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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 11 2012 12:27pm
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*** Tribal Apocalypse: Weeks 74-77 BE ***
Single White Angel

 Welcome back to the world of Tribal Apocalypse! All right, I have to acknowledge four-week worth of reports and a number of truly amazing changes that will shake up the entire event's apparatus from top to bottom (so you may want to just go there and have a look). Therefore, there's really no room for chit-chat: let's start the dance right away. With a slightly more compact system of week-by-week chronicles.

  • Event Number: 22 (2012), 74 (all-time)
  • Date: June 2
  • Attendance: 16
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Tribal Singleton, no additional banned list
  • Top 4: ChrisMH77 (Vampire, undefeated); mihahitlor (Vampire, undefeated); _Kumagoro_ (Beast, 1 loss); Nagarjuna (Goblin, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to vantar6697 (Serpent)
  • Tribes: Artificer, Beast, Faerie (x2), Goblin (x2), Human (x3), Serpent, Shaman, Sliver, Spirit, Vampire (x2), Zombie
  • Virgin Tribes: Serpent by vantar6697
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 So, that was possibly the first Tribal Singleton ever, and certainly the first we attempted in Tribal Apocalypse, as part of the reworked sequence of Special Events on the first week of the month (which, I remind you, is now a rotation between Endangered, Singleton and Double Tribal, this latter scheduled to debut in July 7). I think the experiment was well-received and a success, with decent attendance, a good array of different tribes, and generally speaking, a lot of fun playing obscure cards and rarely seen tribal members. We had two Vampire decks as the only undefeated ones, but I don't know if that means anything, since there was an extreme balance elsewhere, with more than half the players ending in the prizes (including vantar6697, who managed to slip in the only Endangered/Virgin tribe of the event, Serpent). I'm also glad to note that this was the first win for longtime Apocalypse resident ChrisMH77, who became our 37th different player ending at 1st place, thanks to this deck:


 And this was the other Vamp deck, by mihahitlor:


 Admittedly, Vampires have a lot of strong members, which of course helps a singleton build to a great extent. However, we can see how ChrisMH77 and mihahitlor actually share only half of their tribal base. Of course, the two decks follow the same basic strategy, but the former is more direct, employing red to increase the overall efficiency. On the other hand, mihahitlor took inspiration from his award-winning Assassin deck, to the point of bringing a few off-tribe Assassins along (Nekrataal, Murderous Redcap, plus the Assassin-friendly Skinrender and Shriekmaw), but also some fun, Timmyish cards like Nirkana Revenant, Skeletal Vampire, and Enslave.

 This one is my Garruk-themed Beast deck instead, that placed 3rd: 


 I was one of the few players to exploit the absence of a banned list for the event, bringing Progenitus back after a very long while (we also had a Goblin Lackey in each of the two Goblin decks by Nagarjuna and victorBike, who ended 4th and 5th respectively, and a Thopter Foundry in DirtyDuck's Artificer deck, that didn't do too well). Proggie only helped me once, and I didn't even summon him through Natural Order, resorting to a pretty silly 11-mana Green Sun's Zenith instead. This confirms my idea that in Singleton the usual bogeymen don't do much, albeit on second thought we might still want to keep some cards out of the next events of this kind, notably Hypergenesis, since its combo deck doesn't strictly depend on the number of copies of a particular card, including the Hypergenesis itself.

 Let's have some videos now (more on this subject below). Here's ChrisMH77's Vampire deck beating my Beast deck (from my point of view):

 And here's my deck beating SBena's knightly Humans (ended 7th place after RexDart's Faeries). Game 1 is where Progenitus showed up, game 2 was all about my top-of-the-curve Beasts such as Craterhoof Behemoth and Spearbreaker Behemoth, plus Garruk himself.


 All in all, we had a good time with a very quiet and fun sub-format that I personally look forward to play again (the next Tribal Singleton is scheduled for September 1st). Moving on.

  • Event Number: 23 (2012), 75 (all-time)
  • Date: June 9
  • Attendance: 11
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Duel Week: Angel vs. Demon, special banned list
  • Top 4: AJ_Impy (double Demon, undefeated); romellos (double Angel, undefeated); Nagarjuna (double Demon, 1 loss); mihahitlor (double Angel, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: none
  • Tribes: Angel (x11), Demon (x11)
  • Virgin Tribes: n/a
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 We did it last year with Goblin vs. Elf for the 50th Event of the Blippian Era. And we've done it again 25 events later, this time with a very topical Angel vs. Demon showdown. Like in the previous occasion, players needed to build both an Angel and a Demon deck, and were playing the former if paired first, the latter if paired second. This way, each game of each round was guaranteed to be an Angel vs. Demon ultimate fight. Angels won the 1st round 4-1, with Demons taking both the 2nd and 3rd rounds with a 3-2 result, which unfortunately wasn't enough for a comeback, so the winged beauties ended on top with a very close 8-7 final score (the same margin that gave the victory to Elves last year). But the real winner was this card:

How many years since the last time in which this one was relevant?

