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By: Arnnaria, Sean Costales
Mar 06 2008 12:07am
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Welcome to Pure Standard! 

The Standard metagame is wide open.  No one deck is dominating the standings.  There are popular decks, such as Elves! and Big Mana, and the popular decks are taking the top slots.  However, there is no “best deck” that everyone needs to gun for.  Today we’re going to look at one of the more popular decks: Goblins.  Goblins have a lot of things going for it.  First and foremost, it has a fast clock and can do massive amounts of damage in a very little time.  For a deck that takes a while to set up, such as the Big Mana builds, this can be a problem.  However, there’s a problem on the rise that unfortunately leaves me doubting this deck’s effectiveness. 

Gro-a-goyf is on the rise.  Gro-a-goyf is a very simple blue/green midrange deck.  And Goblins has a problem with it.  If you get a decent hand, you can take it out before it sets up.  But, if you haven’t won by turn five, this deck is going to kill you.  In my playtesting so far, Goblins has a problem with Gro-a-goyf.  It has enough counters to take out your more expensive spells.  And Ancestral Visions allows it to refuel with counters, so running them out of counters isn’t a viable strategy.  This is the blemish on the record that I’m going to try to play around with a sideboard strategy. 

Here is my deck build so far:

This article is written much more like a journal than an article.  I tabulated my thoughts as they arose throughout the various matches I played.  I could feel myself getting better with the deck as time went on, and maybe that is reflected in my matches.  I italicized notable passages where I was reflecting on the deck and not just talking about my matches.  So, if you don’t like reading about my matchups, you can just scroll through the article and read the italicized comments. Of course, if you like reading about matchups you can read the whole thing.  I must admit, with over twenty-five matches to read about, this is a rather lengthy article.  However, I couldn’t find it in me to edit the match descriptions.  Either way, enjoy my journey with a deck that has grown immensely on me. 

Playtesting and Deck Changes

Match 1: Rock

Win 2-0 

If I had to tabulate my main play mistake it would be forgetting to sacrifice cards to Greater Gargadon.  Once the card is suspended I completely forget about it.  I need some charm or sticker I can put on the monitor to remind me that I have a Gargadon suspended.  The first game was a non-event.  I got my quick kill out and finished the match without any problems.  The second game I stuttered, mulliganing down to five and not drawing any early goblins.  I got in some early damage, but a Primal Command erased my lead and I was staring at an invincible Epochrasite and a Tarmogoyf.  I got a Grave Pact into play to deal with his creatures and eventually outdrew my opponent for the win.  I won by the skin of my teeth at three life after a five point drain from a Profane Command. 

Match 2: White/Green Big Mana

Win 2-1 

I’m not sure if this is an appropriate name for the deck I played, as I never saw and Akroma, Angel of Wrath or snow lands.  The problem with the Tournament Practice room is that you play a lot of jank while practicing – decks no one in their right mind would play in a Premier Event or Eight Man.  This was one of those decks.  Game one we go back and forth, until he gets out two Story Circles: one set to red, the other set to black.  Once he casts a Sacred Mesa, I concede as there is now way I can get through his defenses.  Game two I get out an early offense and am able to eek out a victory on the back of a five-point drain from Profane Command.  Game Three gave me the perfect curve: Turn one Knucklebone Witch, Turn two Mogg Fanatic, Turn three Mad Auntie.  He stalls on his fourth land drop and concedes with a Wrath of God in his hand. 

This deck played a card that was a bane for me: Crovax, Ascendant Hero.  This guy essentially reads “destroy all your tokens.”  And this deck has a lot of 1/1 tokens: Marsh Flitter, Siege-Gang Commander, and Mogg War-Marshal all make them.  Luckily, I had a Grave Pact out whenever he cast Crovax, so my dead tokens caused him to bounce it back to his hand and lose two life.  However, without a Grave Pact I would have surely died to this redeemed hero.
Sacred Mesa


Match 3: Reanimator [?]

