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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Nov 06 2015 11:00am
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   Table of Contents 

  1. Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
  2. The High Price of Winning
  3. Announcement Time!
  4. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 So, things didn't change since last week, unsurprisingly. Legacy Tribal Wars is going away. Tribal Apocalypse won't.

 Let's mourn, but let's also do something. Adam Clayton (aka PureMTGO's Adam_the_Mentat) has just created a Facebook group for Legacy Tribal Wars (now you'll have to actually come and play in the event, Adam!). I don't use Facebook for reasons, but I'll support this. It's not that the late WotC forums really gave us any inlet of new players (who was reading them anymore?), with most of the new additions coming from Gatherling or from these articles, but it's always the right time to put the format out there some more, and now it's a particularly right time, since the format is not going to be in the client for new people to learn it exists at all (it'll still be there tomorrow, though. Swan song?).

 And I made this public page on Googledocs that anybody can edit to say whether they're available in-client to play Tribal Wars, and when. Please use it, and please Adam link to it from Facebook as (whereas Tribal Central, the page with all links to Tribal Apocalypse rules and stuff, is


  • Event Number: 5.43, Week 252 BE
  • Date: October 31
  • Attendance: 17
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Vintage Halloween Special
  • Winner: arcbounddaylabor (Devil)
  • 1 Loss: AJ_Impy (Horror), fliebana (Demon), _Kumagoro_ (Zombie), Robin88 (Spirit), romellos (Spirit)
  • Tribes: Assassin (x3), Demon, Devil, Horror, Scarecrow, Snake, Spirit (x5), Werewolf, Zombie (x3)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Not Vampire (which weren't even there), nor Zombie, nor Spirit: this year's Vintage spooky extravaganza, played during the Halloween night itself, has been taken over by an Underdog spooky: the little Devils! Congratulations to their master, arcbounddaylabor! No power here, by the way. But, yeah, I don't know what that deck's name means.  {Joshua's Note:  I hate leaving these, but apparently Manag is a Gothic Romanization for the word many.}


 Let's complete the Top 4, none of which was one of those expensive 3-color Spirit decks with saintly ghosts and stuff. AJ_Impy did well with these metallic Horrors.


 Here's a veritable heavy hitter: Griselbrand shows up in fliebana's Show and Tell Demon deck.


 And these are my Zombies, aka my annual excuse to play with Survival of the Fittest. Too bad in Halloween I can't really build a competitive RecSur deck (can't have key players like Loyal Retainers, or non-Zombie answers other than Big Game Hunter, which didn't even find too many targets, if any). Still, it went well enough. And by the way, thanks to Vintage Masters, full playsets of Recurring Nightmare and Survival these days make for a grand total of $0.40! It's a great time to play Magic Online.



 Here are the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of November 6, 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. JogandoPelado's Berserkers, $2.80, 1st place on Event 248
  4. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  5. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  6. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  7. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  8. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  9. Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147
  10. mihahitlor's Goblins, $4.22, 1st place on Event 240

 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):

  • 5.44 (Week 253 BE), on November 7: Underdog
  • 5.45 (Week 254 BE), on November 14: Regular
  • 5.46 (Week 255 BE), on November 21: Regular
  • 5.47 (Week 256 BE), on November 28: 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!



Legacy Apocalypse by Sensei at Fri, 11/06/2015 - 14:19
Sensei's picture

Have we considered permitting sideboards? Sometimes we feel compelled to maindeck redhate because SBs aren't allowed.

Or is that problematic because players will just drop under 20 tribe post-sideboard?

That's exactly why the by Tribal Apocalypse at Fri, 11/06/2015 - 15:28
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

That's exactly why the sideboard was not allowed on Tribal Wars to begin with.

But as I wrote last week, after we know for sure the filter is not coming back, we will be able to do some stuff: change the old DCI ban list (finally), reinstate Changelings (finally!), and also experiment with a sideboard, but possibly only within a specific subformat, which might be one of the Regular events+sideboard.
And my idea for it, it's exactly what romellos said below: only cards allowed in a tribal sideboard are creatures from your tribe. That could still help after game 1, even just as a change of overall strategy, and may even cause less played creatures to see some play, because this way you can bring along more than the usual 5 or 6.

Such sideboarding rule would by mihahitlor at Fri, 11/06/2015 - 15:52
mihahitlor's picture

Such sideboarding rule would additionally incentivize people to use specific strong tribes (for example, having access to 15 additional humans would provide various answers compared to lots of other tribes, even strong ones).

I am against Tribal SB-ing in general, but even more against the rule that says that you can only SB cards of your tribe. It would just make certain powerful tribes much more powerful. IMO it is best to just leave things as they are (regarding sideboarding), and maybe have some special event once or twice a year, but not on a monthly basis.

That is true (maybe not so by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 06:51
Kumagoro42's picture

That is true (maybe not so much for Goblin). We could prevent Human, Elf and Goblin to have a sideboard even in the special event.

From the top of my head I by mihahitlor at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 07:45
mihahitlor's picture

From the top of my head I would definitely add Soldiers to the list, since you can create a very strong SB with them. You have strong hosers against various flavours of combo (Thalia, Aegis of the Gods), decks that rely on a graveyard (Anafenza, the Foremost, Dryad Militant) and red decks (Kor Firewalker). Basically you can create a "real sideboard" with Humans and Soldiers, but not so much with other tribes (unless I missed some).

Knights are also very strong post SB (they are all about protection), but they are not on the level of Humans and Soldiers.

