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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Aug 20 2012 12:00pm
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 Welcome back to Tribal Apocalypse, the PRE for when you want to have fun and still looking badass. Two nice little summer events to report, so here we go without further ado:

  • Event Number: 31 (2012), 83 (all-time)
  • Date: August 4
  • Attendance: 19
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: Endangered Species (only tribes with 50 members of less)
  • Top 4: _Kumagoro_ (Wolf, undefeated); mihahitlor (Soltari, undefeated); slug360 (Advisor, 1 loss); jackfrost86 (Vedalken, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Up-and-Coming Prize to _Kumagoro_ (Wolf)
  • Tribes: Advisor, Dauthi (x2), Griffin, Imp (x2), Leviathan, Nephilim, Noggle, Nomad, Pirate, Rebel (x2), Scorpion, Soltari, Vedalken, Werewolf, Wolf, Zubera
  • Virgin Tribe: Scorpion by vantar6697
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Now, that's a good Endangered event! One where I won! I wasn't even sure this Wolf deck of mine was going to do much, since it's just a bunch of Wolves turning sideways and kicking asses. But it appears they're very good at that. Here's the list:


 Both the Wolfir boys are really strong, but even the classic Watchwolf can hit fast and hard, especially when O-Naginata (admittedly, not that much flavorfully for a non-humanoid quadruped) allows for it to attack as a 6/3 trampler on turn 3. And of course, Wolves like being incited to violence by a Master of the Wild Hunt, who's obviously at his most effective in a Wolf deck. Same goes for the wolf-making Garruk, of course, a card I didn't really love when I first saw it, but that you have to play with in order to realize how strong and versatile it is. Here's a game against RexDart's 5th place Nomad deck that abruptly ends with some hasted Wolfir Silverheart on Wolfir Silverheart action (that's 24 to 26 hasted damage for you), while I was hanging on at 1 life.

 I'm pretty proud of how I handled the last few turns there, not panicking and waiting for the right moment to strike. Sometimes, I can be a good player too! (Still, I'm more than aware that my current first place in the All-Time Ranking is just due to my being there every single week, while both NemesisParadigm and Ayanam1 have gone AWOL this year. It's only matter of time before the Trimurti of mihahitlor, Nagarjuna and DirtyDuck, aka the really good and consistent players, will catch up to me).

 Anyway, just because he's awesome, RexDart has done a deck tech audio/video thing for his Nomads, for our eyes/ears only:

 And here's the Nomads battling against ChrisMH77's Pirates on  Round 3:

 Other highlights: mihahitlor went undefeated as well with Soltari (and without blades, just exploiting his beloved Spectral Procession/Honor of the Pure tech); up-and-coming player slug360 took Advisor for a Top 4 ride; and so did my fellow countryman jackfrost86 with a Vedalken deck he appears to be liking a lot, and finally paid off. Here's the Advisors, a criminally underplayed tribe, here in a very sophisticated 4-color build (although splashing blue only for Brainstorm seems a little too much: that's where Blood Moon comes and punish you), based on Imperial Recruiter's ease at finding creature-based combos like Stuffy Doll/Guilty Conscience and Loyal Retainers/Akroma:


And here's the Vedalkens, having fun with all kinds of artifact acceleration and recursion:


 On other news, two distinct Imp decks tried to get on with a full-on reanimation strategy based on Putrid Imp (and its dumber brother, Fledgling Imp). I don't know if Ranth and DirtyDuck actually brewed their lists together, but they were pretty much identical, the only differences being Griselbrand and Inkwell Leviathan over Reya Dawnbringer and Empyrial Archangel as reanimation targets in Dirty's list (plus a playset of Wasteland over 4 Swamp).

Some Imp
by Ranth
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 Reya Dawnbringer
1 Empyrial Archangel
24 cards

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

Putrid Imp


 The decks weren't tremendously successful, and it seems to me they are a bit too much single-mindedly committed to their strategy. Plus, a discard/reanimate deck with no Liliana of the Veil? That's asking for failure.

 Finally, vantar6697 de-virginized Scorpions, while simultaneously trying to unlock the Johnny Combo achievement (what's an achievement, you ask? Here's the answer), which involves this delightfully overcomplicated 5-card interaction, as humorously referenced by the Johnny, Combo Player Unhinged card:



 And Vantar actually did it, but a wrong click at the end betrayed him. So sad! He also sent a video documenting the near-accomplishment to me, but it was too big for YouTube and I don't seem to be able to shrink it. Too bad! Well, here's the Scorpion decklist anyway, before directly skipping to next week's ulterior achievement shenanigans.


  • Event Number: 32 (2012), 84 (all-time)
  • Date: August 11
  • Attendance: 17
  • Rounds: 3
  • Special Rules: none
  • Top 4: DirtyDuck (Kor, undefeated); _BIG_BROTHERS_ (Elf, undefeated); Chamale (Horror, 1 loss); Gq1rf7 (Elemental, 1 loss)
  • Special Prizes: Endangered Prize to Venom85 (Whale)
  • Tribes: Angel, Cat, Demon (x2), Elemental (x2), Elf (x3), Horror, Merfolk, Kor, Soldier, Spirit, Vampire, Whale (x2)
  • Virgin Tribe: Whale by Venom85 (highest-ranked); Whale by vantar6697
  • Event link (with all players, pairings, standings, decks, and results): here it is

 Three main things happened this week.

 1) After several tries, DirtyDuck piloted his Kor-phalid Breakfast deck to 1st place. I had already published the list in occasion of its first showing in Week 65, but now it's time to do it again to celebrate this latest triumph:


 And here's a reminder of how the deck works: Cephalid Illusionist gets targeted infinite times by either Shuko or the tribesman Nomads en-Kor; this causes our whole deck to be put into the graveyard, which triggers the couple Narcomoeba's ability. At this point, we have at least three creatures in play, so Dread Return can be flashbacked to bring back The Mimeoplasm copying Murderous Redcap with Lord of Extinction's additional counters, which amount to several dozens. Et voilà, opponent dead (barring the case where a very high level of lifegaining occurred).

On the newly created Watch List (more on that below), you can see the whole history of the deck, that went undefeated in other two occasions. The combo with Cephalid Illusionist is definitely a strong one, although not that hard to stop, and now it has been exploited (by DirtyDuck only) 10 times within a very short period, which means it's the closest to be banned for overwhelming annoyance. It's just like with a joke: the first time you hear it, it's cool; the second time, it's fine; the third time, it begins to slightly irritate; the tenth time, people will start caressing their weapons. But there's nothing to worry about yet: all that's needed is for it to be put at rest for a while, and the annoyance level will drop below the alarm threshold.

