Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Dec 11 2020 1:00pm

 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse!

   Table of Contents 

  1. Last Week on Tribal Apocalypse...
  2. The High Price of Winning
  3. Thoughts of a Tribal Champion
  4. Show and Tell
  5. Announcements
  6. What's Next

Check the full archive for the "Diaries of the Apocalypse" series

by Kumagoro

 I'll cut this section short this time, and give up the floor to our special and semi-regular guests. As a winner of the 500th event last August, Bandit Keith is announcing the format he chose for the December 26 event, which will officially mark 10 Years of Tribal Apocalypse (in the Blippian Era). Let's just say the chosen format is not what you would expect. Also, Keith has some things to say – in fact, quite a lot of them!

 And to pair up written words with moving images, we have a double Show and Tell this week, detailing the adventures of Generalissimo running Zombies and Shapeshifters during the previous two events. Enjoy.


  • Event Number: Week 517 BE
  • Date: December 5
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Underdog
  • Winner: ThyShuffler with Kobold
  • Runner-up: Bandit Keith with Assembly-Worker
  • 1-loss: _Kumagoro_ with Ooze, Nagarjuna with Ogre, -DiamondDust- with Kor, Takeoutree with Dauthi, Arigal with Artificer
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Shade
  • Tribes: Advisor, Artificer, Assembly-Worker, Dauthi, Kobold, Kor (x2), Ogre, Ooze, Shade, Shapeshifter, Specter (x2), Unicorn
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 It appears Legacy storm was never considered a menace by the Council – possibly until now? This particular build by ThyShuffler (which we can see in action in one of Generalissimo's games) seems extremely consistent, exploiting the non-cost of the Kobolds – including the new legendary one from Commander Legends, Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh – to fuel a lethal Tendrils of Agony even without the help of the banned Ad Nauseam, and potentially as early as turn one.


 Bandit Keith himself tried to oppose the stormy weather, in a final that saw him play a Cloudpost deck based around the up-and-coming Assembly-Workers. The tribe seems particularly apt to abuse large amounts of mana, because most of their members are mana sinks on legs; and they also go wide, so they make for a perfect complement to Forsaken Monument.


 Aggro endures! The meta-archetype remains in large part the most successful in the history of Tribal Apocalypse, but it's undeniably very hard for aggro tribal decks to close faster than combo builds like storm or before ramp/control like 12-post takes over. Aggro has a multitude of forms, though. Take Nagarjuna's four-color Ogre list centered around Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder from Commander 2016. Aggro at its core, but not in a shape we see often.


 And while Soltari decks have been a staple of Underdog events since the very beginning, their equally elusive Dauthi counterpart, not so much. Here's Takeoutree to prove that they could be as successful as their monowhite cousins, if given a chance.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of December 11, 2020):

  • ThyShuffler's Kobolds: $116.46
  • Bandit Keith's Assembly-Workers: $122.96
  • Nagarjuna's Ogres: $140.42
  • Takeoutree's Dauthi: $2.08

 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.

by Kumagoro

 What follows is the address to the tribal nation Bandit Keith wrote to announce the format for the December 26 event, which ends our 10th Tribal Apocalypse season.  Picking any format he liked was his earned prerogative as the winner of the 500th event. The views and opinions expressed in this text are those of the author and do not reflect the position of any person or entity involved with Tribal Apocalypse.

 Though I have been part of the tribal family for a short while now, and interviews are conducted on the ultimate champions and seasonal leaders typically, this is the first time I have an opportunity to address the reading audience directly, so I hope that you will all indulge me in learning more about the background surrounding the creation of the special 500th Tribal event.

 This was admittedly a task that I found more difficult to complete than I had initially surmised. But not because of any sort of negativity, such as apathy, laziness, or incompetence – but rather, because of positivity. The myriad of ideas I have had about the format and all of its possible permutations all swirled within my mind, which of course mirrored my emotions and my passion for it. There is a famous quote that in all of what we create, there is always a piece of the creator, somewhere, hidden in it. So too, here, my quest for figuring out a format would inevitably lead to the exposure of not just my ideas of what tribal is, or rather, should be about, but deeper concepts that touch upon my ideas of engagement with the world itself. Is this something that unusual, given the romantic associations of high fantasy, or the escapism that it provides? Do we play just to pass time due to boredom, or is it due to something more?

