How to Quest for the Goblin Lord in Standard.

Decks can sometimes come from the most off-handed and reckless thoughts or actions. It seems a fitting occurrence that such impulsiveness would get Goblins into my bag for a trip to our local store’s new “Playtest Tuesday” event. The plan was to have players gather at the store for a couple hours of building, trading, talk, and testing, followed by a brief casual three round swiss tournament. Part of the idea is to try out deck ideas that you maybe wouldn’t want to trot out at FNM, but still want to give a good shake.

My Tuesday afternoon was to be busy and as I’m about to head out the door I looked at all the halfway torn apart decks and my FNM deck and decided this simply would not do. Needing to get out the door, I quickly put together in my head the not-yet-complete Legacy Goblins deck that I’ve been piecing together and a seemingly random Uncommon out of Worldwake: Quest for the Goblin Lord, which I remember being last pick in a recent draft.

Goblins are a competitive consideration for Legacy, made occasional showings in Lorwyn-era Standard, and briefly blipped on the radar shortly after M10 was released. Decks built around the tribe can put out impressive damage very quickly; there was a new card to play with, and I had a core set of cards to pull from already set aside and aching to be played. Besides, the night was to be ideas and semi-casual competition, right?

With around ten minutes of searching and sleeving, I cobbled together the following decklist, although I will admit a certain amount of shame at the poor sideboard that I just slapped together:

I arrived at the store just before the tourney, and I didn’t really get any time for small talk or discussion of the deck. I quickly asked around for my missing Quests, as I only had that single draft reject when I built the deck, and the folks there were plenty happy to be rid of them.

With only three rounds, the night was due to go quickly, but I was excited to try out my contraption against some of the decks I saw there. My matches went Jund, Boss Naya, and ended on UW Chapin. I ask forgiveness as in my haste and the casual nature of the night, I lack detailed notes on each game, and that’s not really the point of this article anyhow, but I will recall briefly what I can.

Jund seemed to suffer from being Jund against the massively fast amounts of damage Goblins could dish out, being slow on mana, and only getting guys down on turn two and three allowed me to quickly roll them. Getting Quest online and dropping Chieftans into play as early as turn 3 didn’t hurt either and Jund stumbling on mana just laid down and died.

Boss Naya, other than the name giving flashbacks to my console gaming days, gave me figurative fits. I quickly applied ludicrous amounts of pressure game one, but quickly came under the hammer, quite literally, as a resolved Behemoth Sledge began to eat my guys and bring the Naya player from burn range to victory in short order. This is where I became grateful for one quick consideration I did make during my speed-building session: Tuktuk Scrapper in the SB.

This little Goblin Ally comes in with a handy Shatter that will handle a Sledge or Basilisk Collar and ping the owner of such implements while he’s at it. My only regret is not having at least one more SB. Thanks to the Scrapper, I take game two. Surprisingly, and thanks to game one’s Naya come back from the brink, game three ends with a draw due to a frantic race in turns with Naya only one (missing) top decked Lightning Bolt away from death.

UW Chapin is a frustrating and strange deck to sit across from. Game one, again I get a high-powered Warren Instigator in before there is anything the opponent can do, and I roll them like a ball downhill. Game two, and for this I kick myself, I fail to consider that the opponent might side in Kor Firewalkers, In my defense, I had not seen the UW Chapin list yet, so I was not fully informed, but I slapped a playset of Unstable Footing in just for such a circumstance.

Quickly applying pressure, I bring him down to the single digits when he drops a Firewalker. I mentally roundhouse myself, but also can’t help but smile at what may be one of my new favorite creatures.  Besides, even with him gaining life and having a protected blocker, my goblin swarm can get damage through, and if I resolve an Eldrazi Monument, the game will be mine. I keep him on low life, even with him countering my guys and gaining from it. Of course this means when I have him at two life he drops another Firewalker.  Thanks to Ruinblaster and Edge eating his manlands, the game goes on till he finally drops Iona, Shield of Emeria with only 2 minutes left in the round. We called it a draw.

Good for a cheap pack, I took this deck to play against some buddies the next night. My goblin horde has eaten a weak Vampire deck, a UB Ally Combo deck, and in the toughest matchup, they lost to a Bant Shroud deck, courtesy of Deft Duelist.

In discussion of the deck, we have considered a couple of splash opportunities, using either Arid Mesa to enable a Stoneforge Mystic package with Firewalker as a possible extension, or going with Scalding Tarn and a package of cheap and unexpected counterspells like Dispel to help power down things in the control match, or fend off opposing removal.

I’m personally leaning towards the white splash, allowing me to do tricks such as the one suggested by fellow Power 9 Pro team member Dillon Wilson, equipping SGC with a Basilisk Collar. Tentatively, I think the package will look something like this:



The sideboard needs some help, but I know that I’m going to be looking for at least one more Ruinblaster and Scrapper, likely more Searing Blaze, and possibly a Path to Exile or two. I want to avoid going too Boros, but the power of the Stoneforge Mystic and Basilisk Collar are undeniable, and having a couple non-goblins allows me to run Assaults without leaving the door open. Another great thing is that the Quest for the Goblin Lord only cares about goblins as they enter the battlefield. Once it is online, it’ll gladly give everyone a +2/+0 boost.