 2) Elves went undefeated and took 2nd place, which is nothing new, but what's noteworthy here is that I'm publishing an Elf list again after a long while. Elf decks disappeared almost entirely in the past few months, so I feel the hate has reduced enough (for now, I'm sure they will be hated again very soon if they keep showing up and monopolize the Top 4 like they used to do). _BIG_BROTHERS_ is an accomplished Elf specialist and his list has Staff of Domination in it and Biorhythm as a win-con, which is original enough, for Elf standards. So here it is:

Elf Rhythm
by _BIG_BROTHERS_ - 2nd place
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Heritage Druid
4 Priest of Titania
4 Elvish Archdruid
3 Arbor Elf
3 Joraga Treespeaker
30 cards

Other Spells
4 Harmonize
4 Staff of Domination
3 Biorhythm
1 Hurricane
12 cards
14 Forest
4 Wirewood Lodge
18 cards



 3) Several players tried to unlock achievements (for instance, Malum was running a Soldier deck worth only 1.98 tix for the Prince of Paupers achievement, but unfortunately didn't manage to win a proper match with it). This is a sign they are becoming popular, which makes me and all Clan Leys very happy. Keep working on them, folks! We had achievement enthusiast AJ_Impy unlocking the Rainbow Island one by playing Kaleidoscope Demons (his tribal base: Illusory Demon, Sol'kanar the Swamp King, Defiler of Souls, Malfegor, and the recent addition Silent-Blade Oni). But the main attraction was the battle for the "no permanents in play" achievements, Haha, You Lose! and Miracles Happen, centered around fearsome newcomer Chamale's landless dredge Horror deck:


 That's the second time in the Blippian Era that we saw Bridge from Below (the first was Ayanam1's similar Horror build from Week 58). It's enough of a strong, polarizing card that it's worth being monitored in the Watch List, but I seriously doubt a lot of players will jump on the landless dredge wagon anytime soon. It feels a bit extreme as a choice. For fans only.

 And now...



 Blippy and I have been talking about a reform of the Endangered Species event for a while now. The main issues are two: first of all, the tribes allowed in Endangered events (currently held on the first week of the month, every other month, taking turns with Singleton) don't include those tribes, like Wurm or Drake, that are rarely played and yet have more than 50 members; and, to a lesser extent, having a special event sharing the same name, but not all the rules, of a regular prize is confusing, especially for new players. So my proposal is: keep the Endangered Prize as it is, i.e. a weekly competition between all the lesser-sized tribes; and change the name of the recurring special event, while broadening the base to allow access to a greater number of tribes. My idea is to call this the Underdog Week, a tribute to all those tribes that struggle to emerge among the top tribes; the access would be granted to all the tribes involved in every regular prize (except the Topical Prize, since Topical Tribes may occasionally be Tier-1 tribes). In short, the Underdog Week would be open to:

  • All tribes eligible for Endangered Prize (i.e. all the tribes with 50 online members or less, except for Ally, Artificer, Assassin, Eldrazi, and Kor)
  • All tribes eligible for Virgin Prize (i.e. all the tribes that never enterered a Tribal Apocalypse event)
  • All tribes eligible for Up-and-Coming Prize (i.e. all tribes that never achieved 1st place in a Tribal Apocalypse event)

 This way, larger tribes that never achieved 1st place (see the list here: I called them the Unhallowed Tribes, it's the first column on the bottom right) are admitted to Underdog events as well as every "small tribe". It might appears redundant to grant access to Virgin tribes as well, since a Virgin tribe is a tribe that never entered a Tribal Apocalypse event at all so far, therefore it's also eligible for the Up-and-Coming Prize; but that's true only until the current Virgin list will be cleared (and there's only 6 tribes left): once we'll get to the new order of the Almost Virgin Prize, the definition will cover (spoiler!) all the tribes that entered a TribAp event less than 5 times, and this can mean tribes that achieved 1st place too, like Efreet.

 While we're discussing changes (the Underdog idea is a just proposal still needing BlippyTheSlug's stamp of approval, by the way), I anticipate an announcement concerning one of the special prizes: the Topical Prize became easier! It's now awarded to the highest-ranked Topical Tribe of the week, not necessarily going undefeated (it needs to win at least one match, though). The previous ruling was too hard to attain, and we wanted for the Topical Tribes to be a recognizable presence during their lifetime (which is until a new expert set is released, causing the Topical Tribes to rotate; currently they are Angel and Demon, due to them being the most representative tribes of Avacyn Restored; they'll change as soon as Return to Ravnica will be online, bringing us who-knows-what).

 This said, it's the moment for the proper... 


 You may have heard of:

 The Watch List: I've put some particular, archetype-defining cards in a Watch List (thanks to vantar6697 for the help), giving them Annoyance Levels based on how frequently they show up and their degree of success. Here's the rules: you'll see an Appearance Ratio and a Success Ratio on the list. When a card in the list has its Appearance Ratio drop below 5 (meaning that it's showing up more frequently than every 5th event), or when it gets over 50% of Success Ratio, the card gets an Annoyance Level. When these figures move respectively below 2.5 or over 75%, it gets another Annoyance Level. If either Appearance Ratio is over 15 or Success Ratio is below 25%, a level is lost. As soon as the figures move back below one of the alarm thresholds, the relative level is lost. Once a card gets to Level 3 or more, I'll recommend it to Blippy for banning (at the start of the following year, I'll vouch for all of them to be unbanned again, so it's almost the suspension system grapplingfarang had hoped for). So far, with 9 cards on watch, the Levels look like this:

 Note that a very successful card that rarely shows up (see: Aluren) will not cause annoyance. Same goes for a potentially power card that shows up a lot but never does much (we don't have examples for that, but it's conceivable). This way, players who like to play with these cards can manage to moderately play them and not having them banned. If you're greedy, you'll get punished. Cephalid Illusionist is currently the only card at risk: DirtyDuck (the most featured player in the list, playing a card on watch 13 times over the 19 where this happened) played its Kor-phalid Breakfast build 10 times within 21 events, but since 7 of these showings ended with at least 1 loss, that means it didn't dominate, and players who met the deck had a reasonable chance of emerging from the match without feeling bad (it's exactly a 25% chance, the Games Win score for the deck being 24-8 at the moment). So far, so good. Just tell me if you like for some other card to be monitored.

