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Oct 02 2015 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. Announcement Time!
  4. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 So, Eldrazi won their first event ever, just in time for their reinforcements to come. This two combined facts may just reaffirm their presence in the Major League list. Which we've been saying for a while now it should be updated. We still didn't come up with a sensible reorganization, though (all right, I didn't come up, mostly), but one thing I know for sure is that Myr has definitely outgrow the Underdog. So effective immediately, Myr is now Major League and can't take part in Underdog events anymore. Congratulations, Myr! Or not.

New Ulamog says, "Hi!"

 In other news, congratulations to Generalissimo for winning the Hamtastic Award twice in a row. Here's his sequence of 12 tribes (close to AJ_Impy and MisterMojoRising's record of 13): Wurm, Merfolk, Human, Orc, Drone, Ally, Sliver, Eldrazi, Spirit, Rat, Snake, and Myr. But that's not all: this last quarter Generalissimo was also crowned as the Achievement Master (with 6 achievements unlocked, which also means he's now leading the annual leaderboard with 16 ahead of ScionOfJustice with 14). That makes a grand total of 15 tix earned. Spend them responsibly, Generalissimo.


  • Event Number: 5.38, Week 247 BE
  • Date: September 26
  • Attendance: 19
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Pure
  • Winner: AJ_Impy (Eldrazi)
  • 1 Loss: Gq1rf7 (Myr), Bazaar of Baghdad (Human), csrrcr (Zombie), Armont (Goblin)
  • Underdog Prize: AJ_Impy (Eldrazi)
  • Tribes: Eldrazi, Elemental, Elf (x2), Goblin, Human (x2), Myr (x3), Shaman, Sliver, Soldier, Vampire, Wall, Wizard, Zombie (x3)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Here's AJ_Impy's list that gave Eldrazi their first tribal triumph. Looks like life wasn't as easy as it looked for the big guys, uh?


 It was a Pure Tribal week, but the Purification Process is still up in the air, as I want to hear some of your opinions about it. I would be inclined to purify Emrakul, but I wonder if that wouldn't just translate into crippling Eldrazi in Pure weeks. Bazaar of Baghdad made an appeal for the purification of All Is Dust, which I invite to repeat in the comments here. I answered that I would never take away any kind of sweeper in Tribal Wars, and I'm sure AJ will have an eloquent defense in regard to why this would be madness. Same goes in my opinion for any tool necessary for Cloudpost decks to have a chance. Candelabra of Tawnos is not so necessary, I guess, but is that Purification worthy? I don't know. Anyway, I'll decide before the next Pure event, based on what I'll hear from you in this comment section. A viable option is not to purify anything, of course. Eldrazi were on the brink of being demoted to Underdog, after all (they won the Underdog Prize here!)

 Speaking of Cloudpost decks with All Is Dust, and speaking of Myr being just too god, this is the list with which Gq1rf7 ended almost undefeated.


 And speaking of Bazaar of Baghdad, the Human list he was piloting lost only to AJ's great old ones.


 I'd also like to celebrate csrrcr's first top placement after many attempts. This Zombie deck was the charm.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of October 1, 2015):

 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 fourth quarter of 2015. The quarter will end December 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 December 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, Generalissimo!

 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):

  • 5.39 (Week 248 BE), on October 3: Underdog
  • 5.40 (Week 249 BE), on October 10: Regular
  • 5.41 (Week 250 BE), on October 17: Regular
  • 5.42 (Week 251 BE), on October 24: Pure

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!



Purification thoughts: All is by AJ_Impy at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:52
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Purification thoughts:

All is Dust: No. It's a sweeper, there's a near-identical replacement in Ugin, it costs 7 mana. It's a powerful, one-sided source of card advantage, but 7 mana investments really should be.

Cloudpost/Vesuva/Glimmerpost/Forgotten Temple/Expedition Map: No. Colourless ramp is a format staple all its own, and has powered out everything from Myr and Eldrazi this week to Golems, Constructs, Scarecrows, even Shapeshifters and Gargoyles. Very fragile to land destruction, if Bazaar had gotten his wastelands and armageddons active before I had my titans out in games 1 and 3 then we'd be purifying a human.

Candelabra of Tawnos: Keep an eye on it. Utility artifact that doesn't win the game on its own, but insanely good with the cloudpost engine.

