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Thread: [Deck] Vial Goblins

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    [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Vial Goblins Primer

    0. Update notes

    10:23 PM 5/24/2017
    * Updated several notes on the Matchups section, adding a few matches entirely.
    * Updated the Finisher Goblins section, in reference to Krenko, and Fatal Push.
    * Added Sandro's SB article to the literature section.
    * Added a stig on Skirk Prospector in the Staples section.

    9:49 PM 1/12/2017
    * Updated some notes on the Matchups section.

    I. Introduction
    a) History
    b) Strategy
    c) Why should I play Goblins?
    II. Maindeck
    a) Mana
    b) The Core
    c) Staples
    d) The Finisher Goblins
    III. The Two Faces of Vial-Goblins
    a) The Classic Goblin Deck
    b) The Winstigator List
    IV. Matchups & Strategy
    a) Matchups
    b) Sideboarding
    V. Outside the Box
    a) Already tested, bad cardchoices
    b) To Be Tested Cards
    c) Tested, Niche Potential
    VI. Literature
    a) Goblin Related
    b) Legacy Related
    c) General Magic Theory
    VII. Final Addendum


    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 most dominant decks in the format. The deck gradually lost it's dominant position with the power-creep that creatures since the Ravnica block are experiencing. 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 Goblin Ringleader and Siege-Gang Commander, other creature-based strategies were able to just play with any combination of 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 come back for Vial Goblins.

    Additionally this thread itself has some history.
    The First Thread.
    The Second Thread.

    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, Goblin 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 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 TWO "stock-lists" all of which have a different strategy and perform differently against the field. This makes it hard for your opponents to get a good grasp on the deck. Next, Goblins is a very old deck and many newer players won't know how to play against it. The deck has a lot of play to it. It is very easy to play the deck wrong, but many of these less than perfect lines can lead to game win. It's similar to Affinity in Modern in this regard, but these decisions come in the mid-game instead of the early game. That is not to say that the deck is so strong that it will beat many decks while your brain is on 'standby-mode'. Furthermore there is a ton of decisions to be made during the deck building process, and they matter as much as your game play. 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).

    If you enjoy a Midrange strategy that is a bit on the lean side, that has acceptable control AND combo elements to it, this deck is for you.

    II. The Maindeck

    a) Mana



    Let's talk about mana first. Goblins is a very mana hungry deck which needs to be provided with lands in the first three turns to ensure a fast and solid start. The high manacosts of cards like Goblin Ringleader and mana consuming abilities like those of Rishadan Port "force" us to play a number of mana sources: 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 advise to run 23 actual lands.
    Mana-denial is an important part of Goblins' gameplan. So what do we do when we are flooding? We attempt to cause our opponent to drought, or screw. 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': Mishra's Factory, Mutavault and Creeping Tar Pit
    * Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
    * Grove of the Burnwillows (in combo with Punishing Fire)
    Cavern of Souls is an auto-include in every Goblin deck list. The default number if 4 copies. This card simply does so much for the deck, and it does it in a very subtle way.
    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 dual lands to support your splash color. 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. By default you should build your deck mono-red. Only if you need certain cards (mostly SB cards) that are not red or colorless, you can think about splashing colors.
    Other prominent utility lands in Goblins are Pendelhaven (which protects Lackey from Punishing Fire and pumps it to get past early blockers like Deathrite Shaman and Delver of Secrets) and Karakas (which protects your own legendaries like Krenko, Mob Boss and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker; and bounces legendaries commonly played in Legacy, like Iona, Shield of Emeria and Griselbrand).

    b) The Core



    AEther Vial
    AEther Vial is one of the reasons why the deck can run such high CMC creatures. Oftentimes AEther Vial is ticked up every round, whereas one should carefully consider adding more than three counters.
    Did you know that?
    AEther 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 main phase and we control Vial with 2 counters on it (@2) – we have a Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Piledriver, and Goblin Ringleader on our hand and we want to cheat all of them through our opponent's counterspells. Actually we must leave AEther Vial @ 2 for two rounds to do that. At the end of our opponent's turn we tap it to bring in the 2 drop. 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 4 drop that is waiting in our hand.

    Goblin Lackey
    Cavern of Souls naming Goblin, Goblin Lackey, Go – is one of the best T1-play our deck has. His threatening, triggered ability enables fast and aggressive starts, even turn-3-kills. On the other hand he 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 gets 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
    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.

    Goblin Ringleader
    Sometimes Goblin Ringleader just reads "draw 4 cards". Goblin 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! Every time 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.


    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



    Goblin Warchief / Goblin Chieftain
    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 'haste lords' Goblin Warchief and Goblin Chieftain, whereas Goblin Warchief is the more popular choice due his explosive ability, Goblin Chieftain tends to be a nod to Deathrite Shaman and other Squires.
    Suggested reading about Warchief and Chieftain: here.
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin King, Mad Auntie, Goblin Wardriver, Frogtosser Banneret, Goblin Lookout

    Goblin Piledriver
    Goblin 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. He supports aggressive strategies and 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 in their decklists, for starters 4 should be the default option. I am in favor of 4 copies as well, as long as you are not expecting to face a ridiculous amount of non-blue creatures.

    Mogg War Marshal
    Mogg War Marshal is the best ancillary effect the deck has access to. It does exactly 1 thing, and that's put some goblins into play. This has a huge ripple affect across the course of a game: coupled with mana denial and their own ability to just chump for little loss, many creature based decks can be time walked while you set up mana and Vial in creatures; Gempalm becomes inherently more powerful due to the goblin count; and it puts you in a good spot against spot removal. I often joke that "Mogg War Marshal is the glue that holds the deck together." This glue comes at a cost though, and that's against Combo. Many of the creatures in here can battle, and battle rather quickly when unchecked, such as against a creatureless combo deck, but War Marshal is not one of them. 2-4 are very common numbers to see on this card.

    Gempalm Incinerator
    Gempalm Incinerator is the most common spot removal 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 countered 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 Incinerator'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 this card).
    The problem with Gempalm Incinerator is, that you need a board state to 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). Additionally Pyrokinesis, a card often in the sideboard of Goblins, is a fine card in the maindeck as well.
    By default you should play 3 copies of Gempalm Incinerator.
    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
    Goblin Sharpshooter is another common choice for Goblin decks. He 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 Young Pyromancer, Monastery Mentor, Empty the Warrens, every elf but the good one. He also has interactions with Skirk Prospector and echo cards like Mogg War Marshal and Stingscourger. 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

    Skirk Prospector
    Skirk Prospector is an unnassuming little guy. That does way more than he looks like.

    1) He's a sacrifice source. This allows you to dodge counters from Umezawa's Jitte, and / or lifegain from combat with Batterskll, or Griselbrand. Simply sacrifice your creature after blocks are declared.

    2) Prospector produces red mana. This is something that traditional lists actually can have a hard time doing. The power of Wasteland, Rishadan Port, and Cavern of Souls are usually worth the loss in casting consistancy for Tarfire, and Gempalm Incinerator. This can come up in games where you can only use AEther Vial as mana source.

    3) He is ramp. At his worst, Wild Cantor casts Goblin Warchief, a very important type of card for our deck, on turn 2. Sometimes he produces a lot of mana. Frankly, he enables the most powerful lines available to the deck with this ability. Sometimes you just get to play "everything" into a powerful, hasty, Goblin Piledriver chain for lethal.

    4) Goblin Sharpshooter loves this guy. With both out you gain a very powerful form of board control. The rest of your deck just has a pile of synergy by being able to be sac'd to cause Sharpshooter to either remove all of your opponents threats, make them unable to attack, or just outrite kill the enemy player (through a Moat if you are fancy).

    Cards you should NOT run instead: There really is no other comparison here.

    Stingscourger
    Stingscourger is a typical 1-off (or silver bullet), which gives you the flexibility to bounce huge blockers and go for the alpha strike. He is also a popular choice in fields where Sneak & Show and Reanimate decks are around, since it effectively counters their effect. Even Emrakul, the Aeons Torn isn't protected against this card, as the spaghetti 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.
    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



    Tin Street Hooligan / Tuktuk Scrapper
    1-off artifact hate is commonly seen in Goblin deck lists. The most important reason is 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, equipment. If your list is green, Tin Street Hooligan is a cheaper alternative to Tuktuk Scrapper. Many players simply have the green splash for this card, as Legacy is a fast format.
    Suggested reading on Tin Street Hooligan and Tuktuk Scrapper: Hot Topics of Vial Goblins
    Cards you should NOT run instead: Goblin Tinkerer, Goblin Vandal

    d) The Finisher Goblins

    Finisher goblins are the the most impactful creatures the deck can afford to play. These guys usually have an immediate impact on the board and most importantly are must answers from the opponent's point of view due to how fast they tend to end games or accrue advantage. These guys are parity breakers.

