Survivor Winners at War tribe assessment: The Dakal Tribe

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved /

Armed with more individual season wins, a dynamic group of players with a multitude of skills makes up the Dakal tribe in Survivor: Winners at War.

Assessing a tribe’s identity based on snippets of interviews set to introduce a future castaway’s personality is a Survivor blogger’s test of character reads in of itself. You would think having a group of known quantities such as winners would make the task easier, but with the number of people changing up their games completely, pre-gaming alliances through social media DMs and texts, and people wanting to shift roles makes it difficult to gauge.

Our Survivor: Winners at War tribe assessment for the Dakal tribe takes a look at the individuals and the group as a whole, as it’s important to remember that the tribe will have a tangential identity no matter the number of swaps and what happens at the merge. We’ll also take a look at the Sele tribe in the near future.

Chances of having the numbers advantage at the merge: Good

When I see the five women and five men who make up the Dakal tribe, I see a group more composed and less likely to go to war with each other than those on the Sele tribe. Of course, we could very well break down into three tribes next week with 18 players left in the game, but plenty of these winners come from classic to middle-era seasons.

If there was to be an era split dynamic, you don’t have as much of a conflict here as you do on the Sele tribe. There aren’t people here who dated the same fellow castaway on another tribe, and there are some clearer cut first boots for the tribe than on Sele. As a group, these castaways are well-rounded when it comes to challenges, too.

I feel like there will be shifting alliances thanks to the Edge of Extinction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Dakal is better suited to have the numbers, come the merge.

Likeliest to lead the tribe: Yul Kwon

Though Sandra might have the most connections on the Dakal tribe, I doubt she will want to prop herself up as the general heading headfirst into battle. With Tony not going into the game with a plan to go buck wild, I think Yul naturally fits into the role of someone who can lead these dynamic personalities. He’s the laid back, calculating type that the tribe needs early.

Likeliest to be the tribe’s first boot: Amber Mariano

Boston Rob and Amber were so powerful of a duo that showmances have effectively been stricken from players’ winning playbooks forever. With Sandra actively feeling betrayed by Rob for being out there combined with her plans on getting out all the women early, I feel like Amber doesn’t have the social capital to prevent that kind of heat early.

Dakal tribe’s social butterfly: Tyson Apostol

Despite being a snarky individual, never mistake Tyson’s sarcastic wit for the inability to connect and bond with others. If you can make people laugh and make the early tribal life easy, it makes a game built for destroying trust among people who’ve known each other for decades much more palatable. That is Tyson’s role as much as it is a strategist.

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Top candidate for most improved player: Sophie Clarke

It’s remarkably difficult in the grand scheme of things to consider a Survivor winner as less than deserving as another. However, because the editors don’t know how to edit a social game almost 20 years later, many will underestimate Sophie in her second time around. I feel like she’s better equipped to swing alliances, search for advantages, and establish herself as a more capable player in the eyes of the viewing audience (not that she needs to prove anything to anyone).

Dakal tribe’s challenge beasts: Kim Spradlin, Wendell Holland

There’s no outright Joe Anglim cast for Survivor: Winners at War, but there are more than capable players on this season. Kim Spradlin has tied the record for most individual Immunity Challenge wins for a woman within a season, and Wendell has two of his own against capable competitors near the end of Ghost Island. They are integral to the Dakal tribe’s continued success.

Dakal tribe’s likeliest Ultimate Sole Survivor: Tyson Apostol

One of the downfalls of Tyson Apostol winning Blood vs. Water is that it’s hard to capture as sharp an edge as his humor goes while still trying to paint him sympathetic enough as a winner for the viewing audience. I’m sure he is willing to make that trade of entertainment value for monetary value in the form of $2 million.

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He has the most connections that are beyond a surface level, he’s more cunning than people give credit for, he knows how to disarm, and he’s willing to make a bold strategy shift for his own benefit even while playing as part of a team. Sure, it got himself voted out of Heroes vs. Villains, but fortune favors the bold. I believe he’s best prepared to play a smart, bold game.