You CAN Play Type I #74: The Control Player’s Bible, Part XVIII.1 – Head to Head With Goblins

When I saw Goblin Piledriver, I thought it was a strong card that nevertheless wouldn’t work in Type I. It didn’t occur to me that you could throw them all into a deck and see their individual drawbacks set aside by sheer weight of firepower.


Last week’s article, the blurb implied that German Tools ‘n’ Tubbies (TnT) creams”The Deck.” This is untrue.

Apologies to the confused people who e-mailed about the error.

Revisiting the Sligh matchup

The Sligh Head to Head feature was written last April, and I didn’t think I’d be doing an insert for one of the aggro features in less than a year. Having seen Grand Prix: Reims and the Goblin Sligh decks adapted for Type I by Germany’s Roland Bode and New York’s David Kaplan, though, I thought it’ll help readers to see the distinct Sligh variant in action.

As with everything new, people are going to try any Extended deck that looks solid enough for Type I. Carsten Kötter, a.k.a. Mon, Goblin Chief, e-mailed me last month to say that he was dusting off old anti-weenie cards he thought he’d never use again, like Pyroclasm – all in Dülmen, home of TnT.

I never thought I’d see it.

When I saw Goblin Piledriver, I thought it was a strong card that nevertheless wouldn’t work in Type I. There didn’t seem to be enough strong Goblins in Type I. Goblin Cadets is a standard and Goblin Vandals is close to one, but the rest are iffy. Mogg Fanatic is weak against creature-light decks. Mogg Flunkies don’t work if you kill their friends and force a deck to rely on creatures. Goblin Lackey isn’t as strong as it looks, and using bigger goblins like Goblin Mutant makes decks more erratic.

It didn’t occur to me, though, that you could throw them all into a deck and see their individual drawbacks set aside by sheer weight of firepower. So what I thought was a cute card to combat Morphling that would get killed by spot removal ended up leading rushes that could take down Cognivores in Extended.

Last February, I also wrote that Reckless Charge is great, but too erratic unless you play a lot of creatures. Again, I didn’t think it’d be worth it to load up on red creatures in Type I. But take a look at Patrick Mello’s deck from Reims, and you’ll see that it works.. At least in Extended.

So below are glimpses of a deck I never expected to play against in Type I. But hey, anything that brings Goblin Grenade out of the morgue is welcome.

Presenting: Type I Goblin Sligh

Today’s quick feature is brought to you in part by yet another member of the Morphling.de crew, Stefan Iwasienko, a.k.a. Womprax. It’s a Ukrainian name – but German-born Stefan lives in Beckdorft, near Stade in Niedersachsen, Germany. Anyway, since this is an insert, let’s do more logs instead of the italicized backstory this time…

13:40:36 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

13:40:36 – — DieWompe says: ”I am ready.”

13:40:38 – DieWompe drew 7 cards.

13:40:43 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

13:40:46 – DieWompe says:’kp’

13:40:50 – Rakso says:’k’

13:40:51 – It is now turn 1.

13:40:53 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:40:53 – Mountain is tapped.

13:40:55 – DieWompe plays Jackal Pup.

13:40:57 – Rakso says:’k’

No surprises so far…

13:40:59 – It is now turn 2.

13:41:00 – Rakso draws a card.

13:41:08 – Rakso plays Tundra.

Still nothing…

13:41:22 – It is now turn 3.

13:41:26 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:41:27 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:41:34 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:41:36 – Rakso’s life is now 18. (-2)

13:41:38 – Mountain is tapped.

13:41:40 – DieWompe plays Goblin Lackey.

13:41:41 – Rakso says:’k’

13:41:42 – Mountain is tapped.

13:41:43 – DieWompe plays Goblin Vandal.

13:41:44 – Rakso says:’k’

Ugh… Three creatures by Turn 2. Familiar?

