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By: ArchGenius, Marcus Rehnberg
Oct 18 2011 11:00pm
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Have you noticed how dark the storylines have gotten lately?  The multiverse seems to be filled with worlds that have been burnt to a crisp, devoured, or transformed into a domain of perpetual night.  I don't think I'd want to live anywhere in the multiverse right now.  Especially if that place was featured in a recent Magic set.  I mean how many wasteland worlds do we need?  After the first Phyrexian war, Dominaria was devastated and is now a post-apocalyptic cesspool filled with slivers and fungus.  Llorwyn was transformed into a world of perpetual darkness.  Alara didn't do too badly, except it wasn't really concluded.  Bolas got what he wanted from Alara, Alara's shards were merged into one whole plane and that's basically the end.  Alara basically ended its story 20 minutes before the end of the movie.  Not that ending the story early is something that WotC avoids.  The Eldrazi seem to still have free reign in Zendikar and the misunderstood "bad guys" have more or less conquered Mirrodin.  Now we have Innistrad, the horror based set.  Anyone want to bet that this one is going to end on a happy note?  Kidding aside, things could have been a lot darker.  We have Vampire Hunters, angels, and priests that are fighting the good fight.  Sure the afterlife in Innistrad is fairly depressing, and the head angel is missing in action, but there seems to be at least a little bit of hope.  Compared to Dante's Phyrexian Inferno and H. P. Lovecraftian Eldrazi, werewolves and vampires are almost cheerful by comparison.  Not that I'd really want to visit or anything.  


What I've been playing.

I've been playing in the weekly Tribal Apocalypse player run event for a couple of years now, and I get more entertainment value out of those little free tournaments than I do from anything else on Magic Online right now.  I like deck building and the Tribal format offers plenty of opportunities to build decks.  The most obvious way to build a tribal deck is to build an aggressive deck built around a tribe that has built in synergy.  Elves, goblins, and cats are generally the strongest of these types of builds.  While there is nothing wrong with these types of decks, they are the easiest deck type to build against.  I generally try to build a deck that has a very good match-up against these decks because they show up so frequently.  Another way to build a deck is to take a deck that is powerful in any format you choose and rebuild it for the tribal format.  This is quickly becoming my favorite method of deckbuilding.  It lets me include dream cards into some of my favorite decks.  Imagine using Taiga and (Stomping Grounds) in a Valakut deck.  Now you can, and you can build Valakut with many different tribes including scouts, shaman, snakes, treefolk, and druids.  I've also had the pleasure of using Eternal Witness in a Splinter Twin deck and Karakas and Wall of Reverence in an Eldrazi ramp deck.  There's nothing like gaining 10+ life a turn against an aggro deck.  Of course tribal decks have shown up successfully in the past, so many of those decks can be quite successful here.  Faeries and goblins can be built with some nice additions from modern sets to add new excitement to old decks.   

So, have I gotten you interested in Tribal Wars yet?  Well, if you're interested remember it's on Saturday at 1pm EST.  I've copied the link to the info page below.  I hope to see you there. 

Legacy Tribal Wars


Now, let's look at some decks.  Remember, even though this is a player run event, that doesn't mean that players don't show up with killer decks.


The Chancellor Deck
Some Tribal Decks just want to win.
60 Chancellor of the Dross 
60 cards

Other Spells 
0 cards
0 cards
Chancellor of the Dross


Fortunately, this deck isn't legal, but ever since New Phyrexia came out I've found this to be a hilarious deck.  Black Lotus, Channel, Fireball eat your heart out.  This deck can be built for around $5.


Now, here is the deck that I took to the last Tribal Apocalypse tournament.  I wanted to try out Splinter Twin mainly because the price of Splinter Twin had finally dropped back down to the cheap category.  However, how do you build Splinter Twin when you need 20 creatures?  I decided to use shaman because I had most of the cards already and Splinter Twin is actually not that bad on most of the creatures I used here.  I ended up going 3-1 with this deck and surprisingly I had more success with mirroring my one Lightning Crafter than I did with Splinter Twin.  I lost to James Mcaliney's 4 color wizard deck, which is looking like the deck to beat right now.  I'm beginning to think that the Splinter combo is not quite worth it in the deck because against most decks an active Lightning Crafter and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is enough to win the game by themselves.  I may just turn it back into my standard Red/Green shaman with some more methods of beating wizards.

