Sunday, February 3, 2008

Boggarts’ Bloody Pact (Playing Goblins in Standard)

I’ve been a fan of Aggro decks since I started playing Magic way back during Urza’s Destiny expansion. I liked the concept of bashing your opponents early and finishing them off with burn spells. In the previous Ravnica standard, I piloted Gruul (Red/Green) Aggro and Rakdos (Black/Red) Sligh decks.

In the current Standard format, I’ve built variations of Red-Green Aggro but that wasn’t consistent and effective enough. So I resorted on utilizing Lorwyn tribes, and I chose the Boggarts (or the Goblin tribe). A friend and fellow “Magikero” in our community has been piloting this tribe and was doing well during test plays, so I gave it a shot. I based my list on his and modified it a bit by adding Greater Gargadon and Grave Pact. I called it the “Gargadon-Grave Pact” combo.

So, without further ado, here’s my list:

Black-Red Goblins
by Mark Ian Alloso
Format: Standard
Main (37)
3 Greater Gargadon
4 Mad Auntie
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Mogg War Marshall
4 Squeaking Pie Sneak
3 Siege-Gang Commander
4 Wort, Boggart Auntie

3 Grave Pact
4 Incinerate
4 Tarfire

Land (23)
4 Auntie’s Hovel
3 Graven Cairns
2 Keldon Megaliths
1 Pendelhaven
3 Sulfurous Springs
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
5 Mountain
4 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
4 Cryoclasm
3 Pyroclasm
4 Slaughter Pact
4 Stupor

Card Discussions

The Goblins
Let us first discuss the Goblin components of the deck:

Mad Auntie - She (doesn’t look like a she) pumps up your other goblins and provides regeneration shield. Definitely a must-have in the deck.

Mogg Fanatic - an efficient first-turn drop, for combat tricks and for killing those pesky Birds of Paradise and Llanowar elves.

Mogg War Marshall - this provides early beatdown and also accelerates a suspended Greater Gargadon.

Squeaking Pie Sneak - an effective 2-mana drop (if you reveal another Goblin card) and beatdown because of its fear.

Siege-gang Commander - a threat for mid-game and late game scenario and can be a good finisher.

Wort, Boggart Auntie - this legendary goblin is really “wort-it” especially post-Wrath and post-Damn scenario and also a good beater (fear factor).

Tarfire - the burn spell made for goblins and can be returned to hand by Wort (see how cool Wort is?).

The Non-Goblins
And now for the non-Goblin cards:

Greater Gargadon - A support for the deck and can be a late game threat and finisher. Having Grave Pact in play and lots of critters to sac makes this a HUGE factor.

Incinerate - a 2 CC, 3 damage instant, anti regeneration burn spell. Nuff said.

Grave Pact - this enchantment is the answer for big threats and “no touch” creatures like Paladin-en-Vec and Troll Ascetic.

The Mana Producers

Auntie’s Hovel - any Goblin decks (pref. B/R) must have a set of this tribal land.

Graven Cairns - for mana fixing especially when casting Grave Pact.

Keldon Megaliths - its ping ability (when you have no cards in hand) is for killing opponents’ critters and a late game finisher.

Pendelhaven - for additional beatdown since most of your creatures are 1/1.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - mana-fixing purposes.

The Sideboard
Your sideboard list will depend upon your local metagame but I prefer to use general utility cards if you don’t know what deck to expect at the tournament.

4 Cryoclasm - against U/W Pickles and any variation of blue and white control.

3 Pyroclasm - versus other weenie aggro decks like Kithkins, Faeries, and mirror match.

4 Slaughter Pact - for additional kill. Sideboarded against fatty creatures and specifically an anti for Phyrexian Ironfoot.

4 Stupor - versus other control decks with no or few card drawers.

Just a few notes on playing the deck:

1. First turn suspend Gargadon and second turn war marshall is the play most of the time. Pay echo to the marshall whenever possible.

2. Reserve your burn and kill to important threats. Rather use Tarfire on a BoP or Elf than pinging it with the fanatic.

3. Do not overextend unless you know that your opponent has no mass removal. Always reserve your Wort for post-mass removal situation.

4. Always remember to ping when your Keldon Megaliths is online.

5. Use “taktak gurl” tokens always. This is the secret tech of the deck. Lol, just kidding.

There you have it, my build of the BR Goblins for the current Standard format. So far, it is doing well in our local tournaments. Test play and modify it according to your preferences. With the upcoming Lorwyn expansion, Morningtide, it has provided the deck with additional cards like Earwig Squad, Stenchskipper and the like. I hope this article can quench your thirst for bashing and burning. Stay tuned for new builds as I’m experimenting on the class “Rogue” with the coming of Morningtide. Till next time.. Chow!

Note: All product images and card artworks that may have been used on this article belong to WotC.

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