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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jun 01 2012 7:30am
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*** Tribal Apocalypse: Week 73 BE ***
Weird Times

 Welcome back to the world of the sponsored link to Tribal Apocalypse. This will be a briefer version of my usual reportage from the field, because I hoped to finish my gigantic Angelpedia article in time for this week, but I didn't (damn you, real life! You had me again!), so I'm going to finish both that one and its companion piece, the Demonpedia, in time for next week, before the Angel vs. Demon tribute event will take place on our Week 75. This means I'm short on the time front. I blame Dan Brown for this. It's a conspiracy!

 In the meantime, we're getting ready for the first Singleton Tribal event ever (probably in the history of humanity), on Week 74, and we have to look back at what happened on Week 73. Weird stuff happened. But I'll get to it in a bit, after the opening sequence.

  • Event Number: 21 (2012), 73 (all-time)
  • Date: May 26
  • Attendance: 22
  • Rounds: 4
  • Special Rules: none
  • Top 4: Nagarjuna (Ally, undefeated); DirtyDuck (Kor, 1 draw); Mlittle1988 (Human, 1 loss); Leys7 (Weird, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to vantar6697 (Ox)
  • Tribes: Ally, Cat, Elemental, Goat, Human (x4), Insect, Kithkin, Knight, Kobold, Kor (x2), Merfolk, Ox, Rat, Sliver, Spider, Weird, Werewolf,  Wizard
  • Virgin Tribes: Weird by Leys7 (highest-ranked); Goat by AJ_Impy; Ox by vantar6697

So, Weird. I used to joke about them being the, well, weirdest unplayed tribe. But they actually a nice little lot, as Leys7 proved by going Top 4 with them, which is still quite the accomplishment.

by Leys7 - 4th place and Virgin Prize
4 Gelectrode
4 Steamcore Weird
4 Petrahydrox
4 Shapesharer
4 Taurean Mauler
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Brainstorm
4 Electrolyze
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Vapor Snag
2 Mystic Speculation
1 Red Sun's Zenith
17 cards
4 Scalding Tarn
8 Island
8 Mountain
3 Ghost Quarter
23 cards



 Leys is a very good friend of mine (a fellow Genoa citizen just like SBena: the three of us actually still use to meet and play Magic together, so it feels a bit strange to talk about them along with people who live on the other side of the world). He's also a very experienced player, who's started playing this game in 1994 or so. I'm glad he's finally make up his mind about playing Tribal Apocalypse, since he shares with me the passion to constantly brew new decks and try different things. His Weird build here has Gelectrode as the centerpiece: copied by Shapesharer, untapped by every noncreature cards in the deck, especially the buyback-fueled Mystic Speculation. Plus, Electrolyze! You want to build an Izzet deck only to be able to play Electrolyze!

 The undisputed 1st place was seized by Nagarjuna, though, who's now the 2012 leading player and only 9 points from Ayanam1's 3rd place in the all-time ranking. His tribe was Ally again, which means they won two events consecutively piloted by two different players (after romellos last week). Nagarjuna's deck was the same he already brought to the top in Week 63, with only the Lightning Bolts becoming Swords to Plowshares.

 A repeat from last week for the 2nd place too, since DirtyDuck's Cephalid Breakfast build ended the highest-ranked X-1 deck again. It looks like the Kors have been hijacked by this combo sensation that's already making people uncomfortable. I can see the angry mob with torches and pitchforks getting ready.

 It was also a week with four Human decks, which isn't so surprising: driven by the flavor of the Innistrad block, Humans are going to catch the Elves at the top of the popularity list (I expect they'll get there soon). The only one of this week's Human builds to end up Top 4 was this one by Mlittle1988


 A Standard deck with several cards from Avacyn Restored (included our very first appearance of Tamiyo, the Moon Sage), making good use of the interaction between Invisible Stalker and Silver-Inlaid Dagger.

