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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 16 2018 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. Show and Tell
  4. Announcements
  5. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 Did you hear of Game Night? It's a new introductory-level box set that releases today in the paper world. It's composed by five decks, one per each color. Nothing too fancy, except there's five exclusive cards in there, all creatures. Will we see them online? Do we care? Before deciding, let's find out what they are.



 First thing that catches the eye is that they're sort of mismatched. White and blue get their iconic creature type, Angel and Sphinx. But then black and red get their iconic race, instead, Zombie and Goblin. And the green one is neither Elf nor Hydra or Wurm – it's Elemental. And there's Mutant and Avatar as well, which might be the most affected tribes. These five guys all share a mechanic based on the number of opponent you're facing, because Game Night is devised as a multiplayer experience. How do they fare in one versus one?

 Militant Angel: Her ability is sort of raid, and in 1v1 it's only bound to create no more than a single 2/2 vigilant Knight, which is still not too bad a deal. Attack then cast a five mana creature is a reasonable enough scenario, though it makes her a bad topdeck. For the rest, we get lifelink, which is good, but the power is below the curve. I'd rate her good, even if I don't think she could really compete with most of the better five-drop Angels, like Baneslayer Angel or the essentially strictly better (at least in 1v1) Archangel of Thune.

 Inspired Sphix: Even if the creation of Thopters four mana apiece is alluring enough, seven mana to draw one card is pretty underwhelming. Three would be better, but it's what Sphinx of Lost Truths already does for the same cost if you pay the kicker.

 Rot Hulk: This one also appears to be sort of crippled by having just one opponent, becoming an overcosted, less versatile Phyrexian Delver. Still, it's one reanimator spell for two creatures, and a 5/5 menace is not a negligible presence on the battlefield, so I'd rate it good nonetheless.

 Goblin Goliath: Only one 1/1 token and a vanilla body for six mana is a worse deal than the Angel. Doubling all damage is game-threatening, but you need to spend more mana and tap the Goliath, which is clunky. I'd say it's the least appealing card in the cycle.

 Avatar of Growth: So you basically pay five for a 4/4 trampler with a group hug ramp effect. Probably worth it in multiplayer if you pay three while knowing you'll exploit the ramp for some more explosive play the turn after.


  • Event Number: 8.44, Week 409 BE
  • Date: November 10
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Standard
  • Winner: Nagarjuna with Soldier
  • Runner-up: lovetapsmtg with Soldier
  • 1 Loss: JackSlagel with Vampire, brian1234 with Dinosaur, AJ_Impy with Angel
  • Tribes: Angel, Artificer (x2), Dinosaur, Soldier (x2), Vampire (x3)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, Soldiers are good in Standard right now, that much is certain. Nagarjuna gave them the Boros treatment (an extremely common choice this time around, as 4 of the top 5 decks were Boros-colored), with excellent results. Heroic Reinforcements is such a great card.


 Runner-up lovetapsmtg had a very similar builds, with some key differences. Turns out Benalish Marshal is more crucial in a mirror than the meta-call of Tocatli Honor Guard. Also, History of Benalia wins in sheer efficiency over Radiant Destiny, though this is more debatable.


 Two of the protagonists of Soldier lists, Adanto Vanguard and Skymarcher Aspirant, are also Vampires, so it comes to no surprise that the bloodsuckers still have a good lineup post-rotation, like JackSlagel demonstrated here. They're an Ixalan tribe, after all. In fact, it's more surprising that Merfolk was nowhere to be seen in this tournament.


 There was Dinosaur, though. The build by brian1234 might be exceedingly budget-oriented, but it got the job of ending in the money done.


 And so did AJ_Impy's Angels, which profit from a particularly powerful lineup right now.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of November 16, 2018):

  • Nagarjuna's Soldiers: $59.35
  • lovetapsmtg's Soldiers: $11.95
  • JackSlagel's Vampires: $25.64
  • brian1234's Dinosaurs: $10.65
  • AJ_Impy's Angels: $92.69

 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.


 Generalissimo and I were playing the weird Artificer concoction you will read about in our next Building Lab article, to be released next week. Nagarjuna will have some comments about those decks, too. In the meantime, here's his Soldier debriefing.

 NAGARJUNA: Boros Soldier is a very simple and aggressive deck; even so, I chose to play a not-too-fast version with less one-drops. Not sure about the correct number of Legion Warbosses. History of Benalia and Benalish Marshal are so good I played them "off-tribe" over cards like Radiant Destiny, Militia Bugler and Leonin Warleader. Mentor of the Meek seemed much better than the Bugler here. (Heroic Reinforcements) is awesome with some dudes on the board. I would like to play a third copy of Tajic, Legion's Edge; maybe in place of a Warboss? Anyway, I went 3-0 and faced a Soldier mirror in the final. My opponent, lovetapsmtg, played the more aggressive version, so I tried to stabilize and ultimately took it home in a very close match.



 Just to remind you of a few things:

 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 no eligible tribe for the award.

 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. Already cleared: Atog, Crocodile, Homarid, Jackal, Leech, Manticore, Metathran, Moonfolk, Octopus, Ox, Processor, Siren, Slith.

 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).


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

  • 8.45 (Week 410 BE), on November 17: Modern
  • 8.46 (Week 411 BE), on November 24: Legacy
  • 8.47 (Week 412 BE), on December 1: Underdog
  • 8.48 (Week 413 BE), on December 8: Standard

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar

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