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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Feb 07 2012 1:19pm
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*** Tribal Apocalypse: Week 56 BE ***
Clap your hands

 Welcome back to your favorite Tribal Apocalypse reportage! With the shenanigans of the 2011 Invitational behind us, we're now ready to dive into the heart of the 2012 season. After 3 events (not including the Invitational), we can start to see how things are going to shape up this year, and again, we had 3 different tribes piloted by 3 different players taking turns at the top spot so far. Let's have a look.

  • Event Number: 4 (2012), 56 (all-time)
  • Date: January 28 
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: none
  • Top 4: Nagarjuna (Faerie, undefeated); mayure (Elf, undefeated); Lord Erman (Human, 1 loss); gbagyt (Treefolk, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to sadisteck (Zubera) 
  • Tribes: Archer (from round 2), Assassin, Elf (x3), Faerie, Human (x2), Kor, Spirit (round 1 only), Treefolk, Werewolf, Wizard (x2), Zubera

 This time was the turn of good ol' Nagarjuna, a solid player and TribAp aficionado who already was among the Top 16 players last year, but never managed to end 1st place before. To finally attain the best-in-show result, Naga resorted to the same Faerie combo deck which already earned him a 3rd placement in the previous regular event.


 Yeah, the dreaded Splinter combo is back with a vengeance. Compared to the version from two weeks before, Naga fixed the mana base (which is now a perfect Izzet build), and took out Scion of Oona (guess giving shroud to Pestermite wasn't a great idea to begin with), Sower of Temptation, and Mistbind Clique, in order to lower the curve and give himself some early roadblocks with Oona's Gatewarden and Cloud of Faeries. Also, Kiki-Jiki made his due appearance (he's the inventor of this very strategy, after all), along with some Dispels to protect the combo, while the whole burn suite was removed. Short of adding expensive cards like Force of Will, this build seems optimal, and likely to be highly successful again and collect a vast amount of hate along the road (I, for one, hate it already, since this deck beat my Venser Humans pushing me out of the Top 4!). 

 At 2nd place, and equally undefeated, we find mayure's Elf deck. But here's the thing: from now on, I will not showcase traditional Elfball decks anymore. First of all, because they are pretty much always the same (with just two or three variants), and we already featured and commented their decklists ad nauseam in the previous articles. Second of all, I don't want to further encourage players into using them. Yeah, I'm just dictatorial that way. Nothing personal, mayure, your piloting skills are not in discussion here. And by the way, classic Goblin aggro-burn decks will suffer the same fate. So he spoke.

 Let's review Lord Erman's 3rd place Human deck, instead:


 Here's a nice deck that, once again, proves the huge variety and versatility of the largest tribe in the game. The Bant way is a popular route for Human decks, as well as the familiar "Stoneforge package". It's worth noting the inclusion of Rafiq of the Many, though, more frequently seen as the centerpiece of Commander decks. And from the Commander world comes another strong creature, Edric, Spymaster of Trest (who's actually stronger in 1 vs. 1 games); both him and Rafiq are fetchable with Green Sun's Zenith.

Rage of the Trees
by gbagyt

4 Treefolk Harbinger
4 Bosk Banneret
4 Dungrove Elder
3 Leaf-Crowned Elder
4 Dauntless Dourbark
1 Timber Protector
1 Weatherseed Treefolk
3 Sakura-Tribe Elder
24 cards

Other Spells
4 Berserk
4 Primal Bellow
3 Blanchwood Armor
1 Rancor
12 cards

24 Forest
24 cards


Dauntless Dourbark


 Treefolks are recently coming up to finally take their well-deserved spot among the greatest tribes of Magic, after not getting enough love for all of 2011, much in the same way as the other big tribe from the Lorwyn-Shadowmoor era, the Faeries (Kithkin was major at the time as well, but since they essentially are better-looking white Goblins, I'm not too concerned with their overall absence within TribAp events). The presence of the wooden guys last year amounted to just two Top 4 placements (out of half a dozen appearances): undeadgod's 1st place in Week 25, and Ayanam1's in Week 49. The latter would then play his Doran-based Treefolk deck again during the Invitational; but the Invitational itself would see another of the Top 16 players, gbagyt, running a more straightforward aggro build, very different from Ayanam1's 3-colored control take, and capable of taking out the higher-seeded AJ_Impy from the tournament. Here's how AJ himself remembers the matchup in a recent comment: "gbagyt's Treefolk deck that upset the seeding was an excellent aggressive build, using such shenanigans as winning one game with a double-berserked creature to trample over for lethal, and a Dungrove Elder with a Blanchwood Armor to outpace any chance of removal in the other."

 And speaking of our newly crowned Ultimate Tribal Champion Ayanam1, he was there this week too (with a Spirit deck), but had to leave the event after round 1, lured away by a paper Dark Ascension pre-release. His place was taken by PureMTGO's PiDave, a very welcomed newcomer to Tribal Apocalypse that we hope to see again (come back, PiDave!). His Archer deck didn't get to do much (was defeated by mayure's Elfball in round 2, then got a bye in round 3), but it's interesting enough to be featured:


 The tribal base is supported by kind of a Green Sun's Zenith-enabled creature toolbox, specifically oriented towards noncreature hate (Qasali Pridemage, Harmonic Sliver, Acidic Slime), plus a Primeval Titan to fetch Gavony Township.