Eldrazi Temple: Worth considering. Only helps this one tribe.

Emrakul: Plausible. A card which we already restricted to just its own tribe and with good reason in other formats. Still, the Eldrazi have only one set to work with, and of that set several subpar options. I'd say wait 'til we see what BFZ does for their viability, but if we do decide to remove a colorless eldrazi creature, this one tops the list.

The other creatures: I advise against. They can all be wrathed or exiled or bounced or countered.

I'd hold off until they register a 2nd win. Let the purification process decree that they are now purifiable, especially with the new ones entering the mix by the time the next pure event comes around. There will be more targets and more strategic options when that happens.

Ugin costs 8 but your point by Sensei at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 13:29
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Ugin costs 8 but your point is still valid.

I could have by AJ_Impy at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 21:22
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I could have punctuated/listed that better, the 'it' refers to AiD rather than Ugin.

Emrakul is the bully. by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 16:42
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Emrakul is the bully.

Purifying by Generalissimo at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 14:02
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"Cloudpost/Vesuva/Glimmerpost/Forgotten Temple/Expedition Map: No. Colourless ramp is a format staple all its own, and has powered out everything from Myr and Eldrazi this week to Golems, Constructs, Scarecrows, even Shapeshifters and Gargoyles."

Isn't the point of the purification process to shake up format staples? If something is going to be purified, my vote is definitely for Cloudpost.

A fair point, but Pure is by AJ_Impy at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 20:52
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A fair point, but Pure is more about Tribal dominance than archetypal dominance. You could play monored Aggro with Goblins, Elementals, Humans, Warriors or Shamen, with many cards in common between those decks. If one of those tribes was successful, would it be better to remove a card common to all of them or a card specific to one?

I'll probably write more by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 13:20
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I'll probably write more later, but this was the first time that Unexpectedly Absent was played in Tribal Wars. It worked pretty well, especially in response to shuffle effects and I could see myself playing them more often (but not against Eldrazi haymakers!). My favorite card, however, was Dromoka's Command. It's really good against a variety of decks (but not Eldrazi!).

{Deleted - Duplicate by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 13:25
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{Deleted - Duplicate response}

{Deleted - Duplicate by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 13:25
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{Deleted - Duplicate Response}

All Is Dust is broken - but by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 10/02/2015 - 18:02
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All Is Dust is broken - but I've complained about Control lacking a competitive edge on here so I am willing to withdraw my complaint. It's a huge advantage for any tribe which can masquerade as colorless, unfortunately pushing out other control decks, but it's not like those others were posting 4-0s either.

This (below) is a slightly edited version of my All Is Dust comments to Kuma - regarding Pure only - in which we were also talking about Red burn and aggro decks, which we kind of consider public enemy #1, but feel powerless to stop except by better deckbuilding.

"I, for one, would like to see All Is Dust go, as it is a massive easy-to-cast hate spell against all colored decks while colored decks can't afford to include much reciprocal hate against the artifact decks...All Is Dust takes counterspells, Wastelands, or maybe some well-timed discard, or combo to disrupt. All of these are usually bad against Red decks. All Is Dust also ignores indestructible, regeneration, hexproof, protection, etc., wipes out opposing Enchantments and Planeswalkers (totally ignoring the sacred color wheel), is completely one-sided, and can easily be cast on a Cloudpost engine on turn 4 (same as Wrath). This sweeper is in no way more specialized than Wrath."

As I said, in the interest of promoting Control (not Ramp), I take back my conclusion of AID purification, though I still stick to my analysis. Maybe it's the ramp spell (Candelabra?) that should be purified, not the control spell.

Cloudpost decks are really by mihahitlor at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 07:28
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Cloudpost decks are really powerful, and I wouldn't mind actually purifying Cloudpost or Glimmerpost, since they are cards with a relatively specific purpose (ramp in colorless control decks) and there are other alternatives (good old Ancient Tomb+City of Traitors package, Urza's lands, artifact ramp …). All the lifegain from the various lands make it very unlikely to successfully attack a Cloudpost pilot down to zero before they stabilize, so aggro decks can't realistically compete with it, and other control decks just don't do nearly powerful enough stuff in the late game to stand a chance (good points by Bazaar why All is Dust is so powerful). You basically have to play combo to have a good winning percentage against them or play a lot of counterspells (and hope they aren't the Eldrazi deck), the latter not being a particularly good idea in tribal wars. If I missed a deck type that can go toe to toe with Cloudpost decks, please correct me. In this light I think the deck needs to lose some key piece, as have other powerful decks in the past, and I think Cloudpost/Glimmerpost is the best option.

