Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Oct 18 2019 12:00pm
Login to post comments

 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

 We began the experiment with Standard Tribal Wars during the 2018/2019 iteration, when Ixalan block provided a core group of tribes to rely on, and Dominaria doubled down by offering some serious support to evergreen tribes like Knight and Wizard. Throne of Eldraine, being a top-down design, hasn't really helped our format, but it seems now safe to say that Standard will successfully support a decent number of tribal concoctions regardless of the nature of the sets currently in it. Dinosaur, Merfolk, and Pirate might not be viable anymore, and Vampire might have lost too many members for Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord to deliver on his promise of power (things might still change about it next year); but a different brand of Knight has surged forward in the meantime, and we have tribes like Faerie and Giant as new big opportunities.


 This said, the Mythic Championship V decklists that will battle each other this weekend have very little in the way of tribal synergies (the M20 Elementals proved to be a flash in the pan, and even Mardu Knights is so far not as impactful as it was envisioned), so they unfortunately don't provide much inspiration for our brews going forward. The decision regarding Field of the Dead might chance the scenario completely, though, so we'll have to wait and see.


  • Event Number: 9.40, Week 457 BE
  • Date: October 12
  • Attendance: 
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Standard
  • Winner: Bandit Keith with Knight
  • 1 Loss: AJ_Impy with Giant, Nagarjuna with Knight, _Kumagoro_ with Wolf, ThyShuffler with Cat, Generalissimo with Cleric
  • Tribes: Bird, Cat, Cleric, Giant (x2), Knight (x2), Vampire, Wolf
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Speaking of Knights, here's Bandit Keith once again piloting a deck to first place this year, and it's a Rakdos version featuring Embercleave and mostly black Knights, which are probably the most effective. It looks like an accomplished build, with a barrage of early pressure and Smitten Swordmaster supplying some noncombat damage to finish off the opponent.


 The tribe with the most groundbreaking synergy (quite literally) might just be Giant, since Realm-Cloaked Giant's adventure corner basically just reads, "destroy all creatures your opponents own". And the lineup as a whole makes up a nice curve with other strong members like Bonecrusher Giant, Beanstalk Giant and Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, with built-in early removal and ramp. I'm not sure why AJ_Impy felt like going to 24 by including full playsets of both Sunder Shaman and Rampart Smasher, but the deck still proves to be a midrange force to be reckoned with.


 And here's another minor tribe that Throne of Eldraine gifted with some missing key members. I played Wolf a lot last summer in various forms, thanks to Nightpack Ambusher finally giving the tribe its true centerpiece; and now Wicked Wolf and, to a lesser extent, Fierce Witchstalker improved the lupine chances in Standard, with the only issue of being all four-drops. The tribe could definitely use a better early presence, because Arlinn's Wolf and Ferocious Pup are serviceable at best; on the other hand, where the Wolf type is concerned, Garruk, Cursed Huntsman summoning his pets while Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves is on the battlefield makes for an incredibly powerful interaction, leading to potentially removing up to two opposite creatures, gaining six life, and setting up Garruk's ultimate for the following turn. Indeed, this list needed a couple more copies of the burly planeswalker, whereas Vivien's Arkbow wasn't as needed in this Wolf build as it was in previous versions.


 The "cat in the oven" combo featuring Cauldron Familiar and Witch's Oven is a legitimate battleplan, not just one done for the lulz; it's slow, but it guarantees one chump-blocker and one drain per turn. And Cat as a tribe has more things going on in this Standard environment, although it breaks down into two separate halves: Dreadmalkin synergizes with the Familiar, while Charmed Stray helps Ajani's Pridemate (and Twilight Panther is just necessary filler). Ajani, Strength of the Pride could have made all of this better, but there might have been budget concerns on ThyShuffler's part here.


 Finally, this Cleric list built by Generalissimo shows how the large classes will always have something to say, because their ranks never really dwindle in Standard, and some substantial effects are always bound to be hiding in there. Like for instance Priest of Forgotten Gods sacrificing things for value, coupled with solid fodder like the Orzhov afterlife creatures, many of which are Clerics themselves. And Pitiless Pontiff is such an improvement over Cartel Aristocrat from the original Aristocrats deck, since surviving AND killing something definitely beats just surviving.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of October 18 2019):

  • Bandit Keith's Knights: $30.31
  • AJ_Impy's Giants: $55.47
  • Kumagoro's Wolves: $16.68
  • ThyShuffler's Cats: $4.02
  • Generalissimo's Clerics: $20.19

 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 currently are 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. Still to clear: Antelope, Goat. Already cleared: Atog, Crocodile, Homarid, Incarnation, Jackal, Leech, Licid, Manticore, Metathran, Monger, Moonfolk, Nightstalker, 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):

  • 9.41 (Week 458 BE), on October 19: Modern
  • 9.42 (Week 459 BE), on October 26: Halloween Special
  • 9.43 (Week 460 BE), on November 2: Underdog
  • 9.44 (Week 461 BE), on November 9: Standard

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: December 27.
Current watch list:
 Aether Vial, Gaea's Cradle, Witch's Vengeance.



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


Why go to 24? Great Henge and by AJ_Impy at Fri, 10/18/2019 - 18:28
AJ_Impy's picture

Why go to 24? Great Henge and Garenbrig. Because the tribe has spot removal, mass removal and ramp spells built in, there’s less of a need for a strong focus on the support slots. An anti-knight giant and an anti-artifact/enchantment giant are both very useful in the meta, and a greater creature density means The Great Henge card advantage engine keeps flowing. Plus at 5/5 for 4 mana they’re ahead of the curve, big enough that they must be dealt with and ensuring you can drop a henge the following turn even without another land.