Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
May 03 2019 12:00pm

 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

 All right, end of the first quarter 2019, revision of our ban lists and restricted to tribe lists! Let's analyze the decks that went undefeated in the Swiss portion of the first 16 events of the season:

  1. Hydra Ramp. Nothing worrying here, it's not a popular archetype, and it's not oppressive. RDW Berserker. Price of Progress and Fireblast create wins out of nowhere and hard to escape. We're in No Mountain May, though (see below), so we can leave the red stuff alone for the next quarter.
  2. Modern Rakdos Vampires. Totally fair deck. Modern Elves. Elves in general are defanged enough already; in fact, if anything, they might be ready to get something back, but honestly, I don't think there's any Elf-oriented card currently banned which wouldn't case issues if unbanned.
  3. Cloudpost Scarecrow. We might repeat the Cloudpost-less month down the line, but I'm convinced the Cloudpost lists are a necessary evil to keep fast aggro in check. We might want to make sure they're diversified, which could mean banning Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, which is particularly punishing in Tribal Wars. I'll let this thought simmer for this quarter.
  4. Cloudpost Scarecrow again. This encore was due to the top players lockout not kicking in until the fifth event of the season. It's unfortunate, but uncommon.
  5. Standard Soldiers and Standard Vampires. Of course Standard events aren't subjected to the same concerns as the other events. It's all good here.
  6. Modern Spirits. We used to have Aether Vial in the ban list. I don't think we're there yet, but let's put that here. Also, and maybe more importantly, we never considered how Mutavault only helps linear tribes. Maybe without Mutavault the midrange decks, which are those that most suffer the current meta where aggro is king, could have a chance.
  7. WW Humans. Aether Vial again. Also, it's possible we've left Humans keep all their toys, unfairly compared to how Goblin and Elves have been treated. Maybe it's time to see Thalia's Lieutenant go? Also, Wasteland has become more commonplace now that has a more affordable price. Wasteland doesn't just keep greedy manabases honest, it generates blowouts and occasionally non-games. We have other two viable strip lands now in Ghost Quarter and Field of Ruin, able to fight Cloudpost without steering the meta towards monocolored, which kills creativity. I'm ready to give Wasteland the hammer, but not yet.
  8. Gruul Hounds. This deck had RDW elements paired with Stompy elements. Seems fair to me.
  9. Standard Goblins. Third different Standard undefeated deck of the year.
  10. Modern Merfolk. Still Aether Vial plus Mutavault as the main enablers.
  11. Slivers. Yet another Aether Vial plus Mutavault linear build.
  12. Kaleidoscope Knights. All right, I don't know when we'll play Kaleidoscope again, but let's make it official: Knight of New Alara, Stillmoon Cavalier and Fleecemane Lion are banned.
  13. Cloudpost Scarecrow again. Ugin again.
  14. Standard Soldiers. First repeated Standard winner of the season.
  15. Modern Eldrazi. It turns out Eldrazi didn't show up as much this season, but I think their list is way too overpowered for a meta where fast combo has been neutered, and control has historically struggled. So that's the ban of this quarter: Reality Smasher. We'll end there for now, but I think it's the card that takes Eldrazi over the top.
  16. Monoblue Faeries. Pretty fair. Back to Basics is a good way to fight multicolored decks without relying on Wasteland.

 To sum up:


 On watch: Aether Vial, Fireblast, Mutavault, Price of Progress, Thalia's Lieutenant, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Wasteland

 In other news, War of the Spark is on Gatherling. Rejoice! And we're now officially in No Mountain May! The Mountain type is banned throughout the month. This means basic Mountain but also Snow-Covered Mountain, Plateau and the likes, Steam Vents and the likes, Canyon Slough and the likes, Cinder Glade and the likes, and Madblind Mountain. Red mages, beware!


  • Event Number: 9.16, Week 433 BE
  • Date: April 27
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: ThyShuffler with Faerie
  • 1 Loss: Nagarjuna with Wizard, -DiamondDust- with Goblin, Bandit Keith with Spirit
  • Underdog Prize: lovetapsmtg with Rabbit
  • Tribes: Construct (x2), Faerie, Goblin, Rabbit, Spirit, Wizard, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Here's the Faerie deck I mentioned above, piloted by ThyShuffler. Feels almost refreshing to see monoblue at the top, I feel like blue is the Cinderella color in Tribal Wars, despite Merfolk being a powerhouse.


 Lots of blue spells also for Nagarjuna, who embedded in a Wizard shell the old lockout combo of Isochron Scepter and Orim's Chant. It's a scary combo for sure, but it's so rarely encountered that it's almost welcome. Battlebond's Spellseeker is a new tool to help assemble the shenanigan.


 DiamondDust brough classic Goblins to the fight. Goblin Grenade is a weapon we never took away from Goblins, and it's fair to let them have it, albeit it's extremely powerful. I think Price of Progress is more meta-warping, honestly. It punishes you for playing a deck that's different from the few monocolored traditions.


 This Spirit deck by Bandit Keith is close to the one that won the sixth event of the year, but with Wasteland over Mutavault. Didn't perform as well this time, despite being the most expensive deck of the event by far.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the amazing Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of May 3, 2019):

  • ThyShuffler's Faeries: $87.24
  • Nagarjuna's Wizards: $74.75
  • DiamondDust's Goblins: $17.12
  • Bandit Keith's Spirits: $214.37

 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.


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

  • 9.17 (Week 434 BE), on May 4: Underdog
  • 9.18 (Week 435 BE), on May 11: Standard
  • 9.19 (Week 436 BE), on May 18: Modern
  • 9.20 (Week 437 BE), on May 25: Legacy

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.