I almost agree except in my by Paul Leicht at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 07:43
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I almost agree except in my experience Land Destruction decks prey very nicely on post even with just 4 wastelands and a few creatures that do double duty killing lands is enough to put them on the back heel. That said I don't consider my opinion to matter since I am not a regular anymore.

Sabotaging Myself by Generalissimo at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 13:47
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As loathe as I am to reduce my chances of winning even more tix at the end of the year, I'm pretty sure I don't have 16 annual achievements; that would require me to have got 10 achievements last quarter, which I'm almost entirely sure I didn't do. I'm not 100% on this, but I think my annual score is 10 achievements.

You're right, I read the by Tribal Apocalypse at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 14:14
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You're right, I read the table wrong, the total was already including the ones from this quarter.

'Land Destruction decks prey by ML_Berlin at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 14:49
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'Land Destruction decks prey very nicely on post even with just 4 wastelands'
Come on, I don't own one of em! 4 that's 260 US$ !
What's next? 'That xyz deck can easily be disrupted, you just need 4 Rishadan Ports. 'Just 171.00 US $ each'

And for Purification: The definition of the goal of the 'Purification Process' seems to be changing over the time. I don't understand, why there should be a problem when Emrakul get eliminated, but it's fine to kill Knight Exemplar , which completely shut down the knight tribe.

The purification process by mihahitlor at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 15:34
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The purification process seems indeed quite arbitrary, meaning that we are not on the same page of what the precise underlying logic is (judging by all kinds of different arguments why something should and shouldn't removed). I think the initial idea was good (hope I remember it correctly) - when a powerful tribe/archetype wins, the most impactful card of that deck is removed to hopefully shake up things. Important Goblins (tribe) and WW (archetype) pieces were cut one by one, and I liked this idea for it's simplicity, but when you start mixing in additional lines of criteria, the process loses it's elegance IMO.

The only thing we should be debating when a strong deck wins is which card was the most essential to that deck's success, and not whether there exists a possible answer for this card, or if this card is a sweeper, or a staple in other similiar decks or whatever (and as you can see in my previous post, I also used justifications that don't follow from the principle that I just stated, heh). At least that is how I see the logic of the format - maybe wrongly and too simplisticly.

It's never been this drastic. by Tribal Apocalypse at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 16:20
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It's never been this drastic. For starters, it was defined as a rule only affecting the Major League tribes and nothing else (another reason why Myr needed to be there). And the card that defines the decklist must exist. Some decks just end undefeated without relying on any particular "unfair weapon". Those decks do not need to be punished; more so, they have to be REWARDED.

Other cases are tribes, like Eldrazi, that rarely if ever get there. In fact, Eldrazi never did before (their status as Major League tribe is even uncertain; it might become more clear after BFZ, we'll see). You also have to reward, not punish these accomplishments. Not doing so would mean keeping the same distance between the tier-1 tribes and their competitors: you take away dangerous Goblins and Elves, then you also take away the few weapons the other tribes have to perform at the same high levels, it would result in a zero-sum game, it would be an exercise in futility.

New Eyes by ComixWriter at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 17:29
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As someone (newly) interested in this format, I find the above-arguments very interesting and promising for the format. Experienced veterans interpret this format with humility and eyes towards balanced and welcoming play. Some players would willingly neuter their own or future decks to ensure fair play.

Here are some summarized thoughts while reading this thread:

1) I agree with ML_Berlin at least twice: 1) Nobody should have to buy an answer to a specific threat, especially when this single card or smaller card pool can be relatively expensive. When a playset of probable solutions to dangerous decks cost more than some undefeated decks combined, I think the card in question (read: All Is Dust), merits a red flag. Like ML_Berlin, 2) I too mourn the loss of playing viable knight tribes since their (winning) centerpiece is purified. There is a reason why I don’t like (Modern) Pauper: I don’t have Delver of Secrets or the engines it needs. It’s not a monetary hang-up, it’s more of principle. One card strongly dictates that format, and other decks are designed around beating one card (or its combination engine). This constipated entry point isn’t fun for me, personally. I’d hate to see Tribal Wars turn into: Buy this card or you’re sunk, or at least FAR behind the game play curve.

