Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Mar 13 2020 12:31pm

 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

 Tomorrow, we go back to Standard Tribal for the second time this year, with a fully-fledged Theros Beyond Death meta, whereas the last Standard event happened just a couple weeks after release. And the next one will land after the coming of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Such is the beauty of Standard: it's always in flux.

 In other news, the increasingly popular Secret Lair devoted one entry to a veritable tribal heroine, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Unfortunately, I don't like very much any of these alternative depictions of our creature-friendly hatebear, which is surprising, because I usually like both Magali Villeneuve and Johannes Voss quite a bit.


 What's even stranger is that Voss was one half of the original team that created Thalia's visual identity to begin with, and yet these new versions feel like a completely different character, look-wise (I guess the contribute of Jana Schirmer was crucial there). To be fair, I don't actually dislike Villeneuve's take, even if his Thalia feels more melodramatic than she used to be, but it's the style he already used for her second incarnation, Thalia, Heretic Cathar. So they basically asked Thalia's two dads to do new art for her, it's not like they put her in the hands of strangers. It's mostly that the definitive Thalia already exists for me, and it's the one from the promo by Steve Argyle for the 2015 World Magic Cup Qualifiers, which we also got online. It's sort of the opposite of all the others: an extreme close-up, focusing on her eyes, the intensity, the thousand-yard stare, the explosions reflected on her irides. She's simultaneously beautiful and war-weary. Also she doesn't look like she just left a hair salon.

 Better I received the five Secret Lair revamps for International Women's Day, especially Captain Sisay, who looks gorgeous (this is the Villeneuve I know and admire). Meren of Clan Nel Toth is also great, but not too different from the already excellent original, while Narset looks like a proper wuxia heroine. Hope we'll get these online soon enough.



  • Event Number: Week 478 BE
  • Date: March 7
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: ThyShuffler with Satyr
  • Runner-up: Yokai_ with Plant
  • 1-loss: Nagarjuna with Wurm, AJ_Impy with Wolf
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Demigod
  • Tribes: Avatar, Demigod, Noble, Plant, Rat, Satyr, Wolf, Wurm (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Look at that, Satyr did  it again, a clean 4-0 almost seven years since their first event win back in 2013. The two lists feel similar in spirit, but are very different in composition, with only seven nonland slots in common, and only two in the tribal department. Of course recent developments mean the tribe doesn't have to play stinkers like Satyr Rambler and Satyr Piper anymore, and they even have a lord now, the wonderful Gallia. I appreciate ThyShuffler's low-key comboing with her ability via the little used Avacyn's Judgment.


 Trying, and failing, to oppose the Gruulest of Gruuls, was this Plant list by Yokai_, a deck reminiscent of the Wall-Drazi of old, but now also counting on Arcades, the Strategist to deliver the final beating. I believe this is the first time that Wall of Denial, which appears here off-tribe, has been associated with the Elder Dragon. It clearly suits his strategy.


 Double Wurm spectacle. Nagarjuna piloted the majestic creatures to a Top 4 placement, tricking them into play via Sneak Attack. The synergies between the enchantment and the entire tribal team are well-conceived: Novablast Wurm is a wrath effect that deal 7 damage; Pelakka Wurm and Sifter Wurm provide life; Worldspine Wurm and Wurmcoil Engine leave tokens behind; and Charnelhoard Wurm refuels the hand for the next activation. The deck suffers when it can't find its centerpiece (it doesn't even include the green mana required to cast most of the Wurms), but there are six tutors for it.


 If Naga's list had no green at all, Generalissimo's has nothing else but green, having chosen a more permanent approach to have the mighty Wurms drop from the hand without paying their mana cost. Turns out Elvish Piper and Quicksilver Amulet might be, respectively, too fragile and too clunky to compare to Sneak Attack's explosiveness, but at least they're much more budget-friendly. Hear more about this list in this week's Show and Tell.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of March 13, 2020):

  • ThyShuffler's Satyrs: $32.89
  • Yokai_'s Plants: $216.74
  • Nagarjuna's Wurms: $88.80
  • Generalissimo's Wurms: $5.90

 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.


 He who controls the junk controls the universe. (Hey, we did mention Villeneuve a few times in this article. It's a different one, though).


 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):

  • 10.10 (Week 479 BE), on March 14: Standard
  • 10.11 (Week 480 BE), on March 21: Pioneer
  • 10.12 (Week 481 BE), on March 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, Isochron ScepterWitch'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.