide format. Aside from some block tribal boons (ie: tribal sorceries or instants, like for merfolk), the format seems very balanced. Yeah, it'll be tough to sleeve-up a 'badger' deck, but this format offers incentives for trying rogue-competitive decks.

While I'm sure I'll see my fair share of elves, merfolk, goblins, etc., the format seems to offer balance and a consideration of imbalance, too. Players seem interested in analysis as well as play. Even if it's my 3rd straight match against elves, I am 1) likely to see different takes on elves (for example: mono-green, mono-black, and dual-colored elves) and 2) reminded that, even if this is the umpteenth elvish deck I face, the pilot across the table from me loves playing with WotC's elves. This is a personal investment into playing the game, not merely netdecking and nerfing the metagame with the latest bomb-rare (or, bomb-common).

Thanks for the advice, and I look forward to seeing you around the forums here. I think Tribal is a place I could feel welcomed and meet my minor needs for themes, inexpensive (yeah, I gotta watch the prices of some tribes) competitive play, and online community. I felt lost in the swirl of sameness for the sake of winning, but like the Tribal format and vibe. Thanks, everyone. I may not always say things well, and even may need an editor to make sure what I think gets across to more people, but you all seem very motivated by Tribal, and welcoming to new players and new, germ-free decks.

Haakon Knights are pretty by Paul Leicht at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 16:53
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Haakon Knights are pretty decent (think Black/White with some zombie knights in there + discard cards to make Haakon worthwhile.) The interesting thing about the format is that there are so many ways to build decks without running out of ideas.

Welcome to the format! Feel by AJ_Impy at Tue, 09/15/2015 - 17:04
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Welcome to the format! Feel free to poke me in the client if you see me there if you'd like a game, I've written at length about the format for years (Check out "Art of Tribal Wars" in the Puremtgo article search) and would be happy to assist, provide a sounding board or a challenge.

Thanks, AJ_IMPY! by ComixWriter at Wed, 09/16/2015 - 16:02
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I appreciate a lot of the readers offering their well-wishes into a format I may enjoy. Having encouragement is sometimes better than having a winning opening hand.

Inspired by some of your writings, AJ_Impy, I built my 1st MTGO tribal wars deck. I'd like to finish writing some comic script (ya know, because it's kinda how I get real money to live), but then write an analysis of the deck. While I'm sure there exists a metagame of sorts within Tribal Wars, I want to focus more about how I chose cards for my deck, their possible in-game synergies, and overall goals. According to MTGOTraders, this deck comes in under one full ticket, with four rares that help a lot, but fall into a mid-game strategy (Turns 4+). I plan to submit this deck to this website for possible inclusion. Any feedback to it, if/once published, will be very appreciated.

Additionally, I am eager to test my new deck in the format. I offer an open invitation to anyone willing to play me a match (or more, time and opponents willing) on THURSDAY, September 17th at noon (12pm EST) in the MTGO/Just For Fun/Legacy Tribal Wars room. I'll host starting at 11:50am. I care less about actual wins or losses, so invite players to chat with me about my choices in game or about the format overall.

If another time/day works better, drop me a line in the comments, below. If something unexpected happens tomorrow (i.e.: illness), I will post to this thread about any delays or reschedules. Fair? Let's play!

Under 1 ticket is quite the by Bazaar of Baghdad at Wed, 09/16/2015 - 17:09
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Under 1 ticket is quite the budget - congratulations, and I believe at least one such deck has won an event. It'd be faster to post an analysis, if you want, by posting your decklist here in an organized format (threats, reactive cards, deck manipulation, mana sources) along with what you're trying to accomplish and how.

Template by ComixWriter at Wed, 09/16/2015 - 18:37
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Thanks, Bazaar of Baghdad-
Do you have an example of a template I could use for formatting? I have no mana acceleration (black and white, using no dual lands (obviously, noting price)), and, well, here's the decklist and description via

Thanks in advance!

Looks like a decent Aggro by AJ_Impy at Thu, 09/17/2015 - 03:37
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Looks like a decent Aggro deck. I'd be inclined to add in some one-drop threats like bloodsoaked champion, maybe trade in for some more cost effective and less circumstantial removal like a set of swords to plowshares. Not wholly convinced by the overrun effects, I might be more inclined to trade them in for a set of obsidian battle-axe. Swords are up on MTGOtraders at 3 cents, battle axes on one. Definitely worth testing, though. Might need a post-wrath plan. I'd be tempted to top the curve with Blood-chin Fanatic as a finisher and a way to have extra reach if things get bogged down, 7 cents each.