 Indeed, the idea behind my current reasoning for banning cards is that for a card to be considered for banning at all, it must create a greater chance for players to have bad experiences with the format, resulting in them abandoning it (and I'm not talking whiners, I'm talking reasonable players: I use myself as a meter). Let's face it: we ARE and endangered format. As I already said in other occasions, we exist ONLY in Tribal Apocalypse. That's the last place in the whole world where the format is played. The PRE is healthy, with new players joining in on a regular basis, but we're always this far from extinction. This said, if in the meta pool there's a super-powerful card that fuels an archetype able to consistently own events like it's nothing, yet it shows up only 3-4 times per year, that can't be a problem. The chance of the same player having to face it is negligible (that would be very bad luck). For instance, I've only played once or twice against Kor-phalid Breakfast, and I played in every event it showed up. So, the watchword is: let's not be whiners, let's not be jackasses.

 The Tribal Achievements: Clan Leys, which is now in charge of any Special Prize, has launched and is handling the Tribal Achievements too: a way to have fun within Tribal Apocalypse, challenge yourself to do all kinds of strange MTG feats, and make some tix in the process. You can find the complete list of achievements here on the Hall of Fame. 9 unlocked, 41 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. (Also a pain in the ass: when I'm playing a match and you call me 10 minutes before you're actually doing the achievement! Just the final moment is ok, folks; and please tell me what exactly you're attempting, I don't remember each and every achievement by heart).

 The Virgin Prize is ending its first run: only 6 tribes are still standing (Unicorn, Monger, Harpy, Homarid, Mongoose, and Squid). Hurry up and make these dorks go away, so we can start over with the Almost Virgin Prize.

 The Hamtastic Award: after its first edition ended with Leys7 taking the 5 tix for running 10 different tribes in a row, the Biodiversity Prize dedicated to the memory of Erik Friborg has started again. Currently we have Gq1rf7 and slug360 leading the group, with 4 tribes played so far.

 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 forfeiting) with a Kirin deck featuring 4 copies of each of them. Clear this and we'll pass to Nephilim.

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

 And that's all, once again. See you on the Tribal room!


The new rules for underdog by Paul Leicht at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:27
Paul Leicht's picture

The new rules for underdog seem fine but I am not sure the list you set up on the spreadsheet is showing correctly. Either that or you intend us to surmise what is available from what hasn't been put on the tops list??

It's very possible I messed by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:53
Kumagoro42's picture

It's very possible I messed something up. I pointed at the "Unhallowed Tribes" in the bottom right. Those are the ones eligible for the Up-and-Coming Prize ("the ones that never won", so yeah, it's the complementary list of "the ones that won", you can see the latter as a "banned list" for the prize). Is there something wrong in that list?

You look at Virgin+Endangered+Unhallowed and that's all the ways you can get access to an Underdog event through. (You don't need for your tribe to belong to all three categories at once, maybe I should point that out better).

Bad after taste from sour grapes by Ranth at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:03
Ranth's picture

Kuma you know i generally like and get along with you but i gotta say this article really hit me the wrong way.
Calling players jackasses in such a public setting because they have a deck with a fragile jaw that few people have bothered trying to run any answers to seems sketchy at best and down right viscous and personal at worst.

Then to go over your personal attack on deck I made for the endangered event:
"Plus, a discard/reanimate deck with no Liliana of the Veil? That's asking for failure."

Really? have you looked at the tribe at all? 3 of the 5 imps are a discard outlet, then one is one of the best dredge card ever printed, why in gods name would I spend $20+ for subpar removal when I already have the discard aspect covered?? Liliana would have just been and extra expenditure for little to no gain while diluting what the decks goal was in the first place! Seriously what do you cut for her? the tutors or the re-animators?
Not a single positive thing was said about the deck, so why was it featured?
It seems that you mentioned the deck purely because you have some personal agenda vs DirtyDuck currently.

As for cards getting banned because of annoyance..I find that extremely laughable.
Because frankly put, for the longest time before I took a break from playing MTGO at all people would cry all the time about pretty much any deck i ran including up to and even including Cats.

Yes Cats.
The deck that more or less is as tribal as tribal gets: you run 20 creatures, 20 lands, and some combination of removal and pump spells. The deck usually wins from creatures turning sideways, not cute interactions from off tribe or other various cards.

But seriously in the same article to insult one deck that was made for fun and was known to be extremely inconsistent when it was made for fun because it's not running a money mythic and then to slam on a player for running a deck he finds enjoyable rather then suggest one of the MANY CHEAP options available to fight the strategy. Tormods crypt, Relic of progenitius,Leyline of the void, to name a few EXTREMELY CHEAP ones.
Grafdigger's Cage and Surgical extraction to name two that cost more then a ticket.

I understand that this is a more casually oriented tournament but even so there is little reason to not run answers to strategies that are very popular in almost every format.
Let us be honest the graveyard is abused in almost every format right now.
Additionally it always amazes me how few people run any form of artifact or enchantment removal in the format when it seems that they are very common.

Sorry to be so negative, Infact this is one of the Articles i generally look for here on pure but this one just left a sour taste in my mouth....

Ranth, I take issue with by AJ_Impy at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:24
AJ_Impy's picture

Ranth, I take issue with 'many cheap answers' because the format has no sideboards. Same argument as with not including Liliana: What do you cut for your narrow hoser that will be a blank in most games? How do you choose to dilute your strategy to deal with this angle of attack? There are many cheap answers to combo as well, such as discard or counterspells, with just as much chance of being relevant, but where do you fit them and at what cost?

Reactive strategies are harmful to your own gameplan unless universal enough to have impact against completely different deck types, or in weeks where sufficient information about your opponent's decks can be gleaned from the nature of the event to give you a target, as with angels vs demons or elves vs goblins events. The fact that a narrow answer exists does not mean that running a narrow answer in an extremely broad format is somehow a good idea.

Relic of progenitius,is not by Ranth at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:50
Ranth's picture

Relic of progenitius,is not only cheap monetarily but also on mana investment and can be cycled if not needed.

As i mentioned graveyards in general are being abused in every format at this moment. And at this point including 1 or two anti-grave cards in any deck isn't a bad idea (the same way that having answers to artifacts and enchantments is also highly suggested for any deck).

The result becomes that if your deck cannot handle ANY of those 3 elements that your deck is lacking in multiple ways or is made with the intent to not be fully interactive with your opponent.
Thus is a choice made during deckbuilding and should be no surprise then u lose to said strategy.

