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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Jan 04 2016 1:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   Table of Contents 

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

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

by Kumagoro

 And that's a wrap. 2015 has ended, and with it Tribal Apocalypse concludes its 5th season in the Blippian Era. Whoa, it's been 5 years we're doing this. Kinda amazing when you think of it, uh? And amidst all the hardships we had to endure, mostly courtesy of WotC, we're still going great. 2015 has officially been our best year ever, with a total attendance over the course of the season of 1031 players. Our second best was 2013, with 1014. It's been a wonderful comeback from our worst season, 2014, that only saw 866 players submitting a list into a Tribal Apocalypse event. So thank you all for playing, really. Let's all have an ever better 2016 now.

 But I'm burying the lede here, possibly because we all already know the result: but it's now time to officially salute ScionOfJustice as the 2015 Player of the Year!

 With 343 points in the season, Scion achieved the second best amount ever (record is still held by romellos with 424 in season 4), and ending 85 points ahead of the 2nd place player is, in fact, the largest interval. We'll discuss with him directly how he did it during the interview we'll have over the course of the new year.

  In the meantime, let's talk about little changes. I published the calendar for 2016. Here's what we'll do different this season:

  1. New rotation: this year we'll alternate Regular and non-Regular events, using this week-by-week sequence: Underdog, Regular, Pure, Regular. So now Pure is not the last week of the month anymore. This way, we won't have two Regular events back to back, which was annoying to some of us.
  2. So far, the only special events in calendar are only (Invitational aside): Singleton on April 30, Singleton on July 30, Halloween on October 29. They match the months with 5 Saturdays (2016 is actually a year with 53 Saturdays, but the last one is on December 31, so that's not going to be used anyway). I reserve to replace some other Regular events with something else, possibly a few Singletons more.
  3. Invitational will be held at the end of the month, January 30. Invitations will be sent shortly to the Top 16, plus 8 official reserves (ranked #17-24).
  4. Hamtastic Award new rule: Human, Elf and Goblin decks are not counted anymore toward the total amount of tribes played in each quarter.
  5. The Achievements take a pause, until the sponsors figure out a way to make them interesting again. Congratulations to ScionOfJustice for also being the last quarter's Achievement Master as well as the overall Achievement Master of the Year.

 Also, Altar of the Brood is now unbanned, not being particularly scary once Sensei's Divining Top is not allowed anywhere.

 Furthermore, we should discuss the long-mentioned reformation of the Underdog list. Both Giant and Imp have been proposed as additions. Giant seems a no-brainer to me: they really aren't strong enough to be restricted to Major League. Imp is trickier, since Imp Reanimator has been really popular and successful at one point. It would at least require the ban of Putrid Imp in Underdog. What do you think?

 All in all, happy new tribal year, everyone!


  • Event Number: 5.51, Week 260 BE
  • Date: December 26
  • Attendance: 21
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Pure
  • Winner: mihahitlor (Elf)
  • Other undefeated: Kasparadi (Bird)
  • 1 Loss: ScionOfJustice (Wizard), gumgod (Myr), Lordpipas (Human), BrunoDogma (Human)
  • Underdog Prize: gumgod (Myr)
  • Hamtastic Award: AJ_Impy, with the following sequence: Horse, Processor, Scarecrow, God, Horror, Spike, Rhino, Hag, Demon, Advisor, Spirit, Pirate, Soldier
  • AJ & Vantar's Achievement Award: ScionOfJustice, with 9 achievements unlocked in the quarter
  • AJ & Vantar's Grand Achievement Award: ScionOfJustice, with 23 achievements unlocked in the year
  • Tribes: Ally, Angel, Bird, Cleric, Elf, Goblin, Human (x3), Myr (x2), Shaman, Sliver (x2), Snake, Soldier, Spirit, Vedalken, Warrior, Wizard, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, at the last event of the year, mihahitlor reached romellos's overall number of wins (again!), while Elf reached Goblin's, thanks to three first places in a row in the last 3 events. And to think I was going to say this had been a bad year for Elves!


 Bird went close to a more unusual victory with Kasparadi's Caw-Go list.


