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  • posted a message on [Primer] Goblins
    Quote from jwelt
    First of all I think your primer is amazing! Go Goblins for moving to the established section!

    Second - IMHO this is a meta game choice as well as a play-style choice. Sure, the mono red fast paced version of this deck is receiving some much needed attention right now (as it should), but how many people are actually testing Aether Vial with Lead the Stampede? It seems that because of the recent printing of boros charm, Skullcrack, and "extort" (such as on the card Blind Obedience) you might be playing in a burn-heavy meta. Which type of build is going to be better in your average burn matchup? I would put my money on the deck with better card advantage (LtS). Also, if you would like to reference it - I have been testing Modern goblins for a while with the following build as my most recent. People need to know that R/G Vial+LtS is a viable option (as you kind of hint at in the primer).

    The Goblin Stampede...

    Those who try it might find this deck less matchup dependent, better at recovering, and that it plays similar to a legacy goblin deck swinging in for the whole 20 at once (with the random T4 kill still possible but not consistent).

    ** Rootbound Crag and a couple mountains should be switched out for 4-6x Fetches and 2-4x Stomping Ground in a meta with less burn than mine (TY Franx).

    This is by no means a comprehensive explanation of this style of deck, more of a spoiler for an alternate style of modern goblin deck that I have had some limited success with.

    On a side note - some people might argue that Warren Instigator is worth keeping around because of its DS ability, with the lackey-effect being an added bonus (especially in combination with Legion Loyalist for trample).

    By no means do I want to say that it's cut and dry that low-curve, Mono-Red is > Aether Vial versions with four and five drops. I'm glad you're trying it out and posting your experiences. I just know what has been successful for me and wanted to pass that along in here. I completely agree that understanding what you expect to play against, as well as the type of deck you will personally be most successful with is very important and easy to overlook.

    I won't confess to having nearly the same level of understanding of your version of the deck at all. I have played Legacy Goblins and Standard Goblins in many forms so I've played with pretty much all of those cards, just not together. I do like your list the best of all the Vial versions I have seen, very streamlined with a strong mana-base. I will be sure to add it to the primer since it seems to be a good leaping off point for posters interested in that version.

    As far as breaking down what the low-curve version is good and bad against, so as to compare it to a Vial version in terms of matchups, maybe that's something to add to the primer. It's a bit complex, dependent on each other's builds and other factors. For example, I believe that R/G aggro is probably the best matchup for Mono-Red Goblins that is widely played because the R/G aggro players have always looked at the matchup way wrong from my experiences. I think against better or more experienced players in the matchup, that might change.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Goblins
    Quote from Kylebrennan92
    Advice appreciated. I really like your ideas on Boros Charm compared to Helix. However, Helix has the massive upside of hitting creatures. In a Sligh build (that Goblins is) it needs removal. I also must admit I agree with the Cage evaluation. It is really against Pod but I think their could be better hate.

    I definitely understand preferring Helix for its ability to hit creatures, but I think Searing Blaze is better for that job at two mana since the damage matters more than the life. Boros Charm is kind of like a worse Goblin Grenade that can counter a Supreme Verdict, Pyroclasm or just be used to save someone from a removal spell.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Goblins
    Quote from Kylebrennan92

    Now, hear me out haha. I know the 3rd splash looks "mana-disasterous". But it really really isn't, testing even aloud 2 non-red mana sources for T1 in the form of Mutavault. Mutavault can be a house depending on how long the game goes and has been very good for me. Lightning Helix serves the same sort of role as I found myself losing after my opponent stabilized at incredible low life and I just couldn't burn them out. It also provides life and removal againt opposing aggro. I also love the Path to Exile in the board, mainly because Tarmogoyf is too much of a wall. I urge you guys to test this out. Only change I'd personally make so far is -2 Mountain +2 Scalding Tarn. Also Koth of the Hammervs Krenko, Mob Boss is a meta call depending on amount of wraths/removal you expect to face. Critique is welcome for sure Smile

    Yeah the manabase is....something lol. Mainly, I don't see black as necessary. Rain of Gore could easily just be Skullcrack. Your other two black cards are more interesting but I dunno if they're worth taking a bunch of extra damage for. Rakdos Charm is nice for versatility but you already have 4 artifact kill spells and 2 graveyard hate. Randomly beating Twin with it is nice though and it also seems reasonable against Eggs. Earwig Squad is not a card I've ever considered. It's interesting in theory. It should just beat Eggs on the spot while potentially beating Storm and Scapeshift. I honestly have no idea if it's good but I think it's a cool idea to test out.

