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Thread: [Deck] Goblins

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    [Deck] Goblins

    Deckprimer Vial-Goblins

    0. Update notes

    June 17th 2014
    Re-structured the opening post. It should now be easier to read. I also wrote a whole new paragraph about the three subarchetypes of Goblins and added a lot of pictures.

    February 24th 2014
    * updated the tournament report section

    February 6th 2014
    * updated the tournament report section
    * minor changes to the ""To-be-tested" card list

    November 13th 2013
    * updated the tournament report section
    * changed the layout and position of the update notes
    * added cronos' testing results to the "Literature/Good Reads"

    I borrowed several ideas for the structure of the primer from Bryant cook’s deckprimer about The Epic Storm.
    Thank you to everyone who is visting this thread on a regular basis. Your constructive comments and the positive atmosphere make the thread what it is today.

    I. Introduction
    a) History
    b) Strategy
    c) Why should I play Goblins?
    II. Maindeck
    a) Mana
    b) The Core
    c) Staples
    III. The three subtypes of Vial-Goblins
    a) The CLASSIC goblindeck
    b) The THALIA list
    c) The WINSTIGATOR list
    IV. Matchups & Sideboarding
    V. Outside the Box
    a) Already tested, bad cardchoices
    b) To-be-tested cards
    VI. Literature
    a) Tournament Reports
    b) Good Reads


    I. Introduction

    a) History
    Here is a brief outline of the deck’s development.
    Vial Goblins exists since the very beginning of the format Legacy. It came to life with the printing of Goblin Warchief, Goblin Piledriver, Siege-Gang Commander, Goblin Sharpshooter and Gempalm Incinerator – all of which were included in the Onslaught block. Later Aether Vial was released which made the deck one of the (if not THE) dominant deck in the format. Back in these days Vial Goblins have been part of the stone-paper-scissors relation between Combo, Aggro and Control. Whereas the deck used to beat most control-decks like Landstill reliably, it heavily struggled with Combo strategies, while being the best aggro-deck there was.
    The deck gradually lost it’s dominant position with the power-creep that creatures since the Ravnica-block are experiencing. The “invention” of hyrbid strategies like “aggro-control” or “control with combo-elements” lastly robbed the decks status as a Deck To Beat.
    In 2011 with the release of Stoneforge Mystic and Batterskull the deck was once again said to be “dead”. Goblins faced the problem that any creature-based strategy was more efficient: while Goblins always relied on their synergistic abilities to spam high CMC creatures like Ringleader and Siege-Gang Commander other creature based strategies were able to just play with any combination of seemingly unrelated cards that were strong in their own rights while having very low mana-costs.
    However, people didn’t lose interest in Goblins. Less than one year later (spring of 2012) some players were coming up with innovative decklists and strategies to compete in the meta. Then, in May 2012 we were blessed with the printing of Cavern of Souls which initiated a comeback for Vial Goblins..

    b) Strategy
    So what do Goblins do? Goblins have two major strategies: (1) beating our opponents as fast as possible and (2) grinding out games to win in late game via card- (and board-) advantage. The first strategy is made possible by a combination of Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, and Goblin Piledriver, while the latter strategy makes use of the huge card-advantage which the deck can create with cards like Goblin Matron, Ringleader and Mogg War Marshal. Which strategy to use is highly dependent from the matchup (MU)and the meta – oftentimes you will find yourself using a mixture of both roles even in the same game.

    c) Why should I play Goblins?
    Most of all, you should play goblins when you are looking for a deck that can beat control decks on a regular basis. In this sense Vial Goblins is a meta-call deck. You will realize that there are goblin-friendly metas and goblin-hostile metas. Goblins rewards knowledge of the metagame because the deck has a relatively large number of playable cards in the MD as well as in the SB that you can or cannot use to tune your deck for the metagame you are expecting. Goblins is also a deck with many faces: there is not ONE, but at least THREE “stock-lists” all of which have a different strategy and perform differently against the field. This also makes it hard for your opponents to get a good grasp on the deck. Goblins is also a very old deck and many players won’t know how to play against it. You should also play Goblins when you are looking for a deck that does not punish you badly when you aren’t playing 100% correct. That is not to say that the deck is so strong that it will beat many decks while your brain is on ‘standby-mode’. Rather this means that its skillcap is not very high and its decision trees are less complex than with other decks. While skill is not a big issue during games, it definitely is an issue for deckbuilding. As I said there are plenty of ‘playable’ cards, but it is essential that your cardchoices really fit the metagame requirements. This will come back at you when you have to decide whether to play, let’s say, Goblin Chieftain or Goblin Warchief. The devil is in the details. So, you should also play Goblins if you are willing to invest some time in working out the details of the deck (the first step has been set once you fought yourself through this deckprimer).

    II. The Maindeck

    a) Mana

    Let’s talk about mana first. Goblins are a very mana-hungry aggro-deck which needs to be provided with lands in the first three turns (that’s usually what most people refer to as the “setup-phase” to ensure a fast and solid start. The high manacosts of cards like Ringleader and manaconsuming abilities like those of Rishadan Port “force” us to play a number of lands that is rarely seen in a fast aggro-deck: 22-24. (Note that successful attempts have been made to run 20 or 21 mana-sources. However those cases are rare and usually only run smoothly in well balanced decklists. So for starters I’d advice to run 23 lands).
    Mana-denial is an important part of Goblins’ gameplan. This is why a playset of Wastelands + X Rishadan Ports find their way into most Goblin-lists. Apart from purely shutting our opponents off a single color manadenial lands can be used to deal with problematic cards like:
    * so-called ‘manlands’ like: Mishra’s Factory, Mutavault and Creeping Tar Pit
    * Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
    * Grove of the Burnwillows (in combo with Punishing Fire)
    * Academy Ruins and Volrath’s Stronghold
    Cavern of Souls is an auto-include in every Goblin-decklist. The default number if 4 copies, but you can cut one or two, depending on the metagame and the number of non-goblin spells in your MD and SB.
    As far as splash colors are concerned, success has been reported with EVERY additional color. Given the limited space there is usually room for only 1-3 duallands to support your splashcolor. Also, don’t hesitate to play a mono red deck. Approximately 95% of the deck is red, even in multicolored lists. Playing Mono Red is not a question of low budget.

