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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Dec 28 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

 So, tomorrow it's Vintage Tribal Wars! Are you ready? Did you check the ban list? Did you buy a Sol Ring for the occasion? If you did, maybe it's better if you check the ban list again!

 Also, I didn't create the 2019 calendar yet, but you'll find January at the end of this article, just to remind you that on January 12 we'll have the Invitational between the 16 highest-ranked players of 2018. It replaces Standard, so that when we'll play Standard again in February, we'll have Ravnica Allegiance in the mix.


  • Event Number: 8.50, Week 415 BE
  • Date: December 22
  • Attendance: 13
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: Nagarjuna with Eldrazi
  • 1 Loss: AJ_Impy with Construct, Generalissimo with Knight, Bandit Keith with Warrior, lovetapsmtg with Monger, Deonmag with Scarecrow, CruelHellraiser with Golem
  • Underdog Prize: lovetapsmtg with Monger
  • Tribes: Construct, Dragon, Eldrazi, Goblin, Golem, Human (x2), Knight, Kobold (x2), Monger, Scarecrow, Warrior
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 With only one event left in the season, the battle for the leaderboard is still in full swing! Last week, Nagarjuna took back the lead position and is now ahead of AJ_Impy again, if by only 3 points, 215 to 212. Vintage will be the final battlefield, and Eldrazi is locked out for both of them! But it sure wasn't so far for Naga, who used this mighty list to crush everyone else in the latest Legacy event. Looks like the colorless monstrosities might still be overpowered, even with Eye of Ugin gone.


 AJ_Impy answered with another colorless Cloudpost deck that was somewhat similar, but with Construct as a tribe. Still enough to be the first of the runner-ups.


 The final Cloudpost deck we're gonna mention (all featured the very popular, very powerful, very cheap to acquire Ugin, the Spirit Dragon) was also the strangest: Monger, by sleek repopulation operator lovetapsmtg. I guess all those Mongers are mana-hungry. It's still not particularly clear what the heck a Monger is. Luckily, they're probably a full 10 on the Beeble Scale.


 Generalissimo chose to be annoying this week (more than usual) playing a mass land destruction deck with Knights. He'll tell you everything about it in his video.


 As for me, I didn't really get to play my Legendary Human deck, as I'll explain below, but here it is nonetheless. It'll be back one day.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of December 28, 2018):

  • Nagarjuna's Eldrazi: $155.74
  • AJ_Impy's Constructs: $171.54
  • lovetapsmtg's Mongers: $25.87
  • Generalissimo's Knights: $49.21
  • Kumagoro's Humans: $31.08

 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.


 Here's what happened with those Knights.

 NAGARJUNA: Ah, Armageddon! I used to play an Erhnamgeddon deck back in 1995 with White Knight, Erhnam Djinn and Serra Angel. Good times!

 KUMAGORO: I used to play Terrageddon, but nobody remembers the Knight of the Reliquary precursor, Terravore, anymore.


 NAGARJUNA: AJ does! Land Tax was always great in those kind of decks.

 GENERALISSIMO: I forgot Land Tax was a card. Never mind, I just checked the price and am now forgetting it's a card again.

 KUMAGORO: Generalissimo, after watching the video, I'm hating you fiercely. Against me, you've fired Armageddon regularly on turn three or four, and then in the following FIVE games, you drew an Armageddon effect only ONCE, and in late game? Had you drawn against me the way you did in any of those other games, at least I could have shown you what the deck was supposed to do (which is a typical problem with the kind of deck that doesn't let the opponent play: the victories that follow the battleplan are never too interesting to rewatch. In fact, your best games are those vs. Bandit Keith's Warriors, where your deck played just like a regular Knight build).


 As for my deck, I should postpone any comment because I didn't really play it. After the two games with Mr. Armageddon, I got a bye in round 2, and then I opted to drop in order to leave the number of players even for round 3. Anyway, it was a complex Legendary Human deck, probably needing more work. It tried to be able to cast Yawgmoth's Vile Offering, and it reanimated things with Loyal Retainers (despite the weird frame, I love the Amonkhet Invocations art!), and there's this combo I stumbled upon while building with Ravos, Soultender recurring Retainers or Overeager Apprentice every turn. It has to be revisited.


 NAGARJUNA: In Generalissimo's deck, I'm not a fan of the four Mother of Runes. I would add two Brave the Elements instead. The surprise effect is huge for me. With indestructibility from Knight Exemplar and regeneration from Knight of the Holy Nimbus, why not play one or two Day of Judgment?


 KUMAGORO: Day of Judgment would also be thematically perfect! I have one for you, Naga. Why Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre? Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger seems better to me.

 NAGARJUNA: I prefer the Gyre, because it goes only for permanents. The mix of exiling permanents and the library amounts to two different strategies for me.


 KUMAGORO: It's not really a strategy with the Hunger, it just means he has to attack about twice and there's no easy way out, whereas a deck with a ton of tokens or lands can just chump-block Gyre. But most of all, Hunger is cheaper and exiles two instead of destroying one. Dealing with the two most important permanents immediately, no counterspell admitted, beats having them choose and sacrifice four permanents one turn later. Of course, in both cases it's hard to come back, but I'd just go with the more devastation sooner.

 NAGARJUNA: By the second turn, the Gyre has killed five permanents while the Hunger still only two permanents and twenty cards from the library. Sure, against tokens it's worth it, but I like the Gyre better more often.