    You do not need to run them to win a game, and some have eschewed them in certain metas. But Goblin Matron's consistency makes it very tempting to run 1 or more of some of these cards due to their game ending abilities.



    Siege-Gang Commander
    Siege-Gang Commander was, and perhaps is, the most commonly seen finisher goblin for the deck. At the cost of 5 mana it's hard to run more than 1 or 2 of him, but he hands down gives the most consistent bang for your buck. He creates an instant board state. An early Goblin Lackey putting this guy into play usually puts your opponent so far behind, even if they deal with it, they've spent so many resources the game tends to fall in your favor. He is one of the best available top decks in the late game as he can put you from a losing board to either parity, or close, immediately. He also facilitates a couple of the turn 3 kills available to the deck. But he is more than that, he is also a re-usable removal spell. The cost of paying 2 mana and a goblin to shock target creature or player is the other powerful affect he presents. This kills numerous X/2's in the format, in addition to figuratively lobbing Goblins over a Moat as a way to finish the game without combat damage. Just like Mogg War Marshal he is also rather "good" against spot removal as killing the Commander leaves you with 3 Goblin tokens.

    AEther Vial does very little on 5 other than put this man into play though, and this reason alone is why many players eschew him. Additionally he's simply not as powerful as some other options. He requires a mana investment to gain full use, and sometimes he's simply 4 chumps.

    This card does many of the things the deck already wants to be doing, and he does most of it "alone." He is a solid, conservative, choice.

    Krenko, Mob Boss
    Krenko, Mob Boss is one of the other common finisher goblins for the archetype. His ability to put so many tokens into play is by far, and large, one of the more powerful things you can be doing with a Goblin card. His natural resilience to Abrupt Decay, Disfigure, and to some extent Golgari Charm, are some of the main reasons people run the Boss. Many goblin pilots run an increased amount of "Haste Lords" to make sure that he can tap the turn he enters the battlefield. A hasty field with Krenko, Mob Boss can end a game in very, very short order. It should be noted that he is one of the best available tools against Midrange strats such as Shardless and Eldrazi.

    His biggest downside is his weakness to all sorts of 1 mana answers (Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshares, Fatal Push. He does nothing the turn he comes in, unless you have a haste lord out. Therefore those spells can be Time Walk for 1 mana. Since he does not naturally have haste, it's possible he may die before putting any goblin tokens into play. Additionally if you very few, or just Krenko, Mob Boss in play his first activation might not be enough to change the current game in a meaningful way. The last thing to be wary of when running this finisher is his Legendary status. He can be hit by Karakas, and over the course of a larger tournament, probably will be.

    His raw power level is pinning the needle to the edge of the meter, and ends games very, very quickly. But he is bit more vulnerable. At the cost of 4 mana this turns some people off of using him.

    Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
    Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is another Legendary Goblin who's fairly unique ability put's him up as a contender for a Finisher Goblin. Pilots running this finisher are able to boast some of the best card draw available in Legacy as re-abusing the already powerful Goblin Matron and Goblin Ringleader pushes the deck right past cards like Ancestral Visions. Pretty much every goblin that see's play in the deck is worth copying for one reason or another. Multiple Goblin Chieftains push the deck past most blockers, multiple Goblin Lackeys mean more cards put into play for free etc. He is often run alongside Warren Instigator as those builds of the deck tend to be more aggressive and can take the most advantage of the effect. Not to mention his ability with Goblin Settler can cause a total lock-out in some scenarios. He also facilitates a couple of the turn 3 kills available to the deck. He is vaguely resilient to removal if there is any goblin in play worth copying. Thanks to him naturally having haste, it would take 2 pieces of instant speed spot removal to blank him entirely. An important 'trick' for Kiki-Jiki is to use his ability in during a player's end step. After the "beginning of end step" make a copy of a creature and it will stick around until the next "beginning of end step". This way the copy will survive a whole turn. Do it during your own end step to have an extra blocker, or during your opponents for another attacker.

    Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is rather lackluster on an empty board or one with only tokens. The cost of 2 generic 3 red mana to cast him is nothing to scoff at either, as many lists run Wasteland and Rishadan Port. Since Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is a Legendary creature he has a built in weakness to Karakas, but his natural haste mitigates this some. And lastly an AEther Vial at 5 tends to be turned off for the remainder of a game.

    This finisher generates game winning advantages very quickly, but he is ultimately a 2/2, and doesn't really work when you have low board presence.

    Honorable Mentions

    Some lists run more unorthodox methods to break parity and win though. Just running a high number of Goblin Chieftain naturally helps this for instance.

    Earwig Squad runs a double role of being a rather large creature with a good anti-combo / anti-tutor package ability. This guy is usually run as a combo hoser. He is being mentioned here mostly because he tends to take up the slot of a finisher goblin.

    Grenzo, Dungeon Warden can accrue a lot of advantage and can be large, but is very mana intensive, and a little inconsistent. He can be played as a small or large creature at your convenience of mana. He has some anti-synergy with Goblin Ringleaders ability.

    Goblin Pyromancer ends games. One way or another someone is losing. The issue is that he is not very castable unless you have a sacrifice source (so you don't lose your board), or you are killing your opponent right now. This makes him very polarizing and inconsistent. Once upon a time he was used as tech in the mirror match, as he destroys all Goblins in play.



    III. The Two Faces of Vial-Goblins



    In the long history of Goblins, two 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 two archetypes, 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) Face 1: The Classic Goblin Deck

    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 mana sources, 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 mana bases – which will sometimes give you free wins just by tapping your lands. Another important element is the choice to play a higher number of Gempalm Incinerator, which goes hand in hand with 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? Mogg War Marshal makes it possible. Mogg War Marshal works in perfect harmony with your mana denial: tapping lands with Rishadan Port can mean a Time Walk – 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 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 late game 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 silver bullets for your Matron-gun. Since your are going for the mid-and late game 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 late game also has a huge drawback: this list is not as consistent at racing, making this list worse against combo.

    b) Face 2: The Winstigator List

    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 / Goblin Warchief on turn 2 and Goblin 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 the Mox makes the deck much more explosive and aggressive than the Classic 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 Goblin Piledrivers is a must. Goblin Chieftain is played in favor of Goblin 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 / shave onRishadan Ports) and you have Chrome Mox which partly makes up for the mana boost you want to get out of Goblin 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 Goblin Lackey effects, 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. Pendelhaven has recently proven to be a good card for Winstigator-lists for it's ability to get past Squires.


    IV. Matchups & Strategy (7:12 AM 12/8/2016)

    a) Matchups

    In this section I will present my view on a number of relevant MUs as well as some suggestions how to play them right. I will try to update this regularly, but please keep in mind the date when I last edited the list. Also, this is but one view that is presented here, so please feel free to test the MUs yourself and work out strategies that are different from what I am presenting here.
    I am using the following five "ratings" for MUs.
    (1) Favorable: most iterations of Goblins will have good chances of winning against most iterations of the deck in question. Usually you don't need to reserve any SB cards for this MU.
    (2) Slightly Favorable: your chances of winning range from even to good, depending on your version of the deck as well as some SB cards
    (3) Even: generally chances are evenly distributed. Sometimes the outcome of this is MU decided by certain MD or SB cards that you, or your opponents, are playing. Also, skill and experience will be a relevant factor.
    (4) Slightly Unfavorable: your list will need some specific tuning to win this MU. SB cards can turn the tides and drag the odds down to 50%. These MUs are usually what you need your SB cards for.
    (5) Unfavorable: most iterations of your opponents deck will have good chances of beating yours. In some cases you can dedicate a lot of SB cards to make this MU even, but sometimes it is better to accept that you can't beat every deck.