    b) The Core


    Vial is one of the reasons why such a fast aggro deck can approve such high-CMC-creatures as Matron and Ringleader. Oftentimes Vial is ticked up every round, whereas one should carefully consider adding more than three counters.
    Did you know that?
    Vial has an upkeep-trigger that reads “you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial”. Therefore one should announce the trigger in each and every upkeep (you will NEVER forget that after a while) and then carefully think whether to add another counter or not. E.g.: It’s our mainphase and we control Vial with 2 counters on it (@2) – we have a Mogg War Marshal, Piledriver and Ringleader on our hand and we want to cheat all of them through our opponent’s counterspells. Actually we must leave Vial @ 2 for two rounds to do that – but the devil is in the details. At the end of our opponent’s turn we tap Vial to bring in Piledriver. In our next upkeep we announce the may-trigger and tap Vial in response to bring in MWM – after that, Vial’s trigger resolves and we add another counter. So, in our next upkeep we can decide to bring in any cc3 Goblin or the Ringleader that is waiting on our hand.




    Caverns, Lackey, Go – the best T1-play our deck has. His threatening, triggered ability enables fast and aggressive starts, even turn-3-kills. On the other hand we does very often not “connect” because opponents will try everything to throw removal, counter or Stifle at him. Placing creatures in his way is oftentimes a plan-B, because the creature in question could be removed to make sure that Lackey get’s the party started.
    Did you know that?
    Lackey’s oracle-text reads that he can bring in goblin-permanents, whereas Warren Instigator can only bring in goblin-creatures. This fact is often irrelevant because most goblin-permanents have legs anyways. Also there is a nice interaction with Rakdos Charm that doesn't work for Warren Instigator.




    Goblin Matron, along with Goblin Ringleader, is the backbone of the deck. Most often you will fetch a Goblin Ringleader with her ability, but you can also choose any other goblin, depending on what is needed at the moment she enters the battlefield. E.g. fetch Goblin Chieftain to counter Engineered Plague, or Tuktuk Scrapper to destroy that pesky equipment.
    Did you know that?
    …a foil Goblin Matron is only available in the 7th Edition and costs a whole lot of money.
    It’s also good to know that Goblin Matron’s triggered ability is obligatory. That means that (1) if you forget to fetch a creature and move on to the next step of the turn, your opponent can be a dick and not allow you to still fetch a creature afterwards. That’s not the case with triggers that must be resolved, i.e. such abilities without the word “may”. (2) When Matron is the only card in your hand and you have a Vial @3 and your opponent plays a discard spell, like Thoughtseize, you can put Matron into play without having to look for something to put into your hand. Also, you can search your library and declare NOT TO FIND ANYTHING, in case you want to shuffle your library.




    Sometimes this guy just reads “draw 4 cards”. Ringleader has an immediate impact on the game by potentially creating huge card advantage. At the very least he will replace himself (that is: you invest one card to get one card in return), but most of the time he creates raw card advantage. This card advantage ultimately leads to board advantage (most cards you reveal are creature cards), which means that you are winning the game. It is also important to play as many goblins as possible (34 goblins is the maximum number with 22 lands and 4 Aether Vials) in your maindeck to make the best card of the deck even better.
    Did you know that?
    Ringleader never lets you down. Have you ever revealed 4 lands in a row? Yes, almost certainly. Have you ever been disappointed about this fact? You shouldn’t! Everytime Ringleader reveals 0 Goblin cards, ask yourself how the game would have turned out if you had drawn those cards for the next 4 turns! However he usually should reveal 3 Goblin cards, with 4 and 2 cards lying within standards, while 0 or 1 is highly unlikely.



    Okay, let’s take a short break here and see what we have so far.
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Wasteland
    14 other lands

    4 Aether Vial
    4 Goblin Lackey
    4 Goblin Matron
    4 Goblin Ringleader

    22 other cards
    How you fill the remaining 14 land-slots and which set of spells you choose for the MD is dependent from the metagame you are playing in. In other words: these slots are very flexible. What follows now is an explanation of proven subtypes of Goblin decks as well as a list of playable and un-playable cards.

    c) Staples

    Hastey goblins are happy goblins. Both, Goblin Warchief and Goblin Chieftain,make the deck more explosive and much harder to deal with. Players usually spend 4-7 slots on 'hastelords' Goblin Warchief and Goblin Chieftain, whereas Goblin Warchief is the more popular choice.
    Suggested reading about Warchief and Chieftain: here.
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin King, Mad Auntie, Goblin Wardriver, Frogtosser Banneret, Goblin Lookout




    Piledriver is a common choice for the deck. His insane triggered ability causes heavy damage to opponents lifepoints, when unblocked. However this is often not the case, since opponents place creatures and removal in his way. Piledriver supports aggressive strategies and usually makes the deck more explosive. His triggered ability checks the number of Goblins on resolution. This has two implications: (1) Stifle turn an attacking PD into a Squire and (2) your opponent can destroy (or remove) goblins in response to the triggered ability and still weaken your PD. People usually run 2-4 copies of Piledriver in their decklists, for starters 4 should be the default option.