Now, I’ll open up another thought or two for feedback which you can leave in the comments below. Should Voracious Dragon take the place of Eldrazi Monument? Should we look at Glory of Warfare instead of the Quest?

I’ve had a lot of fun with this randomly thrown together, Quest-inspired deck and look forward to working on it and making it as strong as possible. Is there a chance that WotC is throwing us a bone here and that the tribal deck that maybe poised to kick Jund off its throne is not Vampires, but rather Goblins? Packing synergy, speed, and power, I really think the little red guys have a decent chance.

Rob J.
P.S. Follow me on Twitter @RobJelf

6 thoughts on “How to Quest for the Goblin Lord in Standard.”

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  2. I actually started playing with a version of this deck this weekend. I started with the quest but ended up pulling it when it didn’t perform as quickly as I’d hoped. My build is a little more burn orientated and I haven’t had much time to play test it yet, but when I did, it packed quite a bit of punch. It is is slightly different; I ended up going for Voracious Dragon instead of Eldrazi…although I never needed him.
    I knew Kor Firewalker would be an issue and wasn’t sure how to deal with him. I’m really liking the idea of splashing white. Although, with your white additions I’d only add one collar and get rid of the kite sail, putting in two paths. I’d also main board the smoldering spires. They won me games quite a few times.

    My build:
    # 4 Goblin Bushwhacker
    # 2 Goblin Guide
    # 4 Lightning Bolt
    # 4 Searing Blaze
    # 3 Burst Lightning
    # 4 Warren Instigator
    # 1 Dragon Fodder
    # 4 Goblin Chieftan
    # 4 Goblin Ruinblaster
    # 4 Siege-Gang Commander
    # 2 Voracious Dragon
    # 4 Teetering Peaks
    # 4 Smoldering Spires
    # 16 Mountain
    No SB yet, still working that out.

  3. @Brenda: I’m mildly concerned about having too many ETBT lands, as this deck loves the speed out of the gate, but I think I will tinker with the Spires. I’m a little bitter from that shroud deck I played against yet, but against the metagame at large, I’m sure they’ll be a good call. They also get Firewalker out of the way.

    The Fodders and the Assaults went a long way towards powering up the quest, not to mention you can sometimes get a progression like, T1: Quest, T2: W Instigator, T3: Connect w/ WI for 1 and drop Siege-gang (adding 4 to, and turning on the Quest) then connect again for 3, dropping another goblin.

    I think I like the Kitesail for the same reason you like the Spires, that is causing evasion to get through where it isn’t expected, but I’ve yet to try it. My thought on having two Collars was that I’d be nearly sure to see at least one Collar or Mystic every game.

    Thanks for the comment. Let us know what changes you make and how it works for you.

  4. I like this deck idea too! I’ve been throwing cards in a pile for a few weeks, just waiting to get to building it… although I don’t have playsets of everything yet.
    I like Eldrazi Monument, in fact that was the initial push for my wanting to play goblins (instead of elves, the red guys get a chance to fly!)
    One fun little card combo I thought of is Chain Reaction – it should clear the board, since we’ve got a million little guys, and with the monument in play, they just don’t die!
    Also, I have been thinking of the Bazaar Trader in with some Mark of Mutiny – take their guys, then give them to yourself for good. Then, just because you have to, sacrifice them to the monument and cackle like a goblin should…

  5. + white for the Mystic to fetch the collar is pretty good, but I think then you should consider bringing in the Reckless Sparkmage too, in which case you are no longer running a goblin deck!

    I’d consider splashing blue, to use Fabricate – tutor up Eldrazi Monument.
    And maybe Lodestone Golem, since most of your spells will be cheeeeap.

    Also, in a pinch, without Basilisk Collars , don’t forget Gorgon Flail as a substitute. I still remember a great draft with SiegeGang Commander + Gorgon Flail wrecking the board!

  6. i have this deck-

    4 goblin lackey
    4 goblin grappler
    4 siege gang commander
    4 panic spellbomb
    4 goblin chieftain
    4 quest for the goblin lord
    3 rise of the hobgoblins
    4 mogg war marshal
    4 goblin shortcutter
    4 akki underminer
    4 frenzied goblin

    11 basic mountains
    2 forgotten caves
    4 smoldering spires

    my aim is to perfect a type of quick goblin deck that can proceed to effectively use the lackeys for free siege gangs and make sure the akki underminers hit every turn- this way, my opponent has to sacrifice a permanent every hit- therefore slowing him. the quest for the goblin lords are to be used in combination with the rise of the hobgoblins- they pump my goblins up and give them first strike… the mogg war marshals are some basic defense until i get my stuff rolling…

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