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By: ShardFenix, Thomas Rayne
Sep 20 2009 9:12am
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Armies of snakes, holy warriors of light, suicidal metal constructs, moldy cretins, and rogues holding a vicious surprise in store.  Even with a small turnout for the first event, the decks were as varied as could be.  A great mixture of Spike and Johnny decks populated the field.  After a single elimination tournament, one deck rose above the rest to become the first champion of Tribal Apocalypse.


     One of my favorite decks from this inaugural week was a redux of the Kami/Rav/8th ed. theme of Snakes on a Plane played by StealthBadger.  This aggro-control deck uses a variety of snakes to power one of its main cards Sosuke's Summons.  The deck plays out cheap snakes and protects itself with a variety of counters.  It can be very powerful in the right hands and StealthBadger proved this, playing into the top 4.  The biggest addition to this old standard hit is obviously Lorescale Coatl.  The ability of powering up this snake is enhanced with cantrip-counters such as Remand, Exclude, and the bounce spell, Repulse.  One suggestion to anyone playing this deck in my mind is the addition of Glare of Subdual

Coiling OracleSosuke's SummonsRemandRepulse

This enchantment allows the player to use mana of the recently summoned snake tokens to seriously hamper and opponents’ mana during their upkeep or mess up any combat stage.  Being a base-green deck, the small white splash is nearly inconsequential; and also for the addition of amazing removal like Swords to Plowshares or (Path of Exile) depending on your budget.  If I were to run the deck I would play the following:


Snakes on a Plane Redux

A Suggestion for Classic Tribal

4 Coiling Oracle
4 Patagia Viper
4 Sakura-Tribe Scout
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Lorescale Coatl
2 Seshiro The Anointed
22 cards

Other Spells
4 Path to Exile
4 Sosuke's Summons
3 Glare of Subdual
4 Remand
15 cards

11 Forest
5 Island
3 Plains
4 Seaside Citadel
23 cards

Lorescale Coatl



     Another big standout in my mind was the amazing defensive abilities of Lord Erman's mono-white Cleric build.  Using the quite amazing Master Apothecary, Erman was able to beat most creatures in any combat scenario.  Out of the matches of his I watched, his deck was easily capable of subduing attacks from faeires and merfolks alike.  The added life-gain from Auriok Champion and Soul Warden easily negates any Bitterblossom tricks you may encounter.  The final surprise was Honor of the Pure The Glorious Anthem on steroids turns lowly clerics into mighty paladins.  Personally I would be tempted to try Light from Within in order to play off the mana-intensive costs like and at least once to see what effect it had.


     The standout deck came from none other than bingobongo who played Golems as his tribe of choice.  At first glance I was unsure of his strategy but upon seeing his first two creatures his game plan became readily apparent.  Playing a variety of artifact lands and mana-producing artifacts, bingo quickly powered out Mycosynth Golem and Bosh, Iron Golem.  Using his now free golems and all his mana he proceeded to launch fiery constructs at his opponents head Fling style.  This combination of fatties and direct damage overwhelmed all his previous opponents pulling surprising victories from very low life points.


    The final deck of the day was that of champion Flipers_Giraffe.  Combining the standard tribe of rogues with classics Helm of Obedience and Leyline of the Void instant win combo, Flipper had multiple ways to destroy opponents and proved this on his path to victory.  An amazing deck choice especially for an unprepared field I think Flippers deck was a great example of adapting a proven winner to a new format.  While some may disapprove of simply adding creatures to a combo like this, I think it is the perfect Spike/Johnny way to dominate in an recently reborn meta. 


