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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Sep 21 2012 1:40pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where you can have the worst win ratio of all the players in the Hall of Fame, and still get a very special TRIBUTE EVENT all for you.

 And that's indeed what happened last week to Matthew Taber aka vantar6697. During the two years of Blippy's run, Matt has been a Tribal Apocalypse aficionado, a champion of the unsung tribes, and an invaluable helper, either by compiling and maintaining the craziest statistics tables, or by providing all kinds of tech support and R&D, like the current, top-notch Registration System, and a work-in-progress aimed to have all the functionalities of DCI-r (the official software used by DCI to run tournaments) entirely transferred into an integrated GoogleDocs system. So, in the occasion of Matt's marriage with Charlene in Atlanta...

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Taber!

 ...we organized a little thanksgiving celebration to the man, by having an event where you could only play one of the Vantar Tribes, that is one of the tribes Matt actually used during these two years (with some notable exceptions, like Wall, or everyone would just jump on that wagon). Matt himself wasn't allowed to use one of those, and could choose whatever else he liked instead. And of course, being the Vantar we all know and love, he just chose one of the three missing Virgin Tribes! And guess who grabbed the surprise Last-But-Not-Least prize for the last-ranked player?

  • Event Number: 2.37, Week 89 BE
  • Date: September 15
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: "Vantar Tribes" only (list below)
  • Top 4: DirtyDuck (Imp, undefeated); Ranth (Imp, undefeated); AJ_Impy (Gargoyle, 1 loss); Nagarjuna (Djinn, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize and Last-But-Not-Least Prize to vantar6697 (Harpy), Animal Planet Prize to fliebana (Ape)
  • Tribes: Ape, Aurochs, Bat, Djinn, Dryad, Gargoyle (x2), Harpy, Imp (x2), Jellyfish, Mercenary, Monk, Shapeshifter
  • Virgin Tribe: Harpy by vantar6697
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 And here's the unconventional, challenging pool of 35 tribes the players had to work with (in bold, the 11 ones actually featured in the tournament):

  • Antelope
  • Ape
  • Atog
  • Aurochs
  • Bat
  • Crocodile
  • Cyclops
  • Djinn
  • Dryad
  • Elk
  • Gargoyle
  • Homarid
  • Horse
  • Imp
  • Jellyfish
  • Mercenary
  • Monk
  • Orc
  • Ox
  • Pegasus
  • Rhino
  • Salamander
  • Scorpion
  • Serpent
  • Shade
  • Shapeshifter
  • Slug
  • Surrakar
  • Thalakos
  • Thrull
  • Unicorn
  • Whale
  • Wolverine
  • Wraith
  • Yeti

 Only two of them had a double registration, which is very interesting in itself. One of the doubles proved to be a hidden powerhouse, though, monopolizing the two highest spots of the ranking without losing a single match in both cases. And weirdly enough, it was Imp, by DirtyDuck and Ranth, the very same twin decks I criticized some weeks ago. They had the last laugh, big time. Here's the list(s), with Wasteland as the only difference between the two (DirtyDuck had a playset of them over 4 more Swamps):

by DirtyDuck & Ranth - 1st place & 2nd place
4 Putrid Imp
4 Skittering Skirge
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Deepcavern Imp
4 Fledgling Imp
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Empyrial Archangel
1 Griselbrand
24 cards

Other Spells
4 Entomb
4 Buried Alive
4 Reanimate
4 Exhume
16 cards
16 Swamp
4 Wasteland
20 cards



 We have videos from Ranth (with music score!) documenting the Imps' reanimation goodness. In this one, he's defeating Nagarjuna's Djinn, which ended 4th place anyway.

 While we're at it, let's have a look at Nagarjuna's list, based one of his favorite strategies: a damage dealing enchantment (in this case Warstorm Surge, in the past Where Ancients Tread) triggered by creatures entering the battlefield en masse via Eureka.  