Looking at Mello’s list, it can’t help but remind you of classic Stompy. Mogg Flunkies reminds you of Rogue Elephant. Utility 1/1s that round the deck out remind you of Elvish Lyrist and Quirion Ranger. Reckless Charge can hit worse than Rancor, and Goblin Grenade (over Reckless Abandon, obviously) hurts more than Giant Growth. Even the card quality advantage from a lower land count is there.

That said, your mass removal cards like Powder Keg and especially Pyroclasm are key, just as they are against Stompy. Of course, a properly set-up Goblin Piledriver hurts more than River Boa

13:41:47 – Tundra is tapped.

13:41:48 – Rakso plays Mystical Tutor.

13:41:54 – Rakso moves Ancestral Recall from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

13:41:55 – It is now turn 4.

13:41:55 – Rakso moves Ancestral Recall from tabletop to Rakso’s hand.

13:42:02 – Tundra is tapped.

13:42:04 – Rakso plays Ancestral Recall.

13:42:05 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

13:42:07 – Rakso plays City of Brass.

13:42:08 – Rakso plays Mox Jet.

13:42:09 – City of Brass is tapped.

13:42:10 – Mox Jet is tapped.

13:42:10 – Rakso’s life is now 17. (-1)

13:42:12 – Rakso plays Pyroclasm.

13:42:18 – DieWompe buries Jackal Pup.

13:42:19 – DieWompe buries Goblin Lackey.

13:42:19 – DieWompe buries Goblin Vandal.

13:42:21 – DieWompe’s life is now 18. (-2)

Fortunately for me, this was a post-sideboard game and I’m packing more than just Balance.

13:42:22 – It is now turn 5.

13:42:26 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:42:27 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:42:28 – Mountain is tapped.

13:42:30 – DieWompe plays Goblin Vandal.

13:42:32 – Rakso says:’k’

13:42:35 – Mountain is tapped.

13:42:36 – Mountain is tapped.

13:42:36 – DieWompe plays Goblin Piledriver.

13:42:39 – Rakso says:’k’

Nevertheless, as you can see, the sheer weight of creatures in this Sligh variant makes it tough to sweep the board so long as the opponent doesn’t overextend.

13:42:41 – It is now turn 6.

13:42:51 – Rakso draws a card.

13:43:12 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

13:43:22 – It is now turn 7.

13:43:25 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:43:29 – Goblin Vandal is attacking.

13:43:29 – Goblin Piledriver is attacking.

13:43:32 – City of Brass is tapped.

13:43:33 – Rakso’s life is now 16. (-1)

13:43:34 – Mox Jet is tapped.

13:43:40 – Rakso plays Fire/Ice.

13:43:45 – DieWompe buries Goblin Piledriver.

13:43:50 – Rakso’s life is now 15. (-1)

13:43:52 – Mountain is tapped.

13:43:53 – DieWompe plays Mogg Fanatic.

13:44:00 – Rakso says:’no pay for Mox?’

13:44:06 – DieWompe says:’no’

13:44:08 – Rakso says:’k’

13:44:11 – Mountain is tapped.

13:44:11 – Mountain is tapped.

13:44:12 – DieWompe plays Goblin Piledriver.

13:44:16 – Rakso plays Force of Will.

13:44:18 – Rakso moves Misdirection from Rakso’s hand to Rakso’s removed from game pile.

13:44:18 – Rakso’s life is now 14. (-1)

13:44:22 – DieWompe says:’:/’

Fortunately for me, there’s more where that Pyroclasm came from.

13:44:25 – It is now turn 8.

13:44:26 – Rakso draws a card.

13:44:31 – Rakso plays Tundra.

13:44:32 – Tundra is tapped.

13:44:32 – Mox Jet is tapped.

13:44:34 – Rakso plays Circle of Protection: Red.


I soon get a Morphling and enough mana to protect against Price of Progress and his remaining weenies. Stefan quickly loses the game with two Goblin Grenades and two Prices in hand.

Stefan and I used Dave Kaplan’s list. Dave, a Neutral Ground player, is currently trying Flaring Pain – an extremely narrow card meant for”The Deck’s” Circle of Protection: Red and Deck Parfait’s Story Circle. CoP hurts this deck more as it has no mana denial or colorless damage, and Flaring Pain here forces more creature damage against CoP. I do wonder, though, if the traditional Red Elemental Blasts should be completely left out.