Rogue Line

1st Place Tribal Apocalypse

2 Dimir House Guard
3 Merfolk Looter
4 Nightshade Stinger
4 Oona's Blackguard
3 Oona's Prowler
4 Pestermite
2 Sower of Temptation
2 Wanderbrine Rootcutters
24 cards

Other Spells
3 Helm of Obedience
4 Leyline of the Void
3 Hymn to Tourach
3 Bitterblossom
13 cards

5 Island
5 Swamp
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Mishra's Factory
4 Watery Grave
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3 Frost Marsh
23 cards

Helm of Obedience


    On a final note i would like to present what would have been my deck of choice had I not been hosting.  The tribe is surprisingly ogres, which while obviously not the ideal / tribe does has surprising power.  The sheer strength of ogres being 3/x and above lend to heavy beats while relying on a massive field of strong removal to clear the way.

TerminateDoom BladeLightning BoltFireball

  The removal suite is normally able to handle any creature thrown into the battlefield with Fireball and Lightning Bolt also acting as reach alongside Blightning.  The deck is capable of turn 5 or 6 wins when drawing well.



RUBbing Shoulders with Ogres

A Suggestion for Classic Tribal

4 Viscera Dragger
4 Fire-Field Ogre
4 Singe-Mind Ogre
4 Drooling Ogre
4 Takenuma Bleeder
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Blightning
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Terminate
4 Doom Blade
2 Fireball
18 cards

4 Crumbling Necropolis
4 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Island
6 Mountain
6 Swamp
22 cards

Singe-Mind Ogre


   So that concludes my analysis of the first Tribal Apocalypse.  Hopefully this article has inspired some of you to try your hand at this amazing format and see just which tribes are best.  In additional Tribal Apocalypse news, the tournaments will be occurring weekly on Saturdays at 2:00pm est, and after a season of 10 weeks, the top 8 players will compete in a Tournament of Champions.  Players are award 1 point for every Match win they acquire.  More information on this will be forthcoming but it will be worth it.  So stay tuned, pick you tribe, and see if you can live through the Apocalypse.


The winner by Fadew (not verified) at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 10:02
Fadew's picture

Full credit to the winner of the tournement with his void/helm combo working well with his rogue deck. I was personally beaten by this deck in the 1st round but must add i was the only person in the tournement to take a victory against the mentioned deck. congratulations to shards aswell for a successful tournement and i hope to participate again next week.

Was great fun, look forward by bingobongo (not verified) at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 10:17
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Was great fun, look forward to next week.


Grats to all and most by Paul Leicht at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 10:38
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Grats to all and most particular the evil Giraffe...(who takes a bomb to a gun fight? :p)

You should never trust by Flippers_Giraffe at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 14:58
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You should never trust Rogue's to bring a fair fight to the table :)

Thanks to Shard for running by Flippers_Giraffe at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 15:02
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Thanks to Shard for running the event and Heath for the sponsorship.

It was fun to see all the different tribes turn up.

Looking forward to the next event.

Hey hey! Thanks for featuring by StealthBadger at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 15:52
StealthBadger's picture

Hey hey! Thanks for featuring my deck! I actually have a half-written article about it in the pot, so you might see more of it soon. It basically is designed to just draw loads of cards while committing a few snakes, hence the nickname Cantrip-Coatl. I considered a white splash, as the total lack of removal is risky, and proved to quite the weakness in the tribal format, but didn't want to push my budget mana-base too far. w.r.t. Glare of subdual, I'm pretty sure opposition's just better, and a bit less messy for my mana, and i might well give it a try.....

I can see your point by ShardFenix at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 16:07
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Opposition on a mana front would be better. I just suggested Glare based on an old snake deck i ran with splashed white for glare and congregation at dawn. Depending on your budget though i think white may be the appropriate choice because of the removal its grant. Either that or a nice way to give snakes evasion.

On another point i was absolutely shocked to see that no one with green in their decks appeared to have steely resolve.

Glad to see the event went by AJ_Impy at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 18:56
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Glad to see the event went well. Extremely unsurprised to see a 2-card classic kill combo take the crown.

