Goblins And Infect At #SCGPHILLY

While a few players may be interested in taking up the new Eldrazi Legacy lists floating around, Tom Ross recommends just doing what you know at #SCGPHILLY. For him, that means attacking with little poisonous creatures and crazy, angry Goblins! See his lists here!

Join The SCG Tour<sup>®</sup> in Philadelphia February 27-28!” border=”1″ /></a></div>
<p>#SCGPHILLY is this weekend, which relieves me and others from having Eldrazi on the mind. Or does it? Todd Anderson played Legacy Eldrazi in a <a href=VS Video this week. Ari Lax played it in a video as well. There’s also been buzz going around on social media about the Legacy port of the Modern “Eldrazi menace”.

With so many people already invested in their Modern versions, it’s not too much trouble to make the switch. Oh, and City of Traitors tripled in price overnight this week, which is no coincidence. Even the deck that theoretically beats Legacy Eldrazi, Sneak and Show, needs its own copies of City of Traitors. Scorched Ruins also jumped an insane amount this week and Eldrazi is the only deck that could support that one. The signs point to Eldrazi invading Legacy too.

It’s a wonder if Infect is still viable in Legacy. Before, it was fairly weak to Chalice of the Void, which I imagine people will be packing in their colorless decks without one-drops. Maybe I’m overestimating the effect that Eldrazi are having on Legacy, but I’d rather be on the safe side on this one and adjust Infect with possible new Legacy Eldrazi builds in mind.

The first question to answer is how to deal with high expected numbers of Chalice of the Void. I played Modern Infect in #SCGRegionals the weekend of #PTOGW. Since #PTOGW started on a Friday there was enough time to piece together the Eldrazi decks from the Pro Tour. Knowing that I’d have to play against Chalice of the Void, I loaded up on Viridian Corrupters to get out from under them, one maindeck and two sideboard. It worked out reasonably, as I won one and lost one against it. The Viridian Corrupters definitely helped.

I’ve played them in Legacy too. If decks with artifacts like Shardless Sultai, Affinity, MUD, and Tezzeret are expected, then Viridian Corrupter is worth a slot. Green Sun’s Zenith gives the first copy of Viridian Corrupter even more mileage. But, as with the Modern Infect version, more has to be done to thwart the Eldrazi, so I recommend playing two this weekend at #SCGPHILLY.

This is my current Infect build.

I bounce back and forth on if I want to splash for Rest in Peace and Swords to Plowshares from the sideboard, and for this weekend, I do. I want Rest in Peace, as I expect to face decks dependent on their graveyard, like Reanimator, Lands, and maybe some of the weird Bloodghast / Goblin Bombardment deck that Ari Lax played against Round 1 of his video. Swords to Plowshares is great against all forms of creature decks, where Submerge is only good against green decks. Goblins, Death and Taxes, Merfolk, and colorless creature decks are a few that might show up in higher numbers than they did last year.

The maindeck is fairly stock, except with a maindeck Viridian Corrupter to go along with the Green Sun’s Zenith. The Dryad Arbor is in the sideboard against Liliana of the Veil decks.

I usually play twenty lands maindeck but have seen many lists with nineteen. Gitaxian Probe number three is faking as a pseudo-land. There are four lands in the sideboard, so increasing the land count against decks with Wasteland, Rishadan Port, or Stifle isn’t a problem. Against something like Death and Taxes, I tend to sideboard in every land I can, as their main plan is to constrict you on mana sources with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben; Wasteland; and Rishadan Port.

Going down to just two Vines of Vastwood leaves the deck a touch short on pump spells. This is remedied by the higher infect creature count maindeck when Green Sun’s Zenith and Viridian Corrupter are counted. GSZ for Noble Hierarch’s exalted ability contributes a little to the pump count.

Why Infect for this weekend? Personally, I’ve been focusing on Modern and Standard so much that I haven’t further developed any of my Legacy brews. It’s been awhile since The SCG Tour®‘s last Legacy Open, and people could either come with completely new things or settle into old standbys like I am. Infect is a great deck still with a fast combo kill, decent grinding ability, and enough countermagic to not get run over by anything in particular. Something I don’t like is how many Ancient Tombs may be running around. It’s annoying when people frivolously use their life total against Infect.


Goblins has been doing well in SCG Classics lately, even winning in Atlanta a month ago. Why it’s doing well has my interest, as Goblins fell off the map completely a little over two years ago. Since then, Krenko, Mob Boss and Grenzo, Dungeon Warden have seen some play, but neither really boosts the power level of the deck.