As for the Liliana argument it was suggested to do something that the deck was ALREADY doing thus is a completely different argument.
So why would I add more monetary investment to do something the deck is already doing in a very efficient manner with little to no actual gain?

Its about the same as if i suggested someone run Scavenging Ooze in a deck that is already packing x4 leyline of the void. It's worth more money so it must be better right?

As for sideboards. AJ you of all people know that I've been of the opinion that tribal should have them. (but seriously that's another can of worms into and of it's self)

All of this still doesn't take away from the fact that it seems he only mentioned my deck as a way to take a personal shot at Duck.

4 Relic of Progenitus means 4 by AJ_Impy at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:05
AJ_Impy's picture

4 Relic of Progenitus means 4 less removal, or 4 less mana fixing, or 4 less tutoring, or anything else you use your 16 to 20-odd support slots on. Yes, it cycles, but the opportunity cost of running it is very high, much higher than in classic or legacy.

Be wary of assuming malice where there is none: take a look at the previous column, http://puremtgo.com/articles/diaries-apocalypse-tribal-weeks-81-82

It would be very easy for me to have misconstrued that as an attack, given the whole bolding my name and making my 'rants' a unique thing, but no malice was intended then and none is intended here either.

saying someone is ranting is by Ranth at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:29
Ranth's picture

saying someone is ranting is one thing, saying don't be a jackass is a completely different matter altogether.

Sorry if I have a hard time trying to see how the two even remotely correlate to one another.

I really have a hard time seeing how the word can be used in non-inflammatory way.

Also then add in all of the other various previous negative references in said article and yes it really does look to be a personal attack.

Besides I never said someone would have to run it as 4 of. I did however mention that if something is common and expected that it should be planned for. You can nit-pick at precise examples all you want but that will not negate the fact that people want to play whatever random deck they want and expect it to be viable in tribal wars.

For example, right now, I'm looking at what i could do for a Kirin tribe and honestly the Tribe in and of its self is Horridly positioned to be played due to the fact that every member is legendary. So either i make a subpar deck expecting to beat up on the weaker decks or lesser skilled players or try to abuse the living daylights out of something that has nothing to do with Kirins at all and win on the back of some off tribe card.
Either way i go i realize that i end up with an inconstant deck that will likely have some very gaping holes in its strategy.
With no one to blame but myself for my deck choice.

The difference is that I was by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:38
Kumagoro42's picture

AJ, the difference is that I was actually mad at you at that point! :P
(Seriously, thanks for pointing out the "no malice intended" part.)

Err... what? No, seriously, by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:50
Kumagoro42's picture

Err... what? No, seriously, what did this come from? I'm sorry, I'm totally baffled, honestly.
Did I call you a jackass? When did this happen? Believe me, I would never even DREAM of doing such a thing!
Hope you can trust me when I say you weren't in my mind AT ALL when I was writing that whiners/jackasses line. Nobody was, actually. It's exactly like AJ put it in his last comment. What I was saying is just that we can have all the power cards we want if we just play them moderately (because if they show up too much, people will complain enough that Blippy will have to ban them; it's happened in the past). No need to be "whiners" and be scared by cards that actually almost never show up (you wanna know the real reason I bothered doing that Watch List? To prove that those cards aren't problematic at all, and perception often plays tricks on us). And no need to be "jackasses", meaning with that careless in dealing with the issue. That was just a throwaway, humorous line, anyway. And I don't even really understand why you of all people should identify yourself with the "jackass" (hope someone who identifies with the "whiner" doesn't show up now to shout at me some more). You only appear once in the Watch List. I was actually going to commend the fact that you never played the Helm deck again so far. That's an example of what a responsible player does, actually. I didn't write that in order not to sound too pandering. But maybe that would have made the point clearer: you, Mr. Ranth, can't be seen otherwise than a "good guy". (Also worth noting: I was the one that made possible for Helm and co. to be playable again. I was the one who wanted for them to be played. Now I just don't want for them to be banned again!)

Re: DirtyDuck. A personal agenda against him? :) He's one of the greatest guys in this scene! I always have a blast talking with him and playing him. He's a fellow Horseman of the Apocalypse! We always joke that he's going to have people organize an angry mob with torches and pitchforks over his Cephalid deck. :) (His words) He actually did a good job of keeping it on the low side so far. And he knows I like the deck a lot (Dirty, you know, right?) Again, I want for the deck to stay, so I see the Watch List as a tool for Dirty to tune the deck's apparition accordingly in order to never get to Level 3: no angry mob, no pitchforks, everybody wins.

Re: the Imp deck. Man, I hope you were just having a bad day here. Did you really take offense at me saying that it was "a bit too much single-mindedly committed to its strategy"? The deck was featured because it deserved to be featured, it shows the strenght of a tribe that we rarely see and there's the oddity of two top players using essentially the same list in the same event (you still didn't tell me if you did brew it together, or it was just a coincidence). And the Liliana line is a kind of recurring joke of mine, I often mention that I want to put Liliana everywhere. In a reanimator deck (an archetype which I believe I'm the one who annoyed everyone else with the most around these parts), it goes without saying.

And you apparently didn't get the premise of the Watch List. If it was about "annoyance" (*) per se, it would feature Punishing Fire and such. I started saying that it's only about "particular, archetype-defining cards". It started as a way to monitor the freshly unbanned cards only. It's not a survey on popular opinions. People get annoyed at the latest thing their opponents successfully threw at them. Someone once told me Recurring Nightmare is broken because "it can't be stopped" (meaning that he couldn't stop it at that time).

(*) I used the word "annoyance" to downplay the concept and not make it too serious-sounding, actually. Not sure if I was successful at that. I might change the name to "Misbehaving Levels". I would like for the cards to be "grounded", rather than "banned". :)

Bottom line: I write a humorous, generic throwaway line and got insulted by a perfectably respectable player. Man, you gotta love all the drama of being a Magic player. :)

okay AJ was right i just a by Ranth at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:56
Ranth's picture

okay AJ was right i just a series of individual things out of context which in turn ended up looking way worse then what is was. :( sorry about that! (infact catch me in-game and i'll explain better how/why it looked that way me)

Aaaaanyhow If all parties agree to have our comments regarding this matter removed by the admins I'm all game for that and in-fact encourage it.

Nah, it's all right for me, by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:08
Kumagoro42's picture

Nah, it's all right for me, it shows how we all get(maybe sometimes a bit too much) involved in our beloved little game. :)

And you have to allow me to use the "personal agenda against Dirty" as a running joke. It's too fun. :)

oh btw yeah I came up with by Ranth at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 22:31
Ranth's picture

oh btw yeah I came up with the deck idea and Dirty Duck tweaked his list with some critters that i didn't own.