 One more video: Ranth's Imps battling Chamale's Prismatic Shapeshifters (see below):

 The third place went to AJ_Impy's very destructive Gargoyle deck, more or less the same colorless Cloudpost build that he already piloted to 1st place in the very first event of the year

 And here's Vantar's multi-award-winning (despite its actual low performance, or even thanks to it) Harpy deck:

by vantar6697 - Special Endangered Prize, Virgin Prize, Last-But-Not-Least Prize
4 Molting Harpy
4 Cavern Harpy
4 Screeching Harpy
4 Mothdust Changeling
4 Skeletal Changeling
3 Sage of Epityr
23 cards

Other Spells
4 Murder
4 Death Match
3 Dire Undercurrents
2 Paradise Plume
13 cards
4 Jwar Isle Refuge
4 Tainted Isle
9 Swamp
7 Island
24 cards

Cavern Harpy


 Finally, Chamale cleared one of the most bizarre Achievements by building and entering in the event a Shapeshifter tribal deck that was also simultaneously a Prismatic deck (which means a 250-card monstrosity where you must have at least 20 cards for each color. And where Battle of Wits is banned!).


 You can see a number of combos buried within the overwhelming bulk of deck (there's the whole Cephalid Breakfast archetype, for instance, useful to bring down Cephalid Illusionist's overall performance in the Watch List), and other attempts at achievements, like the presence of the full set of both the Empire artifacts and the Kaldra's equipments, but also the five Hondens, Door to Nothingness, Mortal Combat, and many more. It's basically an Easter Egg deck!

 In the meanwhile, bdgp009 was activating both Garruk Wildspeaker and Ajani Goldmane's "ultimates" in the same turn with his Monk deck, getting to the Friends! achievement. Keep up the good work, guys.


 Also known as: how much do the Top 4 decks cost? As of September 21, 2012, here's the answer (MTGO Traders prices; the cheapest version of each card is always used; basic lands count zero):

  • 1st place, DirtyDuck's Imps: $216.36 (without the manabase: $35.04)
  • 2nd place, Ranth's Imps: $35.04 (without the manabase: $35.04)
  • 3rd place, AJ_Impy's Gargoyles: $119.91 (without the manabase: $70.79)
  • 4th place, Nagarjuna's Djinns: $125.15 (without the manabase: $19.93)


 So, after the first installment last week about Sligh-type decks, RexDart is back with Chapter 2 of his amazing exploration.

 In this second part of my audio/video deck tech series, I finish up my look at aggro decks by examining the Linear Aggro archetype, a type of deck that uses tribal lords and other synergistic creatures to create a dominating board presence. The video begins with a comparison of Linear Aggro with the Sligh Aggro archetype from part one of the series, and looks at the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two types, as well as their differing play styles. I then examine four real decklists that finished Top 4 or better in the Tribal Apocalypse PRE to see how those decks exploited the advantages and overcame the challenges associated with playing linear aggro.

 The four decks are: Monoblack Vampires by mihahitlor (1st place on TribAp 29, July 23, 2011); Naya Allies by Nagarjuna (1st place on TribAp 63, March 17, 2012); Golden Knights by gbagyt  (1st place on TribAp 12, March 26, 2011); and Elves by _BIG_BROTHERS_ (2ndt place on TribAp 84, August 11, 2012).


 Just to remind you of a few things:

 We are returning to Ravnica! What is still arguably the most beloved block ever is coming back 7 years later, and with it are coming back some neglected creature types like Archon, Dryad, Elk, Fungus, Horse, Nightmare, Scorpion, Viashino, and even Weird and Slug. There's a new Slug, guys! And a lot of Plants! I'll do a full tribal overview of the set (like I've done for Magic 2013), so that's just a heads up, but it sure is nice to see some old or minor tribes getting some new blood. It'll also cause a rotation of the Topical Prize, effective starting from Event 94 on October 20 (since for Return to Ravnica's online release we'll have to wait, alas, until October 15). We are thinking about electing for the prize a different tribe in representation of each of the 5 guilds featured in the first set (Azorius, Selesnya, Rakdos, Golgari, Izzet). Stay tuned.

