Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Mar 19 2021 1:00pm

 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

 Let's talk about the Unhallowed Tribes. This is how we've been calling the currently 115 tribes (so little more than 50% of the 228 eligible tribes) that have yet to end a Tribal Apocalypse event at the first place. In a running series, I set to examine the chances of each of them to clear that coveted threshold uniquely exploiting the lineup they have available at the moment. Let's proceed with the first five, in alphabetical order.

  • Advisor. Members online: 48. Rare or mythic: 31. Played: 15 times. It's surprising to learn the Advisors are still in the Unhallowed list. They're not a large tribe, but their density of rares has to be among the highest in the game. They contain incarnations of well-known characters like Teysa and the ghosts of Obzedat, and a number of highly competive cards like Imperial Recruiter, Gaddock Teeg, Leovold, Kethis, and Atris. They enable a number of built-in combos, and even a specific battleplan with Persistent Petitioners. It might be hard to figure out a build because they pull in all kinds of different directions, and sometimes they work better as part of other tribes, like Mayor of Avabruck with Humans and Werewolves, but the overall power level is undeniable. I rate them as Extremely Likely to win an event.
  • Aetherborn. Members online: 16. Rare or mythic: 4. Played: 11 times. This tribe was introduced in Kaladesh block and is entirely comprised of cards from those two sets. They have some good members, like Gonti and Gifted Aetherborn, but their potential as a monoblack tribe is limited and somewhat unattractive, compared to similar options. And being linked to a specific plane means only a return to Kaladesh would make them better. I rate them Unlikely to win an event as they stand.
  • Antelope. Members online: 10. Rare or mythic: 1. This is of those animal tribes that only exist because the designers at some point felt the need to make that particular animal into a card for some reason. Antelopes are mostly in green but their only rare is white, though it's also a bad card so it doesn't really matter. A couple of the members are playable, but overal they're just a novelty tribe. I rate them Extremely Unlikely to win an event without resorting to external combos.
  • Ape. Members online: 24. Rare or mythic: 5. Played: 17 times. Most of their rares aren't very good, except for Kogla, and classic Kird Ape (who counts as a mythic in searches due to its From the Vault reprint) is still a great one-drop for aggro. A curve that goes from Kird Ape to Kogla is not easy to concoct, though, so I rate their chances to win an event just Average.
  • Archer. Members online: 77. Rare or mythic: 11. Played: 9 times. It's a relatively large tribe that's often used as filler or appears incidentally on creatures that feature random archery capability (a flavor application that was denied at times, most notably with bow-wielding Gods like Nylea and Oketra). They have a viable lord in Greatbow Doyen, and a couple of other good members like Robber of the Rich and Wildborn Preserver, but at best they're a midrange build with not a lot of built-in value.



  • Event Number: Week 531 BE
  • Date: March 13
  • Attendance: 8
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Standard
  • Winner: -DiamonDust- with Rogue
  • 1-loss: Nagarjuna with Rogue, Bandit Keith with Rogue, ThyShuffler with Cleric
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Warlock
  • Tribes: Cleric (x2), Dwarf, Knight, Rogue (x3), Warlock
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 After the release of Kaldheim, Rogues lost their dominance on the Standard meta at large, but they're still the top tribe in our neck of the woods. Their latest winning build, courtesy of -DiamondDust-, emphasizes their control elements by essentially running what amounts to eight hard counterspells within the Tribal Wars environment.


 A tribe that's been accumulating steam, despite still missing the big result, is Cleric. Most of their current lineup of choice, as seen in this list by ThyShuffler, comes from Zendikar Rising. Still, Kaldheim added the unassuming Elderfang Disciple, which is good fodder to sacrifice to the other Disciple and trigger Orah, Skyclave Hierophant in the process – this routine could indeed even warrant the inclusion of Archfiend's Vessel as a one-drop 5/5 flyer. But this is a Yorion build, so it mostly aims to abuse the ETB abilities in a direct way.


 Last season's Standard stars, the Knights have not been performing as brilliantly as they used to as of late, and it doesn't look like their fortune is destined to change before their tribal set Throne of Eldraine rotates out next fall – for one, Strixhaven is not expected to feature the tribe much. They're still potentially effective, though, if perhaps more in a combination of colors that include red, as opposed to the more budget-friendly white-black one fielded by Deonmag here.


 A tribe with mad potential is Shapeshifter. Or, as they're called in Generalissimo's build, Dwarves.


 Magda is one resourceful gal, but she would like to have a few non-changelings to search for with her Treasures, mainly Goldspan Dragon, although Terror of Mount Velus is a nice way to close the game in a single alpha strike – to say nothing of Embercleave, which she can also fetch and will still auto-attach itself at instant speed.




 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of March 19, 2021):

  • -DiamondDust-'s Rogues: $16.88
  • ThyShuffler's Clerics: $17.27
  • Deonmag's Knights: $2.98
  • Generalissimo's Dwarves: $11.12

 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 New Repopulation Award: Play all rounds of a Tribal Apocalypse event with a tribe that's been played only three times or fewer, and you'll get a 1-tix certificate from MTGO Traders. The list of eligible tribes is here (the leftmost column, from the end).

 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):

  • 11.11 (Week 532 BE), on March 20: Pioneer
  • 11.12 (Week 533 BE), on March 27: Legacy

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: March 26.
Current watch list:
 Aether VialBatterskullConspicuous SnoopHymn to Tourach,
NecromancyShrieking AfflictionSinkholeWitch's Vengeance.



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