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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Feb 13 2012 10:24am
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*** Tribal Apocalypse: Week 57 BE ***
Avatar of Me 

 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse's ever-boiling world. So, sometimes I pull a <insert the name of a truly good tribal player here> and end an event with a nearly perfect score. Yeah, it happens to me too. I know that NemesisParadigm once joked about the fact that I always draw attention to the other players' feats, and yet I was the 2nd highest-ranked player last year (and I'm actually the current 1st for 2012 now). But it's not really about skill. Of course, I'm not that bad. And I can build a decent deck. But here's the thing: I play every week. Seriously. In 2011, I only missed the times I was the host (plus a single time where I overslept, and I'm still pissed at me for that). This means a lot of chances to score Hall of Fame points. It's just a basic application of the Law of Large Numbers. I could even have a better score if I played strong decks every week, instead of half-baked attempts or poorly tested experiments. But that's not gonna happen.

 So, how exactly things went down this time? And did I end up winning the event? Let's find out (and no, I ended 2nd place).

  • Event Number: 5 (2012), 57 (all-time)
  • Date: February 4
  • Attendance: 19
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Endangered Week (only tribes with less than 50 members allowed)
  • Top 4: mihahitlor (Assassin, undefeated); _Kumagoro_ (Avatar, undefeated); apaulogy (Rebel, 1 loss); raf.azevedo (Mutant, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: none
  • Tribes: Ape, Archer, Assassin (x2), Avatar (x2), Demon, Hound, Leviathan, Mutant, Mystic, Ninja, Noggle, Nomad, Pirate, Rebel (x2), Werewolf (x2) 
  • First Time Tribe: Pirate

 So, we actually saw the 5th victory of a truly committed player who was already Top 16 last year, mihahitlor. And these are his lethal Assassins:

by mihahitlor - 1st place
4 Scarblade Elite
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
3 Garza's Assassin
4 Murderous Redcap
3 Skinrender
2 Royal Assassin
2 Kiku, Night's Flower
3 Nekrataal
2 Guul Draz Assassin
27 cards

Other Spells
4 Corrupt
2 Profane Command
2 Geth's Verdict
8 cards
25 Swamp
25 cards



 Fun fact: I beat this deck last week with my Venser Human deck (this week I talk a lot about me, eh?). Here's mihahitlor's changes since that time: -1 Garza's Assassin, -1 Kiku, Night's Flower, -2 Sheoldred, Whispering One, -2 Grasp of Darkness, +3 Skinrender, +2 Royal Assassin, +1 Swamp. It looks like Sheoldred was too slow for the deck, while Skinrender and the good ol' Royal Assassin are more efficient than both Garza's (who disappears from the board after use, asking you to surrender a lot of life to come back) and the lovely Kiku. A big strength of this deck is of course Corrupt, which is able to cause amazing reversals of fortune in late games. I also like Profane Command, just because it's a good card that doesn't see a lot of play. I wonder if this deck would benefit from a green/white splash, though (with some fetches and some dual lands that wouldn't disrupt Corrupt's work). I'm thinking Putrefy and Mortify, because as it is, the deck is pretty vulnerable to stuff like Teferi's Moat. Which is exactly the way I managed to defeat it last week. See? I did it again. Enough talking about me! Let's talk about my deck.

The Avatar Pride
by _Kumagoro_ - 2nd place
4 Avatar of Discord
4 Demigod of Revenge
4 Scion of Darkness
3 Avatar of Woe
2 Divinity of Pride
2 Ghastlord of Fugue
1 Herald of Leshrac
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Exhume
4 Buried Alive
4 Living Death
4 Liliana of the Veil
16 cards
2 Cabal Coffers
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Bojuka Bog
18 Swamp
24 cards

