Goblins return, take PPTQ by storm

Before you go all crazy, here are the facts: PPTQ in Udine, Italy, took place on 19th of July 2015, and out of 37 participants, it was the Goblins that took it all. After a long but fun and educating run for my Bushwhackers, Loyalists, Guides and Fanatics, we managed to came back from behind to win ourselves a spot on Regional PTQ. Oh, and let’s not forget Foundry Street Denizen and Goblin Grenade. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible without the beloved Lightning Bolt.

So, before I go into the details, here is the deck list:

Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers (Udine, Italy, 19th of July 2015) - 1st place out of 37

Creatures (26)
Foundry Street Denizen
Goblin Bushwhacker
Goblin Piledriver
Frenzied Goblin
Goblin Guide
Legion Loyalist
Mogg Fanatic
Mogg War Marshal

Instant (7)
Atarka’s Command
Lightning Bolt

Sorcery (8)
Goblin Grenade
Krenko’s Command
Dragon Fodder
Lands (19)
Cavern of Souls
Copperline Gorge
Stomping Ground
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Mogg Fanatic
Goblin Piledriver
Atarka’s Command
Destructive Revelry
Tin Street Hooligan
Relic of Progenitus
Grafdigger’s Cage
Blood Moon
Rending Volley

There are a few things I will consider, and the main question is if it would be better to change Frenzied Goblins for another Mogg War Marshal and Mogg Fanatic. Either way, I don’t know if it was luck or not (my bet would be yes), but the deck played out almost perfectly.

In the first round, I got to play an UG Infect player, and this was a match where Mogg Fanatic shined. Killing his only infect creature after swinging with Fanatic and getting the damage in is great, as well as forcing opponent to play pump spells during my turn, or at the end of his. Priceless. I managed to win with a 2 to 0 score. I even kept a hand of 4 lands, two Fanatics and a Destructive Revelry, and it was a good decision (or luck) as I Revelry-ed his Ichorclaw Myr. Much luck!

Next up, it was Merfolks, and in the end, the best-of-three went in favor of my opponent after I ended up in topdeck mode, looking for any damage spell but came up short. In the first game, he sealed the deal by spearing some sea to both of my lands, and despite I fought back and won game 2, he finished me to take the victory. Oh well, I thought, let’s go on.

So, at that point, I was 1 – 1 and looking to make or break the day. Little did I know I ended up makin’ it.

The fact that I played against Naya burn in round 3 helped a lot, since I knew I have a decent match-up against it, and somehow I squeezed out a victory after losing the dice roll. Again, if my opponent would be able to land Kor Firewalker in the deciding game, it could have gone either way, but all in all, I have more creatures that swing more often than his, and Mogg War Marshal is just a beast blocking opponents Goblin Guides. 2 to 1 for me.

Round 4 was as important as any other, but the victory felt almost the luckiest to me. I played against my friend (hi) with CoCo Elves, and I usually lose to him, so I came prepared (two Grafidiggers in the side), but I ended up not needing them. Mogg Fanatics and Goblin Grenades were enough. I also drew just the right amount of Bolts to snipe his most important creatures to buy enough time to grab a 2 to 0 victory. This time around, Goblins won the legendary tribal war between greenskins and pointy-ears.

At that point, I felt great. I didn’t really come to win, I wanted to have fun and try my best while spending time with fellow Magic players, especially the 6-man company I came with. Needless to say, there were two more rounds to play, and slowly I began to aim for the top 8. This nice guy from Italy was my next opponent, and he played Grixis Twin. Funny enough that I won the first game, but went to lose the series 1 to 2. There was little hope left, but since both players that have beaten me were without a loss (I think), I had good tie-breakers, and my friends told me that I could make it into the Top 8 if I win the last round. And so I did, I guess.

I was on the ninth place going into Round 6, so I really had to win. Opponent played GR Tron, and I felt that this is a match-up that I could take, depending on the dice roll and cards, of course. Well, like against any deck I guess. It turns out there was nothing he could do, and after I won the first game, he mulliganed to 5 in the second one and just couldn’t stop my never-ending swarm of little green creatures. After I presented lethal to my opponent, he wished me luck in the top 8. I said whaaat!?

This was my first MTG tournament on foreign ground, and the biggest competition I have ever been to. Up to this day, I participated on our local FNM’s and Modern Mondays, but that’s about it. And even there, I usually finished somewhere in the middle of the pack. Well, just last Monday (13th of July), I finally won something in Magic. Here, I would like to point out that after I adopted hellakevin’s No-Lords-Goblins and tweaked it a bit, the results started to came. So off we go to the top 8.

Since I entered the playoffs as the 8th seed, I was always on the draw. But I guess that wasn’t a problem for me this time around, since I managed to sweep the same Merfolk player that won against me in Round 2, and an UR Twin deck, both with a score of 2 to 0. Truth to be told, it’s hard to race as a Merfolk if I start with Foundry Street Denizen, followed by Goblin Guide and Legion Loyalist for trample-first strike attack that swings for 6 on my second turn. And I had the same play in game 2. How fun is that?

Goblin Grenade is really … well, a bomb, especially in game one where some people forget about that card. It won me game 1 against the mentioned UR twin player, as I launched two Grenades to his face, followed by a Lightning Bolt a turn later in response to his Deceiver to seal the deal. So, I was in the finals. Oh man, is this for real?

I ended up facing the Grixis Twin player that I lost to in Round 5, and after a grindy match with four Snapcasters taking over the stage, I was down 0 to 1, but Goblins don’t give up. It looks like they are too stupid to feel fear. In any case, I draw decent but greedy hands in the next games, and was rewarded for it. I managed to beat him 2 to 1, thanks to that Dismember, Rending Volley, Goblins .. and more Goblins! I feel that all those games against Money Drek and Juwe, two local Twin players in my hometown, taught me a lot about the match-up, and how Rending Volley isn’t the card you want to stockpile on in your sideboard. Many, if not all good or at least average players sideboard out a few copies of Splinter Twin in games 2 and 3, meaning Rending Volley can be a dead card when facing a control-ish deck or either a Goyf, Angler or Tasigur. With that being said, I chose to run only one Rending Volley in my sideboard and instead opted for Dismember, a card that can hit most if not any relevant creature.


As far as Goblin Piledriver goes, it’s a real beater that needs a deck to be built around it, and while he did perform decently, this deck is far from optimal modern goblin deck, but it’s fast, and Piledriver puts additional pressure when he hits the field. However, I usually went for any other 2drop (token spell or Mogg War Marshal) when I had a choice, since losing Piledriver to bolt/decay/terminate is a tempo loss, so I used him as a finisher (in combination with kicked Bushwhacker, and so on).

Before I end, I would like to thank Šel, Darkness Dynamite (also for lending me a Copperline Gorge), Javier, Bexl and Vaxl for supporting and rooting for me on the event, and of course Money Drek for all the testing we’ve done and being my MTG sensei.

Of course, a big thumbs up for the whole Slovenian MTG community, after taking down the Croatian PPTQ, we took home the Udine as well.

And last but not least, big big thanks to all on MTG Salvation Modern Goblin primer, where the brewing is happening. Without the brainstorming, discussing and testing we have done together, this wouldn’t be possible. I would like to once again invite you all, dear readers, to join the Gob_wagon. It’s for real.



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