Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 18 2019 1:00pm

 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   Table of Contents 

  1. Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
  2. The High Price of Winning
  3. Announcements
  4. What's Next

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

by Kumagoro

 And that's a final wrap on the 2018 season! It was the worst-attended season in Tribal Apocalypse history (564 registrations, down 165 from 2017, very far from the over 1,000 of 2013 and 2015) but we're still here, still keeping alive the Tribal Wars flame in spite of everything!

 Last week the Invitational happened, pitting last year's highest-ranked players against each other to establish a new Ultimate Tribal Champion. And Generalissimo was there to record not just his own games but the entire event the best he could (MTGO allowing to spectate again helped; MTGO crashing after any spectated match ended didn't help). Here's the video with his commentary, which gives me the chance to officially thank our British friend for the amazing job he did all year long. Keep up the good work, Generalissimo! (And if you like his videos, take a look at the last entry of the Building Lab series).


  • Event Number: Special, Week 418 BE
  • Date: January 12
  • Attendance: 15
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Invitational
  • Winner: Bandit Keith with Soltari, Goblin, Human, Warrior
  • Runner-up: JackSlagel with Devil, Human, Rat, Vampire
  • 3rd place: Nagarjuna with Hydra, Praetor, Golem, Vampire
  • 4th place: TLR with Serpent, Beast, Mongoose, Human
  • 5th-8th place: Generalissimo, _Kumagoro_, -DiamondDust-, ThyShuffler
  • 9th-15th place: AJ_Impy, Yokai_, Deonmag, Socanelas, lovetapsmtg, Golden_Lin, CruelHellraiser
  • Tribes: Beast, Berserker (x2), Devil, Goblin, God, Golem, Human (x3), Hydra, Kavu, Kobold (x2), Kor (x2), Mongoose, Plant, Praetor, Rat, Scarecrow, Scout, Serpent, Soltari, Specter, Spirit, Treefolk, Vampire (x3), Warrior
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Finals

 Round 1 (Underdog) began with the following board:

 14 of the 16 qualified players attended; seed #9 BoozeMongoose and seed #13 totalhate couldn't make it, and were replaced by seed #23 ThyShuffler and a round-1 BYE for seed #1 Nagarjuna.


 As documented in the video above, my Treefolk cleared the round against lovetapsmtg's Kor by applying more pressure thanks in large part to Lightning Greaves. Generalissimo managed to beat CruelHellraiser using a combolicious Scouts deck I'm totally going to steal and couldn't be stopped even by Ashiok and its Specters.



 JackSlagel marked the first win the night for RDW, with his burning Devils coming up on top against Deonmag's tried and tested Cloudpost Scarecrows. Bandit Keith did the same for White Weenie, these Soltari just outpaced Golden_Lin's attempts at comboing with Enduring Renewal and Kobolds.



 Here's the RDW again: Berserker, piloted by -DiamondDust-, overcomes seed #3 (and almost Player of the Year) Yokai_ and his Punishing Fire-fueled Kavu deck. On the other hand, another Brazilian champion, Socanelas, saw his own monored Berserkers lose to TLR's Living End Serpents, one of the Up-and-Coming decks of the year.


 Finally, we immediately lost #2 seed and tribal guru AJ_Impy when even Energy Field combo couldn't protect his Gods from the wrath of the other Kobolds, which ThyShuffler interpreted as a shell for Ad Nauseam Storm.


 13 different tribes out of 15 entered in round 1 is not a bad result. The list of the round is definitely Generalissimo's, though.


 Here's the board at the end of the first round. Generalissimo is now the highest seed left standing after Nagarjuna!

 For Round 2 (Best Deck), players had to revisit one of the lists with which they achieved their highest score in 2018 (special events lists didn't count, only Standard, Modern and Legacy lists). Some changes to the deck were allowed. These were everyone's possible choices:


 So, Nagarjuna simply overwhelmed my midrange Plants with his blast from the pre-ban past ReaniPraetor. And on table 2, JackSlagel's unsanctioned Jund Humans signaled the end for Generalissimo's tournament as well, as his Spirits were severely punished by Jack's army of Lilianas (by the way, Generalissimo's list was also slightly irregular, because the original deck was Modern, and even with the changes, it should have been stayed a Modern deck, though this particular point wasn't made very clear in the rules).



