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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Feb 08 2019 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

 Cloudpost is seeing an angry mob with torches and pitchforks closing in on its metallic castle. March: Off the Machines (a full month with Cloudpost banned across all subformats) is a thing that will happen next month, so we'll be able to determine what a Post-less meta looks like. Is it possible the popularity boost was a consequence of our Legacy bans? Cloudpost decks with colorless tribes don't necessarily win events in our current meta, but they pretty much guarantee a 2-1 result. And the meta adjustment would generate mass land destruction decks, which are possibly even more annoying to play against. Then again, linear aggro still wins every other tournament (to say the least), so I don't know which line of action might be best here. And maybe it's actually Glimmerpost the critical card? Food for thought.



  • Event Number: 9.04, Week 421 BE
  • Date: February 2
  • Attendance: 10
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: Deonmag with Scarecrow
  • 1 Loss: _Kumagoro_ with Ooze, AJ_Impy with Assembly-Worker, Golden_Lin with Rat, JackSlagel with Rat, lovetapsmtg with Monger
  • Underdog Prize: lovetapsmtg with Monger
  • Repopulation Award: lovetapsmtg with Monger
  • Tribes: Aetherborn, Assembly-Worker, Berserker, Kobold, Monger, Ooze, Rat (x2), Scarecrow, Spike
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And speaking of Cloudpost, another thing to consider is that Scarecrow decks might have outgrown Underdog events. After all, Deonmag just piloted one of them to consecutive wins (due to the top player lockout not kicking in before the fourth event of the season, unless you're a hall-of-famer). To some extent, Scarecrow is stronger than Golem; the latter only provides great finishers, while the former can count on control tricks like Reaper King (which doesn't even require a Cloudpost base) and Scarecrone abusing Grim Poppet.


 Anyway, congrats to Deonmag, and the list was the same as last week's, so let's talk Ooze instead! Well, we're going to talk about them extensively in the Show and Tell installment below, but here's the list that I piloted to virtual second place, which is scoring a 2-1 but losing games only to the tournament winner (I couldn't accelerate into Acidic Slime fast enough, though I'm not sure that would matter much).


 This is part of my (Prime Speaker Vannifar:RNA) month: I'll play a Vannifar deck throughout all the subformats, covering each of her tribes. For Underdog, I built this aggro-oriented Ooze deck where Vannifar just makes sure any two-drop instantly turns into (Biogenic Ooze:RNA), which gives birth to a total beatdown. For the rest, I had some ramp to get to the four-mana and five-mana Oozes quicker, and to create more Ooze tokens via Biogenic later; some Hardened Scales to further enhance all that +1/+1 counters action; and a couple Lightning Greaves, which feels counter-intuitive, seeing as you can't untap Vannifar with the various untapping Fish while she's wearing the Greaves, but they're primarily there to preserve Biogenic Ooze long enough to take over the board, and secondarily to attack with and consequently grow Predator Ooze right away. I'm finding Lightning Greaves more and more of a crucial card in monogreen decks featuring key creatures that you either want to keep around or send to the opposite side of the battlefield asap, or both (Swiftfoot Boots solve the shroud vs. untap issue, but the activation cost makes them clunkier).


 Moving on, the second 12-Post deck of the week was AJ_Impy's Assembly-Worker build, which also ultimately lost to the Scarecrows and was also featured last week. It was followed in the rankings by two different Rat decks. Golden_Lin's was a classic monoblack disruption build with Crypt Rats as a sweeper.


 JackSlagel only packed Thoughtseize to hit the opponent's hand, backed by a more robust, multicolored removal suite and (Burglar Rat) as a redundancy for Ravenous Rats.


 The third 12-Post deck was Monger, finally achieving repopulation by lovetapsmtg's hands. This is the kind of build where Cloudpost is not particularly worrying, but certainly helps the overall performance, because getting to cast Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is always going to make a difference in Tribal Wars, even when Ugin is prone to kill the colored creatures on his own side as well.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of February 8, 2019):

  • Kumagoro's Ooze: $121.55
  • Golden_Lin's Rats: $96.95
  • JackSlagel's Rats: $179.92
  • lovetapsmtg's Mongers: $23.31

 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.