    Gempalm Incinerator is the most common spotremoval of choice in Goblin lists and usually a 4-off. It trades 0 for 1 (in the worst case 0:0) with other creatures, can’t be counterered by ordinary countermagic, and even has a body to block/attack with. One should carefully count all Goblins in play (even Mutavault is a Goblin once in a while) and take opponent’s removal into account (which can decrease the number of Goblins in play while Gempalm’s ability is on the stack) before using cycling. Cycling is an activated ability that can be used at instant-speed. This means that, since it is an ability, not a spell, Force of Will and Daze won’t work on Cycling. Cards with cycling usually have an additional triggered ability printed on it, that triggers when you cycle the card (which is the case with thishere card).
    The problem with Gempalm Incinerator is, that you need a decent board position to effectively kill a targeted creature. In some MUs it is hardly possible to develop such a board position which means that you sometimes need removal spells that are dealing damage more reliably. Tarfire is an alternative for such situations (e.g. when most of the creatures in your metagame are power 2 or less and are to be dealt with immediately and reliably).
    Back when Stoneforge Mystic, Deathrite Shaman and Delver of Secrets didn’t exist at the same time, Lightning Bolt was the weapon of choice for the situation described above – and might even be an option in the future.
    Suggested reading about Lightning Bolt (and Tarfire for that matter), click here.
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Mogg Fanatic

    Goblin Sharpshooter is another common choice for Goblin decks. Sharpshooter helps in the mirror-match, against hordes of Elves and counters a lot of strategies that rely on x/1 creatures (oftentimes tokens), such as Thopter Foundry, Empty the Warrens, Elspeth, Bitterblossom and Lingering Souls. He also has interactions with SGC, Stingscourger and Mogg War Marshal. A card typically found alongside with Sharpshooter is Skirk Prospector (also as a 1-off). In the old thread we had an extended discussion about Skirk Prospector, approximately starting at page 282.
    Sparksmith is another, tap-for-damage-spell that you can use multiple times. The downsides are basically the same as with Gempalm Incinerator with the addition that your opponent will oftentimes see him coming. The fact that he eats your lifepoints has surprisingly little impact on the game, especially when you consider what you get in return.
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Lightning Crafter





    Stingscourger is a typical 1-off (or silverbullet), which gives you the flexibility to bounce huge blockers and go for the alpha strike. He is also a popular choice in fields where SneakShow decks are around, since it effectively counters their Show and Tell. Even Emrakul, isn’t protected against this card, as the spagetthi monster will be sent back by an ability, not by a spell. Another nice thing about this ‘removal’ spell is that it usually circumvents countermagic with Aether Vial or Cavern of Souls (or Show and Tell).
    If you want a card that actually handles large creatures permanently you are probably looking for Warren Weirding. It is only comparable to Stingscourger in that it is usually meant to handle the big guys, but other than that the cards are quite different in how you manage them during the game. That is Warren Weirding is usually not run instead of, but in addition to, Stingscourger.
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin Tunneler



    1-off artifact hate is commonly seen in Goblin-decklists today (and in past). The most important reason is (again) flexibility. Artifact hate in MD is basically never irrelevant because decks today are rarely artifact-free. The most prominent reason to run those so-called Shatter-Goblins is, of course, equipments. If your list is green, Tin Street Hooligan is an alternative to Tuktuk Scrapper
    Suggested reading on Tin Street Hooligan and Tuktuk Scrapper: Hot Topics of Vial Goblins
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin Tinkerer, Goblin Vandal





    Goblins also play a number of cards that are supposed to end the game immediately (or at the very least ‘snowball’ pretty fast). For a very long time, Siege-Gang Commander (SGC) was the post popular choice for this. Besides bringing 4 bodies into play, SGC can also throw your Goblins over a Moat, or break boardstates that are otherwise stalled. Its activated ability is also useful to prevent equipments like Batterskull and Umezawa’s Jitte from triggering their abilities. Ever since the printing of Krenko, there is a discussion about which one is better, or if they are just differently used while being on approximately the same power level. And that is really something you have to find out yourself, as there is no straight answer to this issue yet. As a rule of thumb you can say that the more ‘haste-lords’ your deck has, the more likely it is that Krenko is better than SGC in your list. Another, very viable option is Kiki-Jiki which gives you extra copies of the most essential Goblins in the deck: Matron and Ringleader, while he can also build up a critical boardposition with copies of Chieftain and Piledriver. And important ‘trick’ for Kiki-Jiki is to use his ability in your opponent’s turn after the “beginning of end step”. This way the copy will survive a whole turn, i.e. until your next endstep. The norm is to spare 2 slots on one or more of the creatures.
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Wort, Boggart Auntie, Beetleback Chief, Boggart Mob, Goblin Pyromancer


    III. The three subtypes of Vial-Goblins
    In the long history of Goblins, three decklists have been established. In the following section I will discuss them one by one and provide sample-decklists that are as close to the basic of the respective subtype as possible. That means: there is no recipe how to build these 3 arechtypes, neither is there a set-in-stone 60-cards-MD . The lists I present serve as examples to show the advantages and disadvantages of each subtype.

    a) Subtype 1: The CLASSIC Goblin deck
    10 Mountain
    4 Wasteland
    4 Rishadan Port
    4 Cavern of Souls

