Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Apr 02 2021 12:02pm

 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

 Time to deal with a massive ban hammer! The Tribal Council truly followed the lead of the latest official bans, as far as quantity and impact are concerned. Here's the results, effective immediately.


 Legacy Underdog:



  • No changes.


  • No changes.

 Additionally, Legacy and Legacy Underdog now have two separate ban lists once again. Scarecrow is back to be legal in Underdog events. Crippling Fear is added to the Watch List; Batterskull and Necromancy are removed from the Watch List, along with all the banned cards, of course.

 Here's Generalissimo's write-up about the changes, spoken in his official role as El Presidente.


 One of the primary focuses of this quarter's changes has been to deal with the problems posed by the combo decks utilising the cascade ability to cast a quick Living End or Tibalt's Trickery. As soon as Tibalt's Trickery was released, it was clear it was going to be an issue; despite the heavy deck-building limitations the card imposes, the ability to cast an Eldrazi Titan as early as turn 2 creates such a quick, difficult to interact with, and board-dominating win, without requiring any set-up plays, that no other deck was realistically going to be able to compete. Living End, by contrast, requires more set-up to fill the graveyard with creatures and has slightly more ways to be interacted with, such as graveyard-hate, but the fact that it will completely 180 the board-state, destroying the opponents position at the same time as making an instant army, combined with the even greater consistency that cycling cards provides, has allowed the deck to generate a consistent track-record of winning across formats.

 Some consideration was paid to the idea of instead banning the 3-CMC cascade cards (Ardent Plea, Demonic Dread, Shardless Agent, and Violent Outburst) to force the decks to use the 4-CMC options instead, and slow them down without completely destroying them. However, we ultimately decided to go with the more direct option of banning the problem cards themselves as it wasn't clear that making them slightly slower would be sufficient to curb their power; a turn-3 or turn-4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is still extremely likely to win the game on the spot, and an extra turn before Living End is cast will often just mean an even bigger graveyard for it to put onto the battlefield.


 Another major issue was updating the ban lists after the previous quarter's banning of Cloudpost. A number of cards were banned over time with the intention of weakening the Cloudpost decks that no longer make sense to keep banned. Candelabra of Tawnos and Deserted Temple were seen as the safest options that may allow another big-mana deck to be viable without being quite as oppressive as the Cloudpost decks were. Similarly, Reality Smasher was unbanned in Legacy to hopefully allow the colorless Eldrazi deck, which hasn't been seen at all since the banning of Cloudpost, to be playable without being dominant. For the same reason, Scarecrow has been moved from Major League to Underdog; without the low-cost ramp from Cloudpost, its power-level is much more in-line with the other Underdog tribes.

 Aether Vial is a card that has been consistently successful across multiple tribes and multiple formats, racking up lots of 1st place results and only rarely ending with a record worse than x-1. It provides a huge tempo boost for aggro and aggro-control decks, while allowing them to more easily play around interaction such as board-wipes and countermagic, as well as to trigger enter-the-battlefield abilities at instant speed. This makes the decks quicker, more resilient and more flexible and is generally most effective in tribes that are already some of the best such as Humans, Goblins and Slivers.


 Finally, Hymn to Tourach, Sinkhole and Witch's Vengeance are all powerful effects that, in the right circumstances, will single-handedly determine the outcome of a game. This is significantly more true in the lower-power context of Underdog, where they can often contribute to games in which the player who draws the fewest on-tribe cards and the most individually powerful off-tribe cards is much more likely to win, which substantially blunts the unique character of the Underdog format.


  • Event Number: Week 533 BE
  • Date: March 27
  • Attendance: 8
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: Nobody!
  • Disqualified Winner: AJ_Impy with Eldrazi
  • 1-loss: Nagarjuna with Angel, Bandit Keith with Beast
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Minion
  • New Repopulation Award: lovetapsmtg with Minion
  • Tribes: Angel, Beast, Construct, Eldrazi, Gorgon, Minion, Specter, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 It happened, we had an event with no winning list. All because AJ_Impy wanted to say goodbye to Tibalt's Trickery-fueled Eldrazi, but forgot he couldn't play the card due to the lockout from his undefeated finish with Praetors of a few weeks ago. Truly a trickery, indeed, but it caused him to be stripped of all prizes and seasonal points, so it ended the same way as it did for Tibalt, didn't it?


 Meanwhile, Nagarjuna was running reanimator Angels in a Living Death build. And now there's been some talk about banning it, too. It's a craze!


 What certainly got the ban axe is its fancier cousin Living End, to which Bandit Keith bid adieu in this Beast shell. It really was the week of power combo good-byes.


 I mean, even the Repopulation-worthy Minion list by lovetapsmtg included a few cards that were soon to be banned!



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of April 2, 2021):

  • AJ_Impy's Eldrazi: $211.20
  • Nagarjuna's Angels: $219.56
  • Bandit Keith's Beasts: $123.53
  • lovetapsmtg's Minions: $3.90

 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):

  • 11.13 (Week 534 BE), on April 3: Underdog
  • 11.14 (Week 535 BE), on April 10: Standard
  • 11.15 (Week 536 BE), on April 17: Modern
  • 11.16 (Week 537 BE), on April 24: Legacy

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: June 25.
Current watch list:
 Conspicuous SnoopCrippling Fear Shrieking Affliction.



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