 Let's talk Ooze, shall we? Ravnica Allegiance just answered my prayers and printed two of the best Oozes ever (not to mention, two of the now three mythics in the entire tribe), (Prime Speaker Vannifar:RNA) and (Biogenic Ooze:RNA).


 To me, these complete a high-profile lineup finally without any dead weight. The other three prime-cut Oozes are: Scavenging Ooze, Predator Ooze and Acidic Slime.


 These five describe a nice curve: CMC 2, CMC 3, CMC 4, CMC 5, CMC 5. Now, Scavenging Ooze is unquestionably great; it drops early on, it fights graveyard strategies, it gives you life, and grows. It's no surprise it directly competes with Tarmogoyf slots in Modern. Predator Ooze is less celebrated, but mostly because of its stern color requirement; it's a great blocker and a solid threat, especially when assisted by Hardened Scales. Then it comes (Prime Speaker Vannifar:RNA), one of only three blue Oozes. It might not seem right to field a set of Vannifars when none of the other Oozes feels like sacrificial fodder (except for Acidic Slime, which is however at the top of the curve). She might indeed require a bit of a package to better exploit her Birthing Pod-like ability; some combination of Bounding Krasis, Kitchen Finks, Breaching Hippocamp and Glen Elendra Archmage is enough to give her something to do and to get to the five-mana Oozes more easily. But make no mistake, a freshly dropped Scavenging Ooze or Predator Ooze are keen to end as Vannifar's guinea pigs, if the end result is (Biogenic Ooze:RNA). Also, Vannifar's base stats aren't negligible, so once a Biogenic Ooze (or three) are around, she just changes into a bona fine beater. As for the Ooze lord, it's impossible to understate its strength; it's a (Thalia's Lieutenant) boost, every turn and free of charge, plus a free token, plus more tokens for a reasonable amount of mana apiece.

 Last but not least, classic Acidic Slime might feel like overloading the CMC 5 spot now that Biogenic Ooze took it over, but it's just a solution to many problems, and a body you certainly want to boost with Biogenic. In fact, it's great that the Oozes feature in-tribe hate for graveyard, artifacts, enchantments and lands, plus a way to kill creatures via deathtouch.

 The sixth highly playable Ooze stands outside this quintet because it's entirely a build-around card. An unsupported Necrotic Ooze does nothing on its own (well, I guess it could copy Vannifar and Biogenic Ooze's activated abilities now), so you have to incorporate its favorite endgame involving Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Devoted Druid and Anger (which is to say, involving Buried Alive). If you're willing to do that, then Necrotic Ooze becomes your CMC 4 Ooze of choice, though Vannifar is still helpful to fetch Necrotic for you.

 This said, let's now evaluate the remaining 21 Oozes going by CMC (Gatherer also shows Hanweir, the Writhing Township, which is the meld of (Hanweir Garrison) and (Hanweir Battlements), so not a tribal Ooze card).

 CMC 1: Experiment One is a good card that sees play in Stompy decks, so one might feel tempted to include it in place of Acidic Slime to lower the curve; the problem is, an Ooze deck is not the right environment for Experiment One, because chances are it won't evolve past a 2/2. Granted, the Biogenic Ooze counters still matter, and you'll end up with a regenerating Ooze, but I still don't feel it. Similarly, Bloodhall Ooze is decent, as it grows on its own; it invites the presence of permanents that are both black and green, but it's not strictly necessary. Mwonvuli Ooze and Primordial Ooze are just terrible (the latter isn't even online anyway).


 CMC 2: (Corrosive Ooze:DAR) is kind of playable, but if there's no Equipment on the opposite side of the board, it'll just amount to a Grizzly Bears. Consumptive Goo is technically removal, but impossibly clunky.

