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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Aug 31 2012 1:45pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where the bad guys are the ones who build cities, order, and prosperity, and the good guys are the poor, big tentacled monsters who can't fit in. We must preserve the monsters! Fight for the monster rights!

 This brings me to the Elf statistics. We had Elves dominating this tournament for so long last year and earlier this year (the peak was on March 10, with 7 Elf decks over 28 registered) that they accumulated enough Hall of Fame points to stay on top apparently forever. But then something (still mostly unexplained) happened: maybe due to Innistrad block not featuring any of them, Elves all but vanished from the Tribal Apocalypse roster. Since April 28, over the course of 18 events, we saw just 11 Elf decks out of 295 registered (3.72%).

 There's a new Elf in town, though. Its frequency of appearances is increasing. Its results make it a serious contender for that top spot in the Hall of Fame, to which is quickly approaching. Its name: Human. The good ol', charmless human being.

  • Event Number: 2.34, Week 86 BE
  • Date: August 25
  • Attendance: 16
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: none
  • Top 4: Chamale (Human, undefeated); DirtyDuck (Wall, undefeated); Gonzzy (Goblin, 1 loss); milegyenanevem (Giant, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to AJ_Impy (Monger)
  • Tribes: Ally, Assassin, Beast, Bird, Eldrazi, Giant, Goblin (x2), Homarid, Human (x4), Merfolk, Monger, Wall
  • Virgin Tribe: Monger by AJ_Impy (highest-ranked); Homarid by vantar6697
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, we had 4 Human decklists this time around. What makes their presence way less evident than with Elves is the extreme variety of Human decks. In fact, Human never even really strikes as one tribe: they're the tribe made of all those humanoid creatures who weren't characterized enough to be an Elf or a Kor or a Vampire or whatever else they might have been (sometimes to avoid giving more strong members to specific tribes, I suspect: that's why Eternal Witness might look like an Elf, but she's a Human). They're the tribe made of more members than the next 3 biggest tribes combined (Wizard, Soldier, Spirit). Most of all, they lately (again, thanks to Innistrad?) started to overcome their lack of a definite appeal and conquer the sympathies of many players looking for a deck that does a lot of different things very well, or that's a shell for the specific things they want do, or that's just solid thanks to the excellent range of choices Humans provide. They're a good tribe for deckbuilding challenges, which makes them pretty much the opposite of Elves, unless you don't need extreme mana-ramping (but even in that case, the thing with Elves is: why should you follow some other endgame strategy when they have several built-in already?). Granted, you might build a perfectly functional aggro deck with Humans (although that would probably amount to 90% of a Soldier, or Knight, or Warrior deck). But they are at their best when they concur to some bigger, eviler plan.

 Like Chamale's, for instance. Yep, new boy wonder Chamale came back, took 1st place again (and it's twice in a row, a feat that was only achieved by mihahitlor and NemesisParadigm last year, and romellos this year), and unlocked a bunch of Achievements again. Namely, these ones:

  • Super Harvest — Putting 10 lands onto the battlefield in a single turn (2 tix)
  • My Life as a Lich — Getting to -100 life or less and surviving (2 tix)
  • It... Could... Work! —  Winning a game with Laboratory Maniac (1 tix)
  • Toucha Toucha Toucha Touch Me — Winning a game after attacking with Phage the Untouchable (1 tix) 

 That's 6 tix right there (Chamale made 18 tix in 3 weeks with achievements only. By the way, SBena is back from vacation, so it's the moment to visit SBena_Bot to collect those credits). And again, courtesy of that Columbus's Egg of an engine that is Dream Halls/Conflux.


 You can compare this list with last week's, and you'll find out which elements have been modified in order to chase the new achievements. In particular, the sequence of actions has Soul Echo as the spell of choice to turn you into a lich, surviving a negative life total (you have other ways to do so, but Soul Echo is the fastest once you get to the point where you don't have to worry with such things as passing the turn to your opponent ever again). Then Ad Nauseam puts all your deck in your hand, Sadistic Hypnotist clears the opponent hand, Eureka put all your permanents onto the battlefield, and you either win by drawing a card with Alchemist's Apprentice on Laboratory Maniac's watch, or by attacking with a hasted Phage (you can't use Eureka with her, but you'll have enough Dark Rituals to hardcast her), thanks to Boros Guildmage. The all-purpose, core engine might be easy to assemble, but the interactions Chamale came up with are still clever.

