Goblins, an Undervalued Tribe in Vintage


I´ve seen these splashes for Thalia, but never tried it myself. It doesn´t seem like Thalia makes a high enough impact to justify diverting the manabase. Did you run it maindeck? Against which decks did you use to side it out against?
Scab-clan is easier to fit in, particularly in aggressive, monochrome builds. Is it worth playing alongside piledrivers? Would you play it over piledriver?
Stingscourger clearly has merit against oath, but does not trump it. Earwig is a trump here and I only consider playing canonist because it is another trump to the strategy.

On the triskelion issue, I would recommend slowing the game down and go as wide as possible. Skullclamp is very useful for doing this. You can let the trike mow down some goblins, but as long as you draw more cards than the shop player, you should be able to draw into your artifact removal and trade and chump until your board presence is bigger than theirs. Of course goblins can win fast, but if you play clamp, that is probably not your plan most of the time.

@Recklessmbermage I have never used Thalia with Goblins. I was only saying that in response to considering Containment Priest, I think that going Thalia would be more impactful. I feel like you might be right though, that Thalia isn't worth the color splash. Spirit of the Labyrinth is another white creature to consider. I do think that slowing the opponent by a turn is very good for this kind of deck.

In thinking of Merfolk, which I still think is quite good, them having access to Force of Will and Time Walk make a huge difference for that deck, as opposed to Goblins which can find itself a turn behind. Both Merfolk and Goblins are killing on turn 4 quite often. Just a little trip of the other deck, stalling them for a turn, is huge.

I never really thought of Revoker. Revoker also synergizes with Clamp when not needed.

Revoker is good, easy to play and compliments the mana denial aspect of the deck. But are you already playing a set of hooligans? Revokers might be good, but I would be inclined to max out on hooligans before playing the first revoker. It is pretty bad against trike, but otherwise quite a bit stronger against shops in general.

@Recklessmbermage I'd probably agree with that. The original question was a replacement for Null Rod. If you want to replace Null, my recommendation is Revoker.

I'm a fan of Tin Street Hooligan, but I like Warchief more, also don't like adding a third color just for Hooligan. The list I have tries to maximize value of Ringleader and Recruiter by playing 36 Goblins! Yes you read that right, 24 Mana Sources, 36 Goblins. I will post a list when I have a chance to, but the Sideboard looks like this:
4 Grafdigger's Cage
4 Pyrostatic Pillar
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Sulfur Elemental
1 Goblin Sharpshooter

Here is the list I have currently. This exact list hasn't been tested yet, but I feel its very similar to what I was testing prior to my leave of Vintage:

4 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Mountain
1 Badlands
Strip Mine
Black Lotus
Mox Ruby
4 Simian Spirit Guide

4 Goblin Lackey
4 Goblin Warchief
4 Earwig Squad
4 Goblin Matron
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Gempalm Incinerator
3 Stingscourger
3 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Goblin Recruiter
1 Wort, Boggart Auntie
1 Goblin Welder
1 Goblin Tinkerer
1 Tuk Tuk Scrapper
1 Skirk Prospector

As I stated previously, the list attempts to maximize Ringleader's CA capabilities and Wort is such a huge VCA engine that I feel its vital to the deck. I'm hoping to start testing this list to see if the theory holds true.

I think with this version of the deck, multiple Recruiters would be a great idea. Allowing us to stack our deck is a solid plan against the field. I can see cutting a Gempalm for one, what else could you guys see cutting for more Recruiters?

What two mana play is so good that you want to Duress yourself with SSG? You aren't running null rod or chalice is the RR on Warchief the only reason to play them over Moxes? Or lands really, you have very few mana producing lands for a deck going to "4". Wasteland and Strip Mine have some tension as mana producers.

@nedleeds said:

What two mana play is so good that you want to Duress yourself with SSG? You aren't running null rod or chalice is the RR on Warchief the only reason to play them over Moxes? Or lands really, you have very few mana producing lands for a deck going to "4". Wasteland and Strip Mine have some tension as mana producers.

The Simian Spirit Guides are great as Mana early game or beaters later on. I prefer the versatility to off color moxen.

So after cutting an Incinerator to fit in a second Recruiter, because stacking your deck is a pretty powerful effect in Vintage, I realized I needed better cards in my board for Eldrazi. I started with cutting the Pyrostatic Pillars because Storm is such a small part of the meta I don't need to dedicate that much board specifically for them. In their place I put the fourth Stingscourger and 3 Dismember. Then I wanted some permanent form to deal with them, so I was toying with 3 Bloodmark Mentor, because First Strike is very good against Eldrazi. Then it hit me, if I play Blood Moon, I stop them from casting Eldrazi, so Stingscourger is an actual removal spell against them. So I cut 2 of the Bloodmark Mentors and a Sulfur Elemental to play 3 Blood Moon in my board. To accommodate for Blood Moon I switched my Badlands in the main for a basic Swamp. So far I'm really liking this plan and I really think its going to go the distance for me.

Hi Guys!

