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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
Mar 29 2017 12:00pm
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Do you remember this scene?

Now maybe orcs didn’t really pick up steam in Magic but Goblins sure did! They are the tribe that everyone loves to hate and there were times they were a tier 1 deck in Legacy. How do they fare in Modern though? Well, let us take a look at a list. 


Now to those that have been around Modern for a while this deck is nothing new. However it is still just as effective. The appealing part of this deck is the cost. I put it together for about 20 tickets on MTGO. So don’t let cost be a barrier that keeps you back from smashing your opponent. 

The goblins are the easy part you have a bunch of one drops that you want to play out and start attacking with. 

Some of the important one drops are as follows. 

Legion Loyalist Mogg Fanatic Foundry Street Denizen 

Legion Loyalist giving your attackers trample and first strike is great especially combined with Foundry Street Denizen and Goblin Piledriver. The other ability to not be blocked by tokens comes in less often but it can be very potent against decks packing Lingering Souls

Mogg Fanatic was such a powerful card in years past when you could put damage on the stack. It was an all star and could block and take out a 2 toughness creature. Sadly those days are gone but now it just gives you a form of reach to finish off an opponent. 

Your two drops are both pretty good as well. 

Goblin Piledriver Mogg War Marshal 

Goblin Piledriver isn’t always great to be honest but there are times when the creature is punishing so I think 3 or maybe even 2 is the right number. Mogg War Marshal is really good giving you multiple creatures for 2 mana. 

Then you have the 2 Bushwhackers. 

Goblin Bushwhacker Reckless Bushwhacker 

These 2 serve as anthems for your team making on a few goblins a very potent threat. Since you want to keep spewing goblins onto the table having another anthem is not a bad idea.

Goblin Chieftain 

He gives your whole team an extra point of power and haste which can end the game on its own. 

The deck runs very few spells but the two it does have are very potent ones. 

Lightning Bolt Goblin Grenade 

I won’t speak on the importance of having Lightning Bolt even if it does not kill Death's Shadow it still gives the deck extra reach. It also can kill off other blockers so you can push damage through with all Goblin Grenade can just kill your opponents outright. Most times you can quickly get your opponent from 20 to 10 and the last damage can be dealt with the grenades. You always feel good when you draw into them and have some left over goblins on the board to finish the game. 

As you can expect from a mono red deck the sideboard is not fantastic but it does get the job done. 

4 Forked Bolt: This is good for other creature decks and to finish off blockers after you attack. It also excels at killing off mana dorks and is not terrible against Affinity. Who knows there may even a few elves players hiding out. 

4 Tormod's Crypt: Your options against graveyard decks are few. It is this or Relic of Progenitus. Relic costs more both financially and mana wise. Crypt works well with Reckless Bushwhacker as well. Allowing you to pay the surge cost even if you only have 2 mana. 

4 Smash to Smithereens: Is great against Affinity and Lantern Control. It is also all you really have against artifacts. 

2 Skullcrack: There was nothing in the original list to stop life-gain or even the occasional Kor Firewalker or Burrenton Forge-Tender. This does the trick nicely and can allow you to attack through things like Kitchen Finks as well. 

1 Outnumber: This was a last minute edition I tossed in. It may be getting cut but there are times you can easily kill a 5/5 without having to waste a grenade on it. I may be putting in Dismember instead but I would like to see how well Outnumber plays. 

That is a pretty budget list but there are some upgrades that can be made to the deck. 

When this deck was first made Goblin Guide was very expensive, but with the printing of Modern Masters 2017 it is now under 2.5 tickets (at the time I wrote this). It will add power to the deck and make it even more aggressive. 

What about splashing a color?   

Green is an obvious choice because it adds a few things to the deck. 

You would need 4 Wooded Foothills and only one Stomping Ground you might even get away with using a Cinder Glade but I wouldn’t want to really risk it. 

You can add Atarka's Command to the main which would add yet another anthem and a way to stop lifegain.  It could be reminiscent of the old Atarka Red decks in Standard a few seasons ago. 

What green really gives you is some sideboard help. 

Destructive Revelry is a huge upgrade to Smash since it can hit enchantments as well as artifacts. 

You can also gain cards like Heroic Intervention that can save your team from cards like Anger of the Gods or even Supreme Verdict. Sadly your graveyard situation doesn’t really improve but if you want that you could splash another color. 

White gives you Rest in Peace for the board and Path to Exile for the main. There are many times the creatures on the opposing side of the board are too big. White also gives you the ability to run Ranger of Eos and search up some of your potent one drops like Goblin Bushwhacker or even a Goblin Guide

Black can give you access to other removal like Fatal Push which is one of the best answers against Death’s Shadow. It also has Auntie's Hovel as another dual land. 

As you can see Goblins can have a lot of options though I would suggest not trying to veer to far from the plan of play a bunch of goblins and then a bushwhacker. That plan seems more than adequate and can win you games that you have no business winning. 

Try the deck out and see if you like it. It really can be competitive and you can win pretty quickly allowing you to have time for other things in life like more magic! 

For next week I will be bringing you another budget list and talk about how to start taking some of these budget lists and start to build tier one lists. 

There are a few different directions you could go and if you want to get into Modern, hopefully my journey getting there can help you get there as well. 

Until next time!