 I know, Nagarjuna warned us beforehand about it on the forum (also about Cleanse and Anarchy – and Drought, that, well, is actually not online – but one-time effects are less problematic than continuous ones). We didn't listen, and some players immediately jumped on the Gloom wagon (not to mention, Flashfires, another major oversight), making the event a bit more frustrating that it could have been. I will not hide that I don't like this approach: it's not a real meta reading (which would require the observation of an evolving meta, with an analysis of the current choices, the tier-1 decks and so on); it's more like a lawyer finding a loophole to play around the rules. Kind of a Grinch move, if you ask me. Oh well, it's our bad for not having properly prevented this from happening (in my case, it's because I don't read the forum too much these days). For the record, we had these special rules in place for the event:

  1. BANNED CARDS: Entomb, Show and Tell, Light of Day, Absolute Grace, Karma, Righteous War
  2. RESTRICTED CARDS: Baneslayer Angel, Halo Hunter
  3. CREATURE TYPES: Angel decks may only contain Angel, Human, and Spirit creatures. Demon decks may only contain Demon, Human, Ogre, and Nightstalker creatures. Secondary type, such as Human Cleric or Ogre Shaman, are allowed.

 Anyway, three of the Top 4 players ran a Demon deck with Gloom (winner AJ_Impy also had nasty surprises for the Demons themselves: "There are two non-changeling Demons with less than 4 power, and one of those is the usually-bigger Ob Nixilis. So, for my Angel deck I ran a full set of Retribution of the Meek, and the combo of Kismet and Crackdown. Most of my Angels had power less than 4 to get under the Retribution".) Kudos to Nagarjuna, then, who while aware of the brokenness of Gloom within this particular context, chose not to play it, yet still grabbed the 3rd place with two badass twin builds both based on Eureka and Where Ancients Tread. Here's his Angel deck doing one of its fast victories against my Demon deck:

 I was playing a Recurring Nighmare-fueled Orzhov Angel deck and a Heartless Summoning-fueled Demon deck, which made me the only other 2-1 player in the end (but unfortunately, at 5th place). Here's my Angel build winning against RJF67

 But rather than featuring specific decklists (you can see them all here), let's see how the players dealt with the tribal base.

 ANGELS (over 11 decks)

 Serra Avenger: 20 copies
 Emeria Angel: 19 copies
 Emancipation Angel: 16 copies
 Sunblast Angel: 15 copies
 Angel of Jubilation: 12 copies
 Exalted Angel: 12 copies
 Seraph of Dawn: 9 copies
 Aegis Angel: 7 copies
 Angel of Despair: 7 copies
 Guardian Seraph: 7 copies
 Voice of All: 7 copies
 Battlegrace Angel: 6 copies
 Herald of War: 6 copies
 Baneslayer Angel: 5 copies
 Deathless Angel: 5 copies
 Restoration Angel: 5 copies
 Shattered Angel: 5 copies
 Akroma, Angel of Fury: 4 copies
 Angel of Flight Alabaster: 4 copies
 Angelic Curator: 4 copies
 Chancellor of the Annex: 4 copies
 Firemane Angel: 4 copies
 Karmic Guide: 4 copies
 Lightning Angel: 4 copies
 Melesse Spirit: 4 copies
 Razia, Boros Archangel: 4 copies
 Serra Angel: 4 copies
 Blinding Angel: 3 copies
 Lightkeeper of Emeria: 3 copies
 Shepherd of the Lost: 3 copies
 Akroma, Angel of Wrath: 2 copies
 Archangel: 2 copies
 Avacyn, Angel of Hope: 2 copies
 Indomitable Archangel: 2 copies
 Basandra, Battle Seraph: 1 copy
 Gisela, Blade of Goldnight: 1 copy
 Malach of the Dawn: 1 copy
 Platinum Angel: 1 copy
 Requiem Angel: 1 copy
 Serra Advocate: 1 copy


 DEMONS (over 10 decks, as one wasn't legal due to a misunderstanding)

 Bloodgift Demon: 32 copies
 Rune-Scarred Demon: 25 copies
 Grinning Demon: 18 copies
 Demonlord of Ashmouth: 13 copies
 Reiver Demon: 12 copies
 Reaper from the Abyss: 11 copies
 Havoc Demon: 10 copies
 Soulcage Fiend: 8 copies
 Extractor Demon: 7 copies
 Halo Hunter: 7 copies
 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen: 7 copies
 Yukora, the Prisoner: 7 copies
 Carnifex Demon: 6 copies
 Pestilence Demon: 6 copies
 Stronghold Overseer: 5 copies
 Demonic Taskmaster: 4 copies
 Harvester of Souls: 4 copies
 Kagemaro, First to Suffer: 4 copies
 Liege of the Pit: 4 copies
 Malfegor: 4 copies
 Treacherous Pit-Dweller: 4 copies
 Griselbrand: 3 copies
 Seizan, Perverter of Truth: 3 copies
 Woebringer Demon: 3 copies
 Pit Spawn: 2 copies
 Rakdos the Defiler: 2 copies
 Demon of Death's Gate: 1 copy
 Kuro, Pitlord: 1 copy
 Lord of the Pit: 1 copy 
 Painwracker Oni: 1 copy 
 Ravenous Demon: 1 copy

  • TOTAL DIFFERENT DEMONS: 31 (out of 56 available at the time; 55%)
  • NOTABLE MISSING DEMONS: essentially, just Abyssal Persecutor and Tombstalker. Possibly the classic Demonic Hordes and Spirit of the Night. But that's all: even with the new additions from Avacyn Restored, the Demon base has definitely a smaller amount of non-stinkers than the Angel base.