Win 2-0 

First round he doesn’t get any fat creatures into his graveyard in time.  I saw two Bonded Fetches so I assumed I was playing Reanimator.  I side in four Withered Wretches for three Mudbutton Torchrunners and a Siege-Gang Commander.  Second round he doesn’t find any discard enablers, however he plays a Pact of Negation.  I seriously don’t think this was Reanimator.  Just a poorly built control deck. 

If you plan on building this deck, don’t be put off by the Graven Cairns.  With a Graven Cairns in play, you can cast a Grave Pact with only one other source of black mana.  Simply tap a red source for two black mana through the Graven Cairns, and tap your other source of black mana.  The only discernible drawback to Graven Cairns, is if you are stuck with two or three in your opening hand.  Thank god for the magic of mulliganing though.

Match 4: Reanimator [?]

Win 2-1 

First round the only spell he plays is a Lightning Axe, discarding an Akroma, Angel of Wrath.  Again, I’m thinking this is a Reanimator deck but the only colors I saw were black and red off a Sulfurous Springs.  I bring in four Withered Wretches, taking out the same cards I did last time.  Second round he gets in a Looter il-Kor, dumping a Bogardan Hellkite and reanimating it with Makeshift Mannequin.  Third game, I find a Withered Wretch by turn five.  He doesn’t know it, but that essentially kills his game plan.  He concedes by turn seven.

Match 5: “R/B Gargadon”

Win 2-1 

This deck was quite different.  He utilized Gargadon, Epochrasite, and Grave Pact to essentially destroy all creatures in his path.  I asked my opponent what his deck was called, and he said it was “R/B Gargadon.”  First game I lose to the combination of cards mentioned earlier – there was no getting past his Grave Pact.  Second game he doesn’t get his combination going and I’m able to amass a swarm of goblins to win the game.  The same is true for the third game.  He gets a Grave Pact out, but not in enough time and I overrun his defenses for the win.
Match 6: Big Pizza

Loss 1-2 

First game he quickly sets up his mana and accelerates into a Wrath of God to destroy my early game army.  Then he Primal Commands to gain seven life and searches for Crovax, my bane.  He Oblivion Rings my Grave Pact and casts Crovax, I concede with a useless Siege-Gang Commander in my hand.  Second game I play more conservatily, holding back threats to stave off a Wrath of God.  He casts one, but I quickly bring my creatures back up with a Marsh Flitter and then a Siege Gang Commander.  He’s unable to stop the onslaught.  Third game he quickly Primal Commands into a Crovax, and then Wrath of God and Austere Commands away my army.  I’m unable to get a good offensive going and suffer my first loss. 

When facing an opponent that has the potential for mass removal, you should never go all in with your creatures.  This is true for Goblins especially because it has no cards that allow you to draw into more attackers in the late game.  If your opponent has the potential to Wrath of God or Damnation away all your creatures, make sure you hold back one or two attackers just in case they do.  If you decide to go all in and overcommit, you’ll be sorry when your opponent casts an Austere Command.

Are there any cards that could help Goblins with the late game?  The only cards that I see that would help are Colfenor’s Plans and Hoarder’s Greed.  There’s also Null Profusion, Phyrexian Etchings, and Graveborn Muse, but all of these strategies seem risky to me.  I haven’t lost many games to a lack of cards though.  If I lose more games to massive card advantage, such as Harmonize, Ohran Viper, and Shadowmage Infiltrator, I’ll consider adding Colfenor’s Plans to the sideboard.

Match 7: Elves!

Loss 0-1, Concession 

First game he outraced me.  Turn two Wren’s Run Vanquisher, turn three Imperious Perfect.  I got two Grave Pacts out, but by then it was too much for me to handle.  Second game, I didn’t take my own advice and hold back.  I get out two Knucklebone Witches, a Mudbotttom Torchrunner, and a Siege-Gang Commander, only to have my opponent Damnation away everything.  After the Damnation I have zero cards in my hand and he has six.  Two turns later, he concedes from the match.  I won’t chalk that up to a victory, because I was certainly dead. 

