Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
May 22 2020 12:00pm

 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

 They start to fall down: the first two Pokémon companions have been hit by the banhammer in Legacy (one of them in Vintage, too). The first victims are Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Zirda, the Dawnwaker.


 So that's two less headaches to worry about, although I believe the Zirda infinite mana combo with Grim Monolith was never attempted in Tribal Apocalypse – and now it never will!

 What's interesting in that announcement is that, if companions keep being an issue across formats, they're "willing to take steps, up to or including changing how the companion mechanic works". Which would be huge and unprecedented; a mechanic being rewritten right after it debuted?

 The most powerful among the surviving companions are Yorion, Sky Nomad and Gyruda, Doom of Depths. As far as Tribal Wars is concerned, Yorion's clause is more of an obstacle in deckbuilding than it is in non-tribal formats, because you need to run 26 tribal creatures in a 80-card deck, and the quality might get diluted (then again, it might also mean the tribes with a larger lineup of quality creatures get even more of an advantage). Gyruda is great in a Shapeshifter deck, as proved by apaulogy four weeks ago, and not so great in a Kraken deck, as proved by AJ_Impy three weeks ago (we still haven't seen it played with its other tribe, Demon). There's also Jegantha, the Wellspring, which could be very easy to have as a companion if your list is already lacking double mana costs. But then, it's a mostly vanilla 5/5 for five, not exactly game-breaking. At any rate, restricting them all to their tribes is being discussed.



  • Event Number: Week 488 BE
  • Date: May 16
  • Attendance: 11
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Pioneer
  • Winner: Yokai_ with Human
  • Runner-up: ThyShuffler with Goblin
  • 1-loss: Nagarjuna with Spirit, Bandit Keith with Vampire, Deonmag with Vampire
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Shark
  • New Kids on the Block Award: lovetapsmtg with Shark
  • Tribes: Bird, Elf, Goblin, Human (x2), Shark, Spirit, Vampire (x3), Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So far Pioneer has seen five different tribes at the top this year. They tend to always be major tribes (Vampire, Elf, Dragon and Spirit are the previous winners), and what's more major than Human? Yokai_ declined the mega-tribe as a Boros, almost monored Burn deck, with Lurrus of the Dream-Den as a companion – in what won't be its final performance in Pioneer, unless they'll keep banning it and it'll go the way of the Oko.


 Red is the word for the second-place deck too, a classic Goblin list by ThyShuffler, enriched by the presence of Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. A Dwarf King allied to Goblins? Say it isn't so!


 The Goblins were companion-less, as monored doesn't lend itself easily to an advantageous companion. Vampires, on the other hand, have a large number of amazing members, even in Pioneer, and can easily support white. So Yorion, Sky Nomad is what Bandit Keith chose to go with, to retrigger ETBs like those of Dusk Legion Zealot and Champion of Dusk – or just for the free flying body.


 Down in the Underdog district, Shark achieved their first match win at their fourth try! It took them much less than other debutante tribes (for one, Demigod hasn't managed to go there yet despite the seven attempts). The big fish have a strong lineup after Ikoria, and lovetapsmtg played them as an all-creature mutate deck accompanied by Umori, the Collector.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of May 22, 2020):

  • Yokai_'s Humans: $87.07
  • ThyShuffler's Goblins: $7.86
  • Bandit Keith's Vampires: $154.45
  • lovetapsmtg's Sharks: $13.47

 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. MisterMojoRising's Beasts, $.3.01, 1st place on Event 484
  8. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  9. Bandit Keith's Soldiers, $3.48, 1st place on Event 422
  10. MisterMojoRising's Insects, $3.55, 2nd place on Event 201

 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. MisterMojoRising's Beasts, $3.01, 1st place on Event 484

 NOTE: not adjusted to current prices; data collected since Event 85.


 Show and Tell is one week behind, but the mutating adventures of Generalissimo's Standard Beasts are still very much topical.


 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. Tribes currently eligible for the award: Demigod, Otter (as soon as Commander 2020 gets online), Pangolin, Squirrel.

 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):

  • 10.20 (Week 489 BE), on May 23: Modern
  • 10.21 (Week 490 BE), on May 30: Pauper

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: June 26.
Current watch list:
 Aether VialBatterskullCloudpostHymn to TourachIsochron Scepter,
NecromancyShrieking AfflictionSinkholeWitch'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.