Dirty duck always seems to by Paul Leicht at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:10
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Dirty duck always seems to tick me off when I am just watching him play people. But I think that's a personality thing not a magic thing. I'd only think of him as an annoyance in terms of the fact that his decks are extremely spiky. (They mostly have great ways of messing up concurrent strategies.)

Context is everything. 'Let's by AJ_Impy at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:51
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Context is everything. 'Let's not be whiners, let's not be jackasses' appears to be intended as a balanced statement in favour of a moderate position: Don't complain at every little thing anyone tries on the one hand, don't try to constantly break the format so hard it screams on the other. It was not aimed at an individual any more than the 'whiners' part of the pair was. There's a massive difference between 'X is a jackass' and 'let's not be jackasses'.

Kirin is a tough one but has some potential, I've won with kirin decks. Don't underestimate the value of every tribe member having evasion and a decent body, in the right deck.

Thanks again for the right by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:51
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Thanks again for the right interpretation: you put it exactly like it was in my mind (and it really wasn't a big deal to me, just a conclusive thought). I was included in the whiners/jackasses reprimand myself, of course, since I have a history of being both at times.

Re: Kirin, Leys7 has several builds ready for when he'll come back in September (he tried one of them with no success some time ago, then just went on to complete the 10-tribe sequence for the Hamtastic Prize). I'm actually trying to have someone else beat him to the contest, because I don't want to give the tix to my own clan founder. He will use it for evil! :)

As for the Kirin deck the by Ranth at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:59
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As for the Kirin deck the easiest idea i thought up of at this point was to make sweepers.dek + non creature kill con, and pretty much just fall apart vs any kind of endgame that was non creature based O.o.

I tried a couple of discard by Paul Leicht at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:12
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I tried a couple of discard wincon strategies with it and also 5 color genesis wave. the Gen Wave deck was almost interesting as it included the legends aren't legendary artifact. But it never really got off the ground in testing as my usual test partners have been conspicuously absent 90% of the time I am on.

The issue with Kirin is that by Kumagoro42 at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:22
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The issue with Kirin is that they kinda play against each other (let's face it, they weren't ever designed as a tribe. That's where my challenge came from actually). Like, once you play the white one, which is arguably the most powerful, you can't play the red and black anymore because they would just kill him and die, something that doesn't look like a battleplan that leads to a win.
Plus, for some reason, they made them all legendary, so you can't even mass-reanimate them with a great chance of success.

One of the builds Leys concocted was actually a combo deck (an interesting one that I believe was never played in the last two years), with the Kirins thrown in the mix just for the challenge. I criticized it for that, but since even the most committed experimental players like Vantar aren't trying it, I'm more in the mood of, "Let's get this damn Kirin single win by any mean necessary and be over with". I mean, the Elder challenge lasted about 3 weeks, the Kirin one is like 4-month-old or something. They're really one of the less appreciated tribes in the game (despite looking so cute in their art, as opposed to those terrible, terrible Elders). :)

Regarding Ranth and AJ's by RexDart at Mon, 08/20/2012 - 23:03
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Regarding Ranth and AJ's conversation about answer cards....

Ranth and I were having that little discussion during our round 3 match this past saturday. I was on a combo deck (doing another video for it, btw, if it doesn't get linked in the next article you can look on my youtube page later this week) and had barely survived against Kuma's revamped artificer list and then stomped a linear aggro deck. The linear aggro deck in question has actually been performing very well because the newcomer piloting it has realized quickly that just packing your deck with tons of removal can get you 2 wins a week feeding off other aggro decks. In round 3 though it was like I was Superman and Ranth was Kryptonite. He was playing stuff like Glen Alendra Archmage and Stifle (!!!) that are mediocre to outright useless against alot of players, but were ridiculously good against me. His position, which I think is correct, is that you can play some cards to answer things you are seeing in the metagame, such as an enchantment-based combo, and even if they are dead in round 1 against some straight-forward aggro or midrange deck, you can probably figure a way to beat those decks anyhow. Ranth at least is a good enough player that I believe he can get past the first couple rounds even with a few dead cards. If you start 2-0, Stifles and Counterspells and Relics of Progenitus and Krosan Grips have a good shot of being backbreaking cards in the final.

I think that if you are trying to play control, you have to control what you actually expect to see. And that's not just the Kithkin deck in round 1, it's the reanimator deck or Aluren deck you might see in round 3. Playing 6 sweepers instead of 4 might marginally improve your % against the Kithkin deck, but playing a couple counterspells or Thoughtseize could greatly improve your % against combo, indeed it could be the only way you have to interact with it at all. If you have to splash blue or black, then you do, because those are the control colors in legacy with the most versatile answers.

Watch mihilator's assassins deck tech video where he talks about having the Faerie Macabre in there. He knows darn well that his deck will slaughter the creature aggro decks, so he devotes a few slots to up his percentage against graveyard combo decks. Makes sense. Reanimation and other graveyard strategies have been the most popular combo decks this year, perhaps because we all have Innistrad on the brain and got some new tools these past months.

I think the players in this event could adjust to *nearly* anything. They can't adjust to a turn 0 deck like Belcher, because Force of Will is the only answer card. Everything else could be handled if the control players adjusted to the presence of combo, but because it waxes and wanes in popularity (while linear aggro is there every week in huge numbers), they never really feel the need to do it. But where I think Kuma has a point about "annoyance factor" is that new players getting crushed by Aluren are more likely to be turned off and weaken the community. For some reason, new players don't seem to have the same reaction to being ritualistically crushed by sweepers.dek once a week.

I do bear this in mind: by AJ_Impy at Tue, 08/21/2012 - 00:50
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I do bear this in mind: Ironically my games in round two and three this week just past illustrate the upside and downside to both arguments. I was running angel control, a tribe whose slots need to be devoted to removal and ramp in order to get through the early game consistently. My game 2 was against a solid Merfolk fish build packed with inexpensive counters. I won 2-0 on the back of Cavern of Souls, which serves as a way of turning this archetype matchup on its head on the one hand and still acting as excellent colour fixing in every other game, solving the problem without impacting other slots too much.

That Merfolk deck would have destroyed my round 3 opponent of dream halls/conflux, which beat me despite my best efforts (Including disrupting his worldfire combo by STPing his keldon marauders with the sorcery on the stack, followed by getting four lands in play with a hand of removal as we each rebuilt (sacland, sacland, cavern, cavern, unfortunately.).)