 KUMAGORO: Looks like Generalissimo is not available while we're wrapping this up. I guess he can fill out the blanks later in the comments. I was wondering if Knight of the White Orchid might have a place in the Knightgeddon deck. I'm not sure of it myself, because it basically only triggers when you're on the draw, and I don't think it's very relevant to ramp before the Armageddon anyway. And afterwards, it's not that likely to trigger, unless the opponent is coming back, which isn't something you want to happen. Still, it's a two-mana Knight with a land-related ability, and defends well.


 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, Monger, Nightstalker, Orgg, Ouphe, Rabbit, Salamander. Already cleared: Atog, Crocodile, Homarid, Jackal, Leech, Licid, 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):

  • 8.51 (Week 416 BE), on December 29: Vintage
  • 9.01 (Week 417 BE), on January 5: Underdog
  • Special (Week 418 BE), on January 12: Invitational
  • 9.02 (Week 419 BE), on January 19: Modern
  • 9.03 (Week 420 BE), on January 26: Legacy

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.


Forgot to announce: Ashen by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 12/28/2018 - 23:00
Kumagoro42's picture

Forgot to announce: Ashen Rider and Angel of Despair are now restricted to their tribe, in all formats. I was going to do it since a while, and it seemed important to make sure they won't be abused off-tribe in Vintage.

Meteor Golem worth adding to by AJ_Impy at Sun, 12/30/2018 - 17:48
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Meteor Golem worth adding to the list or should we let it be until someone remembers it?

I think the Golem's fine, its by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 01/03/2019 - 11:02
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I think the Golem's fine, its body is very underwhelming and it can't hit lands. Acidic Slime makes for a better recursion target in my opinion.

Fetchland MonoChrom Arguement by lowman02 at Wed, 01/16/2019 - 12:24
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Hey Kuma,

Sorry to put this comment here, think on the article I wanted to comment, I had to log onto FB...I fortunately or unfortunately don't do the FB.

Wanted to leave a note on a debate that you and Gen had in regards to fetch land inclusion in mono-chromatic lists:

Heya Kuma, wanted to chime in on the merits or lack there of fetch lands in mono-chromatic decks. The more aggressive a deck is the more merit there is to running fetch lands...I tend to be a huge proponent for running fetch lands in highly aggressive monochromatic decks given a good understanding of a meta-game, but from a slightly different perspective. I actually think the thinning argument is a poor one in general as it looks like you and Gen came to agreement on...I actually think it comes down to enriching the deck! The point in time in which most games (especially involving short games with aggro...because in these decks your nut doesn't involve going long) involve the highest variance is during the opening seven...fetch lands allow you to actually cheat on land count in your aggressive decks...you can play more land in general (maybe only 3 more than a non-fetch land variant), which at 60 cards highly increases your possible draws of assured mana development on an opening 7 card hand (ie more keepables) while over the course of the first 3 draw steps playing similar to the same deck with 3 less lands (this is where the very marginal gain of thinning comes in). So, the question you have to ask yourself is are you willing to assume less variance in the opening seven card hand to ensure that your deck has a much higher likelihood of functioning as intended for the trade-off of a shock or an LB with suspend 3 on it. I often find that the trade off in virtual advantage is worth it, at one point in the Sligh, RDW mirror it was proffered by David Price (once proclaimed the Beat Down King and such) that he gave his opponent the play in the mirror, to acquire the added advantage of one card in what he thought of as a card advantage fight where that one last card would serve to better suit him in best accomplishing the goal of the Philosophy of Fire...I don't think that's as true now-a-days, or rather it's not true in the same way, ie I don't want to give my opponent the play anymore because independent cards are too good, but if I can acquire a 3-4 card draw advantage over an opponent over a 3-5 turn game virtually through a different construction of my mana base (and understanding of the increased range of my keepable 7's) that better assures higher probability of expected development, then it's basically the same thing. The issue becomes the nut draw on the best aggro deck without fetch lands is still going to beat the nut on the fetch land deck, but the inclusion increases range of keepables and provides a lot of advantage during the highest probability moment of these sort of decks game life--ie making a keep or mull decision.

Don't know if it's still an open debate, but I think a lot of folks think it's solely about thinning, while I tend to look at that aspect of fetch lands as a probably relevant but marginal side-effect given the higher prob keepables they give you on openers. Take it easy dudes!

yeah I've had to turn off by JXClaytor at Wed, 01/16/2019 - 15:20
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yeah I've had to turn off normal commenting due to the influx of spam bots posting comments. We are working on a fix for that and hope to have it back on soon!

You forgot to turn it off on by Cheater Hater at Fri, 01/18/2019 - 00:08
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You forgot to turn it off on the most recent article ;)

I have been testing it to see by JXClaytor at Fri, 01/18/2019 - 04:18
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I have been testing it to see if they were gone.

I don't know how spam bots work, I guess. I thought maybe there was a logic behind them, like hey, this site stop letting us comment, let's move on.

I am not a smart man :/

This requires admin level by Paul Leicht at Fri, 01/18/2019 - 16:09
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This requires admin level work. Something we lack. :/

Ideally the bots would bannable by moderators (such as yourself) but that would require a lot of admin attention. There are blacklists and other techniques but the current system of captcha only works against human users (ironically).

i may turn comments back on by JXClaytor at Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:25
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i may turn comments back on next week, and just be prepared to delete them more often.