Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Sep 03 2021 11:00am

 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 Midnight Hunt preview week has started: Werewolves are coming! Not too many so far, and not too exciting, but they're coming, with a new wording for their transformation, involving the daybound and nightbound keywords and the day and night marker cards (it's all just a slightly convoluted way to save space for more rule text).


 The new rare legendary Werewolf seems good, though. It's the tribe's Toski, Bearer of Secrets.

 They might also be possibly branching into white, though it doesn't look too likely. This Cathar could just be a one-time thing due to its O-Ring ability.

 And Arlinn's back, as expected. But again, she seems more in tune with Wolves than Werewolves. It had happened with the original Arlinn Kord already, who had no references to Werewolves whatsoever. Arlinn, Voice of the Pack did, but that was just a low-powered uncommon.

 The card has merit, anyway. Two 2/2 Wolves for four mana is a good deal, and the turn after that we plus her and pass, and can still use all our mana in the opponent's turn, to cast reinforced creatures. Untap with Arlinn transformed, we get access to a ton of mana or an additional indestructible 5/5 trampler. It's not necessarily a card for Werewolf tribal, if not thematically, but it won't hurt.

 I looked back at the Werewolves we currently have, and surprisingly, there's not a lot of them that impress. Each of the four Innistrad sets containing them (Avacyn Restored had none) had a single one-drop. In order, Reckless Waif, Wolfbitten Captive, Village Messenger, and Kessing Prowler. The Human ones are only any good if we can transform them all fast, which is tricky if we have to do it naturally, as opposed to with external means like Moonmist. Prowler is a mana sink for a turn when we skip casting to trigger the transformation, but not before turn five, which is very slow.


 The two-drops are similar. Duskwatch Recruiter is more fitting for combo decks that seeks their last piece by dumping infinite mana into its activation. Scorned Villager is a passable accelerator. Ulvenwald Captive is not. And then the rares, aside from must-run Mayor of Avabruck (which, again, creates Wolves – a tribe that seems to be the vastly superior one at the moment) and versatile midrange sensation Huntmaster of the Fells, don't offer much else. Daybreak Ranger is okay in the long run, but not a strong board presence as a 2/2 on turn three. Kruin Outlaw is playable, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde barely so. The rest of them have basically never seen any play. Including terrible stuff like Sage of Ancient Lore and Mondronen Shaman. Werewolf Pack Leader seriously rank as one of the best Werewolves so far, and it wasn't even from an Innistrad set, nor a transformer.


 It's weird to think that for a while we had Werewolf banned from Underdog, because it was winning too much. That was 2012! More than 460 events ago! Here's the list romellos ran that won an Underdog event for the last time (I suspect Punishing Fire may have had something to do with its success). After that, the lycanthropes never even got close to mattering again, sadly.

 But now, between the dedicated Midnight Hunt and its follow-up Crimson Vow (which is bound to still have a few Werewolves in it), will we see enough new fuel for the howling tribe to make a comeback?


  • Event Number: Week 555 BE
  • Date: August 28
  • Attendance: 10
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: ThyShuffler with Human
  • 1-loss: Nagarjuna with Angel, Deonmag with Archer, csrrcr with Sliver, Bandit Keith with Kor, Generalissimo with Dragon
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Hyena
  • New Repopulation Award: lovetapsmtg with Hyena
  • Tribes: Angel, Archer, Bear, Dragon, Human, Hyena, Kor (x2), Sliver, Treefolk
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And that's the 66th win for Human in a Tribal Apocalypse event. That's about at least one in six events where Human was legal as a tribe. ThyShuffler said it right in his deck's name. And this was even a slightly original build based on Zur the Enchanter, which is not something you see every day. In fact, the silver lining is that at least Human contains multitudes, so the winning lists are potentially very different from each other. Although, I bet most of those 66 were just White Weenies.


 Speaking of builds that go beyond the usual setup for the tribe, here's an innovative Sliver build (popularized in an article by SaffronOlive last week). You don't go all linear with them. Instead, you use Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord to drop Vampire-in-disguise Morophon, the Boundless on turn three. The legendary changeling will betray Sorin's trust and choose Sliver as its favorite tribe, which makes The First Sliver entirely free (not to mention, true to its name), along with all the other Slivers that don't have any generic mana in their cost, and now they all have cascade, so we can chain them together. This includes a bunch of other big WUBRG Slivers, and ultimately Cloudshredder Sliver to attack in the air with the whole team. A very Modern Horizons-fueled combo, that returning tribal player csrrcr piloted well, even though the top place proved elusive.


 Finally, here's another very old tribe that's incorporating new tricks in its repertoire. Generalissimo built his Dragons in sort of a straightforward, non-cheating way, with self-evident support cards like Orb of Dragonkind and Sarkhan, Fireblood. But we also find a clever way to exploit the underplayed Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge through artifact lands and especially Liquimetal Torque. And the new, curve-filler dragonborn from Forgotten Realms, like Nadaar, Selfless Paladin.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks, courtesy of the Deck Pricer from mtgGoldfish (MTGO Traders prices as of September 3, 2021):

  • ThyShuffler's Humans: $112.20
  • csrrcr's Slivers: $75.52
  • Generalissimo's Dragons: $66.16

 The Top 10 Cheapest Decks that Went Undefeated

  1. -DiamondDust-'s Dinosaurs, $0.98, 2nd place on Event 539
  2. SirFalcon2008's Goblins, $1.54, 1st place on Event 389
  3. mihahitlor's Warriors, $1.95, 1st place on Event 233
  4. morpphling's Vampires, $2.25, 1st place on Event 285
  5. morpphling's Goblins, $2.35, 2nd place on Event 102
  6. JogandoPelado's Berserkers, $2.80, 1st place on Event 248
  7. kokonade1000's Berserkers, $2.95, 2nd place on Event 354
  8. MisterMojoRising's Beasts, $.3.01, 1st place on Event 484
  9. Gq1rf7's Goblins, $3.32, 1st place on Event 154
  10. Bandit Keith's Soldiers, $3.48, 1st place on Event 422

 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 Dark Horse 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: Beholder.

 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). Tribes that didn't exist before this season aren't eligible.

 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):

  • 11.35 (Week 556 BE), on September 4: Underdog
  • 11.36 (Week 557 BE), on September 11: Pioneer
  • 11.37 (Week 558 BE), on September 18: Modern
  • 11.38 (Week 559 BE), on September 25: Legacy

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.
Next banned and restricted announcement: October 1.
Current watch list:
 Conspicuous SnoopCrippling Fear Shrieking Affliction.



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