Metagaming against the decks you expect to face is one thing, but there is always an element of the unexpected. Aggro will always be there, the decks that run broad answers will usually be there, combo at worst a deck or two. If my round 2 opponent had faced my round 3 opponent and I had faced the winner of that in round 3, it would have been a different story.

Good analysis. But I think by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 08/21/2012 - 08:06
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Good analysis, Rex. But I think there's a problem there I already warned you against. It's one of misleading perception, like I mentioned in my other comment, and that leads to overanalyzing some factors. You want to be roughly prepared against anything. That's fine. Then, you think of stuff like, "What if I'll meet Belcher?" But, looking closely, this sounds like if before leaving home, you wondered, "What if a meteorite will fall on my head? Should I wear a helmet?" 85 events, 1507 decks, 275 rounds. Belcher appeared 3 times, for a total of 10 rounds. The current odds to have Belcher in one round is (if I'm doing this math correctly) 3.63%. If you add Helm of Obedience, the figure becomes 4.72%. And this is the chance for a random player to meet them in an event, if you want to know a given player's odds, they become utterly insubstantial (something like an average 0.23% chance in Round 1 of a 20-player event, I think?). That's close to say that they are NOT in the metagame. 4 decks out of 1507, c'mon. It's probably easier to lose a match because you mana-screwed two times in a row than because you weren't prepared to face a fast combo deck like those.

Another thing: the annoyance factor is actually very different from a power archetype to another. For instance, Aluren is fun to play against. Of course everything loses its charm after a while, but I remember the few times Aluren showed up, people who never saw it were amused, not enraged. A deck that just does some "I won" play on turn 2 isn't fun. You can say at least it doesn't make you waste time, though. Which is why the most hated combo decks are the ones that cause you to watch the opponent play with himself for 10 minutes (unless you know them and concede, but here's a suggestion: never do that. Those players need to be forced to play out every step of their endgame, because 1. they waste clock time this way, and you might take advantage of it; 2. they might make some mistake along the way; 3. if they really want to play those endgames, they have to suffer through them, like an accountant in the last two work hours of a Friday).
Then there's the fun factor of piloting a deck. TribAp is a recurring event with some kind of a community. It's not a sanctioned event where you don't know your opponents and never see them again. Moreso, it's something you come back to in order to have fun, or at least I think it is for most of the players. So, we have to factor in the idea (which is what I did when I proposed the unbannings) that people might maybe want to play anything, but not necessarily for long. During his time here, Nemesis played Wall-Drazi a lot, because that deck is fun, it's brilliant to play, it's interactive. Dirty is playing Cephalid a lot because he has fun with it. It's not always about comboing out at the third turn. (There are other fast combos that aren't even considered because they rarely show up or they aren't that consistent. For instance, I won more than one game with Ooze by doing turn-1 Birds of Paradise into turn-2 Buried Alive, that only a counterspell can stop, into turn-3 Necrotic Ooze, that you need 3 instant removals to stop. But the deck wasn't just about that, I took those wins knowing that they aren't that common). Belcher, on the other hand, is all about the combo. You either do it or you don't, there aren't interactive cards in there. You do the same exact moves every single time, regardless of the opponent. After a while, it has to be annoying to pilot as much as it is to play against, if not even more. That's a self-regulating factor within a PRE like this.

My initial reaction to by Paul Leicht at Tue, 08/21/2012 - 08:08
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My initial reaction to alluren combo is "ick!" but I guess I am an oddball?

Do you want to elaborate on by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 08/21/2012 - 08:20
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Do you want to elaborate on that? I'm talking within the realm of power combo decks, mind you. Not Aluren vs. a deck that just doesn't have a sudden "I win" scenario.
You have to admire the cleverness of the build, that involves the interaction of the strengths of half a dozen different cards. And you can even customize your build to a degree, and play and win when Aluren itself never even shows up, like every creature-heavy combo build (the old RecSur, Reveillark combo, the Pod) is often able to do. Where decks like Grindstone or Belcher are just, "Here, I activate this one card, I win".

Anyway, we're still talking about nothing here, since Aluren showed up 3 times in these two years, but it's like it showed up only once early last year, since the second time was a forced rerun in the Invitational, and the third time was in the 2HG event.

I guess I view it as just by Paul Leicht at Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:28
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I guess I view it as just another legacy shoehorn. So to me instead of feeling impressed it seems sick. Good job for finding another way to break the format? *shrugs*

Well, you can see it this way by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:08
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Well, you can see it this way all the time, then. You play linear aggro? Good job at finding the very first way to break the format.

And this IS Legacy. With a limitation built in. I guess that's just the great divide in how (for instance) you and I are looking at the format. Legacy decks are at home here. They are the decks you should use, but you'll have to struggle a bit more than within no-limitation Legacy. Which is what makes Tribal Wars way more playable and fun, of course.

Duplicate by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:09
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You do raise a fair point, in by AJ_Impy at Tue, 08/21/2012 - 16:44
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You do raise a fair point, in that perception is tied to knowledge. If you see something you've never heard of before, you are amazed. If you see something you've never witnessed personally before, you are intrigued. If you see something you personally have seen often, in a number of variations, it doesn't have the protection of the novelty factor to avoid being unpleasant to go through.

Tribal as a format is very, very easy to break with literal dozens of legal combos that have unique, fast, hard to stop angles of attack. To my mind there is no joy to be had in walking that ground or seeing it be walked upon: We know that this ends the game there and then, and can't be sideboarded against, for any given value of 'this'. The trick is not to break it in that manner, not to build a 'plug in 20 dorks for utility to aid the wincon' shell around a deck known to excel in a less restrictive format with the same card pool. When the tribe itself is an irrelevance, we have a problem.

The best decks of that kind by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:00
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The best decks of that kind don't have the tribe as an irrelevance, though, but as the carefully chosen enabler of the chosen strategy.

If you're winning on turn 1, by AJ_Impy at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:55
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If you're winning on turn 1, then the contents of your tribe can't really be described as carefully chosen, since most of them will be utterly irrelevant to the passage of the game. At best, you could use, say, the spirit guides as additional lotus petals.

But if you're winning on turn by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 17:35
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But if you're winning on turn 1, you're barely in this meta, as it's been demonstrated. So it's not something you can generalize on, it's an anomaly, statistically irrelevant.

It is something we should by AJ_Impy at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 06:40
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It is something we should seek to keep that way. I appreciate the work put in to get hard statistical data for this.