 All in all, this was a somewhat placid week. It's possibly the right occasion to complement the article with some deck ideas, especially focused on...


 That's right, let's build some of the tribes the Tribal Apocalypse player never gave a single chance so far, at least according to the Tribe Popularity Survey (maintained with the invaluable help of vantar6697). For instance, why not play with Ogres?


 Ok, I know the answer: it's because Ogres are pretty awful. Look at what we got at Inferno Titan mana: freaking Rustmouth Ogre, a 5/4 which tries to destroy an enemy artifact by connecting with the opponent! Yet I like Kazuul enough, his ability is interesting (and look, Rage Nimbus is trying to help him! How cute!). Also hilarious the great lengths this deck goes to in order to enable Barrage Ogre. Man, these dudes are really a Johnny nightmare. Their black counterparts are a bit less stiff, though:


 Apparently, Black Ogres are best pals with Demons (they can also tutor them via Blood Speaker, if in a quite clumsy and convoluted way), and Kamigawa wanted for me to play with these four demons in particular:

Yukora, the Prisoner Scourge of Numai Gutwrencher Oni Painwracker Oni

 They're very flavorful. Forgive me, though, if I choose to play with these other four demons instead:

Bloodgift Demon Bloodgift Demon Bloodgift Demon Bloodgift Demon

 You know, just to give these dorks a fighting chance. And speaking of black dorks, what about the very classic, very unappealing Thrulls?


 I don't know how much Liliana feels safe by hanging out behind these very volatile little guys, but the flavor of "the Evil Queen and her Minions" makes up for the lack of defensive solidity. Plus, if you manage to get the Grave Pact engine up and running, the opponent will have to sacrifice his ass off.  There's also a reanimator deck to be built around the interaction of Soul Exchange with the Thrulls; but for how sweet it is to give +2/+2 to your freshly reanimated fattie, I'm not sure an Entomb/Exhume type of deck would really bother. Or you might take the Thrull aggro path (!) and create your invincible armada via Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder and Breeding Pit, and maybe pump it up with the somehow comical Thrull Champion (he takes control of all the opponent's thrulls! Scary!). Or maybe not, because that's actually just an easily removable and madly overpriced Bad Moon. And there's also a deck to be built featuring the best Thrulls ever printed (no, I don't mean Derelor): the pretty decent Mourning Thrull and Rakdos Ickspitter, from when Ravnica was trying to nobilitate the ancient race of dark lab rats. The fun with Thrulls is never-ending! What are you waiting for? Take them for a ride now!

 Last for today, and again in black (albeit just as a backup): did you ever contemplate the amazing possibilities of a Gnome tribal deck?


 For some reason, in the MTG universe the gnomes are colorless artifact creatures. So, enter a Locus manabase. Then, let's exploit what the Gnomes do: Copper Gnomes bring big artifact threats onto the battlefield by sacrificing themselves, something that even both Bottle Gnomes and Ticking Gnomes do. Therefore, Living Death becomes the sweeper of choice for this deck, while also enabling a bit of reanimation with the discard effect of Patchwork Gnomes. The whole manabase is protected from Sundering Titan's ability, so the idea is to abuse it as much as possible (via Erratic Portal too, as soon as recasting the Titans thanks to the Cloudposts becomes viable). I made a version with Ersatz Gnomes too, trying to work in a Darkest Hour/Light of Day combo, but it was too hard to pull off along with the rest.

 Well, that's all. See you at the next Tribal Apocalypse (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT). I also remind everyone that I'll be in the Tribal room (/join tribal) every Wednesday from 20:00 GMT on for some tribal tournament practice. Join me if you like!



Great report as always! First by PiDave at Tue, 02/07/2012 - 14:22
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Great report as always!

First of all, thanks for the shout-out. :-) As you saw last saturday I was back once again with the same deck (which, by the way, is far from an optimal build: I'd like to put in savannahs and fetchlands as well as switch out a wall for a singleton path to exile and the baloth for Thrun) and it went a little better. But we'll talk about that next time maybe! ;-)

I would like to expose the by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/07/2012 - 16:24
Kumagoro42's picture

I would like to expose the preposterous fact that you feel Sol Ring and Command Tower are too expensive for your Commander deck, yet you own a Primeval Titan. :P

Heh, I opened it in my first by PiDave at Tue, 02/07/2012 - 17:24
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Heh, I opened it in my first M12 draft. I'm a shameless lucksack. XD

You could still sell it and by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/09/2012 - 07:53
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You could still sell it and buy, like, 4 Sol Rings! :P (Then sell 3 Sol Rings and buy 100 bulk rares)

I love the archer deck simply by JustSin at Tue, 02/07/2012 - 14:36
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I love the archer deck simply for the fact that I totally forgot there was an archer lord, which is too cool

