Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 31 2020 1:00pm

 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

 Here's a provocative thought: why are we playing Legacy in Tribal Wars again? I mean, it is certainly a format that exists, but Magic is collectively more and more moving away from Legacy. Pioneer pretty much cut the remaining, spare Legacy support, with StarCityGames discontinuing all future Legacy events. In the year of Commander, and after even Pauper got legitimized, I don't think there's a sanctioned format less relevant than Legacy right now. Vintage at least maintains the allure of being the full repository of MTG history.

 So why do we bother so much, to the point that we still have two Legacy events in most months? Is it because it was the original Tribal Wars format? Wrong. Tribal Wars originated with Classic, i.e. ersatz Vintage. There's no link whatsoever between Legacy and Tribal Wars. And it's a source of constant grief about all those overpowered cards and combos that need banning. Of course we shouldn't abandon those cards entirely, but why not use them only for Underdog events, while freeing the Legacy slot for something more current and more reflective of where Magic as a whole is going?

 Speaking of which, we still have to choose the special event on February 29. How does 1v1 Commander look like?


  • Event Number: Week 472 BE
  • Date: January 25
  • Attendance: 10
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: Bandit Keith with Eldrazi
  • Runner-up: Nydethess with Elf
  • 1-loss: ThyShuffler with Shaman, Nagarjuna with Beast, CruelHellraiser with Golem
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Demigod
  • Tribes: Ally, Beast, Demigod, Elder, Eldrazi, Elf, Golem, Scarecrow, Scout, Shaman
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 It's been clear since a while (to Mark Rosewater and his team as well) that the return of the Eldrazi in Battle for Zendikar block was handled poorly, and ultimately a mistake. And when we combine an already powerful archetype like Cloudpost, which in the past used to have at least the issue of building up slowly, with the cheap, overpowered Eldrazi cards from BFZ and OGW, the result is 19 Eldrazi first places (out of 22 undefeated results) since 2016. For comparison, there were only 2 between 2011 and 2015, with 12-Post already fully available (Glimmerpost was printed in 2010).


 I've transferred all banning powers to the Tribal Council, so they'll have to rule on the Eldrazi issue on their own (keeping in mind that's separate from the Cloudpost issue, since Eldrazi decks have stormed Modern too). What I still can do, though, is establishing Eldrazi doesn't count for the Hamtastic Award anymore, effective immediately, much like the other power tribes with more than 20 overall wins.

 So, Bandit Keith's Eldrazi prevailed upon Nydethess's Elves, but we already know how those lists go, so let's have a look at decks that aren't one of the Power 4 instead. For instance, ThyShuffler built this cool Liquimetal Coating deck, where every Shaman included turns into a Nekrataal. Isochron Scepter is also there (just in time to have it added to the Watch List), and so is the combo with Orim's Chant, which makes the whole thing less unconventional, although the secondary target for the Scepter is more exotic: Ancient Grudge. Not sure why Grudge specifically, though – wouldn't something like Artifact Mutation or Destructive Revelry have more upsides once imprinted, considering cards that interact with Coating already abound elsewhere?


 And if the last time a deck running Orim's Chant got at least two match wins was in 2016, Living End is a more popular combo card. However, it pretty much skipped the entirety of last year, and it seems to have been historically the pet of only one dedicated player at a time: first raf.azevedo, then MisterMojoRising, then Armont, then TLR. Nagarjuna tries it here for his first time, with of the classic Living End enablers, Beast.


 Theros Beyond Death gave us two new powerful Elders, the Titans, and AJ_Impy couldn't resist taking them for a ride (despite the stellar price Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath commands), with mixed results. It's definitely not an easy tribe to build, but look at that lineup of Demons, Dragons and Dinosaurs!


 The brand new creature type from Theros, freshly eligible for the New Kids on the Block Award, is Demigod. Unfortunately, they play terribly with one another, since they're all devotion cards caring for a single color. Of course it didn't stop lovetapsmtg from giving it a shot, thus becoming the first to play them in Tribal Apocalypse.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of January 31, 2020):

  • ThyShuffler's Shamans: $39.56
  • Nagarjuna's Beasts: $38.28
  • AJ_Impy's Elders: $340.04
  • lovetapsmtg's Demigods: $66.98

 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 is one eligible tribe for the award: Demigod.

 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. Already cleared: Atog, Crocodile, Goat, 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):

  • 10.04 (Week 473 BE), on February 1: Underdog
  • 10.05 (Week 474 BE), on February 8: Standard
  • 10.06 (Week 475 BE), on February 15: Pioneer
  • 10.07 (Week 476 BE), on February 22: Modern

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, Isochron ScepterWitch's Vengeance.



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