Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 04 2019 1:00pm

 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

 Another season has ended, and our final leader for 2018 is... the reigning Ultimate Tribal Champion, Nagarjuna! Congratulations!

 It had happened only once before, with mihahitlor (still the most successful player in the history of Tribal Apocalypse) winning the 2015 invitational and then the 2016 leaderboard. Now Naga will be able to go triplet by going as the first seed into the upcoming 2018 Invitational, to be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 (replacing this month's Standard event).

 Here's the list of the 16 players who qualified for the Invitational. All of them already won prizes just by showing up.

  1. Nagarjuna
  2. AJ_Impy
  3. Yokai_
  4. Deonmag
  5. Generalissimo
  6. Bandit Keith
  7. Socanelas
  8. _Kumagoro_
  9. BoozeMongoose
  10. lovetapsmtg
  11. TLR
  12. Golden_Lin
  13. totalhate
  14. CruelHellraiser
  15. JackSlagel
  16. -DiamondDust-

 If you're on this list, you'll receive or have received an invite via email; please confirm your presence, otherwise your place (and prize) will be taken by a reserve, in order of leaderboard (the higher-ranked players have priority on the lower-ranked). The next few players in the leaderboard, who have the better chances to replace one of the qualified, are:

  • Goblin_hero
  • sheaj31
  • SirFalcon2008
  • Armont
  • Inside_Trader
  • Montana_Steev
  • ThyShuffler
  • under_a


  • Event Number: 8.51, Week 416 BE
  • Date: December 29
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Vintage
  • Winner: Bandit Keith with Warrior
  • 1 Loss: AJ_Impy with Construct, ThyShuffler with Goblin, Nagarjuna with Demon, Generalissimo with Spirit
  • Underdog Prize: Deonmag with Scarecrow
  • Tribes: Construct, Demon, Goblin (x2), Human, Scarecrow, Spirit, Warrior, Wizard
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And here's Bandit Keith winning our very first Vintage event (if depowered), with a monored, Goblinoid Warrior list that not only doesn't contain any Vintage-specific cards, it doesn't even run too many non-Modern-legal cards (though Fireblast and Price of Progress are kind of important). How is that for cursed, Keith?


 AJ_Impy tried very hard to win the season. He was very close to Nagarjuna in the leaderboard, and after winning the direct clash of round 1, he  actually jumped ahead. But ultimately to no avail: his Constructs were very powerful, but still couldn't beat Keith's burn power. Chalice of the Void being restricted didn't help.


 On his part, Nagarjuna faced the final challenge by pulling the Demon card, so to pair Griselbrand with Sneak Attack. At first it didn't look like a winning choice, but in the end it was enough to guarantee an equal score to AJ, keeping the 3-point margin that was worth the season.


 Generalissimo and I were playing similar decks for our upcoming Building Lab, so we'll talk about it there extensively. This time they were only both deck based on Brian Selden's classic RecSur build that won the World Championship exactly 20 years ago, in 1998. Generalissimo built it with Spirits...


 ...I used Humans, mostly because of Loyal Retainers. He did better overall, but I had more fun (reportedly), and scored the last two points I needed to enter the seasonal Top 8. Yay me!



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of January 4, 2019):

  • Bandit Keith's Warriors: $53.43
  • AJ_Impy's Constructs: $269.03
  • Nagarjuna's Demons: $158.40
  • Generalissimo's Spirits: $57.94
  • _Kumagoro_'s Humans: $76.96

 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.


 As said, video and discussion on Generalissimo's deck, as well as its counterpart I was running myself, will show up soon enough in our Building Lab article. So this Show and Tell is a light-hearted chat where Nagarjuna talks about the season, the list he didn't play, and we comment on this first experiment of a Vintage format.

 NAGARJUNA: For the last event of the year, and to fight with AJ_Impy over the top spot of the leaderboard, I had planned to bring a Construct Post Deck. But then, five minutes before the start, I changed it to a high-risk Sneak Attack build with Demons, to avoid the expected mirror match with AJ. The list I did not bring was this:


 NAGARJUNA: As expected, I faced AJ with a Construct list, already in round one. I managed to win game 1 with one swing of three Demons in a row. In game two and three I struggled to play my plan through AJ's tax effects and in the end I lost both games, also due to bad draws. Fortunately, my opponents for round two and three did not play too many interactive spells. I like Sneak Attack builds, even if there's no room left for protection in Tribal Wars, with the 20 creatures you have to run. I added (Ancient Stone Idol) to find something with Enlightened Tutor beyond Sneak Attack or mana artifacts. Lord of the Void is there just because it's fun to play, I even considered running Hellcarver Demon for the kicks of it; maybe next time!


 NAGARJUNA: Some thoughts about Tribal Vintage: Powerless. I did not like it. What cards did we get? Mana rocks, tutors and Survival of the Fittest? Felt like Legacy, and could in fact be our replacement for that, Chalice of the Void would be restricted then! Next time I'd go for a full Vintage with only our special bannings.


 GENERALISSIMO: The problem with trying to run a fully powered Vintage tribal event is... well, I know I wouldn't be willing to buy power cards for a once-a-year event, and I suspect I'm not the only one. So you'd end up with an event that still feels like Legacy except for a few decks that are vastly better than the rest. The one Vintage Halloween event I played in felt very much like a "Time Vault combo, also featuring some irrelevant tribes" event. Not that I think this half-Vintage format was an amazing alternative either... although it did let Kuma play with Survival of the Fittest, which I think was about 95% of the point of the event.

 KUMAGORO: It was! It's an amazing card, the original Creatures Toolbox enabler. I wish it was still playable in Legacy. It's true that Vintage done this way is not that much different from Legacy (you just have to look at the first place list. And several other players didn't bother including Vintage cards at all). But it's not a big issue to me. I mean, even if it's only slightly different, it still is different, which is better than playing yet another Legacy event. I mean, I can envision one or two Vintage events per year.

 GENERALISSIMO: Personally, my favourite one-off events are the thematic ones, like Halloween or last year's Kamigawa event, that provide an opportunity for cards that would otherwise never be used to show up.


 NAGARJUNA: Agreed, those events are sure fun! Lorwyn or Onslaught could be next.

 KUMAGORO: We can do that, certainly. We have four special events to fill this year, not counting Halloween.

 NAGARJUNA: As for the season, the new monthly distribution of events is perfect for my taste; very well done, Kuma! I was never focused on the race for the leaderboard, and for a long time Yokai_ seemed like the obvious #1. Sadly, he missed too many events in the second part of the season. But then with AJ really wanting to get there, it was fun to battle it out in the end. My personal goal for the season was to play as many different tribes as possible. After reaching a grand total of 44, I'm quite happy. Beside that, I wanted to clear the New Kids on the Block list. Fighting with Camels, Monkeys and Hyenas to try and get at least one match win was the most fun I had all year! The bannings of the reanimator cards earlier in the season were harsh for my taste, and decks like Eldrazi have become more consistent and powerful, I think. Next season, I'll try to bring back some of the decks we discussed here on Show and Tell, to see if the improvements were there. I'm looking forward to the next event already!


 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):

  • 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.