2) I stumbled upon the Achievements for Tribal Wars. It’s there, but perhaps if more attention was given on unlocking achievements, we wouldn’t be looking at All Is Dust with a magnifying glass. Is a card like All Is Dust making a splash in Underdog Tournaments for example?

3) Finally, I think that discussing how crippling a card may be is healthy for the format. Simply acknowledging a problem exists is good, but having an action plan in place also makes sense. Is there a cut-off for making a decision for a card like All Is Dust? What more needs to be considered?

Sadly, I missed the events for today’s Underdog tournament due to a prior birthday celebration commitment. I like seeing what others think about the format, some problems noted, and collective reasoning on a possible solution. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you online soon! Keep tappin’

I agree with Bazaar of by ML_Berlin at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 17:38
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I agree with Bazaar of Baghdad.
Basically, it's the same thing like Sensei's Top and Altar of brood, if you create a 'normal' tribe you can not counter/remove all copies there, if one at all, or in case of 'All is dust' there is no way to play a tribal deck without colors, unless you play Eldrazi/Myr/artifacts yourself. 7 mana is easily reached with cloudposts, Desecrated Land, Explorer's MAp,etc. In one game, that was on Turn3! So 'All is dust', wipes out all opposition.

Random Question by ComixWriter at Sat, 10/03/2015 - 20:22
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While debating the merits of All Is Dust, may I ask this question (because I'm unsure of the outcome)?

To unlock the Deckbuilding Achievement, "Vanilla Flavor," we could easier suppose how "Bears" may fit the bill. Bears would be an Underdog Tribe, and it's unsupported tribe has equal footing against lesser powerful tribes. What about Elves, though? There are exactly enough vanilla elves to sleeve-up a Vanilla Tribe. However, playing "elves" may lock me into a far more difficult environment. Would the "Vanilla Flavor" achievement only be unlocked during an Underdog event? I mean, really - elves or not, if I show up with vanilla critters of a Pure Tribe, well, isn't part of the reason the Pure Tribes are so dominant because of their supported cast? Vanilla Tribes have an unequal footing by design (hence, 'vanilla'), but how could we ever see a vanilla elf deck hit the scene? I chose green for more than one reason, but wanted to highlight the imbalance of power between bears and elves as a tribe.

Tribal Guides? by ComixWriter at Sun, 10/04/2015 - 13:03
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As a fan of tabletop RPGs, many within our play group like reading Class and Race Guides. While they have a general idea of how they envision their wizard's spells, a quick glace to a popular, community-reviewed online "wizard how-to guide" helps polish their character. Again, players can take certain liberties, and by no means is the guide the absolute source for how to have fun; they merely look at common ways to exploit the rules, even if that suggests how a half-orc alchemist is one of the most broken characters per game rule interpretation.

If we had a meta-game guide for each 1) archtype or 2) tribe, maybe we would begin to see common themes emerge. If 80% of blue decks use either Card A or Card B, those cards would get a red flag for purification. Then, if that Card A or Card B helps the deck win/go undefeated, the community would look at those cards with greater scrutiny.

Also, a meta-game guide could help new players see some strategies that have worked and basic tips. For example, I never worried about so much board-sweeping effects as a Pauper player, so this change was new to me. Like AJ_Imy said, MonoRed aggressive decks could include goblins, humans, elementals, warriors and shaman. He also suggested that there would be some commonly-shared staples within these decks. What might those decks include?

For one, I'd like to see some of those guides with updates. Forgive me if I've missed some article cache, but AJ_Impy has done a lot of great work in this vein on this site. Have we exhausted the tribes? Are there no new strategies (i.e. An infinite combo using common cards - blue monks, specifically - has surprised Standard Pauper recently, but a key card is merely another common card with the exact rules text and cmc available to all of us in Tribal Wars.)?