    16 Corecards (Vial, Lackey, Matron, Ringleader)

    4 Mogg War Marshal
    4 Goblin Piledriver
    4 Goblin Warchief
    4 Gempalm Incinerator
    2 Siege-Gang Commander

    1 Skirk Prospector
    1 Goblin Sharpshoorter
    1 Stingscourger
    1 Tuktuk Scrapper
    At first we are looking at the lands. The deck is monored and uses the full number of mana-denial lands. This has two important advantages. First, it is hard, if not impossible, for your opponent to mana-screw this deck as you have 10-14 red manasources, 10 of which are unaffected by any land destruction played in legacy, including Back to Basics and Bood Moon. Second, the lists is very good at punishing greedy, multicolored manabases – which will sometimes give you free wins just by tapping your lands. Another important element is the choice to play a full playset of Gempalm Incinerator, which goes hand in hand with 4 Mogg War Marshal. Gempalm Incinerator is, provided you have enough Goblins in play, the best removal spell available. It is uncounterable, it draws a card, it occasionally can be a creature and most importantly it is a Goblin. So why not play the best removal spell as a 4-off? Mogg War Marshal makes it possible. Mogg War Marshal works in perfect harmony with your manadenial: tapping lands with Rishadan Port can mean a timewalk – but only when you keep your opponents creatures in check. MWM does exactly that. Together they support a grindy strategy that gets the deck where it wants to be: turn 5. From that point on your card-advantage engine in form of Matron and Ringleader takes over to quickly outperform your opponent on all fronts: the hand and the board. Siege-Gang Commander is just another testament to the fact that the lategame will be yours and that you want to play grindy games, preferably with Aether Vial on turn 1. Those four cards I separated from the rest of the deck are silverbullets for your Matron-gun. Since your are going for the mid-and lategame it is essential to have answers to a variety of (un-)expected situations. After all this is legacy, which means that unexpected things will happen. Going for mid and lategame also has a huge drawback: this list is cold to basically any kind of fast combo deck.

    b) Subtype 2: The THALIA list
    3 Mountain
    4 Wasteland
    4 Rishadan Port
    4 Cavern of Souls
    2 Plateau
    4 Wooded Foothills
    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Karakas

    16 Corecards

    4 Mogg War Marshal
    3 Gempalm Incinerator
    3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    4 Goblin Warchief

    1 Goblin Piledriver
    1 Skirk Prospector
    1 Goblin Sharpshooter
    1 Stingscourger
    1 Tuktuk Scrapper
    1 Krenko, Mob Boss
    1 Siege-Gang Commander
    Another subtype of Goblins includes Thalia, Guardian of Thraben for at least two reasons. First, Thalia works well in combination with manadenial. Thalia is a perfect fit for the deck because most of the deck is unaffected by Thalia anyway, while many legacy decks have a high(er) spell density - so Thalia's effect is asymmetric. Second, Thalia makes the deck slightly better against fast combo decks, which are among our most problematic matchups. Another reason to include Thalia is that you want to play white cards anyway to meet metagame requirements. White offers many very strong sideboard cards like Rest in Peace and Wear/Tear. Thalia usually replaces Piledriver, and the lists sticks to Mogg War Marshal. This means that the focus is more on disrupting your opponent’s strategy rather than assaulting him in early game. The deck should also run 1 Karakas (as the 23rd land) which protects Thalia and Krenko from removal spells and protects you from Emrakul, and Griselbrand (Show & Tell decks). You will also notice that this list has cut Gempalm Incinerator to 3 copies, which is grounded in the fact that you are running fewer goblins than regular lists.

    c) Subtype 3: The WInstigator list
    11 Mountain
    4 Wasteland
    4 Cavern of Souls
    3 Chrome Mox

    16 Corecards

    4 Warren Instigator
    4 Goblin Piledriver
    4 Goblin Chieftain
    4 Tarfire

    2 Goblin Warchief
    1 Gempalm Incinerator
    1 Stingscourger
    1 Tuktuk Scrapper
    1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
    The two most defining elements of this list are Chrome Mox and Warren Instigator. Chrome Mox is not only used as a tool to dish out Warren Instigator on turn 1 (which effectively gives you 8 Goblin Lackeys, and who wouldn’t want that?). It also enables Goblin Chieftain/Warchief on turn 2 and Ringleaders as early as turn 3. It is essential to know which card to put under a Chrome Mox, which can be a real challenge on turn 1 or 2, but less so when you cast it later on. The combination of Winstigator, Chieftain and Chrome Mox makes the deck much more explosive and aggressive than the CLASSIC and the THALIA version. In contrary to those lists, WInstigator lists do not try to grind out games, but catch people off guard that can’t handle early aggression in form of Winstigators. The full playset of Piledrivers is a must. Chieftain is played in favor of Warchief because the cost reducing ability is less relevant: your list in general has more double-red manacosts (which is also a reason to cut Rishadan Ports) and you have Chrome Mox which partly makes up for the manaboost you want to get out of Warchief. A downside is that Chrome Mox creates card disadvantage, which you should usually be able to make up for. But still, there will be games where your opponent’s discard spells and the card you imprint for Chrome Mox add up to a critical degree. Another remarkable feature of those lists is that Gempalm Incinerators are cut to 2, sometimes even down to 0 copies. This is because the list is more focused on pushing through early Lackeys/Winstigators, and this strategy is best supported by reliable removal. In a world where 75% of the field is playing either Deathrite Shaman, and/or Stoneforge Mystic and/or Delver of Secrets Tarfire is more reliable than Gempalm Incinerator.

    IV. Matchups & Sideboarding

    A list of matchups and cards that are effective against the respective deck. This section will be updated regularly as the Decks to Beat change and as players are developing new strategies.
    Tier 1 = cards you should put in your SB when you want to prepare your list for the matchup; these cards have a huge impact on the matchup
    Tier 2 = cards you should board in if they are available; these cards can help you to gain some % postboard

    Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) & The Epic Storm (TES)
    Tier 1:Chalice of the Void, Eidolon of the Great Revel, Ethersworn Canonist, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Thorn of Amethyst, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Mindbreak Trap, Flusterstorm
    Tier 2: Earwig Squad, Surgical Extraction, Cabal Therapy, Grafdigger’s Cage, Relic of Progenitus, Leyline of the Void, Rest in Peace, Goblin Sharpshooter, Phyrexian Revoker, Null Rod
    Suggested reading about Leyline of the Void, click here.
    Cards you should NOT run instead:Extirpate Faerie Macabre, Rakdos Charm , Tormod’s Crypt, Nihil Spellbomb, Pyrostatic Pillar, Orim’s Chant, Silence, Inquisition of Kozilek, Duress

    Elves
    Tier 1: Grafdigger’s Cage, Chalice of the Void,Pyrokinesis, Goblin Sharpshooter, Perish, Nature’s Ruin
    Tier 2: Ethersworn Canonist, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Tin Street Hooligan, Tuktuk Scrapper