This is a more elegant way of by Paul Leicht at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:18
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This is a more eloquent way of saying why I find Aluren to be off-putting.

How is Aluren winning on turn by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 18:06
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How is Aluren winning on turn 1? Or turn 2, for that matter. The version we had here just ran Noble Hierarchs as accelerators, and it needs to get to 4 mana with an Imperial Recruiter in hand to start the endgame (and you can have an answer to that at that point). I admit, it does it in an awfully consistent way, but if that's off-putting, it's for a different reason.

And again, Aluren is not even a thing around here. Never been. I can give you the complete list of all players that faced Aluren in these 2 years. They are 11 (of which 3 couples):

1. Mr. Slippery 39 — April 9, 2011, Event 14 — against Ayanam1
2. milegyenanevem — April 9, 2011, Event 14 — against Ayanam1
3. DirtyDuck — April 9, 2011, Event 14 — against Ayanam1
4. sadams252 — April 9, 2011, Event 14 — against Ayanam1
5. gbagyt — January 21, 2011, Event 55: Invitational — against Ayanam1
6. AJ_Impy & Winter.Wolf — March 24, 2012, Event 64: 2HG — against DirtyDuck & SBena
7. GWN & TrevaWhateva — March 24, 2012, Event 64: 2HG — against DirtyDuck & SBena
8. Jeketerri & VictorBike — March 24, 2012, Event 64: 2HG — against DirtyDuck & SBena

So, congratulations on being one of only 11 people who actually saw Aluren on the other side of the table? :)
(By the way, Jeketerri & VictorBike are the only ones who actually won their match against it, using Goblins and Kithkins.)

This isn't an attack on by Paul Leicht at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 19:36
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This isn't an attack on Aluren so please don't take such a strongly negative position on this. I simply do not care that much for combos that Ive seen dozens of times before showing up in Tribal Wars. I feel the same way about elves, goblins and psuedo goblinesque tribes. I get great joy out of many of Vantar's builds and there are certainly many great innovators in the apocalypse so there is plenty of praiseworthy effort going on in it.

That there are boring decks that win? Not a surprise nor particularly noteworthy imho. That's all.

I wasn't negative. You know I by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:31
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I wasn't negative. You know I always want to dot the I's and cross the T's. :)
And the fact that you (and AJ as well) were among the lucky (?) few to face Aluren is really amusing to me. :)

On a more serious note, it happens that a player always seem to get the worst matchups. I believe it happened a lot to KaraZorEl, for instance. It's hard to buy into the general statistics when your own personal history tells you otherwise. I get it. (I'm sure that if I had to compile the history of NemesisParadigm's matches with Wall-Drazi, we might find out some player got to face him a lot more often than any other player, despite everyone having the same basic odds. Which might result in that player being a lot more disheartened by it than a player who just faced it once or twice).

Kuma's remark about by RexDart at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 18:53
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Kuma's remark about integrating the tribal members into the combo, or at least not having them be totally irrelevant, reminded me that I was going to bring up the bafflement both Ranth and I share at Doomsday coming off the ban list. Doomsday makes literally every creature in your deck irrelevant. The only Doomsday piles I even know of which use a creature in them are exclusively Type 1 legal piles with Labratory Maniac (those rely on Ancestral Recall being in the pile) and Shelldock Isle piles with Emrakul. The "I Win" piles everyone plays run off LED and IGG loops and win with storm. Now I'm not aware of anybody having actually played Doomsday in this event, but if anything deserved to be on that ban list just for the crime of rendering one's entire tribe irrelevant, that would be it.

When certain cards were unbanned, was it never contemplated to unban any of the *creatures*? The original article discussing the whole ban list implied strongly that Progenitus was considered for unbanning, and I for one would love to have a legitimate Natural Order target in the format. If anything, Progenitus would at least require creature removal to diversify a little. Swords to Plowshares shouldn't be able to hit literally every fattie in the format the way it does now, we should have access to some legitimate threats that require edicts or wraths to handle them.

Agreed, Doomsday is similar by Paul Leicht at Wed, 08/22/2012 - 19:47
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Agreed, Doomsday is similar to Charbelcher (not just mechanically) because it exludes the rest of your deck from participating. But while Charbelcher is more expensive to cast BBB is much more narrow a cost to deal with. You almost always have to play doomsday with a monoblack mana base which excludes some very good interactions if the main combo fails to go off. (With the notable exception of Academy Rector into it. So maybe that was the thinking. Narrow I win card == less bannable than expensive I win card

Progenitus is one of those creatures that people hate facing, particularly new blood. Regardless of play skill if proggy hits the table you better have that wrath/sweeper IN hand. Same with Emrakul (assuming a cheat.) I agree there should be more ways to foil spot removal but it is difficult finding a balance once bans start happening in the first place.

I am still baffled by the official banning (without a word of explanation two years later...) of Moat. We can guess that its sweeping application vs a long list of non-fliers makes it unfun for simpleton decks but it is removable the same as most other enchantment based threats/answers. AND it is an answer not a threat. If it were also a threat the ban would be more understandable. The silence would still be baffling however. The one area I consistently find WOTC lacking in is well thought out communication.

I don't really understand by mihahitlor at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 07:28
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I don't really understand this threat/answer dichotomy, especially in the context that if something is a threat, the ban is more understandable.

Card that says "Your opponent can't tap lands for mana" is technically an answer, and 1/1 creature that costs 5 mana is technically a threat, but such categorization is irrelevant in determining the *actual* threat level of a card.

Moat is a huge threat against the decks with ground creatures that can't answer it (and also against the decks that pack like 2 enchantment removals) - it basically wins you the game eventually (assuming you have flyers or other win conditions in your deck, which you obviously have). Classifying it as an "answer" and saying that the ban is less understandable as a result of this, is a pretty weak argument, since as I have shown, such classification is irrelevant on it's own. The more useful category in this sense would be "a narrow answer", since such categorization would actually imply that the effect card has on the decks in the format is very inconsistent, and could therefore indeed be used as a support against the banning of the card. But Moat is obviously not exactly a narrow answer in Tribal metagame.

BTW, I am not arguing that Moat should remain banned (don't want to go into this again), just commenting on this threat/answer logic.

OK so you don't agree or by Paul Leicht at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 08:27
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OK so you don't agree or disagree on the moat banning but you felt my wording was insufficiently persuasive? Fair enough...

It wasn't just "your by mihahitlor at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 09:25
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It wasn't just "your wording", I disagreed with the content of your argument, which was clear. Unless you meant to denote something completely different with "AND it is an answer not a threat. If it were also a threat the ban would be more understandable."

