Kumagoro42's picture
By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 30 2012 11:09am
Login to post comments

 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE where, oh forget it, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BLIPPY!

 The actual anniversary of the birth of our past and never forgotten showrunner (a festivity also known as "Blipmas") was November 26. But 24 was close enough, so we kept with the tradition of having Slug-related fun for the occasion. The rules this time were stricter: you either played a proper Slug deck, or your deck couldn't have anything but lands, your tribal creatures, and Slugs (at least 4 of which were mandatory). Let's see what our players chose to do.


And every player was given 4 free copies of all of these! Courtesy of MTGO Traders

  • Event Number: 2.47, Week 99 BE
  • Date: November 24
  • Attendance: 12
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Slugapalooza!
  • Top 4: Ranth (Slug, undefeated); bdgp009 (Slug, 1 loss); AJ_Impy (Slug, 1 loss); slug360 (Slug, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: none
  • Tribes: Beast, Faerie, Slug (x10)
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, it appears the message was received loud and clearly: Slugapalooza was really (almost) all about Slugs! And in the case of Ranth, who went lone undefeated and took the 1st place for the 9th time (and yep, that's a record), it was about Slugs AND their strange bedfellow Helm of Obedience.


 It kinda feels like bringing a flamethrower to a matchstick fight, but oh well, everybody plays according to their own rules. Very nice the Energy Field/Rest in Peace combo, though, with the latter doubling as a very needed graveyard hate. Which might have been useful against the 2nd-place deck: a sort-of reanimator build by Mr. Beau Darryl G. Panizales aka bdgp009, who used the Slugs for one of the things they do best: being discarded to better cards (in this case, Lotleth Troll and Pack Rat).


 This as good an occasion as any to give you bdgp009's debut as a PureMTGO writer, talking about that time he won the Nephilim Challenge on a certain PRE called Tribal Apocalypse.

 Moving on, oh look, AJ_Impy did it again! With Slug, this time.


 This deck looks a bit like the second coming of the Control attempt I and AJ brew together some time ago. Only, you know, with more success.

 Last of the lucky Slugs, a true slug: slug360! (Slug slug slug!)


 Can I say this build feel a bit strange? I get that slug went for framing the Slugs within a classic toolbox creature shell. But the result is that there's Fauna Shaman but not, say, Vengevine. And there's the  Melira/Murderous Redcap combo, but not Viscera Seer to activate it. Or, you know, Birthing Pod to enable it. Ok, there was Thermopod as a sacrifice outlet, I guess. And Chord of Calling as an enabler. But still. And why Mirror Entity but not Reveillark, at this point? Anyway, this kind of deck is always fun to play, whatever you put in there.

 Finally, we can't end this section without mentioning the deck played by the Spitting Slug himself, our guest of honor BlippyTheSlug (who will host the 100th Tribal Apocalypse Event this week: expect very special prizes!)


 Let is snow! Let it fly! Fun, flavorful build with Snow cards to make Thermopod happy, and Voidslime because that's the trail a tribal Slug leaves behind! Chronicles have that Blippy was able to make a Slug fly at least once every match. Now, that's commitment to your species and its next evolution. Let's hope the mythic legendary Slug we are all waiting for will have flying as a basic ability.


 Also known as: how much do the Top 4 decks cost? As of November 30, 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 Slugs: $335.09 (nonland cards: $57.11; tribal base: $2.88)
  • 2nd place, bdgp009's Slugs: $32.07 (nonland cards: $28.18; tribal base: $1.26)
  • 3rd place, AJ_Impy's Slugs: $101.62 (nonland cards: $51.88; tribal base: $7.08)
  • 4th place, slug360's Slugs: $237.94 (nonland cards: $53.38; tribal base: $7.40)

 This week's ratio between 1st place and 2nd place: more than 10 to 1. And Chameleon Colossus makes the difference in the tribal bases, of course.


 This week, my audio/video deck tech series comes to a conclusion with a discussion of various combo decks that have been successful in the Tribal Apocalypse PRE. "Combo" has come a long way from the days of Channel + Fireball in my youth. It now encompasses both traditional two-card game-winning combos and another style of combo deck that uses a series of rituals and cantrips to build up to a single game-winning spell. All combo decks share a similar strength: the frightening ability to win suddenly as soon as their pilot's back is against the wall. But some combos are more resilient to disruption than others. Is being difficult to disrupt the best attribute for a combo deck in a format like Tribal Wars, where you may not have the support cards necessary to devote to protecting your combo? Or is it better to have a deck that is functional without the combo, but can use it as a kill condition later in the game? In this installment, I take a look at a versatile combo, then much more "glass cannon" combo, then one old favorite from the mid-90s that at one time prompted the discussion of power-level errata on a benign mana artifact.

Featured decks: Kiki-Jiki Combo (Shaman) by NemesisParadigm (3rd place on TribAp 41, October 15, 2011); Wall-Belcher (Wall) by grapplingfarang (1st place on TribAp67, April 14, 2012); Power Artifact (Wizard) by ScionOfJustice (3rd place on TribAp40, October 8, 2011).

 Before I go, I would like to thank Kumagoro for including my series in his articles. This is something I had started to envision putting together earlier this year, and when I knew I would have difficulty making it to many events this fall, I decided it would be a good time to try and put it out there for the tribal community. Doing this series has really broadened my deck-building horizons and made me consider many types of deck that I had previously written off as being unfun or "not my style". I didn't have much success in the events I tried with some of those decks, but I think I learned more about deckbuilding because of it. I'm glad I explored them, and I hope that everyone who watched saw something, in at least one of the videos, that sparked an idea for a new deck they want to try. This is, in my opinion. the most fun format on MTGO in which to brew decks. Within all the archetypes I looked at, there is a huge variety of potential tribes and cards to try out. So keep brewing, my friends!

