When Goats Attack

Posted in Building on a Budget on May 13, 2009

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

ello and welcome to another edition of Building on a Budget. Last week's deck was very well received. I'm always excited to see what my readers have to say, and I'm starting to feel like I have a better understanding of what you guys are looking for.

This week I'd like to look at one of my favorite cards from the new set.


Glory of Warfare was initially previewed at Top8magic.com, Brian David-Marshall's web site. Brian is a good friend of mine and he called me the day of the preview.

"Hey, Jacob, did you see the card we previewed today?"

"Yeah, it looks like a pretty nice one."

"I especially like how it has the potential to make 'bad' cards competitive. Think about how good it is with Goats."


"Yeah, Jake. Think about it. Springjack Shepherdand Springjack Pasture."

"Wow, I really like that."

Since that conversation I've had a lot of time to think about killing people with goats. There isn't really anything better when you think about it.

Question: What is better?

  1. Ice Cream
  2. Killing people with Goats.

Answer: B. Killing people with Goats.


Yes, killing an opponent with Goats seems to have edged out ice cream on my list of "best" things. I've decided that a Goat deck is an absolute must given our circumstances.

I'll start by explaining each of the card choices.


Glory of Warfare: Making Goats into dangerous monsters is very important. It's also nice to completely blank our opponent's Infest and Pyroclasm.

Springjack Shepherd: Goats aren't the most intelligent creatures. If we just let our Goats waltz around without direction there's little chance they will have any idea who they should be attacking or blocking. In an effort to keep our Goats well disciplined I've decided to run a full four copies of the Shepherd.

Cloudgoat Ranger: Okay, let's think about this. She's a giant. Se rides a flying goat. She has a bunch of Kithkin that help her get into the air. She fits our theme and she's just a downright awesome card.

Hearthfire Hobgoblin: Goblins love Goats. It's a little awkward, but they just can't get enough. (Of the Goats.) We all know about the Goat obsession. Ever since Wizards printed Goatnapper in Lorwynwe've been plunged into the world of Goat / Goblin romance.


Knight of Meadowgrain: Goats get lost. It's obnoxious, but it's something we've come to live with.Knight of Meadowgrain will bring the Goats back home for us.

Burrenton Forge-Tender: There's nothing Goats hate more than a well-timed Volcanic Fallout.Burrenton Forge-Tender protects our Goats from red mass removal—extremely important in today's Standard.

Kitchen Finks: Those pesky Finks are always getting into my kitchen. The thing is; I've already accepted a favor from these guys. Read the flavor text and you'll understand what I'm talking about here.

Sigiled Paladin: Sigiled Paladin is an incredible two-drop. I'm quite surprised it hasn't seen more play since its Standard legality began. I ran a full four copies of this fine Knight in my Standard deck atWorlds. I really think this card has what it takes to make the cut. It makes attacking with Hearthfire Hobgoblin a lot more impressive when it's attacking into a crowded board while we hide behind our Goat tokens.


Furystoke Giant: I found a way to make our Goats very angry. You don't want to see what Goats do when they get angry.

Rise of the Hobgoblins: I've already talked about the way Goblins always stare at my Goats. Green-White Tokens seems to be one of the best and certainly the most played archetype. Rise gives us a lot of game against this type of deck, and the first strike it grants is extremely relevant. Goats with first strike are exceptionally good pets.

Springjack Pasture: Our deck is very good at not running out of gas. Springjack Pasture is another way to ensure that we're pumping out Goats every turn.

Ancient Amphitheater: Furystoke Giant and Cloudgoat Ranger are Giants, so there's a somewhat reasonable chance we can play our Amphitheater untapped. This is a definite four-of in a deck like this.