Liliana of the Veil


 So, here I came. I'm very glad about the placement of this Avatar deck. I used it once last year, and did decently (2-1, plus an Endangered Prize for that week, which is uncanny, as the Avatars are just barely endangered). Then I hastily brought it back for the last round of the Invitational when I realized my planned deck (as everyone else's) was not legal. In that occasion, my mistakes (I'm not that bad, but I'm often not good enough, either) betrayed the deck. This time, the deck managed to raise above my mistakes. I made it into a more straightforward Buried Alive into earlier Exhume into later Living Death deck, with Cabal Coffers as plan B. And I recently acquired a playset of the new Liliana, falling so crazy in love with her that I tried to put her everywhere, even in a Wurm deck. Here, surrounded by the blackest Avatars ever, she was comfy enough, and made some good plays (spoiler alert: next week she'll be the Queen of the Spirits). Avatar of Discord is dangerous to handle, with its wild card disadvantage, but it can lead to strong early plays. But the MVP is often Demigod of Revenge. With one of those in hand, you can Bury Alive the other three and go for a mid-range finish out of nowhere. Old trick, I know. Anyway, I managed to defeat some good decks: first, a strange but interesting Demon deck by newcomer (I think) Sol_Kanar, featuring... Sol'kanar; then, the super-cool Pirate deck concocted by One Million Words (see below); finally, raf.azevedo's 4th place Mutant deck:

Raf is very fond of the Living End tech, since we saw it applied by him to a lot of different tribes. Mutants are the best choice, of course, since many of them cycle, and this means you can fill the graveyard and look for the cascade spells at the same time. As mentioned above, in the last round this deck faced my Avatar deck: Living End vs. Living Death. And Living End has two advantages, actually: first, it's more reliable, since every cascade spell in the deck stands for it; second, it can be instant speed, if the cascade enabler is (like Violent Outburst, for instance; and it happened in the match, actually: I attacked with a full Avatar host only to see my side wiped out and raf's side replenished within a single stack resolution). The big advantage of the Avatar deck against a Mutant deck? Both aim to fill the graveyard then reanimate a bunch of creatures, but if both battleplans go unopposed, the board state at some point may end up like this:




 Which is like base model vs. super-accessorized. Good (combo) games, anyway.

 But what about the 3rd place deck? Well, I didn't face that, so who cares? Ok, apaulogy does care. And his Rebels too:


 SBena ran a similar deck and placed 5th, so it was a good week for the rebellion. Watching closely, though, this deck has a very different architecture than SBena's. First of all, we have the Rebels combo with this semi-forgotten enchantment from Rise of the Eldrazi:

Training Grounds

 It was conceived to help the levelers, but it helps the Rebels ability just as well, and this means a more reliable fetching engine for the deck, allowing in turn for a nice toolbox-oriented structure. You need a tapper? Fetch Whipcorder. Better kill that Titan? Call Big Game Hunter. Can use some life? Aven Riftwatcher is your choice. You got caught by surprise by an hasted alpha attack or massive discharge of damage? Just fetch Children of Korlis and sacrifice it on the fly. Black is pestering you? Here comes Nightwind Glider. No, wait, it was red? Thermal Glider, then. All this stuff died? Time to fetch Lin Sivvi and start again. And maybe Shapesharer to duplicate what you need most. And when you're ready to kick ass, the world famous rebel general Mirror Entity will change everyone from weenie to fattie. Aesthetic-wise, the only false note here is the inclusion of the overly abused Stoneforge package, but it surely adds even more punch to the deck.

 And speaking of nice builds, we had the pleasure to see Pete Jahn aka One Million Words again in the tournament. And this time with an exquisitely crafted deck, featuring a tribe which never appeared before in Tribal Apocalypse: Pirate.

Pirates of the Rishadan
by One Million Words
4 Rishadan Airship
4 Rishadan Footpad
4 Rishadan Cutpurse
2 Rishadan Brigand
3 Kukemssa Pirates
2 Talas Researcher
1 Pirate Ship
3 Temporal Adept
23 cards

Other Spells
4 Boomerang
2 Hoodwink
2 Seal of Removal
3 Tangle Wire
3 Counterspell
14 cards
3 Rishadan Port
20 Island
23 cards

