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By: AJ_Impy, AJ Richardson
Sep 29 2007 10:04am
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They did what now? The art of Tribal Wars
Welcome back, esteemed reader. It has been quite a few months since my last article, but given recent developments, now is the perfect time for a comeback. At long last, Wizards have ripped off the band-aid and redone the creature type of every creature ever printed. If you have not yet done so, I suggest you take a quick look here  to see what your favourite creatures now are.
Where to begin? There are a lot more humans now, and a lot of beasts have touched base with their animal roots. Nishobas are now all consistently cats, and Hellions have made a stand. The Amplify creatures of Legions have in some cases gotten quite a bit more power: Expect to see Daru Stinger in human decks from here on in. On the other hand, we have lost the niche Guardian tribe, Wirefly Hive no longer can be used as a sweeper via Artificial Evolution and the almost-legal Ships have sunk without a trace.
So long, we hardly knew you.
Metathran Aerostat
Wirefly Hive
Armored Guardian
Whilst sad to see them go, I am personally delighted that the change has finally been made. I accept this is by no means universal: Amongst paper players especially, this represents a substantial headache in checking cards against oracle. However, I have always played via computer, and we who play Magic Online have no such problem.
Now, let's take a look at some of the newly enabled tribes. We'll get the Oracle update with the release of Lorwyn, but the cards themselves are still available online in their uncorrected state. Whilst not valid in Tribal Classic, all we need is a willing volunteer with a Tribal Classic deck to act as opponent and a straight classic game. How do the new tribes fare?
The Unstoppable Deck
Let's start with this little beauty. Juggernaut finally got a type to match the name in Xth, and of the online card pool, we have these new representatives who will be joining it with Lorwyn.
Otarian Juggernaut
Goblin War Wagon
Arcbound Crusher
Auriok Siege Sled
Putting aside Leveler for now, we have an interesting mishmash of fairly costed cards. Arcbound Crusher can get very dangerous very fast in an all-artifact deck, and as long as one artifact creature remains in play, so does the threat. Otarian Juggernaut and Goblin War Wagon are more disappointing in their stats, but they remain decent filler. With a lot of creatures automatically attacking, the on-theme Gruul War Plow ensures at least some of that damage gets through as well as providing an optional 4/4 body.
With an all-artifact tribe, we can have the luxury of a mostly-colorless manabase, with the addition of Gruul Turf to keep the plow happy. With room for both Cloudpost and Urzatron we can add in some high cost artifact -powered removal, Oblivion Stone and Aladdin's Ring acting as board sweeper and spot removal respectively. The deck plays as a fairly potent midrange beater. You can Mind Stone out a Juggernaut on turn three and follow it up with a War Plow on turn four to get past chumps, and that's just assuming you don't get into your big mana by that point. Weaknesses include Shatterstorm, Shattering Spree and large swarms: If you're in a stalemate, reach for Aladdin's shotgun or simply keep
pumping your Arcbound.
No rest, No Mercy, No Brakes

Don't Stop Me Now

4 Gruul War Plow
4 Arcbound Crusher
4 Auriok Siege Sled
4 Otarian Juggernaut
4 Phyrexian Snowcrusher
4 Goblin War Wagon
4 Juggernaut

Metal Mana

4 Cloudpost
4 Gruul Turf
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
4 Vesuva
4 Mind Stone

Party is Over

2 Oblivion Stone
2 Aladdin's Ring

I'm the Chairman of the Boar
This one, thanks to the catch-all Beast tribe to which the members currently belong, is legal at the moment, but will become a lot more unique when the update makes these Beasts into Boars. Another midrange beatdown deck, this one curves out with Gristleback and Vulshok War Boar, with plenty of cantrips to make sure you can drop your high-end fat pigs. Chromatic Star and Terrarion are there to fix mana and feed the War Boars, with the handful of artifact lands in case they can't be found. Your main removal is Savage Twister, with your creatures large enough to ignore it except Gristleback, which makes a great pot roast and mini-Ravenous Baloth instead. the Twister does double duty as an earthquake-style game-ender with Coalhauler Swine in play: If you can get a Loxodon Warhammer on the swine beforehand, so much the better.
Between the cantrips and the high cost threats, the deck has a good chance of being able to rebuild after a wrath, and you have enough trampling fat to ruin anyone's day. A quick aggro or flying tribe will give you problems unless you can force them onto the back foot: The hammer stacks races in your favor and can buy time to find and cast a Twister. Don't be too quick to pop the manafixers, as the War Boars may be just around the corner, but if you need to dig, do so.
Vulshok War Boar
Pig Out

