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If you don’t care about building strong decks, don’t read this post. I understand that a lot of people like tribal, and if your primary concern is having fun and playing with the cards you want to play with, then this post isn’t for you.
But! If you’re unsure about tribal decks, or you think certain tribes might be bad but you aren’t sure why, AND you want to improve your deckbuilding ability, read on:
For the purposes of this article, a tribal deck is one that actively rewards you for playing a certain creature type. You can play a deck with 20 Angels, for instance, but it’s not a tribal deck if there’s no synergy between the cards; if you have no support for your tribe, then there’s no reason to play those 20 Angels instead of a mix of Angels, Avatars, Praetors, etc.
Another quick definition: a Lord is a creature that increases the power and/or toughness of creatures of a certain type.
Every tribal deckbuilder starts by putting a really strong constraint on themselves. If I want to build a reanimator deck, I have access to all the creatures that reanimate stuff, whether they’re Avatars, Rats, or Humans. However, if I want to build a tribal Rat deck, or a tribal Human deck, or whatever, I’m limited to the effects that appear in that tribe, regardless of the power level of those effects and whether they have any internal synergy.
In exchange for this narrowing of focus, you would ideally receive access to tribal synergies that boost your deck’s power level above that of a deck that has a smorgasbord of different creatures types. The problem is, most tribes don’t have a lot of synergistic cards available to them, and even fewer have synergistic cards that scale well to a 40-life singleton format. It might be easier to explain why the good tribes are good than to try to explain why everything else is, uh, less good.
Goblins have been red’s staple race forever, and small trickles of tribal support over the last 20 years have coalesced into a critical mass of token production, lords, and direct damage. Moreover, they have multiple tribal commanders, one of which creates new Goblins at an exponential rate. The combination of history, focus, and relevant commanders makes Goblins an ideal race to build a tribal deck around.
Why don't we see more basilisks?
Um, because their gaze turns you to stone.
I want Satsuki Kiryuin to step on me and tell me I’m worthless.
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