Rishadan Port


 The Pirates have a strange history in Magic. There are officially 17 of them, but before the recent online release of the Masques block, there were just 4 online. And now they are 8, which is still not a big number. Where did the missing 9 come from? The answer is that weird, weird set that was Portal (and especially Portal: Second Age; plus one from, my God, Homelands: 'nuff said). But don't worry, with Portal being an "introductory set" and all (you know, the ones where, in order to make everything simpler for beginners, "to block" became "to intercept" and "graveyard" became "discard pile"), they are all just terrible. Suffice to say that the only rare one is a functional reprint of Phantom Warrior. The other are mostly French vanilla flyers, when not stuff with the old-fashioned seagoing flavor clause "can't attack unless defending player controls an Island". So, there's that. Anyway, out of the 8 Pirates available, Pete used 7, leaving out only the off-colored Ramirez DePietro (also because he's bad again: a 4/3 first striker for Titan mana; it's astonishing what we were given as creatures back in the time). The highlights are the Masques ones, of course, and especially this cycle:

Rishadan Footpad Rishadan Cutpurse Rishadan Brigand

 I would say that this is a fun deck, but the actual amount of fun strictly depends on which side you're on, since it's a prison deck, and playing against a prison deck is rarely fun. On top of the Rishadan Pirate cycle, we have the very fitting flavor-wise yet very powerful Rishadan Port, plus another of the big Masques cards, Tangle Wire, both working to shut down the resources that weren't plundered by the Pirates or bounced in hand by Temporal Adept, Boomerang, Hoodwink, or Seal of Removal. When this deck fires on all cylinders, it's unstoppable. The issues come from the other half of the tribal base: Talas Researcher is slow, Kukemssa Pirates is clumsy as much as its name, and the cute, singleton Pirate Ship reminds us of a more candid time when spending 5 mana for a flavorful pinger was cool. The deck ended with a 1-2 score, but I believe the pairings and overall luck didn't do it any favor. I'm looking forward to see the Pirates raiding and looting again.

 Quick watch on the other big players: bad week for Ultimate Champion Ayanam1, whose Leviathan deck (with Quest for Ula's Temple!) went very badly, prompting him to start a project where he'll try to win a tournament with every colorless tribe; NemesisParadigm was just 9th with a new Nomad deck featuring the Academy Researchers/Eldrazi Conscription combo, but I'm sure we will see it again, after some fixing; newly deposed Number 1 player of the current ranking Owain tried a Mystic deck without much success.

 And now for something completely different (yet just the same we did the last time)...


 In the last article I got a comment from a player named Eibon, who never played in Tribal Apocalypse (I repeat here the invitation I made there: come join us sometime!), yet wanted to share this cool Ogre deck after I posted my sad attempts at one (remember, the Ogre is an unplayed tribe; the first player who brings one of those to an event will receive a secret surprise prize from Blippy):


 And here's Eibon's comment on the deck (with just some editorial polishing): "I play a lot of tribal magic in my kitchen table. Sometimes I search ideas from this forum, but I rarely copy the whole deck... anyway, I got a solid Ogre deck, and I definitely want to see it in action in the hands of some other player. The main plan is aggro: they hit very hard and fast enough. The secondary plan is taking control of all creatures by using Mirrorweave on Drooling Ogre, and then drop an artifact onto the table. Mirrorweave also gives legs to the Ogre Sentry, therefore a good target for it is also Ogre Marauder, to make a last push. Or Jagged Poppet to take enemy's hand away, after you drop your Viscera Dragger into the graveyard waiting for her unearth ability. There's also a lot of multitarget damage spells, so you can get rid of weenies and get your opponent damaged before casting Blood Ogre. Very fun to play, not the best tribal deck, that's for sure, but try it and enjoy." I'm already enjoying the build! I also appreciate the use of the flavorful O-Naginata, mainly because I kinda forgot about its existence, and it's a good card for big guy decks. Also, Trinket Mage-friendly. Mmm...

 But let's continue the Parade of the Unplayed with another couple of demo decks which I'm sure somebody out there can build better than me. First, some sexy Dryads.