Match 8: Mono Black Control

Win 2-1 

Game one I get stuck on the wrong end of two Epochrsites.  He Damnations and one Korlash, Heir to Blackblade later he runs over my remaining army.  Second game was an amusing one, as we both get Grave Pacts out.  However, my Marsh Flitters and Siege Gang Commanders allow me to get tokens out to sacrifice when his Grave Pact triggers.  I win on turn twelve.  Game three he gets two Grave Pacts out, but I’m able to overrun him with Marsh Flitters and Siege-Gang Commanders again by the skin of my teeth. 

Match 9: Faeries

Loss 1-2 

I mulligan down to six and keep a one-land hand with three Knucklebone Witches.  That was an obvious mistake, because by turn six all three of my Witches are gone and I’m being pounded by faeries.  Game two I get out an early Grave Pact, which makes his combat math not add up.  He tries to play an aggressive strategy when he should be trying to control the game, but I don’t think he drew the proper cards to control me out.  I win on the back of a Siege-Gang Commander.  Game three he gets an early aggressive start and puts me on the ropes.  I never recover from his offensive strike. 

Match 10: Blue/White Snow Control

Win 2-0 

Game one comes easily.  The only spell he plays is suspending Ancestral Visions and evoking a Mulldrifter.  My army of goblins easily swarm his shallow defenses.  Game two is the same situation.  He’s so hard up on stopping my horde that he hardcasts an Aeon Chronicler.  Seeing that he’s tapped out, and can’t counter, I bring in a Siege-Gang Commander to apply more pressure.  He concedes a turn later.
Now that I’ve played ten games, I’m pretty happy with my record and my decklist.  You have to be careful when judging your hands.  If your hand has no early game (a play by turn four), you ought to throw it back.  A hand with a Grave Pact, two Siege-Gang Commanders, and a Profane Command may be tempting but you won’t be dealing any damage on the early turns where most decks are trying to set up.  My two losses were to aggressive creature rushes I couldn’t stop.  My third loss was to a control deck which was designed to win in this aggro-heavy format.

My only complaint is the late game hiccups that this deck can face.  But with Hoarder’s Greed and Colfenor’s Plans as my only options, there’s not much I can do.  I suppose a Liliana Vess could tutor for Siege-Gang Commanders later on in the game, but she’s already in my sideboard and I’ve never had to bring her in.  I suppose against a creature-light deck she could replace the Grave Pacts.  Let’s see how I feel about the deck ten more matches from now.

Grave Pact

Match 11: Blink

Win 2-0 

Game one we both take turns casting creatures.  I play two Grave Pacts though, and eventually whittle away at his defensive base.  Second game he stalls on two mana and isn’t able to stop my army. 

I think Grave Pact is very fundamental to the success of the deck so far.  Very few decks can deal with enchantments these days.  One Grave Pact guarantees that any combat tricks are going to swing in your favor.  Two Grave Pacts are just nuts, especially with so many sacrifice activations in the deck: Greater Gargadon, Marsh Flitter, Mogg Fanatic, Siege-Gang Commander, and even not paying the echo cost on a Mogg War Marshal.  I tried Boggart Shenanigans in place of the Grave Pacts for a while, but they had less impact.  Sure, they sometimes hit for six or seven when your opponent used Wrath of God or Damnation, but they didn’t do anything productive most other games.  If you are building the deck, you need four Grave Pacts.  And if you need four Grave Pacts, you need four Graven Cairns and at least one Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.  Anything less would just be settling for an inferior deck.

Match 12: Merfolk

Loss 0-2 

In game one, I hiccup at four lands with two Siege-Gang Commanders in my hand.  I can’t stop the overrun of two Lords of Atlantis and two Merfolk Reejery, so I concede into the next game.  Next game I get out a Grave Pact, but an Oblivion Ring removes it form the game.  Eventually he gets an army of Merfolk and I can’t attack with my tokens.  One Aquitet’s Will and Lord of Atlantis later and I’m on the wrong side of a Merfolk beatdown.