 Bandit Keith progressed towards the finals when his powerful Goblins were able to subdue -DiamondDust-'s Kor. And after an initial win for ThyShuffler's illegal Vampires, in a bit of an overturn the rematch with the correct list ultimately went to TLR's Combo Beasts.


 Eight different tribes in Round 2. Featured list: the only one we'll never see again.


 Board now looked like this. Semifinalists: seeds #1, #6, #10 and #13.

 For Round 3 (New Deck), the players couldn't choose a tribe with which they scored any point during the last season. The finalists scored with the following tribes, in chronological order:

  • Nagarjuna: Wurm, Devil, Demon (x2), Elder, Dragon, Praetor, Eldrazi (x2), Insect, Dinosaur, Sliver, Elemental, Angel, Phoenix, Rogue, Pegasus, Turtle, Monkey, Archon, Plant (x2), Hyena, Sphinx, Cat, Construct, Leviathan, Vampire (x2), Vedalken, Avatar, Ape, Aetherborn, Human, Hippo, Specter, Zombie, Camel, God, Rat, Soldier, Wizard, Azra, Knight, Warrior (yeah, that's a lot of tribes).
  • Bandit Keith: Kithkin (x4), Rat (x3), Goblin (x6), Warrior (x3), Berserker (x2).
  • TLR: Serpent (x2), Wizard, Kobold, Beast, Assassin, Kor, Zombie, Fish, Berserker, Warrior.
  • JackSlagel: Minotaur, Vampire (x3), Faerie, Devil, Kor (x2), Artificer, Warrior, Zombie (x2), Human.


 Twist! Nagarjuna chose to bring to the semifinal a Golem deck with Sneak Attack and lost to JackSlagel's disruption and permanent removals. Also Rats. In the other semifinal, TLR made the bold choice of building Mongoose of all tribes (it was a Worship list), and lost to the sheer efficiency of Bandit Keith's Monowhite Humans.


 Of course I can't just pass on the chance of featuring a Mongoose deck, a tribe played here for the fifth times in eight years, and in a semifinal round of Invitational, no less!


 So, this was the final round's board:

 Round 4 (On the fly) involved building a deck in 30 minutes with a special clause that wasn't disclosed beforehand: except for basic lands, all cards had to be uncommon (in at least one of their printings). It turns out there's a number of very popular uncommons we play all the time with: Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Oblivion Ring, Hymn to Tourach, Fatal Push and a ton of other burn spells (Lava Spike, Fireblast, Rift Bolt, Searing Blood). For lands: the Tainted cycle, the Spell Deserts from Hour of Devastation, the Triple Lands.


 In the 3rd place final, Nagarjuna built Mardu Vampires and ended up beating TLR with the last RDW iteration: Monored Humans.


 In the 1st place final, JackSlagel also built Vampires, but didn't care for the red splash for Stromkirk Captain. Bandit Keith failed to submit a list after 30 minutes, generating controversy, them failed again at the end of a 15-minute extension, if by a few seconds, generating more controversy (and pushing me into revising completely the rules for next year; this was the last time we did live deckbuilding, and from now on, if you fail to join the table once the no-show time is up, you'll time out like you would in an official tournament, no exceptions). Ultimately he also joined with an Orzhov deck, Warriors, and made short work of Jack's Vamps, thus becoming the reigning Ultimate Champion.

 Here's the finalist's lists. Congrats to everyone!



 Here's the prices of the winner's decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of January 18, 2019):

  • Generalissimo's Scouts: $36.37
  • Nagarjuna's Praetors: $110.74
  • TLR's Mongeese: $64.95
  • JackSlagel's Vampires: $1.90
  • Bandit Keith's Warriors: $1.84

 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.


 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):

  • 9.02 (Week 419 BE), on January 19: Modern
  • 9.03 (Week 420 BE), on January 26: Legacy
  • 9.04 (Week 421 BE), on February 2: Underdog
  • 9.05 (Week 422 BE), on February 9: Standard

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar

Art disclaimers. Revel in Riches art by Eric Deschamps; Herald of Anafenza art by Aaron Miller.