    Sneak Show
    Tier 1: Ashen Rider, Confusion in the Ranks, Cabal Therapy
    Tier 2: Earwig Squad, Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Swan Song, Stingscourger, Thorn of Amethyst, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Angel of Despair, Oblivion Ring, Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast

    Miracles
    Tier 1: Earwig Squad, Sulfuric Vortex, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Swan Song
    Tier 2: Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Cabal Therapy, Wear//Tear
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Choke, Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon

    Death & Taxes
    Tier 1: Tin Street Hooligan, Tuktuk Scrapper, Wear/Tear, Ancient Grudge, Pyrokinesis, Goblin Sharpshooter, Dread of Night
    Tier 2: Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Cabal Therapy, Dismember, Nature’s Claim
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Krosan Grip, Sulfur Elemental , Virtue’s Ruin, Anarchy

    UW(b) Blade
    Tier 1: Tin Street Hooligan, Tuktuk Scrapper, Wear/Tear, Ancient Grudge, Krosan Grip,
    Tier 2: Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Cabal Therapy, Nature’s Claim, Goblin Sharpshooter
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Meltdown, Shattering Spree, Shatterstorm, Pulverize, Seal of Cleansing, Virtue’s Ruin, Anarchy, Relic of Progenitus

    Patriot Delver
    Tier 1: Tin Street Hooligan, Tuktuk Scrapper, Wear/Tear, Ancient Grudge, Krosan Grip, Pyrokinesis
    Tier 2: Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Cabal Therapy, Nature’s Claim, Goblin Sharpshooter

    Canadian Threshold, (b)URG Delver
    Tier 1: Relic of Progenitus, Rest in Peace, Perish, Nature’s Ruin, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    Tier 2: Calice of the Void, Cabal Therapy, Pyroblast, Red Elemental Blast

    BUG Delver
    Tier 1: Relic of Progenitus, Rest in Peace, Boartusk Liege
    Tier 2: Perish, Nature’s Ruin, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Earwig Squad, Swang Song
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin King, Tormod’s Crypt

    Shardless BUG
    Tier 1: Relic of Progenitus, Rest in Peace, Boartusk Liege, Perish, Nature’s Ruin
    Tier 2: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Earwig Squad, Swang Song
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin King, Tormod’s Crypt

    Jund and Nic Fit
    Tier 1: Boartusk Liege, Relic of Progenitus, Rest in Peace, Perish, Nature’s Ruin
    Tier 2: Earwig Squad, Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, Dismember, Sulfuric Vortex



    V. Outside the Box

    This paragraph will focus on the future of the deck inasmuch that I hope to inspire people to test unconventional cardchoices and report their results.

    a) Already tested, bad cardchoices
    * Fecundíty
    * Goblin Guide
    * Brightstone Ritual (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Chaos Warp
    * Vexing Shusher
    * Volrath's Stronghold (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Mutavault (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Ancient Tomb (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Smoldering Spires (better cardchoices: any removal spell)
    * Soaring Seacliff (better cardchoices: any removal spell)
    * Basilisk Collar (better cardchoices: any removal spell)
    * Boros Charm (better cardchoices: any removal spell)
    * Deathrite Shaman (Reference)
    * Pestermite, Deceiver Exarch and Intruder Alarm (in combination with Kiki-Jiki (Reference)
    b) To-be-tested cards:
    * Caller of the Claw
    * Contested War Zone
    * Sensation Gorger
    * Summoning Trap
    * Tuktuk the Explorer
    * Bloodmark Mentor
    * Mirror Entity
    * Taurean Mauler
    * Battle Squadron
    * Fodder Launch
    * Murderous Redcap
    * Shrieking Mogg
    * Cover of Darkness
    * Pendelhaven
    * Rest in Peace + Helm of Obedience (sneaky sideboard-tech)
    * Root Maze

    V. Literature

    a) Tournament Reports

    2013
    * August 4th 2013, AlmostGrown, 4-2, Rg CLASSIC Goblins
    * August 28th 2013, jrw1985, 2-1 Rw THALIA Goblins
    * August 28th 2013, Sandro85, Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * September 1st 2013, max_goblin, 3-1, Mono R CLASSIC Goblins
    * October 13th 2013, GoboLord, 4-1, Rb WINSTIGATOR Goblins
    * October 20th 2013, ScatmanX, 3-1, Mono R CLASSIC with Chrome Moxen
    * October 21st 2013, max_goblin, 2-1, Mono R CLASSIC Goblins
    * October 26th 2013, magicmerl, Semifinals, Rw THALIA Goblins
    * November 11th 2013, jrw1985, 3-1, Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * November 17th 2013, ScatmanX, Top 8 at Brazil Nationals
    * November 23rd 2013, max_goblin, 2-2, Mono R CLASSIC Goblins
    * November 23rd 2013, prateta, 3-1, Rw CLASSIC Goblins
    * November 24th 2013, ScatmanX, 4-0, Rw RESTORATION Goblins
    * November 24th 2013, GoboLord, 4-1, Rb WInstigator Goblins
    * December 7th 2013, GoboLord, 4-1, Rb WInstigator Goblins
    * December 10th 2013, Sockosensei, 1-2, Rb Winstigator Goblins
    * December 17th 2013, cooljets, 1-3, Mono R CLASSIC Goblins
    * December 28th 2013, mrblueduck, 3 reports, 3 decklists
    * December 18th 2013, Sandro95, 3-1, Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * December 24th 2013, Dice_Box, 2-0-1, Rb BIDDING Goblins
    * December 28th 2013, Chatto, 3-2-1, Rw CLASSIC Goblins
    * December 30th 2013, GoboLord, 4-3, Rb WInstigator Goblins

