Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jan 27 2023 11:20am

 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


 Tomorrow we'll celebrate the return of Commander Tribal Wars since, if my search was correct, all the way back to November 2014! That's some hiatus, uh? But Commander was, somewhat surprisingly, the most voted format to replace the Standard events we have eliminated from the 2023 calendar, so here we are. Too bad I'm currently still under the weather, so I couldn't prepare this re-debut the way I would like, regarding banned lists and general tribal-related rulings. We can just make sure we all remember the basic rules of Commander 1v1, which is the variant we'll play:

  • decks are composed of exactly 99 cards;
  • no more than one copy of each card is allowed, except for basic lands and cards that explicitly circumvent deckbuilding rules;
  • one designated legendary creature acting as commander starts in the Command Zone, and can be replayed at will from there (though it's increasingly more expensive to do so, at the rate of 2 generic mana per each iteration after the first);
  • no more than one commander is allowed, so no partners;
  • all cards in the deck must belong to the commander's color identity (which is every mana symbol in every area of the card);
  • life totals start at 30;
  • 21 points of combat damage dealt by the commander are lethal.


 And that's more or less what one needs to know (there are some other minutiae). As for our own tribal version, it's just the same with these two additions:

  • the deck must contain at least 33 creatures sharing one type;
  • the commander must share that type (note that this is probably going to change in some way the next time we play the format).

 The banned list for Commander 1v1 naturally applies, but two cards have also been added to it (for now), namely Engineered Plague and Plague Engineer.



  • Event Number: Week 625 BE
  • Date: January 21
  • Attendance: 7
  • Rounds: 3
  • Subformat: Modern
  • Winner: Deonmag with Vampire
  • 1-loss: AJ_Impy with Pilot, Takeoutree with Pilot, -DiamondDust- with Goblin
  • Dark Horse Prize: lovetapsmtg with Sheep
  • Tribes: Dog, Goblin, Human, Pilot, Pilot, Sheep, Vampire
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Modern Vampires take the throne, and who's best as their pilot than hardcore vamp specialist Deonmag? Our Ukraine player has been playing the bloodsuckers for years, and once in a while he manages to beat everyone else with his trusty undead. This is the 6.0 iteration of Deon's list, by the way. And I'm not sure the registered presence of Break the Ice is correct. If it is, it's some bold meta-call.


 The Pilot decks using Greasefang, Okiba Boss to reanimate Parhelion II are becoming popular, as we had two at once, both ending in the money. The first, by AJ_Impy, was the same alreedy seen last year. The second, by Takeoutree, was slightly different.



 Here's the prices of all the featured decks (MTGO Traders prices as of January 27, 2023):

  • Deonmag's Vampires: $32.43
  • Takeoutree's Pilots: $53.04

 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. -DiamondDust-'s Dinosaurs, $0.98, 2nd place on Event 539
  2. mihahitlor's Warriors, $1.95, 1st place on Event 233
  3. morpphling's Vampires, $2.25, 1st place on Event 285
  4. JogandoPelado's Berserkers, $2.80, 1st place on Event 248
  5. kokonade1000's Berserkers, $2.95, 2nd place on Event 354

 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 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 in a specific format, they will not be allowed to register the same tribe and deck in that format again for 3 events (i.e. they'll have to register a different deck three times before coming back to the undefeated one). 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):

  • 13.04 (Week 626 BE), on January 28: Commander 1v1

Check out the ban lists and the event calendar.


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