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52 Decks – Standard Goblins January 15, 2010

Posted by Norm in 52 Decks, Standard.
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Deck 2 - Standard Goblins

This week I bring you a deck that I’ve actually been tinkering with for a while. I’d pull out another deck list I’ve been working on that is more casual but I haven’t had the time to play test so you’ll have to wait on that, psst it’s dragons.

Goblins.., Attack!

Tonight, I’m dissecting a casual goblin deck that I had been tinkering with in November during Gasp Con. If you go back and look at that list you’ll see a rather wonky build, typically when starting a casual build I just grab whatever cards I have at hand and shuffle up. Now I’m hoping to play something similar at FNM tomorrow, and there needs to be a lot of adjustment.

At the time I was experiencing some really explosive turns with Warren Instigator and Goblin Chieftain. If I can attack into an open field with Instigator and I have a Goblin Chieftain (or two) in hand I usually win the game very quickly. My plan is too keep the field open by killing my opponents creatures with Burst Lightning and Lightning Bolt keeping that path clear. The beauty of this plan is that you can spend your mana on burn precombat because with Instigator in play you don’t have to pay for your creature spells. Last time anybody checked free spells equals awesome. Because of this plan I’m considering playing a set of Panic Attack to get Instigator in there. A turn three panic attack with Instigator in play while holding Chieftain and Siege-Gang is going to be pretty sick.

Here is my core build. 4 x of each Goblin Chieftain, Warren Instigator, Goblin Guide, Siege-Gang Commander and burn Burst Lightning and Lightning Bolt. The reason I’m shifting to so many four-ofs is because I would find myself without a goblin in hand to dump into Instigator. Nothing is sadder than connecting and not being able to play spells for free.

So looking at what other people are putting in competitive goblin decks on deck check.net I’m thinking I have a few options with each main spell type. Lets start with creatures.


Given that I’ve got my core 16 most people are either doing one of two things. Playing Caldera Hellion and Voracious Dragon or Goblin Bushwhacker and Goblin Ruinblaster. Ruinblaster helps against Jund (although recently Jund has adjusted). The disadvantage to Ruinblaster is that a lot of fetchlands are going to be played that can respond to the kicker hitting the stack. So I think Ruinblaster is going to the sideboard for me. I really like Bushwacker, but its disatvantage is that if I play it with Instigator I can’t pay the kicker because I’m not casting the spell.

Caldera Hellion and Voracious Dragon are both great finishers. In the decklists I’ve seen Hellions appears to be favored over The Dragon. Probably because you might cast this spell late in the game with only one or two creatures in play and the Hellion can potentially wipe your opponents board. Where as dealing one or two damage to your opponent through the Dragon might not get there. However a potential 6/6 flier is nothing to turn your back on.


In addition to the standard suite of burn there are a lot of fun options to fill out the deck. Some people are running Goblin Assault others Dragon Fodder, Eldrazi Monument and/or Coat of Arms, and some just run the burn only and max out the creatures.

I really like how Dragon Fodder worked with my casual build so I’m going to run four with one Eldrazi Monument and three of my special tech, Panic Attack.


Finally the land. There are two distinct options and then slight variations, Teetering Peaks or Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. After that depending on your build you might run 17 or 18 basics. Personally I like the Teetering Peaks route because my plan is to win before 5 mountains and I don’t want too many comes into play tapped lands.

Final Build

So where does that leave us. Here is the final build:


4 Goblin Chieftain
4 Goblin Guide
4 Seige-Gang Commander
4 Warren Instigator
2 Goblin Bushwhacker
2 Caldera Hellion


4 Burst Lightning
4 Lightning Bold

4 Dragon Fodder
1 Eldrazi Monument
3 Panic Attack


20 Basic Mountain
4 Teetering Peaks

If you have any comments let me know before I shuffle up at tomorrows FNM.

Finally here is something special for reading through this long post. My workspace while planning this deck. Usually I’m not as neat but I had a pretty good idea of where I was going before sitting down.

Getting Ready for States 2009 November 5, 2009

Posted by Norm in Casual, Constructed, Organized Play, Standard.
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The Back Story

This morning I received a message on facebook from Dillon reminding me that States is right around the corner. I’m glad he did because I didn’t have it on my list of things to think about this month. Good thing I’ve been thinking a lot about standard the past few weeks. I’ve been tinkering with goblins specifically built around Warren Instgator, I’ll get to more on that later.

Flash to this afternoon with a timely visit from John, Arcane Order club member, to talk about the development of decks in the new standard. We spent the better part of an hour analyzing decks on tcgplayer.com. There are a lot of interesting builds out there, mostly aggressive and few control oriented. I don’t think I saw a Cancel all day. To state the obvious Baneslayer Angel is the best creature in most decks and fetch lands will be ever present.

Standard A GoGo

I’m not sure what I’ll be playing everything from Jund to the new Bant looks tempting. Mono red looks hot but the Planeswalkers deck is also intriguing. It is going to be a challenge figuring out who will be playing what as there hasn’t been a clear leader in the current meta.

Back to my goblins. I started with this in a more casual mindset but it has some interesting potential. I’ve played a few games and love putting chieftan onto the battlefield because of instigator. Anyway take a look and let me know what you think. Keep in mind this is based on cards I own and not what I think is the best build.

4 x Raging Goblin
2 x Goblin Bushwhacker
1 x Goblin Guide
4 x Warren Instigator
4 x Goblin Chieftain
4 x Goblin Razerunners
2 x Siege-Gang Commander

4 x Burst Lightning
2 x  Fireball
4 x Lightning Bolt
4 x Dragon Fodder
1 x Goblin Assault
2 x Trailblazer’s Boots

20 x Mountain
2 x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

GASP Con and FNM November 4, 2009

Posted by Norm in Casual, Constructed, FNM, Standard.
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Welcome back to Casual Magic.