 The goal: giving a Forest to the opponent (if necessary) via Yavimaya Dryad, then pumping the landwalking Dryads with Rancor, Snake Umbra (which doubles as card advantage), and Seething Anger, which in turn pumps Quirion Dryad along with all the other red spells (some of them with buyback, to repeat the pumping each turn), and the blue-hybrid Snakeform (used for combat tricking and drawing). Cool fact about the Dryads: since 4 of them are lands, you have more room for non-tribal spells. Enjoy your building space. And now, Spikes: the Good Kind.

Spike Up the World
by _Kumagoro_
4 Spike Feeder
4 Spike Rogue
4 Spike Weaver
4 Spike Breeder
4 Spike Colony
4 Overgrown Battlement
4 Wall of Blossoms
28 cards

Other Spells
4 Doubling Season
4 Green Sun's Zenith
8 cards
1 Gaea's Cradle
4 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
4 Khalni Garden
15 Forest
24 cards

Spike Feeder


 This has turned into sort of an AJ_Impy-style build, with all full playsets and a very clear battleplan: make the Spikes big with Doubling Season and Oran-Rief. It kinda works, but you can also customize the build as you see fit. If the stopping power of the walls, the Khalni Gardens, Spike Feeder's lifegain, and Spike Weaver's Fog effect turns out to be solid enough, it's also possible to maximize the growth caused by the Double Seasoned switching of counters back and forth with some mana multiplier like Mana Reflection or Caged Sun. Every 2 mana spent with a single Double Season out means one counter added; with 2 Doubling Seasons, the ratio becomes 1:1.5 (2 mana for 3 new counters).

 Before wrapping up, I have to ask: why nobody commented on the Ayanam1 interview? Is it because you hate him (in that case: not cool, guys, not cool), or was there a problem with the comments (in that case: oh well)? Anyway, thanks for reading and see you around! (I'll stop inviting people for tournament practice on Wednesdays because very few showed up if at all, which makes me think I picked the wrong day or time. Any suggestions on when a second Tribal Gathering might take place during the week?)



I have a style now? by AJ_Impy at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 10:58
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I have a style now?

Ummm.... by BlippyTheSlug at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 11:06
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I think that question would be better phrased in lolcatspeak: "I has a stile?"

And apparently you do.

According to Nemesis (as he by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 13:44
Kumagoro42's picture

According to Nemesis (as he put it at the time of the Grudge Match). :)

AJ, are you a little bit cheered up since last Saturday? Because otherwise you better prepare yourself for a heartfelt, public appeal to you in my next article, titled "Remember your Gargoyle time!"
We CANNOT lose you. Period. :)

Somewhat. The format can by AJ_Impy at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:22
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Somewhat. The format can survive without me, but it probably won't have to just yet.

I certainly believe that you by ArchGenius at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:28
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I certainly believe that you have a style. However the spike deck described in this article doesn't fit your style.

Where are the sweepers combined with expensive and indestructible creatures?

Also, I think any Spike Feeder deck should have Gavony Township for a creature combo lock-out possibility.

Be that as it may, it was AJ by Paul Leicht at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:53
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Be that as it may, it was AJ who initially proposed the Spike idea back when he and Lord Erman were discussing sideboards (and why the format does not have them) in their dual article crossover. So he did bring up the spikes tribe then. :) Some of us have worked to make it a more proactive deck since then but no luck yet.

Totally unrelated to the above post but in reference to the living death decks vs Living end decks. These are two entirely different style decks. One is combo (living end + cascade hopefully for the win at the end of your ops turn) vs Mid Ranged/control.

Living Death acts as a sweeper, and a win con both. Though played with Buried Alive does make it more combo-centric and Patriarch's Bidding is a complimentary card in such decks. Other versions utilize Necrotic Ooze as a primary win con with Living Death as back up.

Mainly to my mind it is a necessity to run sweepers in this format since everyone insists on over-committing the board. So if not Living Death then pyroclasm, Damnation, Wrath of God, etc.

I do believe that is AJ's general thought behind his sweepers too (though you could just ask him). Also AJ's style is more than merely indestructibles and sweepers. He looks for odd tribes with powerful niche effects and tries to magnify them (Praetors or Masticore for example or his initial Sphinges Bidding deck that I stole and modified for my own use.) His more winning decks tend to sweep as the format requires an answer to super aggro and sweeping is basically the only answer to that now that WOTC saw fit to (inexplicably to this date) take out Moat which STILL baffles me. (Not just why they did it but why they never explain bizarre bannings.)