    White is the splash that seems most effective to me. That said, I think you have the wrong two mana Boros spell. I think Boros Charm is what this deck wants more than Lightning Helix. The lifegain on Helix isn't all that relevant since most other aggro decks are good to even matchups from my experience. What's more threatening are slower decks with sweepers or combo decks that you just want to kill as quickly as possible and in those situations Charm is more useful. But Path to Exile is great to have access to.

    Mutavault is a card that I haven't gotten to testing yet that seemed to me to be unplayable since Mogg War Marshal is pretty much the only thing you can do on turn 2 if it's your second land. It seems particularly ambitious here but maybe it can work.

    As I've stated a few times, I think that you need 20 one-drops. Why no Legion Loyalist? I can see not wanting the full four, but I think he's impactful enough.

    Krenko is not a card I have liked at all. Very win more, dies a lot, very expensive.

    My last critique would be that I don't care for Grafdigger's Cage since it's not nearly as high impact of a graveyard hoser as other cards. It's reasonable against Pod but I don't know if that alone makes it good enough.
    Quote from kicks_422
    Here's my take on it:

    Yes, I cut Goblin Guide. While it is certainly a powerhouse in terms of dealing damage, I just found out that it doesn't synergize with the deck as well as the others. Also, I just hate it when an opponent gets to draw a card off of it to get to a game-breaking topdeck (e.g. Opponent draws a land off the top from a Guide attack. Facing lethal on my next turn, he topdecks a game-winner - which he shoudn't have gotten if he didn't draw that land!)

    The deck's MVP so far, interestingly, is that little common from GTC - Foundry Street Denizen. It's been absolutely amazing so far, and I rarely drop a game if I open with it Turn 1.

    Spikeshot Elder is also great, especially because I run Goblin Wardriver, Goblin Chieftain, and Shared Animosity. It's a mana sink and removal with legs - two things that are very valuable if the game drags out.

    I think Goblin Guide is still very efficient and I would argue against cutting him. Sure he can draw your opponent some extra cards, but the drawback is well worth it for how fast he puts the pressure on your opponent. Cutting him just because he happened to draw your opponent a crucial card in one game is being very results oriented. For every game that occurs, there will be far more games that he will kill your opponent well before the extra cards they may draw are even relevant.

    More importantly, I think that without him you just don't have enough one-drops to be explosive enough. I think 20 (counting Bushwhacker) is about the sweet spot while you are playing 16, without Guide as the fastest of all of them, so I would be worried that I am not pushing enough damage through fast enough. Cards like Wardriver, Chieftain and Animosity are more powerful and synergetic but without putting enough early pressure on you will slowly succumb to decks removal on your key cards, sweepers that they now have time to play or their combo because you haven't killed them fast enough. I fear that giving up speed for power is not the direction this deck can afford to go in Modern currently.

    I also think that playing the full 4 Wardriver and Animosity is overkill with 4 fewer one drops and no additional token makers to War Marshal. That said, you build certainly maximizes Spikeshot Elder. If you are going to play the full 4 copies of him you may want to try Teetering Peaks since it's also very good with him, althoug that does make it harder to consistently cast your bigger spells.

    I too think Foundry Street Denizen is deceptively powerful, that said I think that Goblin Bushwhacker is by far the deck's best card and if I could just one card to always start the game with, I'd pick him.

    In any case, test it out and let us know how it goes. Good luck!

    Quote from Spraek
    Glad to see we got upgraded to "Established" Smile

    So I took my mono-red list to the Modern FNM and it performed really well. It went 3-0 (and then I had to drop due to other commitments). Below is my feedback regarding certain cards as well as an updated decklist.

    For the record, here is the old list:

    Faithless Looting
    To be honest, I'm not quite sure why this card is not seeing more play. It fixes so many of our problems. It helps gives us that mid-game fuel (ie 3-4 mana) to let us push through that last little bit of damage. I play it as a 2-of and it seems to be the right number. I was always happy to see it.

    Koth of the Hammer
    I play in a removal heavy meta. This card gives us some much needed reach while avoiding common removal like bolt & wrath effects. What's my opponent going to use? Path to Exile? I'll gladly let that trade happen, haha.

    Mogg War Marshal
    We all know this card is good. But, I didn't realize how amazing it was. This card provides options. It was a 3-of, will be bumping it up to a 4-of

    Cards that didn't quite make it
    Krenko, Mob Boss
    Very much a win-more card. He came down either when it was too late for me, or I had the game pretty much wrapped up. It was a 2-of and now it's been cut.

