Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jun 05 2020 12:00pm

 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

 Our (not very) long companion nightmare is over! In a quite unprecedented move, Wizards of the Coast decided to change the mechanic altogether, and now each companion requires to spend three mana at sorcery speed just to move it from the sideboard to your hand (which also means it can run into discard now). This essentially marks the end of the competitive career of most of them, especially the cheap ones like Lurrus of the Dream Den, whose most popular builds aren't really keen on essentially waiting around one turn for it to be ready to drop – not when the downside already means giving up on many useful cards. The other top player, Yorion, Sky Nomad, might be better equipped to survive the change, since it could be a late-game play for ramp decks. But in both cases one has to wonder if the better move isn't now just including them as regular creatures in the deck (in Yorion's case, a deck that would no longer require twenty additional cards; in Lurrus's case, something that wasn't even possible while it was used as a companion).


 As for the companion that more explicitly wrecked havoc in Tribal Wars, Gyruda, Doom of Depths has now pretty much turned into a nine-drop; granted, those three extra mana can be spent in a previous turn, but they'll disrupt the ramp regardless, and unlike Yorion, Gyruda wants to hit the battlefield as soon as possible. It could still prove an issue in Shapeshifter decks with high density of cloning targets able to keep the Gyruda chain going, something that sooner or later will happen even under the reworked rules. We'll see what the Tribal Council will decide in this regard at the end of this month.


  • Event Number: Week 490 BE
  • Date: May 30
  • Attendance: 9
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Pauper
  • Winner: Hastrus with Sliver
  • Runner-up: Nydethess with Human
  • 1-loss: AJ_Impy with Spirit, -DiamondDust- with Cleric
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Wolverine
  • Tribes: Cleric, Elf, Human, Sliver (x2), Soldier, Spirit, Wolverine, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Pauper Tribal Wars! We hadn't played it since... well, a lot. It dates from before I could even track it (there are special events in the Blippy years whose nature I'm not sure about anymore. I know the fourth Tribal Apocalypse event was a Heirloom for some reason). This return, if not even debut, was meant to cross-pollinate with the Pauper tournaments on Gatherling, but we didn't end up getting much response there, so I'd say this is pretty much one and done. But at least one Pauper specialist, Hastrus, came into tribal town and took away the first prize with a classic Pauper tribe, Sliver. Hope you'll be back another time, Hastrus. You can build fairly competitive decks with five bucks in Tribal Wars, too.


 Here's a deck that doesn't really live to the name of the format, instead: these monoblack devotion Humans by Nydethess are quite costly, due to Thorn of the Black Rose from Conspiracy: Take the Crown being sold at north of eleven tickets apiece, but being extremely effective part of the list, as the monarch procures a free card-draw engine that's unparalleled in the format. On top of that, monoblack Pauper sweper of choice, Pestilence still demands 30 tix the playset.


 I like the quantity of Arabian Nights cards that are still used in Pauper after all these years. In Nydethess's list alone we have Cuombajj Witches, Erg Raiders and Oubliette – the latter of which brings us back to a time when Oblivion Ring effects were briefly in black.


 A list in the price range more expected of Pauper is AJ_Impy's Spirit deck, which is an Aura build with many one-drops with a relevant keyword, Ethereal Armor as payoff, and Karametra's Blessing and Gods Willing for protection. With several of the Spirits having or acquiring deathtouch, Viridian Longbow becomes tech.


 Another archetype from non-Pauper format is Soul Sisters, which can be adapted with Cleric, as -DiamondDust- did. Both the Soul Sisters are in the format, as are Suture Priest and Martyr of Sands. There's not a real payoff for all this lifegain, it's just a way to withstand the opponent's attack while going wide with token makers like Battle Screech and Triplicate Spirits, then boost the team with Guardians' Pledge.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of June 5, 2020):

  • Hastrus's Slivers: $5.36
  • Nydethess's Humans: $60.83
  • AJ_Impy's Spirits: $0.86
  • DiamondDust's Clerics: $0.84

 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.


 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):

  • 10.22 (Week 491 BE), on June 6: Underdog
  • 10.23 (Week 492 BE), on June 13: Standard
  • 10.24 (Week 493 BE), on June 20: Pioneer
  • 10.25 (Week 494 BE), on June 27: Legacy

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; Herald of Anafenza art by Aaron Miller.