Once we play around with the numbers, our Goat deck looks like this:

When Goats Attack

3 Springjack Pasture
4 Ancient Amphitheater
4 Jungle Shrine
3 Mountain
12 Plains
4 Burrenton Forge-Tender
3 Hearthfire Hobgoblin
4 Knight of Meadowgrain
4 Kitchen Finks
4 Cloudgoat Ranger
2 Furystoke Giant
4 Springjack Shepherd
4 Sigiled Paladin
1 Rise of the Hobgoblins
4 Glory of Warfare

4 Volcanic Fallout
3 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Goatnapper
4 Kithkin Zealot

The sideboard is pretty straightforward. The Goatnappers are on theme and they have great synergy with our Springjack Pasture. We can steal Chameleon Colossus, attack with it, and then sacrifice it for some mana and life. Seems like a lot of fun to me.

I took my goats into the casual room to play a few matches.

I lose the roll and keep Ancient AmphitheaterPlains,MountainBurrenton Forge-TenderKnight of MeadowgrainHearthfire Hobgoblin, and Springjack Shepherd on the draw. My opponent plays a Tattermunge Maniac and passes. I draw Furystoke Giant, play myBurrenton Forge-Tender, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Jund Hackblade and attacks with both of his creatures. I block the Tattermunge Maniac and take 3. I draw another Ancient Amphitheater, play my Knight of Meadowgrain and pass the turn back to my opponent. My opponent plays a Boggart Ram-Gang and passes the turn back. I draw a Springjack Pasture, play my Hearthfire Hobgoblin, and pass the turn back to my opponent. My opponent plays another Ram-Gang and attacks with both of his 3/3 wither goblins. I block one with my Burrenton Forge-Tender and take 3. I untap and draw another Springjack Shepherd. I play the first Shepherd and put seven Goats into play, attack with my Knight of Meadowgrain and Hearthfire Hobgoblin, and pass the turn back to my opponent. My opponent attacks me with his team, I block one creature with my Forge-Tender and go to 10; in his second main he casts Volcanic Fallout, I sacrifice my Forge-Tender to prevent the damage. On my turn I play Furystoke Giant, and my Goats shoot my opponent to death.

Sideboarding: -2 Rise of the Hobgoblins, -4 Sigiled Paladin, -1 Glory of Warfare, +4 Kithkin Zealot, +3Loxodon Warhammer.

I keep Ancient AmphitheaterJungle ShrinePlains,Springjack PastureKithkin ZealotKnight of Meadowgrain, and Glory of Warfare. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw a Cloudgoat Ranger, play my Jungle Shrine, and pass. My opponent plays a Jund Hackblade and passes. I draw a Knight of Meadowgrain, play one of my Knights, and pass the turn back. My opponent plays another Jund Hackblade and passes. He missed his third land drop. I draw another Cloudgoat Ranger, play my other Knight, and pass the turn back. My opponent plays his third land and plays Sprouting Thrinax before passing. I draw another Springjack Pasture, play my Glory of Warfare, and attack with both my Knights. My opponent chump-blocks one with the Thrinax, and I go to 28. My opponent plays a Boggart Ram-Gang and attacks me for 10, leaving two tokens back to block. I draw another Glory of Warfare, play Cloudgoat Ranger, and attack for another 8. My opponent blocks each Knight, and I go to 26. My opponent plays a fourth land and plays a Bloodbraid Elf. He flips up a Kitchen Finks, goes to 18, and passes the turn. I draw aBurrenton Forge-Tender, play it and my other Cloudgoat Ranger, and pass the turn. My opponent plays another Bloodbraid Elf and flips up a Colossal Might. He targets his Kitchen Finks and attacks with it, and I take the 7 and go to 19. On my turn I draw a Loxodon Warhammer. I play my other glory of Warfare and attack with everyone. My opponent struggles to find a profitable block. He fiddles around with his blocks for a few minutes and says, "I'm way too far behind, gg."

