Really Dirty War – Goblins Deck Tech by Liam Casserly

Really Dirty War – Goblins Deck Tech by Liam Casserly

Really Dirty War – Goblins Deck Tech

Traditional match reports and deck techs aren’t really my bag but I played and won my FNM last week with a week one deck that I thought was very strong against the clan-based meta. I will try and explain what happened.

Dawn broke over the desolate battlefield. The air was full of expectant menace. The carnage that might be wrought in the day to come.

From behind the mountain a figure appeared. Clutching his billy club, the goblin stalked to where he thought the war might begin. At first nothing of note happened and then, all of a sudden, a woman came running from behind him, heading towards the enemy. Invigorated by reinforcements he attacked too, making sure to whack especially hard. He didn’t want this woman, monk or whatever she was thinking goblins couldn’t fight a good war.

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After giving it a good go he was worn out. Time for a sit down and a breather. Scratching his nose and trying to ignore the highfalutin ninja, he peered into the distance. The far off mountains rose up where they should be, and he could see the shimmer of the island lakes below, but the trees he would have expected weren’t there. Odd he thought to himself.

A voice pulled him from his reverie.

“Oi you ‘orrible lot! What are you doing stood around?”

The master was here, ready to rouse the rabble and get them all fighting in the right direction at least. And, just as he turned up, another goblin appeared right there next to the first.

“Er… boss?” the first goblin spoke.

“Is it about the monk?” the rabble master snarled. The first goblin, feeling stronger and more confident since all these others had turned up, nodded. “Don’t worry about her. She looks slight but she fights dirty. NOW GET OUT THERE AND FIGHT WITH HER!”

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Just like that there was a great crack in the sky and the place where the boss had stood was merely a smoking crater. The first goblin shrugged and got on with the fight. After a little of the old argie bargie, the forests seemed clearer in the distance and a small clump of plants appeared a lot closer to them.

“How are we going to get through that?” he thought to himself.

Looking behind him for reassurance, he was surprised to find the mountains had grown since he last looked. That normally meant a swelling in the ranks. He waited. Surely more of his fellow goblins would be turning up any minu… Oh. Another blooming monk. Just as quick as the first one she was, and ready for a ruck right away.

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The sky filled with a great roar and this time the lightning struck far off in the mountains on the other side. He looked to the monks, who seemed to grow in fierceness after seeing the damage dealt.

“That used to turn up a lot earlier.” he told them, remembering battles past when such damage would have been sent forth from the off.

They all attacked, even the lowliest goblin who had become a bit directionless since his master got himself blown up. One off the monks ran straight into the plants but the other one seemed to gain the strength of a titan. She brushed the plant creature aside and laid it to waste. After such a surge they were all left tired.

He looked on as a few elves turned up on the other side. He couldn’t bring himself to deal with them right now but he knew he would have to fight through them very soon. Reluctantly he and the others dragged themselves to their feet and prepared for what might be a suicidal charge. But then he felt it, the power surged through him. He watched as his comrades were moved as if entering the fight, their power directed not into the battle but into a spell. One of such fierce force that the flames formed the shape of a dragon as they raced off into the distance. And just as the battle had begun it was over.

Looking around at the aftermath he thought to himself, “Not bad for a goblin”.

Here’s the list:

Everflame Eidolon
Firedrinker Satyr
Foundry Street Denizen
Mogis's War Hound
Monastary Swiftspear
War-Name Aspirant
Goblin Rabblemaster
Hall of Triumph
Lightning Strike
Magma jet
Titan's strength
Stoke the Flames
21 Mountain


Eidolon of the Great Revel
Frenzied Goblin
Harness by Force
Jeering instigator
Searing Blood
Hall of Triumph

I have to say that, apart form the Eidolons, the sideboard was a rough guess at what I might need. I cannot vouch for the usefulness of any of the other cards as I never boarded any of them in.

What’s the plan with this deck? Well it’s simple. I’m trying to catch out all those folks who wanted to be greedy in the early weeks after rotation. All those people who wanted to cram the most powerful new toys into a deck and try and smash face. The plan worked perfectly apart from when I came up against the other sensible people who chose a mono-coloured strategy.

I can say right now that I don’t think we will see a deck like this win the pro tour but this list will do well at FNM for a week or two. At least until the mana is solved for the colour-heavy lists I’ve seen floating around.

The story I began with illustrates quite well what happened in more than a few of my games. I basically just threw my cards down and turned them sideways. Okay, okay, there is a certain amount of sequencing that goes on to maximise your damage output, and there are sweepers out there designed to get at this deck specifically. Bile Blight and Anger of the Gods will decimate your board if you don’t pay enough attention. Fortunately for me, a lot of those cards are sat face up on their owners library thanks to Courser of Kruphix, giving me plenty of warning.

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Kahns has given these smaller decks a few new ways of punching through the roadblocks like Sylvan Caryatid and the dreaded Courser, but most of them involve moving into another colour. I made the decision to stick with mono red in the first few weeks and then keep an eye on what the Jeskai decks were doing at a higher level. Ultimately I think that the aggressive strategy will end up in Jeskai as it is capable of some really explosive turns. As the Pro Tour Top 8 showed us though, if you’re in an aggressive strategy you’ll be racing the Siege Rhino of  the Abzan clan.

I know what you’re thinking. This information is no good to you this week, you needed it last week when it would have worked. The thing about this sort of gamble is that if someone thinks there’s going to be a lot of angry little decks running around the meta that week they can ruin your Friday night with a few well-selected cards. If some idiot on a popular website starts spouting on about RDWs being the best choice to play then it loses its currency very quickly. Basically you don’t want me bombing your meta.

This deck, and my win with it, is a classic example of one of the many games within the game that magic can be. I won, not because I’m the best player but because I guessed right.

Although I rode my luck with top decking the win in a game or two, this deck loses nearly all its advantages once the other players start to prepare for you. The trick is trying to stay one step ahead.

So next week I’m playing a Chromanticore brew.

Liam Casserly

Really Dirty War - Goblins Deck Tech by Liam Casserly
Traditional match reports and deck techs aren't really my bag but I played and won my FNM last week with a week one deck that I thought was very strong against the clan-based meta. I will try and explain what happened.

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