 CMC 3: Earthen Goo is more cumulative upkeep nonsense. Gluttonous Slime has devour, which doesn't seem easy to exploit in an Ooze deck; flash is nice, but a 2/2 for 3 is not, doesn't exactly trade well if you didn't use devour. (Inexorable Blob) is at least a basic 3/3, and its ability is cool enough, but delirium is, once again, not the right fit for Ooze tribal, or at least not something you want to invest deck slots to pursue. Manaplasm is underwhelming, since it can only grows out of its tiny stats temporarily; it could have been playable if it was a one-drop, but spending the third turn to drop a 1/1 is absurd, and it's bound to remain a terrible blocker competing for slots with Predator Ooze. Necroplasm is intriguing, because for one thing, it destroys all the tokens on the battlefield right away; three turns later, it'll destroy itself, but it's got dredge to start again if needed. Still, I don't think it justifies the double black mana requirement, and it's not counterproductive with Biogenic Ooze. (Ravenous Slime) is kind of decent, in that it have a relevant combat ability, the same as (Steel Leaf Champion), and it grows for free, and potentially by a lot, every time something dies on the opponent's side of the table; you'll still have to make that happen, though, and in the meantime, there's another 1/1 you've spent a full early turn to cast, and that'll take a while to just match Steel Leaf Champion for the same CMC.


 CMC 4: Chaotic Goo is a "flip a coin" card, and I'll say no more. We could use another good CMC-4 Ooze so Vannifar can have something in-tribe to transmute into Biogenic Ooze.

 CMC 5: Bioplasm is a 4/4 (which makes for the second largest body in the tribe) but absurdly exiles the top of your own library for an unreliable payoff. Gobbling Ooze wants you to sacrifice other creatures to make it slightly less below the curve. Mephitic Ooze wants you to play with artifacts, and it's otherwise a 0-powered deathtoucher, which I don't even know how to describe. Mitotic Slime's ability is very cool and flavorful, but unfortunately can't compete with the other CMC-5 Oozes. The same goes for (Splitting Slime), which starts too small and requires a monstrosity cost too steep. The Mimeoplasm was previously the only mythic Ooze, and is still the only three-colored Ooze. It's a great card, but combo-oriented, and it's not a combo the Oozes support well, if at all. Played straight it's not going to repay the mana investment.


 CMC 6: I have a lot of affection for Experiment Kraj, the first blue Ooze and the first Legendary Ooze (the three Legendary Oozes in existence are also the only three with blue in their cost, for some reason). Truth be told, it's been made obsolete by Biogenic Ooze, at least outside of Commander. Its ability remains cool, but there's just nothing for Kraj to reliably copy within a Ooze deck: Biogenic Ooze's activation is meaningless in multiples, Scavenging Ooze's is not particularly useful, and you probably won't need a second Vannifar which you had to spend six mana and two turns to obtain. Still, Kraj is the biggest Ooze to date, so there's that.

 CMC 7: Ancient Ooze is just a big vanilla doofus. On a good day.

 Some Ooze statistics:

  • Total number of Oozes: 27
  • Green: 19
  • Black: 5 (of which 4 monoblack, one Sultai)
  • Red: 4 (all monored)
  • Blue: 3 (of which two Simic, one Sultai)
  • White: 0
  • Colorless: 0 (not counting the Hanweir meld)
  • CMC 1: 4
  • CMC 2: 3
  • CMC 3: 7
  • CMC 4: 3
  • CMC 5: 8
  • CMC 6: 1
  • CMC 7: 1
  • Associated types: Legendary 3, Elf 1, Human 1, Mutant 1, Wizard 1


 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 one eligible tribe for the award: Sheep.

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

  • 9.05 (Week 422 BE), on February 9: Standard
  • 9.06 (Week 423 BE), on February 16: Modern
  • 9.07 (Week 424 BE), on February 23: Legacy
  • 9.08 (Week 425 BE), on March 2: Underdog

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.