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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 05 2012 10:33am
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where the monsters are the heroes.

 So, like last year, we celebrated a bit of a preemptive Halloween with an event where only Halloween-themed tribe were allowed. I called them the Spooky Tribes, banned every other creature from the decks (except the ones that referenced the Spooky Tribes on their text, as there are several off-tribe lords; for instance, Immerwolf was legal in Werewolf decks), and here's the macabre result: Assassin, Bat, (Black) Cat, Demon, Devil, (Evil) Faerie, Gargoyle, Gorgon, Hag, Harpy, Homunculus, Horror, Imp, Nightmare, Nightstalker, Pirate, (Filthy) Rat, Scarecrow, Shade, Skeleton, Specter, Spirit, Thrull, Vampire, Werewolf, Wraith, and Zombie. Next year this merry brigade will be joined by the crawling menace of Spider and Snake (non-Kamigawa only, like for Rat, as those are humanoid races, not loathsome vermins).

 In the end, the played tribes were just 7, and all classic ones (Werewolf and Devil being already contemporary classics due to the recent boost from ISD and RTR), but the Top 4 ranking is somehow satisfying. Let's see why.

  • Event Number: 2.43, Week 95 BE
  • Date: October 27
  • Attendance: 14
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Halloween special, only the Spooky Tribes were allowed
  • Top 4: Ranth (Zombie, undefeated); romellos (Werewolf, undefeated); grapplingfarang (Vampire, 1 loss); slug360 (Devil, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to romellos (Werewolf); Semi-Virgin Prize to slug360 (Devil); Up-and-Coming Prize to Ranth (Zombie)
  • Tribes: Devil, Rat (x3), Specter, Spirit, Vampire (x3), Werewolf (x2), Zombie (x3)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Well, what's more flavorful on Halloween than the three great movie monsters, Zombie, Werewolf and Vampire? And yep, that's right, they finally made it! After 66 failed attempts, Zombie won an event! Actually, that's the first time they ever go undefeated and end higher than 3rd place (which they did... once!). And it's all thanks to two factors: Ranth, and Lotleth Troll.


 I've had already theorized in Modern (with good results) that the trampling/regenerating/discarding sensation was going to be Haakon's new BFF, and here's Ranth taking his 8th victory and bringing belated glory to the undead pariahs exploiting the full bag of tricks of the latest dynamic duo, Nameless Inversion first and foremost. The white splash for the 8 one-mana exilers have recently become a staple of winning decklists, and there's people criticizing the sheer cutthroat value of it. I, for one, will just pack Chalice of the Void in all my future lists, and wait for the backlash.

 If Ranth now shares with romellos the title of most winning player, the Euro-champ is still doing good, since this undefeated 2nd place put him at the top of the 2012 ranking, currently 1 point better than Nagarjuna.


 After some initial growing pains, Werewolf has been a powerhouse in all the events it showed up, and this is kind of a typical list for the wild transformers. And where Rant's Zombies could count on the repeatable kill of Nameless Inversion, here we have the same kind of deal with the notorious Grove of the Burnwillows-powered Punishing Fire

 Coming to the single-defeated, this Vampire list sees the return of grapplingfarang to Top 4 performance.


 We already had seen grappling looking at the metagame and finding a combo that nobody is playing, for unknown reasons. This time, the question was: "Why is nobody playing Dark Depths in Tribal Wars?" And indeed, why? It was a powerful combo piece with Vampire Hexmage back in Extended, then kinda went forgotten. But it's still insanely easy, in Legacy more than ever due to the possibility of playing cards like Crop Rotation and Dark Ritual. However, this specific list uses the combo only as a backup for another one, the Viscera Seer/Bloodghast/ Blood Artist/Kalastria Highborn interaction that forms the rest of the deck, with Goblin Bombardment as an alternate sacrifice outlet.

 Last but not least (coming on top of the Rats by mihahitlor and Malum, and the Vampires by BlippyTheSlug himself, who I believe is getting a tix prize in TribAp for the first time during his era), here's the Devil build by slug360.


 These little suckers are getting faster and more dangerous by the set, aren't they?  I appreciate the flavor of Sulfuric Vortex, which is also a good, rarely-seen card. As it is Flame Rift: being released all at once and with very few events firing, Masques block didn't get enough attention online, but it's filled with forgotten gems.


 Also known as: how much do the Top 4 decks cost? As of November 2, 2012, here's the answer (MTGO Traders prices; the cheapest version of each card is always used; basic lands count zero):

  • 1st place, Ranth's Zombies: $228.73 (nonland cards: $70.38; tribal base: $41.62)
  • 2nd place, romellos's Werewolves: $233.01 (nonland cards: $33.01; tribal base: $1.38)
  • 3rd place, grapplingfarang's Vampires: $246.60 (nonland cards: $45.36; tribal base: $10.68)
  • 4th place, slug360's Devils: $149.93 (nonland cards: $47.34; tribal base: $34.56)

 Do you notice a general reduction in price of the mana base? That's because Wasteland is down 10 tix since last week!