    Grixis Delver – Even
    How the matchups works: Grixis Delver is a tempo deck first, and a midrange deck second. If it can it will try to win the game with an early Delver of Secrets or Deathrite Shaman backed with the lategame power of Young Pyromancer and Gurmag Angler. They are a 3 color deck splashing green for a tiny amount of SB options plus the shaman. The big thing to worry about here is the Black Spells. Deathrite Shaman, Cabal Therapy, and Gurmag Angler are the cards that do the most damage. Therapy makes holding Goblin Ringleader look worse. Deathrite Shaman makes the deck very resiliant to actual mana denial, and is excellent during board stalls (not to mention it's Goblin Lackey stopping power). Gurmag Angler is their true "finisher" against us. The card is bigger than most of our removal, and despite delve cards being "bad" against Stingscourger, it is only a tempo play, not a solution. That said if you can manage to take out their black mana the deck ceases to function in a way that is scary, and is merely a tempo deck. They have a really rough time recouping card advantage sans SB Painful Truths; sticking a Goblin Ringleader, or a finisher goblin do a ton of work here. The fastest way to lose is to let a Gurmag Angler come down when unready, you need chumps for this match. The game is won generally when the fish and the shaman don't do what they were intended to do. Prioritize stopping that. Post board they actually bring in red or black pseudo wipes (Toxic Deluge, Fire Covenant, Electrickery) and whatever spot removal they have over their counterspells. They could also have Umezawa's Jitte or Darkblast, as a heads up. It's also possible to run into builds that run Snapcaster Mage over Young Pyromancer as additional information.
    Which version to pick: Their deck operates well with a small amount of mana. In addition to that, grinding out games is not necessary. For these reasons the two major strength of the Classic version don't carry weight. The Winstigator list should be your version of choice, as it brings a very strong early game.
    Cards that support this strategy: Warren Instigator, Goblin Chieftain, Tarfire, Gempalm Incinerator, Finisher Goblins
    Meaningful SB cards: Pyrokinesis, Goblin Sharpshooter, Blood Moon, Carpet of Flowers (on the draw)
    Red Herrings: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (they will aggressively Wasteland you, and if possible shut down AEther Vial, making her hard to get out in the mid-game)

    Sneak & Tell – Slightly Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: This is the most popular, and best performing, version of Show & Tell right now. Get a Stingscourger or Goblin Matron on your hand as quickly as possible, as this will effectively shut down the creature half of Show and Tell. They are more likely to get you in Game 1 than normal just Sneak & Show due to the spell based combo portion of their deck, but in turn the deck became a bit clunkier and can fall to itself a bit more often. Post board bring in all of your hate for both archetypes and rely on them having the creature portion, as it's 2/3s of their wins. You should be wary of Kozilek's Return in this match, via Cunning Wish. Take note that it is indeed an instant.
    Which version to pick: Winstigator's strength is to end the game in a timely fashion, while the classic list has additional manadenial to delay the mana intense win conditions of Sneak Attack and Through the Breach. They are close to even.
    Cards that support this strategy: Stingscourger, Goblin Matron, Chrome Mox, Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver, Rishadan Port
    Meaningful SB cards: Everything that works against either version is good here. Cards that hit both are great. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Red Elemental Blast, Demystify Effects, Cabal Therapy, etc. Confusion in the Ranks / Ashen Rider also do the job wonderfully, but are very, very narrow.

    Sneak & Show – Slightly Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: Get an Stingscourger or Goblin Matron in your hand as quickly as possible, as this will effectively shut down Show and Tell. The only card really left to care about is Sneak Attack. As with other combo decks, your plan is to kill them as fast as possible. Due to their lack of interaction with your setup (other than a little countermagic) you can usually go all-in. After Game 1 they will bring in some Pyroclasm / Sudden Shock, and possibly Through the Breach (which work as additional copies of Sneak Attack). Your gameplan doesn't change much though, only will you replace your spot removal with some hate cards. Generally speaking you have an easy time with Show and Tell and a poor time with Sneak Attack. This match ends up being rough as you basically have to play into their SB Pyroclasms to kill them fast enough. If they happen to be running Sudden Shocks instead you are way better off.
    Which version to pick: Winstigator's strength is to end the game in a timely fashion, while the classic list has additional manadenial to delay the mana intense win conditions of Sneak Attack and Through the Breach. They are close to even.
    Cards that support this strategy: Stingscourger, Goblin Matron, Chrome Mox, Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver, Rishadan Port
    Meaningful SB cards: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Pithing Needle, Red Elemental Blast, Cabal Therapy, extra Stingscourgers matter a lot here. Confusion in the Ranks / Ashen Rider also do the job wonderfully, but are very, very narrow.

    Omnitell – Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: This plays out similarly to Storm variants, but slower. You generally don't have a mainboard out to them going off. They still run Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, so you need to respect that card coming down in the first few turns, but ultimately they are trying to get an Omniscience into play to win with Cunning Wish. They have access to their SB game 1 so be wary of Kozilek's Return or Sudden Shock off of an end of turn Cunning Wish.
    Which version to pick: Both are poor in the match, but Winstigator is faster against an empty board.
    Cards that support this strategy: Stingscourger, Goblin Matron, Chrome Mox, Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver, Rishadan Port
    Meaningful SB cards: Red Elemental Blast, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Mindbreak Trap, Demystify Effects, Cabal Therapy. Confusion in the Ranks / Ashen Rider also do the job wonderfully, but are very, very narrow.

    Storm Combo - ANT (Ad Nauseum Tendrils) – Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: You can steal games by killing them on turn 3 or 4. However, your lack of disruptive elements usually makes you an easy target. When you evaluate your opening hands you should aim for a kill on turn 3 or 4. Every piece of hate should delay your opponent by at least 1 turn. If it doesn't then don't play it. Accept the idea of being killed on turn 1 or 2 without any interaction.
    Which version to pick: Neither version will have good times here. Winstigator lists are better equipped here as they are more likely to pull off turn-3 kills. Also, Chrome Mox helps casting hate pieces one turn earlier than usual.
    Cards that support this strategy: Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver
    Meaningful SB cards: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Mindbreak Trap, Discard Spells, Chalice of the Void, Thorn of Amethyst, Cabal Therapy, Grafdigger's Cage and less spectacularly Relic of Progenitus.
    Red Herrings: Surgical Extraction is 100% playable, but ultimatley worse than Grafdigger's Cage, and Relic of Progenitus, here as they do run Threshold cards in addition to Past in Flames.

    BUG Delver – Slightly Unfavorable to Even
    How the matchups works: Delver of Secrets, Deathrite Shaman and True-Name Nemesis will try to deal unblockable damage to your lifepoints while Tarmogoyf, Hymn to Tourarch, and Liliana of the Veil will try to eat your resources so that you can't handle their damage output. The rest of their deck is largely irrelevant as you can usually ignore their countermagic. Also their deck is light on removal spells so, unless you need to throw your creatures into a Tarmogoyf or Liliana, every creature that hits the board, stays on the board. Your plan is to create a large enough card advantage, while killing Delver of Secrets and Deathrite Shaman as early as possible. As with other tempo-decks, try to avoid unfavorable trades. In the long run your deck has a better stamina. At the same time you need to close out games fast enough, because their unblockable damage can stack up really fast and put your life total in lethal range. This match's difficulty relates almost directly to the number of Hymn to Tourach's they are running. It is not uncommon to see Stifle, or Leovold, Emissary of Trest during a game, so be prepared for that.
    Which version to pick: The Classic version should have easier times surviving the early game. Just don't focus too much on using your manadenial, but make sure to get some value on the board. The Winstigator list will be better at closing out games and switching from the control role to beatdown mode. However, as with Shardless BUG, Hymn to Tourarch and Liliana of the Veil hit you harder when playing with Chrome Mox.
    Cards that support this strategy: Mogg War Marshal, Tarfire, AEther Vial, Goblin Piledriver, Krenko, Mob Boss
    Meaningful SB cards: Relic of Progenitus, Rest in Peace, Carpet of Flowers (effectively more AEther Vials)
    Meaningful SB cards: Pyrokinesis, Goblin Sharpshooter, Blood Moon, Carpet of Flowers
    Red Herrings: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (they will aggressively Wasteland you, and if possible shut down Vial, making her hard to cast in the mid-game)

    Elves – Slightly Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: In game 1 they are clearly favored. On the way of assembling one of their combo kills they can block the board with a bunch of 1/1 creatures and gain value with untaps, mana abilities and bouncing their own creatures (like Elvish Visionary). Their most effective enablers are Wirewood Symbiote, Quirion Ranger, and Heritage Druid – so usually you should kill one of these first. It is very rare that you can slowly build up an advantage that you can ride to victory. The MU tends to come down to whether or not you can wipe their board with clean with Pyrokinesis, Goblin Sharpshooter, or Perish, so your strategy should support finding one of these.
    Which version to pick: The Winstigator list is the better choice as it support your plan of finding (and casting) board sweepers better. Also, with Warren Instigator you have a double strike creature that can engage in combat situations more easily.
    Cards that support this strategy: Chrome Mox, Warren Instigator, Tarfire
    Meaningful SB cards: Goblin Sharpshooter, Pyrokinesis, Perish, Mindbreak Trap, Pithing Needle, Cabal Therapy, Grafdigger's Cage
    Red Herrings: Chalice of the Void (They run main board shatters, and are actually capable of handling this relatively easily by morphing creatures, and using Green Sun's Zenith for a higher than average CMC. If you have it, still bring it in, but don't rely on it for the win.) Also Pithing Needle should probably just name Wirewood Symbiote. It powers everything their deck wants to do, and I've seen them go to some heavy lengths to get the card active again.

