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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Mar 08 2019 12:00pm
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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

 While March: Off the Machines (aka The No Cloudposts Club) carries on, Kaleidoscope is upcoming as the chosen format for the March 30 Special week. And it's a good thing we're revisiting it during this month, so Cloudpost will be banned there, too. Granted, it's not a shell that's particularly fitting the format, but you never know, as Post builds have been applied to anything lately.

 Cloudpost and forced DCI Legacy bannings aside (since Legacy is the pool), our current ban list for Kaleidoscope looks like this:


 It's basically a way not to punish the land base, which will necessarily be greedy, plus the Oversoul, which we banned at some point because it was ubiquitous, playing as sort of "half a Progenitus" in the format.

 Anything else we may need to take out? Maybe something that was printed since we last played the format, which is, oh boy, September 2014? A few cards in RNA Standard have a "multicolored matters" mechanic, most notably Hero of Precinct One, but they're all illegal in Kaleidoscope, except for Guildmages' Forum, which seems harmless enough.


  • Event Number: 9.08, Week 425 BE
  • Date: March 2
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: arcbounddaylabor with Hound
  • 1 Loss: ThyShuffler with Rat, _Kumagoro_ with Dryad, -DiamondDust- with Kor
  • Underdog Prize: AJ_Impy with Nymphs
  • Up-and-Coming Prize: arcbounddaylabor with Hound
  • Tribes: Crocodile, Dryad, Hound, Kor, Nymph, Rat, Rhino, Salamander, Soltari
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Hounds get their first tournament win! Woof! All thanks to a returning arcbounddaylabor, who shows everyone what a true Underdog is made of. Dogs, it's made of dogs. Especially the double striking variety.


 Two more classic builds in the Top 4. ThyShuffler was piloting Rats with all their disruption (but also some original inclusions, like Soul Foundry, Virtus's Maneuver, and Profane Procession).


 While DiamondDust had Kor with all their Equipment.


 My Dryads went well again (at the second outing) and deserve a more thorough deck tech.


 And the Dryads' cousins, the Nymphs, earned themselves at least an Underdog Prize, courtesy of AJ_Impy. Of course it's an "enchantments matter" deck.



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

  • arcbounddaylabor's Hounds: $54.83
  • ThyShuffler's Rats: $61.29
  • DiamondDust's Kor: $7.50
  • Kumagoro's Dryads: $76.70
  • AJ_Impy's Nymphs: $70.23

 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. Bandit Keith's Soldiers, $3.48, 1st place on Event 422
  9. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201
  10. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.58, 1st place on Event 169

 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. Bandit Keith's Soldiers, $3.48, 1st place on Event 422

 NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85.


 Dryad is proving itself to be a very underrated tribe, at least for Underdog. Of course Guilds of Ravnica has given it a serious boost with both the super-versatile Knight of Autumn and the quasi-lord Trostani Discordant. The latter's previous incarnation, Trostani, Selesnya's Voice, was also a good one and fills the CMC 4 spot in the curve. It has the flaw of not having too much of an impact on the board right away, aside from being a good blocker, but it's a solid longterm investment – and, I guess, if it self-triggered (like Verdant Sun's Avatar), it would cost much more (like Verdant Sun's Avatar!).


 This trio (of trios, in some cases!) firmly puts us in Selesnya colors, discouraging further splashes, which is fine, as the tribe is entirely comprised within those two colors. However, the most powerful Dryad of them all, at least in my build, is monogreen, and another recent addition: Bramble Sovereign from Battlebond, the reason why you don't want to play Dryad in Modern (but fingers crossed, maybe the Sovereign will among the reprints in Modern Horizons).