 ...which means a good result of popularity for new entries Emancipation Angel and Demonlord of Ashmouth, despite both having a downside you have to work around. All in all, I want to give kudos to those players who ran cards like Seraph Sanctuary, Angelic Benediction, Angelsong, Scroll of Griselbrand, or Demonic Rising just because they were flavorful (of course Wrath of God and Day of Judgment don't need any flavor consideration to be included). That's (part of) the spirit of these celebratory events. Also, check the Angelpedia for more info on all the best and worst of the Angels (you can do the same for the Demons in the foreseeable future, as soon as the Demonpedia will be finally completed). And again, let's move to the following week.

  • Event Number: 24 (2012), 76 (all-time)
  • Date: June 16
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: none
  • Top 4: romellos (Human, undefeated); Nagarjuna (Cleric, undefeated); DirtyDuck (Kor, undefeated); Aleister (Human, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to nightviper429 (Nephilim)
  • Tribes: Angel (x2), Cleric, Cyclops, Elemental, Goblin, Human (x2), Incarnation, Kirin, Knight, Kor, Merfolk, Nephilim, Rebel, Shaman, Wizard, Zombie
  • Virgin Tribes: Incarnation by AJ_Impy (highest-ranked); Cyclops by vantar66997; Nephilim by nightviper429; Kirin by Leys7
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 There's a new sheriff in town, and his name is romellos. Seriously, I can only regard with wonder (and a bit of fear) a guy who comes and take an established event by storm like he did: in the last three months, since he first appeared, he won 5 events and ended Top 4 a record eight times. I hereby declare romellos "the NemesisParadigm of 2012". The guy is certainly a Spike (where most Nemesis's builds were a little more Johnny-ish), but he doesn't play the same winning deck over and over again; on the contrary, he never use the same deck twice (thus taking up Ayanam1's mantle too). In this particular case, he went undefeated with this blitzkrieg Human deck:


 Let's see how he defeated me, while I was playing the same Angel deck of the previous week. Things weren't even so dire for me, until Magus of the Moon entered the battlefield.

 I know, I made a huge mistake not tapping for a white mana to exile the Magus on the fly, but still. See, that's a great meta-call: people are using 90% of dual lands even in a mostly-white Angel deck? Let's punish them! Oh well, at least you can see here how good Guardian Seraph is at making you stay in the game. Of course, she can't do that forever (she's no Platinum Angel, after all).

 Also undefeated: Nagarjuna, who's currently the number 1 player of the 2012 ranking (I'm the second, romellos is the third, mihahitlor is the fourth) and the number 3 overall (behind NemesisParadigm and me, and ahead of mihahitlor, Ayanam1, raf.azevedo, DirtyDuck, and AJ_Impy). Here's Naga's Cleric deck, a classic Soul Sisters build (but once in a while even the true classics deserve to be fully featured).


 And ending with zero defeats as well, but hidden out of sight at third place was DirtyDuck with his "Ce-Korid Breakfast", hoping nobody would notice that that combo is awfully consistent and hard to deal with. The decklist was already published here. Two second places and a third place so far since Event 65: we're watching you, Dirty! (But yeah, that The Mimeoplasm/Murderous Redcap/Lord of Extinction endgame is great, even just to watch. It might get the same result of the trivial Splinter Twin combo, but it's way more elegant).

 Also noteworthy: the return of Aleister, whose last time on the Top 4 (and possibly in the tournament) was back in Week 5, on February 5, 2011 (when I was ending 1st and Nagarjuna 2nd. Good ol' times). Plus, that was a week where four Virgin tribes showed up, with Leys7 trying to fulfill my Kirin Challenge (and failing), and AJ_Impy ending on top with this pretty straightforward Incarnation build:

by AJ_Impy - Virgin Prize
4 Anger
4 Valor
4 Glory
4 Hostility
4 Purity
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Terminus
4 Wrath of God
16 cards
4 Arid Mesa
4 Plateau
4 Sacred Foundry
3 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
9 Mountain
24 cards



 AJ: "I had to fit a miracle card into an Incarnation Virgin tribe, if only for the religious overtones. Incarnations start slow but can finish very well, with protection from Glory or just swinging with hasty, first striking Purity and Hostility. The twelve 1-drop removals were there to clear the path. I went with the base red Valakut engine rather than base white Emeria because Emeria is counterproductive here."

 And just because I really like the build (part of the ongoing project "How many tribal base can Liliana fit in?"), here's my Angel decklist, slightly reworked from last week with more focus on Karmic Guide to interact with Liliana:


 And here's how it played against the fascinating Nephilim deck brought to the field by nightviper429:

 And that's it. Moving on once more.

  • Event Number: 25 (2012), 77 (all-time)
  • Date: June 23
  • Attendance: 18
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: none
  • Top 4: Malum (Faerie, undefeated); mihahitlor (Assassin, undefeated); _Kumagoro_ (Gnome, 1 loss); Gq1rf7 (Elemental, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to _Kumagoro_ (Gnome)
  • Tribes: Ally, Assassin, Djinn, Elemental, Elf, Faerie, Fox, Gnome, Human (x2), Kor, Plant, Sliver (x2), Spellshaper, Spirit, Treefolk, Wall
  • Virgin Tribes: Gnome by _Kumagoro_ (highest-ranked); Fox by Leys7; Spellshaper by AJ_Impy; Djinn by vantar6697
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Malum took his first victory here (becoming our 38th 1st place player) thanks to a Splinter Faeries build, and mihahitlor proved that Assassins are a force to be reckoned with in Tribal, and not just in Endangered Weeks (leading to them being banned from Endangered Prize), but I like to think to this one as The Gnome Week!