    2014
    * January 9th , AlbyLegacy, 5-1, MonoR Goblins w/o manadenial
    * January 10th , Olaf Forkbeard,3-1, Rgw CLASSIC Goblins
    * January 10th , BaroqueW, 1-3, Rb WInstigator Goblins
    * January 13th , prateta, 3-3, Rw Goblins
    * January 15th , LeoCop 90, 3-3, Rg CLASSIC Goblins
    * January 17th , Olaf Forkbeard, 2-2, Rwg Purphoros Goblins
    * January 19th , Sandro95, 3-2, Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * January 23rd , BaroqueW, 2-2, Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * January 25th , Sandro95, 5-2-1, Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * February 2nd , jrw1985, 2-2, Rw THALIA Goblins
    * February 12th, BaroqueW, 2-2 Rb PURPHOROS Goblins
    * February 14th , Kayradis, 2-2 Rw CLASSIC Goblins
    * February 15th, Perfettini, 5-0-1 MonoR CLASSIC Goblins
    * February 20th, Sandro95, 3-1 Rb CLASSIC Goblins
    * February 21st, Thagaste, 6-3 MonoR CLASSIC Goblins
    * February 23rd, GoboLord, 1-4 Rb Winstigator Goblins
    * March 9th, Sandro95, 4-2-1, Rb CLASSIC
    * March 13th, woodjt, 4-0, Mono R CLASSIC
    * March 15th, Goblin Massage Parlor, 3-1, Rg CLASSIC
    * March 23rd, Raznaak, 1st, Rwb THALIA
    * March 25th, cooljets, 7-2, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * April 5th, OlegtheSuper, 1st, Rgw CLASSIC
    * April 26th, Olaf Forkbeard, 3-1, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * May 8th, Sandro95, 3-1, Rb CLASSIC
    * May 14th, ScatmanX, 3-1, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * May 15th, jrw1985, 3-3, Rgw Customized List
    * May 18th, GoboLord, 4-1, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * May 18th, Sandro95, 3-1, Rb CLASSIC
    * May 19th, Olaf Forkbeard, Rgw CLASSIC
    * June 7th, GoboLord, 1-3, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * June 7th, Wucherkater, 3-1, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * June 11th, Sandro95, 3-1, Rb CLASSIC
    * June 18th, Zombiesquisher, 3-1 Rb CLASSIC
    * June 22nd, GoboLord, 3-2, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * June 29th, Sandro95, 2-4, Rb CLASSIC
    * July 1st, dissy, 3-1, Rb Customized list
    * July 1st, zmayo 3-1, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * July 3rd, Sandro95, Rb CLASSIC
    * July 3rd, Vandalize, Rg WINSTIGATOR
    * July 22nd, cooljets, Rb WINSTIGATOR
    * August 2nd, jrw1985, Mono R Vial-less WINSTIGATOR

    b) Good Reads
    * 5 tricky Legacy interactions
    * Painting the Town REB
    * The performance of the "Average Decklist" by jrw1985
    * Analysis of successful goblin decklists, pt.1 by GoboLord
    * Hot Topics of Vial Goblins by GoboLord
    * Analysis of successful goblin decklists, pt.2, by GoboLord
    * Analysis of successful goblin decklists, final part, by GoboLord
    * Goblins Are Great But Haters Gonna Hate, by Kenny Dungar
    * No One Survives, by Necorgoblikon
    * Testing results (updated on a regular basis) by cronos
    * "JUDGE!" - More tricky Legacy interactions
    * "JUDGE!" - More tricky Legacy interactions Part 3


    Thank you for reading my primer,

    GoboLord
    Last edited by GoboLord; 08-06-2014 at 04:54 AM.
    Mountain Caverns, Lackey, Go.

    If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchanges our apples, we each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange our ideas, we each have two ideas.

  2. #2
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Nice work! I knew you'd end up doing a primer sooner or later!
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by GoboLord View Post
    [B][SIZE="5"]
    Untested cards
    * Ratchet Bomb
    * Sensation Gorger
    * Mad Auntie
    * Summoning Trap
    I tested:
    Ratchet Bombs, and they're not bad, but are just slow as hell. If someone wants to play them, need to play a 4off, otherwise it'll be just a bad topdeck.
    Mad Auntie, and it is a really good card, but depends heavely on the build. If you want to play it, 2-3 would be the number. It gives you "infinite" blockers, and you don't have to worry about losing your Piledriver when attacking.
    Summoning Trap, but only in a Food Chain build. Here it would be fun, but our sideboard is thit as it is already. It's awesome against Stax/Stompy (and Chalice of the Void) -> don't know if works though.

    You can include Slavering Nulls on the bad cards. It just not as good as any 2 drop we have acess to...
    Super Bizarros Team. Beating everything with small green dudes and big waves.

  3. #3

    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Thanks for posting the new primer. I think the effectiveness of Earwig Squad is being exaggerated vs storm combo though. The good storm decks in the format have 1 Tendrils plus 4 Burning Wish.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoboLord View Post
    [card]Earwig Squad[/card] is so far the only Goblin-shaped combohate. If he hits Tendrils-stormcombo decks he wins us the game one-handedly (most deck don’t run more than 3 combo-enablers). The drawback is obviously his relatively “high” cost, therefore he shouldn’t be the only hate we have.
    EDIT: Unless you're talking combo engines, in which case they still have Ad Nauseam and 4 Burning Wish, many also have IGG. It shouldn't ever single-handedly win the game.

  4. #4
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Very nice. Thanks Gobolord (and FoulQ, and ScatmanX). This has been a long time in coming.
    Quote Originally Posted by ktkenshinx View Post
    The Reserved List is a) not legally binding, b) antiquated, c) broken, and d) preventative of maximum game enjoyment. Wizards will remove as many cards from that list as possible to increase the fun of their game. Using market research, they can find a balance between printing enough cards to lower a price from $40 to $15-$20, and not utterly ruining their value. This will be both an economically feasible AND sensible move.
    -ktkenshinx-

  5. #5
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Doomsday View Post
    Thanks for posting the new primer. I think the effectiveness of Earwig Squad is being exaggerated vs storm combo though. The good storm decks in the format have 1 Tendrils plus 4 Burning Wish.
    Ari Lax took top 16 last SCG open with AdNausem Tendrils last weekend, with only 1 Tendrils for kill, 0 Wishes.
    I agree that Squad is way weaker against TES, but the deal is that it is still good against other archetypes, while being playable against TES too.
    Super Bizarros Team. Beating everything with small green dudes and big waves.