Presenting: Reckless Charge

Last February, I wrote about how much fun it was to play Reckless Charge in Sligh, especially against something like mono blue. This next sample demonstrates just how annoying this card can be.

13:33:03 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

13:33:04 – — DieWompe says: ”I am ready.”

13:33:24 – Rakso rolled a 18, using a 20 sided die.

13:33:25 – DieWompe rolled a 16, using a 20 sided die.

13:33:28 – DieWompe says:’:(‘

13:33:47 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

13:33:50 – DieWompe drew 7 cards.

13:33:53 – It is now turn 1.

13:33:56 – Rakso plays Flooded Strand.

13:33:58 – It is now turn 2.

13:34:01 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:34:02 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:34:03 – Mountain is tapped.

13:34:06 – DieWompe plays Jackal Pup.

13:34:07 – Rakso says:’k’

13:34:12 – Rakso’s life is now 19. (-1)

13:34:13 – Rakso buries Flooded Strand.

13:34:16 – Rakso moves Tundra from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

Again, nothing spectacular here.

I didn’t use the games where Stefan got a first-turn Black Lotus because they were less interesting… But note that a Sligh deck with a radically increased permanent count can use Lotus efficiently. Conventional Sligh logic told you that it’s not worth it when you may not get three one-mana weenies in your opening hand, and you need solid Mountains to get consistent Cursed Scroll action as soon as possible. Assumptions change, though.

13:34:17 – It is now turn 3.

13:34:20 – Rakso draws a card.

13:34:24 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

13:34:25 – Rakso plays Mox Sapphire.

13:34:28 – It is now turn 4.

13:34:29 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:34:30 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:34:32 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:34:34 – Tundra is tapped.

13:34:34 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:34:35 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

13:34:37 – Rakso plays Dromar’s Charm.

13:34:40 – DieWompe buries Jackal Pup.

Another satisfied customer for my gold jank…

13:34:43 – Mountain is tapped.

13:34:44 – Mountain is tapped.

13:34:45 – DieWompe plays Goblin Piledriver.

13:34:48 – Rakso says:’k’

13:34:50 – It is now turn 5.

13:34:53 – Rakso draws a card.

13:34:55 – Rakso plays Wasteland.

13:34:56 – Tundra is tapped.

13:34:56 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:34:56 – Wasteland is tapped.

13:34:57 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

13:34:58 – Rakso plays The Abyss.

Stefan’s weaker draw combined with my uncharacteristically early Abyss make this game less interesting than others.

Read on, though.

13:34:59 – It is now turn 6.

13:35:03 – DieWompe says:’:(((‘

13:35:08 – DieWompe buries Goblin Piledriver.

13:35:08 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:35:09 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:35:12 – Mountain is tapped.

13:35:14 – DieWompe plays Jackal Pup.

13:35:16 – Rakso says:’k’

13:35:17 – Mountain is tapped.

13:35:19 – DieWompe plays Reckless Charge.

13:35:28 – Rakso says:’k’

13:35:31 – DieWompe buries Reckless Charge.

13:35:33 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:35:34 – Rakso’s life is now 14. (-5)

You have to be a bit more careful because the instant Haste just happens to brush past The Abyss. Five life is five life. The same goes for non-instant removal like Chainer’s Edict and Pyroclasm.

13:35:36 – It is now turn 7.

13:35:41 – Rakso draws a card.

13:35:44 – Rakso plays Polluted Delta.

13:35:44 – It is now turn 8.

13:35:48 – DieWompe buries Jackal Pup.

13:35:49 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:35:51 – DieWompe plays Barbarian Ring.

13:35:55 – Mountain is tapped.

13:35:58 – DieWompe plays Goblin Cadets.

13:36:13 – Rakso says:’sure’

13:36:16 – Mountain is tapped.

13:36:16 – Mountain is tapped.

