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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Oct 12 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. Show and Tell
  4. Announcements
  5. What's Next

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


THOUGHTS OF A TRIBAL HOST
by Kumagoro

 Hear ye, hear ye! The Treasure Chests (flawed) supplying system in the end delivered to MTGO some more precious Battlebond content. Which, among other things, means: habemus Azra!

  

  

 Now that all six Azras are online, they're playable as a tribe, most notably in Underdog events, and they're also eligible as New Kids on the Block. Awkwardly, half of them have a "Warriors matter" mechanic, but luckily they're all Warriors themselves, with just one exception. In two cases they fetch and are fetched by off-tribe creatures (also Warriors), though in completely different colors, so you decide what to do with this option.

 

 They don't seem great or anything, but they're entirely comprised of supplemental product material, and that generally doesn't include filler, so at least there's no sad vanilla stuff here. Happy brewing with the greedy half-demons of Kylem!


LAST WEEK ON TRIBAL APOCALYPSE...

  • Event Number: 8.39, Week 404 BE
  • Date: October 6
  • Attendance: 13
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: -DiamondDust- with Kor
  • Runner-up: Generalissimo with Boar
  • 1 Loss: _Kumagoro_ with Dryad, Deonmag with Scarecrow, Bandit Keith with Berserker, Nagarjuna with God, JackSlagel with Kor
  • Underdog Prize: Generalissimo with Boar
  • Tribes: Berserker, Boar, Djinn, Dryad, God, Kor (x2), Rat (x2), Satyr, Scarecrow (x2), Specter, Wolf
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Finally (though I'm not actually sure it's the first time to happen), -DiamondDust- proved that Kor don't actually need any power combo (Cephalid Illusionist, Quest for the Holy Relic) to turn into a force to be reckoned with. Provided the opponents don't have a way to get rid of their workmanlike, not too fancy, extremely effective equipments.

 

 But let's talk Boar (oink!). Except we'll talk about them at length with their breeder Generalissimo on this week's Show and Tell below. Also, don't miss the first installment of Generalissimo and Kumaboro's Building Lab, debuting with our essay on Humans as Vampire food.

 

 On Show and Tell we're going to talk of my Dryads, too, and the unsuspected, excellent lineup they ended up with this year after the additions from Battlebond and Guilds of Ravnica.

 

 Nagarjuna was going to join our discussion as well, but unfortunately real life got in the way. As a bit of consolation, here's his God list that did well enough while featuring only deities from Amonkhet (the name of the deck refers to the fact that we previously discussed a similar build, but was supposed to have Nylea in it, hence the green ramp via permanents).


THE HIGH PRICE OF WINNING

  

 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of October 12, 2018):

  • -DiamondDust-'s Kor: $5.82
  • Generalissimo's Boars: $18.41
  • _Kumagoro_'s Dryads: $70.66
  • Nagarjuna's Gods: $109.93

 The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated

  1. SirFalcon2008's Goblins, $1.54, 1st place on Event 289
  2. mihahitlor's Warriors, $1.95, 1st place on Event 233
  3. morpphling's Vampires, $2.25, 1st place on Event 285
  4. morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
  5. JogandoPelado's Berserkers, $2.80, 1st place on Event 248
  6. kokonade1000's Berserkers, $2.95, 2nd place on Event 354
  7. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  8. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  9. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169
  10. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.70, 1st place on Event 145

 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.


SHOW AND TELL

 First of all, here's Generalissimo's porky feat fully documented.

 And now, some words about the trampling swines and the more graceful Dryads.

 GENERALISSIMO: My deck is that incredibly well-known archetype, Living Pigs. It uses the self-sacrificing and self-discarding Boars, plus a little bit of looting, to stock the graveyard with creatures, then completely 180s the game state with a Living Death. Brindle Boar, Gristleback and Brindle Shoat (as well as the off-tribe Sakura-Tribe Elder and Insolent Neonate) do an admirable job of slowing the early game down long enough to get to the necessary five mana; then Krosan Tusker, Archetype of Endurance, Decimator of the Provinces and Zhur-Taa Swine provide the post-Living Death beef (err... I mean pork) to actually finish the game.

