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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 08 2019 1:00pm
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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

 I still haven't got a feedback from the Tribal Council about the idea of not keeping the deck lists hidden during an event (Tribal Council, assemble! And deliberate!), but I'm now thinking this could be the key for another kind of experiment that was timidly entertained at times, but always rejected aphoristically (by me as well): sideboards in Tribal Wars. I'm not actually thinking of sideboards per se, as much as of wishboards. It seems a very active design space lately (Karn, the Great Creator, Vivien, Arkbow Ranger and Fae of Wishes all came out this year), and it feels wrong for our format to give up on all that entirely. Even Commander has a house rule where it allows for a 10-card sideboard for wish purposes. Can we do the same? Of course the lists being secret would encourage cheating, but if the opponent can check at any moment if a card that shows up in game two wasn't in the original main, which of course would trigger immediate disqualification, there won't be a ton of incentive in trying that. It's also kind of evident when a sideboard is built for wishing rather than game two corrections. Tribal Council, kindly think about this!



  • Event Number: 9.43, Week 460 BE
  • Date: November 2
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: Nydethess with Rat
  • 1 Loss: arcbounddaylabor with Pirate, Generalissimo with Weird, Kumagoro with Noble, Deonmag with Dinosaur
  • Dark Horse Prize: AJ_Impy with Peasant
  • Tribes: Azra, Dinosaur, Noble, Peasant, Pirate, Rat (x2), Specter, Weird
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Time for Rat's annual win – the tribe has been victorious more regularly in recent years (out of their five first places, two were in 2017, one in 2018), possibly on account of being played with some frequency, especially in Underdog events. Nydethess piloted the gnarly rodents all the way to the top in one of their classic discard-centered builds. Incidentally, whoa, Pioneer had Thoughtseize's price skyrocket.


 Add some letters (and some clothes) to Rats and you'll get Pirates (that's how it is in Gatherer searches, unfortunately). The maritime tribe is still in search of its second win since their debut at the top two years ago with Ixalan block still fresh; arcbounddaylabor stopped just short of that. For now.


 I'll restrain myself from making jokes about Weird. This is just a normal tribe from very traditional deckbuilder Generalissimo doing your regular shenanigans with Manamorphose imprinted on Isochron Scepter.


 We never really stopped to contemplate Deonmag's favorite brand of budget-friendly white Dinosaurs, so it's time to do so. And they're surprisingly effective! Also, Pteron Ghost is a Dinosaur now, in case you missed it (I did!)


 I had one good match with my Nobles, which somehow gained me a Top 4 placement. I'll discuss my choices for the newborn tribe below. It's a fascinating tribe, no doubts.


 And that match I mentioned was against Noble's sworn enemy, the Peasants! Yes, AJ_Impy's adventurous insurgency (lead by Saheeli, 'cause, you know, she's working-class) was crushed with extreme prejudice! Or at least until we'll meet again. It's History of Class Conflict 101 on Tribal Apocalypse.



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

  • Nydethess's Rats: $152.61
  • arcbounddaylabor's Pirates: $111.28
  • Generalissimo's Weirds: $75.23
  • Deonmag's Dinosaurs: $5.15
  • Kumagoro's Nobles: $74.14
  • AJ_Impy's Peasants: $48.46

 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.


 My Noble deck originated from my intention to build a tribal list around Fires of Invention. Now, Kenrith, the Returned King features prominently in that archetype in Standard, due to his contribution of a powerful mana sink for when the Fires take care of all your casting so your lands lay in need of some purpose throughout the turn cycle. So I knew I wanted to include him in my Fires deck, and this left me with Human and Noble as the most efficient choices for a tribe.


 Human is not playable in Underdog, and Noble sounded intriguing, so I went with the latter. The tribe debuted in Throne of Eldraine with 13 members but was immediately granted another 20 from the past, so their ranks are already wide and the possible lineups are many. In fact, I ended up only sharing a single selection with AJ_Impy's first attempt at a Noble deck, which employed these five:


 The second Noble outing, by DiamondDust, instead leaned on the Vampire side.