 Bring the (Bad) Boys Back Home: the official DCI B&R announcement just happened (bringing back Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle to Modern and kicking out Primeval Titan from Commander), so our fearless leader BlippyTheSlug has to follow lead and make his announcement as well: the main proposal for Tribal Apocalypse is to bring back Progenitus by restricting his presence to his own tribes only (Avatar and Hydra), much in the same way we did for Stoneforge Mystic. The secondary proposal is to offer the very same deal to the other two members of the Trifecta of Doom, Emrakul (restricted to Eldrazi decks) and Iona (restricted to Angel decks). I also proposed to have all of them restricted to 1 copy per eligible deck to further limits their impact, adds to their legendary feeling, and encourage the use of "search & exile" spells, such as Cranial Extraction, Sadistic Sacrament, and the upcoming Slaughter Games, to better keep any degenerate combo in check.

 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 in charge of any Special Prize, has launched and is handling the Tribal Achievements: 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. 21 unlocked, 29 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 2 tribes are still standing, Mongoose and Squid. What will be the last one standing before switching to Almost Virgin mode (tribes played less than 4 times)?

 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 slug360 has just been joined by vantar6697 at the head of the group with 7 tribes played. 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 already and we'll pass to Nephilim.

 Videos: Send me replays of your games, please! Don't know how? Read this quick guide in 6 easy steps and start saving your tribal feats for posterity!

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


 This week Blippy will be back from his vacation to resume his host duties. Welcome back, Blippy! And see you all on the Tribal room!


UGH sorry about the bad skips by Ranth at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 14:11
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UGH sorry about the bad skips in the musics ect my recording software kept giving me errors thus why you seen i didn't give music for the next video. Hopefully That will not be an issue in the future as i have upgraded to a better recording program :)

Hope everyone likes the video by RexDart at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 16:58
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Hope everyone likes the video this week. It's a little theory-heavy in the first part, most videos won't be that way, so if you prefer seeing me get straight to the decklists with just a little prologue, that's what most videos will be in the future.

Kind of surprised at the last-minute switch in the fatties event rules. It turns out I won't be able to play tomorrow after all, but if I had been able to play I'd be scrambling for a deck right now, as the one I spent the week developing relied on the cycling Beasts, of which 3 met the 5+/5+ requirement but only 1 would meet the 12-Total requirement.

Since I'm not playing, I'll go ahead and point out what I thought was interesting to be exploited about the fatties-only environment. For one thing, cheap cmc planeswalkers seem like a total house since there would be expected to be very little early pressure -- I was expecting at least the 'Derms to be legal, and with them now excluded, walkers could be even more dominant. Tibalt could just totally wreck face in the right deck, perhaps paired with Lily 2.0 in a reanimation shell. Also you could try a deck relying mostly on the cheapest manlands, Mutavault and Mishra's Factory and maybe Treetop Village, which would be the most reliable early turn creatures (which aren't cheated into play, naturally), and playing cheap spot removal or edicts or even just unsummon effects which would likely wreck anything planning to "fairly" cast out fatties. Some combination of cheap token producing instants and sorceries, artifact mana, and Armageddon would probably also wreck the "fair fatties" deck. And if you wanted to completely thumb your nose at the entire fatties format, you could rock 4 copies of Humility and just win with planeswalkers or anthem effects. In fact, under timestamp rules, you could lay down a Humility, activate Gideon, he still becomes 6/6, and you could toss him over your opponent's board of vanilla 1/1's with Elspeth 1.0 for 9 to the face per shot. The whole idea of the fatties format is just begging to be broken in more devilish ways than merely cheating your fatties into play early.

