Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 27 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

 Commander Legends is online, and I'm writing my customary Tribal Evaluation (not too speedily, this damn set is 718 cards strong, and tell apart what's new and what's reprinted is a chore). It's a set that encompasses all the major tribes, so I wanted to look at a different statistical fact. What are the tribes whose ranks increased the most after Commander Legends? Here's the Top 10.

  1. Rabbit (+25%)
  2. Pirate (+21,5%)
  3. Salamander (+20%)
  4. Kobold (+14,29%)
  5. Kraken (+12,5%)
  6. Chimera (+10,53%)
  7. Orc (+9,09%)
  8. Ooze (+6,9%)
  9. Siren (+6,67%)
  10. Archon (+6,25%)

 Some of these increases are due to the tribe being very small to begin with, like Rabbit, Kobold, and Salamander; in other cases, the additions really have been significant in absolute terms, and that's mostly the case of Pirate, which is randomly a major theme in Commander Legends. The Orc boost also catches the attention – it's a classic race in fantasy settings that's been famously neglected by Magic. Can we read in this sudden resurgence a preparation for next year's marriage with Dungeons & Dragons? Although, the Orcs from Commander Legends mostly come as a flavor of Ixalan Pirates, caring about their maritime tribe uniquely. So, on second though, maybe it's just a coincidence.



  • Event Number: Week 515 BE
  • Date: November 21
  • Attendance: 11
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Pioneer
  • Winner: Nagarjuna with Vampire
  • 1-loss: ThyShuffler with Beast, Deonmag with Vampire, AJ_Impy with Vampire, Yokai_ with Goblin, -DiamondDust- with Zombie
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Cyclops
  • Tribes: Aetherborn, Beast, Cyclops, Goblin, Human, Naga, Vampire (x3), Werewolf, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 No tribe preys on unexplored formats like Vampire. Many of the tribe's 19 first places materialized in novel formats like Singleton, Pure and now Pioneer. To be fair, seasonal #2 player Nagarjuna had never played Vampire this year, and then he happened to do it the same week AJ_Impy also did it for the first time in 2020 (with a list more centered on Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet). Naga's build is perfectly streamlined: the indispensable playset of Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord; eight pieces of instant spot removal; and an assortment of the most efficient Vampires (but interestingly, no Knight of the Ebon Legion), including prestigious newcomer from Zendikar Rising, Nullpriest of Oblivion – useful early on, useful in the late game.


 The best score with one loss was achieved by ThyShuffler with a truly offbeat Beast deck that feels like Singleton in the support department, behind a very unusual ragtag team of tribal members, from workhorses like Arboreal Grazer and Lazotep Reaver to cheap finishers like Lovestruck Beast and Plague Belcher – the latter comboing with all the disposable creatures that drops earlier in the curve. Baloth Null is also not something you see every day, but it's great late-game refueling. A fascinating build.


 In a miniature Halloween encore, we had plenty of Spooky Tribes competing last week. -DiamondDust- had this Zombie list featuring a playset of the underplayed Liliana story spotlight Dark Salvation.


 Extreme Underdog of the Week: a deck by lovetapsmtg, as usual. This time it was the turn of Cyclops, putting a shred of brighter colors in these very black proceedings.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of November 27, 2020):

  • Nagarjuna's Vampires: $46.58
  • ThyShuffler's Beasts: $34,18
  • -DiamondDust-'s Zombies: $41.93
  • lovetapsmtg's Cyclops: $9.93

 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: Otter.

 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 five times before coming back to the undefeated one). This means a different tribe; in some cases, specific combo or archetype-defining cards will also be locked out. 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):

  • 10.47 (Week 516 BE), on November 28: Modern

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: December 23.
Current watch list:
 Aether VialBatterskullCloudpostHymn to Tourach,
NecromancyShrieking AfflictionSinkholeWitch's Vengeance.



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