Match 13: Mono-Green Aggro

Win 2-1 

This was one of the non-tournament decks that hang around the Tournament Practice room.  And even though that was the case, this deck gave me a hard time.  Creature rushes are still creature rushes, even though it might be tier two or three.  And Goblins has a hard time against creature rushes.  I’m entirely sure that against a more aggressive opponent I would have lost this match.  However, my Marsh Flitters and Siege Gang Commanders gave the illusion that I could block infinitely and he got scared into not attacking.  Eventually, I flew over with Marsh Flitter for the win both times. 

Does the deck need Damnation in the sideboard?  I’m not entirely sure that would be the answer we’re looking for.  Mike Flores wrote an interesting article once called “Who’s the Beatdown?”  In it he postulates that in every game there are two players: the beatdown player and the control player.  In any game, you have to choose a role which will dictate how you are going to play your deck.  If you misidentify your role, perhaps playing beatdown when you should be playing control, you can lose your match.  With goblins, you are most definitely the beatdown player every time.  Adding Damnations would turn you into a control player.  The problem is the deck doesn’t have any way to play a control game.  There’s very little removal, resource denial, or card drawing; all these things are fundamental to a control player, in Flores’s opinion.  You would have to hold your creatures back, cast Damnation, and then proceed to win the game with your creatures.  This doesn’t seem like an efficient strategy against any deck.  Adding Damnations seem like a good idea but I don’t see how they would be practical.

Match 14: Gro-a-goyf

Win 2-1 

First game he doesn’t have enough counterspells to stop my threats.  I quickly overwhelm him to take the match.  Second game he has the deal breaker: Ancestral Visions.  Essentially he can exhaust his hand while its suspended, and when he’s able to cast it, refill his hand with counters.  My army of 1/1’s cant’ take his Venser, Shaper Savant, Riftwing Cloudskate, Quirion Dryad, and Tarmogoyf.  Round three I get a Knucklebone Witch, Mad Auntie, and Marsh Flitter past his counters.  He concedes the game. 

Match 15: Elves!

Win 2-1 

In game one handles my early threats with his removal.  Turn Seven and I’m facing a Tarmogoyf, two Imperious Perfects, a Beast token and a Garruk Wildspeaker.  I concede as there is no way to deal with the ensuing beatdown.  Second game I overwhelm him with numbers.  He gets out a Loxodon Warhammer to gain some life, but my horde of goblins are able to stop it before it gets out of hand.  In the third game he accelerates into an army of creatures.  I have a bunch of 1/1’s out and there is no way I can stop them.  Luckily, I draw Grave Pact and have the potential to wipe out his entire army by sacrificing my goblin tokens to my Marsh Flitter.  He untaps, draws his card, and concedes the game. 

Match 16: Mono Green Aggro

Win 2-0 

First game, he gets some creatures out and a Loxodon Warhammer.  However, I get out a Grave Pact and quickly eliminate his army.  He ends the round with three Loxodon Warhammers out but no creatures to attach them to.  I remove one Mogg War Marshal and one Mudbutton Torchrunner for two Ancient Grudges.  Second game I have the perfect curve.  Turn one Knucklebone Witch, turn two Mogg War Marshal, turn three Mad Auntie, and turn four Grave Pact.  He casts his first creature on turn five.  I quickly overrun him for the win. 

Match 17: Mono Black Control

Win 2-0 

I mulligan down to five with a bad opening hand.  Luckily, on turn two I suspend two Greater Gargadons.  I get stuck on two lands, but eventually one of my Greater Gargadon comes into play and I attack for nine.  He casts Damnation, but I sacrifice my Gargadon to the other suspended Gargadon.  I get him down to six life, sacrifice all my lands to bring my other Gargadon into play and win the game.  Game two is his turn to get land screwed.  He gets stuck on two lands and eventually concedes to my hoard. 

Match 18: Blue/Black Discard

Win 2-0 

This deck ran a bunch of discard cards with Megrim as the kill condition.  First game I mulligan down to five, but eventually get Grave Pact out with a suspended Gargadon.  I draw the right cards I need and I win at a comfortable margin of life.  Game two is a non-event.  He never gets the discard he needs to empty my hand, and instead opts to attack my creature base.  However, a Nekrataal and a Shriekmaw don’t really matter much when you’re casting Marsh Flitters and Siege-Gang Commanders and getting more than one creature a turn.  He concedes on turn seven. 

