Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 28 2022 1:03pm

 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

 So, how did 2021 fare in terms of players attendance for Tribal Apocalypse? Not great, not terrible. We had a grand total of 531 registrations, which is worse than the 597 of 2020, but still better than our annus horribilis of 2019, when there were only 510 of them. Although, in all fairness, these figures seem roughly the same, which is half of what we used to do during our peak years of 2013-2015, when we pierced the wall of the 1,000 yearly attendances twice. We seem to be stable at half that amount now, which is okay.

 The thing is, new players do show up now and then, but they're not encouraged to stay. The current leadership of top players is relentlessly bringing the most cutthroat decks every week – often playing as veritable nuclear warheads to a sticks and stones fight. All the metas are solved this way, with very little room for experimentation, and a punishing approach to just casual strolls. Even the Dark Horse Prize is monopolized, because nobody except one or two players are interested in trying for it, knowing it will entail misery during the actual games.

 This is why we need a drastic reform, one that would place the focus away from winning at all costs. We have all year to think about it, and then set it in motion in 2023. All suggestions are welcome!


  • Event Number: Week 574 BE
  • Date: January 22
  • Attendance: 8
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Legacy
  • Winner: Bandit Keith with Merfolk
  • 1-loss: ThyShuffler with Kor, Takeoutree with Devil, AJ_Impy with Archon
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Otter
  • New Repopulation Award: lovetapsmtg with Otter
  • Tribes: Archon, Devil, Kor, Merfolk, Otter, Sliver (x2), Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Case in point: this Merfolk deck piloted by Bandit Keith is the best possible Merfolk deck in Legacy, up to the white splash for better removal. No quirks allowed. It lost one single game during the run.


 And the game the Merfolk lost was to this Kor combo deck by ThyShuffler. The Hammer combo is more in the domain of Modern, but still effective enough in the larger format.


 Using an appropriate Archon shell, AJ_Impy explored the remnants of Reanimator, after the most efficient spells have been banned. Was that a good move, in hindsight. We can't combo-reanimate in the early turns anymore, but that means linear decks like that Merfolk list above (which is fully equipped to stop Reanimator, by the way) are free to run rampant. It seems a matter of ecological niches in the meta, of the removal of a predator causing more problems than it solves.


 And here's the Dark Horse Prize build by monopolist lovetapsmtg. This time it's Otter. Honestly, it seems less motivated by an interest in building to the Otters' strengths than by just ensuring to be the most Dark Horse worthy deck of the week by using a tribe eligible for the Repopulation Award. That's another issue that needs fixing next year.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks (MTGO Traders prices as of January 28, 2022):

  • Bandit Keith's Merfolk: $249.89
  • ThyShuffler's Kor: $116.80
  • AJ_Impy's Archons: $139.73
  • lovetapsmtg's Otters: $26.63

 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):

  • Special (Week 575 BE), on January 29: 2021 Invitational

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



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