Video Daily Digest: Mean And Green

There are more three-drops in Modern than your typical Druids and Finks! Let’s see what happens when we get some rowdy Goblins involved in the fight!

Goblins in Modern has always been a hyper-aggressive deck focused on
flooding the battlefield with creatures, pumping them with Bushwhackers,
and finishing off the opponent with Lightning Bolt and Goblin Grenade. But
in its Standard heyday during Onslaught Block, the tribe went bigger,
topping off with Siege-Gang Commander and Patriarch’s Bidding as the end

The card that made that deck tick was Goblin Warchief. Haste is among the
most powerful keyword abilities in Magic, and we all know how good making
your spells cheaper is. Goblin Warchief enabled early Siege-Gang Commanders
or set up one-shot kills with a pair of Goblin Piledrivers, giving a deck
that was powerful enough to go long the pressure needed to force opponents
into the perennially awkward position of risking an early loss or
disadvantaging themselves later on.

The only problem was that Goblin Warchief was printed in Scourge, and the
line for Modern legality was drawn right after it. But with Dominaria
bringing the card back we can build a different kind of Goblin deck in

Once you commit to doing that, it’s easy to see that the Goblin tribe has
several other powerful three-drops. Goblin Chieftain is another lord,
Goblin Rabblemaster already sees play in Modern, and Goblin Chainwhirler is great against all manner of creature decks from Humans to Affinity to
Elves. With this density of three-drops a splash for Collected Company is
the obvious next step. It’s the most powerful curve topper for synergistic
creature decks in Modern and fits excellently here.

The low end of the curve has mana acceleration from Skirk Prospector and
Wily Goblin, the underrated Mogg War Marshal, and two cards that help you
go over the top of other creature decks once you establish a significant
presence on the battlefield: Goblin Piledriver and Legion Loyalist. The
former is flashier and has a longer pedigree, but it’s Legion Loyalist that
is critical here, making it much easier to attack into small creatures and
completely blanking otherwise powerful cards like Young Pyromancer and
Lingering Souls. We may be going bigger, but the Goblins are still all
about attacking.

The one downside to being a Collected Company deck is the necessary density
of creatures making it difficult to fit in both Lighting Bolt and Goblin
Grenade. The higher curve means a higher land count so Goblin Grenade, an
incredibly powerful card for this tribe, must be cut, though I think
sideboarding some copies to answer bigger creatures is a good idea.

The Bushwhacker Goblin decks, while powerful, have always been too linear
to succeed with so many common sideboard cards already in the format. This
more robust list is more difficult to plan for and gives the pilot more
room to maneuver themselves, so it seems like a step in the right direction
for a tribe that has yet to break through in Modern.