I subscribe to every single by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 08:54
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I subscribe to every single word you said here!

I sometimes feel like pure aggro players just conceive this format as it was a tabletop wargame a la Warhammer Fantasy Battle (which actually has some ways to sweep & trick, but very limited of course). Like the players/planeswalkers should field their armies and just let them clash while drinking coffee to the side.
And it worries me that someone at WotC might embrace this view (thank God they don't mess too frequently with the format, then), because banning Moat is just a way to keep goblinoids from having to worry about enchantment hate.
WotC's behaviour regarding Tribal Wars is especially baffling, because they keep doing blocks with tribal themes and mechanics (as recently as right now!), then rarely care if at all about the format that would exploit them the most, giving some love to a lot of cards that otherwise would never see constructed play (not to mention in an eternal format). But if "caring for Tribal" means "caring for goblinoid welfare", I'm more than happy with WotC not being involved at all in the format.

As for AJ's style, when I wrote that I was thinking more of a morphological aspect (that I'm sure nobody without OCD really ever notices) than a general strategy direction. I build every deck I feature in the editor. And the ones from the most experienced and influential players often have distinctive morphological signatures. It's like for painters, in a way (and I surely consider deckbuilding an art). I'm referring to the way the deck looks when you group all the cards and display them by casting cost. I can look at the lists without knowing what the cards do and I can say, "This looks like an AJ deck", or "This resembles a Nemesis deck" (just to name-drop the two Grudge Challengers). AJ's decklists (in his current phase. The Blue Period?) are often shorts, often with a majority of full playsets, which represent the core of what the deck strategy will be (regardless of what that will be).

My Spike list reminded me of those lists, as I usually include some apparently-random card (or absolutely-random, in a "I want to play this too!" kind of way).

Actually, my real Spike list is more uneven than that, but I try to build those inspirational lists as rough frameworks in order to push people to better them ("Oh, cool, Spikes! But hey, I can build them better than that. Let me try"). I find that nobody, at least within this environmnet, would really duplicate a list found in an article. But doing something better than someone else? They can do that. :)

Indeed. My own morphological by Paul Leicht at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 16:59
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Indeed. My own morphological signature used to be a) include at least two Reveillarks in every deck, and or b) use a lot of singletons and try to work a tool box into the deck even if it is awkward and unruly at best. Now I am not so sure what it is. Once my play test partners (mainly AJ) made me aware of this I tried to break that pattern.

im a little surprised people by JustSin at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 14:07
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im a little surprised people aren't tired of the Living Death/Living End decks

Cuddly Cadavars by Elbinac at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 16:31
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Everyone loves zombies.

Well, "people" is just me by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:04
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Well, "people" is just me (for Living Death) and raf.azevedo (for Living End). :) We're the only ones to revisit those strategies frequently these days. I like to use Living Death as a combination of Damnation and a graveyard strategy. Raf has applied cascade into Living End to every viable tribe. Strangely enough, the two strategies have little in common and share almost no card, creatures included.

I would ask if aren't people tired of combo Elves and burn Goblins, instead. Apparently not. It would drive me crazy to do the same "forest into Llanowar Elves" or "mountain into Goblin Guide" opening over and over again. But it has to be fascinating to their respective enthusiasts, because they're often very committed to their decks.

Goblins and elves will by ArchGenius at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:34
ArchGenius's picture

Goblins and elves will continue to exist in bulk until they are hated out of the format.

Some of us crazy deck-builders forget that "winning is fun" and "winning with a budget deck I can afford" is also fun.

Now, druids are the closest I'll ever get to elves and goblins, but I do love playing decks that feast upon those aggro strategies. The problem is that some of those counter-strategies can also get old fast.

What would Tribal Apocalypse be unless half the players were complaining about something?

