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posted in Hate Bears read more

Comments on some of the card choices in the GWRB list above:

4 Force of vigor main: I went from 3 to 4 maindeck when I saw how good they are in the deck and after realizing they would be quite relevant in the field. Of the 12 other decks in the meta, they are only weak game 1 against dreadhorde arcanist and BUG fish. The UR arcanist deck I lost to in the final sides in blood moons, so I need to keep all 4 forces in against it. Playing the full playset means putting a premium on green cards in the deck, especially since collector ouphes come out in several match-ups.

4 collector ouphes main: As I mentioned before, I built the deck to beat ravager shops and PO. Against the field I met, 4 ouphe is probably not justified. It is a liability against oath of druids and weak against the "fair" decks. For green-based hate decks in general, I would think they are quite important, since it gives these decks a disruptive 2-drop beater on a power level close to that of Thalia, that pitches to force of vigor.

4 wrenn and six main: Speaking of two-drops that pitch to force of vigor, this card was pretty amazing. Most of the time, it was a functional ramunap excavator that was more resilient to removal. But the option of pinging any target once a round is very relevant. Against oath, it is importantly not a creature, which can build my manabase and/or weaken theirs whilst not activating oath. It can also pluck off spirit tokens after I have wasted their orchard. In the finals, I attacked Thalia into arcanist, bounced Thalia with Karakas after first-strike damage, then played wrenn and six to finish the arcanist off. I shaved a copy once, but never saw the need to cut any more of them. They were well worth the red splash.

4 knights of the reliquary main: This card is arguably too slow for vintage. If it gets to untap, however, it dominates the board. I think it is finally a good vintage card, because force of vigor slows games down to where it becomes effective. I am happy I played four. In the meta this Saturday, I would only side them out/shave copies against grixis control, PO and bomberman.

1 engineered plague main: When looking over sideboard plans against the expected field, I noticed that the engineered plague in the sideboard would come in against about half the field. Against other decks, it has marginal uses that make it decent to use game 1, such as naming "spirit" against oath or "monk" against PO. I was happy about running one in this tourney and will consider doing it again.

2 containment priest main: These are here because I expected 2-3 oath decks and one dredge deck in the meta. On the other hand, I had a hard time finding additional creatures to play. I considered green two-drops like Teeg, Scavenging Ooze and Pridemage and even going to 3 mana for big Thalia or Tireless Tracker. Ultimately, I decided to shy away from these weaker cards and play containment priests, since they are at least situationally powerful. Any ideas here are more than welcome.

Strong sideboard cards: 2 containment priest, 2 grafdiggers cage, 1 tabernacle, 2 stony silence.

Sideboard cards I am happy I ran, even though they could be something else: 1 bojuka bog (no dredge), 1 ghost quarter, 2 lightning bolt, 1 tireless tracker.

Sideborad cards I should not have played: 1 forest, 1 dovin, 1 choke. Choke is win-more with the waste package and wrenn and six. Dovin came in against blue decks, but would have been much stronger as a second sylvan library: Sylvan is cheaper, has a more powerful effect in these match-ups and pitches to force of vigor. The forest was me panicking five minutes before the tourney, when I heard one of the arcanist decks played blood moon in the side. The deck cannot realistically operate against a blood moon anyway, so any green card to pitch to force of vigor would be more effective than the stupid forest. In game two in the final, I had an open fetchland when he played moon turn one. I debated what to do, but went for the basic forest. By the time I had drawn a green card to pitch to force of vigor, he was able to force of will. Meanwhile, the basic forest did nothing.

I will happily respond to questions and/or criticism!

posted in Hate Bears read more

Hi all!

This saturday I took 2nd place at our yearly vintage tourament Hulen "The Cave" Open in Bømlo, Norway. I played a GWRB hate list and it worked so well that I decided to share it with you. This seems like the correct thread to post it in. The 13-man field looked like this:

3x oath, 2x dreadhorde arcanist, BUG Fish, White Eldrazi, Ravager Shops, Survival, Grixis Control, Paradoxical Outcome, Bomberman and myself.

