Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Sep 27 2021 11:00am

Historically, Goblins in the Pauper format has always been a mono red aggro deck. You swarm the board with Goblin creatures such as Goblin Cohort and Mogg War Marshal and then you play a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker to pump the swarm or you have a card like Goblin Sledder to feed whatever Goblins are blocked to another creature and win the game.

Unfortunately, these days in the Pauper format, Goblins are just not strong enough. The board wipe spells in Pauper have gotten much better and cards like Stonehorn Dignitary can ruin your day. You do have Goblin Grenade, but the decks playing Stonehorn will have plenty of counter magic as well. It just isn’t an easy time for Goblins.

However, there is a Rakdos combo list that has been waiting for more players to pick it up. While it has been around for a little while now, I haven’t spoken about it yet because I was waiting for the lists to mature a bit. I feel it is finally time to talk about it.

The list we will be looking at today took second place in the Pauper challenge that took place over this past weekend as of writing this article and was piloted by the Mtgo grinder Hamuda. They also took 10th in the other challenge as well. Alright, no fooling around here, let’s get right into the list!

The way the combo works in this deck is extremely simple. With a Skirk Prospector and a Putrid Goblin on the battlefield while it has not Persisted yet, (it needs to not have a -1/-1 counter on it for this to work) then you need to then cast a copy of First day of Class.

This will make infinite red mana as First day of Class puts a +1/+1 counter on creatures and will cancel out the -1/-1 counter on Putrid Goblin. With infinite mana, you can use Flamewake Invoker or Makeshift Munitions to burn your opponent out for the win.

Skirk Prospector and Putrid Goblin – These are your combo pieces. Without these 2, the deck does not really function at all. Always run 4 copies of each of these.

Goblin Matron – Although expensive at 3 mana, here is a way to tutor up your combo pieces.

Mogg War Marshal – Although not a combo piece, it can generate a good amount of mana with Skirk Prospector. It can also protect your combo pieces from removal such as Lightning Bolt with the help of Goblin Sledder.

Impulsive Pilferer – Not the most impressive creature, but it does bring along a Treasure Token which helps you ramp a little and combo faster.

Flamewake Invoker and Makeshift Munitions – Here are your main win conditions of the deck.

Goblin Sledder – This is your secondary win condition as you can can also use the combo to make a giant Skirk Prospector and swing in for the win.

First Day of Class – Here is your other main piece of your combo. Never play less than 4 of these.

Shred Memory – A good way to tutor up a copy of First Day of Class, Putrid Goblin, or Makeshift Munitions.

Unearth – A good way to return your combo pieces if you run them out early and they get killed or if they get discarded somehow.

Duress – A silver bullet copy of Duress to help force through your combo and win the game.

Faithless Looting – A combo deck needs card draw and this is one of the best card draw spells for red. Although you could play Night’s Whisper, Faithless Looting has Flashback, making it possible to draw even more cards.

Ichor Wellspring and Chromatic Star – While both of these cards don’t seem like they do much but allow you to play a 53 card deck, they work extremely well with the next card we will talk about and remember that Makeshift Munitions can also use them to ping creatures and control the game a tiny bit.

Deadly Dispute – This is a great card for this deck. Not only do you draw 2 cards at instant speed, but you also get a Treasure Token that helps you ramp. This has great synergy with both of your artifacts because you can gain card advantage. I really like this card in the deck.

The Manabase

Drossforge Bridge – Your dual land of the deck. If you ever need to, since it is an artifact, you can sacrifice it to Deadly Dispute or Munitions.

Rakdos Carnarium – You don’t have cards like Bojuka Bog to take advantage of playing bounce lands, but this does allow you to keep land light hands and possibly not mulligan as often.

Great Furnace and Vault of Whispers - Some more artifact lands for Deadly Dispute and Munitions.

The rest of the manabase is a copy of Forgotten Cave and then 7 basic lands in the form of 5 Mountain and 2 Swamp for a total of 19 lands. I think the manabase is perfect and would not change it. There isn’t much more you can do with it in my opinion.


The Sideboard

Duress – More copies of Duress against control decks or removal heavy decks. If only this card could take Faerie Macabre.

Abrade – Flexible removal that also hits artifacts such as Relic of Progenitus.

Cast Down – In the case of you needing some removal to buy time and play a bit of a longer game.

Introduction to Prophecy – You do have cards that Learn in your deck and in the case of you needing to draw some cards while going off, this is a pretty good way of doing that.

Krark-Clan Shaman – You have a ton of artifacts at your disposal, might as well take advantage and have a really good sideboard card against aggro decks. Remember to hold the control key on your keyboard while using the ability!

Pyroblast – What do we say to the blue mages? Not today!

Pyromatics – This can be another way to win the game if you believe your other 2 win conditions will not work because of enchantment hate or removal. I am not 100% sure if this is necessary, but I can see reasons for it being here.

Weather the Storm – Chromatic Star allows you to have access to the color green and this is an awesome card at buying time against almost anything in the format currently.

Verdict and Final Thoughts

I miss the days of Mono Red Goblins being a good deck to play. Unfortunately for now, the glory days of Goblin aggro are behind us until they get some better tools to work with.

Although, this deck definitely scratches my itch for playing Goblins and combo. I love how quick, simple and straightforward this deck is to play as well. It can easily win on turn 3 and is fairly consistent as well. The cool part is it rewards proper sequencing and playing around your opponents answers.

Let’s not waste any time here. Do I think you should play this deck? Actually, I believe you can play it in both the leagues and weekend challenges. For league play I think this deck is a ton of fun and will teach you the fundamentals of playing a combo archetype.

As for the challenges, I think Hamuda and other players have proven this deck is legit, it just doesn’t seem widely played. Whenever going into a challenge, I will always say make sure you practice a ton and that goes with any archetype. I think this deck has the potential to be a top contender and with enough practice can bring you success. Now does this mean because I say play it, you automatically should? Absolutely not. My words are not the be all end all and at the end of the day, it is just my opinion that this deck is good, but that does not necessarily mean it is true. Hamuda is a very good player and has done consistently well across multiple formats, so the fact that he chose to play this deck definitely means something for it. Just remember results will vary and no deck is will bring guaranteed success.

This archetype does come with its flaws like any other deck and I am sure it has bad matchups. Although, from playing with it and watching others play it in PCT, it seems to be a coin flip or better against almost everything, but that also depends on how your opponents build the deck that they are playing. Does this mean it is the best deck that is not being played? I don’t feel confidant saying yes, but I do think this deck is a good one.

Graveyard hate can hurt it badly. Removal can make things difficult and of course playing against Counterspell decks is a headache for anyone. However, I think this archetype is quick enough and has the tools it needs to beat just about anything.
However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to 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. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!