Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Feb 04 2022 12:49pm

 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

 Oh boy. The 2021 Invitational took place last week, and it wasn't smooth sailing. A large amount of qualified players forfeited their seat in the event, so Round 1 was going to be two tables and six BYEs. A few of the remaining low seeds suggested to switch to a format where players would get to play all their four decks, rather than having half of the participants eliminated after their first match. It sounded like a good idea in the moment, so I ruled, somewhat impulsively, for a change of plans, moving to a sort of double elimination deal. In the end, I managed it, by having the round 1 losers eliminated after their second loss in round 3, and then coming up on the fly with a playoff round for access to the semi-finals. With some refining, and especially some help by Gatherling, the format could be worth repeating in a future special event. The night of its debut was plenty stressful, though.

 On top of the improvised format, there was tension in the air all the way through. It erupted during the finals, with the first place pursued by AJ_Impy and Bandith Keith. Registration of one of the final lists was delayed, giving that player an unfair advantage; furthermore, the match was disrupted by arguing and squabbling between several players, including the two finalists and myself. Ultimately, I took the controversial decision to stop the match (to his credit, AJ_Impy was winning in that moment) and declare it a draw. I stand by that decision, as spur-of-the-moment as it was. The environment was just not reflective neither of the joy that an end-of-season pageant should bring, nor of the sportsmanship required to attend such an event peacefully. We need to recapture that joy and that peace next year, if we want this community to prosper again. This might require some of us to step away, for the greater good.

 Like that wasn't enough, I only now find out the 3rd place winner, Deonmag, had registered the same tribe three times, against event regulations (I didn't notice it during the event, which is my bad, but it's also a byproduct of the variously frantic atmosphere). Deonmag was actually given an unexpected second chance after the regularly qualified semi-finalist, ThyShuffer, failed to show up for the third round due to a blizzard cutting power in the North East of the United States. Deonmag faced and beat -DiamondDust- in the 3rd-place final, but I'm now forced to disqualify his whole effort (I'll make sure -DiamondDust- will receive compensation for the lost prize share). Another messy aftermath of a messy night.

 I don't envision an Invitational being held next year, after the still-undefined reform, regardless of where that plan will lead us. It was a cool idea at the time of its inception, but over the years it devolved into a sort of elitist, pointless celebration of those who had already been celebrated enough.


  • Event Number: Week 575 BE
  • Date: January 29
  • Attendance: 10
  • Rounds: 4
  • Subformat: Invitational (Standard, Pioneer, Modern, Underdog)
  • Ultimate Champion: Not assigned
  • Second place: AJ_Impy with Dragon, Cleric, Elemental, Archon; tied with Bandit Keith with Giant, Spirit, Human, Fish
  • Third place: -DiamondDust- with Cleric, Soldier, Wizard, Devil
  • Fourth place: Not assigned
  • Tribes: Archer, Angel (x2), Archon, Bard, Beast, Cleric (x4), Devil, Dragon, Elemental (x2), Fish, Giant, Human, Soldier, Spirit (x2), Vampire (x4), Werewolf, Wizard, Wolf, Zombie
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 After the five tables of Round 1 (Standard lists) were won by the five top-seeded players – in order, Bandit Keith, ThyShuffler, -DiamondDust-, AJ_Impy and Takeoutree – Round 2 (Pioneer lists) saw the direct qualification of the top three of them as well as the elimination of three of the lower-seeded, GringoP, lovetapsmtg and myself. The playoff round, using the Modern lists and Underdog lists reserved to round 3 and 4, saw AJ_Impy qualify after beating first csrrcr and then Deonmag, who has bested Takeoutree and would still go on when ThyShuffler failed to show up.

 Ultimately, AJ_Impy can be considered the moral winner of the event, the player who had to fight through the entire thing, playing the full possible amount of six matches, and coming very close to the trophy. He's the most experienced player on the scene. Bandit Keith is the most successful player when we count the sheer number of wins. The shared non-title is fitting. But here's AJ's four lists, as a homage to the player who has influenced the format more than anybody else.

 Standard Dragons:


 Pioneer Clerics:


 Modern Elementals:


 Legacy Underdog Archons:


 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):

  • 12.04 (Week 576 BE), on February 5: Underdog
  • 12.05 (Week 577 BE), on February 12: Standard
  • 12.06 (Week 578 BE), on February 19: Pioneer
  • 12.07 (Week 579 BE), on February 26: Modern

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.