My list was built to beat ravager and PO and tweaked to beat oath and dredge:

3 wooded foothills
2 windswept heath
2 verdant catacombs
2 savannah
2 taiga
1 bayou
4 wasteland
1 strip mine
1 karakas
1 maze of ith

1 black lotus
1 mox emerald
1 mox pearl
1 mox ruby
1 mox jet
1 elvish spirit guide

1 chalice of the void
4 wrenn and six
1 sylvan library
1 engineered plague

4 swords to plowshares
2 mental misstep
4 force of vigor

4 deathrite shaman
4 thalia, guardian of thraben
4 collector ouphe
2 containment priest
4 knight of the reliquary

Sideboard:
1 the tabernacle at pendrell vale
1 bojuka bog
1 ghost quarter
1 forest
2 grafdiggers cage
2 lightning bolt
2 containment priest
2 stony silence
1 tireless tracker
1 dovin, hand of control
1 choke

We played 5 rounds of swiss into semifinals. I wont give much detail. I was drunk the entire tournament and hoped the deck would kinda pilot itself. It worked well until the finals. Anyhow, it went like this:

2-0 against white eldrazi: Very real games, the first game took 40 minutes. I ended up grinding him down. Wrenn and six was a house.

2-0 against paradoxical outcome: My deck is pure hate in this matchup and did its job. I am unsure if I controlled a monastery mentor with engineered plague. Maybe that was in a dream.

2-0 against oath: He resolved Griseldaddy. I had karakas.

2-0 against oath: I think I destroyed oath at least once with force of vigor. I drew containment priest in both games against oath, which make these matches less than representative.

1-2 against bug fish: The deck worked well. In both games I lost, he was down to 2-3 permanents, yet beat me with true-name nemesis.

Semifinals: I went in as first seed, one of the oath plyers came in at second, UR dreadhorde arcanist 3rd and bug fish 4th. The fish player conceded to me because he needed to be elsewhere, so I went straight to the finals.

Finals, against UR dreadhorde arcanist: This was the deck I feared the most in the field. I believe it is a bad matchup pre-board and knew he had blood moon in the sideboard (this was also the reason I put a forest in the side, which ultimately was a bad choice). We played a long game one, where he outplyed me, or I made a few stupid mistakes. I lost game to to turn one blood moon. Having the forest in play did not help.

The maindeck worked exceptionately well. Sideboard is a mess. Ill write a few comments on specific card choices in another post. Gotta go.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Hi again!

Ive tested the above list (with minor changes) again and am close to scrapping it. This time I played against Grixis control and shops. The deck still seems to play well against grixis control, because tin-street hooligan and earwig squad are effective and easy to find, even when played in small numbers. I didnt combo off at all. Shops seems close to impossible: I have no reasonable hope to combo off and my 1-1 removal and card advantage are way to slow to come online. Against ravager shops, lackey has limited chances of getting through and the shops deck can go wide quickly: My old tactic of lining up tin-street hooligans with a recruiter and playing one a turn has become way too slow.

The above deck works hard to get the combo online, with the two tutors and serum powder to find food chain. The deck is still way too slow in comboing off. I will leave the combo in as an alternative win, but cut back on the weakest cards (serum powder, squee). In turn, I can play more actual good goblins and will test Goblin Trashmaster, to see if it can give me some game against shops. (Side note on trashmaster: It also combos off with sharpshooter if there is a single artifact in play, so skirk prospector is gone.) This is now a midrange deck with a food chain alternative kill.

Gemstone caverns is not a good card. I didnt read the card properly and played it as if it would work when I was on the play. Pretty embarassing. I have cut it for more artifact mana.

If anyone else has tested food chain goblins as of late, I would appreciate your thoughts on its viability.

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox sapphire
1 Mana crypt
1 Sol ring
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Trinisphere

4 Food Chain
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Vampiric Tutor

4 Goblin Lackey
3 Tin-Street Hooligan
2 Goblin Recruiter
1 Stingscourger
4 Goblin Matron
2 Squee, the Immortal
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Earwig Squad
3 Goblin Trashmaster

4 Cavern of Souls
3 Bloodstained Mire
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Badlands
3 Taiga
1 Mountain

SB:
4 Grafdiggers Cage
4 Null rod
1 Tin-street hooligan
1 Stingscourger
1 Goblin sharpshooter
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Cabal Therapy

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Wfain: Glimpse is definitely something to think about. This deck typically cant play more than two goblins per turn when its not going off though. When it goes off, ringleader does the drawing I need. But Ill have glimpse in mind when I play. 1-2 could be good.