 The Endangered Prize should have been awarded to Weird as well, but the current rule about Changelings (no more than 4 allowed for Endangered Prize) prevented this awesome triple-dip. That's the reason I'm now advocating a change of the rule, which also creates some confusion, given that the amount of Changelings allowed varies depending on the situation (Endangered Prize, Endangered Week, Regular Week). I'd say we just cut everything to this:

  1. a deck is allowed to put a creature with Changeling in place of a tribal creature only if that's necessary to complete its tribal base
  2. a deck with 50% or more creatures with Changeling in it will be considered a Shapeshifter deck

 And that's it. No concessions whatsoever. If you want to put Changelings in your deck, you do that in addition of your tribal base. If you have regular members available, you have to use them. If your tribe has 3 or 4 members, you use Changelings to complete its ranks, and it will count as that particular tribe. Tribes with 1 or 2 members are simply not buildable: they will still be legal, but they will count as Shapeshifter decks. Also note that we shouldn't refer to Shapeshifter in the main Changeling rule: while all the creatures with Changeling are Shapeshifters, that's only for flavor reasons; it's the Changeling ability that causes the creature to count as any creature type. We can imagine creatures with Changeling that aren't Shapeshifters might be printed at some point. I expect the ever changing, everlasting Blippy to express his opinion on this proposal. Alternate take: keep the rules as they are but add this:

  • a 3-member tribe is allowed to complete its tribal base with Changeling creatures and still be considered that tribe by all means and purposes

 So, with Weirds ostracized, and AJ_Impy's Goats not eligible due to his dropping (a player needs to entirely play all the rounds in order to get prizes), the highest-ranked Endangered tribe (that was also a Virgin) was... the lowest-ranked one! That is Ox by vantar6697.


 Other than reaffirming vantar's love for the real-life quadrupeds (we're talking the guy who ran Aurochs, Horses, and Antelopes!), this deck reminds us that they're still printing Oxen in Elemental form. Which isn't real-life at all, and a bit... weird (told you it was the week for that). I mean, why an Elemental entity made of electricity (?) should take the form of a castrated bovine, of all things?

 Anyway, AJ's Goat deck was this one:


 So, other quadrupeds, a couple of which isn't even that bad, especially Crested Craghorn (formerly just a Beast).

 My favorite deck of the week was grapplingfarang's, though. Spiders!


 That's what grappling said in a comment last week, about this deck's flavor and the presence of Wasteland: "My Spider deck was one of the decks with Wastelands. It also had a lot of duals and fetches. Despite being a fairly expensive deck, I knew going into it, it was one of the worst decks I had ever played in Tribal Apocalypse. It was a fairly Vorthos deck (for me, at least) and I wanted the flavor of Spiders that keep coming from the graveyard (Arachnus Web, Gnaw to the Bone, Spider Spawning, Life from the Loam) and eating everything up. With all of the on-theme stuff I wanted to include in the deck, I didn't have any room for sweepers or mana acceleration, that were badly needed. Wasteland was one hope to slow down the aggro decks a little to play my clunky Spiders."

 The deck went 2-2, which was still better than my new take on Insects (why do I keep going there? I can't make them work!). The other 3-1 decks were newcomer slug360's Merfolk, justcanceled's Human, and victorBike's Kithkin.

And now...


  Just to make sure you don't forget:

  • The Kirin Prize: I'll still pay 1 tix to the first player who wins one match (byes or opponents not showing up don't count) with a Kirin deck featuring a full playset of all the 5 Kirins.
  • The Hamtastic Biodiversity Prize: SBena_Bot will pay 5 tix to whoever will register 10 different tribes in a row and play all the rounds of an event with each of them. Current standings are in the Hall of Fame's specific sheet now. Leys7, mihahitlor, and misterpid are leading with 3 different tribes played so far.
  • The Banning/Unbanning: Blippy will make his announcement on June 20th to coincide with the WotC B&R announcement.
  • The first Tribal Singleton Event this week: No special bannings. Regular bannings waived. That means NO BANNED LIST (aside the one from WotC, of course). Be prepared for that.
  • The Angel vs. Demon Event on June 9: in occasion of the 75th Tribal Apocalypse of the Blippian Era and Avacyn Restored being freshly released. The banned list is still on the works.