    So given my thoughts above, I have made the following changes. The most notable one being that I decided to splash white for Boros Charm. I think it will work nicely and give us the option to play Path to Exile, etc. It's a slightly different route in that it does not do some of the hate that the other white decklists here are doing. It sticks much more to the goblin "theme"

    -2 Krenko, Mob Boss
    -3 Burst Lightning
    -8 Mountain

    +4 Boros Charm
    +1 Mogg War Marshal
    +4 Sacred Foundry
    +4 Marsh Flats

    Your thoughts are always appreciated Smile

    I think that this build is much closer to the Vial builds than the MTGO version with only 12 one-drops and 8 three-drops plus a couple of Koth. It's definitely a different direction, but I think your creature count seems a little low to get the most impact out of many of your cards. You also likely need more than just 20 lands, closer to 22 or 23.

    As far as choices go, Koth is definitely interesting since he is hard to deal with, but I feel like he is too slow (especially in a 20 land deck) at four mana and that if I was going to play a four mana spell, I would rather maximize synergy by playing Hellrider or Hero of Oxid Ridge. I understand that your reason for playing him is that he is harder to deal with since he is a PW, so what matchups has he shined for you in? Just from thinking about it I worry that decks are either too fast for him to be relevant or more powerful to the point where by the time he comes down they are well in control to play their more powerful spells or combo.

    I will admit to being very skeptical of Faithless Looting. It effectively loses you a card to cast it the first time and the flashback only filters you, at a relatively expensive three mana in this deck. The only times I could see myself wanting it would be when I am very flooded and I don't think trying to mitigate the potential of flooding is worth it.

    On the positive side, I do think Boros Charm is among the best cards to splash for. It protects pretty well against wrath's or people getting greedy with their Pyroclasm while still letting you dome them for 4 when you've gotten them low.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Goblins
    The primer has been updated with some added card options from Franx13, as well as some additional notes.

    Quote from Asterisk
    Thanks for the advice and primer.

    I think Zo-Zu the Punisher deserves mention as a playable three-drop. It's probably a little slow on the draw, but making someone pay seven life to fetch a shock must be pretty neat. *At worthy of testing. I stumbled upon him while I was looking to assemble the deck. I understand how critical the pump is from the other cards that could be played instead.

    My biggest problem with Zo-Zu the Punisher is that this version of the deck does not make its third land drop on turn 3 consistently. That makes Zo-Zu much slower and less effective. While the Ankh ability can certainly add up, I feel that there are higher impact cards. He does seem very cute as an anti-Scapeshift card to Aether Vial in if you were to play a slower build.

    Quote from Red4win
    First, I love goblins and would love to see them playable in modern. I think we need to figure out which version, the agro or Vial, is better and work to make it as strong as possible without worrying about the other. I would have to assume the vial version, like the legacy, would be the most powerful because if you wanted to go straight aggro then it might be better to use gruul aggro instead of goblins. I also feel that even though I love the card Goblin Grenade it is not good enough for modern. It will be aweful against anything with counter and set you back a great deal. I think the deck really needs more land destruction lands, like the legacy version has in the form of Wasteland and Ports.

    I definitely agree that the low-curve Aggro version and the Vial version are completely different decks that just happen to share some cards and that there strategies and approaches are drastically different.

    As for which is better, it is definitely possible that there is a superior Vial version out there that is the best. However, I strongly feel that the low-curve aggro version is superior for a few reasons.

    First of all, much of the appeal of a slower Aether Vial version comes from the power of many cards that are not Modern legal. Playing high curve, more powerful goblins is much better when Goblin Lackey and Goblin Warchief are around to help power them out early. Furthermore, that version has card advantage in the form of Gempalm Incinerator, Goblin Matron and Goblin Ringleader that are not available in Modern. Finally, Aether Vial is far better in that deck since it uses Wasteland and Rishadan Port to greatly slow other decks while still putting goblins on the table. There are also much more powerful counterspells, in legacy that are avoided with Vial.

    In Modern, there aren't replacements for most of these things. There isn't a reliable source of card advantage or tutoring, there aren't as many ways to cheat out creatures and there aren't the same amount of non-basic lands to play. There are not as many devastating, early counterspells like Daze, Hydroblast and Force of Will. This means that the most efficient way to attack the opponent, with the available card pool, is to be as fast as possible while leveraging certain tribal synergies.

    Aether Vial is just far too slow in this type of deck. You would much rather be playing your 1-mana goblins or token makers as quickly as possible to be followed up by a Lord or other pump effect. You don't have the time to use Vial to play around their sweepers and counter spells (which Boros Charm and Cavern of Souls can respectively do while also being proactive cards).

    Basically, Ghost Quarter, Tectonic Edge, Lead the Stampede and Warren Instigator just don't cut it, in my view at replacing their Legacy equivalents.

    In regards to Gruul Aggro, I have actually found that to be one of this deck's best matchups. That is not to say this is a better deck than Gruul, but it has its advantages over it for sure. While our creatures are much more fragile and less powerful individually, our deck is more explosive and can kill faster in a race or more suddenly on a stalled board. Don't underestimate the ability of Goblin Bushwhacker, Shared Animosity or Goblin Grenade to end a seemingly even game out of nowhere.