Thanks Hierarchnoble, thats really cool! Im looking forward to reading about your results and updating the deck accordingly.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Hi folks!

I tested the list yesterday, playing three matches against big-mana grixis control, PO UBW control and PO combo with time vault. I won all six games, but that has more to do with my opponent drawing poorly than anything else. A few observations:

I only really comboed out twice. Once, food chain was merely a mana accelerator. In 3 games I just goblined the opponent to death. This is fine, of course: The aggro-plan in the deck is decent; especially against these three decks, that dont block lackey consistently.

The deck had a powerful plan 4/6 games. In the last 2, I just played little dudes, disrupted a bit and luck-sacked my wins. When the deck is doing something powerful, its because of one of these things happening:

-I played turn 1 chalice for one twice, off gemstone caverns and a mox.
-I played turn 1 lackey, which was not answered (4 caverns of souls being key).
-I played turn zero gemstone caverns.

Serum powder performed really well, I used it in 4 out of 6 games, either drawing it in the first opener or mulliganing into it. I never mulliganed below 6, and serum powder helps to not do this. I often had access to squee from exile, which helped me combo off twice. Once, I just played him from exile as a dude. Just having him there keeps the opponent nervous.

These are too few games to make many changes. Ill do this:

-1 siege-gang commander, +1 skirk prospector. In two games I explicitly wanted to recruiter for prospector, because I was stuck on two mana and unable to play food chain. This also makes sharpshooter an instant kill, so I can drop siege-gang, which is mostly an irrelevant card.

-1 matron, +1 recruiter. Matron was clunky and recruiter was less of a bad/risky card than I remembered. I recruitered for 2-5 goblins a bunch of times, typically tin-street hooligans and ringleaders. Not once did I goblin-screw myself.

Trinisphere might be bad, and both tarfire and maindeck earwig squad might be irrelevant, but I dont know yet.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This is likely too cute to be good, but Ill be testing this:

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
4 Serum Powder
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Trinisphere
4 Food Chain

1 Demonic Consultation
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Tarfire

4 Goblin Lackey
2 Tin-Street Hooligan
3 Goblin Recruiter
4 Goblin Matron
4 Squee, the Immortal
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Ringleader
1 Earwig Squad
1 Siege-Gang Commander

4 Cavern of Souls
4 Gemstone Caverns
3 Bloodstained Mire
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Badlands
2 Taiga
1 Mountain

SB:
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Surgical Extraction
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
2 Tin-Street Hooligan
1 Earwig Squad

The deck currently has 61 cards. Im testing out a few singletons:

-Chalice should be good in the main. The gemstone caverns makes chalice for one on turn one a reasonable proposition and it hoses the deck minimally.
-Trinisphere also hoses the deck minimally, but Im more sceptical, since its a turn two play.
-Demonic consultation should work extremely well here. It has more than 50 percent chance of hitting both Food Chain and Squee and can sometimes do it on turn zero. I also considered a one-of Spoils of the Vault, but think the life-loss will be too high too often for it to be worth it.
-Vampiric tutor is less strong. I think its better than Demonic Tutor, due to synergy with Gemstone Caverns, but will not be surprised to cut it.
-Both Siege-Gang Commander and Goblin Warchief are maindeck pieces for killing the same turn I go off. Playing both is necessary as long as I run Demonic Consultation. Note that Goblin Sharpshooter is only a utility card: I could change that by replacing Siege-Gang with a Skirk Prospector, but that makes it a two-card combo: Siege-Gang is more compact.
-The one Tarfire is there to pick off random Canonists, Pridemages and the like. It is also a fun way to pick out a utility dude on turn zero once in a blue moon.

The sideboard is built with the intention of tilting to pure RG when playing against shops and creature strategies and tilting to RB+Food Chain when playing against combo and control. Note that the deck has fully 7 cards that can interact with dredge on turn zero (4Leyline, 2Surgical, 1Consultation into Surgical) plus the 4 Serum Powders.

The synergy is there, but Im sceptical about the power level : )

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Ive played my share of goblins for many years now and enjoy the broken synergy between earwig squad, surgical extraction and cabal therapy. When it wins games, its a lot of fun!

posted in Hate Bears read more

@AmbivalentDuck

I haven´t proxied up and played your list, so I cannot comment on most of it, still:

Is it worth stretching the manabase to side in containment priest? I have decided against it and to run grafdigger´s cages instead. Both of them have some dissynergy with your welders, but priest also hoses lackey. When your game-plan involves dacking and welding, that should pull you powerfully in the direction of cage and other artifacts for dredge hate.