I'm against changing the by RexDart at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 10:07
RexDart's picture

I'm against changing the rules to require tribes with 5 members or more to count no changelings. Many tribes need to include 4 changelings to have any shot at top4, it not only adds power to some middling tribes but sometimes it just allows a deck to avoid splashing a third color or to add a low cmc dude to a high cmc tribe and smooth out the curve.

I'm also not sure how this would treat the sub-5 tribes. Right now I could build a rabbit deck (4 members) using the 3 reasonable ones in green and black and filling in with 8 changelings... It would be legal, but not eligible for the endangered prize. If the rule changes as you suggest I would have to splash blue in such a deck to run the unplayable vizzerdrix, and still have to fill out the base with changelings.

This just feels punishing to our freedom to brew these super-obscure tribes. I don't think the current rule needs to be altered at all. Right now you can use 8 changelings, you get to play the deck if you want to, the penalty is that you can't receive the special prize if you do this. This is already the perfect balance, as it allows freedom to play what we want while giving the more "pure"-constructed decks an extra bonus in prizes.

Ok, I'm convinced. I was just by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 17:45
Kumagoro42's picture

Ok, I'm convinced. I was just seeking a simpler way to deal with the Changeling rule (I'm often confused myself how I'm alloed to play them).

Still think a 3-member tribe (which therefore covers more than half the tribal base) should be eligible for Endangered Prize, since it's an accomplishment of the same kind. So at least have the rules allow that.

In a strange way Mihiltlor by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 18:06
Paul Leicht's picture

In a strange way Mihiltlor points out a very real problem with Changelings (at least in my mind) where the dominant changelings are almost more important than the tribe they are inserted into. I have seen all 3 (mauler, chameleon and entity) win many games on their own strength as they are a bit more OP than most creatures.

Additionally we aren't considering a ban on them. Simply changing how they affect the bonus prizes which imho isn't a terrible thing to do once in a while. Go ahead and top 8/4/win with them but don't expect a "coolness" prize is my thinking.

Then again I am not a regular any more so maybe my thinking doesn't matter.

I'm also against changing by mihahitlor at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 13:27
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I'm also against changing changeling (try to say that quickly) rules. I don't see any good reason for doing it (don't think current rules create confusion in any significant way, and don't think it's problematic if players can build a deck with an endangered tribe that is not eligible for endangered prize (I don't even understand the latter reasoning in the context of arguing that 0 (and not 4) changelings should be allowed in tribal decks)). And I see two strong reasons why it would be bad to change the rule: it would essentially eliminate popular cards like Chameleon Colossus, Mirror Entity and Tauren Mauler from the competition, and it would make a lot of crappy tribes less playable.

I saw a bunch of fun decks last week. by Misterpid at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 13:31
Misterpid's picture

My Essence of the Wild/Kobold build was pretty much an "all or nothing" deck. It either did its thing quickly or it didn't happen and I lost quickly. So I got to watch plenty of other matches. Grapplingfarang's spider deck was a lot of fun to watch. I liked your insect build and I was very happy that I didn't have to play against you - Maelstrom Pulse would have wrecked me.

I was a little disappointed with my 2-2 record, but there appeared to be a glitch with my deck that I didn't know about (all my playtesting is done solitaire, so I don't get to see a lot of interactions). When I cast a Kobold with only 1 Essence in play and my opponent responded by killing or bouncing the Essence, the Kobold still came into play as a copy of the Essence. Offhand I don't really know if that is correct. I checked some rulings on Essence of the Wild and this type of situation wasn't addressed anywhere that I looked. I won 2 or 3 games because of it. If this is a glitch and isn't supposed to work that way, I would have felt bad about winning any prize based on this happening.

For the Biodiversity Prize - is it a "first person to do it" prize or is it a running thing that anyone can get at any time? I may not be able to play this weekend and I know I won't be playing next weekend which would put me behind in that race (if it is a race).

Not an error as much as a by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 17:00
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Not an error as much as a quirk of the triggered abilities rules. If you copy something and the effect goes on the stack it no longer needs the original to be in play. However, if they killed the essense before the kobold resolved there would have been no trigger thus the kobold would still be itself.