Match 19: Goblins

Win 2-1 

I stall on three lands and can’t find any black mana to cast my Marsh Flitters.  He finds the mana he needs and casts two Marsh Flitters on turns four and five.  I concede the game.  Next game I don’t stall out and am able to cast a Grave Pact in between a Marsh Flitter and a Siege Gang Commander.  He starts playing defensively, too defensively, and I get him down to two life with my army of creatures.  Next turn after he untaps, I sacrifice a goblin token to Siege Gang for the win.  Third game is a game of numbers.  He suspends two Gargadons and cast a Marsh Flitter while I cast three Knucklebone Witches, a Marsh Flitter, and a Siege Gang Commander.  I put him on the defensive and he can’t get out quick enough to stave off my offense.  He concedes on turn five. 

Match 20: Mono Black Control

Win 2-0 

First game he mulligans down to five and concedes the game.  Second game, he gets out a decent offensive but I get out a Grave Pact with a suspended Gargadon.  Eventaully, after sacrificing my creatures to get rid of his bigger creatures, my Gargadon comes into play and I smash for nine.  I follow up with a Siege Gang Commander.  With no cards in hand, he untaps, draws a card, and concedes the game. 

Before the Premier Event

My record is 16-4, which is quite good.  However, this is in the Tournament Practice room and not an actual Tournament.  I didn’t face Big Mana R/G once.  I only faced Gro-A-Goyf once.  And I only spotted Elves! twice.  If you read Jamuraa’s Standard Deviations column, you know that this is not indicative of a big tournament metagame.  However, if you are not looking for a tournament-caliber deck and like playing in the Tournament Practice room for the challenge, this is a highly recommended deck.  With a 16-4 record in the Touranment Practice room, I can easily say that this deck would do extremely better in the Casual Room.  Another plus about this deck is the low cost of the cards inside it.  The most expensive card is Siege-Gang Commander, but all the other rares sell for about two to three tickets a piece.  In an environment where the best creature is going for 45 tickets, that’s not too bad.

I decided to enter a Premier Event at the behest of my brother.  He thoroughly enjoys the goblin deck and thought it would be a smart metagame choice.  Frankly, I thought I was going to “0-2 drop” due to the strong presence of decks that give this archetype a tough matchup.  If you are unfamiliar with Premier Events, most of them only award prizes to the top eight finishers.  Because most people are in the tournament to play competitively, if you lose two matches you are pretty much out of the standings to win any prizes.  An “0-2 drop” is slang for “I lost two rounds and have to drop because I’m out of contention for prizes.”  However, for my reader’s entertainment and to make the article more competitive, I decided that just playtesting with the deck was not enough and I needed some solid evidence to prove whether this deck was tournament caliber or just a wanna be.

The Premier Event

Round 1: Reanimator

Loss 1-2 

Game one he ditches an Akroma, Angel of Wrath, and Makeshit Mannequins it into play.  He casts a Teferi’s Moat, naming red, which stops my beats and keeps him at seven life points.  I have a Profane Command in hand, but I don’t have the extra black to cast it.  I concede the game.  I remove three Mudbutton Torchrunners and one Grave Pact for four Withered Wretches.  Second game I destroy all his enablers.  Mogg Fanatic a Merfolk Looter, Profane Command another Merfolk Looter, and finally use Siege Gang Commander to destroy a Merfolk Looter and Looter il-Kor.  He’s unable to get any decent cards in the graveyard and succumbs to my goblin army.  I start out strong, but am quickly flooded with lands.  I draw twelve lands in twelve turns and find no answers to his ever-growing graveyard.  Finally, he drops a Bogardan Hellkite in the graveyard and Makeshift Mannequins it.  I concede the game with four lands in my hand and no answers. 

