Goblins, an Undervalued Tribe in Vintage

@Serracollector chains is brutal in this meta. I think this goblins deck has potential. It runs a lot like the 5c control decks but instead of using workshops to cheat out fatties, you have lackey. You basically have better tutoring and explosiveness than the shops deck but less consistency. I guess not being hit by artifact hate is a plus (although right now Ballista and STP is at an all time high).

As silly as this might sound, I'm actually not sure that the deck still needs Lackey/Matron/Incinerator. Chains shuts down whole archetypes. Some combination of a relevant Rogue and Welders should be plenty? Dack + Welder + Null Rod seems like a huge problem for artifact-based decks.

@AmbivalentDuck I can definitely see it working without Lackey. Not sure how I feel about no Matron though, as the tutoring has been pretty relevant. If we do get rid of the lackey, I can see us making a case for something like Sundering titan to give more of a stax feel.

4 Lackey could be Duress/Thoughtseize/Mental Misstep?

It feels the need for some form of protection.

I'm not sure. It seems like the strongest line of attack against you is actually just huge critters and Walking Ballista/Ravager effects. Some combination of protection from removal and Krenko is likely the way to go.

So, God Pharaoh's Gift is now a thing. All of your dead stuff comes back as hasty 4/4s, which is a pretty big deal, and you get the ETB triggers. I'm pretty sure that's better than Mindslaver.

@AmbivalentDuck serious question, what do you think about Gate to the Afterlife?

@Brass-Man Seems like a rough grind to get six critters into your graveyard. If you're playing Gobs, it's for the Dack, Welder, Chains, and Earwig Squad package. Tinker for Gift lets any dead Welders and Matrons come back at a size Shops can't ignore. I might be thinking about that entirely wrong and maybe it's better just to board into something like Paradoxical Outcome since most Shops players will board out their Thorns after seeing a bunch of goblins game 1.

Anyone have any plans to revisit this archtype? It seems the meta has changed significantly and we may or may not be better positioned? Mentor got restricted so we no longer have to worry about playing terrible cards to try to get around it (sharpshooter/sulfur elemental). However Oath is now extremely popular so we may be forced to play x4 Grafdigger's Cage and/or Leyline of Sanctity or splash white for containment priest. The new shops builds can give us trouble with Walking Ballista; however Null Rod shuts down Ravager/Ballista pretty hard and I feel like we have the ability to swarm the field and win vs Ravager Shops is straight creature combat.

Does anyone actually actively play this tribe? What does a current List look like? A friend of mine that seems intersted in Vintage, but isn't as committed, is already playing Legacy Goblins, and this might just be a fine budged entry for him

@aelien right now there seems to be 2 schools of thought. The first is a “value” goblin type that is r/b and runs ring leader as a card advantage engine along with a ton of creatures. Basically closer to the legacy versions only instead of vial, you have moxen/simian spirit guides. It can also run skull clamp for card draw. The second build is more of a grixis control deck that runs ancestral recall, time walk, tinker, and dack along with powerful targets like mindslaver/wurmcoil engine to abuse welder.

They’re both fun but have flaws. The first build ends up relying on syngergy and playing individually bad cards hoping for them to mesh together in a format where stand-alone threats are ungodly efficient. The second build plays like either a slightly worse grixis control deck or slightly worse welder-shops deck. However both builds are REALLY fun and fun is what vintage should be about. I prefer the second build personally.

@naixin intersting. Is a an unpowered Null Rod build possible? Rod is the first thing I usually think about when talking about tribal Decks in Vintage. Are goblins just too expensive to miss out on artifact power?

Vintage Goblins would probably be something like New Squee Food Chain Gobs. You can pretty reliably get infi mana, but then what? You don't really want a deck full of Ringleaders. Matrons are acceptable if only because of the flexibility, but I don't recall a goblin infi mana outlet. You'd be into something like Siege Gang Commander?

So, you run "grixis control gobs" with 4 Food Chain, New Squee, and Siege Gang. Make infi mana with Food Chain and Squee, then use Siege Gang as a way to convert infi mana and infi New Squee sacs (can be cast from grave) into infi damage?

This might be a deck if only because it can approach a two card combo of unrestricted parts, one of which is insanely redundant (Recruiter = Matron = Ringleader = tutors = ...) and the other is an enchantment.

On second thought, that could be really good. Combo vs shops. Earwig plan vs blue combo. Spellbomb and Welder game 1 vs Dredge. The real question is how you build around Food Chain to achieve the explosion.

last edited by AmbivalentDuck

@ambivalentduck More talk of that strategy can be found here. However, Food Chain mana can't be used to activate Siege-Gang Commander. "Spend this mana only to cast creature spells", RTFC, etc.