That is how it was done. by Misterpid at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 17:40
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The two specific times I can think of, my opponent responded to me casting the Kobold - the Kobold was not yet in play.

Due to the wording on the Essence, it's not a trigger. Any creature will come into as a copy of the Essence. There's no ability that goes on the stack to make that happen. So if my opponent responds to me casting another creature by removing my only Essence from the battlefield, the creature I just cast should come into play as itself - which isn't what happened. So I think it is a glitch.

I believe (not being an by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 17:49
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I believe (not being an authority on rules) that "coming into play" doesn't use a trigger, or better, it uses the same stack instance used by the creature. You either counter the creature, or the creature comes into play. So when the creature was put into the stack, if Essence was in play, the creature is already become an Essence. It doesn't need to "meet" him on the board. So there's no real way to prevent that effect. To put it in a simple way, it's like the card you casted as a Kobold WAS already an Essence of the Wild in the very moment you cast it. After it went to the stack, the original Essence has no more role to it.

You're post convinced me to by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 19:08
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Your post convinced me to get 4 essences so I could test and find the bug. But the deck I built (GW tokens) seems to be unable to get essense to work at all. I play an essence and then tokens (or producers of tokens) and nothing. Pretty sure thats a general glitch in the client. So yay for finding a bug while investigating another?

And I also found that playing creature cards does work as expected except as you noted that they seem to copy it before they are on the stack so the essence dying has no effect on the outcome. Did you report this?

I plan to report both as a single bug since they are related.

I just reported it. by Misterpid at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 20:28
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I hadn't logged into MTGO for a few days. I did a quick couple of test runs just to make sure it still happened how I remembered it. Then I asked an ORC how he thought it should happen and he said my Kobold should have entered as a Kobold - so I reported it.

Yeah I reported both as I by Paul Leicht at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 20:32
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Yeah I reported both as I mentioned above. No response back yet. I assume they will put it on the fix eventually pile.

I've now noticed that if a by Misterpid at Sat, 06/02/2012 - 12:08
Misterpid's picture

I've now noticed that if a creature comes into play any way other than being cast, it doesn't come in as a copy of Essence. I've tried it with Green Sun's Zenith, Chord of Calling, Tooth and Nail, Birthing Pod, Verdant Force and living weapons - all of those creatures came into play as themselves.

Right because MTGO is by Paul Leicht at Sat, 06/02/2012 - 13:09
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Right because MTGO is programmed to only trigger it when a creature is cast. I recieved a response to my bug reports thanking me for alerting them and informing me that there is currently no way to predict when they will fix this.

If Wizards isn't in any rush by Misterpid at Sun, 06/03/2012 - 10:27
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If Wizards isn't in any rush to fix this bug, then Essence of the Wild might be a card to keep an eye on. While the card isn't broken, the bug is definitely exploitable. The deck I played is a much stronger deck while this bug exists. Right now Essence isn't played much in Tribal Apocalypse. If people start to abuse the fact that you can get cheap copies of Essence even when the original gets removed from play, then there might be a problem.

They are actually usually by Paul Leicht at Sun, 06/03/2012 - 23:44
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They are actually usually pretty good about card fixes in general (though their checkered past shows they weren't back in the day). The thing is it might not be the highest priority so it could take a month or two.

After reading you played by grapplingfarang at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 15:11
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After reading you played Insects I had to look through collection at possible ways to build them. I'd be curious to see your list and which way you went this time with them.

You can see all the lists in by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 18:16
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You can see all the lists in the googlesheet of each event (after the event is ended). The link to the sheet is in the forum but I've put it in the article too, you just need to click on the number of the event in the opening info.

Anyway, my deck was just a way to find a different shell for my beloved Liliana/Recurring/Buried Alive strategy. With Spirit is strong, but I wanted to play it with a different, less played tribe. Insect is strange in that it's a big tribe (110 members, it's one of the Top 20 largest), yet nobody ever plays them. There's interesting members for sure, but not very sinergistic, and a lot of crap.