Yeah, being able to pick the by Tribal Apocalypse at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 10:35
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Yeah, being able to pick the right protection to whatever you're facing is a bit of a concern.

I don't say, we shall by romellos at Fri, 11/06/2015 - 14:52
romellos's picture

I don't say, we shall implement SB. But, my proposition for it, would be like; all SB cards have to be the creatures from your main tribe, without any off-tribe creature or non-creature cards.

Great idea romellos by Sensei at Fri, 11/06/2015 - 15:51
Sensei's picture

Did someone make a Tribal clan yet?

If not, I'll make one as long as I'm not in the clan by myself

Gianluca is an Admin by Adam_the_Mentat at Sun, 11/08/2015 - 15:49
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

just so we're clear, I made AJ and Gianluca admins for the facebook group, simply because They are the most prominent and puremtgo-contributing Tribal Wars Aficionados I know. And I promise to play in an event very soon! :) (errrm not until December because nanowrimo is kicking my butt)

I have an idea, albeit corny, by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 20:30
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

I have an idea, albeit corny, for tribal sideboards. I support this idea only inasmuch as we are not worrying about cheating with diluting the tribal percentage in sideboarded games.

For the purposes of my idea, we have to recognize that Tribal Wars seems to be as balanced as Legacy. There are no real format-warping cards that REQUIRE a sideboard. When there are, we've banned them. Thus, my conclusion is that the #1 reason that makes sideboards desirable in Tribal Wars is almost purely flavor-based. In short, we don't want non-tribal cards dominating the tribal format if we can help it. Combos are particularly odious to most folks, but powerful cards like Swords of X/Y are up there. The first task we have to do is to reach a near-consensus on just HOW odious this problem is. Only then can we decide if the sideboard cure is worse than the anti-flavor-based disease.

Sideboards are intrinsically reactive (transformational sideboards excepted). However, because the reactive cards can necessarily take over the game (for example, Blood Moon or Circle of Protection: Red), especially considering that the primary angle of attack for the format is in the attack step, we want to avoid sideboard cards that permanently hose opposing decks.

Therefore, at least as a first step in tribal sideboards, I propose limiting tribal sideboards to instants and sorceries only. This will give every player the tools to stop combo, and troublesome permanents, and cutting the win percentage of the nauseating burn decks with lifegain options. It avoids strategy shutdown for the most part (there are a few recursive instants/sorceries like Darkblast) as the effects are of the one-shot variety only. A better variation on this may be to ban sideboarded mass removal like Wrath or Shatterstorm), but then we're clearly banning on an individual card basis.

I think this might lead to a net positive, but, again, only if the community is largely ok with the anti-dilution concerns that are inherent in tribal sideboards.

NO to Sideboards! Again I by ML_Berlin at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 20:38
ML_Berlin's picture

NO to Sideboards! Again I agree with mihahitlor.
Additionally to his reasons: A Sideboard would not only eliminate an important unique feature of Tribal Wars( to create a deck that must stand alone, but can't defend vs. all threats), but would lead to complete different deck designs. If we want to try to collect some of the now isolated tribal players, I advise to leave it as it is.

What is it about a by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 21:36
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

What is it about a creature-based format, except history, that makes you think a deck should stand on its own? Is history alone a strong enough argument to override the neuter-combos-and-burn argument?

I was going to stay clear of by Paul Leicht at Sat, 11/07/2015 - 23:16
Paul Leicht's picture

I was going to stay clear of this argument because a) I am not currently playing in the tourney so my word has no weight. and b) we have discussed this all before.

But I have to say while initially I was pro-sideboard the figures who argued against it made their points solidly (Look up AJ and Lord E's back n forth on the subject.) The main jist is that it isn't a matter of history as it is the nature of the format. The format's nature changes dramatically and intrinsically with adding in sideboards. The initial creators of the format chose wisely to exclude them. The difficulties in proving a deck to be legal post sideboard aside, there is the (not) small matter of how a deck fights against the meta. If you bring in sideboards there will eventually be decks that can side in and cover all weaknesses which would lead to a stale and largely pointless format.

Within the format as it is, if you dislike combo there are ways to fight against it but you sacrifice (in)vulnerability to aggro. If you want to fight against burn you can but you lay yourself open to midranged/control decks.

Reconsidering the ban list might be a stronger angle to strive for in conversation rather than trying to change the very foundation of a format many people seem to enjoy.

Imho if you are frustrated with spikes NOW? you will absolutely loath them in a tribal format with sideboarding. Just my 2 cents.

*wanders back to the rock*

For me, there is something by mihahitlor at Sun, 11/08/2015 - 03:52
mihahitlor's picture

For me, there is something about Tribal Wars that makes it much more enjoyable than other formats, and I suspect part of the reason is that there are no sideboards. I don't think I can make a solid argument as to why, but there is just certain opennes and variety that comes from not being able to additionally tune the deck after game 1.

And it's the only format besides Commander that doesn't have sideboards as far as I know. Some might say that this fact indicates that it should have the sideboards, but to me that is actually a reason to not have them so we can keep one format that offers a different perspective on how MTG can be played in this regard.

The last Tribal Wars game in by AJ_Impy at Wed, 11/11/2015 - 11:05
AJ_Impy's picture

The last Tribal Wars game in the official format has taken place, between my Rhinos and Robin88's Wizards. We were playing when the server went down, Robin with a 1-0 lead, midway through game 2.

The campaign to get Tribal Wars reinstated begins here and now. One day, we will finish that game.