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By: Salgy, Michael Salgado
Apr 12 2008 11:50pm
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Today I feel like breaking out of the "norm" and not talk about Extended, Classic, Lorwyn block, or Leagues for that matter and tap into a format not many people show love to Standard Tribal.  I for one do not know the full rules of Tribal Standard so I went to MTGO and got the rules and here they are for all of you who don't know like me.

Tribal Wars - Standard is a casual Magic Online format that emphasizes creature combat: one-third of every deck must be of a single creature type. 

Constructed decks must contain a minimum of sixty cards. All cards named Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest are basic.

Tribal Wars - Standard is based on the Standard format. 

The following card sets are permitted in Standard tournaments:

Tenth Edition
Time Spiral 
Planar Chaos
Future Sight
Shadowmoor (Effective May 2, 2008) 
Eventide (Effective July 25, 2008)
The following cards are banned in Tribal Wars - Standard games:


  • There are currently no banned cards in this format


So if you have 15 Rats you can call it a Standard Tribal Rat deck.  See what you can come up with and try to come up with different deck types and see which one sits best with you.  Now let's get to know Ckayes a little bit more before we get to the actual interview.

Player Dossier
Full Name: ckayes
Age: 18
Hometown/Country : Germany
Occupation : Student
Other Hobbies: None

Player Rating:

Previous accomplishments: 
Nothing Great,won a Black Lotus once in a real life Tournament. Oh and I was doing pretty good at the Morningtide Release events.  It actually gave me the possibilty to play constructed.  I didn't have constructed cards before so I bought myself product for Sealed and went 4-1.This allowed me to play another one and I went again 4-1.  After 2 more 4-1s and one 4-0-1 I accumulated enough tix to buy myself a constructed deck.

Favorite Magic Format: Limited in general
Favorite Card : Tarmogoyf
Favorite Magic Set: Ravnica

Wow four 4-1 and one 4-0-1 placings is VERY impressive in my eyes, that had to a be a good week!  Winning a Black Lotus must of been awesome as well.  I know if I had won one I would been going crazy.  Let's take a look at his deck list, which is what I am sure you all came here for! 

Standard Tribal Merfolk
suggested by Paulo Vitor Dama da Rosa
4 Lord of Atlantis
2 Voidmage Prodigy
4 Merrow Reejerey
4 Silvergill Adept
3 Sygg, River Guide
4 Tideshaper Mystic

Other Spells
4 Ancestral Vision
4 Cryptic Command
4 Psionic Blast
4 Rune Snag
4 Wanderwine Hub
4 Adarkar Wastes
2 Faerie Conclave
13 Island
Lord of Atlantis


(MS=  Milkshake75 CK= Ckayes)

MS: Why did you play it?  

CK: Paulo said its good and it had Cryptic Commands.

MS: What are it's good matchups in events?

CK: Good Matchups are slow control decks because you can put them under a lot of pressure with the cheap creatures and back them up with counterspells against cards like Wrath of God or Damnation. In general you want to be paired against slower decks.Faeries is usually a good matchup because your creatures are bigger but you might lose if they get the nuts like turn two Bitterblossom turn three Scion of Oona.

MS: What are it's poor matchups in events?

CK: Fast decks are difficult to deal with.  Elves are probably the worst matchup in Tribal Standard because their creatures are usually bigger.  A turn two Wren's Run Vanquisher on the play will most likely kill you because you don't have any removal for it. Imperious Perfects are also very annoying since they give them a lot of creatures to attack with and you need at least two Lord of Atlantis to block the tokens.

MS: Do you have any general matchup advice for someone who would want to play this deck?

CK: First you should cut like three Islands and something else for Mutavaults.Due to their price I wasn't able to obtain any before the Event began.Now I am playing -1 Tideshaper Mystic -3 Island +4 Mutavault.  If you play this deck in Standard make sure to add something vs. Elves and RDW to the sideboard.

 MS:  Do you have any sideboard advice?
CK: No sideboard in Tribal!


MS:  Any advice for magic online players?

CK: I am considering myself "new".  I just started to play Constructed two weeks ago.  So the single advice I can give is to play Constructed instead of Drafts if you don't want to run out of tix or just started to play there.
MS: Do you have any cool Magic stories that you would like to tell?
CK: Nothing particularly.
MS: What do you think about Morningtide?
CK: I like it very much. It balances the Limited. Just Lorwyn Sealed or Draft was REALLY luck-dependent. It was crowded with so many spoilers that you often found yourself losing in completly ridiculous situation. Morningtide speeds up the format and gives you the
opportunity to actually kill the opponent before he can cast Profane Command with x=10 or something like that.
Profane Command


MS: What cards can you see in Tide making an impact?
CK: Mutavaults and Bitterblossom are making an impact. Bitterblossom gives Faeries the possibility to kill the opponent solely with this enchantment if they dont have Enchantment-removal.  It's also played in a lot of other Contrusted decks thanks to its sheer power to block Aggrodecks all day long or overwhelm the control-playing opponent. Mutavaults is obviously the All-Star among all new cards since Tarmogoyf was released.  It's playable in almost every Deck and can sometimes grow to insane proportions.  Also Countryside Crusher is an autoinclude in various red Decks.  The most ridiculous card is still Reveillark.  It's way too powerful for its cost.  Drawn late it's a one-card combo and it turns around the game completely.  There might be ways to fight Reveillarks,but this still doesn't justify a 4/3 Flyer for five mana that either refills your hand, copies itself again Body Double, steals your opponents creatures Sower of Temptation or just bounces something when it dies.  I'd say that the Reveillark combo-deck is not the best use for the Elemental because it's too slow and vulnerable to Counterspells.  But this card will definitely see a lot of play.


Now that I tapped in a little into the Standard Tribal format, I hope to see more people give it a shot and raise the popularity of the format.  Plus it's a break from the usual Standard and play more of a theme deck then anything else.  Think of all the possible theme decks you can make!  Rats, Giants, Faeries, or Goblins try them all and remember to always have fun and support the game we all love to play by joining different events and entering different MTGO Communities besides the usual Ext, Std, Classic, and Block.  Remember Std Tribe and Momir need love too!!  Well tune in next week and have fun and good luck.


by andymc1 (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 08:12
andymc1 (Unregistered)'s picture

you could run 10 rats if you wanted, just fill the rest up with changlings :D

Good article by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 04/13/2008 - 09:13
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

I think you'd need 20 rats?


Good interview though, interesting to see someone who's only been on mtgo such a short time have that much success.  ckayes if you read this any tips / explain how you did so well at the Morningtide Release events?


For the merfolk deck, I don't understand voidmage over stonybrook and rune snag over dousing, but that's just me.  Sounds like a fun format.

Let the darkness end! 

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