Let’s face it, Standard is expensive. Most decks require multiple copies of $40 Sword of War and Peace, $25 Snapcaster Mage, and $25 Primeval Titan, among others. This is fine for people with big budgets and lots of tournament opportunities, but what is the more casual player to do who only plays Standard once a week at Friday Night Magic? It seems like a waste to make such a huge investment just for one night a week, especially since the deck you buy might not be any good a few weeks later, given how rapidly the metagames change.
What if I told you it’s possible to sweep your next FNM for less than 20 dollars? Feast your eyes on this hidden gem in Standard:
Red decks have traditionally been the cheapest option for playing in Standard, although mono-red has only been a top competitive deck a few select times when the metagame allowed it to rise up from its usually Tier 2 status (a mono-red deck actually won the StarCity Games 5K in Charlotte this past weekend). With hexproof creatures like Geist of Saint Traft and Dungrove Elder dominating the Standard format, the traditional mono-red burn deck (also known as “red deck wins”) has faded away. But it is still possible to bring some Mountain-based pain to your opponents at your next Friday Night Magic: Goblins!
I went 4-1 with this “5-dollar Goblins” deck at my last FNM:
4 Goblin Chieftain
4 Spikeshot Elder
4 Goblin Fireslinger
4 Goblin Arsonist
4 Goblin Wardriver
4 Stormblood Berserker
4 Gut Shot
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Goblin Grenade
4 Arc Trail
2 Traitorous Blood
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
3 Ancient Grudge
Technically the deck isn’t 100% goblins, since the Berserkers are humans, but they are too good not to put in a cheap aggro deck like this one. The only other viable options were Blisterstick Shaman (3 drop) and Goblin Piker (2 drop), so even though the Berserkers don’t enable Goblin Grenade they are too house to leave out.
A couple fun points about this deck –
1) As you can tell, the deck is super cheap. I call it “5-dollar Goblins” even though it is technically worth a bit more than that. But most people have these cards lying around and wouldn’t have to spend more than a fiver acquiring the rest, so the name can stay.
The most expensive cards in the deck are uncommons – the 2 Dismembers in the sideboard and the 4 Gut Shots, all of which are selling for around $2 at the time this article was written. The 8 rares are all dollar rares (or even lower), and the rest of the deck can be find in the “junk cards” boxes at most stores (that’s where I found my Goblin Fireslingers).
2) Some of these cards evoke excellent looks on your opponent’s faces. Whenever you drop Goblin Fireslinger or Goblin Arsonist on turn 1, your opponent’s face will contort in a manner never seen before.
3) You can win on turn 4 consistently, and in two ways. The first method is traditional goblin tribal racing, throwing down Goblin Wardrivers and Goblin Chieftains turns 2 through 4 and just getting in there with a mob ‘o gob. The other way is a lot more fun, and involves a turn 4 Goblin Grenade, sacrificing Goblin Arsonist, and then Brimstone Volley, for a total of 11 damage to the dome. If you thought your opponent’s reaction to turn 1 janky goblins was epic, just wait until you see the one from this move.
I’m definitely keeping this deck around as my backup deck for FNM when I’m in between competitive decks. It was a lot of fun, attracted a bit of attention from other players, and in the end won me some prize packs. Don’t let those expensive Standard decks get you down – just throw some Goblins at them!