    And speaking of Goblin Grenade, I definitely think it has earned its place. Counters really are not that big of an issue because this build is so fast that an opponent who is relying on holding back their counterspells to slow you is not going to be able to keep up. Counterspells are also not that prominent. Think of Grenade as you might Fireblast in a burn deck. It will definitely set you back significantly if they counter it and it is very bad when not used as a finisher, but it is worth it when you simply want to end the game as quickly as possible.

    Quote from xmas_asn
    What about playing Shrine of Burning Rage?

    Too slow. You want to be spending your turn 2 by either playing 2 one-drops or a token maker since this enables Foundry Street Denizen and Legion Loyalist to be followed up by your Bushwhacker, Chieftain or Animosity. This leads you to some turn 3 kills if your opponent can't interact with you and turn 4 or 5 finishes otherwise. Shrine is a great card at giving you late-game reach, but this deck can't afford to give up its early board development for that purpose.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Goblins
    Quote from Asterisk
    I love it. It's good to see what people who are actually trying with Goblins in Modern are coming up with. I'd love to see Modern go in the direction of Goblin Sligh, here's hoping for some new goons.

    I'm wondering if Stingscourger has a place in the deck, but since these young, up and coming modern Goblins lack long-game inevitability like their Legacy uncles, I'm guessing the best bet is to always try to blow through the big creatures.

    I've always found that Goblin Sligh has huge problems with Tarmogoyf. I never like 2-for-1ing myself with Grenade...is Flame Slash the best they can do? It actually doesn't seem so bad considering they won't be FoWing Aether Vials, but being a sorcery means lategame, goyf will be 4/5...

    Other than that, it should be a fun challenge for any traditional Goblins player to try and make these guys work in Modern. I won't pretend to know much about the deck right now, but if I have the opportunity in the future I will attend a Modern tournament post a tournament report of my glorious defeat, for the sake of Gobins.

    Flame Slash is not too bad against Tarmogoyf, if not the greatest. Dismember is probably the best option to deal with Goyf since it either kills him outright or makes him plenty manageable in combat. I prefer Flame Slash because there are plenty of decks capable of punishing the life cost of Dismember but it is a valid option to consider.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Goblins
    Old OP

    (Previous Thread discussion of Modern Goblins can be found here: http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=430851 )
    Thanks to Franx13 and AlanDGray for contributions to this primer

    Perhaps the most iconic of all of Magic’s creatures, Goblins have been a menace in 60 card decks from kitchen tables to Legacy Grand Prix. With numerous incarnations across the years, it should not come as a great surprise that the little green men have finally come into their own in the Modern format, having emerged in force on Magic Online during February and March 2013 as an inexpensive yet explosively powerful deck. While featuring similar cards to Goblin builds of years past, Modern Goblins has its own distinct identity. This primer is intended to introduce the breakdown of the deck and its card choices.

    Modern Goblins leverages the classic combination of cheap, synergetic creatures backed up by burn spells for added reach and removal. This is particularly potent in Modern where multiple decks manabases leave their starting life totals between 14-18 life rather than 20.

    This version of Goblins, emphasizing a very low curve to end the game as quickly as possible, is by no means the only version of the deck that can be successful. Versions with more expensive, but powerful creatures that closer resemble Legacy versions of Goblins are also potentially viable and should be discussed here as well. That said, the lower curve version has had a fair amount of success on Magic Online and, consequently, will be the focus of this primer.

    It is very important to note that while the focus of this primer due to its success on MTGO this is not the only version of Goblins that exists in Modern. Other versions, most commonly featuring Aether Vial, are viable in their own right and the discussion of these decks is encouraged in this thread as well.

    With that said, the general core of the low-curve deck is as follows:

    Of the remaining 8 slots, at least 4 should be additional one-mana goblins. This is, in my opinion, essential as the deck demands many one-drops. The best choice of these one-drops depends on a variety of factors to be discussed later.

    The final 4 slots are fairly flexible and potential options can also be found below.

    The Core

    Goblin Guide: Staple one-drop in any red aggro deck since he’s been printed. As efficient a source of early damage as they come. Not much more to say that hasn’t been said elsewhere.

    Legion Loyalist: Not very good in multiples and little better than Raging Goblin in some matchups. So is this card worth it? Definitely. When Legion Loyalist is good, he’s great and is your most important card against other creature decks. That said, he has his limitations so don’t be afraid to board out some copies against Combo decks in particular.