 For starters, Bramble Sovereign is the highest-powered Dryad in the deck, and slightly above the curve at that; but she especially comes equipped with a smashing, Panharmonicon-like ability that doubles your following influx of creatures. Similarly to the original Trostani, the Sovereign doesn't leave much of a mark on her first turn, but the late game she offers is invaluable. In my games against a very similar build, Nagarjuna's Rhino deck, which was also filled with midrange value creatures and ton of lifegaining, Naga's creatures, despite being sturdier than the Dryads, ultimately couldn't manage to get through, and an unchecked Sovereign would end up taking over the board. Her token-making ability, as well as the new Trostani's, also plays well with old Trostani's populate activation – although, if I'm being honest, in two full tournaments running a full set of Sovereigns and a triplet of both Trostanis, I've never considered populating. The deck is typically busy elsewhere, with the Sovereign asking for two extra mana per creature drop, and the Karakas-ing of Trostani Discordant being solid tech, since you don't care to attack with it anyway, but you do care about two more lifelinkers per turn.

 So these four are indubitably great, but the lineup still has quite a few goodies, to the point that I can't just stop at 20 Dryads, even if there's no linear mechanic in the tribe. Dryad Arbor would actually allow you to field the creatures #16-20 within the land slots; I don't like the card much, because it slows you down (for all intents and purposes, it's a tapland), but I found useful to have at least a few copies of a fetchable creature that still triggers Bramble Sovereign. On the other hand, I consider Old-Growth Dryads a terrible trap, because an early 3/3 does not warrant letting an aggro opponent untap with three mana on turn two, especially when you're on the draw. Still, Dryads have the potential to take the fast aggro route, if they want, as both Gnarlwood Dryad and Dryad Militant are excellent one-drops, and Vine Dryad is potentially another zero-mana creature, so that makes it 20 Dryads that cost between 0 and 1, which is outstanding.


 Going super-aggro wasn't a plan that interested me much (it never is), so I just incorporated some Gnarlwoods and Militants to ensure a decent early game, then ramping with Yavimaya Dryad and occasionally Gaea's Cradle. Yavimaya Dryad is actually a secret weapon, because you can force a Forest on the opponent, and hit for a bunch of forestwalk damage (particularly if you doubled it with Bramble Sovereign and there's a Trostani Discordant around), which is a good way to break the impasse in a crowded, non-evasive board.

 This kind of lineup does lead itself to situation of deadlock, where you stand the ground, and probably gain life, but can't push damage through. Bramble Sovereign-lead Dryads love themselves some Overrun effect, and there's a few of versatile ones, like good ole Garruk Wildspeaker, but I think Vivien Reid is currently unparalleled, because she develops your board while growing towards a permanent Overrun with no risks involved (once you get your hands on her emblem, you can tentatively alpha strike every turn without tapping and without losing anything in combat), and she defends you from things that would either prevent the alpha strike (Ensnaring Bridge, Ghostly Prison), or slip past your defenses beforehand (any flyer). Along the same lines, I tested a couple copies of (Unbreakable Formation), which is protection from sweepers that doubles as a miniature Vivien-like strike which leaves some +1/+1 counters behind.


 And of course this is a deck that really benefits from Green Sun's Zenith. First of all, it justifies the presence of Dryad Arbor, with Zenith for zero as one of your best opening moves. Plus, you want to grab multiple copies of Sovereign and other key players, or bring Trostani Discordant on the board when it's most needed. I used to run a singleton (Conclave Naturalist), too – mostly because I like the art, but it's a big Dryad that can solve an artifact or enchantment issue, leaving Knight of Autumn free to be a 4/3 or to gain life. Dryad Greenseeker is also a decent one, and Tendershoot Dryad is of course very powerful, albeit more suited to a Fungus deck. And both of these were also printed over the course of the last year. Dryad is as up and coming as they get.



 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 tribes 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, 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):

  • 9.09 (Week 426 BE), on March 9: Standard
  • 9.10 (Week 427 BE), on March 16: Modern
  • 9.11 (Week 428 BE), on March 23: Legacy
  • 9.12 (Week 429 BE), on March 30: Kaleidoscope

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.


"(but also some original by ThyShuffler at Sat, 03/09/2019 - 08:33
ThyShuffler's picture

"(but also some original inclusions, like Soul Foundry, Virtus's Maneuver, and Profane Procession)."

It should be noted that I didn't draw Soul Foundry, Profane Procession or Grave Pact in the entirety of the event. Virtus's Maneuver was drawn and played for good value.