I believe Krenko is win-more in more tribe-centric goblin decks. Are you sure it isn´t here?

Have you considered siding into ringleaders and an otherwise more traditional build? In my limited experience against white eldrazi, the match-up becomes favorable if you can go on top of them with removal and draw.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@snowydude said:

lets be honest guys we all know this is only going to end with getting put in the gush, mentor, mini jace, snapcaster deck.

This. I dont see this becoming viable in aggro/disruption decks in vintage, being too slow. Imperial recruiter is good (yet fringe) since it can find combo elelments and toolbox cards in non-aggro decks. That is a likely role for this recruiter too.

Im however very excited about this in legacy DT. With a slower game, this becomes absolutely amazing with aether vial, making any silver bullet so much stronger for the deck and providing a new source of actual card advantage (which vial needs to be really good). I think we will see this become common in legacy DT together with containment priest, displacer and stoneforge.

posted in Decks read more

Hi Guys!

Yesterday I played goblins in the yearly local tournament "The Cave Open". We were 9 players and I got crushed. This is what I played:

1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
2 Skullclamp

1 Demonic Consultation
4 Cabal Therapy

4 Goblin Lackey
1 Skirk Prospector
1 Goblin Welder
3 Tin-Street Hooligan
2 Stingscourger
2 Goblin Recruiter
4 Goblin Matron
2 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Earwig Squad

4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Mountain
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine

SB:
4 Grafdiggers Cage
4 Surgical Extraction
1 Goblin Welder
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Tin-Street Hooligan
1 Stingscourger
1 Goblin Chieftain
1 Goblin King
1 Murderous Redcap

After some testing I decided to add one welder to the main to lower the curve, bring in 2 lords in the side for engineered plague protection and to go on top of aggro decks, add sol ring because the deck is just that mana hungry and control players will often counter the first mox, and add an incinerator to the toolbox of removal. If I were to play the deck again today, I would switch out a sharpshooter from the main for the incinerator: The sharpshooter was too slow and too fragile against mentor specifically, while incinerator was quite good. These were my matches:

1-2 against esper control
He got a quick tinker for sphinx of the steel wind game 1. I sided out clamps, demonic consultation, 1 sharpshooter (he has some creatures) and a couple of ringleaders to bring in lords, welder and 3 surgical extraction. In the second game, I lobotomized him with earwig, extraction and therapy and went to town. The third game was long and interactive despite him resolving an early engineered plague, but he ended up killing me with a true name nemesis before I could build up a large enough force.

1-1 against bomberman
He comboed out after a long and convoluted game 1. In game two, I extracted and earwigged. In game 3, he had no reasonable avenues to win left, but I couldnt clock him quick enough to finish the game.

2-0 against white eldrazi
He had played ancient tomb, plains, mox emerald and a hate bear (thalia maybe). I blind named reality smasher with cabal therapy and got two of them, emptying his hand. I proceded to hooligan and wasteland him back to the stone age and take over the game. Game two went long and I ended up vomiting 20 power of goblins onto the board and shooting all is creatures with sharpshooter.

0-2 against blue combo control (helm of awakening, future sight)
I earwigged him too late in game one and he was able to draw his library and deck me. In game two I earwigged him twice, removing all his reasonable win-cons and felt in control of the game. He however had a sweepers followed by two trinket mages, I drew 5 consecutive non-creature cards (lands and useless therapies) and he dealt me 16 damage (I think); enough to kill me. Crazy game.

1-2 against UWR mentor
He blew me out with a quick mentor followed by plowing sharpshooter game one. Game two I opted to incinerate his first mentor and played enough ringleaders and beatsticks to overpower the second. In game 3 he surprise blocked my lackey with containment priest and plowed my sharpshooter again. The mentor deck went undefeated to win the tourney.

Im not at all surprised by being run over like this. The deck has game against everything and I am sure it is well built by now, but the power level is not high enough. I still had a blast though. If anyone wants to try the list, make the mentioned swap of incinerator for the second sharpshooter. The decks I didnt play against were oath, UR pyromancer and elves. I believe all 3 are favorable match-ups. (I played some matches against the pyromancer and elves decks after the tourney and only lost one game to the elves player).