@aelien A local kid runs a goofy vintage build against me. He has 4 cavern. 4 Null Rod, 4 Magus and 2 Bloodmoon... I think? Then Lacky, Recruiter and Matron into Seige-Gang, Warchief (He calls it war chef), and Krenko. Then some burn. Maybe 2 Bolts and a Tarfire? I wish I had a list for you.

It's not bad, but it's not great either. I run Oath, so I have a great matchup against it. I'm not sold on the moons cuz they're slow. Null Rod seems great here. I wonder about Damping Sphere too. He barely ever plays more than one spell per turn, and nearly always plays one.

The games he loses, it's just to fair and slow. The games he wins are often a turn 1 Lacky or Recruiter, followed by turn 2 Moon effect or Null Rod + A Siege Gang or Krenko. Cavern into Lacky is just really hard to beat sometimes. It makes Misstep look pretty dumb. When it's good, it's super good. I've seen it just bust Shops and Xerox before by getting way ahead in 2-3 turns. (Watching Krenko fight Shops it pretty awesome too.) I've also seen it do nothing at all a lot of the time.

Goblin Chainwhirler looks kind of spicy. Hits the jeskai decks pretty hard as it kills everything except for mentor. Can also hit hangerback walker tokens, phyrexian revokers, etc.

Time to revisit the good ole little green boys?

For the record, here is a rough draft of where i'm starting my testing at:

// Vintage Goblins Aggro

// 60 Maindeck
// 4 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Ruby
2 Null Rod

// 37 Creature
3 Earwig Squad
4 Goblin Lackey
4 Goblin Matron
4 Goblin Ringleader
1 Stingscourger
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Siege-Gang Commander
4 Simian Spirit Guide
1 Goblin Chainwhirler
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Tuktuk Scrapper
3 Warren Instigator
3 Goblin Warchief
1 Goblin Chieftain
1 Krenko, Mob Boss
1 Goblin Welder
3 Gempalm Incinerator

// 19 Land
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Mountain
2 Badlands
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Bloodstained Mire
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine

// 15 Sideboard
// 4 Artifact
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage

// 5 Creature
SB: 1 Goblin Welder
SB: 2 Goblin Chainwhirler
SB: 2 Tuktuk Scrapper

// 4 Enchantment
SB: 4 Leyline of the Void

// 2 Instant
SB: 2 Pyrokinesis

Biggest thoughts:

  1. Is Simian Spirit Guide better or Mox/Crypt/Chrome Mox better. They all have their pros and cons. SSG gets around thorns and provides red, but is a one-shot use. Off-color moxen stays around, but they're off color. Chrome Mox is perma source of red, but costs an extra card. Decisions decisions....atm i'm leaning towards SSG since our deck is so red-intensive.

  2. I have no idea if my creature count/toolbox is correct, it's just a bunch of stuff I wanted to play with the idea that Matron can tutor for them. Oh well.

last edited by Naixin

No promises of optimality, but this has failed to fail in brief testing. The Containment Priests are almost surely an error as is Chandra. Fanatic and Trashmaster are the real deal. Maybe Yixlids? Dunno. I haven't played in a while, but Trashmaster was worth firing up Cockatrice for.

2 Damping Sphere
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Grafdigger's Cage

2 Tin Street Hooligan
2 Cheering Fanatic
4 Earwig Squad
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Goblin Matron
1 Gempalm Incinerator
2 Goblin Trashmaster

4 Lightning Bolt
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Abrade

4 Cavern of Souls
2 Badlands
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Mountain
3 Mana Confluence
1 Volcanic Island
1 Taiga
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt

2 Dack Fayden
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk

1 Trinisphere
1 Gempalm Incinerator
2 Containment Priest
2 Leyline of the Void
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Pyroblast
4 Mental Misstep
1 Ancient Grudge

Cockatrice is a great place to test. There's not another electronic platform that 90% of the people who play vintage use. Nope. Just cockatrice.

@13nova said in Goblins, an Undervalued Tribe in Vintage:

Cockatrice is a great place to test. There's not another electronic platform that 90% of the people who play vintage use. Nope. Just cockatrice.

I'm not a big fan of renting digital cards. It's kind of dubious to invest in an online platform when the content owner you're renting from is actively investing in a new platform and won't move your cards over onto it. Just sayin'...

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