I barely have time to cube and go to prereleases these days, but I think Goblins are probably competitive again. A few things took Goblins out of the picture:
- Critters started showing up in brown lists and blocking goblins
- 4x Mentor meant that a single Jester's Cap effect wasn't lethal
- Eldrazi got printed and are actually much harder to kill than artifact critters
- Abrade Goblin is maindeckable as a 4x and kills all the colorless and brown problems that can ruin your day
- Mentor got restricted, greatly increasing the value of cap effects vs Xerox engines
- Legion Warboss is everything Rabblemaster needed to be: go-wide, pumps Lackey, makes hasty tokens to hit planeswalkers. Unlike Rabblemaster, it doesn't force your other gobs to make bad attacks.
- Trashmaster lets you trade up vs brown
- Warboss + Trashmaster let you go back to being an aggro-combo deck vs Xerox and aggro-control vs brown. Earwig Squad "combo" isn't a sufficient angle of attack vs Xerox anymore and you had too slow a clock without it.
- Assassin's Trophy lets you switch from Grixis to Jund and adds redundant disruption against everything but fast combo (where Earwig Squad seemingly still does all the work you need). It's cute that it gives a maindeck answer to Oath, too.
Anyways, I think these recent printings probably bring Gobs back. I'm happy to help people brew if they're interested.
Cockatrice is a great place to test. There's not another electronic platform that 90% of the people who play vintage use. Nope. Just cockatrice.
I'm not a big fan of renting digital cards. It's kind of dubious to invest in an online platform when the content owner you're renting from is actively investing in a new platform and won't move your cards over onto it. Just sayin'...
No promises of optimality, but this has failed to fail in brief testing. The Containment Priests are almost surely an error as is Chandra. Fanatic and Trashmaster are the real deal. Maybe Yixlids? Dunno. I haven't played in a while, but Trashmaster was worth firing up Cockatrice for.
2 Damping Sphere
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Tin Street Hooligan
2 Cheering Fanatic
4 Earwig Squad
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Goblin Matron
1 Gempalm Incinerator
2 Goblin Trashmaster
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Mana Confluence
1 Volcanic Island
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
2 Dack Fayden
1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Gempalm Incinerator
2 Containment Priest
2 Leyline of the Void
2 Red Elemental Blast
4 Mental Misstep
1 Ancient Grudge
I mean, is it viable outside of goblins? The fact that it is a gob does not change the fact that its ability is relevant to any deck that can pull it off. It can ramp you into a turn 2 JTMS or Karn for instance.
It seems craptacular as ramp unless you care that it's a Goblin or you abuse the fact that it's a cost reduction and play something many many times. My first thought was something like 2x Top + Prowess, but that fails in a variety of ways.
@13nova I think you're very confused. Wizards intentionally has gone many years without printing a new, playable Goblin specifically because they were so oppressive in Legacy. Moreover, they would be oppressive in Legacy if Goblin Recruiter was unbanned. Food Chain isn't in Modern.
As to the removal and combo you listed, Earwig Squads have always given Goblins a strongly favorable matchup against combo. It used to have a favorable matchup against Oath, but it always had a poor matchup against Brian Kelly. The removal you mention doesn't do anything against Squee or Food Chain.
You seem to have misread the card: it's a 2/2 and you get the bonus from just declaring the attack. I'm pretty sure this is red Lotus Cobra. Is that Vintage playable? Dunno. The big thing holding back Food Chain Goblins is that there's no obvious kill. You can reliably make infi mana every game, but you have no good outlets that don't require a non-Goblin tutor.
@ambivalentduck if you're casting squee infinite times all you need if FSD/tattermunge duo and a Legion Loyalist to give trample.
You can also make an infinitely large Grenzo, Dungeon Warden. Fun!
Unfortunately, both are 4-card combos to kill that turn.
Taking the more generic Naya 8x Recruiters angle, you can use Ballista instead. You can also rock the Aluren kill.
The only compact kill I see is Foundry Street Denizen. There are a ton of cute 4-card combos that involve Goblins and many more three-card combos that involve non-Goblins.
The Naya Recruiters angle may be outright better than the Goblins angle. Imperial Recruiter and Recruiter of the Guard give humans an edge. They've been printing solid humans for years, but Goblins haven't gotten any solid new toys (other than Squee) since people played Tinker and Tezzeret.
Vintage Goblins would probably be something like New Squee Food Chain Gobs. You can pretty reliably get infi mana, but then what? You don't really want a deck full of Ringleaders. Matrons are acceptable if only because of the flexibility, but I don't recall a goblin infi mana outlet. You'd be into something like Siege Gang Commander?
So, you run "grixis control gobs" with 4 Food Chain, New Squee, and Siege Gang. Make infi mana with Food Chain and Squee, then use Siege Gang as a way to convert infi mana and infi New Squee sacs (can be cast from grave) into infi damage?
This might be a deck if only because it can approach a two card combo of unrestricted parts, one of which is insanely redundant (Recruiter = Matron = Ringleader = tutors = ...) and the other is an enchantment.
On second thought, that could be really good. Combo vs shops. Earwig plan vs blue combo. Spellbomb and Welder game 1 vs Dredge. The real question is how you build around Food Chain to achieve the explosion.
Do Snow Duals fix the problem or do the best decks just have both?
They have some sort of strange internal deliberations that they refuse to discuss outside WotC at all, but MaRo has said repeatedly that he hates that Reserve List. If he's asking the question in the first place, advocating specifically and directly for snow duals is almost certainly the best place to focus your energy if you want the List circumvented.
Yes, it's silver-bordered. My question is, would this be Vintage playable? Assuming you're willing to spend half as much on your Nerf blaster as on your Force of Wills, you can probably discharge 144 darts.
Downside, you have to pick up 144 darts.
My thought is that you can't reliably cast a 5 mana sorcery, but that it would reliably do 20 damage.
@Topical_Island Which is itself dubious. 2B Jester's Cap with a 5/3 body attached remains strong, but the cost of swinging with a Goblin or Rogue keeps going up. We haven't gotten a decent Gob in a while, though we do have some interesting Rogues. This is probably as bad as Gobs have been since the printing of Earwig Squad. Walking Ballista is a nightmare for a deck full of 1/1s.
One of the things that's hard to communicate to folks who aren't used to playing Gobs is how grindy most games are. Getting a 4/4 every-ish turn, often with a tutor attached, wins grindy games in ways that something vulnerable to StP and other spot removal wouldn't.
@Brass-Man Seems like a rough grind to get six critters into your graveyard. If you're playing Gobs, it's for the Dack, Welder, Chains, and Earwig Squad package. Tinker for Gift lets any dead Welders and Matrons come back at a size Shops can't ignore. I might be thinking about that entirely wrong and maybe it's better just to board into something like Paradoxical Outcome since most Shops players will board out their Thorns after seeing a bunch of goblins game 1.