Some cards in Collective have a tribal type, or tribe. These tribes often signify similar features within cards of the same tribe (known as a tribal identity). In terms of tribe design, they are often viewed through and understood as existing on a scale of modularity to interdependency. There are also other relevant conceptual terms related to the nature of tribes in Collective.
"Modular" tribes are where their singular tribe representatives are not dependent on other design elements. Most tribes fall under this category as it's the default one.
They are sometimes referred to "generic" tribes because they often have no mechanical package associated with them. If they have any, it tends to be more of a flavor-driven thematic one that carries very light-weight mechanical elements. For example, Titans and Giants tend to be large and Birds tend to fly where as Dragons are mostly both large and fly. In that sense, tribes of this type can also be called "flavor" or "thematic" tribes.
In contrast to "Modular" tribes, when interdependency of a tribe increases, each tribe cards become more and more reliant on other cards (of the same tribe). Interdependent items only work as intended in the context of itself or a limited environment. Cards that refer to a specific tribe are interdependent. For example, Spider Kingdom is an interdependent design that requires you to have friendly Spiders for its last effect to do anything.
"Linear" cards that directly dictate and demand other cards mechanically. Nightmares are a linear tribe as they ask you to run more and more self-mill cards. "Anti-linear" cards are ones get worse the more you have them.
A tribe is considered "Archetypal" when it's both "Linear" (cards ask to run more of the same type) and "Interdependent" (they refer to each other by tribe type). This means that most of the tribes members (especially of the same Realm) have a tendency to support a very specific type of deck type. For example, Robots are a tribe that have a strong theme of buff the stats of other cards in hand given that those cards have the Robot tribe.
These tribes use their Realm as a constraint in terms of which cards are affected by them. While they may be completely unrelated to tribes, Realms themselves often center around a specific tribe. Technically, "Realmic" tribes are interdependent in terms of design the same way cards that refer to specific tribe types are, but they are still listed in their own category for clarity.
NOTE: Not to be confused with tribes that merely have a Realm centered around them.
These tribes have elements geared towards supporting, enabling, and/or playing well with a specific hero.
Design in which cards explicitly depend on and refer to other cards by their name, are called "Nominal". An example of this would be the Clattering Skeleton deck type (see Buluc Return), where all the cards relate to creating or manipulating copies of the said skeleton.
"Nominal" tribes are perhaps the most interdependent and linear of all tribal types and fall automatically under those two categories.
Though being "nominal" isn't a tribe in the sense that they have less to do with the tribe line, they create similarly interrelated deck types and are worth bringing up in this context to understand the level of modularity and the lack thereof. Also note that "nominal" tribes tend to fall under some other tribe (by having that tribe type) making them a subtribe of sort. For example, Flames are Elementals and Clattering Skeletons are Undead.
Somewhat related to "Nominal" relation, a connection can be made between cards using the card creator's "Text contains word" to check whether a card's name contains any particular word. This is known as the "Lexiconic" relation. Word in this context is defined as a sequence of letters broken up by spaces. This type of relation can encompass a vast variety cards as usually it's only tied to the use of words / phrases in cards' names.
This allows it to be used as a less or more expansive tribal type definition. For example, you might have a bunch of cards with the "Plant" tribe, but then there's a specific type of Plants which all have the word "Nelumbo" in their name. One could then create a lexiconic relation by introducing cards which explicitly interact with cards that contain the word "Nelumbo" in their name. In this manner only those specific Plant cards would be included in their radius of influence, rather than all existing or future Plant cards. On the other hand, the word chosen could also be used to essentially extract and create a connection between otherwise loosely, or not all connected, subset group of cards that share a word in their name, increasing the total interrelatedness of the whole card pool.
Sometimes there's a desire to use tribes to denote functionality similarity to a card type (ie. that of an Unit or Action). Using a tribe this way means that cards of the tribe share specific characteristics. For example, Equipment cards tend to give stats or abilities a unit. Places are a tribe where their units pretty much always have 0 ATK and can't attack. These tribes are called "Typical." As a card type-like tribe, they most often than not have cards that specifically refer to their tribe, making then automatically "Linear" as well.
This merely refers to tribes that have very few representatives in the game with little or no archetypal elements. It's often argued that tribes of this type should be excised and cards with the tribe made either tribeless or added to an existing, more established tribe.
The current definition of what constitutes as a microtype is a tribe with 3 or less representatives in-game.
Since these are defined by scarcity in numbers and the fact they're often cut down, these will not be listed in the following category table. Some of the known microtribes are: Bear, Goetian, Construct, Spirit, Warrior, Rabbit, Invasion, Ninja, Rogue, Hacker
Have a Realm
Following tribes have a Realm centered around them: Frogs, Drallog, Goblins, Elementals / Flames, Spiders, Plants, Thrims, Dwarves, Nightmares, Cultists, Robots, Sheep, Samurai, Faeries, Undead, Daylings / Nightlings, Heeren, Trash, Horrors / Voxian, and Vampires.
Tribes can be very roughly marked into matching certain design categories in the following way:
X : Fully recognized as falling under this category.
/ : Has some elements of this category.