 I've always loved Falkenrath Aristocrat, but she's at her best when she's surrounded by Human snacks. Most Nobles are Humans, though – could I be able to finally play her in-tribe?

 Fires of Invention decks are more commonly Jeskai-colored, but I was operating within a Legacy format including plenty of fetch lands and the original duals, so I could get away with a deck that splashed all colors for the complete range of Kenrith's activations. It was clear at this point that my two hasty heavy hitters would work at centerpieces and finishers, but of course I wouldn't want Falkie to ever snack on Kenny, so I needed cheaper, more disposable Human fodder. Those appeared to be mostly in white, which could become my primary color. Here's what the tribe proposed me for Human one-drops and two-drops in white.


 (King Suleiman) is of course useless garbage, but the other three are playable, especially Charming Prince, an utility bear that can provide some value before being sacrificed (unfortunately the flicker effect doesn't interact with anything in the list, but the other two modes are still useful, especially scrying to find the Fires). Beloved Princess is the weakest of this lot, but I ended up choosing her over Imposing Sovereign to lower the curve, but also because she perfectly clicked with the Noble I was going to use as my fifth. Plus, a deck with a King, a Prince and a Princess is very flavorful.

 And there's another one-drop in the deck in the form of Lovestruck Beast's Heart's Desire. Our beastly Romeo is one of the most effective members of the tribe, and the token he creates is a tasty Human, which has Falkenrath Aristocrat mouthwatering. Only relying on such living appetizer for the Beast to attack could be problematic, so that's where the Princess being also a 1/1 helps – I guess Lovestruck Beast has a choice of pretty girls to fight for with in my deck.

 So I had my lineup and the Fires to cast the most expensive of them, which is especially sweet on turn five, when you can go Fires into Kenrith into hasty trampling attack with a leftover red mana. What else did I need? Well, Fires deck want to survive into the late game, so I needed sweepers for sure. Black and green looked liked minor splashes in the deck, so I could go into white and red more heavily, and that meant Wrath of God (is that still white's best four-mana sweeper? Probably) and Deafening Clarion, which is also great to recover some life; with Fires already online you can go Kenrith into Clarion's both modes, so you can attack with a five-powered lifelinker after sweeping lesser creatures from the board. Falkenrath Aristocrat can also survive it by first eating all the Princes and Princesses I happen to have around at that point.


 I was mostly Boros by now, and a recent Boros-colored card I find attracted to is Outlaws' Merriment, since I always enjoy automatic token creators a la Bitterblossom and Awakening Zone. And it creates Humans for Falkie's dietary needs! For the rest, the deck didn't particularly require it, though, so I added one copy just for fun, and to have a different angle of attack. It's a powerful enchantment in its own right, anyway. And another Human tokens supplier was of course Castle Ardenvale, replacing Caste Vantress as a mana sink to activate in the opponent's turn.


 What the deck still lacked, in comparison to Standard Fires of Invention lists, was a way to dig for its components. I almost entirely omitted blue from my build, so no Castle Vantress but also no Drawn from Dreams and similar Legacy-based options (Dig Through Time, maybe? Though I think Drawn from Dreams befits a Fires deck better). And of course no Fae of Wishes in Tribal Wars, which is the main reason why I was put off of actively splashing blue. Instead, I remembered Throne of Eldraine gave us a very powerful, very underrated draw engine in Gruul colors, Escape to the Wilds. And it also ramps, so it felt like the right choice for the list, though it called into action the green splash slightly more.

 I played the deck very badly during the event, but had a lot of fun with it, especially in the Peasant matchup (round 1 I ran into screw and flood issues, then round 2 was just a bye). Is it the best way to exploit Fires of Invention in Tribal Wars? Probably not, but it's one I'd love to revisit down the line.


 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):

  • 9.44 (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
  • 9.47 (Week 464 BE), on November 30: Pioneer

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; Show and Tell art by Jeff Laubenstein; Herald of Anafenza art by Aaron Miller.