Round 2: Mannequin

Win 2-0 

My opponent mulligans down to three cards.  I can’t capitalize on it because I get flooded and don’t see any threats.  However, I get a Grave Pact out and begin to stabilize my board.  I have enough mana to hardcast a Greater Gargadon, and the Grave Pact is giving him fits.  He taps out to return it to my hand, so I replay it.  He taps out to counter it, so I tap out to Profane Command him and sacrifice lands to my Gargadon.  He’s at seven life and I attack for nine for the win.  I get a good starting hand and play a Grave Pact on turn four and another on turn five.  That pretty much seals the game as he stalls on three Mouth of Ronom’s and no color lands.  He concedes on turn twelve. 

Round 3: Elves!

Win 2-0 

We go back and forth trading creatures.  I cast a Grave Pact early, and combat now is in my favor.  He can’t keep up with my double Marsh Flitter and Mogg War Marshal.  He concedes because he can’t stop my flyers.  Game two is a back and forth game, but he misses his early drops.  He casts an Imperious Perfect, but I sacrifice my Mudbutton Torchrunner to my Gargadon to get rid of it.  He casts a Troll Ascetic but I continue beating down because he’s tapped out and can’t regenerate the Ascetic; my Pendelhaven means that my 1/1’s could kill his Troll.  His last spell out is a Loxodon Warhammer.  With four goblin tokens in play and him at six life, I sacrifice a few lands to Gargadon and attack for the win. 

Round 4: R/G Big Mana

Won 2-0 

I honestly can’t tell you what happened from memory.  I had to watch my replays to figure it out.  I was so “in the zone” that I don’t remember how I won.  First game, he casts a turn three Tarmogoyf.  I respond with Grave Pact.  He follows with a Siege Gang, and I cast a Siege Gang as well, throwing his combat math off.  He casts another Tarmogoyf and I cast another Siege Gang.  Eventually both are sides are decimated and all I have left is a Mad Auntie and a suspended Greater Gargadon.  He activates a Treetop Village, and I sacrifice my Mad Auntie to the Gargadon; Grave Pact forces him to sacrifice the Village.  I cast a Marsh Flitter, and he brings out a Bogardan Hellkite, leaving me at three life.  I sacrifice one of my tokens to the Gargadon to get rid of his Hellkite.  Next turn I find another flitter, and he concedes after his next draw.  I wish I could tell you what happened in the second game, but I can’t honestly remember.  I know it was a tough match, trading creatures back and forth.  He sided in Krosan Grips to deal with my Grave Pacts; both times I cast a Grave Pact, he showed me a Grip.  Eventually, when facing down lethal damage I topdeck a Profane Command and drain away all his life.

Match 5: Elves!

Win 2-0 

He casts a Tarmogoyf and a Troll Ascetic, I bring into play a Mogg Fanatic and Mogg War Marshal.  I cast a Grave Pact and the combat math messes up for my opponent.  They concede the game two turns later.  In the second match, I get a slew of goblins out and a Grave Pact.  My opponent Krosan Grips the Grave Pact, then casts Damnation.  I sacrifice my six or seven creatures to my suspended Gargadon.  I sacrifice a swamp, and attack an opponent at five life with the 9/7.  My opponent casts Slaughter Pact, killing my Gargadon.  Next turn, my opponent has to ping themselves with a painland to pay the Pact.  I cast Marsh Flitter, being able to deal four damage next turn.  My opponent mysteriously loses connection and I time out to a victory. 

Match 6: ?


So at this point I’m more than enthused.  I had entered the Premier Event thinking that I was playing a subpar deck.  My round one confirmed my suspicion and I was settled into 0-2 dropping.  But, something started clicking once I got to round two.  And things just got better.  I did not lose a single game in rounds two to five; not once.  And a lot of my records in the playtesting were 2-1’s against decks that were, by all accounts, inferior decks compared to what I faced in the Premier Event.  The deck has grown on me.  I’m usually into decks that require more skill and precision to play.  If I had to name my favorite standard deck right now, I would probably say it is Doran Rock.  (Remember, this is being written prior to Morningtide so I have no idea how Reveillark plays… yet).  But there is a certain machismo that Goblins has that I find enduring.  Every turn you have to be on the offensive and willing to go all in with your plays.  Grave Pact only adds to the dramatic tension of the deck; when else are you willing to kamikaze your guys against an unwavering defense?  I don’t know if I’ll ever pick up this deck again after this article.  But, after this long journey with the deck that led me to the top 8 of a premier event (something I haven’t done in over six months), I can finally say one thing: I get this deck.  There’s nothing like when you’re in tune with a deck.  Like my round 4 with this deck; there’s something satisfying of being in the zone.