I know that winning is fun by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:11
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I know that winning is fun (for ALL psychographics) and the budgets aren't the same for everyone. Yet at some point, trying to win while doing the same exact thing again and again and again should lose some of its appeal. There are decks that you can play one hundred times and always find a way to surprise you or to generate interesting game states when facing different opponents. Combo Elves and burn Goblins aren't among those.

Actually, I believe the answer to my question is simply this: yes, players grow tired of playing those decks (I know this is true, I saw successful Elf and Goblin players either changing decks or disappear entirely from the tournament). But those two tribes are so popular and easy to build than they found new players every time.

Yet we experienced a drop in Goblin appearances during the second half of 2011. Human has become the other most popular tribe (the first one, actually), but Human decks can be everything and its opposite, so that's not really an issue, nor something you actually get to perceive on a weekly basis.

And then there's the Zombie case, that's weird, as I will note in the next article. Zombie is the third most featured tribe in TribAp, yet they scored a Top 4 placement only twice over 58 events, the second of which was actually with a Living End deck that just used Zombies as cycling creatures. It appears TribAp players like to play with Zombies. But they aren't playing them right.

I don't like those either :P by JustSin at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:37
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I don't like those either :P

You don't like a lot of by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 08:56
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You don't like a lot of stuff! :P
And why are you always just commenting here, like a sitcom character? Come play! :)
(Seriously, even just on Wednesdays - which is now officially a thing again, thanks to apaulogy)

perhaps I don'tI am a big by JustSin at Wed, 02/15/2012 - 17:52
JustSin's picture

perhaps I don't, but tribal is tied for my fav format with Prism.. what I like is creativity, which i dont see by playing the typical elf/gobos or fitting 20 creatures into a tournament/lock-down combo

I am a big fan of tribal, used to be there every week during the days shard ran it still, if my schedule matched up i'd consider showing though my collection is pauper so that puts a slight power disadvantage lol

? by apaulogy at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:27
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Where did my FB comment go?

Anyway, one other interaction of note in my Rebel deck with Training Grounds is that when the Mirror Entity is on the battlefield, I can make all of my creatures 2/2s (4/4s with 2, 6/6s with 3) for free as many times as I want. This is highly relevant against burn spells...

I am going to cut the SFM package next time to challenge myself to just win with just the tribal synergy. One thing I have discovered is that Changeling Hero can be tutored for with Lin Sivvi to save rebels from sweep spells (which is why I have SFM + Batterskull...good alt. plan).

Your FB comment is appeared by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:24
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Your FB comment is appeared now. :)
I'll definitely keep showing up on Wednesdays, starting from 9 PM GMT.
Thanks for acknowledging Ayanam1's interview. I sometimes feel like he's kind of an obscure player, doing a lot of important stuff without clamor, while nobody is noticing. And it's kind of an Asian-American stereotype, so that pisses me off a little.

Sorry for getting your score wrong! I sometimes lose myself in all the data.

Cool stuff about Training Grounds and Mirror Entity, and Changeling Hero is a really good idea. These are cards that you don't see often, so you get points for bringing variety to the event. But hey, nobody judges you for playing Batterskull. :) It's more of a, "this is new, this is just classic" thing. I know I hated when I finally bought my first Primeval Titan when the price went down and out of some major sacrifices, and I would show up in Commander tables where I would be addressed as a "money player". People that struggled to get a money card earned the right to play it as much and as often as they like (people that didn't struggled have the same right, of course. But there's a case where complaining is outright undeserved).

Right on!! by apaulogy at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 13:31
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I have been wanting to test this format. Plus, I like playing with you experienced guys because you actually have insight as to what tribes can do!!

I am still a relative MTGO noob. I did not start taking it seriously until last year when I started school in tandem with working full time (wife and kids too!! Busy, busy, busy...). That said, to build my collection, I started with a TON of NMS drafts (best draft format ever? Maybe DKA-ISD is better...). So, of course I got a Batterskull (a play set of Tezzeret and Consecrated Sphinx too!). SFM was a 2 tix card when I got them for trade of other draft droppings (My Gut Shot for your SFM? Sure!)...combo!