 It's a deck I built a long time ago, and I always wondered if the Gnomes were too silly a tribe to be really worth playing. It turns out that as far as colorless Cloudpost-based builds go, they are quite strong instead. They have a definite advantage over Golems, for instance: giving access to excellent chump blockers at the low side of the curve, so even when the Cloudpost engine is a bit jammed, you can survive long enough to start it up. Plus, Copper Gnomes is a valuable alternative to drop scary guys such as Blightsteel Colossus and the super-punishing Sundering Titan. In the following video they go up against romellos' Walldrazi build (with additional Splinter combo):

 And in this one they battle another Virgin tribe, Fox by Leys7 (who ended in the prizes as well):

 Finally, another Virgin showdown, with the abovementioned Foxes battling AJ_Impy's Spellshapers:

 And here's both the decklists of these interesting tribes who I'd really like to see played again:



 And now it's...


 Since June 30, Tribal Apocalypse has a new, additional prize support from Clan Leys. What's Clan Leys? Well, it's actually just three people who live in the same city (Genoa, Italy), started playing Magic in 1994 or so, and decided to switch to the non-paper version of the game at the same time. These three people are also Tribal Apocalypse players: SBena, Leys7, and myself. We run a bot (well, we run several, but the main one, ran by SBena and called SBena_Bot, is the oldest and most successful), which will be used from now on to pay for all the Special Prizes of Tribal Apocalypse. Meaning that from now on, the one-tix-per-player pool provided by MTGO Traders will be used entirely for the prizes based on match win (as usual, 40% of the pool divided between all the undefeated players, 60% of the pool divided between all the players with 1 loss), while Clan Leys will cover everything else. And of course there's more than what there used to be, and that's the real nice part. For starters, these are the regular prizes now, both new and old (and in some cases, reworked):

  • Endangered Prize (1 tix credit): awarded to the highest-ranked Endangered Tribe of the week (you can see the list of the eligible tribes here). This is different from what we were doing until now, where the smallest tribe would get the prize regardless, and the ranking would be used only in case of a tie. But we think there's not really a difference between a 5-member tribe and a 12-member tribe, especially when compared to tribes with hundreds of members. Plus, the prize for playing hard-to-pull-off, miniature tribes is the Virgin Prize, and as it was, the two prizes overlapped too often. You have to decide, instead: either to build a deck in the Endangered area that can beat the other fellow Endangered Tribes; or to try and be the king of the Virgins. They are two entirely different goals, as it should be. Another change is the update on the eligible tribes: Myr and Rat are now considered Endangered, while Assassin isn't anymore. So, the excluded tribes in the Endangered zone (which goes from 4 to 50 available online members) are now only 5: Ally, Artificer, Assassin, Eldrazi, Kor. Rules for the Changeling ability stay the same: you're allowed a maximum of 4 creature cards with Changeling (non-creature cards aren't affected), which is the reason why tribes with less than 4 members aren't eligible.
  • Virgin Prize (1 tix credit): awarded to the highest-ranked Virgin Tribe of the week. A Virgin Tribe is a tribe that didn't take part in Tribal Apocalypse yet (counting from the beginning of the Blippian Era, a.k.a. January 2011). You can find the list here, but the remaining ones are these 15: Cephalid, Dryad, Harpy, Homarid, Homunculus, Mercenary, Monger, Mongoose, Rabbit (only eligible once Zodiac Rabbit will be actually online), Scorpion, Squid, Thalakos, Unicorn, Whale, Worm. What will happen after every tribe in the list will be "de-Virginized"? (A point which, at the current rate of 4 Virgin Tribes per event, will be reached sooner rather than later). That's simple, we'll start again with the Almost Virgin Tribes (or something like that), that is the tribes that have been played only once. And so on. There's an update to the rules for Virgin too: no creature cards with Changeling are allowed for the Virgin Prize, unless they are needed to complete the tribal base. If you go Virgin, you need to go honest Abe with it. This rule might be subject to further changes once we get to Almost Virgin.
  • NEW! Topical Prize (1 tix credit): awarded to an undefeated Topical Tribe. A Topical Tribe is one of the tribes of the moment, as defined by the content of the most recent Standard-legal expansion (so, Core sets don't count for that). At the moment, the latest expansion is Avacyn Restored (until Return to Ravnica will be released), so the current Topical Tribes are Angel and Demon. If you end undefeated with an Angel deck or a Demon deck, you'll get this extra prize.
  • NEW! Up-and-Coming Prize (1 tix credit): awarded to a tribe that ends 1st place for the first time. The list of the tribes that achieved 1st place so far is here (you must look at the All-Time Ranking list). They are 39. Given that just ending undefeated doesn't guarantee the 1st place, and that's beyond the control of a player (it involves the opponents you were up against), here's how we solve the problem: each time an eligible tribe ends undefeated, the player can choose to challenge the 1st place player for both the placement and the resulting prize. It's exactly like when a 1st place player is challenged by a player with the same Points and Tie 2 ranking (the Games Win ratio). Only, in this case, the player of the Up-and-Coming tribe is fighting for getting 1 tix other than just the Hall of Fame points.
  • Hamtastic Biodiversity Prize (5 tix credit): awarded to the player who registered (and ran for all the rounds without dropping) 10 different tribes in a row in 10 Tribal Apocalypse events. The player doesn't need to take part in 10 consecutive event weeks, as long as the sequence of different tribes isn't broken with a repeat. The current status of the prize is visible in a specific sheet of the Hall of Fame. The first 5 tix are provided by me, as they were the an endorsement by SBena to the hosts of the Ham on Wry event. Following instances of the prize will be entirely covered by Clan Leys via SBena_Bot.