13:36:16 – Barbarian Ring is tapped.

13:36:17 – DieWompe’s life is now 19. (-1)

13:36:18 – DieWompe moves Reckless Charge from DieWompe’s graveyard to tabletop.

13:36:19 – Tundra is tapped.

13:36:21 – Rakso plays Swords to Plowshares.

13:36:24 – DieWompe removes Reckless Charge from the game.

13:36:26 – DieWompe removes Goblin Cadets from the game.

13:36:26 – Rakso says:’gotcha’

13:36:27 – DieWompe’s life is now 21. (+2)

Compare this feeling to catching Rancor or Empyreal Armor with instant removal.

13:36:31 – It is now turn 9.

13:36:41 – Rakso draws a card.

13:36:44 – Rakso plays Tundra.

13:36:45 – Tundra is tapped.

13:36:45 – Tundra is tapped.

13:36:46 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:36:46 – Wasteland is tapped.

13:36:47 – Mox Sapphire is tapped.

13:36:48 – Rakso plays Morphling.

Game, but that wasn’t the point of this log.

The Weenie Horde In Game 1

Although Goblin is reminiscent of Stompy, red is still a stronger Type I color than green. One key difference is the more flexible and powerful sideboard a red deck can pack against you. You’ll be bringing in Circle of Protection: Red backed by more mass and spot removal, but he can bring in anything from Red Elemental Blast to Price of Progress, Blood Moon, or Scald. You won’t really know what kind of or how many sideboard cards you’ll face.

Even with a reduced anti-Sligh sideboard (to make room for anti-TnT), though, you still have good odds post-board. What you’ll need to practice more intensively is Game 1, where Balance and The Abyss can look inadequate.

Make no mistake. Stompy can steamroll you Game 1 with only your initial removal complement to protect you. Goblin works along the same lines.

13:24:20 – Rakso is requesting a new game.

13:24:20 – DieWompe says:’without abyss i would have won more often ;)’

13:24:26 – — DieWompe says: ”I am ready.”

13:24:26 – — Rakso says: ”Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”

Consider, though, that Abyss is still not complete protection against a Cadets and a Piledriver backed by a chump 1/1 pumped by Reckless Charge.

13:24:31 – DieWompe drew 7 cards.

13:24:32 – Rakso drew 7 cards.

13:24:35 – DieWompe says:’kp’

13:24:39 – Rakso says:’k’

13:24:41 – It is now turn 1.

13:24:42 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:24:44 – DieWompe plays Mox Ruby.

13:24:45 – Mountain is tapped.

13:24:48 – DieWompe plays Jackal Pup.

13:24:49 – Rakso says:’k’

13:24:51 – Mox Ruby is tapped.

13:24:52 – DieWompe plays Goblin Lackey.

13:24:53 – Rakso says:’k’

Hmmm… He played Lackey second. He must already have one of the bigger Goblins in hand.

13:24:55 – It is now turn 2.

13:24:57 – Rakso draws a card.

13:25:02 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

13:25:03 – Rakso plays Mox Pearl.

13:25:05 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

13:25:06 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:25:08 – Rakso plays Chainer’s Edict.

13:25:11 – DieWompe buries Goblin Lackey.

Edict is not optimal in this matchup. May as well use it now, or he’ll just sac Lackey after he’s emptied his hand.

13:25:13 – It is now turn 3.

13:25:18 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:25:19 – DieWompe plays Mountain.

13:25:23 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:25:25 – Rakso’s life is now 18. (-2)

13:25:32 – Mountain is tapped.

13:25:33 – Mox Ruby is tapped.

13:25:33 – DieWompe plays Mogg Flunkies.

There he is. Five power on the second turn, and I’ve already used a removal spell. Note how that Mox gave him a crucial pseudo-Time Walk.

13:26:08 – It is now turn 4.

13:26:13 – Rakso draws a card.

13:26:33 – Rakso plays Flooded Strand.

13:26:36 – Underground Sea is tapped.

13:26:38 – Rakso plays Brainstorm.