    Foundry Street Denizen: This guy looks innocuous but he is secretly very powerful. He almost always attacks for 3 on turn two and he has great synergy with practically every creature in the deck. There are lists that choose not to run him but I would never advise cutting him or sideboarding him out.

    Goblin Bushwhacker: This is probably the most important card in the deck. The number of things he does is remarkable. Great in multiples but often enough with just one, works extremely well with Mogg War Marshal and other token makers. Being able to pump and give haste to your entire team for just two mana that can’t get broken up by removal is excellent. Never board it out, never cut it.

    Mogg War Marshal: Undoubtedly the best token maker, this can sometimes feel like a clunky card but it plays a number of important roles. Great with all of the aforementioned cards, good at protecting against sweepers and a terrific chump blocker in a pinch. The utility card of the deck and another I wouldn’t consider removing.

    Goblin Chieftain: Earns his place based on his power level and the need for another power booster/haste granter in addition to Goblin Bushwhacker. That said, not always terrific. He is very weak to instant speed removal and three mana is quite a bit in a deck running 20 or fewer lands. A bit of a necessary evil but don’t hesitate to board some number out if facing lots of targeted removal.

    Lightning Bolt: Some say the best card in Modern. Certainly feels like it here. Just terrific return on the mana, at instant speed no less. Gets sideboarded out against many combo decks but still an all-star.

    Goblin Grenade: By far the swingiest card in the deck, undeniably powerful and can kill an opponent out of nowhere. That said its conditional nature shouldn’t be overlooked and it is a sorcery. Still a major draw to the deck and leads to fairly easy turn 3 kills.

    Mountain: Discussion of non-basic lands and splashes can be found below. In regards to land count, I have found 19-20 to be the right amount for this build but versions without three-drops could go lower and any version reaching four mana or higher would definitely need more.

    Possible Additional One Drops

    Goblin Cohort: A card I begun with, tested extensively and have moved off of. While he attacks fairly consistently early, very poor in the late game and doesn’t play well with many sideboard cards that want you to take a turn off from playing a creature. Also very poor with Shared Animosity. I have personally moved away from him but he is a reasonable choice in certain builds.

    Akki Avalanchers: Certainly has the ability to trade up and/or force through damage. That said, sacrificing a land is very costly in a deck with so few to begin with and 1 toughness doesn’t help sell that. I would not recommend him.

    Mogg Fanatic: An iconic goblin that has lost his luster since the M10 rules changes, now may be his time to shine. There are a very large number of 1 toughness creatures that are often important to kill, making the Fanatic an appealing choice at the moment. That said, doesn’t hit nearly as hard as other options. Solid role player but probably not recommended as a full four-of.

    Frenzied Goblin: Atrocious in multiples and against combo decks. Ranges from decent to great against creature heavier decks letting you push past things such as Tarmogoyf, Spellskite and Kitchen Finks.

    Spikeshot Elder: In most ways a more powerful but much slower Mogg Fanatic. Very good with Shared Animosity but probably too costly overall and I wouldn’t recommend him without it.

    Goblin Arsonist: From my experience, worse than Mogg Fanatic due to inability to pick off mana-dorks and random utility creatures.

    Tattermunge Maniac: Definitely the most aggressive option that requires little investment, but its drawback can’t be underestimated.

    Aether Vial- A controversial card in modern, this artifact has the ability to bring out your goblins at instant speed, avoiding counter spells and sorcery speed removal. A proven powerhouse, especially in higher curve decklists as shown below, but not at its best when cheating one mana goblins into play.

    Possible Support Cards:

    Burn/Removal Spells

    Flame Slash: Useful card to get past larger creatures at a low cost. Sorcery, however, and can’t go to the face.

    Pillar of Flame: Primarily targeted at Kitchen Finks with minor applications elsewhere.

    Rift Bolt: Not as pinpointed as the previous options but better as a reach spell.

    Searing Blaze: Unplayable without fetchlands and dead against some combo decks, probably more suited for the sideboard if included.

    Other Goblins

    Goblin Wardriver: A pseudo-lord effect but can be a bit clunky. Improves with more token producers.

    Krenko’s Command / Dragon Fodder: Additional copies of Mogg War Marshal. Note the non-bo with Goblin Cohort, however.

    Warren Instigator- A more legacy based card, this card has seen play in modern. Paired with legion loyalist, it is a lackey on steroids, giving you the ability to trample damage over and giving you the creature/creatures you need to finish the game. While cheating on mana-costs is very powerful, it may not be the ideal card choice in a lower curve build and is more suited to higher curve versions.

    Mudbrawler Cohort- A possible 2/2 with haste, not as high impact as other choices but an option to consider.

    Stingscourger- With the ability to bounce creatures to the owners hand, it is a strong tempo play to remove pesky blockers. It does carry a steep echo cost so it is best paired with haste enablers to increase its impact.