I lose the roll and keep Jungle ShrinePlainsMountain,Sigiled PaladinHearthfire HobgoblinGlory of Warfare, andCloudgoat Ranger. My opponent plays a Windbrisk Heightsand passes. I draw another Plains, play my Jungle Shrine, and pass back. My opponent plays a Bitterblossom and passes the turn back. I draw a Kitchen Finks, play mySigiled Paladin, and pass. My opponent plays a Spectral Procession and passes. I draw a Springjack Shepherd, play my Hearthfire Hobgoblin, and attack for three with mySigiled Paladin, my opponent goes to 16. My opponent attacks me for 4 and uses his Windbrisk Heights to play anIdentity Crisis. Wow, talk about living the dream! I discard my hand and it's my turn again. I draw a Furystoke Giantand attack with my Hearthfire Hobgoblin; my opponent blocks with a Faerie Rogue token. On his turn he plays aGlorious Anthem and attacks me for 8. I draw a Springjack Shepherd and concede. There's no way for me to win that game.

Sideboarding: -4 Burrenton Forge-Tender, -3 Sigiled Paladin, +4 Volcanic Fallout, +3 Loxodon Warhammer.

I keep Ancient AmphitheaterPlainsPlainsSpringjack PastureKnight of MeadowgrainKitchen Finks, andSpringjack Shepherd. I play my Ancient Amphitheater and pass. My opponent plays an Arcane Sanctum and passes. I draw a Hearthfire Hobgoblin and play Knight of Meadowgrain. My opponent plays Thoughtseize and takes my Springjack Shepherd before playing Windbrisk Heights. I draw a Mountain, play Hearthfire Hobgoblin, and attack for 2, putting the life totals at 16-22 in my favor. My opponent plays a Spectral Procession and passes. I drawGlory of Warfare and play it. I attack with both my creatures. My opponent takes the damage. The life totals become 4-26 in my favor. My opponent attacks with his three tokens and flips up a Wrath of God off his Windbrisk Heights, then plays a Tidehollow Sculler and takes myKitchen Finks. I draw a Springjack Pasture, play it, and pass. My opponent attempts to attack for 2, but I make a Goat and block it. He then plays a Cloudgoat Ranger. I draw another Plains, play it, and pass. My opponent plays Ajani Goldmane, puts a counter on each of his creatures, and attacks me. I make another token and block two of his tokens. I need to draw a Furystoke Giant this next turn or I lose. I draw a blank, and the writing seems to be on the wall. My opponent plays a Glorious Anthem and uses the Ajani to pump his team, and I concede the match.

I lose the roll and keep Jungle ShrinePlainsKnight of MeadowgrainKitchen FinksGlory of WarfareFurystoke Giant, and Springjack Shepherd. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw another Furystoke Giant, play Jungle Shrine, and pass. My opponent plays another land and aMind Stone. I draw Ancient Amphitheater, play Knight of Meadowgrain, and pass. My opponent plays Story Circlenaming white along with another land. I draw Springjack Pasture, attack with my Knight (my opponent prevents the damage), and play Kitchen Finks. My opponent untaps and plays Sigil of the Empty Throne. I draw a Cloudgoat Ranger, attack for 5, and play my Springjack Shepherd, putting five Goats into play. My opponent untaps and plays a Pacifism on my Knight of Meadowgrain and another Pacifism on my Kitchen Finks, getting a pair of 4/4 flyers. I draw another Ancient Amphitheater, play Furystoke Giant, and dome my opponent for 16.

I keep PlainsAncient AmphitheaterAncient Amphitheater, Burrenton Forge Tender, Sigiled Paladin,Sigiled Paladin, and Springjack Shepherd. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw Cloudgoat Ranger and playBurrenton Forge-Tender. My opponent plays a second land and passes. I draw a Springjack Pasture, play a Sigiled Paladin, and attack for 2. My opponent misses his third land drop, plays a Pacifism on my Sigiled Paladin, and passes. I draw Glory of Warfare, play my other Paladin, and attack for 3 with Burrenton Forge-Tender. My opponent misses his third land drop again and passes. I attack for 4 with my Paladin and play Springjack Shepherd, making five tokens. My opponent draws a third land and plays Oblivion Ring removing my Sigiled Paladin. I play my Glory of Warfare and attack for 16.

In review, I really enjoyed the Goat deck. I think Glory of Warfare is a strong card that deserves more than a glance. If you're into silly theme decks that can actually win some matches then this deck is probably for you.

Happy brewing!

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