 The first prizes under the new order have been awarded on June 30 (when, coincidentally, I was hosting). But that's just the icing, as there's more shenanigans to come. Starting from when this article will be published, so right now while you are reading this, a whole new challenge will envelop the Tribal Apocalypse world. I'm talking about...


 It's an idea Winter.Wolf proposed here within a comment a few months ago, and later SBena independently had again while looking at the Duel of the Planeswalkers videogame. It's in fact what most videogames (especially browser games) do: a series of quests/challenges you have to complete in order to "unlock" the corresponding achievement (which may mean something in the game, but for us it's all about winning tix, and amassing glory). To understand what all this means, the easiest way is to look at the list, which is hosted here, in the Hall of Fame. Here's how it works: we have 50 different achievements to unlock, divided into 3 types: Deckbuilding, In-Game, and Endgame. Deckbuilding Achievements are unlocked by building your deck in a particular fashion (and sometimes, winning at least one match with it); In-Game Achievements are about making something happen during a game; Endgame Achievements are the ones that involve winning the game in a specific way. Each achievement is unlocked only once, by the first player completing it, who'll get the prize. After all the achievements will be unlocked (or after some time has passed, say a year), the achievement status will be cleared and we'll start again, possibly with some changes (new achievements added, unpopular ones removed). Also, the more achievements you unlock, the more tix you earn, the more achievement points you accumulate, meaning even more tix to be gained when you reach certain levels (we will disclose this later). Now the important part: when you unlock an achievement (and it stands to reason you were actively trying to do so), you have to call me or Blippy as a witness, otherwise the achievement will not count as unlocked (that's especially relevant for an Endgame Achievement: you have to tell your opponent not to concede, then call a witness in before proceeding; public replays in the room are proof enough, but they disappear very quickly, so don't count on them too much). SBena and Leys7 work as official witnesses, but only if they happen to be there in the moment the achievement is unlocked, and neither me or Blippy were available: you don't call on them, you only call on me or Blippy. Of course, most Deckbuilding Achievements unlock automatically when you register the deck and the requirements are verified.

 Here's some examples for the ones among you who don't want to go check the list right now:

  • Deckbuilding Achievement – Rainbow Island: Playing with a Kaleidoscope Tribal deck – 1 tix
  • Deckbuilding Achievement – Blue Thunder:  Playing and winning at least one match with a monoblue deck with no instants or sorceries – 1 tix
  • Deckbuilding Achievement – Slow and Steady: Playing and winning at least one match with a deck where all cards cost 5 mana or more – 2 tix
  • In-Game Achievement – Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: Having Bruna, Gisela and Sigarda on the battlefield at the same time – 1 tix
  • In-Game Achievement – Pay the Toll: Casting a Mossbridge Troll out of a Mosswort Bridge – 2 tix
  • In-Game Achievement – Superfriends: Activating the "ultimate" of 3 different planeswalkers in a single game – 3 tix
  • Endgame Achievement – All for One, One for All: Winning a game with Coalition Victory – 1 tix
  • Endgame Achievement – Ignition: Winning a game with Darksteel Reactor – 2 tix
  • Endgame Achievement – Miracles Happen: Winning a game while there are no permanents in play – 3 tix

 And that's just a tasting, there's 50 of them! Plus, there's a special In-Game Achievement called "I Made This Myself!": that's a contest to create a new In-Game Achievement. Clan Leys will judge all the submitted proposals and will award the prize after the first ten proposals have been received. Hope all of this will be fun, especially for players who are looking for different challenges than just trying to survive waves upon waves of Goblins or outrace combos. Plus, it involves the exploration of different cards and strategies, which is always a good thing, and one of our goals as a Clan.

 A quick note on Clan Leys members and the Special Prizes. Since I'm doing all the work and SBena is actually providing the tix, we will not be eligible for any of these prizes. On the other hand, Leys7, not being directly involved (if not as a consultant), will be our bannerman and clan champion. Finally, thanks to Winter.Wolf for some of the names and the ideas. And now let's pass to...


 Bannings/Unbannings: in synch with the DCI's routine Banned & Restricted List Announcement update of June 20 (which by the way, gave us Land Tax back!), BlippyTheSlug passed laws on all the cards proposed for unbannings in a recent discussion. The suspension system is not approved yet (I'll keep lobbying for it), but the following cards have been unbanned:



 They've been all put in a Watch List (along with Grindstone), which means that as soon as they will get annoying, they will be banned again. So far we've done a few events with these cards available, and they didn't show up. All in all, if we can sustain their presence (like we sustain – so far! – Goblin Charbelcher or Cephalid Illusionist), it'll be a good thing for the event. An occasional Sneak Attack combo deck we might see once in a while will not annoy the average player as much as, say, the Punishing Fire combo does. All the remaining banned cards have a clear logic behind, and are just five (AEther Vial, Glimpse of Nature, Goblin Lackey, Hypergenesis, Thopter Foundry), plus the Trifecta of Doom (the three most feared creatures in the game: Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Iona, Shield of Emeria, Progenitus).