    Krenko, Mob Boss: Too slow and too expensive. Nonetheless, incredibly powerful and can win a game on his own if unchecked so can’t be written entirely off.

    Siege-Gang Commander: Historically the powerhouse finisher of Goblin decks, he has seen play in slower builds but is not a popular choice due to being very expensive and without Goblin Warchief to lessen his casting cost.

    Goblin King: Another lord effect. Mountainwalk ranges from excellent to meaningless and not granting haste is a big blow. Not recommended.


    Shared Animosity: Somewhat debatable card. Huge amounts of raw power and tremendous synergy with cards such as Legion Loyalist and Spikeshot Elder. Unfortunately, expensive to cast, poor against sweepers and only boosts power.

    Dynacharge: Pretty clunky but a surprising way to pump your team at instant speed.

    Hellrider / Hero of Oxid Ridge: More powerful than the other Goblin lords but lack the tribal synergies and, crucially, cost four mana.

    Non-Basic Lands

    Cavern of Souls: Obviously at its best in a tribal deck, still carries its drawbacks in occasionally preventing explosive finishes with burn spells. Recommended as a two-of.

    Tectonic Edge: While seemingly innocuous to include, not a good fit here. The colorless mana is a huge hindrance when stuck on one-two lands and it is often too late to help once it is turned on.

    Teetering Peaks: Tempting as a free spell that shocks your opponent but can actually slow down certain hands to the point of being detrimental. Not recommended from my experiences but worth considering.

    Scalding Tarn / Arid Mesa: These allow for splashes as well as enable cards such as Searing Blaze and Grim Lavamancer.

    Mutavault: While attractive on the surface as a powerful man-land that counts as a goblin, its inability to produce red can be very problematic during the early turns. Not recommended.


    For the most part, the deck is straightforward in terms of gameplay and there are a few primary ways you will end up winning. The most common way is simply by playing three to four goblins on turns 1-3, followed by a Goblin Bushwhacker, Goblin Chieftain or Shared Animosity type effect on turns 3 or 4. Less commonly you may find yourself with a more burn heavy hand, finishing your opponent with multiple Goblin Grenades and do not require any anthem effects to kill your opponent. Finally, in some matchups, most notably creature mirrors, you will amass many Goblins before unleashing multiple “lord” effects on the same turn to do the full 20 damage or more in a single turn.

    Mulligan decisions are somewhat deceiving since much of the deck is based on synergy. Hands with five or more lands should pretty much always be mulliganed and most four land hands are suspect as well. Conversely, the deck is very capable of keeping one-land hands due to the sheer number of one drops, as well as Goblin Bushwhacker and Goblin Grenade as cheap ways to kill an opponent out of nowhere. As a general rule, unless your hand contains your most powerful SB cards in that matchup, I would not keep a hand that was not capable of producing a turn 4 or at least turn 5 kill against a non-resisting opponent without drawing more than any one specific card.

    Sideboarding Options

    In many ways, Goblins plays out more like a combo deck than an aggressive one and, as such, there is not a ton of room to bring in sideboard cards. One-drops are crucial to making an aggressive start and are hard to sideboard out in large numbers. Similarly, without a density of pump effects, you small creatures won't kill quickly. Be careful not to dilute your deck so greatly with hate cards that you are left unable to kill your opponent. My advice would be to remove your burn spells against control or non-creature based combo decks and to trim your less good creatures, depending on the matchup, against aggro decks.

    Smash to Smithereens: One of the three artifact removal spells to consider. Great in many matchups and functions as a pseudo burn spell as well. Recommended.

    Shattering Blow: Pretty much worse than Smash to Smithereens in every case but one; Wurmcoil Engine. That is a crucial exception, however and makes Shattering Blow at least worth considering.

    Shattering Spree- This card is a versatile artifact removal spell whose power scales as the game goes longer. While sorcery speed, it can be devastating against decks such as Affinity.

    Traitorous Blood / Mark of Mutiny: Useful cards against decks hoping to stabilize with a large creature, or other decks simply trying to race you with their own creatures.

    Combust: Essential sideboard card to help against Twin decks and U/W/R decks. Has many great targets and uncounterability is very strong in these matchups.

    Dismember: Always worth considering as a cheap way to get almost any blocker out of the way or otherwise troublesome creature. The life loss can make it risky in some matchups, but it is a very efficient and versatile card nonetheless.

    Goblin Assault: An interesting card that helps fight against sweepers as a constant source of creatures in the form of a harder to deal with enchantment. That said, be weary of the “must attack” clause which can be a significant drawback. Also note that it applies to any goblins your opponent may have as well.