 And here's ScionOfJustice's last deck in his triumphant year. Wizard, appropriately. With a Basalt Monolith infinite combo, appropriately.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of January 4, 2016):

  • mihahitlor's Elves: $201.40
  • Kasparadi's Birds: $318.50
  • ScionOfJustice's Wizards: $42.58

 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! Be the first to win a match with the last orphan tribe and you'll win a 2-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.

 The Underdog Prize: During any event of the regular rotation (but not during the one-time special events), all players who are running an Underdog Tribe are eligible for a 1-tix credit on Pennybot. The tie-breakers are first the number of Underdog categories (for instance, a tribe that's simultaneously Endangered and Unhallowed will take the prize over one that's only Endangered), then the points achieved in the final standings. During Underdog events, only the True Underdog tribes are rewarded (those are the tribes belonging to all three categories of Underdog at once).

 The Up-and-Coming Prize: When a tribe wins an event for the first time ever (losing Unhallowed status), its pilot will get a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders.

 The Hamtastic Award: The Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg has started the first quarter of 2016. The quarter will end March 26. By that date, the player or players who registered the greatest number of different tribes (except Human, Elf and Goblin) will get a 5-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. Congratulations to last quarter's winner, AJ_Impy

 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

 Wanna test your deck? Tell us when you're online, and look who else is there and when! All of this here!


 The upcoming Tribal Apocalypse events of the Blippian Era (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT):

  • 6.02 (Week 262 BE), on January 9: Regular
  • 6.03 (Week 263 BE), on January 16: Pure
  • 6.03 (Week 264 BE), on January 23: Regular
  • Special (Week 265 BE), on January 30: 2015 Invitational

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2016!



Can you please submit the by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:38
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Can you please submit the winning Imp decklist? It's not on Gatherling (more below).

Imp only has 31 members, putting it well into traditional Underdog status, and if anyone says Putrid Imp is a problem for enabling Reanimation, I can probably point out Tireless Tribe which is Underdog-legal, has the same mechanic at the same cost (1 to cast free to use), and is not played. Nomad requires a white splash, but this is nothing with modern mana bases, and Nomad is better suited to stem the opposing onslaught than Imp. On the other hand, Stinkweed Imp could be a good enabler for slots 5-8 of the tribe.

Both tribes - Giant and Imp - only have 1 win, neither of which was in the Gatherling era. I can't imagine either being favored against a typical Berserker build, which is kind of baseline for the Underdog format these days. During the Gatherling era Putrid Imp has only seen play 6 times, three of which were narrower Halloween fields, and one was Commander. In the other two, Regular events, it went 0-2 in an Imp deck and 4-1 as a 4x of in a Zombie deck.

The winning Underdog deck this past week, Skeletons, probably would have feasted on Imps with its 4x Leyline of the Void.

On the whole, I'd say let 'em in after having served a 3+ year penance and see what they are made of. For my part, I'm more concerned about Primeval Titan (Giant).

Here are two versions of Imp by romellos at Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:59
romellos's picture

Here are two versions of Imp deck played by Ranth. They were consistent enough at feeding graveyard.

Thanks for the find, by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 01/04/2016 - 16:43
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Thanks for the find, romellos. They Imps are more enabling than I had thought with 12 discard outlets within the tribe itself and 4 dredgers. Still, Iona is banned in Underdog, and most everything else liable to Reanimation strategies can be dealt with. Mihahitlor had 4 Natural Order and 4 Defense of the Heart in his list this past weekend in Underdog which is arguably as (more?) powerful and consistent at cranking out immediate wins with fatties as Reanimation. I'd still take Berserker over any version of Imps I've seen so far, but only testing would realize that for sure.

By the way, any purifications by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:43
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

By the way, any purifications from those two 4-x lists? They look decently fair to me (Shackles probably the most unfair between them), but I just want to make sure.