Finally and incongruently, would Puppet Conjurer be allowed in a Homunculus Tribe? Has anyone fielded a Homunculus Tribe to date? Thanks in advance! Keep tappin'

ComixWriter, I find hard to by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 13:05
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ComixWriter, I find hard to answer your many and thoughtful questions in these comment sections, so I invite you to address any and all inquiries you may have about the event and its rules to me directly at my gmail account aicardigianluca.
I also suggest you to explore the many pages found at Tribal Apocalypse Central.

About your Achievement question: you may unlock Vanilla Flavor when you want, the way you want. Unlocking an achievement, by design, means you're giving up some efficiency (some times this is not true, and it's the reason why you find at the bottom of the Achievement page a list of cards that aren't allowed anymore for the unlocking to be accepted). Elf is stronger than Bear? Maybe, considering Elf is always one of the Top 3 tribes (Human, Elf, Goblin).
Bear in mind the whole Achievement thing is for fun, despite its big prize.

The tournament is NOT for fun only, though. It's a competition, taken pretty seriously by many players. You'll have soon the chance to (finally) read an interview to two of the most successful tribal players in recent history, MisterMojoRising and romellos, the reigning Tribal Champions from 2014; you'll see how they conceive the format and the event, from a Spike/semipro point of view.
There is a crowd of players who care about the Vorthos side of things, too, but the tournament does not cater exclusively to them, just like Magic as a whole, as Mark Rosewater often says, doesn't nor can't cater to any one psychographic profile, but to all of them.

As a host, my primary concern is monotony and repetition. A player gets beaten up by a particular power combo once, then never again for 6 months: he won't be affected by it. A player gets beaten up by the exact same thing week in, week out: he'll grow bored and ultimately quit the event. Now, everybody has different reactions to things (and somebody has bad reactions to trying to fix things, even), but some things are universally obvious, and those are fixed when they become an issue, and they become an issue only when they show up too frequently (this is also how DCI handles bans). See the fearful Doomsday.dek people is constantly afraid of, but never materialized once in 5 years. In my book, something that doesn't actually exist is not an issue.

"Have we exhausted the tribes?"
If by this you mean "is the format solved?", then the answer is "far from it". The variables in a format with tribal restrictions, no sideboard, and an almost universal pool of cards are just too many. Tribal Wars is possibly the format more impacted by new sets, because even an otherwise negligible thing like a new playable Ooze is going to have an effect on the meta, especially within the various sub-metas we use in Tribal Apocalypse. And new tribes keep being added, while old tribes get revamped: see what happened in the past couple of years with Minotaurs, Satyrs, Gods, and so on. Processor has just been added!

Finally, Homunculus has been played two times. Only Badger has never been played (Cockatrice has been played but never won a match, hence the special award you find in the page). You'll find these figures in the Tribal Popularity page, linked from the Central. You can also explore the various years to see when exactly Homunculus has been played, then find out those events on (if it's in the past 2 years, which is when we've started using Gatherling), and study the Homunculus lists!
And you can freely play Puppet Conjurer in Homunculus, as Tribal Wars allows for as many off-tribe creatures as you like, provided your deck will have one third (rounded down) of creatures sharing at least one type. In Pure events, we eliminate that rule, so you can't have off-tribe creatures there, but with the exception of 1-4 copies of one God, or 1-4 copies of an off-tribe lord, which is a creature that doesn't share the type of the tribe, yet mentions it on its rule text, so Puppet Conjurer will still be allowed. (It's all explained in the Pure events rule page you'll find linked in Central).

And the card that defines the by ML_Berlin at Sun, 10/04/2015 - 14:01
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And the card that defines the decklist must exist. Some decks just end undefeated without relying on any particular "unfair weapon".

Emrakul is completely fair, while Knight Exemplar is such an unfair card, especially as you need 2 on battlefield, to be save.

I don't think Exemplar by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sun, 10/04/2015 - 15:46
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I don't think Exemplar defines knights, at least in the burn metagame we have and will likely enjoy for years to come. I don't think I would play it in a knight deck in a Regular subformat. Fiendslayer Knight is always my #1, and I usually consider my #2 Stillmoon Cavalier, Mirran Crusader, or even Phyrexian Crusader depending on the metagame. Knight of the Reliquary is often better depending on what my deck is trying to do (LD, DarkStage combo). To add knights 9-12 I might consider Knight Exemplar, but the 2 drops need attention to have a resemblance of a curve, and Riders of Gavony at 4 is often better as well.

