Why people are playing 4 Ringleader and only 1 Recruiter is beyond me. Recruiter costs 2 mana and Ringleader costs 4. Ringleader is high variance without Recruiter and Recruiter is at worst a Vamp Tutor. Having 8 tutors when there are so many versatile gobs like Sharpshooter/Squad/Stingscourger/Tin Streets is just insane. If we had access to Recruiter in Legacy I guarantee you we would be playing all 4 maindeck and shave Matrons down. Because Vintage is obviously faster, Ringleaders had to be shaved down to 2 spots to make sure the deck is fast enough and drawing 8 cards is usually enough anyway.
When I first read this last night, the knee-jerk reaction was "I play 4 ringleaders and 4 matrons because they give me goblins in my hand to play right now, making these creatures ideal to land with lackey on turns 2 through infinity". And I do think it is very important for goblins to get the right aggressive or disruptive piece right now. Recruiter doesn´t do that, unless it is also paired with ringleader or skullclamp.
But then I stayed awake thinking of the possibilities recruiter brings to the table: With a full set of jewelry, it´s a turn one play that sets up perfectly for a turn two earwig squad to win on turn two against several decks. It can also line up a string of hooligans to bury shops (although this can backfire terribly without backup green mana). Although it seems like a mediocre midgame draw (so weak in itself, no instant value) it becomes great again if you have a clamp: Just start churning through ringleaders and tokens from siege-gangs or war-marshals. I still think it is a terrible card to draw in multiples, so I have added only two to my list. I didn´t cut into the engine, rather the situational cards: 1 stingscourger (down to 2 main) and one earwig (moved the fourth to the board).
Having 4 grafdigger´s cages in the board is probably a common choice, since it covers oath and dredge pretty well. Have any of you tried or considered replacing these with a set of containment priests and a plateau? At least in my deck, counting caverns, that gives me 12 ways to cast them. I think it has enough upside to at least consider:
-Priest is a creature, so it deals damage, can be sacked to cabal therapy, can be double-clamped (!), can come uncounterable off cavern.
-Priest doesn´t get countered by mental misstep or chalice if you run it.
-Priest can come as a surprise.
-Priest stops show and tell, natural order etc.
-Priest does not stop flashback on cabal therapy, which is quite important in the oath match-up.
On the other hand...
-Setting a cavern to "cleric" hurts like heck in this deck. Alternatively, it compels you to fetch an otherwise terrible dual.
-Containment priest costs precious colored mana, whereas cage can be played off an off-colour mox.
-Priest shuts down lackey, grenzo and lightning crafter if you run them.
-Relying on priest makes you more vulnerable to sweepers.
Any thoughts on this?