:-) by ScionOfJustice at Mon, 01/04/2016 - 23:21
ScionOfJustice's picture


Ok, I pieced the imps by Bazaar of Baghdad at Tue, 01/05/2016 - 00:22
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Ok, I pieced the imps together. They are faster and more consistent than I had thought. I started with Ranth's list (thanks, Romellos) and improved it majorly with +4 Chrome Mox and +2 Ancient Tomb and +1 Shizo (-7 Swamps) and improving the fatty package. In three games, I had turn 2 choice of fatty (via Entomb), t.2 fatty in hand (or t.3 choice), and t.1 fatty of choice (thanks to Mox). I had some mulls in there too, so it's obviously not too rosy, but the scry rule was just what the doctor ordered. I'm not saying it's the best thing since sliced bread or anything, but I no longer proactively support it for Underdog without a lot more evidence from other quarters. Sorry for having doubted. BoB

I'm proud that, at least, I by ML_Berlin at Fri, 01/08/2016 - 18:22
ML_Berlin's picture

I'm proud that, at least, I have set the new standard for Underdog events:-)
I do remember critical comments and disbelief when I started with Berserkers. After I won with them, suddenly Berserkers were en vogue:-)

Well, four people ran by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 01/09/2016 - 01:33
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Well, four people ran Berserkers to an X-1 record or better before you even played your first game with them (at least in the Gatherling era), so it's hard to take too much credit. While your typical build is probably better in the mirror for having bigger dudes, overall I think your build is poorly positioned, as the essence of Berserkers should be to beat the unfair decks before they can get set up with their powerful Legacy combos. Thus the speed inherent in a lower curve is usually essential. Your slower version doesn't accomplish this so much, as somewhat evinced by your -3 overall record with them over 78 matches (in Gatherling).

I'm tempted to brag about my lone Berserker build (as I did once in the past), but I have to admit that there's a lot of power in the Price of Progress version (for example, that Lord_Pipas used). I'll remain agnostic for now.

I know this probably comes off as pretty harsh; it's not really my intent, so much as to try and educate. To the extent I'm either wrong or rude, I apologize.

I'd go with rude since that by Paul Leicht at Sat, 01/09/2016 - 04:07
Paul Leicht's picture

I'd go with rude since that is your standard way of typing here. That said ML Berlin has come a long way from when we (he and I) were playing in the wilds of Juff. He's gone from having no cards and no decks worth noting to being a consistent winner. Keep that in mind when you are being your usual overly critical unnecessarily unkind self.

Well, we'll have to leave by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 01/09/2016 - 08:14
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

Well, we'll have to leave rude for external appearances only and go with stupid for my internal mindset since I honestly didn't know how to make my strong disagreement with his preferred build without coming off as rude. I obviously could have chosen to say nothing, but that had no chance of being helpful (i.e., to get him to play better versions of Berserkers). I think the evidence is pretty strong against him. I have no wish to be hurtful, but can at least recognize my words above for being blunt. As far as being a "consistent winner" though, there is some dispute there as he hasn't had a winning record with his last five times playing the Berserker tribe, while the latest five other pilots are 16-5 combined.

Consistent compared to where by Paul Leicht at Sat, 01/09/2016 - 19:09
Paul Leicht's picture

Consistent compared to where he started. He's a good player. As for your "stupidity" I think you could use more thought with your words for sure. I think it is fine to critique the deck list without making it a personality issue. If something you see in list a) does not work as well as it did in list b) that's perfectly fine to point out. Berserkers have ranged from insanely bad to winning throughout the history of the format which stretchs back to 2009 and there is probably still plenty of room for tweaking the winning decks. I'd recommend just listing what you'd change and leave it at that.

He's the one that appeared to by Bazaar of Baghdad at Sat, 01/09/2016 - 19:43
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

He's the one that appeared to take my remarks for his own ends, effectively putting words in my mouth. I called Berserkers the baseline for the Underdog format, and then he took credit for this, as if I were endorsing his build. This puts me in an awkward position, as I have long believed his particular Berserker build to be poor (though I kept my mouth shut before on this point), and so I felt I had to respond in the interest of truth lest others take up the deck on an apparent tacit recommendation from me. By quoting success stats (or lack thereof), and pointing out that others revolutionized the tribe before he did, I tried to help others see that I was, in fact, not endorsing him. I also tried to be helpful, as per your suggestion, to critique his build by pointing out that he needs a lower curve to hang with Legacy-level finishers, pointing out faster builds (mine or Lord_Pipas's builds both accessible in Gatherling). I felt no desire or need to go more in depth.