Emrakul is hard to evaluate, I assume broken with the right deck, though I haven't tried myself. In the particular deck AJ beat me with above, I think he was fair.

I didn't say Emrakul was by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:30
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I didn't say Emrakul was fair, in fact I analyzed Eldrazi separately, as a different category.
Knight Exemplar is one of many reasons Knight won Pure events.

Also, maybe a thing that's being lost to many here is that we don't analyze the tribe as a whole for Purification. We analyze the SPECIFIC LIST a SPECIFIC PLAYER piloted. That's why some very powerful cards are still to be Purified: because they never happened to be included in a winning deck so far. Purification is a game in itself, with a random aspect, it's not an attempt to lay down the rules about what's fair or what's broken.
Please all cheer up. If Pure becomes a point of dispite, I'll just end it.

Looking at the list, there's by AJ_Impy at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 13:10
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Looking at the list, there's a bit too much redundancy for an easy purification. It does some very powerful things, but none of them are unique. It can drop a game-ending threat on 3 or 4, any of them will do. It can wipe the board for 7 or 8 mana via AiD, Oblivion Stone or Ugin. It can produce large amounts of mana via Loci or Eldrazi Temples. It can untap lands with Candelabra or deserted temples. It benefits from uncounterability via Cavern of Souls, Titan/Artisan cast triggers and Emrakul.

Emrakul is probably the most viable candidate: Unique to the tribe, more powerful and harder to remove than the other two. But it isn't even a 4-of here, and the clear course of action would just be to increase the numbers of the other Titans and maybe add in the Newlamog.

The one card that fuels all by Paul Leicht at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 14:51
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The one card that fuels all that is Cloudpost...

Cloudpost is clearly (to me) by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 17:28
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Cloudpost is clearly (to me) the most broken card in the deck. Taking out Cloudpost is certainly an idea worth a good deal of consideration, especially since a lot of us don't have Wastelands, and LD is less productive in an aggro meta especially when forced to use 20 slots on creatures (16 with red/black Elementals or Shamans since Fulminator Mage is perfectly respectable).

The negative is the fact that so many tribes rely on a Cloudpost engine for their strength: artifact tribes for sure; and I've used them with Hydra X-spells to good effect as well, and also Angels. I'm sure there are others. Forcing these decks to use Urza lands would be probably slightly less consistent and the decks wouldn't get the incidental life gain from Glimmerpost (and Vesuva copies, when needed), making them also more susceptible to the red decks (not that I want to overly defend red decks).

I will leave it to others to debate whether or not a card such as Cloudpost should be banned when a perfectly decent answer (Wasteland) exists but is simply too expensive.

Whatever the answer, I'd rather see a Cloudpost ban in Underdog than Pure, if I had to choose, but both or none may be more correct.

Part of me wants to ban by CottonRhetoric at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 19:42
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Part of me wants to ban Cloudpost from the entire game. But people would probably be upset if that happened so I'll just grin and bear it.

I admit. I loled at this. Yes by Paul Leicht at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 20:30
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I admit. I loled at this. Yes I can see some people being upset but hey whats life without a few angry folks? Cloudpost banned in everything? I'd support that!

I had games during testing by AJ_Impy at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 21:44
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I had games during testing where the cloudposts were successfully hated out, but which still were wins due to Eldrazi Temple being a drawbackless 2 mana land. Cloudpost is a powerful, powerful engine, but given glimmerposts and Vesuvas (Vesuvae?) can provide one of the few answers to monored Aggro.

Wasteland is by no means the only answer. Cloudposts and Urzatron tend to run very, very light or empty on Basics, which makes the 4-cent Ghost Quarter very viable indeed if you are so inclined. You can get a play set of Armageddons for less than 2 tickets, Ravages of War for just over.n.

To be fair, Ghost Quarter by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 10/05/2015 - 22:17
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To be fair, Ghost Quarter isn't really "viable" unless 1/3 of the meta has a basic-less mana base. The others and their ilk take a certain deck construction or safety valves when dead cards (Brainstorm, Chrome Mox, etc.). Cloudpost is not broken when it taps for 2. Cloudpost is broken when it taps for 3+, as it often does, which is what makes it not remotely comparable to Eldrazi Temple. Even two Cloudpost are better than two Temples.