Im actually Rather surprised by Ranth at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 20:15
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Im actually Rather surprised you didnt mention decks like elves or zombies as linear

I did do elves, it's the last by RexDart at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 20:43
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I did do elves, it's the last TribApoc decklist in the video. I actually debated whether to include it, as it can be formulated as linear-aggro (the ezuri versions imho) or linear combo, and the version I actually selected is more the second type. I just wanted to get elves out of the way early, I suppose.

I didn't include zombies just because I thought I had enough content for this vid already. I do think zombies can be built as linear aggro, and the tribe highlights alot of potential in the use of support cards for graveyard recursion and other things like Cabal Therapy (which is also a card I meant to mention in relation to the use of Bloodghasts in vampire lists). Zombies can be played as a "rock" deck in some ways too, aggro-control with heavy hand disruption and threats that are resistant to removal, which grinds the opponent out in the long game. I am working up a more "sligh"-style zombie list right now that I may run in the next few months. Zombies can go alot of ways and is a very cool tribe.

The thing with Zombies is: by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:02
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The thing with Zombies is: they seem great in a linear aggro build (in the classic Merfolk/Goblin/Elves sense: play lord, swing with team). And yet they actually suck at it. It's almost unbelievable, but it's true. Zombie is one of the most played tribes in Tribal Apocalypse, and yet they have an abysmal rate of success. They have only got one 3rd place and two 4th places over 61 appearances. They have been played more than Vampires. Vampires are at 6th place in the all-time Hall of Fame. Zombies are 50th, after tribes like Scout, Kavu, Archon, and Gargoyle.

I've not checked directly, but I think most of those decks were built as linear aggro rather than combo-control (which is especially great after ISD block, but was already a sweet option with cards like Haakon or Glissa), or control-reanimator (Putrid Imp is a Zombie). Among the most powerful zombies ever printed there's Fleshbag Marauder and Undead Gladiator, and they don't even stay on the battlefield.

I think I might write something about the Mistery of the Wrong Zombie Build.

The current iteration of by RexDart at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:29
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The current iteration of standard zombie decks with Blood Artists and Geralf's Messengers and Falkenrath Aristocrat as a sac outlet is almost like the bizarre "aggro-combo" deck, so rarely seen that it is almost never discussed. Usually Ravager Affinity is given as the only example of that type of deck, but standard zombies has some similarities.

As you say, it gives you alot of cool options but the linear aggro version just doesn't seem to be very successful.

You're right, that's by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 22:49
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You're right, that's aggro-combo.
Reveillark.dek was too, wasn't it? You played a lot of creatures and just swung with them until all the combo pieces (all efficient creatures in and by themselves) showed up.

I have built the Body Double by RexDart at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 23:18
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I have built the Body Double combo variant for legacy tribal wars, but I'm playing it as combo-control, that has an endgame of Intuition into the combo pieces. I believe it was played with the control slant in TSP/LOR standard. However it could be played as an aggro variant, and if the combo pieces weren't there you might use the Lark as both a midrange curvetopper and a pseudo- Proclamation of Rebirth for reach.

If anybody has played Lark Body Double combo, I'd be curious what your 2 power recursion finisher was. I considered both the Rishadan Pirate guy, and the elemental who puts something on top when it leaves play, since i think leaves play works the same as enters play for the combo so long as you have the mirror entity triggers on stack.

In modern I am using Blood by Paul Leicht at Sat, 09/22/2012 - 01:23
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In modern I am using Blood Artist.

I'm not entirely sure or by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 09/22/2012 - 12:04
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I'm not entirely sure or familiar with all the variants you mention here, but I'm talking about using Mirror Entity to kill X times a Body Double copying a Reveillark, thus bringing back X times such Body Double and a creature with an ETB effect, typically a permanent bouncer (I believe the classical version used Riftwing Cloudskate, my choice was Venser, Shaper Savant). Then the last iteration would bring back Reveillark and Mirror Entity, to finish the permanentless opponent with just a couple attacks.
The deck was Standard during the Time Spiral/Lorwyn era so it had essentially not access to tutors, and it famously assembled the combo passively. All the creatures involved (Mulldrifter was another important player) were more than capable to cause a critical mass of efficient beaters for an aggro kill.

