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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Feb 19 2016 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, the time has come for Grindstone to be retired. After the latest win of a deck that had the old tribal bogeyman as a centerpiece (along with Dark Depths, which for the moment we'll leave alone), and upon suggestion from the winning player himself, I decided it's better to let the infamous combo with Painter's Servant go for good: Grindstone is now banned, across all formats (but Singleton), effective immediately.


 You all know I don't like banning cards, and I still think power combos like this impact the meta far less than linear aggro synergies, and their actual number of occurrences, let alone wins, is seriously negligible. Still, it's a pain in the neck for the player who does have to face it occasionally, and this can result in a new player not feeling like coming back, especially because it does show up consistently more than, say, Doomsday. And there's the old question of its un-tribal-ness. It's certainly very easy to jam 4 copies of each card in any deck and call it a day (although I think it was seen mostly within Scarecrow builds), and that's something that we don't want to encourage for sure.

 The Painter's Servant stays, as it's a valiant member of the Scarecrow tribe that could generate interesting, unexplored interactions. Finally free to exist out of the shadow of such a notorious partner in crime.


  • Event Number: 6.06, Week 267 BE
  • Date: February 13
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Regular
  • Winner: Bazaar of Baghdad (Cleric)
  • Other undefeated: NemesisParadigm (Assassin)
  • 1 Loss: Yokai_ (Warrior), _Kumagoro_ (Plant), Kasparadi (Bird), AJ_Impy (Eldrazi), Socanelas (Sliver)
  • Underdog Prize: Generalissimo (Bringer)
  • Tribes: Assassin, Bird, Bringer, Cleric, Eldrazi, Elf (x2), Human, Myr, Plant, Sliver, Warrior, Werewolf, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Grindstone aside, it was another of those good weeks: just 2 Elves and no Goblins! In a Regular event, albeit not very big, is still a sign something might be changing in the choices of our tribal players.

 And this is Bazaar of Baghdad's deck, taking revenge since the last round of the Invitational (when its Freeformat version lost to AJ_Impy's mono-card Vampire deck). It was only about Dark Depths back then, but the concept already was using Clerics as a way to protect the combo(s). Which somehow makes its tribal component active enough in my eyes, for what it's worth.


 The other undefeated was our old glory NemesisParadigm with these Assassins celebrating their colleague that's going to star in a high-profile movie soon. I believe Destructive Urge was a big part of the success of this build, which is nice because it's a very scary, very underused card.


 I, for one, was using another list from the Invitational, specifically the Plant one used by mihahitlor in Round 3 (although he included fetches and black-producing lands to cover Massacre Wurm's hardcast option). I recently sold my collection and I'm in the process of rebuilding, but I decided to stick with just a handful of decks for the time being, and this one is Kuma-esque yet solid enough to be one of them. Those Sylvan Offerings are probably going to become Green Sun's Zeniths in the future.


 Finally, Generalissimo was playing Bringer for the sake of it, and that's worth a mention because, c'mon, Bringer. (Still, this is surprisingly the 12th time they make an appearance. Do people love Bringers so much?). The route he took with them was very straightforward, wasn't it?



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of February 19, 2016):

  • Bazaar of Baghdad's Clerics: $521.88
  • NemesisParadigm's Assassins: $91.04
  • _Kumagoro_'s Plants: $126.67
  • Generalissimo's Bringers: $8.44

 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):

  • 6.07 (Week 268 BE), on February 20: Pure
  • 6.08 (Week 269 BE), on February 27: Regular
  • 6.09 (Week 270 BE), on March 5: Underdog
  • 6.10 (Week 271 BE), on March 12: Regular

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2016!



That was Grindstone's first by Bazaar of Baghdad at Fri, 02/19/2016 - 16:17
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

That was Grindstone's first ever win in Regular (and 2nd overall, the other was Scarecrow Underdog) in the Gatherling era. Was it a problem beforehand? Not that I disagree necessarily with the ban, as it is probably overpowered and pretty off-spirit.

That was fun squeezing in three separate combos into that 60 with Enlightened Tutor powering them all.

1) PainterStone
2) DarkStage (with ET for Map, also Weathered Wayfarer)
3) Auriok Champion/Worship against the red decks (Mom is also decent in this role)

It's definitely arguable that Enlightened Tutor is way more overpowered than Grindstone.

I, for one, would have preferred to allow Grindstone to exist, but restrict Painter to its tribe. This at least lets Scarecrows try to win over the more famous tribes in Regular and Pure with the combo, and Pure can easily purify Grindstone if Scarecrows succeed. However, I do think PainterStone is simply the best deck in Underdog. But don't forget, Grindstone, much like Painter, can have some strategic application outside the combo so the ban feels unfortunate when lesser restrictions seemed possible.

All that aside, my list was bad, as the Swords to Plowshares copies should have been Path to Exile. I'm careless on details.

I'd probably sub Chord of by Paul Leicht at Fri, 02/19/2016 - 17:36
Paul Leicht's picture

I'd probably sub Chord of Calling for the Sylvan Offerings as the instant speed and alt cost add some flexibility to the deck. GSZ is not better in any way here.

Probably the right call, I by Tribal Apocalypse at Fri, 02/19/2016 - 18:38
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Probably the right call, I was thinking of it myself – GSZ was miha's planned change before I stole borrowed the deck's idea from him :)
The idea was to have GSZ work as a turn-1 Elf via Dryad Arbor, or even fetching a Singleton Overgrown Battlement later.

I think GSZ is much better by mihahitlor at Sat, 02/20/2016 - 04:37
mihahitlor's picture

I think GSZ is much better for this deck, because with it, you can get both early ramp (dryad arbor on turn 1, and consistently singleton overgrown battlement on turn 3 (or, another idea, Rofellos, if you only play forests) and early fodder for natural order, as well as almost all of the big creatures later in the game. Chord of Calling is a late game card, and the instant speed is not really relevant in this deck, especially because people don't play Counterspells. So the early game flexibility >>>>> ability to fetch Massacre Wurm later on.

"Do people love Bringers so much?" by Generalissimo at Sat, 02/20/2016 - 06:05
Generalissimo's picture

I guess it's because they're a goofy, obscure tribe but with an obvious direction to build the deck that seems like it might be decently powerful. I don't actually think my deck is any good though, the reason I played it was because I was feeling very ill and I just wanted something incredibly simple to play that had a decent chance to win the Underdog prize; I wasn't really expecting to win any matches with it.