Generally, unless you need by AJ_Impy at Tue, 10/06/2015 - 02:50
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Generally, unless you need untapped mana to play an Eldrazi spell that turn. Forcing an opponent to lose a key one-of land for a basic (And quite a few people do use things like Manlands, Kessig Wolf Run, Karakas and Maze of Ith) can change the face of a game. That, and some people make extremely heavy use of greedy manabases: I've usually gotten very good value out of Magus of the Moon, for example.

Also, that reminds me. I need to build a Stranglehold deck.

I would never recommend by Paul Leicht at Tue, 10/06/2015 - 06:56
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I would never recommend running a geddon strategy in Tribal unless the person was playing something conducive to it (because a wrongly timed or well refuted armageddon can be gg for the caster). That is a problem with suggesting specific cards.

Yes there are answers to everything. But to include them so that you have a viable for almost any match up deck means building very strange builds sometimes. Not recommended. Wasteland is generic enough (as is GQ) that it doesn't require build-around-me levels of creativity.

As for the argument that the deck can still win without cloudpost? I think that makes the suggestion to ban it more interesting as the goal isn't to cripple but make less powerful.

The Loci and Vesuva are a by AJ_Impy at Tue, 10/06/2015 - 09:49
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The Loci and Vesuva are a straight swap for the Urzatron. It remains strong, but gets weaker against burn owing to the loss of Glimmerposts.

What's the Endgame? by ComixWriter at Tue, 10/06/2015 - 13:25
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Hello, everyone. As a relative newcomer to the format, I'm seeing a lot of critiques of certain, often expensive, cards that help define not only a specific deck/tribe, but typical "hate" spells to play against other powerful decks.

We can debate the merits of Wasteland all day. I don't think many people would advise to include a full playset for typical play. However, fewer people would add it based on price, alone. At time of this writing, we see Wasteland for sale at for $69.60 apiece.

To include this single card in any deck, we create a division. Maybe you don't want to hear about "Wasteland" prices anymore. Okay, insert one of the other expensive cards in this thread.

What do I mean by expensive? This variable is what I feel is causing the division and questions about playability. Let's agree that, by virtue of your ability to 1) read this discussion, 2) on the internet, we all have a certain level of privilege.

To this end, I offer some possible solutions, to discuss here.

1) Ban the cards if the decision is sound. Just do it. Set a timeline, and hack the offending card(s).

2) Remind people of the "Prince of Paupers" achievement to unlock. We can all agree that any deck can win on any given day, given just typical and expected delays in a super-deck being online and effective (ie: missed land drops, board-sweeping effects, etc.).

3) Offer a (quarterly?) deck challenge specifically designed to welcome new players (who may not have the resources to be immediately competitive in a new deck) and players without a lot of expendable cash to drop on a set of cards that lose to Wasteland, for example. The deck construction would follow the similar formulae used by WotC for their pre-constructed decks: two rares, a handful of uncommons, and the rest are commons, for about ~$20. We could suspend the format card pool from which these are drawn (pre-constructed decks typically pull from that block of standard format for some synergetic plays). Sure, some decks may be very expensive, like an "Affinity" deck. If we set the price of the decks to be comparable to a pre-constructed deck, then we could level the playing field in a new deckbuilding achievement.

4) Offer a Standard-format event. While people may still buy some expensive cards, this limits the possible card pool from which to deck build. We can lament the loss of Kavu in current Standard, but the format could put a lot of experienced players on their heels; who knows the possible interactions of cards from BfZ, for example? Plus, a player could reasonably see their investment of cards go farther- I'll make a Standard deck, a Standard Pauper deck, and a Tribal Wars deck- all using the most recent (and likely, most readily available and less expensive cards).