   

 The deck performed exceedingly well, although, admittedly, it didn't have to face the really bad matchups, which would be anything with countermagic but in particular aggro-control decks that can apply pressure and then counter a stabilising Living Death; and also opposing combo decks, since the only disruption in the deck is the Living Death, which is usually way too slow and way too sorcery-speed to break up combos. The lifegain Boars really shone against Bandit Keith's Berserkers, which would otherwise probably be a pretty bad matchup since I'd likely be low enough on life to just die to some post-Living Death burn. Golden_Lin's Rats proved somewhat more difficult because they could disrupt my ability to actually cast a Living Death, but there's kind of a limit to how effective a discard strategy can be against a deck that wants its creatures in the 'yard, and as long as I was able to get to five mana, a top-decked Living Death would most likely win the game. Then there was that lunatic playing Dryads of all things, which was surprisingly difficult to beat but enough Living Deaths plus a well-timed Decimator of the Provinces managed it. And finally -DiamondDust-'s Kor were able to put a stop to the Boars' rampage, more specifically with the pairing of Armament Master and Captain's Claws, which was able to output a huge amount of damage in just one or two turns and and really run me over.

 KUMAGORO: Yeah, why would somebody ever want to play with elegant female forest spirits when they can play with crude, smelly, hairy pigs?

 GENERALISSIMO: Crude, smelly, hairy, medal-winning pigs!

 KUMAGORO: All right, I decided to play Dryad at the last minute, because I didn't really feel like playing any of my previous Underdog decks, and I had just realized two of the cards from the GRN Selesnya decks running around these days are Dryads. And upon researching them, I found out several other recent Dryads that felt strong. I didn't have time to put together anything coherent, so I just threw all of them together and added Swords to Plowshares for interaction and Green Sun's Zenith for consistency, ending up with a surprisingly effective 30-creature deck.

  

 Both Trostani, Selesnya's Voice and newcomer Trostani Discordant are great. They provide life and tokens, boost the team, hold the fort. Battlebond's Bramble Sovereign (thanks, Treasure Chests!) is the real spearhead, though; she's the Dryad with the highest power and her cloning can spiral out of control fast. During a game, I copied a Sovereign with another one already on the battlefield, and the next turn I ended up dropping a Dryad Arbor and copying her three times. Which is why this setup also needs cheap Dryads to copy. There's the mentioned land creature, of course, but also Dryad Militant, which is an offensive one-drop with an ability that may occasionally prove relevant, and Gnarlwood Dryad, which is more defensive as the tribe's surrogate creature removal.

  

 Standard favorite Knight of Autumn is generally outstanding because of the various roles she can play, and stands smack in the middle of the curve. Thanks to her, I was able to overcome one of the two equipment-based Kor decks, JackSlagel's. Yavimaya Dryad is both ramp and a way to break stalling positions. With Trostani Discordant around, it's three unblockable damage per turn.

  

 I rounded out the list (sort of, since it was already way beyond the tribal quota) with a single Conclave Naturalists. In the video, you wonder why, since Knight of Autumn fulfills the same role and costs two fewer mana. But I wanted a fifth Dryad with a larger body to Zenith in once the legendary ones were already out. Plus I like the art. (I avoided Chorus of the Conclave, instead. That's really really bad for 8 mana).

   

 The mana base was somewhat important. I tried to ramp a little (those Sovereigns are mana-hungry) and to add more ways to fetch Dryad Arbor, so I ended up on Krosan Verge, but I'm not sure it's the right choice. I also feared to miss the double green/double white requirement of the older Trostani, so I added one Canopy Vista as a fifth fetchable dual, but then it was impossible to have it enter untapped with just four basics, so that was a mistake. I should add a second Karakas instead, because it interacts brilliantly with the Trostanis. At least one Gavony Township is a must in any Selesnya aggro deck, and Yavimaya Hollow, while not strictly necessary, is always welcome.
 I don't have a clue how to tweak the deck's numbers, and what it would need (maybe I should keep the high creature count and add Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, who I never find a good home for). Regardless, I'm amazed by how well the build actually performed. It even held its ground against your Living Death piggies, despite not being prepared at all to fight such a strategy. Had I won game two (and that Decimator of the Provinces was a very lucky topdeck, you must admit), I might have ended up winning the event, because those Kor felt really faceable.

