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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jun 22 2018 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

 [I'm writing down here the same thing I posted on the newsletter two days ago. Feel free to answer wherever you like better.]

 Tribal Apocalypse must change, will change. Players are not satisfied, power plays have become too oppressive, the overall format is losing its deeper meaning. After June 30, i.e. at the halfway point of the season, we'll change both the calendar for the rest of the year and the ban list for Legacy Tribal Wars (the subformat formerly known as "Regular"). Please let me know what you think of the proposed changes.


 Right now, we're doing it this way:

  • First week: Underdog
  • Second Week: Regular
  • Third Week: Pure or Modern
  • Fourth Week: Regular

 What I'm planning to do is to make Modern a fixed sub-format every month, at the expenses of Regular, which from now on will be just called Legacy. (You can read here my recent realization that Legacy as the main Tribal Wars format has been essentially a misinterpretation all along). So this could result in:

  • First week: Underdog
  • Second Week: Modern
  • Third Week: Pure
  • Fourth Week: Legacy

 But we will also have to see what the Standard Tribal Wars event scheduled for June 30 will tell us about that particular subformat. Standard has become more and more Tribal-friendly these latest years, and it could be interesting to have a Tribal version of the full sequence of DCI-sanctioned formats. Should "Standard, Modern, Legacy" become part of the fixed calendar, which one between Underdog and Pure is worth preserving?

 UNDERDOG: It's the oldest of our custom subformats, dating back to the first season of the Blippian Era. It's designed to force the players to try less common tribes, but eight years later, what it has actually accomplished is to create its own subset of power tribes (often a subset of major tribes from Regular events), while the more exotic tribes have the same chance of showing up in Underdog than they have on other types of events.

 PURE: Right now it's the format that avoids all the more degenerated power plays. My proposed reform of Regular into a more heavily nerfed Legacy Tribal Wars (see below) kind of makes this moot. If Pure and Legacy will use a similar, or downright the same ban list, then Pure becomes just a format where you can't use offtribe creatures (with some exceptions). Not sure if it's enough to still make it interesting. Especially since a bunch of major bogeymen like Griselbrand and Progenitus will still be restricted to their own tribes across all the subformats.

 Other possibilities of Rotation with Standard as the month opener:

  • a) Standard, Modern, Modern, Legacy. I like Modern as the new paradigm for Tribal Wars, because I've come to think that Tribal Wars should have the same kind of philosophy (no turn-3 win or earlier, etc.)
  • b) Standard, Modern, Legacy, Legacy.
  • c) Standard, Modern, Legacy, Classic. I like the idea to bring back Classic, because it was the original Tribal Wars format. It's basically Vintage without the Power 9. Or Legacy with Sol Ring and Survival of the Fittest


 To make it short, I'd like Legacy Tribal Wars to be a format that uses the Legacy pool but with Modern's approach to banning, i.e. no game should last less than 3 turns. This means banning most of what we currently ban from Pure, which is as follows (plus Swords and Batterskull, which I'm not sure it would still be necessary; maybe just Batterskull).

 Eye of Ugin will also certainly need banning to stop the current Eldrazi dominance. We should also keep in mind that current Regular/Legacy events ban specific cards for reasons that apply to some other cards, too. Like:




  • Event Number: 8.23, Week 388 BE
  • Date: June 16
  • Attendance: 10
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Pure
  • Winner: Yokai_ with Eldrazi
  • 1 Loss: Bandit Keith with Kithkin, Socanelas with Elf, Generalissimo with Monk, sheaj31 with Faerie
  • Underdog Prize: lovetapsmtg with Thalakos
  • Tribes: Angel, Cat, Eldrazi, Elf, Faerie, Horror, Kithkin, Monk, Scarecrow, Thalakos
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And here they are, Eldrazi being unstoppable, as illustrated by Yokai_'s list.


 Meanwhile, Generalissimo proposed a Monk deck very different than the usual Selesnya/Bant build with Rhox War Monk and Serra Ascendant. Nice shout out to TV's Monk, too.


