Spikeshot’s Cap

Posted in Building on a Budget on August 20, 2004

By Nate Heiss

Nothing beats the feeling of a Spikeshot Goblin with a cool toy. I can remember countless limited games that were won simply on the power of Spikeshot Goblin and Bonesplitter.

Today's article takes this idea that extra step by using a new card from Fifth Dawn that has been getting lots of exposure: Cranial Plating. This particular headgear can turn an innocent little Spikeshot Goblin into a firebreathing monster. Just imagine how big that guy could get….5/2? 8/2? Even 10/2? Needless to say, shooting your opponent with one of these is likely to end the game in a hurry.

This deck idea was inspired by an email I got from a fan, John White. It just goes to show that I look at all your emails (even though I only am able to respond sometimes).

Dear Nate Heiss,

I've been playing a deck (albeit not complete yet on MTGO) that I have had quite a bit of success with. It's a Mirrodin Block deck, but puts up quite a fight in Standard, and I think your readers might be interested to see it. The total cost should be next to nothing, as all the cards in the deck and sideboard are commons. (6-8 Tix @ 10 commons for 1 Tix)

It's even had limited success against Ravager Affinity, if it can kick off quickly enough. In that case, it usually needs a sideboard, though, as there is no good way of getting rid of a Ravager short of Shatter or Echoing Ruin. It's usually a quick enough deck if you can keep the creatures out.

Enough with the description, here's the list:

LAND (20)
4 Great Furnace
4 Vault of Whispers
12 Mountain

4 Spikeshot Goblin
4 Vulshok Sorcerer
4 Oxidda Golem
4 Frogmite
4 Myr Enforcer
4 Goblin Striker

4 Pyrite Spellbomb
4 Cranial Plating
3 Bonesplitter
3 Leonin Scimitar
3 Vulshok Morningstar

Sideboard (15)
3 Shatter
3 Barbed Lightning
3 Echoing Ruin
3 Electrostatic Bolt
3 Molten Rain

If you see ways to improve on the deck, feel free to do so if you decide to put it in an article. Adding money would make a few Arc-Sloggers an obvious choice.

Thank you for your time,

John White

For a deck of all commons, I thought this was pretty good, and I really liked the concept of putting a Cranial Plating on a Spikeshot Goblin. I decided to take my own crack at a deck like this and came up with the following:

Building on a Budget: Spikeshot's Cap

Download Arena Decklist

This deck plays out by butting little artifact creatures in play along with artifact lands, thus increasing Affinity for Frogmites and Myr Enforcers. It then can utilize a huge Cranial Plating (5+) on either a Spikeshot Goblin or an Arcbound Stinger since it has evasion. If you don't have either of those, you can just equip the Plating to an Arcbound Worker and attack, trading with their guy and keeping your Modular counter.

There is only one contradicting part about this deck: Oxidda Golem. The Oxidda Golem usually wants to see lots of Mountains and not artifact lands, but in this deck, he is still important because he is a powerful artifact creature with haste, and will still probably be cast for no more than 4 mana. Having the extra artifact creature to put the Modular counters on really helps out. The other good parts about this deck are the Bonesplitters and the Shrapnel Blasts. These are your secondary way of relieving your opponent of his life total, and while they are not Cranial Plating, they are still quite good at it.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Oxidda Golem
    Play out your artifact lands first unless you have Oxidda Golem in hand.
  • Pyrite Spellbomb is great for increasing your Affinity; you might want to cast your Myr Enforcer before you blow the Spellbomb.
  • Arcbound Worker is a very hard worker. He makes a great creature to block with since you can ship the counter onto your Stinger or other artifact creatures and swing in harder the next turn.
  • Use those Oxidda Golems to your advantage – haste can be a very important factor when dealing with Cranial Plating. They will never see it coming…when they tap all their guys to attack you, drop the Golem (and maybe the Plating) equip, and truck on in!
  • Use Shrapnel Blast wisely – it is an extremely powerful burn spell. You can also pull tricks with your Modular creatures by Shrapnel Blasting and sacrificing them once blockers are declared. You can then move the Modular counter over to another creature, making it the victor in its combat.

Adding Money to the Deck

As John said in his email, Arc-Slogger makes a great addition to this or any Red deck. Besides that, you could go with a more traditional Affinity build using Arcbound Ravagers and possibly Black for Disciple of the Vault and the instant ability to move your Plating. Another fun thing to do with this deck would be adding Atog or Vulshok War Boar (especially if your version has Lightning Greaves).

As a separate idea – you can cross this deck with the old Building on a Budget deck “Gunner” for some interesting action. Using Loxodon Warhammer is fun in any situation!

Until next time, make sure you got your Jester's Cap on straight.

-Nate Heiss
NateHeiss on Magic Online

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