Internet Taps: I lose game by ComixWriter at Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:50
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Sadly, I just lost my internet connection to MTGO while playing ML_Berlin. I really enjoyed the matchups, and even won my very 1st game of Tribal (before dying to many, many birds). I also appreciate AJ_Impy's comments in game as a watcher, and for his advice on the Warriors deck!

For each main color, using its strengths, are there a certain bank of cards around which to build a skeleton?
For example, using mono-black, I suppose I SHOULD strongly add a playset of Damnation (and Edicts?). That means I'm down 4 tribal cards. What else does black (or blue, or green, etc.) offer as a skeletal backbone from which I finish with the Tribe of my matching color choice?

I.E.: White = 4x Swords to Plowshares
Black = 4x Damnation


AJ is essentially correct. by Bazaar of Baghdad at Thu, 09/17/2015 - 13:38
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

AJ is essentially correct. Your base is black warrior creatures. Ideally, these want to attack your opponent down to 0 life before the opponent has set up its defenses, as you have no removal once they do. You need each spell you have to equate with some kind of life loss for your opponent. The deck will have diminishing returns the longer the game goes as your creatures will get outclassed. Speed is everything. You could have splashed red for direct damage spells that clear a path for your creatures of opposing blockers or as pure damage directed to the opponent. Each non-creature spell you use, in essence, is your bet that it will deal more damage than, say, a Lightning Bolt, or its slightly less powerful cousins. Most of your non-Warrior slots are combo cards, even if it may not seem like it at first blush. For example, Rush of Battle, at the top of your curve, could be a red enchantment or instant that deals damage correctly. Rush of Battle can do more damage, but only in combination with Warriors. You need about two warriors in play when you draw Rush to equal the damage a 4cc red spell could do with Warriors or none. Therefore to be worth its slot, you really need at least three Warriors in play and you have to bank on your opponent not having a removal spell or cheaper counterspell. As you can expect, Tribal has plenty of creature removal so it's not always easy to have three creatures in play that can attack to make Rush worth it. This is a shaky combo which you should learn to try to avoid. The lifelink aspect of the card (and Harsh Sustenance) is only relevant against decks where your Warriors are the bigger, slower tribe that also tries to win with incremental direct damage, there shouldn't be many of these as Warriors can be pretty fast. Those that do, often play lots of removal (that doubles as direct damage), so your Rush combo can be easily neutralized.

Other cards have problems too. To get value of Mardu Hordechief, you have to have white mana, three overall, have a successful attack this turn (your opponent will try hard to prevent this), and even with the 1/1 token you get, it still doesn't do the amount of damage next turn that other options could give you at 3-4 mana. Another mini-combo card that is extremely fragile. Graveblade Marauder will probably trade 1-1 with many other 3-drops or 4-drops, which usually favors your opponent who wants to stall the game out for his expensive spells. It gives your opponent options as not blocking may be way better. If you have no creatures in your yard (exiled? stalled?), it takes that card four whole turns to equate the same damage of a 1 casting cost Lightning Bolt. It can potentially do more, but I would have misgivings if anyone said it were likely. Hand of Silumgar does two damage on the second turn for 2 mana and trades with any other 2-drop creature. Trading is very bad for you, as discussed above. In a resource war, you want to trade your 1-drops for their 2- or 3-drops, in order to get value. Your list will probably do best in Pure (Warriors are not eligible for Underdog), since you use only Warriors and people can't trade your creatures with the most common 1-drop removal options like Lightning Bolt or Swords to Plowshares.

Obsidian Battle-Axe is a great addition as it increases the amount of damage that each new warrior does and is not hurt by mass removal spells. Your best Warrior that you're not playing is probably Vampiric Lacerator, a one-drop with 2 power. Gatekeeper of Malakir is a 2-drop that plays better as a 3-drop, clearing the way for your army and attacking for 2. I would probably top the curve with Ashenmoor Gouger a 4-power creature for 3 mana and Lifebane Zombie a 3-power creature for 3 mana that is very hard to block and absolutely wrecks havoc on green and white decks as a side bonus. Chief of the Edge in your deck is kind of nice, but not worth the White splash all by himself. You can really fix your mana by playing mono-black or by splashing red cards that are good even later in the game, unlike Chief.

If you can't afford Badlands (B/R mana) at $2.5 each, then consider Dragonskull Summit for .05 each.

This is really just scratching the surface, but I hope it helps.