This month I’m planning on attending GASP con, which stands for Gaming Association of Southwest Pennsylvania. This will be my second time attending GASP con and I’m looking forward to it. Three days of gaming with a Zendikar sealed event on Friday. You can read my recap from last year here. I’ll be attending with Aaron who runs Buymorecards.net. He’s working on a new design for is site so stay tuned for an announcement when he gets it fully operational.

Anyway it has been a while since I’ve been to a good con and I’m hoping to get into some good non magic board games. Recently I’ve been playing a D&D campaign. My first. It has been very enlightening and a lot of fun. I’m expecting to meet some great people and learn some new games.

Back to Magic.

Last friday I attended my first FNM in a while. The first in Zendikar Standard for sure. Over the past few weeks I’d been tied up with events and obligations therefore keeping me from gaming. I probably wouldn’t have played because I didn’t have a deck together. But after looking at that weeks building on a budget I realized that I probably could put that deck together, and I was right.

The deck is essentially a cheap Jund build. Cheap meaning not all the expensive cards like Maelstrom Pulse and fetch lands. I felt that this build is just as good and terminate costing less that pulse is ok because most of the time I was only killing one creature at a time. Pulse in the current meta (at least for me) would have been irrelevant. Terminate costs one less and easily cast-able in this deck.

I went 3-0 at the FNM beating out vampires, a blue/white/black milldeck, and a goblin home brew. I felt that vampires was an easy matchup. The vampires were too slow against me and my removal was better. Yes they have tendrils but my lightning bolt, blightning and terminate keeps their hand, life and board under control. In my opinion vampires have a lot of potential but from what I’ve seen they are just too slow in a 1v1 match up. At the multiplayer table seems like a decent deck.

The mill deck was next and I felt that this was a 50/50 matchup. I won in two games, but game one he didn’t draw a blue mana until turn 10 and his wrath and white control could only hold out for so long. In that game I had to terminate my own Sprouting Thrinax to get creatures in around his Wall of Denial. Game two saw him either have mana or card trouble. I had to play around his Path to Exile and Archive Trap. Not a huge problem, just don’t search your library when playing against the Mill Control deck. This was even easier when my deck didn’t have a card that needed me to search.

The goblin matchup was also a smooth ride. My extra spells with bloodbraid elf and removal were hard to play around. In this decks defense I don’t think he was playing chieftan or instigator. But rather he was experimenting with Zendikar block goblins and some standard removal. I think this deck was red white with new oblivion ring that only hits creatures. I didn’t take a look at his deck list after the match although I wish I had now.

Anyway I had a lot of fun playing cheap jund especially with the fair amount of success I had with it. What are you experimenting with in the new standard? Next post I’ll share my own goblin homebrew deck list.

Arena Tonight June 5, 2008

Posted by Norm in Standard.
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Tonight I’m going to play Arena League at CCGs. I earlier today I came across Lee Shin Tian’s Kithkin deck and I have most of the cards so I’m going to give it a shot. I have all but 7 cards in the main deck and what I don’t have is minor (except two Thistledown Liege). I think I have enough to run it and hopefully I can pick up the cards before we start to play. 


I was only able to play one game but the Kithkin is strong, I won easily. I’m thinking I’ll try it at regionals on Saturday. 

Black Control March 12, 2008

Posted by Norm in Casual, Standard.
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Last post I wrote about my G/B control. I played at the Thursday night Arena and got whooped.  The next night I played the Friday Night Magic event. Keeping the same core of the deck but working on making it more efficient. I recieved a suggesstion from one of the guys who I have a lot of respect for. He said to drop the green, I agreed. Most opening hands I held decent cards but the wrong mana. Removing Green also seemed like the right choice because it worked really slow in the deck and was meant to support the control aspect, but didn’t have the steam I needed.

Green was out.

So I switched to straight Black for the FNM event. My first problem that night is I didn’t get out of work until after six with FNM kicking off at seven. I rushed home and quickly looked for the cards I wanted to add and honestly I barely made it to the shop before they started and if it wasn’t for a computer fowl-up my deck wouldn’t have been ready in time. I basically added Festercreep and Moonglove Changeling. I wanted to add Shriekmaw but I forgot it is an uncommon and I was looking for it in my rare binder.  Anyway. I lost the first two games pretty badly. Muligins and slow starts couldn’t deal. My second game I played against a R/B aggro deck that only ran one or two creatures so my creature control was useless.

Game three I played a guy who was running Megrim and The Rack (as was I) but he had no win condition, except for some really hard to make combo. I thought he would be better than that. I won 2-0 but we played 4 games for fun and I easily beat him each time. Match four also came as an easy win. As I played against a guy who had a lot of creatures but no real serious attempt to win at FNM. So I was able to kill him off playing Damnation once and pulling Mortivore etc.

I really had a lot of fun playing this deck but it is no match for the good decks in standard constructed right now. It might be a really good deck to keep for big multiplayer events but one on one it is out.

The deck that won the FNM is AiP’s very own Turrel playing B/U faerie rouges. Basically U control. It was awesome to see some of my AiP guys tear it up at my local shop. They are definitely better magic players than me.

On a side note I feel bad because I’ve been too busy with things recently to attend a regular AiP club magic meeting. I think next week is out for me too. I’ll get back into it and make it up to them. Here is a link to the club site that I created. It doesn’t have much info but there really isn’t much to say anyway.  


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