    Tormod’s Crypt: Provides graveyard hate for free, letting you continue applying pressure rather than disrupt your curve, at the cost of spending a whole card to do so. My personal recommendation for a graveyard hate card.

    Relic of Progenitus: Similar to Tormod’s Crypt but it can both net a card in return and be used gradually. That said, represents a more sizable mana investment than it may seem.

    Arc Trail: Great at clearing the way against blockers, without threatening your own team while having the ability to go to the face.

    Forked Bolt: Very similar to Arc Trail but cheaper.

    Skullcrack: Added reach with very a relevant ability to prevent lifegain for a turn.

    Torpor Orb- Effectively counters Splinter Twin combo, Birthing Pod's creature suite and many other creatures. However, this card has anti synergy with many cards in Goblins, such as Foundry Street Denizen, Mogg War Marshal and Goblin Bushwhacker. Only a consideration for slower builds not featuring these cards.

    Dragon's Claw- While not a popular choice, this artifact improves the race through lifegain against Burn, RDW and Gruul Zoo.

    Spellskite- A sideboard staple in Modern, this card serves the dual purpose of protecting many of your most important goblins while also preventing combos such as Splinter Twin and greatly impeding the Bogle deck. While not ideal since it is a non-proactive two-drop, its ability to devastate the plans of certain decks makes it a consideration.

    Vexing Shusher- Historically, this creature has seen play in tribal goblins and non goblin decks as a reaction against counterspells. However, with the introduction of Cavern of Souls, this card has seen less play as of late.

    Blood Moon: A bit of a controversial card. Certainly powerful and extremely disruptive against many decks, potentially destroying their entire gameplan. Three mana is a lot, however, and can be too slow in some situations, especially at the cost of not developing the board.

    Magus of the Moon- A creature version of Blood Moon, has the added benefit of being able to attack but is much easier to remove.

    Sample Lists

    This is the original Goblins deck that 4-0'ed a daily and has been modified to post many other results on MTGO.

    Here is the list I am currently running.

    Here is a similar version from Franx13

    Here is a much different version that top 4'ed a PTQ in Italy that uses slower but more powerful goblins that is more reminiscent of Legacy versions with cards such as Warren Instigator, Siege-Gang Commander and Aether Vial.

    Finally, here is another alternative build emphasizing Aether Vial that splashes green, created by jwelt.


    I have not personally experimented with splashing. The only version of this build that I have seen that used a splash color was a R/W build piloted by AJ Sacher with the white primarily being used for Boros Charm. White also provides access to Path to Exile, Stony Silence, and Lightning Helix.

    R/B builds may also be viable using cards such as Knucklebone Witch, Terminate, Mad Auntie and Thoughtseize.

    Finally, R/G builds offer slower build with card advantage in the form of Lead the Stampede, as well as SB options such as Tin Steet Hooligan.

    Surprising Synergies, Tips and Tidbits

    While fairly straightforward to play, there are some card interactions that are not immediately apparent and being aware of them can greatly improve your success with this deck. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

    Legion Loyalist has a lot of text and all of it can be relevant against different decks. Keep in mind all of its applications. The token dodging ability in particular will let you steal many post-board games, first strike damage is great against Wurmcoil Engine and the trample ability is quite potent when paired with Shared Animosity
    • There are three separate timings of abilities in the deck and it is crucial to remember them, even if they seem obvious.
    o Goblin Bushwhacker’s kicked ability triggers when cast and boosts your other creatures even if the Bushwhacker is immediately killed. This often makes it a relatively safe play when attacking into multiple creatures or untapped mana.
    o Legion Loyalist and Shared Animosity are both attack triggers. While this is good since it gives you more information while you declare attackers, your plans can be disrupted if either permanent is destroyed before declaring attacks.
    o Goblin Chieftain’s ability is static and if he is destroyed mid-combat, your attacking force may suddenly be a lot less impressive. Be sure to take into account the possibility of losing your Chieftain when facing down untapped mana. Also, if Goblin Chieftain is destroyed pre-combat then any Goblins that he had granted haste will lose the ability and not be able to attack if cast that turn.
    • Don’t forget that Goblin Bushwhacker can be played unkicked. While it is almost always better to save it until it can be kicked, an unkicked Goblin Bushwhacker paired with a kicked one can let you push through lethal a turn early.
    • Sequencing is very important. Don’t get complacent and miss damage with Foundry Street Denizen, Goblin Bushwhacker or Goblin Cohort because you played things slightly out of order.
    • Don’t just slam Goblin Guide turn 1 every time. Oftentimes Foundry Street Denizen is a stronger opener, depending on your curve and opponent, and will let you deal more damage overall after turn 2. This also avoids risking giving up free lands to opponents via Goblin Guide.
    • Always keep in mind whether or not you intend to pay echo on Mogg War Marshal. If you aren’t going to pay, he makes a great chump blocker or sometimes Goblin Grenade fodder.

