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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 01 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. Announcements
  4. What's Next

Check the full archive for the "Diaries of the Apocalypse" series

by Kumagoro

 Big Commander announcement for next year. There'll be a novel draftable product called Commander Legends, and a quantity of precon decks thematically linked to the Standard releases, but not just Standard legal – so yeah, none of this is coming to Arena, in case you were wondering. Arena had better reviews its long-term strategy, because if it'll be a platform where you only play Standard, then it's going to fail, because Standard always has long stretches when it's boring and hateful, and Standard players in tabletop Magic and MTGO need the occasional respite of a different format. The Magic experience is only marginally related to Standard; as Gavin Verhey conveys in that announcement, if anything, for what's starting to feel like the majority of new players, Magic is Commander.

 So what do we want to do about this in our little corner of the Magic world? We tried Tribal Commander in the past, but even when we used to pull higher attendance numbers, those events were under-attended. Of course there's an issue with how good is MTGO at handling multiplayer tables (not very good), and in general multiplayer is not everyone's cup of tea. But Commander is perfectly capable of supporting 1v1 games, like Brawl on Arena (which I believe was madly successful during this past week). Some of us don't much like Singleton formats, but Commander is a very different take on Singleton, because there's a strong Johnny aspect in the choice of your commander and how you build around it. Do we want to put a test 1v1 Tribal Commander event in calendar for 2020, maybe once the Ikoria Commander stuff hits the client after April 24?


  • Event Number: 9.42, Week 459 BE
  • Date: October 26
  • Attendance: 11
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Halloween Special
  • Winner: ThyShuffler with Vampire
  • Runner-up: Deonmag with Scarecrow
  • 1 Loss: Nagarjuna with Rat, Kumagoro with Vampire, lovetapsmtg with Horror
  • Tribes: Demon, Devil, Horror, Imp, Rat, Scarecrow, Skeleton, Vampire (x3), Werewolf
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 The Halloween event saw Vampire at the top, courtesy of ThyShuffler, who managed to beat Deonmag's Cloudpost Scarecrows in the finals with a build appropriately tuned towards mana denial: Sinkhole, Vindicate, Smokestack; pretty ruthless. I'm not usually a fan of Blood Baron of Vizkopa in Vampire decks, but there's a meta-call component here with the protection from black. Also interesting the trio of same-name/same-type haters Bile Blight, Legion's End and Witch's Vengeance.


 On the other hand, Nagarjuna went with Rats to put the new unholy alliance of Pack Rat and Piper of the Swarm to the test. And it did test pretty well, also thanks to classic Crypt Rats in the sweeper role. Witch's Vengeance was unsurprisingly prominent in this black-based event; at the end of the year, the Tribal Council will tell us what they want to do about it, as it's in the Watch List.


 And here's a proper Halloween deck based around All Hallow's Eve! Horror has become one of the choice tribes for mass resurrection shenanigans, and lovetapsmtg played a very tight, very budget-friendly list with a good number of in-tribe cyclers and Archfiend of Ifnir as an off-tribe cycling lord.


 Finally, a shout-out to Generalissimo's cool yet not very successful Skeleton deck that tried to leverage the tribe's built-in recursion to exploit sacrifice-friendly cards like Cabal Therapy, Grave Pact and Smallpox. You don't see a list with Carrionette every day – in fact, we saw that one played only once in Tribal Apocalypse before, back in 2014.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of November 1 2019):

  • ThyShuffler's Vampires: $29.98
  • Nagarjuna's Rats: $12.20
  • lovetapsmtg's Horrors: $1.62
  • Generalissimo's Skeletons: $4.92

 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):

  • 9.43 (Week 460 BE), on November 2: Underdog
  • 9.44 (Week 461 BE), on November 9: Standard
  • 9.45 (Week 462 BE), on November 16: Modern
  • 9.46 (Week 463 BE), on November 23: Legacy

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.