I can see the other side of the coin though. There was a reason they had to ban it in Standard. The synergy is really good, and can be overwhelming if left unchecked. I think the stigma with it lies in the fact that I basically drop it on t3 and win. It is like the Aluren deck or Hypergenesis, the combo can be disrupted but it can be warping and no one likes to lose on t2-3, which is essentially what happens if I "Vial" in a Batterskull... I don't want this format to be "zomg ewe hafta turn doodz sidewayz, cuz it aren't fun if I duzn't and I will quit. (;_;) I also don't want to push people away from this tourney because I am uncreative and win with obvobvobv awesome cards.

RE: Ayanam- I beat his Leviathan deck with my Rebels in this week. This past Saturday, however,, we had a close one: My "Dirty Kitty" Goblin deck vs. his Horror Dredge deck. That Dredge deck is awesome (and Goblin Sharshooter owns it, lol) and I really hope to start brewing with that guy. I also have failed to mention that the interview itself was well written too :).

RE:Score- whatev. We are human (2nd most popular tribe) and it doesn't really matter. I just want the "official" to be calculated correctly, cause I am gunnin' for the hall of fame this year.

I wouldn't demonize the by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 16:57
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I wouldn't demonize the Stoneforge in Tribal. They banned her in Standard because they aimed to shut down the original Caw-Blade quickly for the last few weeks of legality. And they couldn't just kill all the blades. But in Tribal, the power of the Stoneforge is different. You can deal with her as you deal with all the utility creatures that impact the board. A Royal Assassin, if left unattended, may win the games on his own. Nobody ever cared for that.

Stoneforge fetching everything but the blades, even Batterskull, just acts as a tutor and an accelerator mainly. Batterskull is strong but doesn't destabilize the board. The blades do. What Stoneforge does is giving you a way to put 2-3 blades in the deck and always choose the most relevant one depending on the opponent colors. And the right blade can turn a creature into an unstoppable, unremovable clock with free disruption or removal effects.
After the tutoring is done, the presence of the Stoneforge on the board is just useful against permission decks, otherwise is just a 1 mana discount on the blades.

In Standard the blades still win games: the decks just pack 4-6 of them. Of course, tribal decks don't have room for that. Modern decks use Steelshaper's Gift for the tutoring. Tribal decks could do that too, if Stoneforge was banned. Or even better, Enlightened Tutor. What I'm saying is that banning Stoneforge wouldn't prevent Tribal player to use blades, and to pick the right one when needed. Banning the blades (and Batterskull if you want), would allow the Stoneforge to fetch creative stuff for creative equipment interactions, which right now aren't even considered. Not that I would advocate this banning, but if I had to choose, I would keep the Stoneforge over the blades any day.

agree by apaulogy at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:08
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I agree about SFM not being banned. I am not advocating for bans because I find that most ban gripes are because of bad tastes left in mouths and banning "problems" instead of trying to make your deck not lose to them is easy...All I am saying is that I am admitting that it is kind of a deck building crutch for me to actually win (I am a Spike), but I like being in the spirit and want to discover more (Bacause I am kind of a Johnny too).

I think SFM provides an interesting card in the format...Batterskull and the Swords are just SOOOOOOo good that people don't want to look to anything else. I could also see banning them...make people get Tatsumasa or something...

I think bans are in general by Paul Leicht at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 20:58
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I think bans are in general band-aids. On a lethal incurable wound. This is the essential problem. Will spikes ruin the game every chance they get? yes. Can we stop them? no. If you enjoy the format, play it. Either use crutches and be part of the problem or don't and don't be. Very simple. Not a solution of course because there is none. But not something to lose sleep over either.

This isn't about judging people for whatever values they may or may not hold. This is about accepting that the format, like commander is as good or as bad as its community wants it to be.

Mainly have fun. And win tix if available. Of course.

The SFM/blade package is a by RexDart at Wed, 02/15/2012 - 14:01
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The SFM/blade package is a necessary counterweight to the other more abusive engines in the format, like 12-post, Seismic Assault / Loam, and Punishing Grove. Those can just as easily be tacked on to a variety of tribes and certainly appear to be having more success in getting Top 4's than creature aggro is lately. Punishing Grove is particularly offensive, as creature decks need graveyard hate to really fight it effectively.