 The Kirin Challenge: that's always standing, folks. 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. C'mon, I've already thought of the next challenge after this one will be cleared: Nephilim!

 Videos: As you saw, I've started including videos in these articles. They are simple, mute replays of the games, but I think they still provide a better understanding of what the decks do. So far I only used the ones from my account's archive (and one of Leys7's), but I'll be more than happy to include other players' videos as well. In fact, it will get annoying soon if I'll be the only point of view in all the featured games. So, send me your YouTube links, please! If you never did a video capture before, it's unbelievably easy: just download a free software like CamStudio, click the record button, replay one of your games that you think it's interesting for any reason (maybe only because it was against a top deck, or even because you were unlocking an achievement right there!), and upload the resulting .avi file on YouTube; I'll embed it here. It's a piece of cake. I look forward to get videos from all of you! (And if you want to record them on the fly during the events, and/or put an audio commentary on them, that's even better, of course, but not required).

 All right, that's really all. See you on the Tribal room!



Nice job, lots of work doing by Paul Leicht at Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:54
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Nice job, lots of work doing 4 events worth of reporting. Your link to the Achievements is flawed in that the list is still locked/hidden from viewers.

Fixed! Thanks. by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:33
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Fixed! Thanks.

Sneak Attack and Painter's by KaraZorEl at Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:07
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Sneak Attack and Painter's Servant unbanned? That's nice for the people who use them I guess. This event is just becoming more and more unplayable for me.

Yeah, all those zero people by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:35
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Yeah, all those zero people using them. They've actually been unbanned for a few weeks, nobody cared to use them. :) I hope they will show up at some point, at least once, just for the kick of it.

I'm afraid that the by RexDart at Wed, 07/11/2012 - 23:53
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I'm afraid that the achievement system will, if it is utilized, slow down rounds by needing to get a witness. I'm also afraid, after what I hear of the disastrous double tribal event for which I was not present, that Blippy's patience is being taxed, and I would not want to ask him to do any more work for this tournament. This is a small PRE that gets 12-25 entrants, and has a small community of maybe 30 people who care about it enough to keep up with it. I love these articles, and I love the volume of work done by you and vantar in tracking all the stats and so forth. It adds an extra level of enjoyment for me and other players. But there's a point at which it just becomes needlessly intricate, like a late 1970's Yes record. And if you make a zillion special prizes and events, they cease to "special" at some point. In any case, I would at least want to keep extra headaches during the event to a minimum lest we find Blippy's doesn't want to do this anymore.

I still don't agree with the idea of forbidding changelings in virgin tribes, as it only serves to make those decks worse. I won an event with a virgin tribe, and AJ has moneyed with a few at least that I know of, and it's generally exciting when one of those decks does well. When those tribes are forced to stoop to unsynergystic or outright unplayable cards, or splash an additional color, it really weakens their chance to compete. I'd rather see a rare tribe go 3-1 with some Chameleon Colossi than see it go 0-4 because it had to stretch to include bad cards. At some point it may lose its tribal flavor to some degree, but a successful and synergistic tribal deck is always more interesting than one that just crammed every available member together and made the best of it. If changelings enable weak tribes to contribute reasonable decks to the event, then I vastly prefer that to dull purity.

I'm still recovering. by BlippyTheSlug at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:11
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You have no idea how close your scenario came to being reality.

I hope this is a joke. :P But by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 10:00
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I hope this is a joke. :P

But I repeat officially here: ignore everything by Clan Leys from now on. I'll keep track of everything and announce the prizes at the end of each event (unless you want to do it, in that case I'll tell you what they are).
You now only have to care about the MTGOTraders pool.

Cool beans! by BlippyTheSlug at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 14:42
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Sounds like a plan to me! I'll leave all the Special Prizes and such to you.

And no joke. This past Saturday at Double, I was this close (*holds fingers 1mm apart*) to saying "[bleep] it!" and leaving you guys in the lurch. That's how frustrating the event went for me. A lot of that is due to the antique PC I'm forced to use these day, and how MTGO acts when several people PM me at once. When you see me disappear during registration, that's usually the reason: PM bombardment causes my client to puke.

The flip side is, I saw how fun to play it is, and have NO PROBLEM with you running the doubles and getting some more creds. No problem at all. I can appreciate a free Saturday afternoon every three months.

I hear you about old PCs not by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 07/13/2012 - 10:07
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I hear you about old PCs not being able to handle an overcrowded MTGO. People often don't realize that by PMing someone, you (mysteriously) cause a burst of CPU usage on that person's PC, causing slow performance, momentary freezing, or worse. It's the same when too many people are watching the same Google document. It's the reason I wasn't able to host Ham on Wry (it's better now that I use Chrome exclusively to handle Google stuff).