My star for Recurring purpose is Hornet Queen, but I'd need more reliable early turns blockers. In a past week (Week 63) I had Vorapede, but that was too slow. Here I had Acridian, which is good in general, but testing (which I do during the tournament!) proved that I can't pay the echo cost on turn 3, since I have a lot of stuff to do at 3cc (Liliana, Buried, Maelstrom Pulse). Broodhatch Nantuko is good, especially with Swarmyard, but it's often not enough. Necropede is very good for this strategy.

My latest version, which I'll play again at some point, replaced Acridian with Scute Mob. I was overlooking it because it wouldn't live enough to see 5 lands in play, but I wasn't thinking in the right way: in a Recurring deck, Scute Mob comes turn 1, frightens the opponent, calls for a removal, or if needed chump blocks, then it comes back in later turns, ready to grow immediately. So I'm now oriented on full sets of Scute Mob, Necropede, and Broodhatch Nantuko, plus 3 Nantuko Elder (the deck is mana hungry), 3 Hornet Queen and 2 Ant Queen.

Anyway, when the deck fires on all cylinders, it's amazing: you really overwhelm the opponent with tons of tiny, deadly insects (both from Hornet Queen, Ant Queen and Broodhatch), which is cool and flavorful (Recurring Nightmare expresses well the menace of swarms of bugs, and they comes from underground). So maybe it's just a Timmy/Johnny/Vorthos deck that way, no need to hope for consistency. But one can always try and better it.

Hey Kuma, Speaking of the by RexDart at Sat, 06/02/2012 - 01:56
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Hey Kuma,

Speaking of the google spreadsheets, is there any way that the links to vantar's tribal popularity, card popularity, and other stat pages could be put into each article? I keep having to scour old articles to find links to them. No big deal, just something you might be able to slip in as some boilerplate to each article at the end or somesuch thing.

BTW, I *totally* get the urge to run that kind of graveyard recursion stuff all the time, and since I bought Lily's for Modern Jund (had to find something to pay with my Goyfs!) I am tempted to shoehorn Liliana into anything. I have a little dryad deck on the backburner I may bust out this year, takes good advantage of all that, we'll see. The way you describe (in last week's article maybe?) buying some power card and trying to make something work with it is exactly the way I feel. My purchase of the Intuitions earlier this year spawned that Advisor deck :) I also wasted a couple hours of my life brewing a Mirage block constructed deck to run Strands of Night that I'll probably never get to play-- if anybody out there loves some Mirage block constructed, lmk!

I missed out on like 13 years of magic, so I'm always trying to re-live the best moments of all the mechanics and cards I missed, using this PRE as my playground when I get the fancy for remaking a "classic deck" from my missing years.

BlippyTheSlug's picture

At the bottom of the google docs spreadsheet for each event, you will see 3 tabs, labeled "Event", "DECKS", and "Links". The "Links" tab has links to Kuma's tribal article archive, and all the spreadsheets you mentioned.

What Blippy said. Or you can by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 06/05/2012 - 06:45
Kumagoro42's picture

What Blippy said. Or you can just click at the link I put at the beginning of every article: you can access everything from that page.

I've been monopolising the by AJ_Impy at Fri, 06/01/2012 - 19:18
AJ_Impy's picture

I've been monopolising the virgin slot in recent weeks. Dropping allowed me to watch the Eurovision song contest together with my wife, and to spread out the prizes more.

Not sure if I'll bother with Singleton. Maybe rehash Angels. Breaks my endangered virgin streak.

mountain trek part two by Eibon at Tue, 06/05/2012 - 06:39
Eibon's picture

Hi somebody miss me last week. Im still reading this forum, and i have alot of ideas and decks to show in future, if peopole want new ideas. In week 68-69 there was scout deck named mountain trek, and I became interested in it. So i think few days how to make it my budjet, cause i dont own 4 primeval titans. I found two VERY sick combos what fit in it perfectly. Gameplan is put prismatic omen onto table and after that use Scapeshift or Last Stand to win. Dimir infiltrator can search prismatic omen or spawning pit. Spawning pit is good way to get rid of Veteran Explorer or Viridian Emissary. And just try to sac them when you have attacker equiped with adventuring gear going through. Dimir infiltrator is ofcourse best paper (of digital image) to do that.