I know, right? It's not just by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/07/2012 - 16:22
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I know, right? It's not just a pumper guy, I had to actually read what he does when played against Dave! (And got it wrong anyway)

It's a pity it's a 5 CMC. It by PiDave at Tue, 02/07/2012 - 17:27
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It's a pity it's a 5 CMC. It would have been great at 3 and very good at 4...Anyway, the secondary ability is good when facing lots of flyers with a couple scattershot archers on the ground. :-)

Ogre Deck by Eibon at Fri, 02/10/2012 - 03:56
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Hi. I play alot of tribal magic in my kitchen table. Sometimes I search ideas from this forum, but I rarely copying the whole deck... anyway I got solid ogre deck, and I defenetly want to see it action in hands of some other player. Main plan is agro. They hit very hard and enought fast. Second plan is taking control of all creatures by using Mirrorweave on Drooling Ogre, and then drop an afrifact at the table. Mirrorweave also
gives legs to the Ogre Sentry, and therefore good target is also Ogre Marauder, to make last push. Or Jagged Poppet to take enemys hand away, after you drop your Viscera Dragger to the graveyard waiting for her
unearth ability. Also there is alot of multitarget damage spells, so you can get rid of weenies and get your opponent damaged before cast Blood Ogre. Very fun to play, not best tribal deck, thats for sure, but try it and

2 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
2 Viscera Dragger
2 Jagged Poppet
3 Orge Marauder
4 Blood Ogre
3 Ogre Sentry
4 Drooling Ogre


3 O-Naginata
4 Executioner´s Capsule
2 Mirrorweave
4 Fire/Ice
3 Electrolyze

1 Tomb of Urami
2 Drowned Catacombs
2 Watery Grave
2 Darkslick Shores
4 Crumbling Necropolis
3 Blackcleave Cliffs
6 Mountain
3 Swamp
1 Island

Hey, thanks for this by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 02/10/2012 - 06:43
Kumagoro42's picture

Hey, thanks for this decklist! Cool deck! I'll feature it in my next article, if you don't mind, so that more people can see it.

Kitchen table tribal is really something. Do you play on MTGO too? If that's the case, why don't you come playing this deck yourself on Tribal Apocalypse? We will be glad to see you there!

ogre by Eibon at Fri, 02/10/2012 - 07:07
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Sure you can get that decklist more visible :) I havent play MTGO so much lately, i have acount there, but there is not same feeling what you can get when playing with other peopoles. Maybe i start to invest MTGO again at near future.

Thrull Deck by Eibon at Fri, 02/10/2012 - 15:38
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That other tribe, what players has avoided is also (in my mind) powerful tribe... I give my Trull decklist here. Basic idea is try to play with best creatures what game have to offer, and in case of thrulls, that mean your opponent´s creatures. So aim is controling those by Trull Champion + Amoeboid Changeling combo and hoping to survive long enough that you can sacrifice thrulls for summoning Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker or Army of the Damned. Colfenor´s Plans are easy way to find answers to the treats what opponent is thowing at your face. And you get land every turn, to get your goal. You can bounce it by Grixis Charm or find another by Prophetic Bolt and i havent "yet" get stuck because of it. But i guess this is risky move against blue control decks. Cause i have A-LOT of tribal decks, my Thrull decks manabase is not that good what it should be.

Common thing with my trull and ogre decks is that they both are (URB) so MTGO players have to get only one good manabase set. (and you can use this list later, to get players intrested those rarely played tribes.

4 Blood Pet
4 Basal Thrull
4 Amoeboid Changeling
4 Blood Vassal
4 Thrull Champion

4 Lightning bolt
1 Spawning Breath
2 Grixis Charm
4 Colfenor´s Plans
4 Prophetic Bolt
1 Army of the Damned
2 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

4 Crumbling Necropolis
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Jwar Isle Refuge
1 Darkslick Shores
1 Stensia Bloodhall
2 Rupture Spire
4 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Island
2 Mountain
5 Swamp

Cool again. You know, I had by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 02/11/2012 - 07:04
Kumagoro42's picture

Cool again. You know, I had actually thought about using the Thrull Champion (that I mocked) by changing the opponent creature types (a friend of mine used Amoeboid Changeling with Cryptic Gateway, I used it with Didgeridoo), but it sounded terribly clunky, because if either the Champion or the Changeling got removed, you're left with a creature that does nothing useful by itself. But I suppose it's worth a try.
Nice use of rarely-seen cards (I always like that), like the very dangerous but sexy Colfenor's Plans. The mana base might use some fixing, indeed; it looks terribly slow. May I publish it with a reworked manabase based on my collection? (Your Ogre deck is in article I already submitted and will probably be up on Monday; this one will go in the following one).

How did you manage to start a real life group of tribal players? Nobody I met in my paper times ever knew what Tribal was (myself included).

trull by Eibon at Sun, 02/12/2012 - 11:34
Eibon's picture

sure you can fix the manabase to get it looking better at your article. I have few friends who like casual play and we started to move tribal, cause legacy games was so boring and tribal still allow you to use alot of old good cards. I have alot of weird decks maybe i can send some interesting decklist to you later.