  6. #6
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Love the new primer and like the push for the new structure of decklists. Can a mod kill/archive the old thread and then rename this one without the 2.0? It makes it sound like its a new Goblins deck when really its just a new primer.
    Only the heroic and the mad follow mountain goat trails.

  7. #7
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    As a new player to Legacy/Goblins, this guide was very helpful. Since my last post got deleted for some reason, I'll say thanks again for all the good work.

    Thoughts (for anyone to answer):

    I like the new way of presenting decks as long as people agree on the core, which is pretty well-established (except for maybe the # of SGC). However, instead of doing math, maybe one could just post the new number if there are any changes, and the rest are assumed at 4 (or 2 in SGC's case)?
    eg:
    //Core [24]:
    3 Piledriver
    3 SGC
    ...

    Either way accomplishes the same thing, I just think it saves a step and makes listing/reading/comparisons even easier and more immediately understandable. I also would advocate ellipses at the end just for clarity.



    Is there ever a reason to run <4 Warchiefs?

    Is Chieftain mainly defensive as an answer to plague/clasm/spout/etc, or does he also have offensive utility significant enough for inclusion of 1-3? In other words, how does his usefulness vary when playing aggro vs playing control?

    tiny errors:
    [b]jrw1985[/i]
    [cards]Phyrexian Dreadnought[cards]
    [cards]Earwig Squad[/card]

    Auntie's Hovel vs Blood Crypt: Crypt is fetchable (sounds like a bad idea to me?), but Hovel is almost always free when you need her. Why is BC considered better?

    Can we add Goblin Wardriver to the list of bad cards?

    oh, I just realized the page numbers depend on your forum settings. That's why links in my email/the primer weren't working... silly me.

    lastly, perhaps a couple sample decklists, and matchup analyses/boarding suggestions?

    Thanks again for this.
    My currently-played decks (feedback welcome and appreciated!)
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  8. #8
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    i agree with Caspid above, a couple of sample deck lists should be presented. This can be the ones that finished first on the Legacy open last month.

    This can also serve as an 'ego-boost' for returning old gob players and an encouragement to new ones, that goblins is still damn relevant in the scene.

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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    I seen sometimes Goblin Settler its very rare but sometimes resonable choice in flexi slots as additional mana danial card. All lists with them also had Kiki to him. Probably its win more card but i see him as useful in some MU like Lands with Recurring Chasm.

  10. #10
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspid View Post
    Can we add Goblin Wardriver to the list of bad cards?
    I don't think we can do that right now. No one even tested him.
    When Mogg Warmarchall first came off, tons of people told it was bad. Now almost everyone plays him.
    There are also cards that only a couple of people play, like Frogtosser Banneret, but they have had good results with it (like Media12345).
    So I think it's a little early to say set it in stone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fatal View Post
    I seen sometimes Goblin Settler its very rare but sometimes resonable choice in flexi slots as additional mana danial card. All lists with them also had Kiki to him. Probably its win more card but i see him as useful in some MU like Lands with Recurring Chasm.
    Settler just look bad in so many way. If you could exemplify situations where you think it could be good by himself... but I doubt it could.
    Super Bizarros Team. Beating everything with small green dudes and big waves.

  11. #11
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    ... (reading before posting improvements is tech)

  12. #12
    Amen, brotha.
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Nice read.

    I think I might test Sensation Gorger when I get a chance, he looks like he has a lot of potential in the right build.
    I'm wondering, though. 1-of, 2-of, 3-of, 4-of? The build would definitely run as many Goblins as possible, meaning something like 22 Lands, 4 Vials, 34 Goblins.
    This looks like a job for me.

    Most of my posts will be written from my phone, so please excuse the eventual lack of proper typing.

  13. #13
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Nidd View Post
    Nice read.

    I think I might test Sensation Gorger when I get a chance, he looks like he has a lot of potential in the right build.
    I'm wondering, though. 1-of, 2-of, 3-of, 4-of? The build would definitely run as many Goblins as possible, meaning something like 22 Lands, 4 Vials, 34 Goblins.
    What exactly are you trying to improve when you want to test Sensation Gorger? Yes its card advantage for you (and your opponent) but with your proposed numbers, Ringleader should be enough right, especially if you can Matron it?
    I am convinced that WotC is "dumbing" the game because of all the stupid posts they come across on MTG-related forums
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    At the same time, I watch Royce Walters and Bryant Cook crush events in the northeast US with TES and it boogles my mind how they end up doing well consistently.
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  14. #14
    Amen, brotha.
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by (nameless one) View Post
    What exactly are you trying to improve when you want to test Sensation Gorger? Yes its card advantage for you (and your opponent) but with your proposed numbers, Ringleader should be enough right, especially if you can Matron it?
    I really don't know. Gorger has a backbreaking effect - when you untap wih him and flip a Goblin (which would happen in >50% of the times), your opponent will suddenly see his hand taken away from him and he gets handed 4 new cards - if he is a Control deck, he will likely have lost 1-2 cards and might have lost a bomb he had on his hand. If he's Aggro, you don't have to use the ability.
    Maybe one could use him instead of Chieftain, but their applications are quite different and I don' think comparing them is worth it.
    This looks like a job for me.

    Most of my posts will be written from my phone, so please excuse the eventual lack of proper typing.