 GENERALISSIMO: Yeah, I'll admit that when I saw you were playing Dryads, I thought I was in for an easy win; a medium speed, super creature-heavy deck, with no way to stop Living Death and even having lands that died to it seemed like the sort of thing that my pigs should have run right over, but it ended up way closer than I expected. In game two it took me two Living Deaths and the top-decked Decimator of the Provinces (which, yes, was very fortunate but I feel like I totally deserved it since I went through half my deck without finding a Living Death in game one) to finish you off.
 I've actually had a Dryad deck of my own on the back-burner for a while, although my design focuses a bit more on the token/populate element with Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage and some token-producing Garruks. My suggestion for your deck would be to add some Birds of Paradise; between Bramble Sovereign, Trostani, Selesnya's Voice, Green Sun's Zenith, Gavony Township and the Karakas/Trostani Discordant synergy, your deck has tons of ways to make use of the mana and it doesn't have much to do on turn two, so accelerating into a quick Knight of Autumn or Yavimaya Dryad seems like it would help smooth out the early game. Beyond that, I'm not really sure; Dryads certainly got a nice boost recently and I'm pretty eager to give them a go myself.

 KUMAGORO: Well, I do have four Birds of Paradise in the deck, they're called Green Sun's Zenith! (They only produce green, but accelerate in the same way). I half-assedly played a Dryad deck a bunch of years ago, and I remember it was seen as the deck where you could get away with playing only 16 creatures because the other 4 were lands. And now there's a ton of good Dryads competing for slots! I don't even think running more than one Dryad Arbor is correct anymore. And I left out a decent mana dork like Blossom Dryad and the little card advantage engine Dryad Greenseeker, which is seeing play in Standard.
 As for my suggestions regarding your Boars: I haven't got much. I'd just say Decimator earned itself a second slot. You won a lot of games thanks to its Craterhoof Behemoth impression, and the chances to draw into it could be improved with a second copy, probably in place of the self-discarding Gruul one that never seemed particularly useful.

 

 GENERALISSIMO: I'm not sure I agree. Yes, Decimator was good but there are also times where it's just needless overkill, and I'm wary of adding more Boars that need a Faithless Looting or Insolent Neonate to get into the graveyard. One feels just right; it's a tool I sometimes want access to, and something to dig to when necessary, but not something I ever really want to draw multiple copies of.
 Some things I didn't think to mention in the video debriefing but am considering for the deck now are: Fungal Reaches and/or Molten Slagheap to help ensure the deck can hit the crucial five mana for a Living Death, although they admittedly can also be super awkward; some kind of man-land package (Hissing Quagmire and/or Lavaclaw Reaches and/or Raging Ravine and/or Treetop Village), which could be useful in the situations where I have to fire off a Living Death just to wipe the board without much in the graveyard; and Living End as a replacement for All Hallow's Eve, which is slower and clunkier but does a better job of imitating Living Death (obviously). Though it's also more expensive and doesn't involve scream counters, so I'm not sure I'll do it.

 

 KUMAGORO: Well, if you'll actually replace All Hallow's Eve (but how could you turn down those SCREAM counters?), you might end up being the only person ever to play Living End as written!


ANNOUNCEMENTS

 Just to remind you of a few things:

 There's a new Standard Tribal Wars event in town! Every Sunday, 5 PM UTC (same as Tribal Apocalypse), same room, Nagarjuna is the host. Three rounds of Swiss, then two rounds of finals for the Top 4, with ticket prizes eventually assigned to them with the 3-2-1-1 distribution. A 1-tix door prize is also randomly awarded.

 The Underdog Prize: During any event of the regular rotation (but not necessarily 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.

 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. There's currently one tribe eligible for the award: Azra from Battlebond.

 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, Incarnation, Licid, Monger, Nightstalker, Orgg, Ouphe, Rabbit, Salamander, Slith. Already cleared: Atog, Crocodile, Homarid, 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.

 We're on Discord! Join us from here, chat about tribal things with other tribal players and arrange tribal games on MTGO all week long! (Or your can just keep using our Google Sheets bulletin board).


 WHAT'S NEXT

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

  • 8.40 (Week 405 BE), on October 13: Standard
  • 8.41 (Week 406 BE), on October 20: Modern
  • 8.42 (Week 407 BE), on October 27: Halloween Special
  • 8.43 (Week 408 BE), on November 3: Underdog

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar
SEE YOU ALL IN THE #TRIBAL ROOM!

Art disclaimers. Revel in Riches art by Eric Deschamps; Show and Tell art by Jeff Laubenstein; Herald of Anafenza art by Aaron Miller.