States Metagame: Goblins

Fresh off his second-place finish this weekend, Nate discusses what’s coming up for his favorite tournament – States! And even though the decklist is old Onslaught Block hat, what other decks are emerging that might threaten Goblins?

While Goblins are certainly part of the metagame, the question remains – are they what you should be playing? If you are a fan of”there are no wrong threats,” then perhaps this is the deck for you, because honestly, there may only be one or two other decks out there that have any real threats in them.

Goblins are deadly, Goblins are fast. Goblins are….Block Constructed. Really. Scroll down and take a look at the list – it’s about twelve cards off from Block Constructed, and all the key cards are Block Constructed. (The last one, silly.) The fact is that Goblins were the best they ever might have been in the last block. There was no Goblin Lackey or Goblin Vandal, but the sheer explosive power of Goblins has never been like this. Even in Extended, we feel the power of the Goblin Piledriver and the Goblin Warchief. The Blood Pet of Goblins, Skirk Prospector has changed the way we look at chopping down our men for mana. We dare not mock the Prospector now – oh no, somehow in Goblins he is king.

The fact remains that this deck is very good. Goblins come out strong and fast. They cannot always finish the job, but there are lots of”oops, I win” conditions in the deck, and lots of burn to compliment them. I would say the most significant additions to the deck is Pyrite Spellbomb, Chrome Mox, and Shrapnel Blast.

Why is Pyrite Spellbomb so much better than Shock, you ask? It is because Pyrite Spellbomb has a hidden line of text. Look really closely…in between the lines…you will see it.

There! It says…”Pump the Fist: Kill Target Silver Knight.” The bane of Goblins is a bane no longer. Besides this, if you are a regular player of Goblins, you are well aware of what happens when you draw too many Shocks against the wrong people. They sit in your hand as dead cards, mocking you. With the Spellbombs, you can just sacrifice them to draw a card. I do it all the time and it is fantastic!

The Mox is a big addition for obvious reasons: It makes the fast deck faster and deadlier. It also helps for a secondary reason, involving the other great addition – Shrapnel Blast! This card reminds me a lot of Goblin Grenade, but it’s much better. The reason for this is two-fold: One, it is an instant – which is huge. Two, you don’t have to sacrifice an attacker…Instead, you can sacrifice a Mox or a Great Furnace, something we know that Goblins doesn’t need very much. If you are desperate, you can always sacrifice a Spellbomb, turning two damage into five…Still not a bad trade.

Goblins: States 2003

3 Goblin Burrows

11 Mountain

4 Great Furnace

4 Chrome Mox

4 Volcanic Hammer

1 Hammer of Bogardan

4 Pyrite Spellbomb

3 Shrapnel Blast

2 Goblin Sharpshooter

4 Siege-Gang Commander

4 Clickslither

4 Goblin Sledder

4 Skirk Prospector

4 Goblin Piledriver

4 Goblin Warchief

I think there have been enough articles about how to play this new deck, but how does it fare in the States metagame of MBC and U/W control? The answer is it fares well, just like Goblins usually do. You should watch out for Infests from MBC; some are playing it while others are not. It is a rather large liability for them against the White decks, unless they are playing with Decree of Justice (and even then it doesn’t help them much). You will definitely see it after sideboarding, though.

Wrath of God is another problem card for Goblins that wasn’t an issue in Block Constructed. The way to avoid nasty Wrath effects is to simply use your Warchief wisely. Never lose more than three guys to a Wrath unless you are doing insane amounts of damage. For instance, turn 1 you play a Prospector, a Piledriver turn 2, a Warchief turn 3. You have hit them for eleven already (but watch out for Wing Shards!).

If they Wrath, it’s fine; you will still have plenty of cards in your hand to kill them with. If you are going to extend more guys, it is best to do it with Sharpshooter and a man that will let you sacrifice guys. This way, even if they do Wrath, you can get some extra damage off. Once they get to eight, they are pretty much in range of burn…. Shrapnel Blast and Volcanic Hammer do a lot of face-burning. I threw one Hammer in there for good measure. Some decks just don’t have any way to deal with it, and one more”oops I win” card isn’t a bad thing. A Rorix also would not be terrible in here for the same reason.

The one matchup I would really worry about it the new Green/White decks that have slowly been emerging from the woodworks. They are very aggro-controllish, using cards like Troll Ascetic and Ravenous Baloth in conjunction with Akroma’s Vengeance and Wing Shards, using Birds of Paradise and Talismans to help the mana. It seems to me that this type of deck could absolutely crush goblins; where Silver Knight has failed in his duties, Troll Ascetic has taken up the flag. You best defense against this is a good offense, similar to the old way of dealing with Silver Knight. The all-too-familiar combo of Siege-Gang and Clickslither is there to pull you out. As long as you can get the damage in early, you should be fine as long as they don’t drop multiple Baloths…And for that, you will need to Sideboard in your Sulfuric Vortexes, just like in block.

The other deck that may or may not be around is Slide. I can’t get a good feel on this yet. If your local area seems to be doing a lot of Cycling, you may want to consider Stabilizers in the Sideboard as well. The old standby when a set rotates out of Standard is that the block decks will become the next big things in the environments. Well, we know this one was a king, but so was Astral Slide… So be mindful of Starstorm!

No, this isn’t the deck I am playing either…There’s not a single Manakin in it! You know, Block constructed decks do rule Standard…but not necessarily from Onslaught block…

Until next time, take a risk. Go sledding.

Nate Heiss

Team CMU

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