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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Mar 05 2018 1:00pm
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For those who do not know what the Goblins archetype is, it is a red creature deck that is aggressive, has a good amount of burn and can easily combo you out when you aren't looking. It is also one of the oldest archetypes in Pauper's life and is usually a fan favorite to the old school players.

Goblins can be aggressive or they can fight a decent mid game if they are set up for it. You have cards like Goblin Sledder to help fight combat against other aggro decks and you have Sparksmith as reusable removal to clear the way. The big one you have is Goblin Bushwhacker, which is what allows you to throw a big bunch of burst damage at your opponent and win out of nowhere.

 

Let's go ahead and see what a typical list of Goblins looks like. Later I will show you a bit of a different take on Goblins that I have been trying out.

This list of Goblins is very plain and simple. The game plan here is to win as quickly as possible and do so by any means necessary. I big part of that plan is of course Goblin Bushwhacker being able to help you swing for a huge alpha strike, but that isn't the only creature in this deck.

 

Your aggressive one drops are Goblin Cohort and Mogg Conscripts, as well as Foundry Street Denizen to get in the most amount of damage. It is possible to keep hands without one these creatures to cast on turn 1, but generally it isn't a good idea. With so many creatures in the deck, it should be easy to attack with these creatures every turn, even when you are in top deck mode.

 

For helping out your combat, you have Goblin Sledder and Mogg Raider. These are very important to you being able to win the game because they allow you to turn your extra Goblins that are getting blocked into damage, or they help your Goblins live through combat and help you build a bigger board state. With Goblins you are always playing to win and rarely are going to have the mindset of I need to try to live longer.

 

To help your creatures get through, you have Sparksmith to help clear the way, but you have to be careful of your life total as it can be easy to forget that you take damage every time you hit a creature. You also have Goblin Heelcutter to not only swing for a big 3 damage, but also to deny your opponent of good blocks and drive in a lot of damage. A really good thing about Goblin Heelcutter is its Dash ability, which helps for creatures such as Goblin Cohort because it is a constant way to cast a creature and allow the Cohort to attack.

 

Last but not least, to gain some card advantage you have Mogg War Marshal, which is amazing with Goblin Sledder as it can be a Giant Growth to help with combat or to win the game. It also fights through removal extremely well since you get a token when Goblin War Marshal dies. You also have Goblin Matron to help get you whatever Goblin you may need, however I usually use it for extra ways to find Goblin Bushwhacker so that I can combo off and win.

 

The manabase isn't anything special. You only play Mountains because you need your lands to always enter untapped so you can play all of your spells quickly. As for burn and reach, you have a decent amount to use.

 

Your main burn spell is, you guess it, good old Lightning Bolt. In this archetype you will usually use Lightning Bolt as a removal spell and let your creatures do all of the work. You have 1 copy of Fireblast as a sort of win condition or just a big way to go over your opponents board and straight to the head. You only ever need to draw 1 copy, so any more slots dedicated to it are taking up spots that should be used for better cards. Finally we have Death Spark and in this deck it is great. You can easily put creatures into the graveyard to return it back to your hand every turn and against decks such as Delver Blue, Stompy and Elves (just to name a few) it can be a powerhouse as you can clear your opponents creatures off the board every turn.

 

The sideboard is quite straightforward as well. You have Smash to Smithereens to help against decks such as Affinity and Tron variants, while also being another burn spell which is quite useful. Flaring Pain is simply for helping you fight through cards such as Moment's Peace and Circle of Protection: Red.

 

Pyroblast are for the blue matchups to help force through key spells. Electrickery is for the mirror, Elves, Tokens and other matchups where a lot of 1 toughness creatures will take up the battlefield. Finally you have Sylvok Lifestaff and although I am not a big fan of this card, it helps in the mirror and against Burn to make the game go a little longer and play the card advantage rout, but it also helps against control matchups such as Teachings because the extra point of damage can make a huge difference. Going forward I would take Sylvok Lifestaff out of this version of the deck as I do not believe it does enough for Goblins anymore.

 

I have another list for you to look at, so let's check it out real quick.

 

 

This version of Goblins isn't too much different from the basic one I brought to you, but it has some key differences. You have 3 copies of Reckless Abandon combined with 3 copies of Mudbutton Torchrunner to have a quick 7 damage, This has the speed of a regular Goblins list, while also having a decent late game as well. Mudbutton Torchrunner also works well with Goblin Sledder because it can be sacrificed for a quick Lightning Bolt either to your opponents head or to kill off one of their creatures. I thought of adding Goblin Arsonist as well, but I have not really found any spots for him as of this time.

 

Another big blast from the past here is Hissing Iguanar. This allows you to combo out with Goblin Sledder and get in the last 5-6 points of damage without having to attack your opponent. It can be very slow, but helps against the control matchups and it also helps with your Sylvok Lifestaff strategy after sideboard.

 

I have personally chosen to use this list for the mean time as I find it has better aggro matchups because you can be decent midrange deck with a good late game, while also being fast enough to beat the control and midrange decks. However I will not lie to any of you, it hasn't gone very well with either list. This will bring me to my conclusion.

 

Verdict and Conclusion

The problem with Goblins in today's Pauper meta is that (Electrickery:RTR, Pestilence and Moment's Peace are very popular these days. These cards are just some of the bunch of problems that Goblins face and overall, the removal in Pauper has gotten better.

 

When comparing this deck to Red Deck Wins, you have less burn and your creatures are easier to kill, due to only have 1 toughness as opposed to the 2 toughness found in most of the creatures played in Red Deck Wins. When you compare it to Stompy, your creatures are small and do not live through combat easily as you do not have Pump Spells to grow them, nor do you have cards like Rancor to threaten Trample damage.

 

Your sideboard cards are also limited due to the fact that mono red just does not have much to work with. Burn is also easier to win with because you are just as fast and don't worry about removal getting in your way when all of your damage is coming from instant and sorcery spells that are going to your opponents face.

 

I am not saying Goblins is dead, nor am I saying you shouldn't play this archetype. What I am saying is that your results will vary and you may do well on some days, but personally I wouldn't play Goblins expecting to do better than 3-2 in a league. That being said that is just my opinion, let me know what you think!

 

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to Gatherling.com on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

 

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a good week!