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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Dec 20 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

 Ban hammer time!

 The Tribal Council have conducted their deliberations for Q4, 2019. The following changes have been made, effective immediately:

 Aether Vial and Gaea's Cradle remains under scrutiny, and so does Witch's Vengeance where the other subformats are concerned. The next communication will be disclosed March 27, 2020 (emergency bans are still possible).


 Meanwhile, DCI also banned Oko, Thief of Crowns and Nexus of Fate from Pioneer this week. This affects us too, because Pioneer will be a regular format next season.



  • Event Number: 9.49, Week 466 BE
  • Date: December 14
  • Attendance: 8
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Standard
  • Winner: ThyShuffler with Cat
  • 1 Loss: Nagarjuna with Bird, Bandit Keith with Knight, lovetapsmtg with Noble
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Noble
  • Tribes: Bird, Cat, Giant, Knight, Merfolk, Noble, Troll, Vampire
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Last Standard event of the year. After our first season with monthly Standard events, I can say the format is still pretty fun and Tribal Wars proves to be consistently supported in any given Standard environment. Some players are still wary to engage it, but they should give it a try before judging it. It really is entertaining and refreshing. The winning tribes have been varied: we've got Soldier (twice), Goblin, Knight (also twice), Warrior, Angel, Dinosaur, Elf, Human, and Cat, with Vampire and Wall also ending undefeated in one occasion each. The "Cat in the Oven" combo was the protagonist of the latest victory, thanks to ThyShuffler, who even had fun with some unusual one-ofs like The Wanderer, Vraska, Swarm's Eminence and Kaya, Bane of the Dead.


 Underdog tribes will probably always be especially hard to pilot to first place in Standard (although Noble is getting there), but there's always unexpected overperformers, like this Bird deck by Nagarjuna, using the little flyers as a conduit to summon one big flyer.


 On the other hand, Knights have been a major force in the meta all year long, and they're currently the only viable tribal strategy to be considered top tier in regular Standard, too. They can be built in a more linear way with direct Knight synergies and Embercleave, or they can offer a good shell for adventures. Bandit Keith gave us a good example of the second approach here.


 I mentioned Throne of Eldraine's new entry Noble as an increasingly successful presence, and here's one of the tribe's best configurations, courtesy of lovetapsmtg, who chose Food as their throughline.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of December 20 2019):

  • ThyShuffler's Cats: $19.24
  • Nagarjuna's Birds: $11.48
  • Bandit Keith's Knights: $47.77
  • lovetapsmtg's Nobles: $29.73

 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.


 Something I forgot to share last week. You could see it from Generalissimo's point of view here, but here's my "Oops! All Nissas!" moment captured for posterity in all its glory.

 These are the five main Nissas that exist in the game (the missing ones are a couple of negligible starter-deck Nissas, the transformer one from Magic Origins, and the original Nissa Revane who has nothing to do with the current character and her abilities anymore), and notably Nissa, Steward of Elements has here just turned the two vigilant creaturelands created by Nissa, Who Shakes the World (who in turn allowed for an ultimate-ready Steward to be cast right away) into 8/8 vigilant flyers, onto which Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is going to put the extra +1/+1 counter that was needed for the win. Nissa teamplay!


 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):

  • 9.50 (Week 467 BE), on December 21: Modern
  • 9.51 (Week 468 BE), on December 28: Legacy

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: March 27.
Current watch list:
 Aether Vial, Cloudpost, 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.