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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by (nameless one) View Post
    What exactly are you trying to improve when you want to test Sensation Gorger? Yes its card advantage for you (and your opponent) but with your proposed numbers, Ringleader should be enough right, especially if you can Matron it?
    I think the most attractive thing about him ist that you can decide twice during his effect: First wether to look at the top card or not and then wether to reveal it or not.
    With the information about the top card you can make good decisions on paying Echocosts, ticking up your vial, using Volrath's Stronghold in upkeep, using a fetchland or not...
    You don't have to use it's effect all the time and that's excatly what makes him threatening for you opponent: he never knows how or IF to prepare for him.
    A nice trick would also be to bounce a creature via Stingscourger EOT and then let your opp discard his hand at the next upkeep.
    Mountain Caverns, Lackey, Go.

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  16. #16
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Sensation Gorger is pretty awesome in that with him in play you are basically drawing 5 cards a turn (4 from him, and 1 in your Draw step). Unfortunately he's also pretty expensive at 3cc, he doesn't contribute much on offense, has a pretty small butt so he's very burnable, his ability doesn't always work (I'm not adding Top for him), and he needs to be in play at the beginning of your upkeep, so he's pretty slow too. But the worst part is that he lets your opponent draw 4 new cards which greatly increases their chances of drawing their E Plague or Moat or that Propaganda they boarded in. Also, considering so much of Goblins' game is mana denial it seems that letting your opponent draw extra lands messes up your own strategy. Bottom line - Goblins has enough ways to draw cards without letting our opponent do the same. We don't need Sensation Gorger.

  17. #17
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    I think you might wanna add: Bloodmark Mentor. I think that he was already discussed in the old threat. He's a pretty good tutor target vs Merfolk and Elves (and maybe even the mirror).

    While we are brainstorming about Sensation Gorger... he has pretty neat synergy with Countryside Crusher.

  18. #18
    ..sry, whut? ◔̯◔
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Good job and thank to the new primer :)
    But small critics ^^
    -Id like to have 3 sample goblin lists there, too. A monoR, RG, RB Version. Also it would be nice to have a short introduction to the pro and cons of the different splashes.
    -The explanaition of WarrenWeirding is a little bit to negative imo, maybe you add the biggest pro. (kills emrakul, progenitus Iona and other tough creatures)
    -I found PlanarVoid always a good gh sb option for b splash. It completely shuts down every graveyard interaction, including goyf, its fast and can quickly be recast if bounced. Maybe you add that card :)
    -maybe some links to some of the card discussions we had, especially the whole combo sb stuff
    -no word about kikijiki vs sgc'? ^^
    -some iconic picture at the heading would pimp the primer :D
    Got tired of Legacy and you like drafts? Try my Paupercube What?

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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey View Post
    -Id like to have 3 sample goblin lists there, too. A monoR, RG, RB Version. Also it would be nice to have a short introduction to the pro and cons of the different splashes.
    My RB Goblins list


    // Deck file for Magic Workstation (http://www.magicworkstation.com)

    // Lands
    4 [R] Badlands
    4 [ON] Bloodstained Mire
    4 [MPR] Wasteland
    4 [ON] Mountain (3)
    3 [MM] Rishadan Port
    2 [ON] Wooded Foothills
    1 [ALA] Swamp (3)

    // Creatures
    3 [LE] Gempalm Incinerator
    4 [US] Goblin Lackey
    4 [7E] Goblin Matron
    4 [ON] Goblin Piledriver
    4 [AP] Goblin Ringleader
    4 [SC] Goblin Warchief
    2 [M10] Siege-Gang Commander
    1 [M10] Goblin Chieftain
    1 [CHK] Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
    1 [LRW] Wort, Boggart Auntie
    1 [ON] Goblin Sharpshooter
    4 [EVG] Mogg War Marshal

    // Spells
    4 [DS] AEther Vial
    2 [MOR] Warren Weirding

    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 [ON] Goblin Sharpshooter
    SB: 3 [6E] Perish
    SB: 3 [AL] Pyrokinesis
    SB: 3 [ALA] Relic of Progenitus
    SB: 2 [ON] Patriarch's Bidding
    SB: 3 [US] Meltdown


    SB is in flux at all times, depending on the meta I'm playing at. Also about to attempt a s green splash to deal with enchantments in my local meta, since no major tourneys are coming up. I'll post my 3 color list after this weekend when we brainstorm it.

  20. #20
    ..sry, whut? ◔̯◔
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    Re: [DTB] Vial Goblins 2.0

    Id put winning lists in the primer, but tanks for sharing ;)

    but..

    well its kind of a new/old discussion, but i actually dont see any benefits for rb atm

    the only black card the deck usually runs is weirdings which got cut down to 2 or even 1 (stingscourger fits the same role often)
    than it has very few sb slots that are superior to non splashes (perish vs kinesis and black gyhate vs artifacts)

    that is paid with lifeloss (fetches) and a weaker manabase (stifles/wastelands, pop)

    green has at least the always useful disenchateffect

    but really, id run monoR atm, even if it hurts me alot, cuz i got my rb pimped out


    my standard red build.gobbo


    // Lands
    4 [MM] Rishadan Port
    14 [CS] Snow-Covered Mountain
    4 [TE] Wasteland

    // Creatures
    4 [EVG] Gempalm Incinerator
    3 [M11] Goblin Chieftain
    4 [V09] Goblin Lackey
    4 [EVG] Goblin Matron
    4 [ON] Goblin Piledriver
    4 [EVG] Goblin Ringleader
    4 [EVG] Goblin Warchief
    2 [M10] Siege-Gang Commander
    3 [EVG] Mogg War Marshal
    2 [PLC] Stingscourger

    // Spells
    4 [V10] AEther Vial

    // Sideboard
    SB: 2 [HOP] Relic of Progenitus
    SB: 2 [M10] Pithing Needle
    SB: 2 [5E] Pyroblast
    SB: 2 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
    SB: 2 [ZEN] Mindbreak Trap
    SB: 3 [AT] Pyrokinesis
    SB: 2 [MR] Chalice of the Void
    Got tired of Legacy and you like drafts? Try my Paupercube What?

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