This said, I don't get how Double in itself was different than a regular event. Especially an event with more players, since that would mean a larger number of PMs at once. Double's definining characteristic should only be getting a double list rather than a single one (and I hope that was done with one single PM per player). Isn't that exactly the same that happened with Angel/Demon some weeks earlier?
Plus, in your place, I would just cut the decklists stuff entirely for these events. We survived for years without the decklists being entered during the event. Now, that's a real nice improvement you introduced there, but if that causes you to be driven crazy during certain events, just cut the crap with no mercy. After all, 90% of the PREs out there never ask players for a decklist beforehands, and probably a good 50% don't ask afterwards either.

Hmmm I watched some of the by Paul Leicht at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 00:14
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Hmmm I watched some of the double tribal didn't hear about the headaches portion of it. I'm sorry if that is the case. I tried to create an interesting variant and it seemed like it was working from the games I saw.

I agree if the witnessing becomes a big hassle it shouldn't be on Blippy to have to deal with it. I suggest that since Clan Leys is sponsoring it they should be the ones to officiate over the witnessing and leave Blippy out of it.

Also as far as it dragging events on...well that does happen regardless of the reasons, but I dont see a 2minute evaluation to see if someone did indeed make an achievement as a real time hassle.

Yeah, Blippy said (in the by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 09:58
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Yeah, Blippy said (in the forum) Double Tribal will be out of rotation due to managing complications behind the scenes unless a substitute host is found. I could do that, but I feel bad taking the host fee from Blippy, so I won't do it. Also, I don't really liked the kind of decks we end up seeing in Double, but I'll elaborate more on this in the following article.

Blippy is now officially out of the Special Prizes AND Achievements.

This is a very strange by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 09:36
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@RexDart: this is a very strange concern of yours. Like, are you assuming we're doing things Blippy wasn't ok with? Of course this proposal has been on the works for at least a couple months, and both Heath Newton and Blippy had to agree to it before it was brought to reality.
I also assure you that the first reaction from less vocal members of the community (which is larger than 30, but problem is: just 5-6 members, including me, ever voice their opinions in public, and we usually do it very loudly) has been "wow, awesome!". And everything we do is to generate this kind of response, especially from players who don't just care about doing 20 damage to 3 opponents as fast as possible and get over with (sometimes I wonder if people who aim to win each game by turn 3 are really enjoying playing Magic).

The truth is: you don't care about achievements? Can't give a shit about special prizes? Fine, you ignore all of it, and you'll play exactly the same way. You won't even notice that they exist at all. So, I don't undestand why you should be concerned about something that is there for an entirely different kind of player. It's like when MaRo is asked (as recently as this very week) about why they keep printing casual cards that competitive players will never use. His answer is always the same: because casual players exist and they will enjoy those cards.

About the "extra headaches": maybe you're picturing this the wrong way. We will NOT track each game to see if something happens that will unlock an achievement. A player has to tell us if he's doing it, and I seriously doubt it will happen by chance. Nobody will even notice this is happening except for the player, his opponent who will be obviously there, and a witness. Are you concerned about Blippy? Ok, tell you what, UPDATE: Blippy doesn't count as a witness. I repeat: Blippy is officially out of achievement stuff. Don't call on him as a witness. Leave him alone. If you want the prizes, call on me, and only me. Then SBena if I'm not there. You can also send me (aicardigianluca at gmail.com) a video of the game where the achievement is unlocked, and we'll give you the prize afterwards (I actually like for this to happen anyway, because it would be nice to document the achievement here).
The special prizes are all tracked by me now. So Blippy will actually be LESS busy now, since he only manages the MTGOTraders pool, and even the math for that now is simpler.

The Virgin stuff: Virgin shouldn't be Endangered Redux. The two categories should be totally different, aiming at awarding a different kind of feat. As I wrote, the Changelings aren't allowed RIGHT NOW, until the remaining 11 Virgin Tribes will be played. When we start again, we'll reconsider it. But right now, if you play Mercenary with 8 Changelings, that's beside the spirit of the prize. You're essentially cheating, and that's unacceptable on behalf of all the players who take the spirit of the Virgin Prize seriously. And the Spirit isn't "let's make a strong competitive deck that will end T4 and happen to be Virgin as well". The Spirit is: "let's play an unplayed tribe and get a prize out of this alone". You shouldn't even compare your deck with a regular deck, you're playing a different league there. I was surprised Gnome did it so well (as your Efreet earlier), and that proves you can build and play a Virgin tribe with a certain amount of success, without resorting to any building "trick". Plus, this argument is kinda moot to begin with, since 6 out of 11 remaining Virgins have only 3 members, so they will play with 8 Changelings by rules. The other five ones have to suss out how to put their superior numbers of choices to use.

The Virgin prize is awarded by AJ_Impy at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 16:34
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The Virgin prize is awarded to the virgin tribe that performs best. As all remaining virgins are endangered, a virgin that performs well will be in the running for the Endangered prize no matter what. This has been exacerbated by making both contests have the same criterion, 'best-performing'.

If you want the prizes to diversify, diversify what is needed to win each.

Just because a tribe has not been played does not mean that tribe is automatically weak and uncompetitive. Several efreeti saw tournament play when they were legal, after all. Wildfire Efreet is just as immune to bolt and swords now as it was then. Gnomes too have seen play at the top tables, particularly bottle, but also ticking and copper.

