This isn’t an ideal keep my any means, but it has potential, and if you’ve read enough of these, you know that I’m a believer in that concept. We need to begin by putting two cards on the bottom — which ultimately comes down to, “what cards would I rather redraw?” due to our game plan most likely being [[Echo of Eons]] or a less likely [[Ad Nauseam]]. Just in case that a few things go awry, I would bottom the [[Chain of Vapor]] for sure and then [[Dark Ritual]]. While [[Brainstorm]] is a great card, if we’re resolving [[Echo of Eons]] there’s a chance that it won’t be necessary. Meanwhile, if our opponent had something like [[Collector Ouphe]], a [[Bloodstained Mire]] could recirculate that [[Chain of Vapor]] as an out.
Cast [[Lotus Petal]], play [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Brainstorm]]), [[Mox Opal]], tap the pair of moxen and ultimately put the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] on the battlefield. At this point, we’re looking for a few draws:
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] — Allows us to immediately cast [[Ad Nauseam]].
[[Echo of Eons]] — We could activate [[Wishclaw Talisman]] for [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to cast the [[Echo of Eons]]
[[Burning Wish]] — Retrieves [[Echo of Eons]] for the line above.
All of those would allow something meaningful on the second turn. That said, [[Ad Nauseam]] and [[Dark Ritual]] are also great for something involving a play on the third turn. This is all assuming our opponent doesn’t interact with us. The thing is, we’re on a mulligan to five. Sometimes you just need things to go right in order to win — you can’t beat everything.
One thing to remember about the Goblins deck is that in the first game they have no interaction outside of [[Wasteland]], [[Rishadan Port]], and [[Goblin Trashmaster]] — this also means that there is so spell-based ways to interact!
Activate [[Polluted Delta]] for [[Badlands]], cast [[Dark Ritual]], play [[Wishclaw Talisman]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Mox Opal]], tap [[Mox Opal]] and then cast [[Rite of Flame]]. At this point, sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], activate [[Wishclaw Talisman]] for [[Ad Nauseam]], and then cast it.
This might come across as a shocker, but many players keep these hands and then wonder why they don’t win. What does this do versus Goblins? If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to cast [[Echo of Eons]] on the third turn assuming that you find a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. All of these things have to go right while avoiding [[Goblin Lackey]] (and friends), [[Wasteland]], and [[Rishadan Port]]. Keeping this hand on the draw is too optimistic. On the play, however, I’d be more inclined to try this. The reality is that on the draw, it’s just too slow and fragile.
You need to look at this hand as “starting the game with at least Storm five”. The plan is to cast the sideboard [[Echo of Eons]] and then reset the game.
Bottom the [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. Play [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Chrome Mox]] (no imprint), [[Chrome Mox]] (no imprint), [[Burning Wish]] for [[Echo of Eons]]. At this point, cast [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], discard your hand, and then Flashback [[Echo of Eons]].
The point to playing out the pair of [[Chrome Mox]] is to raise the Storm count, but also potential future copies of [[Mox Opal]].
We have roughly 22 outs ([[Chrome Mox]] and the non-black lands can find black sources) which is 41.5 percent odds of hitting on the first turn. As we know, Goblins is fast, but they aren’t going to turn two you and even the turn three isn’t very common. This means you’ll have three opportunities to hit that 41.5 percent. Even if your life-total ends up too low for [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Echo of Eons]] is still available.
Hand No. 5: (on the play)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Defense Grid|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]]
While [[Brainstorm]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] are two of the most powerful cards in the deck, they can’t carry every hand. [[Veil of Summer]] and [[Defense Grid]] are dead in the first game, which means this is essentially a mulligan to five. I would also consider [[Tendrils of Agony]] to be a dead card. You’re able to cast [[Brainstorm]] and attempt to fix this hand, but without a fetchland or a perfect three cards off the top, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I prefer a more realistic approach and would just rather keep an average six card hand.
[[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]]
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]
Hand No. 6: (on the draw)
[[Brainstorm|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Ponder|]]
This is a very well-rounded hand. There are typically two copies of [[Chalice of the Void]] in Goblins. The beauty of [[Chain of Vapor]] is that it can also answer [[Leyline of the Void]] or even stall a first turn [[Goblin Lackey]]. Outside of [[Chain of Vapor]], this hand has both mana and ways of finding a “Wish Effect” to combo-off.
Hand No. 7: (on the play)
[[Defense Grid|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Taiga|]]
One of the ways that the Goblins deck tries to defeat us is that they side in a few copies of [[Mindbreak Trap]]. Our best way of combatting that is similar to how we attempt to beat blue decks — [[Defense Grid]].
[[Taiga]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Defense Grid]], [[Mox Opal]] ( for ), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and then [[Echo of Eons]].
While Goblins does have [[Chalice of the Void]], there are only two copies. The way that the most common sideboards are configured is that almost everything is only played in pairs. This means you can’t mulligan away perfectly fine hands out of fear. If the opponent has [[Chalice of the Void]], it’s just something you should accept and move on with.
The beauty of this hand is that it beats both [[Chalice of the Void]] and [[Mindbreak Trap]]. [[Abrupt Decay]] can answer any potential permanent issues ([Chalice of the Void]] or [[Pithing Needle]]), while our hand can natually beat [[Mindbreak Trap]] by casting our spells over two turns. On the first turn, you would cast the pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then on the second turn [[Wishclaw Talisman]] into [[Ad Nauseam]]. Once [[Ad Nauseam]] resolves, you’re looking to play [[Defense Grid]] before the [[Tendrils of Agony]].
I’ll provide my answer in the next article. For now, make sure to post your thoughts!
Bryant Cook has one Grand Prix Top 8 as well as nine Star City Games Top 8s (two wins). Bryant recently won a Legacy PTQ and a Legacy Challenge in the same weekend with v10.8! You can most likely find him teaching others how to cast Rite of Flame or creating Legacy & Vintage content. Bryant is also a host of The Eternal Glory Podcast, as well as a Web Designer, New York Mets fan, and all-around nerd.
This awesome mini token set is printed on actual playing cards! A superior smooth 330gsm quality card-stock with a high-quality finish!
These tokens are literally half the size actual cards (44.45 × 63.5mm) and will not fit in standard size sleeves! But you wouldn’t want them to any way — they’re double-sided and have Goblin tokens on the backs.
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