Monday Brews – Goblins!

Tribes are recognizable in Magic no matter how long you have been playing. In the past year we’ve had the Humans Modern deck and Standard Wizards deck emerge. Go back a few years and we have Modern Eldrazi and Standard Mardu/ Esper Dragons (RIP Stormbreath Dragon, you are sorely missed). Go back even further and you have Faeries dominating Standard and Elves winning Pro Tours. However this time, we are going back to the original tribe of Magic, Goblins.

Goblins as a tribe leans on very aggressive creatures which work together to swarm the opponent and disrupt their strategies. In Modern Goblins, the tribe displays its aggressiveness through 4 copies of Goblin Bushwhackers and 4 copies of Reckless Bushwhackers, commonly referred to as “8 Whack”. In Legacy this is achieved through the large amounts of mana denial that the deck can support through Rishadan Port, Wasteland and Chalice of the Void. For us though, we are looking to use the flexibility of the tribe alongside the explosiveness of The Flame of Keld to kill our opponents in Standard.

Standard Goblins

Main Deck Sideboard
4x Skirk Prospector
4x Fanatical Firebrand
3x Dark-Dweller Oracle
4x Metallic Mimic
4x Goblin Instigator
4x Goblin Warchief
4x Goblin Chainwhirler
4x Goblin Trashmaster
3x Siege-Gang Commander
3x Goblin Barrage

3x The Flame of Keld

20x Mountain
2x Vance's Blasting Cannons
2x Mountain
3x Banefire
1x Squee, the Immortal
3x Fight with Fire
4x Volley Veteran

This deck contains one of my favorite cards from the new Standard and is a personal pick for sleeper card for the next Standard format– Skirk Prospector. Skirk Prospector is an unassuming card – being just a 1/1 for one! However it’s power lies in its activated ability, which gives us the power to have some truly extraordinary starts! This includes such things as Turn 3 Siege-Gang Commander, Turn 3 Goblin Warchief + Goblin Chainwhirler or Turn 3 Goblin Trashmaster.

To give our deck some reach, we have included 3 copies of The Flame of Keld and 4 copies of Goblin Barrage. While sacrificing a goblin is an expensive Kicker cost (although we should have enough smaller goblins to lend themselves to the cause), Goblin Barrage gives us some main deck interaction outside of just repeatedly hitting our opponent in the face.

The Sideboard

So our sideboard is mostly dedicated to fighting fellow creature match ups and opposing Goblin Chainwhirlers, with some consideration for the villains with counter magic.

Our anti-control package is Banefire, Vance’s Blasting Cannons and Squee, the Immortal. However, with the increase in the curve, we have also included two Mountains to help support this.

While Fight with Fire is in the sideboard to beat Lyra Dawnbringer, it is also just a very effective spell, dealing with most creatures that are played in Standard.

Rounding out the sideboard is a playset of Volley Veteran, at their most effective against fellow aggressive red decks, where Goblin Barrage becomes too expensive to use without providing a body.


Goblins as a race thrive throughout Ravnica and as the deck will mostly survive the Standard rotation in the coming weeks, the deck has the potential to go from strong to stronger. Lets hope for more cards like Goblin Chieftain and less Skinbrand Goblins!

So take the deck forward to your local FNM and remind people just who the boys actually are!

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