 In fact, it is this element of high fantasy and escapism that brought me to the format in the first place. I used MTGOTraders in the past, and stumbling on Kumagoro's articles and reading them, I felt a sense of the true essence of Magic that felt lost to me in other formats, and that nerdy sense of belonging that also felt lost to me in other regards in life. Feeling embedded within the world of elves, goblins, dwarfs was just something that felt magical to me, and something that felt like a far cry away from the painfully mundane characteristics of our everyday world. It is also why I feel even today a sense of duty in protecting the format's integrity, and not allowing it to fall victim to the same problems plaguing the other aspects of Magic lately that would invariably siphon away, no pun intended, its magic. Given the fervor I have had for the format, I wanted to do something in homage of my achievement in it.

 It feels as if it were only yesterday that I, Bandit Keith, won my first event of tribal, and I remember AJ_Impy exclaiming in chat that he was delighted to see an unfamiliar face win an event because it showcases the rise of new talent. (I also remember him, at perhaps around the same timeframe, say that Golden_Lin, a now retired player, had overtaken the seasonal leaderboard, and all hail to the #1 player. Boy, have things changed.) It is frightening how quickly time moves, watching myself become the format's most successful player. Now, given my achievements in our intimate and little niche side of the wizarding world, I thought of some ways to acknowledge that, and ideas abounded, such as: only allowed tribes had to start with a letter that is present in my name, only tribes that I won events with could be played, decks could only play sub-20 or above-30 lands (to symbolize my penchant for statistical abnormalities in mana problems, duh), or even a deck that is the purest of tribal that I could think – only basic lands and creatures allowed, so the spotlight would be rightfully on creatures, as it should be in tribal, instead of other detracting things, like mana acceleration (Cloudpost, Gaea's Cradle in Elves) or polarizing noncreature cards (All is Dust, Witch's Vengeance, Storm, Reanimator, etc.). I even thought of an event where cards that I've complained about in the past would be banned – so you had to pay attention!

 So for these few months since the summer, when I had won the 500th tribal event, I had these ideas brewing in my mind. But only upon entering the festive yuletide season have I achieved clarity, and I have had a change of heart. I realized that I did not want a competitive event (let's say, one where only allowed tribes would be ones I've won events with), or one that would symbolize my frustrations. I wanted one to symbolize the good will of the season. I wanted one emblematic of what the holidays themselves are – tokens of hope, even during troubling times. I wanted one to encapsulate not just what I loved about Magic, but about the world itself – that same sense of awe and wonder where I feel like I am placed onto a battlefield full of fantastical creatures, straight from a Dungeons & Dragons sort of roleplay, not looking at the e.v. of an event and trying to grind out a couple of tix. I wanted that same happiness when I was a young boy and bought a pack which had a cool-looking Nightmare or Elvish Piper within it, not the jadedness that I, cursed with knowledge, have now years later from repeated competition, condemning such rares to be unplayable jank. I do not want the negativity that competition would invariably cause. I am a warrior, but what I hope for the most is the destruction of my own sword. I first thought that the event should be about me, but then I realized, instead, it should be about you.

 I have seen that my only idea of the aforementioned with merit was one that would be purely tribal – no Cloudpost powering, no Witch's Vengeance hosing, no Storm disguising, nothing like that – a focus purely on what tribal should be, creatures. My creatures against your creatures, that's it, no holds-barred. A focus on making combat plays and marveling at what obscure creature the opponent might play, not having tribal Magic be a creative exercise in trying to figure out how to fit 20 cards in a deck that is really trying to win in other ways. After all, we have the rest of Magic to go back to the joyless Oko's and such if we wanted. I originally wanted a deck that would only be creature based, but let's be honest, that would just mean Elf is almost unbeatable (but maybe with the best possible draw, Goblin and Eldrazi could beat it). But as I said, we play competitive events every week, and I felt that this week should be different. A special format, for a special season, for a special year, for the special people who have that burning passion for the beautiful parts of Magic and the world.