The SFM package is the creature deck's way of having some game against those decks. It puts a quick clock on 12-post player without overextending into sweepers or mindlessly ramming into walls every turn. It gives the relevant protection to a key creature against the board control engines. The only other way aggro decks in a legacy format typically fight those strategies is with Wasteland/Port, and that's largely neutered as a strategy because of the (very reasonable) banning of Vial in these events.

I've played legacy zoo in SCG Opens, it is a "fair" deck that has to be constructed to attack a million different decks doing a million different "unfair" things, many of which are completely legal and popular in tribal wars. I even have the benefit of a SB there, and it's still frustrating sometimes. In legacy tribal wars, creature aggro is "fair". Everyone's deck has 20 creatures, everyone should be equipped to fight off that angle of attack, unlike some others. Let's not strip the fair decks of the one really good thing they have going against all the busted ones.

Now, for the rest of your by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 16:59
Kumagoro42's picture

Now, for the rest of your post: I like that you found Ayanam1 (the "1" is supposed to be a "i" btw)'s dredge deck awesome. That's the spirit. You meet a Tribal dredge deck once, and that's awesome. The problem would arise if we started to see a dredge deck every single week (especialy from the same player). That would become annoying at some point. Same for Aluren: it was just a one-time wonder, therefore it's cool. (Ok, we have broad enough shoulders to see Aluren even a few times more than once per year, actually).
What might be annoying to some players about the Stoneforge package is that 1. it's not about building a Stoneforge deck, it's something you cram into every deck; and 2. it's being done every week, often more that once per week.

Hey, you're currently among the Top 16. You just have to keep it like that for 46 more weeks. :)

Dryads look like fun. Not by Paul Leicht at Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:51
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Dryads look like fun. Not sure how competitive such a deck would be but I imagine it would be a blast to play. (And aren't there some new dryads coming out?) 5xFireballs as usual.

Thanks, Paul! Dryads are by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:28
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Thanks, Paul!

Dryads are there for you to be lured into their soft, mossy embrace.

Tribal is quickly becoming my by PiDave at Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:00
PiDave's picture

Tribal is quickly becoming my favourite format. Too bad I could not be there last Saturday. :-(

Cephalid tri-combo by Eibon at Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:52
Eibon's picture

Hi again. Last days i have worked to make my Cephalid tribal deck better. And cause its unplayed tribe at tribal wars i like to introduce it here, so maybe you can get it more visible if you want. The Deck contains three diffrent combo, so change to getting something happened is almost great. First combo is familiar for Legacy players; Cephalid Looter + Nomand en-Kor. you basicly self mill your deck, then use Dregscape Zombie´s unearth ability to get third nessesary creature to cast Dread return at Suttured Ghoul. Ghoul enters battlefield something like 20/20 atleast and get Dragon Breath enchanment to gain haste. Then just flashback one Artful Dodge to get it trough. Second combo is Looter what you use to try find killing combopieces, just drop Liliana´s caress or two at the table and start using looters your enemy. He will die sooner than you think. Third combo is defensive one. Try to equip Cephalid Constable and again use Artful Dodge to get it trough. it might bounce FIVE! permanents back just round four... and after that you have no difficulties to make your win to happened. It also gives too much cards to your opponents hand that he can suffer liliana´s caress at her discard pahse. Shapesharer can boost looting, sometimes even targeting illusionist, but most of time copying enemy´s most nastiest creatures. And here is the decklist: (and as always, you can use this deckidea later at your articles.) This deck is´n best choise when your opponent have great amount of creature hate, but that is combos problems usually in tribal world ;)

4 Nomands en-Kor
4 Cephalid Illusionist
4 Shapesharer
1 Dregscape Zombie
4 Cephalid Looter
4 Cephalid Constable
4 Cephalid Broker

3 Adventuring Gear
3 Artful Dodge
4 Liliana´s caress
1 Dread return
1 Sutured Ghoul
1 Dragon Breath

4 Arcane sanctum
4 March Flats
4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Waterly Grave
3 Island
1 Plains
1 Swamp