Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Apr 30 2021 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

 The survey on the Unhallowed Tribes continues. Last time we covered the first five, from Advisor to Archer. Their number isn't changed since then. Let's proceed.

  • Aurochs. Members online: 4. Rare or mythics: 0. Played: 5 times. This one's pretty hard. They have color consistency, since they're all green, and they're even all designed to synergize with each other, but their curve is wonky (there's a two, then a four, a five and a six), and the whole battleplan they suggest is just too fair and casual to function. As the tribe stands, I rate Extremely Unlikely for the Aurochs to ever win an event. They're mostly from Coldsnap, one of them is even a Snow creature, yet Kaldheim didn't bother add a new member, which isn't boding well for future developments.
  • Azra. Members online: 8. Rare or mythics: 3. Played: 9 times. For being a tiny tribe that was introduced relatively recently (in June 2018 with Battlebond), the Azra have a serious lineup with valuable abilities. Unfortunately, the best members reference different tribes: Warrior with Mindblade Render and Rushblade Commander, Ninja with Azra Smokeshaper. The Warrior synergies are exploitable in-tribe, too, since most Azra are Warriors; but it doesn't encourage to play them on their own, unless we're actively seeking an accomplishment. What also hurts their chances is the fact that they're only legal in Legacy, which makes Underdog events the only really viable outlet for them. Still, I think it's Likely they'll eventually end on top at least once, and the updates they've got in Modern Horizons and Jumpstart suggest they might grow further, especially if we're going to return to Kylem one day.
  • Badger. Members online: 4. Rare or mythics: 2. Played: 4 times. If it weren't for the printing of Surly Badgersaur in Commander 2020 clearly indicating the tribe is still active, one might think Badgers were discontinued. In fact, one would have thought that already before Born of the Gods first brought them back in 2014, after 15 years of absence, so it seems like the designers are hellbent on keeping them around. Badgersaur is also the first "true" rare they've got, since the rarity of the original book promo Giant Badger is not realistic (it was reprinted at common in Eighth Edition), and the same can be said for Homelands' Rysorian Badger – which isn't even online anyway. There's not much to say about them, they're a minuscule hodgepodge of creatures with meaningless abilities, plus the okay build-around card that is Badgersaur. I'm tempted to say it's outright Impossible for them to win an event, unless a trick is insolved where they're only incidentally the deck's tribe – something that's deprecated.
  • Barbarian. Members online: 26. Rare or mythics: 10. Played: 6 times. Barbarian is an old tribe. It dates back to Alpha's Keldon Warlord, and counts only three members first printed in the modern frame, which means they're also an Underdog-only tribe but is also a bit concerning for the future. We haven't had a new Barbarian since Coldsnap, and that's 15 years ago. Have they been silently abandoned, perhaps due to their overlap with Warrior and Berserker? (Possibly for correctness too: it wouldn't feel right to file the Vikings of Kaldheim under "barbarians"). Going for what they have, they still seem underplayed in Tribal Apocalypse. They've some good stuff available, even if they're best members, like Jeska, Kamahl and Godo, are a bit overcosted. I give them Average chances to win an event.
  • Basilisk. Members online: 10. Rare or mythics: 3. Played: 6 times. Here's another of the original Alpha tribes that doesn't get updated in more than a decade (last new member was from Magic 2011). They're also very one-note, just a bunch of green midrange beaters with deathtouch or pseudo-deathtouch. One can put together a working curve, but they won't do much rather than clog the ground, and they're not the best creatures to combine with "deathtouch matters" cards. I see the Basilisks as Unlikely to ever win an event.



  • Event Number: Week 537 BE
  • Date: April 24
  • Attendance: 11
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: -DiamondDust- with Elemental
  • Runner-up: Yokai_ with Goblin
  • 1-loss: Nagarjuna with Human, ThyShuffler with Squid, AJ_Impy with Pirate, Dracocards with Dog
  • Dark Horse Prize: ThyShuffler with Squid
  • Tribes: Devil, Dog, Elemental, Goblin, Human, Pirate, Satyr, Squid, Warrior, Zombie (x2)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 See, builds like this one by -DiamondDust- are the reason why Elemental was never allowed to take part in Underdog events, despite the fact that their green-based lists aren't as effective (then again, maybe the multicolored ones with the most recents Omnaths are). A classic approach, this deck employs the ephemeral Elementals a la Ball Lightning as burn spells, bringing them back with Unearth, which thus acts as a one-mana "deal 6". It's a routine that can kill the opponent madly fast.


 Another red-centric list came second place, in the form of this Goblin concoction by Yokai_, which takes the "go big" route by using Jumpstart's Muxus, Goblin Grandee as a centerpiece. It's mostly a port of the lists that are seen in Historic, but it also has Food Chain as another ramp piece.


 Small tribes made scary: in ThyShuffler's interpretation, Squid is the shell for a prison build of the Winter Orb variety. There's some synergy with Gulf Squid for sure.


 Finally, here's a list that did well while costing little more than 50 cents. It's a monowhite Dog breed (see what I did there?) by dracocards, which is the new handle of longtime Tribal Apocalypse player morpphling.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of April 30, 2021):

  • -DiamondDust-'s Elementals: $18.20
  • Yokai_'s Goblins: $237.79
  • ThyShuffler's Squids: $117.78
  • Dracocards's Dogs: $0.69

 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):

  • 11.17 (Week 538 BE), on May 1: Underdog
  • 11.18 (Week 539 BE), on May 8: Pioneer
  • 11.19 (Week 540 BE), on May 15: Modern
  • 11.20 (Week 541 BE), on May 22: Legacy
  • 11.21 (Week 542 BE), on May 29: Penny Dreadful

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.