That was one of the reasons I by RexDart at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 22:34
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That was one of the reasons I was surprised Efreets had never been tried before. Still, I played all 4 of the tournament-caliber ones that had seen play. Frenetic Efreet, while playable, was basically just in my deck to imprint on Chrome Mox. Since the Tomb/Chalice thing was pretty essential, I couldn't really splash a third color to reach the playable green and black ones, which both had double-mana costs to boot, so if I hadn't run Taurean Mauler I was left with Shimmering Efreet or Burning-Palm Efreet. I don't really think weakening the deck by running one of those would have enhanced mine or anybody else's experience.

I actually didn't think the virgin/endangered were overlapping, because I thought you and I split the special prizes that week, when you went 3-1 with those Gorgons (?) we were testing beforehand. I don't know whether a few tix really are much incentive anyhow, I generally end up spending way more finishing an endangered or virgin brew than I could win in one week, and I don't typically play them in the event more than once. The tix are nice, don't get me wrong, but I'm usually going into these things looking to just get some experience playing an old card or mechanic I liked, and hopefully do well enough to get invitational points and make it into Kuma's article.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 07/13/2012 - 10:39
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not particularly against people double dipping with Endangered and Virgin. This situation should also happen less when Virgin will reset, since there are a lot of one-time-only tribes that aren't Endangered (even if we'll possibly change Endangered criteria to include larger tribes that never went well or were rarely played).

Endangered is more of the flipside of "popular, winning tribes". It's "let's determine the best player of the event overall, and then let's determine the best player of the event who was playing a less conventional tribe" (that's why Wurm or Drake or Ogre should be Endangered). Endangered almost ever happens, since the average player doesn't play with the high-profile tribes all the times. I like this form of Endangered better, because it's just a way to assess a "secondary winner", and not a bet to see who will dare to play the smallest tribe. That was cute for a while, but it doesn't really make much sense. Especially because the size of a tribe isn't a good criterion to assess anything.

Virgin is more of a special thing. It's actively looking at a list and accept the challenge. That's why I like better if the challenge has to be taken at face value: you want to try and play Unicorn, then play Unicorn. Not a Changeling deck with some of the best Unicorns. If you think playing Unicorn without Changelings will not get you far enough, then don't. It's the nature of the challenge: to build Unicorn and make it work as it is. You might win the prize just in virtue of playing the only Virgin tribe of that week. We reward the spirit you showed by accepting the challenge. The contest between Virgins only happens if there's more than one. Admittedly, I never expected to have events with 4 Virgins at once, and that's a very good thing, meaning there's more players who like this kind of challenges (I answer RexDart too here: yes, the tix prizes are more symbolic than anything. I'm sure most people do these kind of things mainly for the thrill of pulling it off). Anyway, I see Endangered Prize as a regular assessment of each event's pool of tribes; Virgin Prize as a special prize to the player who, essentially, helped us give more variety to this pool by choosing to bring to the field the most Cinderellas of tribes.

There will always be an intersection between the Endangered and the Virgin/Almost Virgin pool, since the most popular tribes are inevitably the ones that WotC supported the most over the course of the years, and vice versa.

Verification of some of the by AJ_Impy at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 04:32
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Verification of some of the achievements could be a problem. Absolutely agree that this must not be on Blippy's plate, but my inner deckbuilder is looking over that list and already devising ways to get as many simultaneous achievements as possible whilst still winning.

I was absolutely sure of by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 10:04
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I was absolutely sure of that. :)

A kicked Rite of Replication by RexDart at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 22:53
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A kicked Rite of Replication on a Hamletback Goliath will get you the 200 power and 1000 damage ones. Remains the most surprisingly ridiculous play I ever made in edh, thank god it was on mtgo, because I had no idea how big those things would be. It might also work if you blinked your whole team with a Planar Guide then Mirrorweaved the Goliath, but I'm not sure how to stack it, since it's reliant on everything entering the battlefield at once.

Be aware that to unlock the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 07/13/2012 - 10:46
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Be aware that to unlock the 200-power achievement, you need for the creature to make it alive to combat (same for the 1000-damage one, if you use creatures for it). But yeah, there's a lot of ways to achieve huge creatures without infinite stuff (of course you need a good, Commander-like ramp). Chameleon Colossus wants a word too.

And yes, thank God for MTGO's automatic math in these cases. :)

My quick math shows you would by RexDart at Fri, 07/13/2012 - 12:20
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My quick math shows you would have to pump colossus 6 times to reach 200 power, or "only" 5 times if you got its power to a natural 7 before you started to double. 24 is alot of mana without having an infinite mana combo! Even with training grounds and rings of brighthearth, that's still 12 mana. What is your biggest ever Colossus?

65536/65536. :) I talked by Kumagoro42 at Sat, 07/14/2012 - 17:14
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65536/65536. :)
I talked about it in the Encyclopedia of Fatties. The setup was:

6 Forests
1 Deserted Temple
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Mana Reflection
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Avenger of Zendikar dropped the previous turn creating 8 Plant tokens
1 Chameleon Colossus

Tap Gaea for 22 mana, untap it with Temple for other 22 (43 total with Temple activation), tap Birds for 2 (45 total), tap 6 Forests for 12 (57 total). Activate the Colossus 14 times.

And then, the Colossus got exiled (and not even with StP!) in the Begin Attack phase. :)

I just want to say I'm by ShardFenix at Thu, 07/12/2012 - 18:56
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I just want to say I'm impressed by you guys still keeping this going. Great work!

And that's all because of by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 07/13/2012 - 10:43
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And that's all because of you! :)