    The Future

    Because of the relative youth of the deck, not even a month old at the time of this writing, it is entirely possible that with further testing, the evolution of the metagame and the release of new sets that Goblins undergoes significant changes as a deck in the near future. Whatever the case, the existing synergies provide a shell from which to build on moving forward.

    Thanks for reading!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Best Match Videos?
    Quote from Krimson Viper
    There was a Legacy Burn video that CorpT posted that was simply amazing. I think the player's name was Patrick Sullivan. I wish I could post it, but I can't remember anything beyond that, but boy was it awesome.


    I'd watch the whole match for enjoyment + context but if you're pressed for time the play is at 30:00
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [[DD]] Izzet vs Golgari
    The last ability is very odd to me yet encouraging. It's clearly not a constructed card, but very cool for casual and an obvious EDH general. So for the last ability to be completely useless in EDH (not completely but mostly since paying 2 more is almost always better than sacing two lands) is encouraging that they acknowledge that it could get played other than just as someones general. Whether that's in EDH or another format. It feels recently like sometimes casual cards are almost designed too much with EDH in mind and I like them having a broader view of them.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [M13] DailyMTG Previews 6/11: Krenko, Mob Boss & Sublime Archangel
    Quote from chaosof99
    You mean Beetleback Chief?

    That still has the tap ability as well
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [M13] DailyMTG Previews 6/11: Krenko, Mob Boss & Sublime Archangel
    Quote from Glimyrpost
    yes, a pushed siege-gang commander would be a good card.

    Maybe a greedy ask but one mana less, one less 1/1, no shock ability and less P/T isn't that unfair a trade off for a card that's good but not near broken already. Once you hit 4 mana it's not like R&D hasn't been pushing cards like crazy. Krenko got spoiled with a very good 4 mana card, not to mention tons other that have been seeing tons of standard play from Huntmaster to Hero to Restoration Angel to Thrun. That or give it haste. I'm cool with it just being a casual card but little changes like that give it a shot in Standard without making it dead somewhere like EDH
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Krenko, Mob Boss
    Quote from 5damage1mana?!?!
    but think of all the gobbos.

    That sums it up for me.

    Tournament wise I'd have loved it to have haste or make tokens when it came in, but it's very awesome as is so I can live with it staying on the casual spectrum.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [M13] DailyMTG Previews 6/11: Krenko, Mob Boss & Sublime Archangel
    Absolutely love the card as is, but at a 1/1 that made two 1/1 goblins Krenko would just be amazing.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Do you think Force of Will and Wasteland would improve Modern?
    Meh FoW does nothing for the format since Storm is the only combo deck that can kill early enough for it to be relevant, and it can't do that with any consistency. Twin is a much "fairer" combo deck.

    Wasteland is more interesting since I do think that mana bases are quite greedy, but I hardly think it's necessary or would directly improve it. But I don't want it more because it would make the format feel too much like Legacy, not to mention that it's an overpowered card in terms of the format anyway. I would love to see a card between its power level and that of Tectonic Edge or Ghost Quarter, like The Fluff suggested.
    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on Zac Hill in the Pro Tour Feed
    Quote from Festerpad
    He owned Neutral Ground in NYC and stared Gray Matter Conventions. Mediocre his knowledge is not.

    Marshall Sutcliffe not BDM
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Zac Hill in the Pro Tour Feed
    I liked Zac. He definitely can improve, seemed inexperience and sometimes got a bit sidetracked, but he has a good presence, a strong insight as a former player/R&D member and has a likable demeanor.

    Marshall I am not a fan of, just think his knowledge and stage presence are both mediocre but neither can quite justify him being there. He definitely seemed very nervous, especially in the earlier parts, and while he has a good broadcast look and voice his questions during interviews were pretty bad. But like Zac he's very inexperienced so it's fair to give him another shot or two. I've never listened to his podcast but I've heard it's definitely one of the better ones out there.

    All that said, having done the last 2 PT's and some GP's, I don't care for Sheldon in the booth at all. He routinely misunderstands or relates the board, doesn't provide any really great insight outside of judging and rules issues, repeats himself constantly and has a sort of brashness that doesn't come off well when he says/does stuff that doesn't always make sense.

    I'd like to see a more established former player in there to play better discuss the game states and go over decisions and such, but I guess that's harder to find since most of them would be playing in the event. That or go with Gavin Verhey, who was pretty good on SCGLive before he left for R&D. I also think TSG is quite good at doing more of the interview/deck tech job so he would be great for the between match stuff.
    Posted in: Magic General
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