Yeah it was moderately by Paul Leicht at Sat, 09/22/2012 - 17:03
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Yeah it was moderately successful in its day. And in Modern it is a small but powerful minority deck (tier 1.5 to 2) with some potential to just beat down. Using Blood Artist is an attrition method but as you said anything that creates a state where your opponent is helpless works.

It's in my to-do list of by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 09/22/2012 - 20:50
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It's in my to-do list of Modern Birthing Pod endgames. Did you ever try it that way?

Yes, it is my current killer by Paul Leicht at Sun, 09/23/2012 - 21:21
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Yes, it is my current killer of choice.

"Zombie is one of the most by Ranth at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:31
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"Zombie is one of the most played tribes in Tribal Apocalypse, and yet they have an abysmal rate of success."

It's because most people don't know how to build a proper removal suite or support package.

Also zombies as a tribe have some of the best recursive abilities of ANY tribe and i dont mean in cheat-my-big-fatty-in-to-play kind of way either.

I object to this by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:53
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I object to this characterization. I built a very nasty Zombies Bidding deck that worked well enough for several money finishes prior to the blippian era. It wasn't the best deck of the event but it was good enough imho. Pilot error kept one such version from being undefeated.

I do agree that many people eschew common sense with Zombies and don't bother to abuse them as they are intended.

I might say that maybe people by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 22:47
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I might say that maybe people play Vorthos Zombies and just want to have fun with them. Not that more convoluted zombies aren't fun. They are very much indeed. Zombie really is a great and varied tribe (especially since they put under that name every kind of "material" undead but vampires, so they do a lot of different things. I mean, we have vegetal flying zombies! They always have a lot of fun designing wacky Zombies).
That's the reason I'd like to see them thrive a bit more in the current Tribal Apocalypse.

I've played against Zombie by RexDart at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 23:09
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I've played against Zombie Bidding in the casual room (I'm there playing legacy tribal wars many nights a week, against people I never see in the event, why can't we recruit these people? I do tell them about the PRE, and some have never heard of it. BTW, I have a dozen or more rather good decks in my rotation of all different archetypes, always willing to test with anyone.) Anyhow, Zombie Bidding is rather formidable. I'm not sure if I've ever played against yours, Paul. I have a bidding deck with a rather poetic tribe attached to it that I'd love to try out sometime, but RTR is going to make it better and I'm biding my time, fiendishly grinning ;)

There was no real by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:08
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There was no real "last-minute switch". First of all, in the forum (which are still the official communication tool, as opposed to these articles) the announcement saying body = 12 is from early this week. But most importantly, the rule has NEVER been 5+. On the article published on August 31, when I first mentioned the rules from the event, it was clearly said "only creatures with both power and toughness greater than 5". If people read "greater" and their minds for unknown reasons think it means "greater or equal", that's hardly my fault. I'm pretty sure in English "greater" and "greater or equal" are very different concepts. :PPP

In the end, I chose the "body 12" expression because that includes MORE creatures, like Silvos, who's a veritable fattie and would have been excluded in the other way.

Plus, Blastoderm can't be really seen as a "fattie". Maybe ten years ago, definitely not in 2012. 5/5s for 4 are aggressive midrange beaters. The event is about creatures at the top of the curve, the ones you have to find ways to handle, not just by tapping 4 mana and hardcast them. That way, it wouldn't be as much Fattie Week as Non-Weenie Week.