If you have ravnica lands (UG) and (BG) you can change Borderland rangers to Wood elves, to get this deck more fast. But i dont have them to put every deck so here is my deck as it is.

4 Veteran Exlorer
4 Sylvan Ranger
4 Viridian Emissary
4 Safehold elite
4 Borderland ranger
4 Dimir infiltrator

4 Prismatic omen
4 Scapeshift
4 Last stand
1 Spawning pit
2 Adventuring gear

1 island
1 swamp
3 Valakutt, the molten pinnacle
16 forest

and you can put this list onto your next article if you like to.

dis deck by apaulogy at Thu, 06/07/2012 - 08:51
apaulogy's picture

Might make me wanna play some week...LOL @ Scapeshift/Prismatic Omen/Valakut....

Bugs life by Eibon at Tue, 06/05/2012 - 06:30
Eibon's picture

Ok and you mentioned Insects so here is my bug deck as it is. Its very strait forward style attack deck with alot of synergy with sacrificing creatures. Build is solid and deck can answer any kinds of threats. I have won 2/3 of games what i have played with this (yes i keep track of my tribal games and decks) you can show this list also your next article, if you like.

Slime eating Bugs:

3 Scute Mob
4 Mortician Beetle
4 Nantuko Shade
4 Nantuko Husk
2 Bane of the Living
1 Nantuko Vigilante
2 Cleancrawler
3 Mitotic Slime

1 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Geth´s Verdict
4 Chainer´s edict
1 Diabolic edict
3 Life // Death
1 Maelstrom Pulse

3 Forest
2 Swarmyard
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Overgrown Tomb
4 Tainted Wood
12 Swamp

Welcome back, Eibon! Glad to by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 06/05/2012 - 06:51
Kumagoro42's picture

Welcome back, Eibon! Glad to see decklists from you again. Still looking forward to the moment you'll decide to actually play tribal online!

I have to say, Prismatic Omen/Scapeshift was kinda huge online couple years ago, when Extended was still a thing. So it sounds a bit overdone. But I feel Scouts as a tribe really own the rights to do any possible Valakut/special land combo.

Anyway, I'd like to see stuff we're not playing from you. C'mon, I know you have a good Spellshaper deck to share! :)

spellshapers by Eibon at Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:29
Eibon's picture

yes. Sure if players want to get fresh ideas i still hold few tribal decks what your comunity havent unlock yet. :) I make little chance for my spellshaper deck when avacyn came out. Basic idea of deck is try to fill your graveyard using spellshapers ability. Early game Greenseeker and Icatian Crier are best options. Squadron Hawks gives you more cards to recycle if you are some reason short. And when Hawks are in graveyard just hold one in your hand and recycle rest back to the deck by using Mistveil Plains. When your graveyard holds Unburial rites and something big to resurect just use Unburial Rites flashback ability to get it table. I also notice that Angel of Glory´s Rise bring back half of your deck (and kill all zombies) so it fit to deck´s idea better than just some big creatures, what i earlier use. You can survive multiple Wrath of God effects and still hold line. Other plan, when wraths arent there, is simply weenie. When you have sigil captain on table, just use Icatian Crier and Stampede Driver over and over again. Ealier i had some angels and monsters to animate (sheoldred, whispering one), but i feel that it broke theme, so Reya Dawnbringer does almost same and fit better to theme. Divine reckoning is great when you already have big threat out. Just imagine you keep your Reya, what next round brings back Angel of glory rise, wich brings back rest of your army. Sweet! Play against Zombie decks and soon you have no friends ;)

and now the decklist how it is (my multiland problem is still huge)

9 Forest
7 Plains
3 Mistveil Plains
3 Brushland

4 Greenseeker
4 Stampede Driver
4 Avenger en-Dal
2 Devout Witness
4 Icatian Crier
2 Mageta the Lion
4 Squadron Hawk
2 Sigil Captain
2 Angel of Glory´s Rise
1 Angel of Despair
2 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Reya Dawnbringer

4 Unburial rites
2 Divine Reckoning