I'll Throw a Grenade for You

Posted in Feature on October 9, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

When I first started playing in PTQs, back in the days of Onslaught Block Constructed, Goblins was definitely the boogeyman. The Goblin tribe was the fastest and most resilient of them all, and figuring out how to beat a tide of Goblin Piledrivers, Goblin Warchiefs, and Siege-Gang Commanders was first and foremost on everyone's list, both in Block and Standard. It's been some time since Goblins was so feared, and even in Legacy it's not the Tier 1 staple it used to be.

Goblin Grenade

It looks like Modern may be where the goblin warrens are located these days, as this list from Magic Online indicates. The curve on this deck is lower than Goblin decks of years past, with only Goblin Chieftain at three mana, and nothing more expensive than that. Instead, the deck overloads on one-drops, aiming to have three in play by turn two. Seeing as how Goblin Guide and Legion Loyalist have haste, and Goblin Bushwhacker grants it, it won't be surprising to attack for 5 or more damage on the second turn!

The deck even has a token backup plan, which is nice. Having some resilience in the event of a Pyroclasm is smart, because one-drops aren't known for their longevity. The token backup plan happens to be just that, with Mogg War Marshal, Dragon Fodder, and Krenko's Command all putting multiple Goblins into play. Those play nicely with Goblin Chieftain and Shared Animosity, both of which heavily reward you for having a ton of 1/1s in play (that soon become 5/1s or more).

If opponents are still standing after a million Goblins have been thrown their way, Goblin Grenade and Lightning Bolt are there to knock them down. Goblin Grenade does a lot of damage for a small amount of mana, and finding a Goblin willing to deliver it is usually not very difficult.

Megachair's Goblins

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