 BONUS PRIZE: In the video, I mention a very old Shaman tribal creature that would work particularly well with an alternative Lightning Crafter combo present in NemesisParadigm's deck. If you know what creature I'm talking about, and are the FIRST to post the answer in the comments thread of Kuma's article in which this video is included, I will give you a free playset (4 copies in total) of Lightning Crafters (you must have a valid MTGO account and be able to meet me in MTGO to receive the reward).


 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 Top 8 Lockout: since last week, every time a Top 8 player (either from this year's ranking or all-time) will end undefeated, they will not be allowed to register the same tribe and deck again for 4 events (i.e. they'll have to register a different deck or decks 4 times before coming back to the undefeated one). With "deck" is meant a specific, recognizable archetype (e.g. Wall-Drazi), which in some case will be linked to a specific combo card (e.g. Helm of Obedience). A list of the current lockouts is maintained here.

 The Watch List: some particular, archetype-defining cards have been put into 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, it'll be banned until enough weeks will have passed to make its appearance ratio acceptable again. So far, with 12 cards on watch, none of them reaches an Annoyance Level.

 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. 34 unlocked, 16 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?

Hard to kill, hard to play (apparently)

 Topical Prize rotation! As we have returned 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 leader: mihahitlor with 6 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 Volver 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 Volver deck featuring 4 copies of each of them.

And maybe in the process we'll find out what the hell is a Volver

 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 as the upcoming Tribal Apocalypse events of the Blippian Era (every Saturday at 17:00 GMT):

  • 2.48 (Week 100 BE), on December 1: Pure Tribal! Hosted by Blippy! The man is back! (But just for this one time.)

 The rules are simple and straightforward: no off-tribe creatures. You can include in your deck your tribe's creatures only: that's pure as it gets. Also, Changelings count as Shapehifters, so they're only allowed in Shapeshifter decks. Finally, the Top 10 Most Played Card (nonland, noncreature) are banned for the event, in addition to the regular banned and restricted list. You can read the event's announcement here. What you can read there is that there will be two VERY SPECIAL PRIZES, courtesy of Mr. Heath Newton of MTGO Traders fame. The prizes are these:


That's it, the two strongest creatures ever printed

 How will they be assigned? That's a surprise. You have to come and play to know who will get the sweet, sweet uber-monsters. Even Blippy doesn't know that (I will give them personally on behalf of Heath).

  • 2.49 (Week 101 BE), on December 8: regular tribal. Hosted by Vantar.
  • 2.50 (Week 102 BE), on December 15: regular tribal. Hosted by me.
  • 2.51 (Week 103 BE), on December 22: Christmas Special. Hosted by Vantar. 

 See you all in the Tribal room!


Now I am truly regretting by Malum at Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:03
Malum's picture

Now I am truly regretting selling my collection tribal 100 looks like so much fun

RexDart: Goblin Chirurgeon is by Paul Leicht at Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:34
Paul Leicht's picture

RexDart: Goblin Chirurgeon is the only shaman I can think of from FE that fits the criteria you were mentioning but it doesn't seem like it completes the combo.

Blippy: Sorry that you didnt win but glad you made slugs fly. I was convinced that the strictures of Slugapalooza were too tight to beget anything but broken decks so I opted to watch instead. Seeing the winning deck didn't even interact with its own slugs at all I think this was borne out.

Kuma said it very well by AJ_Impy at Fri, 11/30/2012 - 20:18
AJ_Impy's picture

Kuma said it very well indeed, although the analogy I'd use would be bringing a salt shaker to a slug race. :)

It was a fun event, and I can hardly point the finger at anyone for deck meanness given punishing grove and a brace of Karns (Didn't get the achievement there, but there's always next time).

Ah, it was the Karn's by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 12/01/2012 - 04:55
Kumagoro42's picture

Ah, it was the Karn's achiievement you were attempting, then. Yeah, that's kinda hard to pull off, it probably won't be brought back in the next achievement rotation (actually, SBena aims to replace them all, but I'd like to do a mix of the two things. Also, there will be achievements to do over the course of multiple events, especially deckbuilding ones -- something like: complete this cycle of tribes -- to encourage diversity).

I agree with Sbena, by AJ_Impy at Sat, 12/01/2012 - 09:28
AJ_Impy's picture

I agree with Sbena, completely clean slate rather than any repeats. What has been done has been proven.

Except it would be nice for by Paul Leicht at Sat, 12/01/2012 - 15:11
Paul Leicht's picture

Except it would be nice for the johnny come latelys to have a shot at the achievements you all took for granted. (Plus Im not too keen on coming up with another 50 names lol.)

Paul, I thought it was clear by RexDart at Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:53
RexDart's picture

Paul, I thought it was clear from the explanation in-video that the combo I was talking about was Lightning Crafter + Kiki-Jiki + Card X (any repeatable free sac outlet that can sac Crafter.) In the video when I was describing how the potential combo was executed, I am pretty sure I stated Kiki-Jiki was championed by the Crafter's copy as part of the combo execution, so that sac'ing the copy returns Kiki-Jiki to the battlefield untapped and ready to repeat the process.

I didn't intend to create the perception that LC + Card X was a 2-card combo without Kiki-Jiki, but perhaps my wording in the text box here was ambiguous.

In any event, Goblin Chirurgeon is the correct answer and does complete the combo.

The way you worded it sounded by Paul Leicht at Sat, 12/01/2012 - 00:07
Paul Leicht's picture

The way you worded it sounded like Kiki wasn't in the picture which is why I was baffled. lol. Thanks for clearing that up.