 I thought to myself, is there a way to properly structure such an idea? And then, I thought of something. What about an event about creatures, but the creatures don't necessarily need to share a type? Given the spotlight, either in our corner or in Magic in general with the powerful planeswalkers and spells they have printed lately, is seldom on creatures themselves, what about letting them have their day in the sun, regardless of whether or not they share a type? Fair and fun Magic is a dying breed anyway, so there's no sense in drawing a line in the sand for ourselves. I don't think there is anything more Timmy-like, child-like, and fun than throwing krakens, dwarfs, and orcs at one another, D&D style. Kind of like the party mechanic in the last Zendikar set, where even though they do not share a type necessarily, there is still a bunch of different creatures working in tandem with one another giving the overall sense of unity and adventure together. I present to you non-tribal Tribal.

 So, how do we ensure that if we brought only creatures and basic lands, that we wouldn't have to deal with a Turn-2 Elvish Archdruid or anything of the sort, and it would be maximally janky, fun, and fantastical? That sort of kitchen-table shenanigans that a nerdy person would have with his equally dorky friends on a Saturday afternoon, with a Star Wars movie playing in the background? Well, because this format already exists, and it is called Momir. Yes, that's right – this format will be Momir Basic.

 I know that such a format is heavily RNG-based. I promise, I am more sensitive to RNG vicissitudes than most. But that's the point – the format could also be seen in the light of my acquiescence to how much variance is embedded in Magic (in my last loss, Storm against Cloudpost, my only out in receiving such a match-up was my opponent having a stroke during the game; as an aside, dearest Council, I thought we got rid of Storm? Looks like we have more work to do later.) But instead of the variance being daunting and frustrating (you guys know my penchant for unlikely mana flood/screw by now I hope), I want the variance, for a change, to be a source of excitement and anticipation.

 Now, given the RNG involved in Momir, doesn't it kind of suck to play it for prizes? Well, that's why I will add that I don't want prizes to be based on results – I want each person to get the same MTGOTraders certificate, win or lose. I hope we capture the same magic we all had when playing Magic at first, and therein lies the beauty of the world: searching for lost time, even when we know that we may never find it again, and its meaning is planting trees even when we know that we may never sit underneath their shade.

 But it's the festive season, isn't it? I want you guys to show up, have fun, and not worry about winning or losing – just janking out and having a good time. Let's amp it up a little bit. I have received a lot from tribal over the years, and now I want to give back. I will throw 10 of my hard-earned tix into the pool for various 'achievements' during this event. I'm still thinking of some, but as of right now, categories like: player who got the most obscure / endangered creature (Kuma, this is your wheelhouse), player who got the most self-harmful creature (there are creatures that harm you if you get them), "strongest creature" received and things of that nature. I am open to ideas. It could either be 10 achievements of 1 tix each, or 5 achievements of 2 tix each, whichever you all prefer. I'll give Kuma the 10 tix and I will be amused in seeing him allocate who got what at the end of the event (as well as seeing any sort of discussion about it). The categories can both be tribal-inspired and general fun. Just have a good time now; I'll be back bringing a hyper-competitive deck, within my budget, intended to beat you up very badly not too long after, I promise.

 If MTGOTraders or anyone else wants to increase the pool for the special 500th event, all the better. Personally, I am quite partial to the self-harm category. In my very last Momir match, the finals of a similar event, in typical Bandit Keith fashion, I got one of the very few 8-mana creatures that wraths my entire board. I hope you all have better luck than I do! And I hope that the same fire I got inside of me when reading about this format for the very first time burns forever.

 Oh, and if any of you get a creature that references my name, call me to your game, and I will give you 2 tix. I don't have the most cash (been saving up for Force of Will for a while now, as well as new staples like Skyclave Apparition), but when fate speaks, I listen. Just don't get too many of them!

 Wishing you a Momir-y Christmas,
 Bandit Keith

 tl;dr The chosen format is Momir Basic. There will be 10 tix of extra prizes based on achievements, plus 2 tix if you cast a card that references Bandit Keith's name.


 Show and Tell is back! Here's Generalissimo battling his way to the finals with his Zombie list from two weeks ago – and ultimately facing Bandit Keith.

 And this is from last week, a less successful Shapeshifter deck based on the changeling mechanic. Among its opponents we find... you called it, Bandit Keith!


 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):

  • 10.49 (Week 518 BE), on December 12: Standard
  • 10.50 (Week 519 BE), on December 19: Pioneer
  • 10.51 (Week 520 BE), on December 26: Bandit Keith's Special: Momir Basic

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; Show and Tell art by Jeff Laubenstein; Herald of Anafenza art by Aaron Miller.