 And this is the third Thalakos deck ever registered in Tribal Apocalypse, of course courtesy of lovetapsmtg, proving that these crazy obscure tribes aren't a prerogative of Underdog events.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of June 22, 2018):

  • Yokai_'s Eldrazi: $388.17
  • Generalissimo's Monks: $33.65
  • lovetapsmtg's Thalakos: $2.41

 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. kokonade1000's Berserkers, $2.95, 2nd place on Event 354
  6. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  7. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  8. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  9. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145
  10. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $4.12, 2nd place on Event 141

 The Top 5 Cheapest Non-Goblin 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. JogandoPelado's Berserkers, $2.80, 1st place on Event 248
  4. kokonade1000's Berserkers, $2.95, 2nd place on Event 354
  5. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201

 NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85.


 Just to remind you of a few things:

 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 New Kids on the Block Award: When a new tribe is introduced in the game, or reaches enough members to be played as a proper tribe (i.e. at least 3 members, so you can build a deck that features 4 copies of each plus 8 Changeling creatures), the first player to score a match win with it will get a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. You'll need a hard win, not a BYE or a win by no-show of your opponent. The tribes currently eligible for the award are Camel and Hippo.

 The Repopulation Award: Some tribes get played only once (to get the New Kids on the Block Award) and then forgotten. Never again! Register one of the following tribes three times in different events, then play all rounds of those events with them, and you'll get a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. The list of these tribes, established May 5, 2017, is as follows: Antelope, Goat, Homarid, Incarnation, Licid, Monger, Nightstalker, Orgg, Ouphe, Rabbit, Salamander, Slith. Already cleared: Atog, Crocodile, Jackal, Leech, Manticore, Metathran, Moonfolk, Octopus, Ox, Processor, Siren.

 The Hamtastic Award: The Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg rewards each player who registers 10 different tribes (except Human, Elf and Goblin) during the year with a 3-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. You can go on and win the prize multiple times in the year, but you need to keep playing different tribes! (So if you manage to register 50 different tribes in one season, you can get up to 15 tix!)

 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):

  • 8.24 (Week 389 BE), on June 23: Regular
  • 8.25 (Week 390 BE), on June 30: Standard
  • 8.26 (Week 391 BE), on July 7: Underdog
  • 8.27 (Week 392 BE), on July 14: Regular

Check out all the rules for the sub-formats!

Check out the full Tribal Calendar for 2018!



If you're getting rid of Show by AJ_Impy at Fri, 06/22/2018 - 12:14
AJ_Impy's picture

If you're getting rid of Show and Tell/reanimate effects that put from graveyard or hand to the battlefield, you should probably also get rid of the most egregious library to battlefield effects such as Natural Order and the modern-banned Green Sun's Zenith for much the same reason.

Not even the same sport. Show by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 06/23/2018 - 03:44
Kumagoro42's picture

Not even the same sport. Show and Tell doesn't require anything else other than Show and Tell and a target in hand. Easily done on turn 2. There's no color requirement, no additional resource on the battlefield needed, no sacrifice involved, no conditions for the target. In fact, Show and Tell is used to cheat Omniscience into play. That's a whole other power play there. Can't really compare that to spending 4 mana + one creature of specific colors to fetch specific targets only, the most egregious of which aren't even legal if not in decks that won't be able to exploit them. Most importantly, how often Natural Order decks win on turn 1-3 the way S&T and reanimator do? Let's compare statistics.

Green Sun's Zenith is just a tutor. It helps the deck to perform efficiently, but it doesn't end the game right there, no more than cards like Summoner's Pact do. You still need a way to pay for the casting cost. And if we talk ramp, inherently ramp-based tribes like Elf still ramp better than GSZ ever allows. If we prevent tribes like Plant to ramp with GSZ, this would just push more players into Elf ramp or Cloudpost ramp.
As I've said many times, certain tools are meant to help lesser tribes (e.g. Plant, Insect) to have a fighting chance against tribes that would still be super-powerful without those tools. But those tools need conditions, are linked to certain tribes and colors. Dropping random fatties from your hand or graveyard onto the battlefield, it's just generic. And it can still be done, only not in the early turns (cfr. Recurring Nightmare, Gifts Ungiven+Unburial Rites, Dream Halls: all healthier, still very powerful versions of the same strategies).

Since apparently only by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 06/23/2018 - 14:57
Kumagoro42's picture

Since apparently only white-listed people can post comments here, please go to the newsletter directly from this page and post your thoughts there, like a few players already did.