Anyway, I'm a bit pissed off by the attitude "let's find a loophole to break the spirit of the event and make both the people who created it and the people who wanted to play it as face value feel scorned". It's like being someone who's invited to a costume party but doesn't want to wear a costume, so manages to find the one obscure movie character who's dressed exactly like him, and tells everyone that's his costume.
How about spending all that mental energy to break the event WITHIN its given set of rules instead? Take it as a military exercise, where you are supposed to clear the target, not find a loophole to avoid to do it, thinking you're cool and will be rewarded because you can think outside the box. You have to learn to think, brilliantly, inside the box too.

So, here's the deal: this is an exercise. The event has a wide scope and confronts the players with an issue: how do you handle gigantic, top-of-the-curve (or beyond) creatures? The game (the "box") is filled with answers to this problem. This is the event where people solve the problem with the tools in the box (or just outside, depending on how embedded in the game you consider certain strategies). As the person in charge of the Hall of Fame, I reserve myself the right to award more points to the Top 4 players who solved the problem in the way they were asked to, or less or no points to any other, or both. After all, a great player is also one who knows how to solve a MTG puzzle.

In this case, first there's the part where you have to put the fatties onto the battlefield. I took out the easiest solutions (Show and Tell, Eureka, Through the Breach, Sneak Attack, and Entomb), just because they would have been the go-to ideas for 90% of the decks which could afford them. But there's still a lot of very powerful cheaters. Seriously, a LOT. I expect (and will drop myself) fatties by turn 4, easily.
But you have to solve other problems too. If your fattie battleplan just entirely unfolds to Unsummon, you're doing it wrong. Think again. You have to choose your fatties properly (Hey, didn't I write two huge articles to help people do that? :)), that's a big part of the exercise.

Btw, I'm not 100% sure, but I believe your Gideon/Humility combo doesn't work. The timestamp rule deals with state-based effects negating each other. Humility says all creatures are 1/1, Opalescence says (essentially) that Humility is a 4/4. Who's right? The timestamp rules comes to help in this case. But activating Gideon isn't a state-based effect. In fact, it's an activated ability. Next time the game checks his state, Gideon will be turned into a 1/1 by Humility. At least, that's what I think. Might be wrong.

Whoa, hold up man, I wasn't by RexDart at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:17
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Whoa, hold up man, I wasn't trying to anger anybody there. First of all, I must have misread the power/toughness requirements, fine, that's my bad. From this point onwards, I will check the main forum thread for the special events rules.

Secondly, I wasn't trying to piss anybody off with the deck ideas for the format I was tossing around. The deck I had brewed and intended to play with didn't even use the stuff that I felt defeated the spirit of the format, like the Humility plan, and I get what we're trying to do with the event. The deck I built and had intended to run if I could have played had a primary gameplan of using Despise/Reanimate and Bribery to rip off the other player's fatties, which I thought would provide the most fun and varied gameplay for what I considered a less spikey event. That was my personal attitude towards this event, but I liked the idea of thinking about the parameters everyone else would be working within and trying to outlevel them. It's the same thing people did with the Goblins vs Elves event, where the best decks were odd control decks trying to prey upon the swarm aggro that everybody else naturally assumed would constitute that event.

FWIW, I think most of my observations about the dearth of early threats and what that would mean are pretty valid, and that something like getting off Tibalt's Storm Seeker ability plus some early damage from manlands and then maybe finishing with some unearthed monster or one of those old haste/echo guys that taps everything else when it comes into play is a pretty reasonable "within the box" gameplan in a format where everybody knows there will be no fast aggro. I also think tokens would be a fine strategy, since nobody will think to pack board sweepers against fatties (although a few people suspecting ones resistant to spot removal might, but edicts could be better.) When everybody every week knows there will be 20 creatures in everybody's deck and therefore plays a million wrath effects, that's not considered unsporting. So if I knew everyone would have no early rush and fewer board sweepers and I thought about ways to take advantage of that environment, I don't think that's unsporting either. Frankly, I thought that given the premise of the event, cheating fatties into play would be the most common approach anyhow, with ramping them into play a close second, and anything breaking that mold would strike me as the most original. I don't really think we have all that different views on this event's spirit, I just liked the thought experiment of what considering what one might do given a certain understanding of the expected field.

