Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned pure combo deck? I know I do!
Tireless Tribe is one of the fastest and most competitive combo decks in Pauper and is capable of turn-2 wins. Who would have thought that this seemingly docile little white creature could pack such an epic punch!
One of my favorite moments from film comes courtesy of The Ring. The mother goes on an altruistic adventure and decides to try breaking the curse of The Ring by releasing the wraith, Samara, from her imprisonment. She goes home, and tells her young son something like, “It’s okay, I released her and now she’ll leave us alone.”
The kid looks back at her completely dumbstruck and says, “Uh, she doesn’t sleep…” Even a small child knows that you don’t let loose things that don’t sleep!
Uh, they never sleep…
Lesson learned—never let them loose.
Let’s take a quick look at my list and then I’ll get into some basic tactics:
The deck is “basically” mono-blue splashing the win condition: Tireless Tribe.
Here’s how the combo works.
If at first you don’t succeed, tribe, tribe again.
You essentially turn your Tribesmen into creatures that can pitch a card to gain +4/+0 until end of turn.
You also have:
To make your creature unblockable, and:
Is the slogan for Gushers “Om Nom Nom?”
I Google searched the slogan for Gushers Fruit Snacks and found a Yahoo Answers forum that literally looked like this:
Thread Name: Is the slogan for Gushers “Om Nom Nom?”
Answer: No, it’s “Taste the Blast.”
I don’t know why but I found that hilarious. Is it serious or a troll? I have no idea.
Do you know what else is hilarious? Generating +4 cards in hand on the turn when you go for the win (draw two plus two lands). Gush is a sick, sick joke of a card.
You need five cards to make the Tireless Tribe a 21/1 threat. Note that once you’ve cast Inside Out, that condition lasts until end of turn. So you can use the card drawn by Inside out to pump the Tribe. So, you’ll only need an Inside Out and 4 other cards to “go off.”
The rest of the deck comprises permission to protect the combo and library manipulation to help you sculpt the perfect hand.
Because knowledge is power!
It doesn’t get much better than this! You also have 8 fetchlands to take Brainstorm into the realm of absurd potential.
Everyday I’m shuffling.
I love Circular Logic in this deck because it is a 1-mana hard counter when madnessed to the Tribe when you are trying to go for the win.
Tactics and Techy Plays
Repeal Like a Boss
The first tournament game I played with the deck I had to concede to a turn-2 Spore Frog… I experienced shame.
Ribbit… Ribbit… your deck is no match for my froggy fresh beats.
I added a Repeal to the deck so that I had outs to nonsense like that. You can so deep by drawing cards and cycling through the deck that it pays to have a least one versatile answer to hate in there somewhere.
Your Kermit Permit has been officially revoked, courtesy of the Azorious High Council.
The Many Virtues of Inside Out
Not just a combo card! I had some serious game with my Inside Outs.
I had 2 Augur of Bolas in play and my opponent cast Echoing Decay. It resolved. He cast a second Echoing Decay. I cast Inside Out to turn the Augur being targeted into a 1/0, killing it, fizzling the Decay, and saving my other Augur of Bolas.
I also attacked with my Augur of Bolas into a Sea Gate Oracle. After damage I turned the Oracle Inside Out, killing it, and net myself a card in the process.
Riffing on Shadow Rifting
I was pretty stoked to get a shot at Shadow Rift. I haven’t cast one of these bad boys since the last time I cunning Wished for it in Vintage Psychatog!
Tribe is kind of like ‘Tog.
Discarding cards for free damage has always made me smile.
If your opponent only has one blocker, always Rift their creature instead of yours. Creatures can’t block non-shadow and it makes you less likely to get 2-for-1’d. If you are just trying to cycle Rift, play it safe and don’t risk your own creature. You can also give an Augur of Bolas or Tribe of your own shadow at instant speed to block an opposing Tireless Tribe (or other shadow attacker).
The Grindy Life of an Augur of Bolas
He’s not glamorous, but he gets work done.
Thanks for joining the team! Your job is to be a human meat shield. Good luck!
Against Edict decks I’ll use them as a buffer for the tribe. He’s also pretty great at blocking down Ninja of Deep Hours and other small attackers to buy time.
You Can Go Fast, But You Don’t Have To
The deck is very capable of winning the game on turn 3, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go for it.
In fact, I was winning most of my games later rather than sooner.
I love Gitaxian Probe in this deck. I try to hold them as long as possible when I can afford to. It allows you to figure out exactly what you need to beat. The deck has so much manipulation that you can sculpt some pretty absurd hands on the turn you go off (with Gush and Brainstorms) and assemble several layers of protection. It’s not uncommon to go off with 15+ cards in hand!
There are a lot of ways to get blown out that it often pays to play it safe when you can afford to. It feels bad to discard your whole hand and have an opponent cast Fog! The good news is that the deck has the tools to play around almost anything.
I see a lot of people play the deck like a Legacy Goblin Charbelcher deck (all in, all the time) when in fact it rewards you for playing more like a Storm deck (all in, after you’ve cast a zillion Brainstorms and Ponders and can’t be stopped).
I’ve played against the deck a lot over the past few months, but this was my first time actually sleeving it up. The deck was much better than I thought it was. Mainly, because the majority of my opponents have played it like a Charbelcher deck and opened themselves up to losing by going all-in too soon when they could have choked me out.
All in all, the deck was solid. It won’t be my first choice as a tournament deck because it doesn’t suit my play style as much as some of the other decks, but Tireless Tribe seems like the perfect deck for the avid combo player. If you love Pondering and Brainstorming for maximum value, this is easily the strongest blue-based combo deck I’ve seen so far. The deck is also capable of outrageously fast victories when it needs to be. Sometimes you fire off a Probe (or they tap out) and the game is just over on turn 3 or 4.
Is the deck a glass cannon? Well, kind of. But it’s fairly sturdy glass, as far as glass goes. Brainstorm plus Gush plus fetchlands make for a glass cannon that can certainly shatter an opponent’s hopes of winning the game. Gush? Brainstorm? Fetch? Gush? Brainstorm? Om Nom Nom…
Tireless Tribe never sleeps, so don’t sleep on this deck. It’s real.