 To celebrate Halloween Week, I chose to look at the spoooooky-est archetype in Magic: Mono-Black! Starting with perpetual fan-favorite MBC (Mono-Black Control), I take a look at variations of it that have been played in Tribal Apocalypse over the past few years. Black is a very greedy color with no problem going it alone, and powerful cards like Mutilate and Mind Sludge tempt you to stick purely to Swamps. With fantastic abilities on huge evasive creatures, along with a suite of solid support cards covering creature removal, discard, and graveyard interaction, going heavy black can be very rewarding. And evil.

 Tribal Apocalypse decks: Mono-Black Spirits by AJ_Impy (5th place on TribAp 43, Halloween Special, Oct 29, 2011); Heartless Demons by _Kumagoro_ (1st place on TribAp 70, May 5, 2012); Rats! by James_McAliney (1st place on a TribAp Classic Event, February 2010). Bonus deck: MBC by Jens Thorsen (2nd place at PT Osaka, 2022, Odyssey Block Constructed). 


 Just to remind you of a few things:

 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. 30 unlocked, 20 to go. Remember to call in me or vantar6697 as a witness (start with the one that's NOT playing in that moment) before moving on in case of an In-Game or Endgame achievement. It's not needed for Deckbuilding achievements, you just have to declare them.

 The Virgin Prize has ended! And the last tribe standing was... drum roll... Mongoose! Now, this lead to two things: 1. the award has been replaced with the Semi-Virgin Prize, for tribes that've been played no more than 3 times (current list is here); and 2. Mongooses becomes the protagonists of a new, dedicated prize that will remember forever that you all neglected them despite Nimble Mongoose being featured in high-profile, tier-1 Legacy decks. From now on, The Mongoose Pride Prize will award 1 tix (at SBena_Bot) to everyone who'll just... play Mongoose. That's right, you just have to play them and you'll get 1 tix, till the end of times. Well, there's just one clause: you have to win at least one match with them within the event. Let's show them all what the mighty Herpestidae can do, shall we?

 The Topical Prize is rotating! As we are returning to Ravnica, we said goodbye to Avacyn Restored's star tribes, Angel and Demon, and we embraced a whole new set of tribes for the Topical Prize. It's five tribes, each representing a different guild as portrayed in their relative keyrunes: Bird (for Azorius), Elemental (for Izzet), Devil (for Rakdos), Insect (for Golgari), and Wolf (for Selesnya). You don't necessarily have to play them in their guild's colors, but that gets bonus points for style and topicality.

 The Hamtastic Award: the Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg has started again, for its 3rd edition. Be the first to run 10 different tribes in a row and you'll get 5 tix on SBena_Bot! Current leaders: Malum, mihahitlor, Nagarjuna, and romellos with 3 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 Nephilim 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 Nephilim deck featuring 4 copies of each of them.

They're just waiting to be awakened! (According to their flavor text)

 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 (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT) of the Blippian Era are:

  • 2.44 (Week 96 BE), on November 3: Underdog Week. Hosted by Vantar. Check the link for the last changes in the list.
  • 2.45 (Week 97 BE), on November 10: regular tribal. Hosted by me.
  • 2.46 (Week 98 BE), on November 17: regular tribal. Hosted by Vantar.
  • 2.47 (Week 99 BE), on November 24: Slugapalooza! Blippy's own Tribute where everyone plays Slugs (in a way or another). Hosted by me.

 See you all in the Tribal room!


I thought someone took the by Paul Leicht at Mon, 11/05/2012 - 22:55
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I thought someone took the Nephilim prize...

Nope. Malum played them in by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 11/06/2012 - 07:42
Kumagoro42's picture

Nope. Malum played them in Event 94, didn't manage to win a proper match (he got a bye).

By the way, statistics say that Nephilim have been played another two times this year, in Event 76 and 83, both by nightviper429, both with 1-2 final scores. Event 76 would have satisfied the challenge (the win in Event 83 was due to opponent not showing), but it was before the challenge was even launched, of course.

Errata: the Watch List by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 11/06/2012 - 08:01
Kumagoro42's picture

Errata: the Watch List section isn't updated. Cephalid Illusionist is currently Level 1 because its success ratio is below 25% now (13 times used, only 3 times undefeated). And I won't have to involve Blippy anymore, sadly.

Addendum to the video for by AJ_Impy at Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:43
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Addendum to the video for Rexdart: The Persist spirits are also an outlet for Cabal Coffers mana.