Yesterday I played goblins in the yearly local tournament "The Cave Open". We were 9 players and I got crushed. This is what I played:

1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
2 Skullclamp

1 Demonic Consultation
4 Cabal Therapy

4 Goblin Lackey
1 Skirk Prospector
1 Goblin Welder
3 Tin-Street Hooligan
2 Stingscourger
2 Goblin Recruiter
4 Goblin Matron
2 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Earwig Squad

4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Mountain
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine

4 Grafdiggers Cage
4 Surgical Extraction
1 Goblin Welder
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Tin-Street Hooligan
1 Stingscourger
1 Goblin Chieftain
1 Goblin King
1 Murderous Redcap

After some testing I decided to add one welder to the main to lower the curve, bring in 2 lords in the side for engineered plague protection and to go on top of aggro decks, add sol ring because the deck is just that mana hungry and control players will often counter the first mox, and add an incinerator to the toolbox of removal. If I were to play the deck again today, I would switch out a sharpshooter from the main for the incinerator: The sharpshooter was too slow and too fragile against mentor specifically, while incinerator was quite good. These were my matches:

1-2 against esper control
He got a quick tinker for sphinx of the steel wind game 1. I sided out clamps, demonic consultation, 1 sharpshooter (he has some creatures) and a couple of ringleaders to bring in lords, welder and 3 surgical extraction. In the second game, I lobotomized him with earwig, extraction and therapy and went to town. The third game was long and interactive despite him resolving an early engineered plague, but he ended up killing me with a true name nemesis before I could build up a large enough force.

1-1 against bomberman
He comboed out after a long and convoluted game 1. In game two, I extracted and earwigged. In game 3, he had no reasonable avenues to win left, but I couldnt clock him quick enough to finish the game.

2-0 against white eldrazi
He had played ancient tomb, plains, mox emerald and a hate bear (thalia maybe). I blind named reality smasher with cabal therapy and got two of them, emptying his hand. I proceded to hooligan and wasteland him back to the stone age and take over the game. Game two went long and I ended up vomiting 20 power of goblins onto the board and shooting all is creatures with sharpshooter.

0-2 against blue combo control (helm of awakening, future sight)
I earwigged him too late in game one and he was able to draw his library and deck me. In game two I earwigged him twice, removing all his reasonable win-cons and felt in control of the game. He however had a sweepers followed by two trinket mages, I drew 5 consecutive non-creature cards (lands and useless therapies) and he dealt me 16 damage (I think); enough to kill me. Crazy game.

1-2 against UWR mentor
He blew me out with a quick mentor followed by plowing sharpshooter game one. Game two I opted to incinerate his first mentor and played enough ringleaders and beatsticks to overpower the second. In game 3 he surprise blocked my lackey with containment priest and plowed my sharpshooter again. The mentor deck went undefeated to win the tourney.

Im not at all surprised by being run over like this. The deck has game against everything and I am sure it is well built by now, but the power level is not high enough. I still had a blast though. If anyone wants to try the list, make the mentioned swap of incinerator for the second sharpshooter. The decks I didnt play against were oath, UR pyromancer and elves. I believe all 3 are favorable match-ups. (I played some matches against the pyromancer and elves decks after the tourney and only lost one game to the elves player).

The new Daretti looks sweet. Maybe a goblin deck abusing that + welder + mindslaver can work?

@Naixin for Goblins, I was more impressed with new Grenzo, as he can single handedly create a ton of advantage by stealing all your opponents cards.

Leveraging the new Grenzo would take a major rebuild. Swarming the board isn't a great strategy for Vintage since so many decks can outright ignore it. It's not even clear to make that Grenzo having the critter type Goblin merits having other Goblins in the deck with him. He clearly belongs in a deck that runs Plateau and/or Volcanic Island.

After recent discussion, i've realized the new Daretti is more cute than effective, but I will still try it. However, I really like the direction @AmbivalentDuck has gone with the deck in making it more toolsboxy.

However, I am still curious as to what the Ringleader card-advantage side of folks are brewing. Anyone have any updated lists? I tried the new Grenzo but I found it underwhelming.

@Naixin At some point I'll get around to updating the Dack goblins thread.

Artifact: 10
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Trinisphere

Creature: 26
2 Goblin Chieftain
1 Goblin Piledriver
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Goblin Settler
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Krenko, Mob Boss
4 Magus of the Moon
4 Moggcatcher
1 Murderous Redcap
4 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Stingscourger
1 Tuktuk Scrapper

Enchantment: 4
4 Blood Moon

4 Ancient Tomb
4 Cavern of Souls
4 City of Traitors
8 Mountain

SB: 15
4 Ingot Chewer
1 Shattering Spree
2 Sulfur Elemental
4 Thorn of Amthyst
2 Pyroblast
2 Tormod's Crypt

Current draft of a Goblin stompy deck based off of the legacy version. Wins with moon effects and random beats. Pretty fun.

last edited by Naixin

So right now I think the best "goblins" deck is a red shops deck with 4 Goblin Welders 😞 I've been playing different goblin builds and they all seem to fall flat to mentor or shops. Sure, I can tune it to beat mentor but I lose to shops, or vice versa.

Anyone else have better luck?

I had the same problem last time playing elves, which shares some similarities. Mentor and pyromancer have the same advantages that tribal decks have, but their ability to control the game is much bigger. Combo decks are faster than you. And control decks have evolved to be effective against creatures. Not a good time to be in the tribal side of the road.

  • 143
  • 119627