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By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
Sep 19 2016 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

 Two things we left hanging and we're going to decide now (it'll be Monday when this'll be up and a new event will be already behind us, sorry about that). The first is about Dark Depths, which in the last installment, I proposed to get rid of due to, essentially, giving a too powerful, too tempting non-tribal endgame strategy to any deck (thanks a lot, Thespian's Stage. All against putting it to rest next to Hypergenesis speak now or forever hold your peace.

 Then, all in favor for trying out Modern Tribal Wars, say, November 19 (in place of a Pure event)? If we're satisfied, we can still do a second trial in December 17, and if we're even more satisfied, we can put it on rotation for 2017. (And actually, I've already put the first Modern event in calendar for November 19, Event 307, so the "all in favor" part was a rhetorical question).


  • Event Number: 6.36, Week 297 BE
  • Date: September 10
  • Attendance: 15
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Regular
  • Winner: morpphling (Human)
  • Other undefeated: Yokai_ (Shaman)
  • 1 Loss: TinyTim123 (Human), AJ_Impy (Knight), ML_Berlin (Human), totalhate (Wall), Michelle_Wong (Kor), Generalissimo (Myr)
  • Underdog Prize: Generalissimo (Myr)
  • Tribes: Centaur, Human (x6), Knight, Kor, Merfolk, Myr, Shaman, Spirit, Wall, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And that's Human taking their 13th win of the year. This is unprecedented, almost twice the average number of first places for Human in the past 5 years, and the season isn't even ended yet. Do we need to do something about that or it doesn't bother you much? I guess, as already stated in the past, Human comes in a multitude of different forms. This one is morpphling's WW choice, for instance.


 And actually, runner-up player Yokai_ willingly forfeited the chance to give Shaman the throne for the week by playing the final playoff with this mihahitlor-esque build. It could have been done!


 It's been a bit since the last time I featured a list from master tribal builder AJ_Impy, and there's his flying Knights.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of September 17, 2016):

 The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated

  1. mihahitlor's Warriors, $1.95, 1st place on Event 233
  2. morpphling's Vampires, $2.25, 1st place on Event 285
  3. morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
  4. JogandoPelado's Berserkers, $2.80, 1st place on Event 248
  5. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  6. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  7. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  8. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  9. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141
  10. Gq1rf7's Assassins, $4.18, 1st place on Event 147

 NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85. A separate non-Goblin Top 10 is in preparation. 


 Just to remind you of a few things:

 The Ishkanah Prize: The first player to win a match with a Spider deck by activating Ishkanah's lifedraining ability for a lethal strike of at least 4 damage, will get a 2-tix credit certificate from MTGO Traders. Spider lovers, or simply ticket lovers, start building!

 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 certificate from MTGO Traders. 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 2016. The quarter will end September 24. 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, 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.

 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):

  • 6.37 (Week 298 BE), on September 17: Pure
  • 6.38 (Week 299 BE), on September 24: Regular
  • 6.39 (Week 300 BE), on October 1: Underdog
  • 6.40 (Week 301 BE), on October 8: Regular

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2016!



I don't mind banning Dark by mihahitlor at Mon, 09/19/2016 - 12:18
mihahitlor's picture

I don't mind banning Dark Depths - it is indeed very powerful - though I disagree with the statement that it gives "a too powerful, too tempting non-tribal endgame strategy to any deck". Dark Depths/Thespian stage combo is definitely not suitable for any deck (as evidenced by real Legacy where it sees play only in dedicated builds that can support it). For example, it is a very good target for Primeval Titan, it's powerful with Vampire Hexmage, it can work in specific slower decks that center around assembling certain mana base and thus have cards that search for lands, but I would guess about 90% of the Tribal decks are not the right fit.

But as said, it is powerful enough in appropriate builds that I won't disagree with it's ban.

I'd like to keep it around. by Bazaar of Baghdad at Mon, 09/19/2016 - 14:30
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

I'd like to keep it around. Granted, I'm perhaps biased. It's being reprinted soon, so that increased access might help data. Miha will probably admit that in Titan games it's usually win-more anyways as Titan was already doing its thing. Dark Depths combo is a check to some decks/strategies and its removal wouldn't necessarily help control much as Control has more prevalent matters to worry about. StP keeps DD combo largely under wraps. It has already been Purified, and I wouldn't holler against an Underdog ban, but I think it should stay in Regular. Unlike some other combos, it at least uses the attack step.

Unless you fling it :p by Paul Leicht at Mon, 09/19/2016 - 15:22
Paul Leicht's picture

Unless you fling it :p

Thinking about it, you are by mihahitlor at Mon, 09/19/2016 - 16:39
mihahitlor's picture

Thinking about it, you are right about the card being mostly win more with Titan. First off, Titan predominantly enters the play via Natural Order or GSZ, so just this initial play (Natural Order or GSZ for 6) will win you the game most of the time regardless which high-mana threat you fetch. And secondly, it is true that Primeval Titan into whatever 2 lands is such a powerful play that your opp will lose almost always unless you are behind a lot (and then you don't fetch the Titan, but a creature that stabilizes the situation, like Pelakka Wurm or Hornet Queen). So yeah, I think the percentage of games won by the sole virtue of Dark Depths+Thespian Stage fetch instead of 2 other good lands is not high, but it still warrants the inclusion in the Titan decks.

In other decks, you have to actually assemble the combo by searching for both lands, which is kind of clunky.

It's also true that SotP and Path to Exile are relatively widely played answers (as opposed to some other combos that don't have good answers in Tribal).

I don't know, I still wouldn't protest the ban, but thinking about it more, I also think the ban is not really needed.