Once Goblins is allowed to do its thing, it’s great. Its thing is doing grindy Goblin things against fair decks. To me both Krenko and Grenzo are efficient Goblins that don’t help in matchups that Goblins was previously weak to. Something in the metagame had to change to make Goblins well-positioned again.

Winning an SCG Classic is no joke. Great players go to Opens chasing the Players’ Championship, and sometimes those players end up playing in Classics. Andy Ferguson and Joe Lossett won the Classics in Knoxville. They’re getting tougher every weekend, especially now that they’re one of the few ways to get SCG Points outside of Opens and Invitationals.

I like what John-Peter Reiland was doing here. Earwig Squad is extremely cool and I would love to shut out a Storm opponent by removing their Tendrils of Agony and Empty the Warrens, or to face the Elves player who’s left with Elvish Visionary as their best creature to get with Natural Order. Earwig Squad does require one of your Goblins to connect, which can be tough at times, depending on the matchup.

John-Peter’s green splash includes Krosan Grip, which certainly helps the Miracles matchup by removing both parts of their combo, Sensei’s Divining Top and Counterbalance (but mostly Counterbalance). Artifacts are easy for red to deal with on its own, usually with Tuktuk Scrapper and Shatter effects like Shattering Spree and Smash to Smithereens. Goblin Tinkerer can come out to play if you want to get really dirty.

But how will Goblins be positioned if Eldrazi are a thing? Passably well, I’d say. The Eldrazi are fast, but still kind of on the fair side of things. No infinite combos or hard locks, just efficiency without manipulation. Goblins can beat raw power by going bigger in combat as long as an Endbringer isn’t involved. Goblins can beat a Chalice of the Void with Aether Vial or Cavern of Souls. It’s a tribal battle I’m willing to fight on the Goblin side.

While playing extra colors allows for more options I prefer a more basic build of Goblins.

Straight red is my preferred way to go. It avoids life loss from fetchlands that could also get hit by Stifle. You won’t get hit by nonbasic land hate cards like Wasteland and Price of Progress as much. Green, black, and white all have their merits, but I don’t like any of them as much as I like good, clean mana. Heck, even blue has merit. I once brewed up a version of Goblins that had blue just for Daze and Brainstorm.

Brainstorm putting two goblins on top. Goblin Ringleader? Game.

Brainstorm putting two land on top. Shuffle using Goblin Matron.

Still, I want to play Pendelhaven, as green of a card as it looks. I play Pendelhaven in a lot of decks. Soul Sisters? Attack with my 2/3 Soul Warden. Aluren? Imperial Recruiter is coming in for two. I’ve always said: “If Pendelhaven tapped for colorless mana, it’d see more play.”

If your deck has 1/1 creatures, chances are it should be playing Pendelhaven. In particular, it’s key to push Goblin Lackey past literally anything, but most important to push through creatures that the Lackey can’t trade with on its own, like Deathrite Shaman and Stoneforge Mystic.

One land to think about is Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep. Wasteland, and to a smaller degree cards like Back to Basics, are reasons not to play it over a basic Mountain, but there are legendary Goblins making appearances, and enough of them would warrant playing Shinka. As for now, with a lone Krenko in my list, I don’t think it’s worth it, but it doesn’t take much to change that.

I believe that Elves and Death and Taxes will show up in decent numbers, so I want to load up on Tarfire and Pyrokinesis out of the sideboard. I still play some amount of interaction for the unfair decks, but nowhere near enough to make most of them favorable. I’m banking on not letting the favorable and close matchups slip away.

Will Eldrazi Invade Legacy Too?

It’s tough not to. Up to sixteen “Sol lands” will power the most medium of Draft cards into the Constructed-playable range. Even if they aren’t good, I think people are going to try them. I have a feeling that Modern is their sweet spot and a big part of it is Thought-Knot Seer having a perfectly shaped body for the Lightning Bolt format. Swords to Plowshares is a much better answer.

I’d consider Eldrazi to be on the side of good in Legacy for now. Miracles and Storm are the real baddies. Then again, every deck starts off as good… until it ends up being too good.

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent

Join The SCG Tour<sup>®</sup> in Philadelphia February 27-28!” border=”1″ /></a></div></p>
    </div><!-- .entry-content -->
    		<div class=