Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 05 2019 12:00pm

 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

 So, Core Set 2020 is here (my tribal evaluation will come soon enough), and it's an especially high-powered core set, with a few tribal boosts.


 And this guy will possibly makes Ball Lightning Elementals great (?) again.

 But I'm mostly worried about this Zombie Dino showing up to fuel any reanimator deck.

 I know reanimator is now severely nerfed around our parts, and you can't go turn-one Dark Ritual into Regisaur into turn-two discard some huge hasty threat, Exhume, attack for near lethal. Still, I don't particularly like to see this guy show up everywhere just because it's easy to cast early on and you can still capitalize on the discard somehow. So maybe we should at least restrict it to is two tribes? But I guess we'll see how it plays in our metas first.


  • Event Number: 9.25, Week 442 BE
  • Date: June 22
  • Attendance: 10
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Planeswalker Tribal
  • Winner: _Kumagoro_ with Nissa
  • 1 Loss: ThyShuffler, Nydethess, lovetapsmtg, arcbounddaylabor, AJ_Impy
  • Full Loyalty Prize: AJ_Impy with Bolas, -DiamondDust- with Chandra, lovetapsmtg with Ajani, Nagarjuna with Gideon
  • "Tribes": Ajani, Bolas, Chandra, Gideon, Nissa, Miscellaneous (x5)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Hey, Planeswalker Tribal works! The event was diverse (half the decks were even mono-walker), and the decks fun and balanced. And of course, I won with my beloved Nissa, so that's a plus in my agenda!


 I'll discuss my deckbuilding choices in Show and Tell, but I was amazed at how much synergies the various Nissas have with each other (except for the very first one, that one's just for Elves (and in fact showed up in Nydethess's list – but without even bothering to include Nissa's Chosen).

 I'm going to feature only the single-walker lists, but everybody did a good job in approaching the format (which, as a reminder, was about fielding 16 planeswalkers in place of the tribal element). Ajani was the walker of choice for lovetapsmtg, resulting in a deck with lots of one-drop for the three-mana and four-mana Ajanis to boost, plus a nifty meta-call in the form of Suppression Field. Ajani, Strength of the Pride from Core Set 2020 would fit right in, putting his Ajani's Pridemate tokens to good use with all the lifegain – although the Pridemate itself didn't make the cut here, curiously.


 AJ_Impy appropriately chose Nicol Bolas, since they're both masters of machinations. There are currently only four Bolases in the game (plus the transformed side of (Nicolas Bolas, the Ravager), which however didn't count for our purposes), which means that, in order to meet the quota, AJ had to include the starter deck Bolas from Hour of Devastation, Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver, which isn't too great. For the rest, the deck was a control build with Cabal Coffers for ramp, and a number of very flavorful inclusions like Hero's Downfall and Hour of Devastation itself – though no Cruel Ultimatum and (In Bolas's Clutches), unfortunately.


 Moving on, we had Chandra tribal from -DiamondDust-, possibly on a budget because both Chandra, Torch of Defiance and (Chandra, Fire Artisan) deserved the full playset, as opposed to only a singleton inclusion, whereas the older Chandras are all various shades of bad. M20 will come to the rescue of the spirited pyromancer, since the three new Chandras from the regular set range from solid to amazing, and play extremely well with each other, and even with Chandra's named cards like Chandra's Spitfire and Chandra's Regulator.


 Finally, here comes Gideon. Poor, heroic, late Gideon was honored by Nagarjuna with this sturdy white aggro deck without creatures – because Gideon's main shtick is after all turning himself into an indestructible beater. I don't know about Gideon, Martial Paragon from the Amonkhet Planeswalker Decks, though, since his inclusion wasn't necessary (plenty of other Gideons to choose from), and it's five mana for an unimpressive sets of abilities. Was it for the ultimate clearing the path for a Gideon alpha strike?



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of July 5, 2019):

  • Kumagoro's Nissas: $142.39
  • lovetapsmtg's Ajanis: $34.11
  • AJ_Impy's Bolases: $137.11
  • DiamondDust's Chandras: $10.48
  • Nagarjuna's Gideons: $56.03

 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.