As a player, I disregard comments about any given card can be answered. Sure, Delver of Secrets dies to a bunch of common-rarity cards. Unsummon it. Aerial Volley it. Black cards have a ton of answers, too. Maybe even Swords to Plowshares the Delver of Secrets. Yup, that ends the threat. Unless, of course, we assume the pilot of a Delver deck is a complete moron, and only flipped the card due to a single copy of a blue instant/sorcery. Let's pretend that the pilot doesn't have counterspells in blue, or doesn't have a way to make this creature hexproof'd or unsummoned itself. Yeah, I could Pyroblast the Delver, if I want to spend ~$4/card for it. Yes, Pyroblast has a lot of utility, so the ~$4 may go a longer way, especially against a mono-blue deck. It comes down to a debate between the haves and have-nots. Rather than blame professional-caliber players for having good cards, let's focus on the strategy skills of making decks. C'mon, we've already swallowed that pill by forcing our decks to fit 20 tribal creatures- what's a little more constriction so more players can avoid discussions like this, which, really, is going to come down to a choice few voices willing to neuter their own winning decks. Do I think I have any influence in purifying All is Dust? I didn't even know the card existed until I read this thread.

These are my simple suggestions to force a decision about a longer debate.

Suggested Achievement by ComixWriter at Tue, 10/06/2015 - 15:17
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May I propose a new achievement, especially with Battle for Zendikar's new "Awaken" mechanic?
Deal 20 damage using lands. Typically, a forest doesn't kill an opponent, unless:
* it's a Dryad Arbor
* it's "Awaken"'d by a spell mechanic
* it's enchanted as a Genju
* etc.

Similarly, beyond the "Awaken" aspect, some cards BECOME creatures, even tribe-specific creatures. For example, Faerie Conclave can become a 2/1 Faerie with flying until the end of turn. Lands that martyr themselves for a different creature wouldn't count, because the land itself didn't deal the damage.

Otherwise, these lands could also act as a sacrifice:damage outlet, if land permanents could be used as artillery. Essentially, deal twenty damage (which could be combat damage or other damage) using lands. Other tribal members' damage is not calculated for this achievement, unless they activate a land for a damage-dealing purpose. Yes, I intentionally avoided "to opponent," because if you could deal and survive 20 damage to yourself using lands, then more power to ya!

What are your thoughts on this unnamed achievement? Thanks in advance

I dig. As the achievement by AJ_Impy at Tue, 10/06/2015 - 18:57
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I dig. As the achievement sponsor, I hereby give this the go-ahead for the final quarter of this season. Congratulations, Comix, you just unlocked the 'create an achievement' achievement.

Added as new #55, "The by Tribal Apocalypse at Fri, 10/09/2015 - 06:24
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Added as new #55, "The Awakening".
Now you have to actually come play, ComixWriter!

Yay, Comix! by Bazaar of Baghdad at Wed, 10/07/2015 - 17:31
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Yay, Comix!

Thanks! by ComixWriter at Fri, 10/09/2015 - 13:27
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Today is my birthday. Thank you for your welcoming of me, my ideas, and my questions. While I have plans this weekend (i.e: family visiting for birthday), I should be on pace to participate next week. I also have designs on a fun Spooky tribal deck.

On a positive note, I had a great phonecall with our comics publisher. I'll now have more help, with dedicated editors and new, additional artists. This should free me to starting writing about my MTGO experiences. You've all been so supportive of me, and others who visit this page, and this makes a great gift to this old guy! Unlocking an Achievement before I've even dueled in Tribal Wars online gives me the push to play and grow in fun and strategic ways.

Thanks, folks. I don't have a lot of friends in real life. Coming here to read and/or write helps me feel part of something bigger. Sure, I've got a lot of attention for the comics I write, but there is something to be said about a certain level of anonymity and being liked for something not quite so academic or therapeutic. Sometimes, just being "me" is what all of us need, and you've shown a welcoming forum to make this happen.

Happy birthday! May I ask you by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 10/09/2015 - 14:10
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Happy birthday!

May I ask you which comics do you write for? Or if you don't want to be too overt about your identity, at least in which country and/or for which publisher?

Thanks all around! by ComixWriter at Fri, 10/09/2015 - 16:04
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Thanks, Kumagoro42!

I am the author/script writer and founder of Face Value Comics. We scored the copyright on the world's first featured comic book hero with autism. Being autistic myself, I wrote a prominent hero who has clinical autistic traits (and diagnosis). I was a successful therapist for years, and wove into our comics the concept of facial feature recognition frozen on the static page, as a concept carry-over from my doctoral research. Add some family-friendly code of conduct, some aliens and steampunk robots, typical anxiety, fears, and (self) doubts, and that's our far.

Here's a link to our interview with the NBC Nightly News last fall:

We stay active on FaceBook, too:

Thanks for the birthday wishes, man! :)