Top 8 Match: Pickles Blink

Loss 1-2 

Round one I start my offensive early.  Turn one Mogg Fanatic, turn two Knucklebone Witch.  My Mad Auntie meets a Remove Soul.  But my second Mad Auntie gets into play.  I attack with all three creatures and he taps out for Vesner, Shaper Savant returning my Mad Auntie to his hand.  I take the opportunity to cast Siege-Gang Commander.  My Mad Auntie goes unanswered again, and I get him into burn range.  He concedes the turn later.  Rounds two and three are less impressive matches.  I mulligan down to five both times and have no early game when he doesn’t have access to his counters.  In Round two he gets his Pickles combination going and I concede the game.  In round three, all my spells get countered and I concede once I know he has the game. 

Conclusion and Morningtide

So there you have it.  Goblins is a decent deck that does well against some of the hard hitters in the format.  This article was written before Morningtide, but the new set really doesn’t bring any promising cards.  The only cards I see that are viable for a goblin deck are Auntie’s Snitch and Earwig Squad.  Auntie’s Snitch has the potential to wreck an opponent in the late game, kind of like Masked Admirers.  Earwig Squad offers a big body for a cheap casting cost.  His ability is a bit useless, as it does not guarantee any card advantage of the sort.  However, getting rid of Wrath of Gods or Damnations could be good enough to try out.  I don’t think either of these cards are that powerful, but both will see play when people are trying out the new set.  The question is, what cards do you take out to fit in the new goblins?  Tanahashi Masayasu, the deck build mine was based on, added three Earwig Squad for three Mad Aunties.  I don’t know if this is the right move or not, only testing could tell. 

As for Goblins, it’s fast, its efficient, its deadly.  Make sure you pack your Grave Pacts in it because without them, it can burn up and get killed by a strong defense.  Have fun playing the deck, as its clock will make sure it sees a lot of play this standard season.


by t Dragon (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 15:34
t Dragon (Unregistered)'s picture

Run 1x Kher Keep.  It makes great(er) Gargadon fodder with Grave Pact.

Kher keep by Arnnaria at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 17:41
Arnnaria's picture

The original deck had Kher Keep, but it wasn't in my collecition, so i just substituted a mountain instead.  However, it seems like a good choice.  I just didn't have the cards to play it.

Wort? by Pyrosin at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 08:49
Pyrosin's picture

Great Article, I know the 4 slot is already full, but did you test at all with Wort?  I still haven't decided if its too slow.

I've been trying to move my Goblin deck to focus more around Empty the Warrens with Lotus Bloom and Rift Bolt.  I'm going to try and replace the Shenanigans with the Gravepact as you suggest.

by Tarmotog at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 09:13
Tarmotog's picture

with morningtide out u guys should try shared animosity.. the best pre and post wrath card you can get. might sound dumb until you try it.. it speeds up ur game very significantly and every token producer can easily make the team lethal in no time..

gpblins by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:17
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I have a black and red goblin deck, its a bit different. i wonder what your plans are for a mirror match?

Wort and Mirror Match by Arnnaria at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 12:20
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I haven't played enough of the mirror matches to have a strategy.  My best guess would be to get your Grave Pact out early and then don't be afraid to trade guys.


I didn't try Wort.  I wanted to, but the list was so tight I didn't know what to cut.

by MirrorMage at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 12:21
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Epic! Can't wait to see your post-Mornintide build.

Wort by Arnnaria at Thu, 03/06/2008 - 12:21
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I didn't try Wort.  I wanted to. But the list was so tight, I didn't know what to get rid of.  If you're testing the deck and want to give him a try, I suggest replacing him with the Mudbutton Torchrunners.  Try that out and see how it does.

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