13:26:46 – Rakso drew 3 cards.

13:26:57 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

13:26:58 – Rakso plays a card facedown.

13:27:00 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

13:27:02 – Rakso moves a facedown card to Rakso’s library.

13:27:04 – Rakso plays Black Lotus.

13:27:05 – It is now turn 5.

13:27:06 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:27:09 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:27:09 – Mogg Flunkies is attacking.

13:27:11 – Rakso says:’wait’

13:27:13 – Rakso buries Black Lotus.

13:27:14 – Rakso plays Cunning Wish.

13:27:17 – Rakso creates new card: Swords to Plowshares.

13:27:19 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

13:27:20 – DieWompe says:’gnah’

13:27:21 – Rakso plays Swords to Plowshares.

13:27:26 – DieWompe removes Jackal Pup from the game.

13:27:27 – DieWompe’s life is now 22. (+2)

13:27:32 – Mountain is tapped.

13:27:33 – Rakso says:’no attackers’

13:27:36 – Mogg Flunkies is untapped.

13:27:36 – DieWompe plays Jackal Pup.

13:27:39 – Rakso says:’k’

13:27:41 – Mountain is tapped.

13:27:41 – Mox Ruby is tapped.

13:27:42 – DieWompe plays Goblin Piledriver.

13:27:43 – Rakso says:’k’

13:27:45 – Rakso’s life is now 17. (-1)

13:27:47 – Rakso buries Flooded Strand.

13:27:48 – Rakso is looking through library…

13:27:50 – Rakso moves Tundra from Rakso’s library to tabletop.

Not good. Against Goblin, he’s sure to have more creatures to get around Flunkies’ drawback. Nevertheless, I killed the Jackal Pup to buy time – I saved five life, not two – to find some kind of mass removal, since I’ll go down anyway if I don’t.

13:27:51 – It is now turn 6.

13:27:54 – Rakso draws a card.

13:27:58 – Rakso plays Volcanic Island.

13:27:59 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:28:00 – Rakso plays Gorilla Shaman.

I don’t; all I find is a speed bump with which to buy another turn.

My Cunning Wish article listed Waylay as the closest thing”The Deck” has to efficient, Wish-able mass removal. I actually wish I had it…

13:28:01 – It is now turn 7.

13:28:04 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:28:08 – Mogg Flunkies is attacking.

13:28:08 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:28:08 – Goblin Piledriver is attacking.

13:28:32 – Rakso’s life is now 12. (-5)

13:28:34 – Rakso buries Gorilla Shaman.

13:28:37 – Mountain is tapped.

13:28:39 – DieWompe plays Goblin Cadets.

13:28:40 – Rakso says:’k’

That’s it, I bite next turn unless I have something else to stall with. That’s 12 power on the table.

13:28:42 – It is now turn 8.

13:28:45 – Rakso says:’overextension’

13:28:48 – Rakso says:’the only thing that can save me now is Balance’

13:28:51 – Rakso draws a card.

13:29:01 – Rakso plays Underground Sea.

13:29:01 – DieWompe says:’i bite you if you topdeck balance’

13:29:09 – Rakso says:’yes’

13:29:13 – Rakso says:’so why bother playing that? :)’

13:29:22 – It is now turn 9.

13:29:26 – DieWompe draws a card.

13:29:34 – Mountain is tapped.

13:29:36 – DieWompe plays Reckless Charge.

13:29:40 – Jackal Pup is attacking.

13:29:40 – Goblin Cadets is attacking.

13:29:41 – Mogg Flunkies is attacking.

13:29:41 – Goblin Piledriver is attacking.

13:29:43 – Rakso says:’before attack’

13:29:44 – Volcanic Island is tapped.

13:29:45 – Mox Pearl is tapped.

13:29:47 – Rakso plays Fire / Ice.

13:29:53 – DieWompe buries Reckless Charge.

13:29:55 – DieWompe buries Jackal Pup.

13:29:55 – DieWompe buries Goblin Cadets.