Glare of Subdual can't target lands: Opposition, the same thing in entirely blue, can.

your right its artifacts not by ShardFenix at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 21:09
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your right its artifacts not lands...though tapping all the attackers is still good. But i would stay in blue in this case now.

Yeah, tribal will always get by Anonymous (not verified) at Sun, 09/20/2009 - 20:15
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Yeah, tribal will always get owned by decks packing something that's actually good (like a random 2 card combo) rather than just a bunch of creatures to attack with. I remember the old Hulk-Flash Slivers, Painter-Grindstone Humans, Dragonstorm Dragons, etc. It's hard for "real" tribal decks to compete.

Pretty lame, and why I don't play tribal anymore. Well, that and changelings. :P

I’m sorry but if your idea of by Flippers_Giraffe at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 09:27
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

I’m sorry but if your idea of tribal is just a bunch of creatures attacking then you will always have problems. This is Classic after all the home of the most broken cards on MTGO, you have to use the most synergetic cards that are available to go with the tribe you choose to play. You can’t just through in a two card combo and expect to win it’s not as easy as that.

I played 2 peeps packing by bingobongo (not verified) at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 03:35
bingobongo's picture

I played 2 peeps packing combos, as the first guy found out it's hard to get it consistent and Giraffe had a solid enough deck to win by others mean... ie critter beats.

As we saw with my deck i abused affinity to great effect and consider what i did to be a combo just not in the same context as what you now discussing.

But I say this with Classic tribes the guys that don't play the combo decks always have a chance.

Yah. Both games I lost to you by StealthBadger at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 06:00
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Yah. Both games I lost to you were essentially comboed out through affinity golem, bosh and composite golem, with skeleton shard if i remember correctly. In the first game, I had absolutely no idea what you were doing until you went off. Remand and repulse aren't a lot of use against free spells!

Cheetoes deck featured a sort of combo too, with life and limb and psychotrope thallid essentially drawing about 12 cards per turn at 1 point. His was more mid-range with some combo elements in there, but I'd consider your golems to be pure combo, at least the way they killed me!

Unfortunately, the closest I had to a combo was ohran viper and lorescale coatl!

The event was nice and I hope by Lord Erman at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 06:30
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The event was nice and I hope that in the future we get more players.

I personally was well prepared against 2 card combo decks but to be honest in my first game against Flippers I seriously didn't see it coming and even discard a Disenchant during the game and obviously lost. The second game I prevented him from combo-ing and won, but our third game was decided even before it started.

The last time I saw someone starting the game with not one but two Leyline before we even played lands was... well... uhm... I seriously can't recall. But all in all, it was a fair fight and close games and I am very happy that a fellow writer took the crown.

And hey Flippers, why didn't you consider a WB Samurai deck with Samurai of the Pale Curtain? It is a nice replacement for Leyline and gives you another option.


I didnt even think about by Flippers_Giraffe at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 09:09
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

I didnt even think about using Samurai of the Pale Curtain, I only decided to play the event the night before and dont have many Kam block cards to pull a Samurai deck together.

I think I would have still run Rogues though as the discard was very useful from Oona's Blackguard.

How many players? by one million words at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 09:12
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How many people participated?

And when is the next event - just to make sure everyone knows.

I think there was eight of by Flippers_Giraffe at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 09:31
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I think there was eight of us, the next event is this Saturday 13:30 EST I think (18:30 GMT). Correct me if I'm wrong Shard

Thanks Stealth, it's always by bingobongo (not verified) at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 07:27
bingobongo's picture

Thanks Stealth, it's always nice to bring a deck that surprise's people and has them off guard and u right it was a shard.
My only problem was I had tested with Giraffe and he knew what I was going to do :(

But unless i can think of something new soon it might be the same deck ... just maybe faster :)

Next Event by ShardFenix at Mon, 09/21/2009 - 11:53
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Saturday Sept. 26th Registration begins at 1:30pm EST. Evrything will take place in /join Tribal and matches will be in the anything goes room.