 DirtyDuck was undefeated as well with a Tribute Deck honoring the one and only NemesisParadigm, the Number One player of the 2011 Ranking who's not able to join us this year due to a changed work schedule (we miss you! Seriously, we do!). And of course, when we talk of NemesisParadigm, we talk of his greatest creation, the powerful Wall-Drazi. The build is very faithful to the original one, only with more Wasteland (which Nemesis didn't own), and Oversoul of Dusk over Avenger of Zendikar (which Dirty told me he doesn't own). I actually like Oversoul a lot, I call her "the half Progenitus" (half the body, half the protection), and can mean a bad day for any red-based and black-based builds.

 

 Thanks to Chameleon Colossus being awesome, Dirty also unlocked the Godzilla! achievement ("Attacking with a creature with power 200 or more without infinite combos"). Very appropriate, isn't it? I would like to put a Godzilla roar here, but I don't really know how to spell it.

 And now, Goblins. If I'm not wrong, newcomer Gonzzy (welcome to Tribal Apocalypse!) is the first player to include Krenko, Mob Boss in a Top 4 Goblin build (so, welcome to Tribal Apocalypse to Krenko, too!)

 

 And speaking of cheap, destructive Goblins, another one of those ended 5th place, very close to a Top 4 placement (other decks with 1 loss: Malum's Splinter Twin Human; fliebana's Ally; and slug360's aggro Bird featuring Gravitational Shift and Meloku the Clouded Mirror). It was piloted by Gq1rf7, and we got some videos of it battling Nagarjuna's Eldrazi deck in Round 3. A clear and scary example of how you don't really need a degenerate combo deck or 300$ worth of dual lands to seal the deal before the opponent can even say, "What the hell?!"

 And this is game 2 of the same match. Not much different, except for Goblin Bushwhacker showing up to fuel even more carnage on top of Goblin Wardriver.

 Another nice, little Triumph of the Budget: this Giant deck by milegyenanevem ending Top 4 with no Titans and a Naya mana base without a single money land:

 

 I like to see Staff of Nin in there, too. Nice, casual-looking card that might be stronger that it looks.

 Finally, AJ_Impy piloted this Virgin deck to Endangered levels (see? You can still double-dip even with the new Endangered ruling!) Monger, baby.

by AJ_Impy - Endangered Prize & Virgin Prize
Creatures
4 Wishmonger
4 Sailmonger
4 Scandalmonger
4 Warmonger
4 Squallmonger
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Punishing Fire
4 Firespout
4 Basilisk Collar
4 Coalition Relic
4 Cavern of Souls
20 cards
 
Lands
4 Cloudpost
4 Glimmerpost
4 Vesuva
4 Shimmering Grotto
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
20 cards

 
Warmonger

 

 So, why is the Monger class featured on, respectively, a Unicorn, a Human, a Boar, a Minotaur, and... a nothing? Hey, what's the green one, then? A lifeless puppet made of wind? And why isn't Spiritmonger a Monger, by the way? Mark Gottlieb, I'm talking to you!


THE HIGH PRICE OF WINNING

 Also known as: how much do the Top 4 decks cost? As of August 31, 2012, here's the answer (MTGO Traders prices; the cheapest version of each card is always used; basic lands count zero):

  • 1st place, Chamale's Humans: $41,56 (without mana base: $21,92)
  • 2nd place, DirtyDuck's Walls: $422,18 (without mana base: $98,12)
  • 3rd place, Gonzzy's Goblins: $69,21 (without mana base: $14,45)
  • 4th place, milegyenanevem's Giants: $13,51 (without mana base: $6,39)

ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

Just to remind you of:

 Bring the (Bad) Boys Back Home: in a recent comment, AJ_Impy proposed the idea of unbanning Progenitus by restricting him to his tribes only (Hydra and Avatar), like we already did to Stoneforge Mystic. I upped the ante by adding to this envisioned moratorium the other two members of the Trifecta of Doom, Emrakul (in Eldrazi decks) and Iona (in Angel decks). Blippy is thinking about that, but any eventual changes will be concurrent with the official DCI B&R announcement on September 20. I also proposed to have all of them restricted to 1 copy per eligible deck. This further limits their impact, adds to their legendary feeling, and might have the side effect of encouraging the use of "search & exile" spells, such as Cranial Extraction or Sadistic Sacrament, which might be a good measure to keep the fast, degenerate combos in check (first turn Dark Ritual into Sadistic Sacrament is auto-win against most of them: bye-bye, win-condition!), while still be useful overall.

 The Rules: we now have a page with all the rules listed, so we won't have to repeat all of them before any tournament. Yay for time saving!