13:29:56 – DieWompe’s life is now 21. (-1)

13:30:02 – Rakso’s life is now 6. (-6)

13:30:05 – Rakso says:’now cast that Bolt’

13:30:12 – Rakso says:’no MisD possible’

13:30:21 – Mountain is tapped.

13:30:23 – DieWompe plays Lightning Bolt.

13:30:24 – Rakso’s life is now 3. (-3)

Nope… I have one card in hand, and topdeck a Braingeyser I can only cycle to hope to stall further. My luck runs out this turn, though.

Three removal spells showed up, and you saw exactly how Cunning Wish helps you Game 1. Still, the volume of his fast creatures means that you have to build quick card advantage to do more than stall.

Unfortunately for me, that was exactly what didn’t happen in this game – no tutor-Ancestral Recall, no Mana DrainBraingeyser – and I got stomped.


I might list other versions in the future, but there aren’t a lot of ways to change Goblin, given the need to run, well, Goblins. Six years later, Sligh still goes back to Geeba…

Goblin, David Kaplan, December 2003 test deck

Creatures (24)

4 Jackal Pup

4 Goblin Cadet

4 Goblin Lackey

4 Mogg Fanatic

4 Goblin Piledriver

4 Mogg Flunkies

Burn (16)

4 Reckless Charge

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Chain Lightning

4 Goblin Grenade

Mana (20)

1 Black Lotus

1 Mox Ruby

1 Strip Mine

4 Barbarian Ring

13 Mountain

Sideboard (15)

4 Pyrokinesis

4 Price of Progress

4 Goblin Vandals

3 Flaring Pain

One possible tweak is to maindeck the Vandals. Another thing you might tinker with is the mana base. Discussing the Onslaught fetch lands, I noted that you can use them even in mono-color decks, just to thin the deck and topdeck an extra spell or two. Although it’s a bit of damage in addition to Jackal Pups, you’re dealing damage faster than most Type I decks.

(Incidentally, Jarrod Bright and Jay Schneider commented that you don’t see the fetch lands in a lot of mono-colored Extended aggro for various reasons. Suicide Black wants to get to Cursed Scroll mana and already has a lot of self-inflicted damage. Fish, had it been viable, would need actual Islands for tricks like Foil. However, Jay notes that his Extended Goblin runs the full eight. In case you want to experiment, fetch lands also add graveyard fodder, for Grim Lavamancer, something with good Extended mileage.)

Dave e-mailed weeks back:”Misdirection are essentially dead, and I’ve seen most of them end up pitched to FoWs since they either don’t want to wait for the Grenade or don’t know about them. The Vandals are great since they get dropped by Lackeys, swing with Flunkies, and pump Piledrivers. The Flaring Pains are in case they drop an early COP. Your plan, even if they also have a Caltrops, is to get the Piledriver to fatal, and Flaring Pain. The x/1 Goblins still pump him and he will kill them.”

Well, that’s it for this week. For the budget players out there, do note that Grand Prix: Reims and Dave Kaplan here have just given you a deck with practically no rares (well, Piledriver is cheaper than Cursed Scroll), but is more flexible than Stompy.

(Okay, so we thought green got better weenies in the recent slices of the R&D Pie, but it looks like that niche is eroded as well. Well, maybe there really are just four colors…)

Also note that a handful of inspired selections from Extended are trickling in – most notably Ankh of Mishra (a Reims sideboard card), as championed in the past weeks by Tom Barrett, a.k.a. MolotDet on TheManaDrain.com. Another choice is Ensnaring Bridge boarded against a number of aggro decks, though Matt D’Avanzo was using it against Suicide Black in Neutral Ground before it disappeared from the metagame.

Thus, I don’t believe that you have to go out of your way to design”Type I-level cards,” because new cards do find their way into the format.

Oscar Tan

rakso on #BDChat on EFNet

University of the Philippines, College of Law

Forum Administrator, Star City Games

Featured Writer, Star City Games

Author of the Control Player’s Bible

Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (R.I.P.)

Proud member of the Casual Player’s Alliance