 Coming into the event, I knew I was going to build a Nissa deck, because she's my favorite. I'm not sure why, part of it is that I'm a green mage at heart, and she's very green, but I also came to love the character (post-Origins redesign) by reading the stories on the website. Her enormous hidden power who scares even Jace, her tentative romance with Chandra, her (still unexplained) relationship with Emrakul, her coming off as an inscrutable alien to the other Gatewatchers, and yet her inner monologues showing an almost desperate desire to fit in. It all felt compelling to me. Plus, she's a pretty elf with huge donkey ears, what not to love?

 Anyway, eight different Nissas have been printed so far (plus the transformed side of Nissa, Vastwood Seer, which doesn't count as a planeswalker in deckbuilding). Two of them are just overcosted Planeswalker-Deck planeswalkers, and can easily be ignored. Another one is the original Nissa Revane, which stands apart mechanically from all the other incarnations and is stricly for Elf builds (and also not very good).


 This leaves us with five playable Nissas. I only needed four playsets for the 16 count, but I was willing to mix up two of the five-drops to mitigate the Legendary rule – and because Nissa, Worldwaker and Nissa, Vital Force are roughly the same power level.

 So the Nissa curve starts at three with Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, who drops and creates a Plant token to defend herself and to start charging up her minus ability that will come in play later. I consider a three-drop also the scalable blue-green Nissa, Steward of Elements, who nicely sets up my next two draws (I almost never use the second ability in this deck, since the only creature I'd want to find is (Hydroid Krasis) and the Steward doesn't work with X costs).


 The deck includes a number of ramp creatures (Birds of Paradise as one-drop, Sylvan Caryatid and Wall of Roots to double as defense), so the odds to get to a five-drop one turn later is good. This is where the best Nissa comes out to play: War of the Spark's Nissa, Who Shakes the World is a powerhouse that can easily win games all by herself thanks to her 3/3 vigilant hasty Elemental lands. And she's also the lynchpyn of all the interactions, because those Elemental are 0/0s with three +1/+1 counters, which means Vital Force turns them into 8/8s, the Worldwaker permanently into 7/7 tramplers, and the Steward of Elements into 8/8 flyers. And this is the point when Voice of Zendikar puts an additional counter on the whole Elemental strike team, plus the occasional Plant. And most of the times these attacks materialize out of nowhere, because two of these three Nissas provide haste, and still leave bodies up for defense, due to the vigilance keyword supplied by Nissa, Who Shakes the World.


 But that's not all. Nissa, Who Shakes the World is also an incidental, formidable ramp engine that calls for payoffs, and Nissa, Steward of Elements is already a payoff, since under the most recent Nissa's watch, the Simic version can ultimate right away, generating a 10-powered air strike – most likely to be boosted by other, Nissa-related +1/+1 counters. As an additional payoff I went with Standard star Hydroid Krasis, so these games were all about winning with ginormous Elementals and Hydras, which is as green as it gets.

 I added some singleton signature cards for flavor, but Oath of Nissa is a solid card finder, and could occasionally helps me to play Steward of Elements when I don't have blue sources available (though that's unlikely), and Nissa's Triumph opens the path to a miniature land toolbox, allowing me to combo Darksteel Citadel with the various land-animating abilities without running too many copies of a colorless-producing land, while Maze of Ith was merely to have a way to neutralize an evasive attacker. Nissa, Vastwood Seer is really the only weak inclusion, since her basic land fetch doesn't matter much, she's hard to transform, and her planeswalker form isn't even that relevant. I couldn't pass the opportunity to include a way to create an Ashaya token, though.


 Finally, I took a page from Standard Nissa decks and I included another big Nissa, Who Shakes the World payoff in Mass Manipulation. It's a powerful card for sure, but even with the help of Birds of Paradise and Sylvan Caryatids, four blue proved a bit too difficult to muster with a land base that intends to maximize Forests, and I'm not even sure the deck really needs the effect. I believe I cast it only once to steal a Chandra, which at least was pretty flavorful.


 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: Trilobite.

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

  • 9.26 (Week 443 BE), on July 6: Underdog
  • 9.27 (Week 444 BE), on July 13: Standard
  • 9.28 (Week 445 BE), on July 20: Modern
  • 9.29 (Week 446 BE), on July 27: Legacy

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: July 5.
Current watch list:
 Aether Vial, Fireblast, Mutavault, Price of Progress, Thalia's Lieutenant, Wasteland.



Art disclaimers. Revel in Riches art by Eric Deschamps; Show and Tell art by Jeff Laubenstein; Herald of Anafenza art by Aaron Miller.