And I never said that I don't agree or disagree on the banning of Moat, I just said that I am not arguing for it in that post.

Sorry I didn't mean to imply by Paul Leicht at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:42
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Sorry I didn't mean to imply that your objection was semantic but that my response wasn't precise enough. And I too was trying to decline to argue about this since I think you and I specifically have almost no common ground at all.

This reminds me I forgot I by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:21
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This reminds me I forgot I wanted to write WotC about unbanning Moat!

The weird part about that banning is that it's elsewhere very obvious that WotC doesn't care about Tribal Wars anymore. I mean, the rest of the official banned list is borderline absurd (and overall belongs to a past age of MTG): they allow for all the cards we have banned, but then they still think Peer Pressure is broken?

I agree on Doomsday: Having by AJ_Impy at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 06:37
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I agree on Doomsday: Having faced the deck back in the day that earned the banning, it is a deck which conforms strongly to my comment on decks to which the tribe is irrelevant.

We do have access to STP-dodging fatties: Off the top of my head, simic sky swallower, inkwell leviathan, red Akroma, Ishan's Shade, Blastoderm, Calciderm, Empyrial Archangel, Kodama of the north tree, Sphinx of Jwar Isle, Plated Slagwurm, Sigarda, Uril and Gaea's Revenge. I'd quite like to stick Proggy in Hydra and Avatar decks, but removal diversification doesn't wash.

I've done the gatherer search by RexDart at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:29
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I've done the gatherer search many times and come up with that same list, but other than leviathan and sky-swallower, and red Akroma if we're being charitable, none of those have even a prayer of winning you the game fast enough to justify the effort needed to get them into play. At the low end, the derms and Sigarda are hard-castable, though only barely by legacy standards, and they can be chumped all day. Above 5cmc is really pushing it in this format, and most of these offer little reward for the mana and little incentive to cheat them into play. Sphinx of Jwar Isle was only barely good enough for standard, and only for a few months in dedicated control decks light on creatures. Gaea's Revenge was at best a sideboard card against UB control, because it just gets chumped against anything else, especially in tribal wars. Uril, who is very cool, is unfortunately a build-around-me card stuck in a tribe that is not helpful.

So, much like current Type 2, the only fatties worth the effort are the ones like Elesh Norn, Griselbrand, and titans, because you get value from them even if your opponent kills it immediately with their one untapped plains. I'm not so much faulting StP for existing. I grew up with it. I just wish WotC had printed better pro-stp dudes over the years, and that we hadn't banned the good ones.

I'm pretty sure someone will by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:14
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I'm pretty sure someone will play Doomsday (and the other unbanned, still not played cards) at some point just for the kicks of it (and probably because they already owned a playset). Then it'll disappear for months or years, because for players who have to play the same tournament in the same community every week, it's pretty boring to play Doomsday again and again. So in the end we just have the advantage of a more complete pool, and that's all.

I contemplated the unbanning of the Trifecta of Doom, but my conclusion was that it's too much of a delicate matter (they're popular cards that people would start playing immediately, unlike Doomsday & co.), so it was up to Blippy to decide. And to be honest, Progenitus is my favorite there, but the idea of only seeing him when Natural Order is involved, and vice versa only seeing Natural Order when Prog is involved (as it would be absurd not to) doesn't strike me as an interesting development. I'd prefer to keep them apart (I could be in favor of a rule that says they can't be in the same deck, but it would be awkward ruling). And if I had to choose between keeping Natural Order in the off-chance someone will use it to summon something else, or having Progenitus in the pool to be put onto the battlefield in some other way (and there are ways indeed), I'd choose the former, since it allows for more different scenarios.

Unban Prog and give me some by AJ_Impy at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 14:54
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Unban Prog and give me some time to earn enough to build the deck, and I'll run Landless Avatars to hardcast Progenitus.

I don't think NO/Progenitus by RexDart at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 15:25
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I don't think NO/Progenitus is a potential problem at all, really. I fail to see why it wouldn't be desirable to have around. Progenitus is the least scary of all of those "Trifecta of Doom" guys. Progenitus can be raced by aggro, I have done it with Zoo against Bant in real legacy tournaments. There are numerous aggro decks in the tribal legacy wars format that would be capable of racing him. And control decks can either counterspell the NO, or use a board sweeper, or use Diabolic Edicts, Liliana of the Veil, etc. (How many guys do they have left to sac to edicts after the one they sac'ced to Natural Order? Not many if they went for a fast NO. I packed Warren Weirding in legacy goblins and never had any problem taking Proggy down.) There's also "hatebear" cards like Gaddock Teeg and Aven Mindcensor that can disrupt it. Only some durdle midrange decks with little disruption and nothing but spot removal would entirely fold to NO/Progenitus.

Decks aren't JUST about getting out Progenitus, he's not good enough to be THAT all-in. Progenitus is used in legacy as a Plan B. I would envision some base green deck with a mix of manadorks and utility guys and efficient beaters like KotR, a very small NO "toolbox" of Progenitus and Empyrial Archangel, and maybe even a GSZ toolbox. I would have fun playing that deck. It wouldn't ALWAYS be correct to go for Progenitus, I assure you. But the ability to go for him to close out a game is what would make that kind of deck competitive.

I've got it! Put Progenitus by AJ_Impy at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 16:34
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I've got it! Put Progenitus on the same tier as Stoneforge Mystic! Only playable in its own tribes, but there if you want to give it a go.

I like this idea - strange by mihahitlor at Thu, 08/23/2012 - 17:02
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I like this idea - strange that no one has already thought of it, since it seems really elegant solution to me.

You have my support. I by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 08/24/2012 - 00:13
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You have my support.
I believe Blippy (who still has to give us his thoughs on the subject) wants to synchronize our banning changes with DCI's, so we might have to wait until their next announcement anyway (how often they do that? Every third month or so?).

What about putting the whole Trifecta back on those terms?
Emrakul won't be in Wall-Drazi nor Elfball. Are Eldrazi decks scarier with him in there? They don't have much built-in stuff to help him, if not the system designed by ROE (the Eldrazi spawn) which is nothing really worrying.

Now, Iona in Angel decks might enable Angel reanimator, which is definitely a thing. But she'll be just one-tribe weapon, and mostly an anti-monocolored weapon (and since monocolored have Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon to hose multicolored, it may be fair to hose them back? Always considering that monocolored = budget decks, and multicolored = money decks, though).

They might be also all restricted to 1 copy as well (unlike Stoneforge Mystic).