    Esper Stoneblade – Even to Favorable
    How the matchups works: As with all equipment based deck, you must be able to handle their package of Umezawa's Jitte, and often Sword of Fire and Ice. This IS the reason goblin lists run 1 shatter goblin in their maindeck. The majority of their deck is a control list, so you are favored when the equipment doesn't matter, and a properly built deck should have sufficient answers to the equipment. Remember Skirk Prospector can negate Umezawa's Jitte counters, and lifegain from Batterskull. Things get harder when True-Name Nemesis lands, but their deck is rather clunky and will often just give you enough time to race with Goblin Piledriver. Post board they will bring in removal and most notably Toxic Deluge, or Zealous Persecution. Try not to get blown out. Just kill or Pithing Needle the Stoneforge Mystic, or your specific issues, and the rest of the match should just be about True-Name Nemesis. Leave in 2-3 Goblin Piledrivers here, as it runs past a TNN.
    Which version to pick: Both versions will do equally well.
    Cards that support this strategy: Tarfire, Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Sharpshooter
    Meaningful SB cards: Shatter Affects, Pithing Needle, Pyrokinesis, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (They are ultimately a control deck with fewer Wastelands.)
    Red Herrings: Blood Moon (They are a 3 color deck with several basic lands.)

    Unexpected Miracles – Favorable
    How the matchups works: This, just like the original Miracles deck, is a breeze. The scary things to watch out for is a late game Entreat the Angels or an early game Monastery Mentor. Other than that you can just grind as hard as you like and come out ahead in the long run. Don't over commit and keep socking them for 2-4 a turn. They don't have Sensei's Divining Top, as it was banned, and therefore don't have Counterbalance. This does actually make the match-up a tad harder as their maindeck is almost entirely interaction.. but 2-3 of them are the card Counterspell, which we beat rather easily. Watch out for SB Supreme Verdict, or more likely a surprise Containment Priest, along with more Vendillion Cliques. It's also not impossible to see Back to Basics, if your build would care about it.
    Cards that support this strategy: Goblin Matron, Goblin Ringleader, Rishadan Port, Finisher Goblins
    Meaningful SB cards: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, maybe a Pithing Needle for Jace, the Mind Sculptor

    UR Delver – Favorable
    How the matchups works: This is generally a fast match-up as their deck's end game is to burn you out. They will probably gain the upper hand early due to their supremely effecient creatures, but you will get back on your feet due to raw card advantage at some point. Dealing with their first threat is often the most important thing you can do in the match-up. Treat Prowess creatures like Infect creatures and try to kill them at any point that isn't before combat on their turn. Even if they have a follow up creature, this usually buys enough time to get on board. Chump block aggressively, even if you are not trading. Drag the game out as long as possible. Goblin Matron and Goblin Ringleader will pull you ahead at the end, and Rishadan Port closes the door on them. Pyrokinesis is very, very good in this match. Post board they will often have a Pithing Needle / Null Rod and perhaps something similar to Rough // Tumble. Be aware of the presence of Price of Progress in this match. Even though I believe it is correct for them to board it out, they often leave it in due to either inexperience or lack of having things to board in.
    Cards that support this strategy: Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Matron, Goblin Ringleader, Gempalm Incinerator.
    Which version to pick: Both are good, but the classic list is particularly good at preying on this deck's strategy. The games you lose should be the games they played JUST like a burn deck.
    Meaningful SB cards: Pyrokinesis, Any other Kill Spell, Chalice of the Void
    Red Herrings: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. This card has a very strange affect on the match. In some games she wins it for you by a mile, and in others it's her fault you lost to Price of Progress. The better your opponent, the better this card becomes, due to them boarding out Price of Progress. I find that I just don't bother bringing it in.

    Bant Stoneblade – Even
    How the matchups works: Stoneforge Mystic + mana dorks + True-Name Nemesis / leovold, Emissary of Trest complimented with Daze and Force of Will. This plays out very similar to Maverick, where in denying their mana dorks does a lot of work throughout the game. The game one is usually determined by who has the mana advantage. If your AEther Vial works and / or their dorks die, then the match slows down to our favorable card advantage. Obviously on the converse if they drop dork, into TNN, into equipment we are in a rough spot, but the game one has them hindered by their pile of countermagic. Leave in your Goblin Piledrivers here, as a portion of their creature base is simply blue. We bring in Pyrokinesis, and equpment hate. The second game is trickier as they have access to Zealous Persecution, which can blow us out mid combat, and they board in a host of hate bear style creatures, just for board clogging. You have better card advantage in the long run, so just play tight and get to Goblin Ringleadering.
    Cards that support this strategy: Tarfire, Gempalm Incinerator, Goblin Sharpshooter, Shatter affects.
    Meaningful SB cards: Shatter affects, Pithing Needle, Pyrokinesis, (They are ultimately a control deck with fewer Wastelands.)
    Red Herrings: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (They run a pile of Wasteland).
    Last edited by Olaf Forkbeard; 05-25-2017 at 01:09 AM. Reason: Updates
    If I edit a post without an explanation, I am just correcting typos and / or formatting.
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    [Deck] Vial Goblins

    BR Reanimator – Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: This surprisingly consistant deck can reanimate on turn 1. In game 1 you can get lucky and have Stingscourger in your opening hand and they didn't reanimate a creature that you can't bounce (Iona#Red or Sphinx of the Steel Wind). However, this scenario will only buy you some time and doesn't mean that you win. For G2 you can bring in all of your graveyard hate and/or combo hate, while they won't get any more dangerous than they already are. Tin Fins is a faster version of the Reanimator deck, but comes at the cost of folding to hate a bit harder. Multiple Stingscourgers are very, very good here.
    Which version to pick: If anything you can expect that the Winstigator list is better for this MU, but neither version will have good chances of winning.
    Cards that support this strategy: Stingscourger, Warren Weirding, Chrome Mox, Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver
    Meaningful SB cards: any graveyard hate, Cabal Therapy, Chalice of the Void. Graveyard hate that works on their turn 1 is at a premium here, as the deck gets lots of free wins from just going off before you get to do anything. Surgical Extraction and Faerie Macabre being the best available for our deck, as they can come in in other match's. Leyline of the Void is hands down the best way to handle their deck specifically.

    Eldrazi Stompy – Favorable with Port and Waste / Slightly Favorable with just Wasteland.
    How the matchups works: In this MU your goal is to buy enough time until you can block their way with your hordes. Reality Smasher and equipment stand in the way of that plan. Their major weakness is their manabase. Their best spells cost 4+ mana and demand colorless mana, so any form of mana disruption is effective. Try to read what cards they have in hand. You can read that from the amount of mana they have available and what cards they played last turn. Watch out for some interactions of their spells and lands. A few examples: Eye of Ugin doesn't actually produce mana, but reduces the manacosts. So, no playing Umezawa's Jitte with Eye of Ugin. Make sure that they tap at least 1 colorless mana when casting their spells. Under a Blood Moon they will usually not be able to cast any spell with <> in their manacosts. Over a course of several games you will be favored, as their manabase is shaky and their mulligan decisions are more difficult - their deck is less consistent than yours. It should be noted that games with this deck tend to be lopsided, whether you win or lose.
    Which version to pick: The Classic build really shines here as it is able to run 8 manadenial lands. The Winstigator build is better in MUs where you want to win the early game – and Eldrazi Stompy is none of them, since their early game is much better than ours. I often find that a critical part of the game is handling the first Thought-Not Seer, which Pyrokinesis does "alone." Stingscourger tends to be better than Tarfire in this match-up.
    Cards that support this strategy: AEther Vial, Wasteland, Rishadan Port, Mogg War Marshal
    Meaningful SB cards: Blood Moon, Pyrokinesis, Shatter Affects
    Red Herrings: Kill spells that can't handle a Thought-Knot Seer. Often you can just use your board to handle any non 4 toughness creature.