 The Watch List: some particular, archetype-defining cards have been put in a specific Watch List, giving them Annoyance Levels based on how frequently they show up and their degree of success. Once a card gets to Level 3 or more, I'll recommend it to Blippy for banning until the following year. So far, with 9 cards on watch, the situation is as follows:

 The Tribal Achievements: Clan Leys, which is now in charge of any Special Prize, has launched and is handling the Tribal Achievements too: a way to have fun within Tribal Apocalypse, challenge yourself to do all kinds of strange MTG feats, and make some tix in the process. You can find the complete list of achievements here on the Hall of Fame. 14 unlocked, 36 to go. Remember to call in a witness from Clan Leys (me, SBena, or Leys7) before moving on when an In-Game or Endgame achievement is involved, or we'll have to resort to replays and such, and that's easily a pain in the ass.

 The Virgin Prize is ending its first run: only 4 tribes are still standing (Unicorn, Harpy, Mongoose, and Squid). Hurry up and make these dorks go away, so we can start over with the Almost Virgin Prize.

 The Hamtastic Award: after its first edition ended with Leys7 taking the 5 tix for running 10 different tribes in a row, the Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg has started again. Currently we have slug360 leading the group with 5 tribes played, with misterpid and vantar6697 closing in on him. Remember that you have to play all the rounds of an event in order for the tribe to be added to your sequence. If you repeat a previous tribe, your whole sequence resets.

 The Kirin Challenge is still unclaimed: I'll give 1 tix out of my pocket to the first player who'll win a proper match (no bye, no opponent forfaiting) with a Kirin deck featuring 4 copies of each of them. Clear this and we'll pass to Nephilim.

 Videos: Send me replays of your games, please! It's unbelievably easy: just download a free software like CamStudio and upload the resulting video file on YouTube, or send it to me via WeTransfer (my address is aicardigianluca at gmail.com); I'll embed it here. IMPORTANT NOTE: use a MPEG-4 codec or other codecs able to compress the videos (you can choose which one to use in Options/Video Options of CamStudio, but you have to have the codec installed in your system; you can find a MPEG-4 codec installer for free just by Googling it, I suggest the open-source Xvid project), or you'll end up with gigantic files you can't upload on YouTube and spend hours to send me. An average game replay is around 20-30 MB. If yours is 500 MB or even 2 GB, something is clearly wrong.

 What's Next: the upcoming Tribal Apocalypse events of the Blippian Era are:

  • 2.35 (Week 87 BE), on September 1: Singleton Tribal. Decks need to be Legacy Tribal Wars legal but can't feature more than 1 copy of each card except for basic lands (snow-covered lands count as basic). Furthermore, there will be no additional Tribal Apocalypse banned list for this event. You can play everything the DCI allows you to!
  • 2.36 (Week 88 BE), on September 8: Regular tribal.
  • 2.37 (Week 89 BE), on September 15: Vantar Tribute! To properly celebrate Mr. Matthew Taber, aka the unsung tribal hero who's doing more for Tribal Apocalypse than everyone imagines (like the brand new registration system we'll use from now on; you can easily access it by typing TRIBALREG as a tinyurl.com address), and who's also freaking getting married (congrats, Matt!), we'll have a special event where only the Vantar Tribes will be allowed. And what the hell are the Vantar Tribes? Well, they are all the tribes our man ever played within Tribal Apocalypse. Get ready to tame wild stuff like Antelope, Ape, Atog, Aurochs, Bat, Crocodile, Cyclops, Djinn, Dryad, Elk, Gargoyle, Homarid, Horse, Imp, Jellyfish, Mercenary, Salamander, Shade, Slug, Monk, Orc, Ox, Pegasus, Rhino, Scorpion, Serpent, Surrakar, Thalakos, Thrull, Whale, Wolverine, Wraith, and Yeti! Endangered and Virgin Prizes will be reworked accordingly (respectively going to the highest-ranked smallest tribe in the pool, and the one with the fewest appearances), Topical Prize will be replaced with Highest-Ranked Animal Tribe.
  • 2.38 (Week 90 BE), on September 22: Rites of Autumn: Fattie Week. A very special, one-of-a-kind event where only creatures with both power and toughness greater than 5 can be included in the decks. Entomb, Show and Tell, Eureka, Crackdown, and Retribution of the Meek will be banned for the event. More rulings might be added later.

 I'll host the events from 2.35 to 2.37. Enjoy your vacation, Blippy! And see you all on the Tribal room!