Splinter Shaman
Splinter Twin - Shaman by NemesisParadigm
Sakura-Tribe Elder 
Wickerbough Elder 
Eternal Witness 
Master of the Wild Hunt 
Lightning Crafter 
Viridian Shaman 
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker 
Deceiver Exarch 
Elvish Visionary 
24 cards

Other Spells 
Chrome Mox 
Punishing Fire 
Mox Diamond 
Lightning Bolt 
Splinter Twin 
12 cards
Scalding Tarn 
Breeding Pool 
Stomping Ground 
Izzet Boilerworks 
Wooded Foothills 
Grove of the Burnwillows 
Bloodstained Mire 
Arid Mesa 
Volcanic Island 
Reflecting Pool 
Tropical Island 
24 cards
Eternal Witness


Here is the tribal deck that I've stuck with the longest.  I just love how this deck can ramp up to a turn 3 Primeval Titan, and the interaction between Gaea's Cradle and Eye of Ugin is simply back-breaking. With so many 1-2 drop big butt walls, this deck is designed to destroy weenie decks of all shapes and sizes.  It doesn't do much against combo decks, so if the metagame shifts to combo and control, I will be putting this deck away.  Still, this is one of the reasons I love the format.  You can pack a ton of cool card interactions into a small space.

Wall Drazi
Eldrazi Ramp Deck - Shaman by NemesisParadigm
Wall of Blossoms 
Wall of Roots 
Tinder Wall 
Overgrown Battlement 
Chameleon Colossus 
Wall of Reverence 
Primeval Titan 
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth 
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre 
Knight of the Reliquary 
Avenger of Zendikar 
27 cards

Other Spells 
Swords to Plowshares 
Green Sun's Zenith 
8 cards
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 
Bojuka Bog 
Stirring Wildwood 
Maze of Ith 
Verdant Catacombs 
Wooded Bastion 
Gaea's Cradle 
Windswept Heath 
Misty Rainforest 
Eye of Ugin 
Temple Garden 
25 cards
Overgrown Battlement


 So, I hope you enjoyed my little comic strip.  Feedback and ideas for future strips are always welcome.  

Marcus, NemesisParadigm on Magic Online.

PS:  Since Karn has apparently left the Phyrexian government, I think it's about time we started looking at who will be the next Phyrexian leader. 


A creative is slightly short by Paul Leicht at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 05:30
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A creative is slightly short than I expected article. Keep the toons coming :)

Yes, I'm going for a by ArchGenius at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 11:31
ArchGenius's picture

Yes, I'm going for a different approach now. Less words, more comedy. With the time I've spent drawing I'm actually spending more time and effort on making these kind of articles though.

I spend enough time at work on statistics. At this point I'd rather draw comics.

I played against that wizards by Lord Erman at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 09:44
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I played against that wizards deck you mentioned in the casual room a few days ago, and to be honest I never stood a chance! If you so badly want to beat it, then my suggestion will be to play something mono Red. I'm sure you won't like the idea of Goblins but what about Soldiers or Warriors or even Elementals? With some good amount of cheap burn back up. An aggressive deck looks like the best option against that deck.

Oh and of course my vote is for Elesh. I like me a good +2/+2!

Good job as always.


I have several ideas to beat by ArchGenius at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 11:33
ArchGenius's picture

I have several ideas to beat that Wizard deck. The trick is to come up with a deck that has a good match-up against the ace deck and everything else. I don't mind playing aggro decks but I'm not all that fond of the aggro mirror matches.

Thank you for the comment.

Darkness by GrandAdmiral at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:19
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Not only is the story getting dark, but the artwork is too. That's kind of annoying when you want to introduce a young person to the game. My daughter is too young to read the cards, but I would like to show her the artwork to spark an interest. Unfortunately I'm pretty much stuck with M12 minus the black cards.

I like the comics, keep it by Leviathan at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 13:29
Leviathan's picture

I like the comics, keep it up! Does make me wish that UGMadness was still pumping out new stuff though :(

I'm fine with the dark storylines, but what the Admiral says above about the art is right. My 4phone year old daughter loves the art of women, but was sad when she figured out (on her own) that Liliana was "bad."

Liliana isn't bad, she's just by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:46
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Liliana isn't bad, she's just drawn that way. :)

My 3-year old daughter looked by ArchGenius at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 14:02
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My 3-year old daughter looked at the picture of the werewolf on the Magic Online loading screen and said "I don't like him, he's scary." So, yes, I've also discovered that the artwork makes it hard to introduce Magic to your children.

That's also an issue with by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:51
Kumagoro42's picture

That's also an issue with Kubrick or Cronenberg movies: you can't show them to your regular 3-year old. :P

(Isn't MTG PG-13 anyway?)

Kubrick movies also kind of by walkerdog at Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:14
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Kubrick movies also kind of suck imo... I mean, they're not awful, but they're not very entertaining.

Blasphemy by apaulogy at Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:33
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See "Composition"....a lost art with many current directors