    Death & Taxes – Even
    How the matchups works: The worst thing that can happen is that they have an equipment at a moment when you can't deal with it yet. This would be the case when they have Stoneforge Mystic on turn 2 and you can't kill SFM before the equipment comes down. Try to grind them out, make favorable trades (or even one-for-ones). We have a way better draw engine, while they have Recruiter of the Guard + Equipment / Flickerwisp. You do have to respect Flickerwisp interaction with Recruiter of the Guard, as it often generates multiple 3/1 Flying creatures. Thalia, Heretec Cathar is another good card against us, as it prevents haste swarms, in addition to having first strike. Other potentially problematic cards in their deck are Mother of Runes and Phyrexian Revoker (which shuts down a range of valuable cards). All of that said, we have the ability to get 2 for 1'd a few of times and still keep chugging, where as they are generally at the mercy of the non-lands they drew only. This match-up really does come down to a skillful grind, and sideboard choices from both players. You will have a hard time if someone has a Kor Firewalker or Absolute Law, and an easier time against Sword of War and Peace as SB cards for instance.
    Which version to pick: Both versions will do equally well. The Winstigator version has easier times going into profitable combat situations, while the Classic list is better at grinding out games until you get key cards on the table.
    Cards that support this strategy: Tarfire, Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Sharpshooter
    Meaningful SB cards: Shatter Affects, Pithing Needle, Pyrokinesis

    Turbo Depths – Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: They try to play a Marit Lage via Dark Depths mixed with either Vampire Hexmage, or Thespians' Stage. They have a good amount of acceleration, and tutors, and are able to assemble on turn 2 rather consistantly, putting us in a very rough spot. If they go off with Vampire Hexmage: let her effect resolve to removed counters from Dark Depths, and then with the trigger on the stack to make a 20/20, and go ahead and Wasteland it. They will not get the 20/20, and instead lose both cards. Similarly if they go off with Thespians' Stage: let them copy Dark Depths, they will put the original in the yard due to the Legend rule, and then a trigger will go on the stack to make a 20/20, and then you Wasteland it. If they manage to go off your only out is racing (good luck), and Stingscourger. If they have Not of This World, or Crop Rotation, for Sejiri Steppe, there really wasn't anything you could do about it. Additionally they run 4 mainboard which is rather bad for both our Wastelands, and our AEther Vials. If you can, Stingscourger could get rid of the problem. This is tough as they can do the combo at the end of your turn, but an AEther Vial on 2 will allow you to interact there. It doesn't help that you really don't want many kill spells in the match, but part of their combo involves a 2/1 first striker that needs to go away. I'd strongly consider in this match-up to have a 0 mana, instanst speed, way to pop the Vampire at a poor time.
    Which version to pick: The WIstigator list is faster, and therefore favored. Rishadan Port is too slow to consistantly matter.
    Cards that support this strategy: Wasteland, Stingscourger, a shatter affect for Pithing Needle.
    Meaningful SB cards: Pithing Needle, Blood Moon, Pyrokinesis (for the mentioned reason above)
    Red Herrings: Blood Moon (It is the best thing you can do in the match.. and it's too slow.)

    Aggro Loam – Slightly Favorable
    How the matchups works: This match-up is all about Knight of the Reliquary, and Punishing Fire. First and foremost removing will set you up for winning. They will try to stall you out with Abrupt Decay, Punishing Fire, and a smattering of maindboard creatures to go with their Green Sun's Zenith package, plus Dark Confidant. Liliana of the Veil also makes a strong appearance in this match-up, but is usually not a problem unless it comes down on turn 2 via Mox Diamond. Ultimatley this deck is a graveyard deck, and has a much harder time interacting post board. Leave in Stingscourger as the tempo in removing the Knight of the Reliquary is often instrumental.
    Cards that support this strategy: Wasteland, Rishadan Port,Stingscourger Pendelhaven (for dodgeing Punishing Fire
    Meaningful SB cards: Grave Hate, Blood Moon, Pithing Needle, Goblin Settler

    4c Control - Czech Pile – Favorable
    How the matchups works: This is another control deck, but with A healthy dose of Deathrite Shaman, Baleful Strix, and often Snapcaster Mage, and Leovold, Emissary of Trest. Their removal suite truly is a pile, often involving some Abrupt Decay, some Fatal Push, some Lightning Bolt, 2-3 Kaloghan's Command, and 4 Force of Will, some Counterspell, some discard (Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach, or even some Liliana of the Veil). I imagine writing their deck list down requires more columns than available to most deck registration sheets. They win with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, or whatever's left of the creature suite in play, and have a rather good end game. On the bright side, this does mean that our decks main gameplan is at full value here. We are very good at accruing cards. Basically, just kill their stuff and chug along. There could be 1, maybe 2 pseudo wipes in their maindeck, but game 1 shouldn't be so bad so long as you don't let them recur Kolaghan's Command. Their mana is rough, so kill Deathrite Shaman, and their Red sources, and the rest should just be a grind fest. After boarding they drop counterspells for more interaction. Goblin Piledriver is rather good in this match, only being blocked by Deathrite Shaman. Do not get too aggressive, they almost certainly have the kill spell to punish you.
    Cards that support this strategy: Goblin Matron, Goblin Ringleader, Finisher Goblins, Wasteland, Rishadan Port.
    Meaningful SB cards: Blood Moon, a small number of Relic of Progenitus (as it can cycle away for no card loss)
    Red Herrings: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (looks good at first glance, but is actually worse for our grind plan versus their kill spell plan)

    Shardless BUG – Slightly Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: unlike most other deck, this creature-based deck has a cardadvantage engine that is as powerful as ours. Shardless Agent revealing Tarmogoyf or Hymn to Tourach can put you in a very uncomfortable position. Additionally, early Deathrite Shaman blocking the way for Goblin Lackey, and Abrupt Decay destroying AEther Vial can steal your tempo and mana advantage. Our strength on the other turn is their weakness to our finisher goblins. They each represesnt many problems that they have a hard time handling. Krenko, Mob Boss in particular is especially powerful against them, as it takes a specific set of getting 2 for 1'd OR a Toxic Deluge to handle. In the absence of Tarmogoyf we can completely out grind them. Unfortunately they do run 4, and you must have a gameplan for them. Either Relic of Progenitus, or just going wider are both fine options. One more thing that many people might not notice: Tuktuk Scrapper / Tin Street Hooligan can usually destroy one of their creatures, since Shardless Agent and Baleful Strix both are artifacts. From time to time they board in Umezawa's Jitte so it's not a bad idea anyway. They are likely to have Pithing Needle and / or Null Rod in their board also helping. A new card on the block Leovold, Emissary of Trest is now more likely to make an appearance in this match. He can be checked with a lone Goblin Piledriver, and eventually dealt with a Gempalm Incinerator, but Tarfire heavy lists beware.
    Which version to pick: The Classic version is in a better here, as Mogg War Marshal supports the above strategy better. Also, running Chrome Mox makes Hymn to Tourarch hurt you more and Liliana of the Veil can become a problem as well when running Warren Instigator in the spot of Mogg War Marshal.
    Cards that support this strategy: Krenko, Mob Boss, Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Matron, Goblin Ringleader, Gempalm Incinerator
    Meaningful SB cards: Relic of Progenitus, Rest in Peace, Perish, Blood Moon
    Author's Note: I've found this match to be Unfavorable, but I believe it may be my specific card choices that are causing this. I will record this as Slightly Unfavorable due to the reports I hear from pretty much everyone but myself.

