Tribal Cards; A Fierce Addition Or A Faux Pas?

Abbi Marie | 19th September 2018


Tribal subtype cards we’re a strange addition to the Magic universe we saw appear heavily in sets like Lorwyn, (One of the best don’t @ me) Legion and Morningtide etc. They turned out to be one of those quirks we’d see for a few sets then they’d fall off the map into the abyss. Some cards did stick around to see play, but Wizards still didn’t deem the idea good enough to bring them back. What did make sense though were the sets that they were introduced in. Sets like Lorwyn and Morningtide we’re massively Tribal heavy in design. Giving us entire armies of Tribes, like Merfolk, Goblins, Elves, Elemental and Faeries (the greatest tribe of all time) etc. I thought we’d look at some Tribal cards that see play, deserve play, or are just damn cool. So imma throw some pictures at you hope y’all enjoy xo


All Is Dust

Image result for mtg all is dust

Fantastic with Eldrazi temple and I hate to say it but even Tron Lands, this is a bizarre but effective Tribal card if used in the right circumstances. Of course, in most cases 7 Mana is a high amount to achieve in constructed formats that aren’t Commander.




Image result for mtg bitterblossom
Arguably the best Tribal card to the printed, Bitterblossom has seen Top 8 and many a deck. It is great to pair with things like Secluded Glen, or maybe it’s drained you of a few too many lives? That’s okay I’ll just flash in Mistbind Clique and Champion it like whaaaaaat?!?!? The good instances with Tribal cards that I think was a fantastic design were the possibilities with cards that used the wording ‘Faerie Card’ instead of what we see more of now specifying ‘Creature’ card. So Faerie card could mean any card that was a Faerie, whether it be Creature, Enchantment Sorcery etc. Also Extremally good



Eyes of the Wisent

Image result for mtg Eyes of the Wisent
Okay so generally just a really good card, especially looking at the current Modern Meta showing heavy W/U and Jeskai Control, and even Blue Moon type decks all playing Cryptic Command. For only 2 Mana if you’re not on the draw you can get it down before any counterspell mana can be available for your opponent.



Faerie Tauntings

Image result for mtg Faerie Tauntings

So not a particularly amazing card, and too slow for the Modern format, but can be very fun in Commander, and I just think it’s cool!



Hoofprints of the Stag

Image result for mtg Hoofprints of the Stag
Could be a good sideboard card for any of those long games you get. Again good against control, at that sweet 2 Mana spot. Also would work very well in a good draw engine deck, perhaps in Commander.



Merrow Commerce

Image result for mtg Merrow Commerce

Although this one sounds like a good card on paper, with Modern Merfolk decks at the moment, there is no reason to untap your creatures. You want to be aggressive, so if you’re playing that over a lord you’re practically wasting a turn, also most Merfolk don’t have any Tap abilities. The only version to run it is tropical Merfolk when they play Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca. However, it is still pretty cool and would make a cool Merfolk Commander card.



Thieves’ Fortune

Image result for mtg Thieves' Fortune
Rogues are a Tribe we don’t see a lot of. Again a very cool card but very circumstantial. It would only have a place in a high Rogue numbered Tribal deck. It isn’t a Tribe at the moment strong enough for most formats. 3 Mana is just too much for this card without its Prowl effect. Probably one of the lesser cool Tribal cards.




Image result for mtg Tarfire
Tarfire is a simple shock card, slightly less value to it then Lightning Bolt, however, in a deck that plays Tarmogoyf, like Jund for example, this card actually buffs Goyf for an extra +1 with the Tribal Subtype. So you could see it as your Goyf doing the extra damage missing from Bolt, which is pretty neat if you ask me.



Stream of Unconsciousness

Image result for mtg Stream of Unconsciousness
Pretty neat but not all that feasible compared to other cards on offer. Wizards are seeing a slight rise in decks techs, whether this will see play though is another question.



Image result for mtg Peppersmoke

With Faeries being a decent Modern deck this card is a pretty good addition to the deck, even as a one-off or sideboard card. Which the meta at the moment -1 isn’t all bad with cards like Snappy or Bob etc. That on top of a draw for 1 Mana is a pretty sweet deal.


Looking at Modern in particular Tribal cards can have some awkward demands to meet, have better non-tribal options, or can just be too slow. However, there is defiantly a couple that deserves a place in the format and even in the current meta, cards like Bitterblossom will most likely always be strong and have a place in some decks. The Tribal subtype could definitely be brought round again, especially with more Tribes creeping into Standard like Wizards, Angels and more Merfolk. They wouldn’t have to be overpowered but could offer something a bit different to the Standard format, and perhaps some more relevant options to the current Modern Meta.


Have a browse at some more Tribal cards here!

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