Bringing Home the Bacon

4 Coalhauler Swine
4 Giant Warthog
4 Gristleback
4 Krosan Tusker
4 Vulshok War Boar

Barbecue Set

4 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Savage Twister
4 Terrarion
4 Chromatic Star


8 Forest
2 Great Furnace
8 Mountain
4 Stomping Ground
2 Tree of Tales

We all Stand Together
Finally, a tribe which has many tribal afficionados hopping with delight: The amphibians have been consolidated into Frogs, and all the Odyssey and Onslaught block Anurids have joined them. There are many paths to build a frog deck around: Anurid Scavenger and Anurid Murkdiver can lean
towards an anti-black deck, whereas Wretched Anurid can lean heavily towards you losing very quickly. Morgue Toad is an interesting bit of manafixing, but the real powerhouses of the tribe came from Dissension, namely Plaxcaster Frogling and Omnibian.

Amphibious Assault

4 Anurid Barkripper
4 Anurid Swarmsnapper
4 Chub Toad
4 Omnibian
4 Plaxcaster Frogling

Toad-al Annihilation

4 Confiscate
4 Moldervine Cloak
4 Careful Consideration
4 Erratic Mutation

The Lily Pad

4 Simic Growth Chamber
10 Forest
6 Island
4 Novijen, Heart of Progress

Building our deck around these two, we have the ability to pump our frogs, protect them and turn them, or our opponent's creatures, into 3/3s. Green and blue are short on removal, but Erratic Mutation in a deck with a minimum CMC of three does the job nicely, even able to take out Akroma, at least the original flavor. As to pumpable frogs, let's look at (Chub Toad) and Anurid Barkripper, circumstantial +2/+2 bonuses which stack with the Omnibian transfrogrification. Anurid Barkripper needs to reach threshold, so let's round out our support cards with Moldervine Cloak and Careful Consideration. We lack a means of dealing with problem permanents, so a set of Confiscate ensure they remain our opponent's problem.
The deck weaknesses include a slow start: with a converted mana cost of three as a baseline, an aggro deck can have you down to dangerous levels before you can stabilise behind a wall of frogs. Only Anurid Swarmsnapper can deal with fliers, and even pumped with counters from Novijen and Plaxcaster, it will have a hard time doing so. Remember Omnibian's ability overrides sliver, elf, goblin or similar in the type line, which can make all the difference sometimes.

Over the next few articles I intend to take a look at some other tricks this
mammoth update enables us to do, delving into the morass of humans or experimenting with some of the newly created tribes and tribal combinations. As always, let me know if there's anything specific you'd want a closer look at. Until next time, where did I put my goat?


Look who it is! by SpikeBoyM at Sat, 09/29/2007 - 13:38
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Good to have you back AJ!

All for naught? ;) by hamtastic at Sat, 09/29/2007 - 18:46
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Just curious about the inclusion of tron in the deck.  It seems like Cloudpost + Vesuva would be solid.  While you'd likely want to run Sylvan Scrying I could see that working out pretty well.

Good to see some fun things come out of these errata updates.

Woot MTGO!

blue removal by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 09/29/2007 - 23:07
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blue does in fact have some decent removal in pongify and it even doubles as combat trick

by AJ_Impy at Sat, 09/29/2007 - 23:11
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I included 'tron alongside Cloudpost-Vesuva for the novelty of an almost completely colorless manabase. It could be argued that some landsearch would be helpful, but there's something to be said for not having to worry about color whatsoever. The ridiculousness of the 'tron and cloudposts combined allows for being able to play and use the ring in the same turn as early as turn 6 with the right lands. Not likely but damnably fun when it happens.

Colorless mana bases can be interesting: Golems tend to work better with artifact lands due to Mycosynth Golem, Myr don't really need that much mana, and artifact dragons rely on basic land types. Constructs are stronger with snow lands, although that tribe just went through the roof with this update. That leaves the Juggernauts, and dropping 2 or 3 monsters in a turn or dropping and activating a Stone first and then an unstoppable threat does the job nicely.

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This is true: Blue does indeed have some removal options, but blue and green are still very light on removal compared to the other three colors. Omnibian can play the part of Pongify-on-a-stick to some extent, at least in cases where being a 3/3 would be fatal. Which with this deck is quite often.

Whilst not valid in Tribal by jackM23 at Thu, 04/04/2013 - 03:37
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Whilst not valid in Tribal Classic, all we need is a willing volunteer with a Tribal Classic deck to act as opponent and a straight classic game.

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