I don't think this analysis by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 18:28
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

I don't think this analysis is correct. It's not win-more with Primeval Titan, it's win-period (or very close to it). While other land combinations don't guarantee much, with Dark Depths+Thespian's Stage the result is: you either have a removal RIGHT NOW, or it's game over. And if you do have that removal, then the Titan will still be there (potentially fetching the combo again, if you have multiple instances in the deck). So that's NO actually fetching TWO big scary creatures.

Whereas, sure, once you have Natural Order-ed something worth of it, you're typically ahead. But I've been using NO since the beginning of Tribal Apocalypse, and the times when you still can't win after resolving it aren't few. Even Progenitus makes for a slower clock than Dark Depths, and we banned Progenitus outside of its tribes, so that should be already rationale enough to reconsider Dark Depths' presence.

And the point in my "too easy" line was: let's use NO in ways that are powerful but not 99% wins. Let's fetch Dragonlord Atarka or what have you. The opponent will be worried but won't feel like you just pushed the "I win" button. In NO decks, Dark Depths+Thespian's Stage becomes the go-to, and that to me removes a lot of variance and fun, turning it into a combo where it always happens the same thing over and over again both for the player and the opponent.

Reading this, I can't help by AJ_Impy at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 19:37
AJ_Impy's picture

Reading this, I can't help but ask, Is Dark Depths the problem here, or Natural Order?

Even with what Kuma said, I by Paul Leicht at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 23:47
Paul Leicht's picture

Even with what Kuma said, I would lean toward NO being the bigger issue. But the problem with that is, once you remove NO from the equation you will still have many other ways to cheat the combo into play. The question really comes down to this: What is the acceptable level of broken? What is too stupid to allow? Which cards enable the unacceptable and stupid? Ban those cards. I still like your idea of banning Dark Depths to Avatars only.

This is a bad by Bazaar of Baghdad at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 23:03
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

This is a bad mischaracterization. Titan into Dark Depths is NOT win right now. It is win 2 turns from now. At the end of your next turn you can activate it, and the following turn you can attack - in an ideal world - for lethal. Yes, it's also win-more since your chances of winning without the combo are already high (Titan, Dragonlord, Wurm, etc.). Miha thinks it's worthwhile to include the lone copies of each land, despite them causing potential mulligans on otherwise keepable hands. It strikes me as a close call overall, but I think Miha's ultimately right, that it's worth the risk. Ask Miha how many games he won on the back of the DD combo alone though - I doubt it's very high. If Titan into DD is 99% as you say (too high?), Titan into the X+trample land is likely very close behind.

Also, there are very playable answers in StP, Repeal, and Wasteland, even weird stuff like Bitterblossom. I agree with AJ, NO is your bigger problem (by far).

It's not win-period, far from by mihahitlor at Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:44
mihahitlor's picture

It's not win-period, far from it. If that was the case, I would fetch Primeval Titan every time I use Natural Order (and wouldn't even bother with other targets), but that is not the case. There are lot's of situations when I can't wait to risk 2 turns to *possibly* strike for lethal. Now, whenever I decide to fetch Primeval Titan into Dark Depths, I almost always win as a result of that. But I think in those situations (relatively stable board state, not behind a lot), Titan into any 2 good lands creates such an advantage that the win percentage without DD wouldn't be much different (that's talking about this particular kind of deck, where excess mana is very important and usable).

There are other situations where Atarka is basically 100% win, or Hornet Queen, or Woodfall Primus is basically 100% win. And, yeah, there are situations where nothing will really help you. I usually go for Primeval Titan, because I am often in good enough shape that I can afford it, and that would be my choice even if DD was banned.

Now, let me repeat that I don't really object to banning Dark Depths. I can appreciate your point about perception players might have about it, especially if it becomes more prominent. Natural Order is powerful enough, but when it follows by another combo it might piss off the opponent too much. Still, I believe that whenever I decide to go for Primeval Titan, I would have a very similiar win percentage with other lands.

I think the increased access by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 18:31
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

I think the increased access will only result in a lot of headaches for everyone. As we've seen, miha's deck is already being copy-pasted, and that's a good indicator of something passing from "rarely seen enough not to worry about it" to "people will start gathering with torches and pitchforks".

What are the strategies that DD+TS keeps in check and other NO options wouldn't?

"What are the strategies that by Bazaar of Baghdad at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 23:11
Bazaar of Baghdad's picture

"What are the strategies that DD+TS keeps in check and other NO options wouldn't?"

That's the wrong question. The right question is what are the strategies that DD+TS keeps in check that wouldn't have to worry if the combo didn't exist. One is overreliance on Moat and Wrath effects. Another is keeping a Force of Will deck impotent. Another is forcing mono-red (or even Elves) to ask itself if it's fast enough since it can't stop the Avatar with normal options (though those decks should play more Wastelands). If it thinks it can't handle DD, playing mono-red is purely a metagame strategy, then, and not a, per se, Tier-1 choice.

The combo definitely makes other decks second-guess themselves (or should) and that is a good thing.

Dark Depths also goes into by AJ_Impy at Mon, 09/19/2016 - 18:24
AJ_Impy's picture

Dark Depths also goes into Cloudpost Ramp, because they can run Thespian's Stage for value anyway, and usually have expedition maps to tutor it. I'm fine with it being taken off the table, or if you want to be clever, restrict it to its relevant tribe. Good luck cheating it out in Avatar.

Unfortunately, a land doesn't by Tribal Apocalypse at Thu, 09/22/2016 - 18:26
Tribal Apocalypse's picture

Unfortunately, a land doesn't have the types of the token it creates. :)