    UB Reanimator – Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: They can easily reanimate scary creatures on turn 2. Contrary to Storm decks, their combo will not kill you on the same turn, but “only” make it very likely that they win. In game 1 you can get lucky and have Stingscourger in your opening hand and they didn't reanimate a creature that you can't bounce (Iona#Red or Sphinx of the Steel Wind). However, this scenario will only buy you some time and doesn't mean that you win. For G2 you can bring in some graveyard hate and/or combo hate, while they won't get any more dangerous than they already are. Tin Fins is a faster version of the Reanimator deck, but comes at the cost of folding to hate a bit harder. Multiple Stingscourgers are very, very good here.
    Which version to pick: If anything you can expect that the Winstigator list is better for this MU, but neither version will have good chances of winning.
    Cards that support this strategy: Stingscourger, Warren Weirding, Chrome Mox, Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver
    Meaningful SB cards: any graveyard hate, Cabal Therapy, Chalice of the Void. Graveyard hate that works on their turn 1 is at a premium here, as the deck gets lots of free wins from just going off before you get to do anything. Surgical Extraction and Faerie Macabre being the best available for our deck, as they can come in in other match's. Leyline of the Void is hands down the best way to handle their deck specifically.

    UG Infect – Even
    How the matchups works: Your priority in this MU is to destroy their Infect creatures. Use your removal in your turn to make them use their pump-spells to protect their creatures, rather than killing you. They can kill you with only 2 pump spells, but most often they will have to use 3. Due to their lack of removal and the very small amount of countermagic they play, build up a threatening board position is relatively easy for you. Try to establish a board with Goblin Sharpshooter, and everything will ease up at that point. Other than that, there is not much to watch out for. Make sure to play safe and steady – don't get greedy or do anything risky. The MU is nerve-wracking, but the easiest way to die is to play to your fear. Think about it, can they afford to go for it?
    Which version to pick: Both lists are equally fine at handling this for very different reasons. The Winstigator list simply can advance it's board state with the high number of Goblin Lackeys for almost no investment. The classic build gets to fiddle with their shaky mana with the addition of Rishadan Port. It is often correct to hit their colored mana, and not the Inkmoth Nexus, as it harms their development more.
    Cards that support this strategy: Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Tarfire, Gempalm Incinerator, Stingscourger, Goblin Sharpshooter
    Meaningful SB cards: Goblin Sharpshooter, Pyrokinesis, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Chalice of the Void, Pithing Needle, Blood Moon
    Red Herrings: Yourself. Calm the hell down, just because their deck is capable of killing you this next combat step does not mean it will.

    Burn – Unfavorable
    How the matchups works: This match-up always feels close, but ultimatley they just kind of have it due their deck design. With no mainboard ways to gain life or counter spells we are at the mercy of their draw. Awkwardly, heavy creature hands from them are the easiest thing to handle from our perspective, but do the most initial damage. Aggressively chump block, and try to make them do all 20 points with just spells, that's the hardest way for them to win. This does mean it's correct to keep kill spell heavy hands, even if the result is that they played few or no creatures. AEther Vial is critical in this match-up to speed our deck up. Goblins can handle creatures, not spells, so you were likely to lose the game anyway. Be wary of Price of Progress.
    Which version to pick: Winstigator is naturally faster, and therefore better at racing.
    Cards that support this strategy: AEther Vial, Mogg War Marshal, Kill Spells
    Meaningful SB cards: Chalice of the Void, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Kill Spells.

    RG Combo Lands – Even
    How the matchups works: It is relatively easy to keep them off their combo-kill with an untapped Wasteland. It takes them quite some effort and setup-time to still push it through your untapped Wasteland. Stingscourger is another valuable asset, which can save you even after Marit Lage hits the board. You might consider leaving an AEther Vial at 2 in case they jam a surprise Marit Lage end of turn so you can Stingscourger it. On the other hand they have very effective means of keeping from winning, including Grove of the Burnwillows + Punishing Fire, Maze of Ith, and Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Looking at all of this, your plan is to kill them as fast as possible, while having a Wasteland untapped. The longer the games lasts, the more likely they are to gain the upper hand. After G2 things don't look so much different in their deck, but you will usually have a few cards to bring in. They tend to bring in some number of Krosan Grip.
    Which version to pick: They both have good assets. The Winstigator list races better, and Chrome Mox has no drawbacks in MUs where speed is your strongest asset. In addition to that Pendelhaven (which is more common in Winstigator builds) will mess with their Punishing Fire. The Classic list has access to Rishadan Port which helps deal with the combo itself in funny ways in addition to moving Maze of Ith out of the way.
    Cards that support this strategy: Wasteland, Rishadan Port, Chrome Mox, Goblin Lackey, Warren Instigator, Stingscourger Pendelhaven.
    Meaningful SB cards: Blood Moon, Earwig Squad, Pithing Needle, Goblin Settler, Grave Hate

    b) Sideboarding

    Sideboarding is one of the hardest things to do in competative magic. Specifically figuring out what to take out is usually harder than figuring out what to bring in. The golden rule here is simple: "Your post board deck should be designed to beat their post board deck." That does mean determining what is important from their side, and counteracting it, all before you've even gone to the event. Knowledge is power here. The more lists you look at, main and side, the more likely you are to be less surprised by a sideboarded card from a deck. Step in their shoes, would they board those in? How does it compliment their deck? How does it hurt yours? Do they even need to board anything? What can you do to stop it, combined with their maindeck? For instance Tarmogoyf is a card that has been causing headaches for goblin players since it was legal in the format. Do you intend to Kill it? Ignore it? Perhaps just race it? Whatever the case you need to be able to answer those question long before you are faced with the problem itself, and that's not even a boarded plan. Imagine, now, that the Tarmogoyf is coupled with Toxic Deluge, or Rough // Tumble. That's a lot of pressure that wasn't there game 1. It is entirely possible you will run into situations where there is no good answer, where racing is the only out. And those tend to be the poor matchups, fast combo being the big one. Beyond this point are a small set of shortcuts to make your life easier when figuring things out.

    I tend to board out many, to all copies of Goblin Lackey on the draw against decks that are capable of blocking it (read Deathrite Shaman decks). The idea here is that since you are on the play your opponent will have a natural tempo boost, and Goblin Lackey is not very good at recouping tempo against already filled boards. On the flip side, I tend to cut Goblin Piledriver on the play as I don't need his corner turning ability nearly as badly with the natural tempo gained from being on the play. I still try to leave 2 in if possible, as he does hit people, very hard. This advice is true for both versions of the deck.

    Try to leave in at least 1 Shatter effect against every fair deck. The reason is actually quite simple, and can be narrowed down to 1 card. Pithing Needle is an easily accessible, potent, piece of interaction pretty much any deck using mana wants to run. This card is usually brought in due to AEther Vial, but hits several cards in our deck beyond that. After that, you effectivley gain outs to spicy sideboard tech such as Umezawa's Jitte, or Ensnaring Bridge.

    Goblin Matron is one of the few bastions of deck consistancy in red. We don't have access to Brainstorm, Ponder, or any other piece of consistancy other than Mama Matron herself. Even if your toolbox happens to have the wrong tools in it, it's still going to be better than using your hands. Try to leave these in in every matchup.

    AEther Vial is attrocious against decks that contain multiple Pernicious Deeds, or several Maelstrom Pulses. It's a bit counter intuative, but you will actually hedge on card dis-advantage by moving some or all of these out. With Pernicious Deed in particular Goblin Lackey get's a lot worse as well.

    Against combo your deck's basic gameplan is a wash. They are faster than you and basically intend to ignore you entirely if possible. For this reason the massive draw engine of the deck is no longer relevant. I tend to board out 3 Goblin Ringleaders against these decks. You should try to leave 1 in the deck as a back-up plan, in case things go awry. Goblin Lackey and Goblin Piledriver become far more important in these matchups due to their aggressive effects.