I am sure glad I'm unable to by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:48
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I am sure glad I'm unable to attend this (I'm heading up to my Dad's at the time of the event) for multiple reasons. I'll try and be concise here as this could become lengthy.

1)While I love the occasional fat booty as much as the next Timmy I don't really get a kick out of seeing such creatures as the only option. Maybe Im only 25% Timmy?

2)I did not understand that TTB had been banned when I was testing with AJ and came up with a fairly brutal golems build using that and fling. I would hate to have found out last minute that it was wrong. In fact there would have been some virtual blood shed. I don't traverse the forums at all for tribal wars info. You need to include all the basic information in these articles if you want to attract the maximum amount of participants.

3)I think 10 power is where I draw the line at fatty. I don't agree with the 12+ rule. This eliminates many tribes with beefy members who don't quite make the cut. (In what world is Krosan Tusker not a fatty???)

4)I agree with you about the spirit vs the practice. I want to join events where everyone is in the same mind about the spirit of the event even when the approaches to that spirit greatly vary.

I expect however that the group of people who show up every week to play will be divided on this. Vantar, AJ and other noteworthy stalwarts will play according to the spirit and others perhaps unmentionable will not. (That said Humility is a funny response to the whole thing. I didn't take Rex's commentary as encouragement for people to do what he suggested but as a critique of the problem with these specialty formats.)

I don't particularly look forward to seeing a lot of mirror matches where everyone is playing cloudposts and other mana-efficient lands to accelerate into the nastiest fatties ever printed. I don't mean that those players who do this are some how not worthy players but that they don't honor the spirit of the event and many pretty much won't because of what is at stake. (Heck even with nothing on the line at all I suspect some contrarians would still seek to break the format in unkosher ways.)

That all said I hope everyone has lots of fun. I enjoyed practicing with AJ and built some funny variants including an all titan-giants deck.

I answer Rex too.Humility by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 09/21/2012 - 23:17
Kumagoro42's picture

I answer Rex too.

It wasn't particularly the Humility idea what triggered my "Do your exercise properly" rant. (And Rex, by then you had already said that you weren't going to attend, so that wasn't directed at you). I know EVERY group of MTG players will always tend towards "that's the rule, let's find the loophole", like they were all lawyers. It's just the basic gamer's answer to a set of rules. But I want and somehow have the responsibility to limit this attitude as more as possibile, and show that there's a creative way to work "inside the box" too.

Bribery, for instance, as mentioned by Rex. Now, that's one of the solutions I was thinking of and I'd like to see. That's my "just outside the box" concept. It's a meta-call, but not one that tries to nullify the very fabric of the event. It plays into the weakness of the rules, not aiming to ignore or bypass them. It's a cheat-into-play card, only one that doesn't look at your deck.

It's how I said, "Problem: the candidates have fatties to drop. Find the solutions." And the solutions are really, really, REALLY a lot. They kept printing that kind of stuff since forever. It's a big part of the game, which appeals to Timmy. In fact, I don't even think the hard part will be choosing between ramp or cheating-into-play, and then choosing which kind of ramp or cheat effect to use. I think the hard part is choosing the right fatties, the ones that are worth the effort and the resources.

Re: fattie body 10 or 12. I had to set a number, a threshold that would necessarily feel arbitrary to a degree (if I had choses 10, then one could have argued that a creature with body 9 isn't that smaller, and so on). I chose the value that corresponds to the Titans. They're a great symbol, THE fatties of this age of Magic. The top-of-the-curve threats. It's not just about the size indeed, it's about creatures that pose a problem to the player, that cause your hand to feel heavy. In modern Magic, a 5/5 is a creature that might well cost 4 mana. It's something you hardcast without even thinking of it. If all creatures were like that, then the problem to solve would be more related to combat phase strategies than deckbuilding.