    V. Outside the Box
    last update: 19/08/2016

    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
    * Fecundity
    * Wort, Boggart Auntie (Deathrite Shaman just outrite trumps her, and she competes with Krenko, Mob Boss for 4 mana)
    * Goblin Guide (doesn't jive with mana denial)
    * Brightstone Ritual (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Vexing Shusher (deck design change: Cavern of Souls)
    * Volrath's Stronghold (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Mutavault (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)
    * Mirror Entity
    * Contested War Zone (better cardchoices: Mountain)
    * Sensation Gorger
    * Summoning Trap (outdated due to Cavern of Souls)
    * Battle Squadron (better cardchoices: Krenko, Mob Boss)
    * Fodder Launch (better cardchoices: Krenko, Mob Boss)
    * Shrieking Mogg (better cardchoices: Subterranean Scout)
    * Cover of Darkness (outdated due to Deathrite Shaman)
    * Rest in Peace + Helm of Obedience (outdated)
    * Root Maze (better cardchoices: Thalia Heretic Cathar)

    b) To Be Tested Cards:
    * Caller of the Claw
    * Tuktuk the Explorer
    * Bloodmark Mentor
    * Taurean Mauler
    * Chaos Warp
    * Gaea's Cradle
    * Gemstone Cavern

    c) Tested, Niche Potential:
    * Ancient Tomb (ramp is ramp)
    * Grenzo, Dungeon Warden (does what the deck wants, not what it needs)
    * Murderous Redcap (Usually better against Stoneblade, and matche's you need to chump alot. Cheaper than Siege-Gang, ETB effect unlike Krenko)
    * Subterranean Scout (interesting "Finisher" effect)

    VI. Literature

    a) Goblin Related
    Goblins Match-up Percentages and performances by Olaf Forkbeard
    Leaving A Legacy: Goblins Are Great But Haters Gonna Hate
    Funeral for a Friend
    Vial Goblins in Legacy
    Legacy's Allure - Ep. 12, Goblins with Jim Davis
    Hot Topics of Vial Goblins

    b) Legacy Related
    Introduction to Legacy
    An Introduction to Legacy in the Year 2016
    Legacy Lessons: Tempo & The Best Delver Deck
    Sideboarding in Legacy

    c) General Magic Theory
    Who's the Beatdown?
    Synergy Vs. Protect the Queen
    Puzzling Improvements


    VII. Final Addendum

    You are probably asking yourself at this point: "Wait, they didn't post a completed deck?" That's correct, I did not, and it's intentional. This Primer isn't about netdecking. This primer was meant to educate you on deck construction for the archetype. Each decision and card choice are too important to NOT have thought out before taking to an event. If you can't put something together after reading this Primer, then I have failed on the Primer's design and philosophy.



    And with that, thanks for reading the primer. Most of the work for this primer came from Gobolord; I am merely holding the torch. During the near entirety of the thread held by Gobolord the talk was civil, useful, and most of all engaging, which I find incredibly rare in a forum. Thanks for being reasonable, everyone.
    Last edited by Olaf Forkbeard; 05-25-2017 at 01:11 AM. Reason: Updates
    If I edit a post without an explanation, I am just correcting typos and / or formatting.
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  3. #3
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Hello fellow Warchiefs,

    as you can see Olaf is now in charge of the opening post. Reason being that I am lacking the time to keep the opening post updated. I found Olaf to be the most suitable person to take over, because he has the necessary experience with the deck as well good writing skills. So I asked him directly if he wanted to do some extra work for all of us and I am glad that he willingly accepted.
    We tried to find a solution that wouldn't include moving the old thread into the archive, but unfortunately there was no other way than for Olaf to set up a new thread, taking our original opening post as a basis. You will notice that Olaf already implemented some long overdue improvements. Huge THANK YOU for that.

    I'm looking forward to continuing our discussions in this new, yet familiar environment.

    -GL
    Mountain Caverns, Lackey, Go.

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  4. #4
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Looks great! It's been a while since I read the last primer but this one read very clearly.

    Two items I noticed:

    -I believe with the Matron trigger you mean that it is not obligatory, as it is a "may" ability.

    -Can Piledriver's trigger actually be Stifled, since it is pro-blue?

  5. #5

    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Hey Olaf what a primer!! Verry informative. You forgot one of the most important reason to play goblins. It is a blast to play!

  6. #6
    Hey guys, let's do it! The blue yonder awaits! Yahoo!
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    My god... End of an era.

    @ Gobolord: HUGE thank you for all you've done. I hope to see you somewhere at a tournament. If you ever down in Rotterdam, let me know :-)

    @ Olaf: thank you for taking over and maintaining the OP. It's good that one of us takes the time.

    Great looking OP, lads. Feels familiar too :-)
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  7. #7
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by Chatto View Post
    Great looking OP, lads. Feels familiar too :-)
    Thats probably because it is a copy of the old one with some modifications (see Updates notes). ;-)
    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.

  8. #8
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by GoboLord View Post
    Thats probably because it is a copy of the old one with some modifications (see Updates notes). ;-)
    Yea, it's currently mostly copypasta. I will update it in more detail Monday.
    If I edit a post without an explanation, I am just correcting typos and / or formatting.
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Thanks for everything, Gobolord, i feel nostalgic now as i remember the first time i visited this forum years ago and i learnt how to play goblins well reading your primer. I hope you will continue to be among us in the future because your knowledge of this deck is invaluable and you're a very nice person.

    And, of course, i'm glad that Olaf will keep the primer up to date and i'm sure he is the right one for this job.

  10. #10

    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Good update. Awesome how this deck is still alive and kicking, despite supposedly being dragged off to be put down depending who you ask.

    Couple of things I noticed that might be relevant:
    - There are no sample decklists in the opening post. Might be alright to give a sample Classic list and a sample WINstigator. I realize there are links to them at the bottom so this might be just my own anal-retentiveness shining through.
    - I feel Gurmag Angler could be mentioned in the Grixis section since it's a significant roadblock in my experience.
    - Many Show decks have moved away from Sneak/Show into the hybrid Omni-Sneak list. Curious about your thoughts on that matchup, as it may be more relevant than straight Sneak n Show moving forward. Seems much more problematic since Stingscourger doesn't remove Omniscience, perhaps necessitating Red Blasts from the board?

    Very much appreciate the work you guys have put into this. It is very helpful.

  11. #11
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by crowe_1 View Post
    Good update. Awesome how this deck is still alive and kicking, despite supposedly being dragged off to be put down depending who you ask.

    Couple of things I noticed that might be relevant:
    - There are no sample decklists in the opening post. Might be alright to give a sample Classic list and a sample WINstigator. I realize there are links to them at the bottom so this might be just my own anal-retentiveness shining through.
    - I feel Gurmag Angler could be mentioned in the Grixis section since it's a significant roadblock in my experience.
    - Many Show decks have moved away from Sneak/Show into the hybrid Omni-Sneak list. Curious about your thoughts on that matchup, as it may be more relevant than straight Sneak n Show moving forward. Seems much more problematic since Stingscourger doesn't remove Omniscience, perhaps necessitating Red Blasts from the board?

    Very much appreciate the work you guys have put into this. It is very helpful.
    Keep comments like this coming. Come Monday I can do a big update.
    If I edit a post without an explanation, I am just correcting typos and / or formatting.
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  12. #12

    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Great to see an update to the rather venerable primer on the original thread! Looking forward to brewing up some new variations of the deck to fit the modern legacy meta. Also looking forward to your update on Monday, Olaf!

    Has anyone been testing Grenzo, Havoc Raiser yet? I'm been trying him out as a 2of so far, and he's been pretty decent in the fair matchups. My best hits so far have been against Nic Fit. Hit with 4 krenko tokens with a bunch of mana open (thanks to 2 veteran explorers dying earlier), cast siege rhino, cabal therapy, and an abrupt decay all at once, while also exiling my opp's only real out (toxic deluge). Therapied away the pernicious deed in his hand too, though pithing needle was already naming it. I do have a rules question regarding his wording though. Since it is "cast", can you not use an ancestral vision hit off it a grenzo trigger? Seems very relevant against shardless.

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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by 1GoblinLackey View Post
    Great to see an update to the rather venerable primer on the original thread! Looking forward to brewing up some new variations of the deck to fit the modern legacy meta. Also looking forward to your update on Monday, Olaf!

    Has anyone been testing Grenzo, Havoc Raiser yet? I'm been trying him out as a 2of so far, and he's been pretty decent in the fair matchups. My best hits so far have been against Nic Fit. Hit with 4 krenko tokens with a bunch of mana open (thanks to 2 veteran explorers dying earlier), cast siege rhino, cabal therapy, and an abrupt decay all at once, while also exiling my opp's only real out (toxic deluge). Therapied away the pernicious deed in his hand too, though pithing needle was already naming it. I do have a rules question regarding his wording though. Since it is "cast", can you not use an ancestral vision hit off it a grenzo trigger? Seems very relevant against shardless.
    I'm not so sure I want him. He takes 2 red mana to cast, which is already pretty rough in this deck, and his two abilities only work when you are ahead. If I'm hitting my opponent it means 1 of 2 things.

    1) I'm either at the point where I'm willing to lose board state to a Goyf / Gurmag, etc, and therefor don't need the Goad.

    2) Or I'm hitting an empty board where Warren Instigator, Goblin Piledriver, and Goblin Wardriver all do more at this stage. That said, I don't want to run Wardriver.

    I just can't see him being what the deck wants or needs.


    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=416811
    Casting the exiled card follows the normal rules for casting that card. You must pay its costs, and you must follow all applicable timing rules. For example, if you exile a creature card this way, you must wait until your main phase to cast it.
    You would not be able to cast Ancestral Visions off of his ability, as it is not castable for it's casting cost.

    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by crowe_1 View Post
    Good update. Awesome how this deck is still alive and kicking, despite supposedly being dragged off to be put down depending who you ask.
    - Many Show decks have moved away from Sneak/Show into the hybrid Omni-Sneak list. Curious about your thoughts on that matchup, as it may be more relevant than straight Sneak n Show moving forward. Seems much more problematic since Stingscourger doesn't remove Omniscience, perhaps necessitating Red Blasts from the board
    Honestly, Omnitell is pretty similar to Storm in how bad it is for us. Back when Omnitell was 7% of the meta I ran Confusion in the Ranks and Ashen Rider, and they were narrow, but solid answers. The closer you get to less specific hate the harder the match-up becomes. Obviously that's pretty bad since it's combo. An Enter the Battlefield trigger off of any goblin from Show and Tell + Krosan Grip / Tear / Red Elemental Blast would be the easiest way to fit it into your board without ruining your SB plan against other people. Additionally all of the playable hate bears are good here (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Ethersworn Canonist, and Spirit of the Labyrinth). But, honestly, don't sweat it that much. Have a plan, practice it, and let the people around you keep the deck down. You may not have Force of Will, but everyone else does.

    The hybrid version is less rough and Omnitell itself, but doesn't change how you board very much.
    If I edit a post without an explanation, I am just correcting typos and / or formatting.
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  14. #14
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    The best SB card you can have against OmniShow (the non-hybrid version) is Trinisphere as it usually delays their combo by 2 turns (unless they have 6 mana, or they put Emrakul into play off S&T). I actually think that the hybrid version is harder to deal with (as the specific hate is not the same for both types) although you can gain a lot of win%s from playing a Winstigator list. In this MU you are as much of a combo deck as they are - unfortunately their combo is a little more resillient.
    Mountain Caverns, Lackey, Go.

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  15. #15

    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Whats the thoughts on the new legend in C16 - Vial Smasher the Fierce ?

    The random nature of the damage isn't relevant, up to 5 damage to the dome until it eats removal is relevant, considering you could Vial this in and cast whatever else after that. Any instants on our opponents turn mean damage to the dome too.
    I'm not saying this card is amazing or anything, but I think I'm going to run it and see how it plays out, given that it doesn't matter if blue counters every card I play with Vial Smasher in play, damage still hits them.

    Anyone else thinking about this card?

  16. #16

    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by GoboLord View Post
    The best SB card you can have against OmniShow (the non-hybrid version) is Trinisphere as it usually delays their combo by 2 turns (unless they have 6 mana, or they put Emrakul into play off S&T). I actually think that the hybrid version is harder to deal with (as the specific hate is not the same for both types) although you can gain a lot of win%s from playing a Winstigator list. In this MU you are as much of a combo deck as they are - unfortunately their combo is a little more resillient.
    I also find the hybrid version harder to deal with, as Omniscience demands a completely different angle of response if it hits the table. I'm on mono-red WINstigator, and my current approach is to delay Show and Tell long enough to beat them down. My board contains a full four Thorns as it doesn't die to the creature hate the opponent is going to bring in, and it can hit the board first turn with Chrome Mox. Also have a Bridge, two P Needles and three REB/Pyros. When Sneak n Show proper was top dog, you could Needle Sneak Attack and then use their Show and Tell against them to pop Matron/Stingscourger. Not so anymore; if they drop Omniscience off Show and Tell, you're usually toast.

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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by slave View Post
    Whats the thoughts on the new legend in C16 - Vial Smasher the Fierce ?

    The random nature of the damage isn't relevant, up to 5 damage to the dome until it eats removal is relevant, considering you could Vial this in and cast whatever else after that. Any instants on our opponents turn mean damage to the dome too.
    I'm not saying this card is amazing or anything, but I think I'm going to run it and see how it plays out, given that it doesn't matter if blue counters every card I play with Vial Smasher in play, damage still hits them.

    Anyone else thinking about this card?
    The way I've been viewing it has been similar to Piledriver. It generates pressure by sitting there, making opponents respect it. He's at his best when you are turning the corner. He is better at chip shotting than otherwise. BUT I wouldn't run a 3 mana Piledriver.

    Anyone have a different view?
    If I edit a post without an explanation, I am just correcting typos and / or formatting.
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  18. #18

    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf Forkbeard View Post
    The way I've been viewing it has been similar to Piledriver. It generates pressure by sitting there, making opponents respect it. He's at his best when you are turning the corner. He is better at chip shotting than otherwise. BUT I wouldn't run a 3 mana Piledriver.

    Anyone have a different view?
    I agree, Vial Smasher is much like Piledriver. I'm going to be cutting down to 0-1 piledriver to place 2 Vial Smashers in a more removal heavy build to see how I like going as much on the long grindy control game plan as I can. Personally, it is how I like to play goblins more than trying to make lackey connect a higher percentage of the time.

  19. #19
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf Forkbeard View Post
    The way I've been viewing it has been similar to Piledriver. It generates pressure by sitting there, making opponents respect it. He's at his best when you are turning the corner. He is better at chip shotting than otherwise. BUT I wouldn't run a 3 mana Piledriver.

    Anyone have a different view?
    IMO Driver is best when there are 3 in your hand with a Warchief out on the field. Your opponent does something silly like tap out and attack with everything but one thing and then you get em on the swing back. That to me is the turning the corner.

    Of course this all falls to pieces because DRS is capable of both draining off of that one land and of making the 2nd mana to cast a Decay on your Warchief so that you don't get to turn the corner. Fuck, reality is a wet rag.
    Quote Originally Posted by nedleeds View Post
    Dat 1/1 with built in pump. Watch out Griselbrand here comes lizard mid range.
    Quote Originally Posted by taconaut View Post
    I was actually kinda thinking the opposite, and wondering what it would be like to play in the "Megadeus and Stevestamops Presents: The Nedleeds Memorial Tournament" (banlist: just the regular legacy one, except survival is legal and all blue cards are not).

  20. #20
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    Re: [Deck] Vial Goblins

    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf Forkbeard View Post
    The way I've been viewing it has been similar to Piledriver. It generates pressure by sitting there, making opponents respect it. He's at his best when you are turning the corner. He is better at chip shotting than otherwise. BUT I wouldn't run a 3 mana Piledriver.

    Anyone have a different view?
    I disagree. Vial smasher is nothing like Piledriver. In fact, Vial Smasher is in many ways the polar opposite of Piledriver. Piledriver lets you win quickly when you have a positional advantage in combat. Vial Smasher lets you win through board parity. In other words, Piledriver is a card you really want when you can attack aggressively because it can either force a trade or clock your opponent. Vial Smasher is a card you want when you CANNOT force a trade or clock an opponent. Piledriver helps you when you can attack profitably. Vial Smasher helps you when you cannot attack profitably.

    Vial Smasher has a cool ability but I don't think he'll really make an impact and here's why: 1) Most Importantly, he is too narrow. He doesn't help you much when you're ahead and just need to kill your opponent before they kill you. He only really helps when neither you nor your opponent can get the upper hand in combat, and he then lets you win through burn rather than combat. A card like Piledriver is much more efficient in that roll. 2) Black splash. 3) No multiples. If you could play multiple Vial Smashers that would be ridiculous and overpowered. Only being able to play one at a time isn't powerful enough, especially since we're not cast FoW on our opponent's turn.

    Vial Smasher is another goblin that's only good conditionally. Much like Piledriver sucks on defense, Vial Smasher ain't great on offense. If they had given him a second ability that mattered he could be really decent. As it is there are too many matchups where he just doesn't make an impact.

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